amiibo are one of the most financially savvy ideas Nintendo have come up with in the last ten years. Adopting the blueprint of concepts like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the beautifully designed models' unique features and limited availability allows them to charge around £10/$15 for each figurine and generate huge profit from non-gaming based products.
Our list today is slightly indulgent as I’ll be basing a vast amount of my choices on the look and design of the amiibo itself. I’ll be taking the ability of the figure itself in to account, but after doing some research, it appears that effects of the accessories aren’t revolutionary and the variety among the collector’s items isn’t yet fully realized.
Beauty is also in the eye of the beholder, so the amiibo I include could cause your inner Picasso to grimace, but I’ve tried to encompass a range of models that encapsulate what amiibo offers. So without further ado, here are 6 of the top Nintendo amiibo.
6 - Falco – Super Smash Brothers Wii U
I’m slightly biased here as I main Falco in the Super Smash Brothers series, but the attention to detail and beautiful construction on Fox McCloud’s wingman is a dedication to the effort Nintendo are putting in to the artistry of their branded accessories.
The cocky birdman is part of the many waves of characters for Super Smash Brothers Wii U. Like his fellow roster members, he is able to be trained like your own personal sidekick, turning him from a lowly rookie to a veteran brawler by improving his attack, defense, and speed, as well gaining bonus passive effects like better ledge grabbing and longer shield time. Lombardi is also usable in Star Fox Zero to let the player fly the black Arwing.
For me, this is one of the best amiibo in the Smash series for the pure detail. His earpiece actually makes me weep a little bit.
5 - Bayonetta (Player 2) – Super Smash Brothers Wii U
I’ll try to not just make this a list of Smash series amiibo, but as there are so many that Smash supports, it’s almost inevitable that they’re going to end up on such a concise list. I’m going for the Player 2 variant of the Umbra Witch instead of the blue accented model as I think the P2 has, for lack of a better word, sass.
As she’s part of the same game as Falco that I’ve mentioned above, Bayonetta has the same functions as he does, just for her character instead of his. I’d ask you to excuse my vanity and twangs of shallowness but this list is comprised of what are essentially tiny little pieces of gaming related art, so the look is a pretty substantial percentage of why I’m making my choices. Everything from the windswept effect design of her cape, her accessory details, and her crimson pistols (for both hands and feet)—all capture the sultry aura that the mistress of the Bullet Arts exudes.
4 - 8-Bit Mario (Modern) – Super Mario Maker
A faithfully created throwback to the origins of Nintendo’s mascot, 8-Bit Mario is a love letter to the style of the plumber that gave the Japanese company its most iconic intellectual property. Pieced together out of what I guess you can describe as “real life pixels," 8-Bit Mario was created to celebrate the Italian hero’s 30th anniversary and to be used in the customizable level building title, Super Mario Maker.
8BM isn’t exactly flashy with its amiibility (not actually a Nintendo phrase, I’ve literally just coined that) in that all it does is add a giant mushroom power up to the course you’re creating. Fitting I suppose as this was probably the most common and synonymous power-up within the Mario series, or at the very least within the original Super Mario Brothers.
I’ve gone with modern color scheme over classic purely because the color is brighter and more vivid, and I feel generally more representative of all Mario incarnations throughout his 3+ decades of adventures.
3 - Archer Link – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Now this was a hard choice of which Link to include, what with all the different types that exist. Ocarina is iconic, Toon is adorable to the Nth degree, Majora’s Mask and Skyward Sword show off the young and adult incarnations respectively—it’s a really tough call to decide which one is the best. However, what with Breath of the Wild continuing the masterpiece lineage that the Zelda series has, I’ve decided to go with Archer Link as I feel the torch has been passed to him now.
As with all amiibo that are compatible with BotW, Archer Link will give the chance of having a number of different bows like the Falcon or Knight’s Bow spawnwithin chests, as well as special arrow types like fire, ice, shock, and bomb. It also has one of the highest number of possible common items like bass, normal arrows, raw meat and bird meat.
Ironically, this could be considered to be the least special of all the Link amiibos as it doesn’t have an amazing exclusive feature that Wolf Link and Ocarina Link do, but the modern aesthetic of the figure is amazing. Just look at his bow. Look at his tunic. Look at them!
2 - Bowser (Wedding Outfit) – Super Mario Odyssey
This is by far the best thing to come out of Super Mario Odyssey. Yes we’re getting a new Mario adventure game, yes it’s the first one for the Switch, but nothing compares to Bowser looking like Dog the Bounty Hunter on his wedding day. What an absolute baller.
So far, as this is unreleased at the time of writing, Nintendo’s official website is cagey on what the pimped out King of the Koopas will unlock in game other than “a variety of helpful, optional gameplay assists—whatever that may mean. Bowser’s white and purple combo is elegantly different from anything we’ve seen before, as Mario’s arch rival isn’t usually prone to changing his garb. You can take an educated guess that as there is a wedding version of both Mario and Peach as well, this is heavily linked to the plot and tone of what we can expect to see in Super Mario Odyssey.
Anyone out there looking to grab Mario’s latest outing, I would strongly advise you to grab at least this amiibo from the wedding pack. It’s Bowser in full P.I.M.P. mode, I mean come on!
1 - Zero Suit Samus – Super Smash Brothers Wii U
As beautiful and sexy as all the other amiibo on this list are, none of them are quite Zero Suit Samus (not even Snoop Dogg Bowser).
Due to the nature of what amiibo are, they’re all sculpted with a degree of finesse, uniqueness, and a real sense of authenticity to each character, something that is captured best with Samus in her rawest form. As she’s spent pretty much the entirety of her playable time within her various power suits, it’s a delight that she’s been dedicated an amiibo in her purest depiction, thanks to her inclusion in the Super Smash Brothers Wii U roster.
As well as doing the usual Smash abilities, ZSS can be used in the 3DS title Metroid: Samus Returns to unlock an energy reserve tank and background music from the game in the gallery. Arguably this isn’t amazing or groundbreaking, but at least Nintendo are applying relevance to their line of accessories by adding in more games the same amiibo can be used in.
What are your favorite amiibos? Let us know in the comments below!