Woo-Bah-Gah!: The Best Of The Crash Bandicoot Games
It’s been several years since we’ve seen Crash Bandicoot in action, with his final games [...]
It's been several years since we've seen Crash Bandicoot in action, with his final games releasing back in 2008, with Mind Over Mutant on consoles and a few titles for mobile, including a pair of Nitro Kart games. But if there's one thing we've learned in the video game industry, it's that you can't keep a good gaming mascot down.
Tomorrow, Activision will release Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy for the PlayStation 4, taking three of Crash's greatest adventures and remastering them for a whole new plethora of fans to enjoy. The collection features the original Crash game from the PlayStation 1 era, along with its two-follow-ups, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped!, both of which have seen strong success on the platform.
Crash games have been a mixed bunch since then, with a number of developers taking over for the original team at Naughty Dog, who obviously moved on to bigger and better games like the Uncharted series and The Last of Us and its respective sequel. But that doesn't mean they were all average, as a few titles managed to stand out.
So join us now as we look back at the greatest gaming accomplishments in Crash Bandicoot's career, while we wait (patiently) to get our game on with N. Sane Trilogy!
Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Of course, there's the game that started it all, and Crash Bandicoot couldn't have come at a better time for Sony. In the wake of the Nintendo 64 and the seemingly unstoppable Super Mario 64, Naughty Dog cranked out a fun (albeit simply made) 3D adventure, where Crash would hop on foes and use a spin attack to get through piles of crates, occasionally snagging a tiki mask for invincibility – and having to run away from objects like boulders. The game turned out to be a smash success, mainly based on Sony's advertising model for it, which was based around a dude in a Crash Bandicoot costume mocking Nintendo and company right outside their headquarters. (You can see that commercial above.)prevnext
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)
Why mess up a good thing if it works? That's what Naughty Dog was probably thinking when it made the second Crash Bandicoot game, featuring a better range of level design and more bonus levels to track down, as well as tighter gameplay to assure less mistakes within the game. Although the game wasn't a "leaps and bounds" sort of sequel, it was still more than good enough to please and the masses, and became another bestseller for Sony and company. Oh, and fun fact – did you know that veteran actor Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow, Warcraft) voiced the villain Dr. Neo Cortex? Well, now you do!prevnext
Crash Bandicoot: Warped! (1998)
As with the first game, Naughty Dog had a good idea of what worked with Crash Bandicoot, so it implemented a lot of it with Warped!, its third and final platforming adventure for the PlayStation. But it added some fresh new elements, including time travel via the Time-Twisting Machine (better than Flux Capacitor? Nah.) and motorcycle racing stages, where you could jump over ramps while cruising along with Crash in a leather jacket. Some people consider this the best game in the series, and that may be open for argument, but we sure enjoyed the hell out of it. I mean, Crash as a biker. C'mon!prevnext
Crash Team Racing (1999)
Following the release of three platforming adventures, Naughty Dog decided to do something new with its hero – a kart racing game. But it wasn't looking to make just another Mario Kart knock-off. Instead, it dug deep and found gameplay mechanics that related greatly to Crash's universe, along with original course design that stood out over other mimicking releases at the time. As a result, Crash Team Racing (or CTR for short) was just as well received – if not better received – than the platforming adventures. Now we just need it added to Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy as add-on DLC. Because, you know, reasons.
Years later, two more Crash racing games followed – Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing from Sierra – but they didn't quite measure up to CTR.prevnext
Crash Bash (2000)
This party game marked the first time that a Crash game wasn't developed by Naughty Dog, and it was fairly easy to notice. The game relies on a series of mini-games, crafted by the team at Eurocom Entertainment Software and Cerny Games, and it makes for an ideally good time amongst friends, especially if you've got a few with their own controllers. Sure, the game's not as high in quality as other releases in the series, but it's a fairly suitable party game, and it definitely keeps the tone of the Crash franchise. One other game, Crash Boom Bang!, followed for the Nintendo DS in 2006, but it didn't fare nearly as well.prevnext
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (2001)
The Wrath of Cortex marked a tremendous turning point for Crash, as it would mark the first time that the Bandicoot would be appearing on other platforms besides Sony ones. The game arrived in 2002 for Xbox and Nintendo GameCube, following a year exclusivity on the PlayStation 2, and was developed by the team at Travellers Tales (who are working on several games at the moment, including Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2). The game wasn't too bad at all, with enhanced visuals and the fun gameplay factors we've come to expect from the Crash series. Still, it was all too easy to tell that the Naughty Dog touch was slightly missing…but that didn't stop the game from being a best-seller.prevnext
Crash: Mind Over Mutant (2008)
Following the release of a pair of rather uninspired (but still enjoyable) games – Twinsanity and Crash of the Titans – Sierra Entertainment concluded its run with the franchise with the release of Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant for various platforms. It carried over a lot of elements from the previously released Titans, including the ability to subdue and control giant monsters in the game, as well as explore huge open-world-based levels, with plenty of hidden surprises. The gameplay had changed quite a bit around this time – Crash now had punching moves to knock out opponents alongside his spin attack – but it was still moderately fun.
In fact, both Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant for Xbox 360 are fetching a good amount of money on eBay, in case you feel like hunting down copies.prevnext
BONUS: Skylanders Imaginators (2016)
Last year's E3 was a great show for Sony, as it not only showcased new games like God of War and Spider-Man, but it also confirmed the news that Crash Bandicoot fans were waiting years to hear – he was coming back! At that time, N. Sane Trilogy was announced, along with a special Crash Bandicoot pack coming to the next Skylanders game, Imaginators.
While the newest Skylanders game wasn't quite as successful as previous entries, Crash – alongside a playable Dr. Neo Cortex – still brought smiles to plenty of faces, and fans were thrilled that Activision remembered him. Hopefully, it won't be several years before we see him in action in a game again.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy releases tomorrow for PlayStation 4.prev