Crash Bandicoot: Best to Worst
CRASH BANDICOOT 2: CORTEX STRIKES BACK (1997)
Crash searches for 25 power crystals to help a former nemesis, Dr, Neo Cortex, save the Earth from imminent destruction. A rare sequel that surpasses the original with lots of fun game play that never becomes frustratingly difficult. Nor is it too simplistic. Clancy Brown (“Highlander”) voices the antagonist, adding to the credibility of the cut scenes. If I had to nitpick, I’d like to be able to play the bosses again when continuing a saved game, but you’d have to start a new game to access the bosses, which was not the case in the other early Crash Bandicoot games.
CRASH BANDICOOT (1996)
A genetically enhanced marsupial treks across three islands to save his girlfriend from a mad scientist. Since I preferred Playstation to Nintendo or Sega as an adolescent, Crash Bandicoot was my home console mascot. The first installment was lacking in cinematic cut scenes and those last few levels before the final boss were ridiculously hard. It took me longer to beat this game than the next three in the series combined. Whenever you continued a saved game, your amount of lives always returned to 4, even if you were up to 80 when saving the game to your memory card.
CTR: CRASH TEAM RACING (1999)
A sinister alien, Nitrous Oxide, challenges Crash and others to a series of races with the fate of the planet on the line. I suppose you must qualify this game as a knockoff of the Mario Kart series. The first Crash multi-player with eight playable characters to choose from, but I always selected Crash out of a sense of loyalty to the marsupial. The final Crash game by Naughty Dog, the original developers of the series.
CRASH BANDICOOT 3: WARPED (1998)
Crash travels through time to retrieve the power crystals from historic locales before Dr. Cortex can. Coco Bandicoot, Crash’s sister, becomes a playable character in this game, which was a bit too reminiscent of the second installment. The time travel gimmick did not enhance the fun factor much, but it was the first Crash game with power-ups. What I enjoyed most were the levels featuring motorcycle races and that game would help you keep track of how many crates you’ve destroyed.
CRASH TWINSANITY (2004)
Crash and Dr. Cortex reluctantly unite to protect their home, the Wumpa Islands, from inter-dimensional invaders. The most vast game in the series up until that point, but the world can be difficult to navigate, making this installment less appealing to revisit than its predecessors. Nina Cortex, the niece of Dr. Cortex, was introduced in this game.
CRASH NITRO KART (2003)
An evil emperor abducts racers, including Crash, and forces them to compete for their lives on his planet. It was hard to pick a favorite between this and CTR. Again, I would usually play as Crash despite having five other playable characters to choose from. For time trials though, I would sometimes give his teammates, Coco and Crunch, a try.
CRASH: MIND OVER MUTANT (2008)
Friends of Crash are possessed by mind control devices, manufactured by Dr. Cortex and Dr. N. Brio. Basically, it’s a rehash of the previous game, “Crash of the Titans.” The developers improved on the “jacking” monsters concept and had real fun with the cut scenes, which each had a different visual style, ranging from South Park like animation to old black and white horror movies.
CRASH BANDICOOT: THE WRATH OF CORTEX (2002)
Dr. Cortex unleashes ancient mystical masks known as the “Elementals” to aid in the downfall of Crash. The first Crash game for the Playstation 2 was widely criticized for its long load times and similarities to the first three installments. I cannot defend those unbearably long load times, but the intent of the developers, Traveller’s Tales, was to recreate the style of the early games. The tagline used in the advertisements was “back to basics.” And the hamster ball levels were undeniably a lot of fun.
CRASH OF THE TITANS (2007)
Crash fights an army of mutants, raised by Dr. Cortex to construct an enormous robot for world domination. Crash and company received makeovers and all the game play was overhauled. Polarizing. Many die hard fans of the series despised the new direction that the developers, Radical Entertainment, took. Personally, I find some fun in “jacking” monsters and will accept that times must change.
CRASH TAG TEAM RACING (2005)
Crash searches an eccentric baron’s hazardous theme park for a valuable gem, which is also sought by Dr. Cortex. The races were incredibly easy and thusly not too exciting. I don’t think that mini-games where you chase some chickens and go bowling should be the highlights of a racing game. The villain turns out to be a giant mutated vegetable.
CRASH BASH (2000)
Opposing spirit brothers choose warriors, including Crash and Dr. Cortex, to represent them in battle. A knockoff of the Mario Party series. I’m just not a fan of party games. There was only one mini-game which I enjoyed, a polar bear battle royal. This was the final Crash game for the original Playstation and the only one developed by Eurocom.
*I never played “Crash Boom Bang!,” a 2006 party game for the Nintendo DS.
*Planned Crash Bandicoot games for the Playstation 3 were cancelled.