The Animal Crossing video game series is a series of communication simulation games, exclusively for Nintendo consoles. All games in the series are non-linear, in the sense that they have a somewhat set beginning, but no middle or end. The player takes the role of a human in a village of animals. The series is non-violent, and rated 'E' for Everyone by the ESRB (3+ by PEGI). The player may take on tasks from villagers, pay off their mortgage, garden, fish, catch bugs, and more.

Objectives of the game

As an open-ended life simulation, the Animal Crossing series does not have a set objective - as such, after an introductory sequence at the beginning of the games, players are free to do as they like. The only "objective" in the game, if any, is to pay off the mortgage placed upon the player's house. But, like most things within the game, this is entirely optional, and does not incur any consequences other than having less space to store items. The player will eventually become Mayor once they create their town and now being to cover the land with Public Works Projects, being the only two more objectives that have been added.


In every town in the Animal Crossing series, the village itself is entirely composed of a population of animals (excluding the player, who is the only human being in the whole series along with other players). Villagers serve as interactable characters, who are assigned personalities and traits, and this affects the way they communicate with the player and among themselves. Villagers are capable of speech (despite being animals), and live in their own domains within the villages. Villagers, in the later games, are also capable of playing games, such as hide and seek, and most often than not, they will usually ask the player to perform tasks for them (which ranges from delivering presents to sending a message to another human player), which can incur a reward if executed in the set time. Villagers are also anthropomorphic, and as such, they are able to walk in a humanoid state, and can also wear clothes. Villagers move in and out regularly due to certain factors (eg. because the player have exchanged animals with another village over Wi-Fi, or simply because they aren't satisfied with their current life). It is also said that they enjoy receiving letters, and if sent a gift, they will usually send one back.


Although the earlier games offered little or no service in terms of customization, more recent games feature the ability to not only customize the player's own clothes, but also wallpaper, flooring, and even paintings. It is also possible to decorate the ground in-game with the player's own patterns. The term 'customization' can also include the variety of items and furniture available to collect, allowing the user, in a sense, to "customize" their houses and themes.


Despite being an open-ended game, Animal Crossing does provide some activities to pass the time and help 'complete' certain aspects of the gameplay (such as completing the bug exhibit within the town museum). Some of these said activities include bug-catching, fossil-hunting, and even item-collecting (the latter an objective to complete the player's catalog). Players can also interact in games of hide-and-seek with villagers, participate in festivals and town events, and generally do as they like within the game including bug/fish catching..


Boxart English language titles Original titles System release Release date(s) Notes
AF N64 Front
N/A どうぶつの森 (lit. Animal Forest) Nintendo 64 Flag of Japan 2001 The first game of the series.
AF+ Front
N/A どうぶつの森+ (lit. Animal Forest+) Nintendo GameCube Flag of Japan 2001 A remake of the original.
Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing N/A Nintendo GameCube

Flag of America 19 10 2002 Flag of Europe 2004

First released in English.
N/A どうぶつの森e+ (lit. Animal Forest e+) Nintendo GameCube Flag of Japan 2003 Enhanced version of Animal Crossing.
N/A 动物森林 iQue Player Flagofchinasmall 2006 A Chinese-only port of Animal Forest+ with glitch fixes. Only on iQue.
Animal Crossing Wild World
Animal Crossing: Wild World おいでよ どうぶつの森 (lit. Animal Forest: Come on Over) Nintendo DS

Flag of Japan 2005 Flag of America 19 10 2005 Flag of Europe 2006

First released worldwide, first on a handheld, first game to let the player customize their hair.
街へいこうよ どうぶつの森 (lit. Animal Forest: Let's Go To Town) Nintendo Wii

Flag of America 19 10 2008 Flag of South Korea 2010

First game to include the City and pro designs.
Animal Crossing New Leaf Box Art
とびだせ どうぶつの森 (lit. Animal Forest: Jump Out) Nintendo 3DS

Flag of Japan 2012 Flag of America 19 10 2013 Flag of Europe 2013

First game where the player is the Mayor, also a larger range of clothing. It's also the first game in the series where the player can swim.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

あつまれ どうぶつの森 (lit. Animal Forest: Assemble)

Nintendo Switch 2020

The Animal Crossing Series
Aflogo Af+logo Animal Afe+logo Animal Crossing Wild World Logo Animal Crossing- City Folk (logo) Animal Crossing New Leaf logo NewHorizons
Main Series
Dōbutsu no Mori (Dòngwù Sēnlín) • Dōbutsu no Mori +Animal CrossingDōbutsu no Mori e+Wild WorldCity FolkNew Leaf (Welcome amiibo)New Horizons
ClockCalculatorSweet DayPlazaPhotos TogetherHappy Home Designeramiibo FestivalPocket Camp
Other Media
Dōbutsu no Mori (film)Dōbutsu no Mori: Hohinda Mura DayoriDōbutsu no Mori e+ 4koma Gag BattleMinna no Dōbutsu no MoriOideyo Dōbutsu no MoriTobidase Dōbutsu no Mori Minna de Seseragi Mura Life
Other Series
Super Smash Bros. MeleeSuper Smash Bros. BrawlMario Kart 8Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
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