The best Crash Bandicoot games stretch over a 25 year period, and due to the incredible success of the franchise it looks as if this could stretch for another 25 without any signs of slowing down.
I remember playing Crash Bandicoot on the original PS1, and repping Crash pyjamas when I was just a kid. Crash was and still is a huge symbol to video game nostalgia, even to this day Crash Bandicoot games are selling lot hot cakes, but what are the best Crash Bandicoot games of all time?
That’s a tough questions, but we’ve listed all of our favourites in this article. Remember folks, this is all person preference, each game comes with its own pros and cons, but for us, this is the ultimate list.
So, let’s start spinning through this list shall we?
12. Crash Of The Titans (2007)
We’re kicking this list to the best Crash Bandicoot games of all time off with an absolute titan of a game; Crash of the Titans… see what I did there?
Although Crash of the Titans appeared on pretty much every system imaginable, it was the PS2 version that we played to death. It’s still very much in circulation here at Retro Dodo Towers and always provides us with hours of nail-bitingly tense fun.
While the handheld ports of the game play differently, the storyline is pretty much the same. Neo and Nina Cortex, The story has Crash’s arch-nemeses, Neo and Nina Cortex have made a monstrous device that turns the happy residents of Crash’s homeworld into… well, monsters!,
In a weird ‘Agent Smith’ Matrix twist, Crash must hijack the terrible monsters causing havoc on his peaceful island and use them against the villainous
threatening to bring an end to existence on the peaceful island. Crash must stop them by “hijacking” these monsters and wield their power against the Cortex family’s evil might.
Play through all new levels as you control different mutant monstrosities. Pull off epic moves like making earthquakes or breathing fire from your gaping maw as you return peace to the world in them most outrageous way possible.
Oh, and you can team up with a mate too!
11. Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced (2003)
It’s impossible not to become N-Tranced with this next title (I should get paid more for this comedy gold!).
You know that feeling when you’ve finally returned the world to normal and then everything goes pear shaped? That’s how crash feels in this epic handheld classic. Not only does he have to battle against the evil Uka Uka mask and the insane Dr. Nefarious, but he’s also got to battle an evil clone of himself!
Talk about a tough day in the office!
Unlike the usual Crash Bandicoot games where players follow Crash from behind, the majority of N-Tranced is viewed from a 2D perspective. It’s primarily a side-scrolling game, but there are some 3D chase elements, those panic-inducing features that we all love from the main series.
Some of you might also know that Crash likes to skate. N-Tranced has a new mode called Atlasphere which is kind of like Super Monkey Ball vs Tony Hawk.
Crash can roll around in a sphere, getting air on half pipes and pulling off made tricks as he breaks open crates. It’s a nice touch that adds even more madness to an already crazy game!
10. Crash Twinsanity (2004)
Crash Twinsanity was released in 2004 and developed by Traveller’s Tales for the Playstation 2. It was also one of the best original XBOX games too, because Sony had no say in what happened with this game, which is very rare in the Crash Bandicoot franchise.
It was the fifth title in the main franchise and the game follows on three years after the events of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. Previously throughout the best Crash Bandicoot Games, Crash and Cortex hated each other, but this was the first game where both characters had to work together.
The game had a new feel, the visuals were slightly different, humour was slightly more mature and the storyline was somewhat open, allowing you to free roam between levels.
Many critics spoke highly of the game due to the slightly different layout of the game, and the awesome voice acting from Lang who was playing as Cortex in the game.
The traditional “hub room” has been removed in this game and now players can explore the levels and environments in whatever way they please. The plot keeps changing due to ammount of the game you explore, and eventually you get to paly between three different characters.
This characters are Crash Bandicoot himself, the big headed Doctor Neo Cortex, and a new character known as Nina Cortex. Different levels will require certain characters, and the constant change keeps you on your toes, and makes discovering new skills quite rewarding. We love it!
9. Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time (2020)
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is one of the latest Crash games out there and is the eighth game in the main instalment. It was released in 2020 on the PS4/Xbox One and developed by Activision. It’s also being released on the PS5 and the Nintendo Switch in 2021.
The game follows Crash and his sister Coco who team up with former bad guy Dingodile and a alternate-dimension version of Crash’s old lady friend Tawna. They’re aim is to recover all of the Quantum Masks to stop Cortex from enslaving the world… yeah Cortex is bad again. Make your mind up pal!
What makes this one of the best Crash Bandicoot games ever, is simply down to the fact that the new game elements met with modern day graphics and old nostalgic gameplay blows our mind.
Each Quantum Mask that you collect includes a different power from a different universe. These powers can alter levels and provide ways to overcome obstacles and puzzles in new ways never seen before in the franchise.
It includes additional game modes for replaying specific levels, and it also give you the ability to control five different characters in game (we won’t spoil anything). Three of them, Tawna, Dingdile and Cotext have their own unique levels and skills.
It’s an all round new touch to the game and the multitude of universes have been perfectly designed to make you feel absorbed into a new world. The game designers have done a cracking job, and its one of the best Crash Bandicoot games out there to get you truly immersed!
8. Crash Bash (2000)
Crash Bash was released in 2000 for the PS1 and published by Sony Computer Entertainment and was one of Crash’s “party games” just like Crash Boom Bang! It was the first ever Crash Bandicoot game not to be developed by Naughty Dog.
Crash Bash features eight playable characters all with a wide number of different powers and skills. The game’s storyline is pretty simple and bids good against evil with the main good/bad characters being Aku Aku and Uka Uka.
Throughout the game you can compete in a total of 28 different mini-games which are all split between Adventure, Battle and Tournament modes making it one of our best PS1 games to play with friends.
Because its a “party game” it also allows you to add up to four controllers so you can play with friends all on one screen. In the adventure mode you must compete in all of the mini games to collect trophies, gems and crystals.
The battle mode is very similar to adventure mode but allows you to do it in any order and allows you to do it teams or free for all. Tournament mode chooses 4 diffferent mini games and whoever has the most points throughout these four mini games wins.
It was Crash’s attempt at getting family and friends together in a fun and competitive manner. And that’s exactly what it did, it intrigued gamers of all ages and the mechanics were easy enough to get use to allowing anyone to pick up and play.
This is a must have game for any Crash Bandicoot collector out there.
7. Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy (2017)
Next on our list is a fairly “new” Crash Bandicoot game and that’s Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy which was released in 2017 as a timed exclusive for the PS4. This basically means PS4 users get it months before the likes of Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
This is one of the best Crash Bandicoot games out there because it’s a compilation of remasters of the first three Naughty Dog Crash Bandicoot games. It features the original Crash Bandicoot, Cortex Strikes Back, and Warped.
As you move through our list you’ll realise that these are highly ranked making this game an all in one for those that want to replay the games on a modern day console. It was so popular that this game sold over 10 million units worldwide!
Like the original games, Crash still has his typical techniques, like jumping and spinning in order to run through the world and defeat any enemies that come in his way. Throughout the level its your goal to collect Wumpa Fruits, extra lives and Aku Aku masks that give you a few seconds of invincibility.
Different levels have different obstacles, and games such as Warped allow you to play as different characters. But what makes this game so good is the remastered audio and cutscenes that we remember from back in the day.
It’s as if when playing you have pressed the fast forward button in life, and now Crash and the games look exactly like you imagined them 20 years ago. This is for those that loved the old games, and for those of you that never experience them… so every Crash fan!
6. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex (2001)
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex was published by Universal Interactive Studios for the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube in 2001 and 2002.
It’s the fourth game in the main instalment and brings a wide number of awesome features and levels to the franchise which has never been seen before. It is also the first in the series to not be exclusively released for the Playstation, even Nintendo got their mittens on it!
In this game Doctor Neo Cortex is again, up to no good and has recruited a bunch of bad masked spirits known as Elementals to cause havoc in the world.
Crash and his sister Coco must travel the world and collect magical Crystals that will return the Elementals into a hibernated state allowing you to attack Cortex when he’s vulnerable.
This is one of the best PS2 games out there and takes all of the brilliant classic Crash mechanics and turns it into an awesome game with some great new levels.
For example there’s levels that feature aeroplanes, under water jetpacks, backpacks with a built in helicopter function and even the much loved Mech suit which turns Crash into what we like to call “Iron Crash”.
Get it, its on our best Crash Bandicoot games list for a reason and it sold well over 1 million copies, which was bonkers for its time!
5. Crash Team Racing Nitro Fuelled (2019)
I personally remember this game very well, before Retro Dodo was a thing I was working as a video producer for another large gaming website and I got invited to the Activision Studios in London to take a look, and I remember having so much fun with the Activision team. They made something great, greater.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled was released in 2019 and was developed by Beenox and published by Activision. It’s a remastered version of the classic Crash Team Racing which was launched in 1999 for the PS1.
It takes a wide number of the famous characters throughout the series and gets you to race them around incredibly detailed race tracks that resemble a number of the levels throughout the franchise, with some new ones added too!
The game includes a wide number of additional content from Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Tag Team. Some nice improvements of the game features Kart Customisation which goes into a lot of detail, an in-game shop to pimp your Kart and character and two variations of adventure modes.
This is basically an alternative to Mario Kart in many ways, but with a slightly different touch. The traditional boxes are there to be samshed which features weapons and buffs, but what makes this so great is the simple fact its Crash bandicoot.
You can now play as your favourite characters, explore new levels and really get competitive with friends if they ever want to come around and play on the couch.
This is one for you racing fans out there.
4. Crash Bandicoot Warped (1998)
Here in the UK Crash Bandicoot: Warped was actually called Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, it was released in 1998, and developed by Naughty dog for the original PS1. We’re not entirely sure why it was titled differently, but perhaps the EU needed clarification on which game this actually was.
It was the third Crash Bandicoot game, following on from Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and in facts straight after the games events. It also has a very similar storyline with Doctor Neo Cortex and Aku Aku (the evil mask) wanting to find crystals throughout the world in order to enslave everyone.
It’s your time to shine and try to collect the crystals before they do, you can also use Coco as a character too in order to spice up the gameplay a little!
For a game that was released in 1998, Crash bandicoot Warped was loved by man because of the awesome graphics, nostalgic soundtrack and incredibly designed characters that still to this day man gamers can remember.
This was one of the first games that was typically quite hard to complete. It was challenging with the younger audience but when every level was complete it was the biggest hit of dopamine you could get. I remember running into school telling my friends i completed a level including the bonus section.
It sold incredible well, and in Japan it became the first non-Japanese playstation title to sell over 1 million copies. So that says it all, you have to add it to your collection.
3. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997)
Now we’re in to the top 3, the big dogs of the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and we took a very long time to rank these titles as they’re all so dang good!
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is again, developed by Naughty Dog, and published by Sony for the Playstation 1 in 1997. It’s the second game in the series, hence the 2 in the title.
The game takes place on a fictional island near Australia and follows the adventures of Crash who is abducted by Doctor Neo Cortex. Cortex tricks him into thinking he is saving the world by collecting the crystals, but oh no, it’s never as simple as that!
In this game you can tell the Naughty Dog team put a lot of planning into it because there’s awesome levels that I still remember to this day.
For example, there’s plenty of ice that needs to taken with care, there’s a polar bear that you can ride in order to race through the level and nobody can forget the giant ball that chases you as if its a scene straight out of Indiana Jones.
This is when the Crash Bandicoot series really started to pop, and the numbers show it because this was one of the best selling PS1 games of all time selling well over 800,000 units. This is the best Crash Bandicoot game for those that want to follow the franchise’s story.
2. Crash Team Racing (1999)
Crash Team Racing is a kart racing game developed by Naughty Dog for the PS1 in 1999, and as much as they don’t want to admit it, it’s 100% a dig at Mario Kart in order to get a slice of the pie, and that’s okay!
The game focuses on Crash, Cortex and other characters in the series. A new bad guy called Nitros oxide has been introduced to the world and he wants you to beat him in a race or he’ll destroy the earth… what an in-depth story line!
When you begin a race you can choose between 8 different characters which eventually becomes 15 the more races you win and complete in the game.
During the races you will come across power ups which allow you to speed up or attack other racers in the game in hopes that you overtake them.
This game was fun for the whole family and its why it sold so well, many gamers wanted to play it with their friends, and then their friends wanted to buy it to play with their friends.
The easy to understand mechanics allowed all ages to play, and even adults started to get competitive because kids would get use to it very quickly. It’s a great idea from the Crash team and one game that we can’t help but play when we get our hands on our PS1.
1. Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Number 1 on our list has to be the original Crash Bandicoot game, and there’s no denying its the best Crash bandicoot game around. It was and still is one of the biggest gaming characters of all time, and the games shaped the way games were made for years to come.
Crash Bandicoot was developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony in 1996 for the original Playstation 1. It’s the first ever instalment in the Crash series and introduces a whole new character to the world of gaming.
The story follows Crash as he tries to prevent Brio and cortex’s plans for world domination, all while trying to rescue his girlfriend Tawna from the 2 pesky bad guys.
Crash Bandicoot didn’t start the platform genre, but it sure did help with the growth. The first game features over 30 different levels, not including small bonus levels that you can unlock too. You defeat the enemies by jumping on their heads, or spinning them off into the distance.
The vibrant colours, awesome outback level design alongside very memorable characters is what made this game what it is today. Everyone you know of most likely knows of Crash Bandicoot, and probably even Aku Aku, Crash’s friendly magical mask friend.
This is by far the best Crash Bandicoot game of all time, it’s nostalgic, fun, memorable and an all round joy to play on. It started what is now one of the biggest names in gaming history, and we absolutely love it.
So there’s a look at our personal best Crash Bandicoot games of all time. If you think we missed one be sure to hit us up on twitter @retro_dodo we’ll be sure to have a chat! Happy gaming!