A listicle 65 million years in the making, we’ve played through dozens of prehistoric adventures to bring you the 10 best Jurassic Park games of all time.
Steven Spielberg’s seminal movie adaptation of Michael Critchton’s novel about a dinosaur theme park in disarray was a critical and commercial triumph when it hit cinemas back in 1993.
The success of the film gave birth to a multi-million dollar franchise that spawned several sequels, TV shows, merchandise, and of course, video games.
There are over forty video games based on the Jurassic Park franchise so it can be hard to determine which ones are worthy of investing in, and which ones you should avoid like a T-Rex at feeding time.
After careful consideration, I’ve decided to endorse the following video games based on our favourite dinosaur stomping movies. Welcome, to the 10 best Jurassic Park games of all time.
Table of Contents
1. Jurassic Park (Mega Drive) (1993)
We’ve safely returned from our trip to Isla Nublar and can reveal the best Jurassic Park game of all time is Jurassic Park for the Sega Mega Drive.
Jurassic Park for the Sega Mega Drive allows players to experience the events of the movie from two wildly different perspectives.
Gamers can explore the jungles of Isla Nublar as paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, complete with his iconic hat and red neckerchief, as worn by Sam Neill in the movie.
The second playable character is a Velociraptor. The genius developers over at Sega really knew how to let children play out their power fantasies by giving them a playable dinosaur to stomp around with.
While both campaigns feature standard side-scrolling platforming action, the Velociraptor scenario elevates the experience to the top of our list.
Where grant must contend with rogue dinosaurs using conventional weaponry, the Velociraptor can execute enormous jumps and decimate foes using its powerful claws and tail.
Several unforgettable moments from the film are playable over the course of the game and the attention to detail on Dr. Grant and the vindicating aggression of the Velociraptor make Jurassic Park for the Sega Mega Drive an unmissable experience.
2. Jurassic Park Arcade (1994)
Jurassic Park Arcade is the first of two arcade games on our list of the best Jurassic Park games. If John Hammond’s dream for Jurassic Park was to create a island where people could wonder and admire previously extinct creatures then he would absolutely detest Jurassic Park Arcade.
The gameplay, like many great arcade titles, is simple. Shoot the dinosaurs until there are no more dinosaurs to shoot.
This on-rails blaster was developed by Sega and encased players in a replica of the Ford Explorer XLT tour vehicles that appeared in Spielberg’s movie.
The action in Jurassic Park Arcade is fast and frantic, with the Ford Explorer XLT racing through Isla Nublar as dinosaurs attack en masse.
Jurassic Park Arcade is set after the events of the film with plenty of dinosaurs roaming free around the island. Hostile dinosaurs will swarm the screen and cause damage if not properly dispatched with a few well placed bullets.
3. Jurassic Park (SNES) (1993)
Jurassic Park for the SNES is another example of how games for different systems with the same name can result in wildly varied results.
Despite launching in the same year as the movie, both official movie tie-in games were radically different.
The Mega Drive version that tops our list, plays as a traditional side-scrolling action game, whereas the SNES alternative uses a top-down perspective and incredibly features first-person segments.
Players of Jurassic Park on the SNES undoubtedly received the game with the most character. Sprites are chunky and full of personality and colours really pop off the screen.
Jurassic Park on the SNES features a mix of puzzles and action sections. As Dr. Alan Grant, players explore the titular theme park after the park has lost power and the dinosaurs escape. You’ll discover lost dinosaur eggs during your travels and solve basic puzzles to unlock various doors to progress towards the famous Visitor Centre.
The aforementioned first-person perspective kicks in whenever players venture in doors. Encountering Velociraptors up close and and watching them rush towards you is still terrifically tense some thirty years later, and all the more impressive for running on the SNES hardware.
4. LEGO Jurassic World (2015)
The LEGO games have always provided a substantial bang for your buck and LEGO Jurassic World is no exception.
Despite being branded as a Jurassic World tie-in, the original Jurassic Park trilogy also receives the lovingly goofy LEGO treatment here.
LEGO Jurassic World once again adopts the formula established with the original LEGO Star Wars games, and takes a wholesome and irreverent look at the series and parodies its most famous scenes.
True to form, LEGO Jurassic World includes an enormous roster of characters to play as including fan favourites paleobotanist Ellie Sattler and mathematician Ian Malcolm.
Gameplay consists of simple puzzles and platforming but high-octane chase scenes and set pieces keep the action from ever feeling too repetitive.
John Williams’ unrivalled score gives an authenticity to the silliness and each level if chock full of Easter Eggs and references for fans of the series to discover and enjoy.
5. Jurassic World Evolution 2 (2021)
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a beautiful and deep management sim that slots comfortably in the middle of the Venn diagram for people who love business simulations and man-eating dinosaurs.
Frontier Developments world building sim is richly detailed with an initially overwhelming amount of content to understand. Thankfully Jurassic World Evolution 2’s comprehensive tutorials will bring budding John Hammonds up to speed and designing their own theme parks in no time.
From enclosures for each dinosaur, to gift shops, visitor quarters and observation platforms, Jurassic World Evolution 2 gives players the resources they need to craft a unique amusement park from scratch.
Each dinosaur exhibits their own personality traits with pack animals hunting together and territorial beasts electing to fight over shared space and amenities.
There’s a whole heap of dinosaurs to keep happy. Jurassic World Evolution 2 boasts an unrivalled 75 species of prehistoric creatures to get to grips with, each with their own criteria to fulfill to keep them feeling their best.
Of course, it’s not simply a case of building a park and watching the dollars come flooding in. Poorly maintained enclosures can result in dinosaurs escaping and running amok amongst your paying visitors.
Sure you cut some costs when building the raptor pen but you really wanted that new ivory back scratcher….
6. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (2003)
From one park builder to another now. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis allowed players to design and build their own vision of the iconic dinosaur park on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC.
Just like its spiritual success Jurassic World Evolution, Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis challenged players to create a park full of attractions that would entertain visitors and keep them safe.
Players can opt to complete several missions as they build their dream parks and undertake tasks such as photographing and cataloging dinosaurs or identifying troublesome beasts from a helicopter.
The majority of the games on our list focus on a handful of species that became synonymous with the Jurassic Park franchise, such as the T-Rex or Velociraptors but Operation Genesis includes a huge array of different dinosaurs for players to invite to their parks.
My favourite feature of the game is an unlockable mode called ‘Site B’. In it, players are given a unique island free from fences and tourists and can raise dozens of dinosaurs together.
There’s a simple pleasure in seeing these majestic creatures run free without any human intervention to screw things up.
7. Jurassic Park: The Game (2011)
Telltale Games had previous established themselves as trustworthy custodians of beloved intellectual properties following successful adaptations of Wallace & Gromit and Homestar Runner into interactive, narrative driven games.
In 2010 the studio began work on its largest project to date, an episodic graphic adventure set during the first Jurassic Park that weaves an original narrative into the plot of the movie.
A highlight for fans of the film comes in the first episode, where players control park saboteur Dennis Nedry’s contact Nima Cruz, as she searches for the missing cannister containing the dinosaur embryos Nedry stole in the film.
If you’ve played a Telltale Games title before then you’ll know what to expect from Jurassic Park: The Game.
The story takes centre stage with players able to influence the outcome of the narrative by making decisions along the way.
The branching narrative grants excellent replay value and Jurassic Park die-hards will get a kick out of seeing the story overlap with the plot of the film.
8. Warpath: Jurassic Park (1999)
Warpath: Jurassic Park was never going to be a contender for our best fighting games list but the novelty of taking control of these prehistoric behemoths as they duke it out is still undeniably good fun.
Released in 1999, Warpath: Jurassic Park takes ideas from the original film and its sequel, The Lost World, to create a beat ’em up for the PlayStation with some real bite.
Players can take control of fourteen dinosaurs from the films including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Ankylosaurus, Triceratops and the Spinosaurus.
While there aren’t any Hadoukens or Sonic Booms being thrown around, the combatants of Warpath: Jurassic Park can use their claws, teeth and tails to inflict serious pain upon each other.
The arenas for each climactic battle are all inspired by locations from the films too. Players will rumble in the Visitor Centre on Isla Nublar, throw down in San Diego and tear each other apart inside the T-Rex paddock.
There’s even an unlockable stage where the dinos can battle in the Universal Studios Theme Park.
Each stage isn’t just a visual spectacle either, with destructible environments that crumble and topple as your gigantic pugilists crash through them.
9. Jurassic Park Arcade (2015)
The second Jurassic Park Arcade game on our list of the best Jurassic Parks games, this cabinet from 2015 is another light gun game that tasks players with surviving an onslaught of dinosaurs while trying to capture one of each species.
Like its 1994 predecessor, Jurassic Park Arcade is a fast paced on rails shooter.
Two different versions of the machine were released at the start of 2015 with the later units featuring a deluxe cabinet with seats that moved in relation to the on screen action.
And what thrilling on screen action it is! Players will be gripping their mounted light gun cannons and pumping round after round into a variety of deadly dinosaurs.
The Jurassic Park Arcade units feature stunning graphics, all presented on 55″ LED screens and with surround sound. The roar of the T-Rex is especially impressive when sat within the cabinet and will make even the most fearless dinosaur hunter jump out of their seat.
Jurassic Park Arcade is a huge amount of fun and is worth seeking out in your local arcades. Just remember to take plenty of quarters with you if you want to see everything Jurassic Park Arcade has to offer.
10. Jurassic World Alive (2018)
Now obviously bringing dinosaurs back from extinction didn’t work out well for John Hammond. What is one to do if you don’t have a spare island or two hanging off the coast of Costa Rica and still want to see dinosaurs in the real world?
Jurrassic World Alive might just be the game for you.
This mobile title adopts the gameplay model of Pokémon Go and allows players to discover dinosaurs when they’re out and about in the real world.
After discovering a dinosaur during their walk, players can use their mobile phones to extract DNA samples from the wild Velociraptors, Triceratopses and Stegosauruses to create their own versions for their digital park.
The interface is inspired by the Jurassic World with Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing and Chris Pratt’s Owen Brady on hand to offer guidance on raising your fledging dinosaurs.
The most endearing feature is being able to view these prehistoric creatures within your surroundings through the magic of augmented reality. If only John Hammond had thought about using AR back in 1993, perhaps Donald Gennaro wouldn’t have suffered his little toilet accident…
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.