Kingdom Hearts 2 brought life to a series that would go on to release games for decades after, cementing some of the best characters in its story.
Square Enix and Disney’s Kingdom Hearts 2 released in December of 2005 for the PlayStation 2, and continued the story following Sora, Donald, and Goofy as they travel from world to world, battling Heartless and fighting back the darkness threatening consume the universe. Kingdom Hearts would go on to release games for decades, adding new characters and expanding the original story far beyond what players may have originally imagined. However, the franchise likely wouldn’t have succeeded or become as popular as it did if hadn’t been for Kingdom Hearts 2, which remains the best game in the series.
While the first Kingdom Hearts game was interesting and entertaining for Disney and Square Enix fans alike, the plot picked up speed in Kingdom Hearts 2. The narrative introduces the concept of “Nobodies,” remains of beings who have had their hearts stolen by the darkness, as a way to expand on the lore of the Heartless from the first game. While there are Nobodies that Sora fights which don’t appear sentient, like Dusks and Creepers, there are others who retain human form and possess the ability to think for themselves, as well as retain memories from their former lives.
The introduction of Nobodies included Sora’s nobody Roxas, as well as Organization XIII, the primary antagonists of Kingdom Hearts 2. Organization XIII was lead by Xemnas, the nobody of Ansem from the first Kingdom Hearts game. It was the introduction of the Nobodies that brought a complexity to the story which was missing previously. The first Kingdom Hearts seemed to primarily be a way of mixing Disney worlds with Final Fantasy graphics, but the struggles of Organization XIII in KH2 gave the story substance. While some of the members of Kingdom Hearts’ Organization XIII were definitely against Sora and his team, many of the Organization’s members were simply victims of the darkness and had nowhere else to go. They became ensnared in Xemnas’ obsession with restoring “Kingdom Hearts,” the heart of the entire universe.