Crash Bandicoot is a franchise of platform video games. The series was created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin during their tenure at Naughty Dog for Universal Interactive Studios and was originally published by Sony Computer Entertainment; which the series was exclusive for Sony’s PlayStation console. The series has appeared on multiple platforms and gone through various developers and spans numerous genres.
The games are mostly set on the fictitious Wumpa Islands, an archipelago situated to the south of Australia where humans and mutant animals co-exist, although other locations are common. The main games in the series are largely platformers, but several are spin-offs in different genres. The protagonist of the series is a genetically enhanced bandicoot named Crash, whose quiet life on the Wumpa Islands is often interrupted by the games’ main antagonist, Doctor Neo Cortex, who created Crash and wants him dead as he is a failed experiment. In most games, Crash must defeat Cortex and foil his plans for world domination, but there have been instances when they have worked together.
Take a look below for 10 of the best Crash Bandicoot games.
1. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Crash Bandicoot: Warped, known in Europe as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, is a 1998 platform game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. It is the third game in the Crash Bandicoot video game series following Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.
The game’s story takes place immediately after the events of the second game. The ruins of a space station called the Cortex Vortex owned by Doctor Neo Cortex, crash-lands on Earth and unleashes an evil entity known as Uka Uka, Aku Aku’s evil younger twin brother, who joins with Cortex and the time-obsessed Doctor Nefarious Tropy and they plan to gather powerful Crystals that lay scattered across time and use their energy to enslave the Earth. The game follows the main characters Crash and Coco Bandicoot as they travel through time and prevent the villains from gathering the Crystals by collecting them themselves.
Warped was lauded by critics, who noted a high quality in many areas, including gameplay, graphics and audio. The game went on to sell nearly 6,000,000 units, making it one of the best-selling video games for the PlayStation. In Japan, the game surpassed the sales of its 2 predecessors and became the first non-Japanese PlayStation title to sell over 1,000,000 in the country. A remastered version was included in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collection for the PlayStation 4 in June 2017, and ported to other platforms in June 2018.
2. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platform video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. It is the second game in the Crash Bandicoot series, and the sequel to the original game.
Taking place on a fictional group of islands near Australia, Crash Bandicoot 2 follows the adventures of the anthropomorphic bandicoot Crash. Crash is abducted by series villain Doctor Neo Cortex, who tricks him into thinking he wants to save the world. Crash is thrust into several parts of N. Sanity Island in order to gather Crystals that will allow Cortex to contain the power of an upcoming planetary alignment and keep the planet from being destroyed. Crash’s sister Coco and Cortex’s former assistant Doctor Nitrus Brio try to warn him about Cortex, with the latter urging Crash to gather gems instead of crystals.
Cortex Strikes Back received generally favorable reviews from critics and was considered to be superior to its predecessor. Much of the praise went to the game’s graphics, control and music, with major criticisms varying between the trial-and-error gameplay, lack of level variety, easy boss levels and lack of innovation. The game went on to become one of the best-selling PlayStation video games of all time and replaced its predecessor as the highest-selling Western title in Japan at the time, selling more than 800,000 copies in the country by April 1998. A remastered version was included in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collection, released on the PlayStation 4 in June 2017, and ported to other platforms in June 2018.
3. Crash Bandicoot: Twinsanity
Crash Twinsanity is a platformer video game, developed by Traveller’s Tales Oxford Studio and published by Vivendi Universal Games for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The PlayStation 2 version was re-released in the three-disc “Crash Bandicoot Action Pack” compilation (alongside Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team Racing) in the United States on June 12, 2007, and in Europe on July 20, 2007. A GameCube version was planned before being cancelled for undisclosed reasons.
Twinsanity is the eleventh installment in the Crash Bandicoot series and the fifth game in the main franchise. The game’s story takes place three years after the events of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and follows the main protagonist and main antagonist of the series, Crash Bandicoot and Doctor Neo Cortex, working together to stop “the Evil Twins”, a duo of mutant parrots that Cortex owned as a child, from destroying the Wumpa Islands.
Twinsanity garnered mixed reviews, with praise being particularly directed towards its visuals, humor, soundtrack by the a capella group Spiralmouth and Lex Lang’s portrayal of Cortex, but being criticized for its short length, uninspired level design and glitches. The game is often viewed among the series’ fans as one of the best post-Naughty Dog Crash games, with fans being particularly interested in the game’s cut content and what the final product could’ve been with more development time. As such, the game has garnered a dedicated cult following.
4. Crash Bandicoot
Crash Bandicoot is a platform video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation. The game was released in North America in September 1996, and in Europe in November 1996.
Crash Bandicoot is the first installment in the Crash Bandicoot series, chronicling the creation of the title character at the hands of series antagonist Doctor Neo Cortex and henchman Doctor Nitrus Brio. The story follows Crash as he aims to prevent Brio and Cortex’s plans for world domination, and rescue his girlfriend Tawna, a female bandicoot also evolved by Brio and Cortex.
Crash Bandicoot received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the game’s graphics and unique visual style, but criticized its controls and lack of innovation as a platform game. The game went on to sell over 6 million units, making it the eighth best-selling PlayStation game of all time, and the highest selling ranked on sales in the United States. A remastered version, included in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy collection, was released for the PlayStation 4 in June 2017, and ported to other platforms the following year.
5. Crash Team Racing
Crash Team Racing (stylized as CTR: Crash Team Racing) is a kart racing video game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation.
Crash Team Racing is the fourth installment in the Crash Bandicoot series. The game’s story focuses on the efforts of a ragtag team of characters in the Crash Bandicoot series, who must race against the egomaniacal Nitros Oxide to save their planet from destruction. In the game, players can take control of one of fifteen Crash Bandicoot series characters, though only eight are available at first. During the races, offensive and speed boosting power ups can be used to gain an advantage.
Crash Team Racing was praised by critics for its gameplay and graphics, though the audio was met with mixed opinions. An indirect sequel, Crash Nitro Kart, was released in 2003 for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and N-Gage.
A remake of the game, titled Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, was announced at The Game Awards 2018 and was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on June 21, 2019.
6. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex is a platform game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Universal Interactive Studios for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, with Eurocom developing the port for the last console.
The game is the fourth main installment and sixth overall in the Crash Bandicoot video game series. It is the first of the entire series to not be released exclusively for a PlayStation console. Picking up not long after the events of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, the story centers on the appearance of Crunch Bandicoot, a genetically advanced bandicoot created by the main antagonist of the series, Doctor Neo Cortex, who is aided by a group of destructive masks known as the Elementals. Crash Bandicoot and his sister Coco must travel the world and gather special Crystals that will return the Elementals to a hibernated state, and defeat Crunch.
Critical reception of the game was mixed, with many reviewers opining that the game recycled elements from its PlayStation predecessors with minimal innovation. The PlayStation 2 edition sold 1.56 million copies in North America, and the game qualified for various best-seller ranges, including the Platinum Range for PlayStation 2, Xbox Classics, and Player’s Choice on GameCube. It was released as a launch title for the Xbox Originals line of downloadable original-Xbox games for the Xbox 360’s Live Marketplace service in December 2007.
7. Crash Bash
Crash Bash is a party video game developed by Eurocom and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation.
Crash Bash is the fifth installment in the Crash Bandicoot series. It is the first Crash Bandicoot game not to be developed by Naughty Dog (who had left the series to develop the Jak and Daxter series), the last game released for the PlayStation console, and the first in the party genre (the second being Crash Boom Bang! six years later). The game’s story centers on a contest of minigames held by Aku Aku and Uka Uka to decide whether good or evil is the strongest.
8. Crash Tag Team Racing
Crash Tag Team Racing is a racing video game developed by Vancouver-based Radical Entertainment and published by Vivendi Universal Games for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and the PlayStation Portable. The game was released in North America on October 19, 2005 and in Europe on November 4, 2005. The PlayStation 2 version was re-released in the three-disc “Crash Bandicoot Action Pack” compilation (alongside Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Twinsanity) in the United States on June 12, 2007 and in Europe on July 20, 2007. A Nintendo DS version was planned, but was cancelled.
Crash Tag Team Racing is the third racing game in the Crash Bandicoot video game series, following Crash Nitro Kart, which was an indirect sequel to Crash Team Racing. The game’s story centers on the exploits of the protagonist, Crash Bandicoot, who must win the ownership of a dilapidated theme park by finding its missing Power Gems before his nemesis, Doctor Neo Cortex, can.
Content from the game was remastered as a part of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, released on June 21, 2019.
9. Crash Nitro Kart
Crash Nitro Kart is a racing video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Universal Interactive. The Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox versions were released in North America on November 11, 2003 and in Europe on November 28, 2003; The N-Gage version of the game was released in Europe on June 30, 2004 and in North America on July 28, 2004. The Mobile version was released on September 20, 2004. The PlayStation 2 version was re-released in the three-disc “Crash Bandicoot Action Pack” compilation (alongside Crash Twinsanity and Crash Tag Team Racing) in the United States on June 12, 2007 and in Europe on July 20, 2007. It was the last Crash Bandicoot game released under the Universal Interactive label, which parent company Vivendi would scrap after the release of this game, in favor of their new company, Vivendi Universal Games.
The game is the ninth installment in the Crash Bandicoot series. It is an indirect sequel to Crash Team Racing and the first game in the series to have full motion video. The game’s story centers on the abduction of Crash Bandicoot, along with other characters in the series, by the ruthless dictator Emperor Velo XXVII. Threatening to destroy the Earth if they refuse, he forces them to race in his gigantic coliseum for the entertainment of his subjects. Crash Nitro Kart received mixed reviews, with reviews varying from version to version. The home console version was met with generally fair reviews. Reviewers dismissed the game as a generic kart racer, but commented positively on its “power slide” system. The Game Boy Advance version earned slightly better reviews than the console version, while reviews for the N-Gage version were middling, with much of the criticism going to the game’s “tunnel vision”.
Content from the game was remastered as a part of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled on June 21, 2019.
10. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a platform game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It is a compilation of remasters of the first three games in the Crash Bandicoot series: Crash Bandicoot (1996), Cortex Strikes Back (1997), and Warped (1998); all which were originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation during the late 1990s. The game was first released for PlayStation 4 in June 2017, with versions for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One being released in June 2018. It received positive reviews from critics, and sold over 10 million copies by February 2019.