Buckle up and grab your biggest gun as we delve into the best Jak and Daxter games of all time!
Sony brought some of the best video game characters of our generation to the table, and while Jak and Daxter might not have been as widely heralded as Ratchet and Clank or Sly and the gang, they’re still one of the most recognisable gaming duos ever.
Whether cruising through open world levels on a hoverboard or battling Kratos in a button-mash melee, Jak and Daxter are two seriously cool customers. Their titles sit in the imaginary hall of platform gaming excellence and they regularly come out of retirement to sit in the Retro Dodo PS2 on rainy days.
Sadly, Naughty Dog lost interest in the series and moved onto other more lucrative titles such as Uncharted and The Last of Us. Its a shame, as we might have had as many Jak and Daxter games to talk about as there are Spyro or Mario games today.
As there are only 9 titles starring our long-eared friend and his furry companion, we’ve made a list of the best Jak and Daxter games in order of our least favourite to the games we can’t stop playing. Check them out below and grab copies for yourself along the way!
9. PlayStation Move Heroes
PlayStation Move Heroes kicks off this list of the best Jak and Daxter games of all time!
PlayStation Move was Sony’s way of rivalling the genius controller design of the Nintendo WII. Instead of looking like a remote control, however, the Move Wand looked like something you might find in a kids magic set.
Still, this crossover title featuring Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly and Bentley is a great game for fans of all three series.
It’s just a shame that it’s not much of a great game in general!
I have mixed feelings about PlayStation Move Heroes. While it’s nice seeing all of these characters in one story, it feels a little botched together. There are some glaring camera angle problems and the story is a little weak, but these characters are iconic, so I try to look the other way.
A mysterious duo (keeping with the theme) have stolen areas from each of the three game worlds. Along with the original Planet X, players work through 50 levels using different characters along the way.
Each character has different abilities taken from their original game, and players can team up with a friend for double the fun. In two player mode, the second controller automatically chooses the main player’s sidekick.
Listen, it’s not bad, but it’s not great either. If you can pick up a copy for a few quid or a couple of bucks, then go for it.
8. PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale is essentially Sony’s version of Smash Bros. Featuring characters from all the major game series including God of War, Ratchet and Clank, and LittleBigPlanet to name a few.
The game came out for PSP and PS3, allowing users to battle against their favourite characters at home or on the go. It’s crossover mayhem at its finest with lots of the PlayStation’s favourite faces making an appearance.
Up to 4 players can take part in the madness. Choose from Big Daddy (BioShock), Spike (ApeEscape), Heihachi Mishima (Tekken), Raiden (MGS), and of course, Jak and Daxter. The list goes on, and the graphics look superb with lots of exciting courses to play through.
It’s a shame Spyro and Crash never made an appearance, though kicking ass with Kratos is good enough for me.
Like PlayStation Move Heroes, this game isn’t going to win any awards for groundbreaking services to the history of gaming. That being said, it is a fun button-mash fighting game and a change from Smash Bros for those die-hard Sony fans.
7. Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier
Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier takes the 7th spot in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games of all time!
We’re onto the core Jak and Daxter games now, and I thought I’d get The Lost Frontier out of the way first because it’s the weakest of the series.
The game came out for PSP and PS2 and boasts new aerial fighting levels and Dark Daxter stages. It seems turning Daxter into an Ottsel wasn’t enough, and his new eco-driven gothic look seems to have made him even more snarky!
The game was supposed to be a PSP only title starring Jak, a little like another game that you might see further down this list. Naughty Dog shipped development on to High Impact games, and as such, the levels with Dark Daxter feel as though they were thrown together afterwards and thumbed into the main game.
I suppose they were, which is why it feels like that… so it all makes sense!
The aerial fighting levels have that Rogue Squadron-edge to them too, real dog fighting with Uber-cool fighter planes. These are my favourite levels by far.
Another of the game’s saving graces is its graphics. It might be my least favourite Jak and Daxter title, but I can’t deny that it looks good! Its another example of the PS2 punching above its weight and pulling off stunning graphics.
They don’t call it the best selling console of all time for nothing!
6. Jak X: Combat Racing
Jak X: Combat Racing is a supercharged racing game with attitude. It’s the fourth game in the Jak and Daxter series and sees Jak racing to win an antidote to save him and his buddies.
Talk about piling the pressure on, eh Jak!
I see this game as being a little like Diddy Kong Racing on hardcore drugs. It has an adventure mode, circuit modes, and multiplayer modes, with the ability to unlock different characters along the way.
Look at those graphics. Honestly, I still can’t believe how good the PS2 was sometimes. This is one of the most exciting racing games I’ve ever played and racing against other characters from the Jak and Daxter world is a joy in itself.
Eco plays a big part in this game just like in every other Jak and Daxter title. Red Eco provides defence, while Yellow Eco provides offensive weapons. Green and Blue are used for health and turbo.
The cars are slick, the levels are strong, and the gameplay is very similar to parts of Jak 3. Honestly, Sony made a lot of racing games for its consoles, but this is one of the best.
Give it a try and let us know your thoughts.
5. Jak and Daxter Collection
Contraversially, I’m putting the Jak and Daxter Collection at Number 5 in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games of all time.
For anyone not in the know, this title is a remastered collection of the first three Jak and Daxter games. Thats Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak II, and Jak 3. It features HD remakes of these classic titles for the PS3 and PS Vita and is a nice way for gamers who don’t own a PS2 to get to grips with the dynamic duo.
But you know what? I think Jak and Daxter’s adventures are best played on the PS2. They looked pretty good as they were in my opinion, and while the HD remakes look nice, the change isn’t as drastic as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy featured in our best Spyro games list.
The collection received rave reviews from critics and fans wishing for a new Jak and Daxter adventure. Still, as I said in the intro above, Naughty Dog were sadly moving onto bigger and better things and their love for this series kind of fizzled out.
A HD collection was as good as we were going to get, so I can’t complain too much. Still, it didn’t add enough for me. I much prefer picking up my PS2 and going old-school, playing the games on their intended home console and going back to a time where the duo felt unstoppable.
Damn you, Uncharted and The Last of Us; you killed Jak and Daxter off too early!
Daxter takes the 4th spot in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games!
Every duo splits for a solo adventure eventually. Banjo had ‘Grunty’s Revenge’, Clank went off to make ‘Secret Agent Clank’ and Daxter features in one of the greatest PSP games we’ve ever played!
Yes, Ottsel-features is going it alone in this portable adventure. He’s working as a bug exterminator while trying to find Jak, and it’s ace to see the little guy in the limelight after all this time!
Any fans of Gex-Enter the Gecko, one of the best N64 games, will love the movie-inspired levels in Daxter. Play through Hollywood blockbuster stages taken from Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fellowship of the Ring, and the Matrix films while battling the minions of the Crimson Guard.
You know, as a stand alone game in the series, Daxter is a real winner in my book. Being a PSP only title doesn’t hamper it either. Heck, the game looks sick on the PlayStation Portable, another console that produced graphics well beyond its means.
Remember, an Ottsel is for life, not just for Christmas.
3. Jak II
It’s time for the final three titles in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games, and Jak II takes the 3rd spot. Most of you will be able to guess what the next two games are going to be, but the order still remains a mystery for now!
Jak II was a cracking game, albeit. little harder than the first instalment in the series. It’s a darker game compared to Precursor Legacy and has more of a ‘Jet Force Gemini’ feel about it in the sense that guns play a bigger role in the game mechanic.
Jak II is the first game that introduces ‘dark’ alter-egos. Jak transforms into Dark Jak once enough Dark Eco is collected, giving him better skills for a limited time.
Riding around on a hoverboard, pumping enemies full of laser-charges, and carrying Daxter around insanely detailed levels. Yep, Jak II is a beaut of a game and still looks superb on the PS2 today.
Those using the best PS2 emulators, or the first one at any rate, will be able to see this game in glorious HD on their computer or laptop!
Like the change between the first Spyro games, gameplay revolves more around missions than collecting, and it works really well. The Jak and Daxter games have some cool missions and NPCs, and exploring for those non-essential Precursor Orbs is a real treat for ‘100% Completion’ nerds like me.
2. Jak 3
Jak 3 takes the second spot in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games. Just when you thought things couldn’t look moodier, Naughty Dog dropped that post-apocalyptic game cover and everyone lost their minds!
Jak 3 is a superb open-world adventure featuring our favourite dynamic duo. Expect insane weaponry and a brand-new adventure bursting with exciting secrets to uncover.
Like Jak II, the game mechanic mostly revolves around completing missions put to Jak by NPCs. Seek out challenges and complete them to progress to the next stage.
I’m a huge fan of this title as it has the brain-teaser style puzzles I love from the best Zelda games twinned with racing and blasting enemies to smithereens. All accompanied by that crafty little Ottsel and his witty banter.
Fans of the first two games will love the inclusion of more weird and wonderful faces to discover in Jak 3. The worlds are spectacular and look as though they should have dropped on the PS3, proving yet again that the PS2 was one mighty machine before its time.
Heck, sometimes it feels as though you could reach out and touch the characters inside the TV, though I guess I’ll have to stick to Persona 4, one of the best PS2 games, for my channel-diving fantasies for the time being.
Exploring the vast world in Jak 3 never gets boring. There’s always something new to see, and the combination of different gameplay styles really keeps things fresh. Dark Jak returns, as do the Precursor Orbs for accessing cheats.
1. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
And finally, it’s time for Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy to take the top spot in this list of the best Jak and Daxter games of all time!
The Precursor Legacy is Jak and Daxter’s first outing on the PS2. It shows Daxter as his human character before he turned into an Ottsel after falling in Eco, giving a bit of back story as to why Jak has a furry dude hanging around on his shoulder.
Jak barely says two words in this first game, though ‘ol Ottsel features has no trouble filling the silence with his comedic stylings. Their mission; trying to discover if a dark sage has the knowledge needed to turn Daxter back into a human once more.
I might have ruined the end slightly by talking about every other Jak and Daxter game where he isn’t a human before coming to this one!
Take a look at those pictures above; the levels in the game are phenomenal. It’s bright, it’s well put together, and the weird and wonderful unnamed island is filled with surprises.
Sometimes I still get images of the Lurker Guards in my head when I’m exploring new places in real life. Those guys stick in my head even after all this time!
Anyone looking to recreate the fun and insanity of Conker with family-friendly content should definitely give The Precursor Legacy a go. Critics loved it back in the day, and we still love it now. It’s the first title in the series and the one that propelled Jak and Daxter towards eternal PlayStation glory.
I wish we had an Ottsel working for Retro Dodo… Brandon; sort it out mate!
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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.