Grab your GunCon, stamp on the foot pedal and join us for the 10 Best Time Crisis Games of All Time!
The Time Crisis series from Namco sees players shooting their way through hordes of enemies against the clock, often in over-the-top scenarios straight out of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Originally debuting in arcades but frequently making the jump to home consoles and even mobile, Time Crisis always provides frantic on-rails light gun blasting for sharpshooters with quick reflexes.
And when Brandon and Seb took a recent visit to NQ64 in Manchester to play Time Crisis 2 again in all its glory, they realised just how terrible they would be in an actual war zone.
Also, there aren’t enough continue points in the world to save those two!
Still, hopefully you’ll have much better luck with the next 10 titles! Keep reading to find out which of the best Time Crisis games took the top spot!
Table of Contents
10. Time Crisis: Strike (2009)
The first of two mobile Time Crisis games on our list, Time Crisis: Strike was released for iOS in January 2009 and is a spin-off from Time Crisis 3.
Gameplay is similar to the main series with players moving around levels on rails, taking cover to dodge incoming fire and breaking cover to shoot at enemies.
Time Crisis: Strike, as a mobile game doesn’t include any gun or controller peripherals and therefore players must tap enemies on the screen to shoot them.
The cover mechanic is implemented by tilting the phone to pop in and out of cover. Although there is novelty in playing Time Crisis on the go, the controls and lack of peripheral support means Time Crisis: Strike sits at the bottom of our list.
9. Time Crisis: 2nd Strike (2010)
Much like later games in the series, Time Crisis 2nd Strike featured an improved variety of weapons over its predecessor, with handguns, machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers available for the pocket-sized shoot ‘em up.
Namco’s second attempt at bringing Time Crisis to mobile in the form of Time Crisis 2nd Strike offered more control options than Time Crisis: Strike.
The touch and tilt controls made a return alongside an alternative touch-only control scheme which included a pedal button to take cover and made the game easier and more enjoyable to play.
A further third control scheme allowed players to pair a second iOS device and use it as a makeshift gun peripheral using the iGunCon app, providing an experience that was closer to Time Crisis 4, that 2nd Strike was derived from.
Taking the number 8 spot in our 10 Best Time Crisis Games of All Time, Time Crisis: Project Titan follows original Time Crisis protagonist Richard Miller as he attempts to clear his name after being framed for the murder of a foreign head of state.
This PS1 exclusive is set several months after the events of the first game.
Gameplay remains largely unchanged except for the addition of multiple cover options that allowed players to move around the environment during boss stages.
Time Crisis: Project Titan retains the fun shootouts of the original game but falls short of the top spots in this list because of its visuals that fail to improve on the graphics of the original.
It looks particularly outdated when compared to Time Crisis 2, that arrived on the PlayStation 2 in the same year.
The first instalment in Namco’s iconic Time Crisis series arrived in arcades in 1995 and set itself apart from other light gun games like Sega’s Virtua Cop by including the cover mechanic linked to a foot pedal.
The story sees players take on the role of Richard Miller as he attempts to rescue the President’s daughter from terrorists.
Long time series antagonist Wild Dog is introduced for the first time in what would prove to be his most vanilla appearance in the series (before his gatling gun arm attachments and cybernetic rocket hands).
Time Crisis was ported to PlayStation in 1997 along with the GunCon light gun peripheral and the cover mechanic could be activated by pressing the face buttons on a controller in the second controller port, delivering a more authentic arcade experience.
Time Crisis is also making a return later this year as part of Arcade1Up’s new Time Crisis Deluxe arcade cabinet.
2015’s Time Crisis 5 is a wild ride involving betrayals, bombastic set pieces and zombies.
Time Crisis 2 gunsmiths Keith Martin and Robert Baxter return while new heroes Mark and Luke excel in delivering over the top action sequences including shredding a moving train with a gunship and jumping out of helicopters on motorbikes without wearing helmets! Safety first, guys!
Reckless heroics aside, Time Crisis 5 introduces two foot pedals per player for the first time in the series.
Moreover, it allowed gamers to dodge and take cover in different locations around each stage, enabling flanking manoeuvres as they battle Wild Dog, his cronies and the aforementioned zombies,
Originally debuting as Razing Storm in arcades, Time Crisis: Razing Storm arrives at the halfway point of our 10 Best Time Crisis Games of All Time list and switches handguns for fully automatic machine guns and trades stationary cover systems for a riot shield.
Spread across four levels set during a bloody revolution in South America, Razing Storm sees players take on the roles of special forces unit members as they hunt down the rebel leader responsible for a terror attack on the United States.
Although the switch to fully automatic weaponry increases the pace of gameplay, players Still need to keep a steady hand as they unload rounds into their enemies.
Henchmen aren’t the only targets in Razing Storm, however. Hugely destructible environments mean that everything from shopfronts to watermelons may succumb to a barrage of bullets.
Razing Storm became Time Crisis: Razing Storm when it arrived on PS3 and bundled together the original campaign with a rerelease of Time Crisis 4 and Deadstorm Pirates, another on rails light gun game from Namco that featured pirates armed with laser guided flintlock pistols!
1999’s Time Crisis: Crisis Zone features all of the hallmarks of the Time Crisis series although only earned its ‘Time Crisis’ title when it was ported to the PlayStation 2 in 2004.
Much like Razing Storm, Crisis Zone forfeits the static cover and pistols for riot shields and machine guns.
The level of destruction across each of the three London based zones is seriously impressive. We’re talking bottles and windows shattering at the point of ballistic impact and even enemy cover decimated by sustained firepower.
In a change from other games in the series, Crisis Zones three levels can be played in any order with the final level becoming available afterwards.
The campaign features some of the series best bosses including a tank that must be disassembled piece by piece and a fleet of attack helicopters that test player reflexes with volleys of targeted missiles, for instance.
Time Crisis 4 first appeared in arcades back in 2006 and saw secret agents Evan Bernard and Giogio Bruno go toe-to-toe with megalomaniacal Colonel Gregory Barrows who threatens to destroy the United States of America using biological, insect-like weapons known as Terror Bites.
Long time series boss-man Wild Dog returns sporting more attachments for his robot-arm including a tractor beam device enabling him to fling bits of scenery around during his boss fight.
The Terror Bites mix up the gameplay by introducing swarms of insect-like enemies for players to dispatch with the help of machine guns and shotguns. The new bug enemies provide much needed variation to the series established human bullet sponges and ratchet up the tension effectively as they push towards you.
Time Crisis 4 also introduces barricade events, where players must hunker down and protect an area while under attack from multiple directions. Time Crisis 4 preserves what its predecessors got right and adds a few new ideas of its own, keeping the gameplay fresh while the story goes bananas.
The penultimate game in our 10 Best Time Crisis Games of All Time is Time Crisis 3, the first game in the mainline series not developed by series publisher Namco.
Time Crisis 3 built upon the foundations of its predecessor, retaining the co-op gameplay of Time Crisis 2 while introducing special weapon power ups for the first time.
Players could acquire machine guns, shotguns and grenade launchers with limited ammunition and switch between each weapon while in cover.
Although with limited ammo for each weapon, players must defeat special yellow-clad enemies to restock their bandoliers.
The higher difficulty may put people off and arcade units in particular were massive coin vacuums but for anyone looking for some over the top co-op blasting, Time Crisis 3 is one of the best around.
Take your foot off the trigger and come out from behind that smoking tank wreckage. The results are in, and Time Crisis 2 is officially the best Time Crisis game of all time!
There’s something inherently special about Time Crisis 2. The much-loved shooter-sequel still proves popular in arcades to this day, however.
With an additional 3 bullets in every clip compared to the original Time Crisis, Time Crisis 2 plays must faster, encouraging more aggressive playstyles. ‘Crisis flashes’ that highlight incoming lethal shots make their series debut, and when combined with the new and considerably faster cover mechanic, emphasises and celebrates lightning-fast reflexes.
The action is fast and frenetic with GunCon recoil going into overdrive with the machine gun power ups, causing rattling plastic to cut through the noisiest of arcades.
Time Crisis 2 ushered in co-op with two players able to play through the campaign together in link-play mode. There is so much joy and excitement to be had while blasting through Time Crisis 2 with a friend and seeing their character approach battles from different angles and a primitive rush of adrenaline when you successfully topple a boss together.
Time Crisis 2 has stood the test of time and provided exciting arcade action for over a quarter of century and it shows no sign of firing blanks any time soon!
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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’.