The Best Amiibo Toys for Nintendo Switch and 3DS
Nintendo's amiibo figures are more than just cute plastic versions of Mario and friends; they also unlock special features across a ton of Switch, 3DS and Wii U games. But with well over 100 amiibo out there, trying to start a collection can be more dizzying than a surprise hit from a Koopa shell.
To help you begin your amiibo adventure, we've picked our 13 favorites based on functionality, design and flat-out cool factor. Some of these figures unlock crucial content in games such as Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2; others simply look awesome sitting on a shelf. From Animal Crossing to Zelda, here are the best amiibo you can buy right now.
Credit: Nintendo/Tom's Guide
30th Anniversary Mario
You can't have an amiibo collection without Mario, and Nintendo's nostalgic 30th-anniversary version of the plump plumber is our absolute favorite. This wonderfully pixelated piece of plastic brings back fond memories of the original Super Mario Bros., and will unlock special content in a boatload of amiibo-ready Mario games, including the upcoming Super Mario Odyssey.
Key games: Super Mario Maker (Wii U), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch), Mini Mario & Friends: amiibo Challenge (3DS), Mario Party Star Rush (3DS)
Also check out: Luigi, Peach, Toad, Donkey Kong, Bowser
Link (Super Smash Bros. series)
Nintendo has made more Link amiibo than we can count, but the original is still one of the best. The Super Smash Bros. series Link doesn't just work with Nintendo's popular fighting game; it also unlocks some of the best items you can find in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If you want to ride Link's beloved horse Epona or wear his iconic green tunic from Twilight Princess, you'll want this figure. Note that the more recent Twilight Princess Link amiibo will yield similar rewards.
Key games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch/Wii U), Hyrule Warriors (3DS/Wii U), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)
Also check out: Link (The Legend of Zelda), Ganondorf, Sheik
Splatoon 2 Inkling Girl
On top of looking incredibly fresh, the Splatoon amiibo grant access to some really useful items in Nintendo's colorful online ink shooter. Scan an Inkling Boy, Girl or Squid from either Splatoon game into Splatoon 2, and you'll be able to unlock new items, take some in-game selfies with your amiibo friend and even save your control settings to the amiibo. If you scan Callie or Marie, the lovable announcers from Splatoon 1, you'll get access to some very special armor sets once you beat Splatoon 2's story mode.
Key games: Splatoon (Wii U), Splatoon 2 (Switch)
Capcom's iconic Blue Bomber makes for one of the most faithfully adorable amiibo out there, and does his fair share of cool stuff. You can train Mega Man in Super Smash Bros, use him to unlock awesome costumes in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Yoshi's Woolly World and tap him into the Mega Man Legacy Collection to open up an exclusive set of challenges. If you're an especially avid fan, there's a special gold Mega Man amiibo that comes bundled with the Collector's Edition of the Legacy Collection.
Key games: Mega Man Legacy Collection (3DS), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch), Super Smash Bros. (3DS/Wii U)
Zero Suit Samus
Metroid heroine Samus Aran might be best known for her iconic red-and-yellow armor, but her Zero Suit variation is exponentially more badass. In addition to working with Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Zero Suit Samus amiibo will earn you special power-ups in Metroid Prime: Federation Force as well as the upcoming Metroid: Samus Returns game for 3DS.
Key games: Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS), Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS), Super Smash Bros. (3DS/Wii U)
Also check out: Metroid, Samus Aran
Guardian (Breath of the Wild series)
The Guardian amiibo from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is hard to top in terms of sheer design quality. This painstakingly detailed re-creation of one of the game's most imposing enemies is appropriately huge, and even has adjustable limbs. Tap the Guardian into Breath of the Wild, and you'll have a chance to earn powerful Guardian weapons and highly useful gems.
Key games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch/Wii U)
Also check out: Link (Archer), Wolf Link, Urbosa
Yarn Yoshi wins the "most adorable amiibo" award by a mile, as it sportsan irresistible design made of actual yarn. Available in green, blue and pink variations, this cuddly toy allows you to call in a second Yoshi for help in Yoshi's Woolly World, and acts as a standard Yoshi amiibo for other games that support the character, such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. But even without those perks, how could you not want this little guy on your shelf?
Key games: Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS/Wii U), Mario Party Star Rush (3DS), Mini Mario & Friends: Amiibo Challenge (3DS)
Also check out: Yarn Poochy
Zelda (The Wind Waker)
Princess Zelda looks great in amiibo form no matter what, but her stunning Wind Waker variation would have to be our favorite. This Zelda figure looks like it walked straight out of the gorgeously cel-shaded action of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, with big eyes, vibrant colors and tons of game-reverent detail. Zelda's amiibo is compatible with a wide variety of games, ranging from Hyrule Warriors to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and will give you a chance to unlock the coveted Hero's Shield in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Key games: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch/Wii U), The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U), Hyrule Warriors (3DS/Wii U)
Also check out: Toon Link
Of all the non-Nintendo characters to be turned into an amiibo, Shovel Knight just might be the coolest — and the most useful. This beloved indie-game hero unlocks special modes and challenges in his titular game, and allows you to create a custom Shovel Knight that you can carry from the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game to the new Switch release. Tap Shovel Knight into Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 for the 3DS, and you'll unlock a special boss fight that lets you battle a beautiful-looking 16-bit version of the character.
Key games: Shovel Knight (Switch/3DS/Wii U), Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 (3DS)
Corrin (Player 2)
Nintendo's Fire Emblem characters make for some of the coolest-looking and most functional amiibo out there, and if we had to pick one, we'd go with the female version of Fire Emblem Fates protagonist Corrin. Wielding an awesomely detailed, purple-flamed sword, Corrin can be trained in Super Smash Bros., summoned to battle in Fire Emblem Echoes, and work with the upcoming Fire Emblem Warriors on Switch.
Key games: Super Smash Bros. (3DS/Wii U), Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)
Also check out: Lucina, Marth, Robin
Boo (Super Mario Series)
Every amiibo on this list does something neat, but only Boo glows in the dark. The not-so-scary ghost from the Super Mario series glows green once you turn out the lights, which is great for anyone who wants to turn their bedroom into a haunted Mario mansion. Boo unlocks special content in Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World and Mario Party Star Rush for the 3DS, and makes a good spare amiibo for any game that accepts all toys.
Key games: Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS), Mario Party Star Rush (3DS)
Also check out: Daisy, Waluigi, Wario
Isabelle (Animal Crossing)
The cute anthropomorphic creatures of Nintendo's Animal Crossing series translate perfectly to the world of amiibo, and town secretary Isabelle is one of our favorites. Scanning Isabelle into Animal Crossing: New Leaf allows you to hang out in her RV in the game's campgrounds, while doing so in other Animal Crossing titles, such as amiibo Festival and Happy Home Designer, will summon her into the game.
Key games: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS), Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer (3DS), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch), Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World (3DS)
Also check out: Villager, Tom Nook, K.K., Mabel
Kirby (Kirby series)
The Kirby amiibo works with nearly as many games as the Mario and Zelda characters. Kirby unlocks special features in many of his titular 3DS and Wii U games, and grants access to adorable costumes in titles such as Bye-Bye BoxBoy! and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. And with a new Kirby game slated to hit Switch in 2018, you'll want at least one version of Nintendo's lovable pink puff in your collection.
Key games: Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS), Bye-Bye BoxBoy! (3DS), Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Switch)
Also check out: King Dedede, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee