In this week's "Choosing the Best" entry, we talk about one of my favorite series', and face a tough decision. Additionally, we'll tease an upcoming review that may change the conclusion this blog comes to.

Choosing the Best is brought to you by Strange Combinations-R-Us. Put in two random items, and see what results at a store near you!

The Kingdom Hearts series is one of the strangest ones in gaming, simply because of the weird combination that makes it special. Most gamers wouldn't ever think of throwing together Final Fantasy and Disney, and such a product sounds ridiculous at first. Nevertheless, the Kingdom Hearts series has proven any doubters wrong, consistently featuring action-packed gameplay, heart warming stories, and excellent music. Because of this, choosing a favorite entry can be a difficult task, as many of the various titles have their pros and cons.

Nostalgia begs me to choose the first game; being the first game in the series I played, I really loved its story and overall gameplay. The first title in the series not only developed most of the elements present in other entries, it also has a special place in my heart for the masterful connection of Sora with the various Disney characters. Kingdom Hearts II, however, trumps its predecessor in nearly every way. Not only did it greatly improve the gameplay, it drew an epic conclusion to the story previously created, opening and closing several other plots along the way and leaving things open for a much larger and wider adventure. This sequel has remained my top title for quite some time - that is, until Birth by Sleep showed up.

The second main entry remains a high point for the series.

I'll admit right here that I haven't actually played the entirety of Birth by Sleep. I don't have a lot of money, and buying a PSP just wasn't a wise decision, as there aren't many games for the dwindling handheld that I actually want. Thankfully, a buddy of mine has one, and I was able to play through the majority of Aqua's story as well as the final bosses of all three characters. And I must say, I quite enjoyed the game. It has one of the best stories in the series thus far and adds a new understanding of the games' entire universe. Additionally, Birth by Sleep has the best combat of any of the games - it always feels fun. Nevertheless, I'm not sure whether I prefer this over Kingdom Hearts II or not; the former has more nostalgia for me, and I think the story was better as whole. It's a close battle between the two, but I think the second installment manages to edge out Birth by Sleep.

The problem, though, is that a new Kingdom Hearts game is coming soon... in a week, in fact. Because I'm an impatient loser and have no self control, I already know the entire story of the game. That being said, I still can't wait to get this game. If the excellent demo and Bryan's review are any indication, this game has the potential to be one of the best yet. It's combat certainly is fun, and the story, while a complete mind-blower and incredibly complicated (even for the standards set by this series), is intense. I plan on posting a review when I finish the game, which will likely not be until mid-August. Check back then on whether I end up naming the newest entry the greatest game in the franchise.

The newest entry could be the best yet

What about you - which game in the series is your favorite? Let us know in the comments, and see you next week! Thanks for reading!