Dinosaur fans should start making those raptor noises now; it’s time to check out the best dinosaur games of 2023!
What is it about dinosaurs that we all love so much?
Is it their size, their shape, or just the fact that they were massive creatures that killed a lot of stuff.
I guess the third point is more fitting for the games in this list.
Whatever the reason, dinosaur games fascinate us. They’re the closest we’ll ever get to being near such huge creatures, and at least you can’t get squashed in your own living room!
But which are the best dino-licious titles out there? Which games let you play as dinosaurs, and which ones have the most feral action to keep us on the edge of our seats?
Let’s find out, shall we?
15. Dino D-Day (2011)
Let’s kick things off with some Dino D-Day!
The artwork for this game looks a little like a cheesy 80’s horror film, and the plot isn’t much better either.
As the name might give away, this is a version of World War II that would have been even more horrific than the actual one. The Nazi forces have figured out a way to bring dinosaurs back to life and make them fight for them.
That means evil, savage, brainless vermin with guns… and dinosaurs fighting side by side.
Dino D-Day is a multiplayer game, and you know what, it’s actually a good laugh despite the concept being a little crazy,
If you fight as the Nazis, then you can play as a few different types of dinosaur. As you can see above, Velociraptors adopt the hand-slap style view from GoldenEye 007.
Still, they’re way faster than Bond and can jump super high when attacking.
Dinos can eat other enemies to regain health. Oh, and there’s a massive T-Rex with guns strapped to its enormous head.
I’m not going to lie; this game is way more fun when you play as the evil side. Still, there is something satisfying about incapacitating a Velociraptor with a rabbit… I told you it was weird!
14. Primal Carnage (2012)
Primal Carnage takes the 14th spot in this list of the best dinosaur games and brings some stellar graphics with it.
The image below isn’t bad for 2012, right?
This is another multiplayer game, and it’s online only. Humans v Dinosaurs on an island in today’s world.
I mean, you don’t expect to be sorting out a dinosaur outbreak when you take a job with rent-o-kill, do you?
The main key to beating the dinos is teamwork, utilising different skill sets and working together to beat massive, deadly opponents.
It just depends how well you can work with your teammates. Will the T-Rex eat you before you’ve even hatched a plan?
Definitely a dinosaur egg joke there… sorry about that.
Capture The Egg (nice touch) and Get To The Chopper modes (obviously in homage to Arnie) are incredibly fun to play too.
Don’t become health for a dino; kill that son of a Brontosaurus and survive!
13. Lego Jurassic World (2015)
Lego Jurassic World combines two of the things I loved as a kid and have never stopped being obsessed with; Lego, and Dinosaurs.
I mean, what’s not to love! And, if I’d have grown up, you wouldn’t be sat here reading this article I’ve made about dinosaur games.
It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!
This isn’t just a one-movie game either. While it’s got ‘world’ in the title, there are four Jurassic Park movies mixed into the game, each movie comprising of five levels.
It’s definitely more of a ‘the best of Jurassic Park’ style deal; obviously it’s impossible to play every single scene from every movie.
Still, all of the best characters and major moments are recreated perfectly, and the dinosaurs look amazing in Lego form too!
Move between different world hubs for each movie, rock a Lego fedora and cane, and hang out with dinos. Jurassic Park fans, you need this in your life!
12. Dino Crisis 2 (2000)
Dino Crisis 2 takes the 12th spot in this list of the best dinosaur games of all time. There’s a strong chance you’re going to be seeing the original title further down this list too, but let’s get serious on the sequel for a minute.
A whole island goes missing along with a town connected to it. ‘But where have they gone’, I hear you ask?
Both areas are transported back to a time where dinosaurs ruled the earth. A team of soldiers are sent back in time to try and sort everything out, but most of them are eaten straight away.
Humans vs dinosaurs rarely ends well.
Play as one of two time travelling soldiers, finding survivors and killing dinos that you meet along the way.
The weapons you use are pretty primitive to start off with, but as you kill more dinosaurs and get more points, said points can be traded for better weaponry.
The game is clever as some attacks won’t kill you outright, but bleeding over time will make you slowly lose health. Patch up those wounds, or you’ll be dead in no time!
And, when you pick up different files, you learn a little about dinosaurs at the same time. A survival horror that teaches you while you play, who would’ve thought it!
11. Second Extinction (Game Preview) (2020)
It’s not often that we include work-in-progress games in this list, but Second Extinction (Game Preview) is certainly too good to miss out.
What’s scarier than dinosaurs? How about mutated dinosaurs?
Yeah, that’ll do it!
Just look at the beastly T-Rex below. It looks so insane; I think I’d just stand there and let it eat me if I’m honest.
This game is definitely best played with a friend. The game has 6 missions so far and 4 heroes to choose from. And the maps are massive!
As this is a game preview, the idea is that people play and give feedback, helping the game evolve.
Not only that, but the community playing has a direct effect on what happens too. If they’re working together, the threat level lowers.
But, if they don’t pull their weight, then the threat level goes up and the dinosaurs get stronger.
This is a game that you help to evolve every time you play. Join the team as you help to save the earth and take back control. It’s a mission you can’t really say no to!
10. Yoshi’s Crafted World (2019)
Yoshi isn’t a cruel and evil dinosaur, but he’s still a dinosaur, which is why Yoshi’s Crafted World takes the 10th spot in this list of the best dinosaur games!
Fans of Wooly World will no doubt have already jumped into Yoshi’s Switch adventure already. Like the Wii U title, the attention to detail the has gone into this, quite literally crafted world, is phenomenal.
Whereas the previous side-scroller was 100% wool-based, this title implements lots of different craft techniques to bring it to life.
And, there are certain elements of the stage that you can flip to find secret areas that need to be explored in order to progress.
Yoshi looks amazing as always too; every time they bring out a new Yoshi game I don’t think they can physically make him any cuter, but they always find a way!
Like Wooly World, the game allows for one player or co-op through each of the levels. This is a great way to get friends or partners who aren’t that keen on gaming involved too, a gateway title to the Switch, as it were.
9. Monster Hunter: World (2018)
Monster Hunter: World takes the 9th spot in our best dinosaur games, bringing massive dinosaurs into the franchise for you to try and take down.
The sheer scale of these beasts is astounding. If you’ve played previous Monster Hunter games, then you’ll know all about how you have to trap and take down huge monsters.
It’s in the game title, really.
Take a look at that still below; how the heck are you supposed to take down that thing single handedly!
Once taken down, players use parts of the monster to make better weapons and armour. The co-op mode sees the level of difficulty increased, but that means even better gear.
Do you have a mate you trust to go into battle against some of the biggest dinos of all time with?
Travel to a base in the new world, take on a mission, and try not to die.
The graphics in this game are so fantastic that you’ll probably just spend hours roaming around and not completing any objectives.
Oh, and you’ll do a lot of hiding as you pluck up the courage to attack. Maybe it should have been called Monster Hider, instead.
8. Prehistoric Kingdom (2022)
Prehistoric Kingdom is the newest title in our list, and graphically, it’s an absolute masterpiece.
So what’s the aim of the game here?
Well, if you like all the best theme park games, then you’ll be definitely down for creating the ultimate zoo filled to the brim with animals that have gone extinct.
The world is your oyster in this game. Make rivers in the land, build luscious jungles, and create mountains as you play God in your own domain.
There are zero rules when it comes to species here too. Breed animals that we’ve not seen for millennia as you unlock new genetic codes and play around with things that really should be left well alone.
That’s why computer games are so great; none of this is going to bite you in the behind if it goes wrong!
Create the ultimate experience for your park visitors, and keep everyone, including your ferocious animals, safe.
7. Dino Crisis (1999)
Dino Crisis recently featured in our list of the best PS1 horror games, and for good reason!
It’s the kind of story we all wanted Jurassic Park to be; a bit more blood thirsty and creepy, with dinosaurs who are straight up out to kill you.
A bunch of scientists try to stop these hungry dinos from eating everyone, and it ends in tears. It’s your job to find survivors and figure out what’s going on in one of the most tense and gripping survival horrors on the PS1.
The game itself is set in 2009, so we can all rest easy knowing that Capcom haven’t had a premonition about the future.
Expect sharp teeth everywhere, a weapons programme you need to uncover, and danger around every corner.
This game is one of the most successful survival horror titles on the console, but if we’re being honest, it’s more of a panic horror title. Capcom chose that as a better term to describe the game, and I’d agree.
I mean, you do spend most of your time panicking about dying in this game, even when completing the puzzles and not actually being chased.
6. The Isle (2015)
The Isle takes the 6th spot in this list of the best dinosaur games of all time, and boy is it a good one to sink your teeth into.
I’m really surprised I’ve only used that joke once so far in this article.
This is another game that’s currently in early access mode. And, like Second Extinction, it needs you and your fellow gamers to help shape the game.
So, cancel your plans and dive in!
Everything in this game is designed to kill you. I should have started with that so you knew what you were getting yourself in for.
This open-world survival game is brutal from the very start. As you grow, so too does the island and its inhabitants.
There’s no tutorial, no offer of help from anyone; you’re completely on your own.
Well, there are a possible other 99 players out there also trying to survive, but you know what I mean.
Play as a dinosaur or human, taking things such as shelter, thirst, hunger, and everything else crucial to your survival as you progress. It’s an incredibly clever game, so do your bit and help it to flourish!
5. ARK: Survival Evolved (2015)
ARK: Survival Evolved really takes survival games to the next level.
Players begin with nothing, naked and close to death on an island. As a man or woman, you must do whatever it takes to stay alive.
Hunt, make items, create a place to live, figure out how to grow food, and then tame a dinosaur to go into battle with.
There are so many creatures for you to control and either breed or ultimately kill in this game. Use them to dominate other players and eventually escape eat island.
Until you’ve flown on a pet Pterodactyl, you haven’t lived. The animals you tame can carry items, armour, and food as you move through the island too.
It’s like every kid’s dream!
The survival elements are incredibly in-depth too. It’s not a case of finding a water flask; you have to pick a shelter spot with running water and maintain crops to survive.
This isn’t an easy game. But then again, surviving on an island with killer beasts wouldn’t exactly be a walk in the park… (unless that park is Jurassic Park, I guess).
4. Horizon: Zero Dawn (2017)
Horizon: Zero Dawn barges its way into 4th place in our best dinosaur games list!
If you’re a fan of Breath of the Wild and haven’t ever played this game before, then stop what you’re doing and get a copy immediately.
Everything about this game is fantastic, from the beautiful open-world setting right through to Goliath creatures that roam the land.
Mechanical creatures rule freely, and humans have gone into hiding, scavenging what materials they can from the mecha dinosaurs in order to survive.
This game has so many twists, turns, and layers that you’ll be playing it through for the tenth time before you’ve spotted everything.
Still, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the creators of the Killzone series
It feels like a more modern version of Turok, with Aloy wielding a bow and using epic hunting skills as she progresses through the game.
The attention to detail in this game is second to none. Honestly, I could be here all day and not find a bad thing to say about this game.
There’s a reason it topped our best PS4 games list, after all!
3. Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil (1998)
Speaking of Turok, here he is! Turok 2: Seeds Of Evil takes today’s bronze medal, a game from my childhood that I have many fond memories of.
Because nothing says happy memories like using the Cerebral Bore, right?
Saturday mornings were what Seeds of Evil was made for. Killing dinosaurs, firing arrows, skulking through the undergrowth, all with a dude that could destroy Indiana Jones or Nathan Drake with one finger.
While the N64 version will forever be my favourite, the updated Switch port looks fantastic. It still maintains the essence of the N64 version while bringing a polished look and making everything easier to see.
Retro and fresh, the ultimate combo!
In this game, Turok is trying to stop (get ready for this) alien-dinosaur hybrids from messing up his slick lightship.
Your mission is to cover every surface of that lightship, and in fact any wall or surface in sight, with the blood and guts of your enemies.
There are only 6 levels, but it’s not the type of game you can only play once. The deathmatches alone will have you coming back for more time and time again!
2. Jurassic World Evolution (2018)
How would you like to be the leader of operations on an island where dinosaurs live and roam? Sounds like you need Jurassic Park Evolution!
Build a park from scratch and create dinosaurs with a difference, creatures that think and react differently to the beasts of the Jurassic age.
This is another game where you essentially play God, messing around with genetics to give dinosaurs specific features.
There are multiple reasons behind each and every move too; will you build for science and continue genetic research, or will you concentrate on making money by entertaining crowds?
Getting to roam around your park to deal with issues head on is fantastic too. Don’t be thinking your creatures will just lay down and let you rub their belly though.
They’re still dinosaurs, after all, so watch yourself!
Fans of games like Sim City and Rollercoaster Tycoon will love this game. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s filled with sharp-toothed giants.
1. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (1997)
Here we are folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The legendary Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is officially the best dinosaur game of all time!
And, by definition, the best dinosaur hunter too.
The Switch version of this iconic game is perfect. It’s hard to play N64 games on big TVs these days without an N64 HDMI adapter, but whether docked or in handheld, it’s a dream to play.
Jurassic Park Evolution might look life-like and give you that hands-on dino experience, but you just can’t beat squaring up against beasts with blasters strapped to your back.
This game has the upper hand on Seeds of Evil too by holding 14 levels of dinosaur-hunting brilliance as opposed to the sequel’s 6 levels. Pick from a bow and dagger all the way to gnarly guns and futuristic blasters.
You’ll need the latter to go up against a Laser-guided T-Rex!
Yes, Turok remains the king of the dinosaurs, and I don’t see that changing any time soon!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.