The Best Worlds in Kingdom Hearts 2 (All Ranked)

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One of Kingdom Hearts’ biggest charms is your usual quest to hop from world to world, unraveling the story.

Each world, whether it’s based off of a Disney property or an original idea, is an entirely new and unique experience.

It’s a blast just hanging out with your favorite characters, living through their stories, and just getting to explore the worlds you’d never be able to visit otherwise. That’s the true magic of Kingdom Hearts.

So join me as we go on a World Tour through all the worlds of Kingdom Hearts 2, ranking our favorites along that incredible journey to find Riku and the King.


15. Port Royal

Port Royal in Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 Remix

Yo ho yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

Or at least that’s what I would say if Port Royal was an enjoyable experience.

Sadly, no riches can be found traveling to this world, as it makes for a rather dull experience.

Sure, on paper meeting Jack Sparrow and becoming a keyblade wielding swashbuckler sounds like a great time, but alas…

The Pirates of the Caribbean, being a live action franchise, just doesn’t fit in properly with the existing Kingdom Hearts characters or graphics. The dull gray and almost lifeless environment is no place for Sora, Goofy, Donald, and Pete’s extremely colorful palettes; they stick out like a sore thumb.

Not only does the world itself look and feel boring, going from rocks to old buildings, but the battles are also tedious.

Aside from the heartless, cursed pirates stand in Sora’s way. They can only be damaged if they’re standing in moonlight, which makes for long and rather annoying fights throughout the world.

Thankfully, if you’re a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, look forward to seeing them in Kingdom Hearts 3. The version of this world in KH3 is sooo much better.


14. Atlantica

Atlantica / Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD screenshot

Welcome one and all to, quite possibly, the most divisive world amongst the Kingdom Hearts community.

That’s right, Atlantica returns to KH2.

It’s not the same as the original though, no no. This time around it’s an optional rhythm minigame extravaganza!

A lot of people despise the minigames, songs, and just overall premise of the world. On the other hand, a lot of people find them charming and somewhat enjoyable.

Personally, I enjoy my time in Atlantica.

The songs can be a bit cliché and sappy. But as someone who really likes rhythm games, I can’t complain. You can’t have a classic Disney movie without some good ole singing moments.

If you don’t enjoy rhythm games or sappy children’s songs, I’d still highly recommend coming here purely for the rewards.

You can find puzzle pieces, a shiny new keyblade, a whole new spell, and even an Orichalcum+.

If you’re wanting the immense power that comes from the Ultima Weapon, then you’re not going to want to skip this world, no matter how annoying you might find it.


13. 100 Acre Woods

100 Acre Woods in Kingdom Hearts II HD

You thought we were done with the optional minigame worlds? Oh, how mistaken you were – there’s still “two” more.

Our next stop takes us back into the wonderfully wholesome world of Winnie the Pooh.

Sora gets to hang out and help all of his old pals in the Hundred Acre Woods, through the joys of random minigames. Again, this can be a turn off to a lot of people with both its semi-clunky minigame mechanics, and its childish manner.

But if you want to experience the joys of childhood wonder, then you’ll want to be on the lookout for the various torn pages through your journey.

Each page unlocks a new chapter in the book, granting you new minigames and rewards.

Just like Atlantica, even if you despise the world, it’s worth your time to get through it for the fabulous treasures within.

Most notably are the new keyblade and cosmic ring, which will both surely aid your quest.

If you’re not in it for the munny, remember there’s no shame in having a great time with your favorite Disney characters, no matter your age.


12. Disney Castle

Disney Castle / KH 2.5 HD World

In KH2 we finally get to travel to Donald, Goofy, and the King’s home world.

And it lives up to the colorful place we saw in KH1.

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the castle at Disneyland as a kid, now’s your chance to live those dreams.

Travel through the courtyards, grand hallways, the library, and more within the royal halls of his Majesty.

Sadly, the world itself is rather small, consisting of a few rooms and hallways. It makes up for the limited space by serving as a gateway to Timeless River.

What you do get, though, should satisfy any Disney nut’s craving for pure and classic Disney magic.

But a big downside to this world is the field music.

The extremely upbeat melody of the Mickey Mouse March is enough to drive anyone insane after an hour. If you’re already familiar with the lyrics to the song, prepare to have them drilled into your head as you subconsciously sing them over and over and over and over as the dread of never being able to stop slowly consume your being into the endless nights…


11. Land of Dragons

Land of Dragons World in KH 2.5 HD

Our next stop on our Gummi’s voyage is straight up ancient China.

Ignoring the historical implications that Sora and crew have apparently visited our world, The Land of Dragons is a fine but kind of bland start to our hero’s return.

If you’re a huge fan of Mulan, you’re sure to love this world.

It’s got great little character moments related to the movie, especially with Mushu and the army members.

But the set pieces and world itself can leave something to desire, as it’s mostly walks through mountains and grassy plains.

When you get to the ancient temple it’s mostly wide-open space, which can be a bit disappointing. Not the best Disney world – but definitely not the worst.


10. Pride Rock

Pride Rock KH 2.5 HD World

Here’s KH2’s movement gimmick world, like Atlantica in KH1.

It’s actually really fun to get to see how Donald’s magic adapts the gang into the world of The Lion King. Everyone takes the form you would expect: Donald becoming a full bird, Sora transforming into a Lion, and Goofy becoming a turtle (again, for some reason) to continue Atlantica’s trend.

We don’t question it.

The movement controls for Lion Sora can be a bit weird and difficult to get used to. But once you get the hang of it, it can be rather fun!

Sliding around and swinging your keyblade all willy nilly, combined with your flashy combos, can make for a great time.

Similar to the Land of Dragons, the set pieces can be a bit lackluster but still very pretty.

The environments are what you’d expect from the African Savanna, with lush jungles and wide-open plains. In terms of overall story, it’s what you’d expect from a new to the series world, with it being just the original movie with added interactions from Sora and the Gang.

The biggest bonus of this world is being able to overcome your childhood trauma of watching Mufasa’s death by beating Scar’s head in with a keyblade.


9. Agrabah

Agrabah in Kingdom Hearts II HD

I hope you like sand.

Because you’re about to get a whole lot of it.

The desert city of Agrabah returns in full force, as Jafar threatens to make a comeback.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of desert levels in video games. But the characters and other various set pieces make up for it here.

Being the second time we come to Agrabah, everyone knows everyone and already has great chemistry.

Aladdin acts as a cool older brother to Sora, Genie stops being a summon to up the antics, and Iago is out for your forgiveness. It all makes for some great interactions.

The Cave of Wonders gets a pretty expansion too. If your eyes crave the alluring glow of the treasures hiding within, you’ll like that area.

That said, the magic carpet mechanics can be a tad annoying to get used to, and if you’re not used to it you’re in danger for the final boss.

But beyond that, Agrabah makes for a fine sequel visit – nothing incredible, but enough to make it enjoyable.


8. Olympus Coliseum

Olympus Coliseum in KH 2.5 HD

It wouldn’t be a Kingdom Hearts game without a visit to the Olympus Coliseum.

It’s a staple, having appeared in every single game (except for one) in the series.

All of these visits add up to create a known and great chemistry among the characters.

Without having the need for character greetings, the world’s story can be its own unique plot rather than rehashing a movie’s, which is something I love in Kingdom Hearts.

This time around we’re no longer contained to just the coliseum.

Instead, we get to explore Hades’ domain: The Underworld.

The Underworld has an eerie and creepy vibe, funky music, and skateboards. What’s not to love!

If you miss your time here after you leave, you can always come back and enjoy a round or two in the Underdrome, which is KH2’s version of the coliseum.

Taking the role of Cloud from KH1, we get FFX’s Auron. And he’s here to be Hades’ puppet.

Seeing Auron is a lovely treat for any Final Fantasy fans. And watching him interact with Hades and the Gang is a true dose of that Kingdom Hearts magic you can’t get anywhere else.


7. Beast’s Castle

Beast’s Castle KH 2.5 HD World

I’m a sucker for Victorian/haunted-like aesthetics. So our next stop is a great place for me.

After our first meeting with Beast in KH1’s final act, we finally get to meet him again in his own home turf.

The quiet and eerie hallways, the gargoyles and chandeliers thrown about the place, and don’t even get me started on the music. Waltz of the Damned is one of my favorite Kingdom Hearts tracks, and it fits the vibe so well.

Despite all taking place inside one castle, the set pieces feel fresh and different, ranging from courtyards to dungeons to ballrooms.

The story of this world is one of my favorites too, as it directly involves an Organization member with small fragments of the original plot. It’s enough to appease someone who loves the original movie, all while making the story its own.

Plus the characters chemistry is also at great play here.

Beast and Belle already know Sora and the group. So the emotional connection comes into play when Beast gets all moody and angry.


6. Space Paranoids

Space Paranoids in Kingdom Hearts II HD

Unlike Port Royal, this world adaptation of a live action franchise is done perfectly.

Sora and the gang change costumes to match their surroundings, which makes the blend feel much more natural and fluid.

The story is a lot more integrated into the main KH2 plot as well, rather than its movie. Which as I mentioned before, is something I love to see.

All heartless and weapons in Space Paranoids get a techno makeover, making for a glorious 80’s sci-fi sight.

Tron’s friendship with the group is also really fun to see grow over the course of the world, making him feel like a real side-friend like Jiminy.

The songs for both the field and battle music should also sure to get your digits flowing as you hack, slash, and actually hack your way through the digital world.

Not to mention that you get to ride a light cycle to battle, which in itself is enough to warrant some excitement for this world.

The boss fights here can be a bit annoying and lackluster. But they’re not tedious enough to completely ruin your time here.


5. Timeless River

Timeless River World in KH 2.5 HD

Timeless River has to be one of the most interesting and coolest concepts for a world in all of KH2.

After traveling back in time through the Cornerstone, Sora finds himself in an age way back when Disney Castle was first being constructed.

Everything becomes like a rubber hose animation, from the character forms to the weapons, right down to the sound effects! Even the voices are compressed to match the older technology. It’s all really fun to see.

Through a variety of minigame/challenges based off of old Mickey Mouse Cartoons, you’ll come to learn the backstory to Pete and how he became the villain he is today.

Sadly, the world can feel rather shorter than the rest. And you don’t get a second visit.

So it’s best to take your time here and enjoy all of the fun little details thrown about.

Just don’t spend too much time, because the main BGM theme of the world (Monochrome Dreams) has the potential to get stuck in your head and drive you batty.


4. Halloween Town

Halloween Town KH 2.5 HD World Screenshot

Maybe this is a personal and biased opinion, but I always find the Nightmare Before Christmas sections of Kingdom Hearts games to be the most interesting and enjoyable.

The world is always just so much fun to explore and be a part of. This was true in KH1, and it’s just as true in KH2.

Not only do we get the joys of seeing Halloween Town and all its gothic and haunted glory, but now we get a chance to visit Christmas Town as well!

You’ll find spooky and jolly heartless, new weapon makeovers, and all kinds of scares and cheers.

Jack drags Sora and the gang back into his jolly quest for Christmas, making for some great and entertaining interactions. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are sporting their great Halloween getups – and now as an added bonus, they get a Christmas Town costume too!

The boss fights, while having great designs, can be a bit tedious and annoying to fight.

And the set pieces, while incredibly pretty, can be more linear than others (if that bothers you).

Other than those minor gripes, this world is nothing but festive joy.


3. Twilight Town

Twilight Town in Kingdom Hearts II HD

Take a nice and relaxing break from the chaos of the outside world in this quiet neighborhood.

Maybe take a moment to apply for a job and help out your fellow neighbors.

Listen to the soft and sweet melodies of Lazy Afternoons as you walk through the streets.

And don’t worry yourself about the sudden and random glitches, they’re normal. The people in black coats and girl in a white dress are nothing to worry about either. Enjoy yourself!

Twilight Town is one of the more peaceful and relaxing of the original Kingdom Hearts worlds.

Replacing Traverse Town, Twilight Town is not much more than a normal town, for Sora anyway.

During Roxas’ time it can become a little more chaotic and ominous than relaxing.

And if you love the vibe here, you’re in luck! Twilight Town becomes a reoccurring world in the rest of the series, so your summer vacation isn’t over once you leave in KH2.


2. The World That Never Was

The World That Never Was KH 2.5 HD World

The end of your journey is quickly approaching, as you enter a strange and confusing world.

Skyscrapers pop out from random areas, neon lights cover the streets, and an ominous castle looms above.

Up in the sky stares down Kingdom Hearts, or at least Xemnas’ version.

Nothing would make for a more fitting area for the end of your long-fought adventure. It all ends here.

The city, for starters, is like a cyberpunk version of Traverse Town – complete with countless lights and extremely tall skyscrapers that you may or may not slice in half.

This area may be small, but it’s still a site for the ages.

Beyond the city lies “The Castle that Never Was”, where each area’s name is edgier than the last.

Although it wouldn’t be a Kingdom Hearts game without a little edge.

Prepare yourself for boss after boss in here, conquering your way to the top to finally confront Xemnas.

The aesthetic of the castle even matches the Nobody designs seen throughout the game. White and gray spikes, the symbol, everything is all here to make for a one-of-a-kind area.

Being the final world, there’s countless lore-heavy and emotional scenes to be had. So get ready to grab those potions and tissues.


1. Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden

Hollow Bastion in KH 2.5 HD

The final world of Kingdom Hearts 1 makes a surprise return as one of the coolest callbacks in the series’ history.

What was once a desolate and destroyed kingdom, has begun to reclaim its lost magic thanks to the efforts of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee!

The citizens we remember from Traverse Town who had lost their home world, now work together to return this world to its former glory.

Radiant Garden is one of the most important worlds in terms of story and lore in the Kingdom Hearts series. I won’t go into much since a lot of the details contain spoilers for the next games. But this world’s constant returns are for good reason.

The magical steampunk vibe we see here gives this area a unique and breathtaking look.

The old Hollow Bastion songs have been remixed to give them a much more upbeat and hopeful melody. A true gift for the ears.

You’ll visit this world a lot as the story of KH2 unravels, so prepare to discover more and more of this truly radiant place.

And what’s not to enjoy?

You get to spend time with your favorite Final Fantasy characters as you fight back the heartless to reclaim peace in the land.

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