So now that I have posted another double article (Pokemon Pokedex Entries) I felt less bad about taking another swing into the Crash Bandicoot Universe.  I’d actually like to start doing more Top 10s, as I thoroughly enjoyed writing the Christmas one.  In this list I will only be featuring titles that were in the main series, so no mobile games or handheld games  will be included in this list. So without further ado, here are my opinions on the Top 10 Crash Bandicoot Titles from worst to best.

10. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

This atrocity of a Crash Bandicoot game was Crash’s debut onto the Playstation 2, and many people had incredibly high hopes for the Australian marsupial’s leap onto the platform.  However, this game was a major let down to fans all across the world, as this game took away from the original’s success in so many ways.  The first of which, and the most obvious area, is the graphics.  The original Crash Bandicoot all the way up to Crash Bandicoot 3 were all credited with their incredible graphics considering what system they were on.

Screenshot from “Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex

The Playstation was by no means, the most graphically powerful in its class, but Crash Bandicoot made the absolute most of what it had.  The Wrath of Cortex definitely didn’t follow up on this tradition, as the graphics were meant to look pretty, but actually failed miserably.  All of the characters look absolutely goofy, the objects look outlandish, and the environments…actually the environments look kinda pretty, but that’s about all the praise the graphics in this game will get from me.  The animations were also kinda junk, as Crash looked like he was floating from barely stepping off the ground in a ‘jump’, and the box breaking animations are just too cartoony.  Crash is a game that needs a cartoony feel, however, there is a time in which overcompensating for it is a bad thing.

The mechanics for this game are also some of the worst I’ve seen in any Crash title.  The controls are unresponsive and the segments in which you use vehicles are very slippery.  That combination is often lethal, especially when the levels begin to spit in your face.  The boss battles are a joke, being incredibly repetitive and extremely bland.  This wouldn’t be as big of a problem if you didn’t have to wait 10 years for the boss battles to load! The loading times in this game are atrocious, at least a minute to change between areas!  This entire game is essentially a rip off from Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, but they put it in a blender and blended the crap out of it.  Literally the only good thing to come out of this game was Crunch Bandicoot, which that point can even be argued against.  

9. Crash Nitro Kart

One of the three Crash Bandicoot kart racers, this is by far the absolute worst of the trilogy.  What the first kart racer, Crash Team Racing, innovated and essentially began, Crash Nitro Kart threw out the window and decided to start with their own thing, which was a grave mistake.

Screenshot from “Crash Nitro Kart”

Crash Nitro Kart is a boring, time-killer of a game which really has no point to it whatsoever.  The plot to this game is that Crash, his friends, and his enemies are transported to another world because they are some of the best racers in the galaxy (because they won that one race that one time against Nitrous Oxide) deemed by the almighty Emperor Velo XXVII.  This game is pretty much another case like Wrath of Cortex, in which it took an extremely successful game in the franchise, copied it, and crapped on it.

The game goes exactly how you’d expect if you played Crash Team Racing, you collect items that will grant you entry into the boss race by winning races in different areas.  There is also the occasional boss race, which is incredibly easy and even more boring than the regular races due to the mere number of 2 racers in each boss race.  This game took everything that made Crash Team Racing successful and replaced it with boring filler that no one liked.  It is a definite pity too, because this game had one mechanic that wasn’t even credited to this game for developing.

Mario Kart 8 is often credited as being the first game to have anti-gravity, even though that statement is false.  Crash Nitro Kart was the first kart racer to feature anti-gravity, but I’ll give Mario Kart 8 the credit of being the first game to do anti-gravity well in a kart racer.

8. Crash Mind Over Mutant

Screenshot from “Crash Bandicoot: Mind Over Mutant

The second installment of Crash Bandicoot’s beat-em-up open world type games, Crash Mind Over Mutant was basically a clone of its predecessor, Crash of the Titans.  I’ll go into more detail in the discussion for Crash of the Titans, but Crash of the Titans innovated so much, and Mind Over Mutant made little effort to follow up and capitalize on the way that Crash of the Titans paved for it.

It was basically just a filler game made in an attempt to get more fans familiar with this new formula and back the franchise more as a result, but it failed drastically.  Playing Mind Over Mutant is like playing Crash of the Titans all over again, which wouldn’t be a problem if you hadn’t paid an extra $60 for what feels like just DLC of a previous title. 

7. Crash Tag Team Racing

The most recent installment in the Crash Bandicoot kart racers, Crash Tag Team racing implemented a new style of racing in which two racers can fuse together in order to make one kart complete with a driver and a shooter.  This style of racing gameplay was also accompanied by an open world type gameplay in the overworld, which worked with Crash Bandicoot’s goofy nature.

Screenshot from “Crash Tag Team Racing

It was a very innovative, yet underrated title that proved to be mediocre at best.  The racing gameplay could have been better and the overworld could have had more to it.  For most of the time, it just seemed very bland and had nothing to do.  The game feels like it wanted to do two separate things, and as a result couldn’t concentrate on both at one time and making both great, and as a result, both elements suffered from lack of attention.

The racing suffered due to it’s awkward pace, switching between fast action to very slow sections and a dash of automated jumps.  This title had so much potential and it sucks to see that it was underdeveloped as well as underrated.  My favorite part of this title, however, was the burping and farting Crash did in the loading screens when you pressed the analog sticks.  That made the longer loading times all worth it.

6. Crash of the Titans

Crash of the Titans was one of the most innovative Crash games in the franchise.  It took the previously almost strictly linear mechanic of Crash Bandicoot and thrust it into an open world beat-em-up type genre.  This was the fourth time that the Crash Bandicoot franchise had attempted to master a new genre, and up to this point, the attempts have gone through.

Crash Bandicoot had mastered the platforming, racing, and open-world genre, so why not try for 4-4 with the beat-em-up genre? Most of the old Crash Bandicoot fans dismissed this game due to the new mechanics as well as the character recreations, however, for what it is, the game isn’t terrible.  It definitely failed at ‘mastering’ the genre, but it still isn’t a terrible game.  This list isn’t rating by games however, this list is rating by Crash games.

Screenshot from “Crash of the Titans

There were many things that this game did right and gave justice to the Crash Bandicoot name, however, there were some things that it did wrong.  The things that it got right, it nailed perfectly.  The open world beat-em-up aspects of the game were tight and gave the player control over what was happening.  It truly felt like a God of War-like title, which is what the creators were going for.  The game gave a very unique twist on an already established franchise, trying to breathe new life into it.  However, due to its clone, Crash Mind Over Mutant, any hope of the franchise being revitalized in this way was dashed.  That unfortunate chain of events as well as some of the fundamental things wrong with this formula made this type of game ultimately fail.

In both Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant, Crash is very idiotic and insanely clueless.  There is a very fine line between being an adorable nincompoop who is still valuable, and a complete idiot who’s success is completely based on insane amounts of luck.  The original Crash games walked this line perfectly, however, these latter two installments crossed that line and walked about a mile.  

This is the part of the list in which it begins to get extremely hard to choose the order of the games.  All of the games on the latter part of this list are extremely great games, all of which helped Crash Bandicoot tremendously on his journey to success.

5. Crash Bash

This is Crash’s only party game that gave Crash Bandicoot the justice he deserved.  Following up on the tail of Crash Team Racing, Crash Bash is a game that can involve up to 4 players in an endless bombardment of fun for the entire family.  This game provided endless amounts of fun for anyone who played it, and could be played for hours at a time.

Screenshot from “Crash Bash

The story mode gave a great single player experience and allowed the player to both be challenged as well as satisfied for beating the challenges.  The bosses were innovative as well, as they came in the form of familiar Crash Bandicoot characters (Ripper Roo, Papu Papu, etc.) but brought a unique twist on the way the bosses are fought against.  It combines both the familiarity of the boss gameplay with the new party mechanics that Crash Bash implemented.

The multiplayer aspect of this game is where this game really shines however, as this game is comparative to Mario Party and other games in that genre.  When friends played this game with each other, they would have a guaranteed fun time and want to keep playing with each other for hours on end.  The only downside to this game was the limited amount of minigames in the game, and some of them were even replicated to different skins and a modified set of rules to seem like there were more games than there actually were.  Other than that, this game is chock full of fun for all involved.

4. Crash Bandicoot

This is going to tick some people off for sure.  There are many people who believe that because this game is the original in the franchise, that it deserves to be #1 on any list.  And to that, they are somewhat correct.

Screenshot from “Crash Bandicoot

This game was the innovator for two major things: 1. It paved the way for the best platforming video game franchise in history, and 2. It defined what the Playstation graphics could be and held all Playstation graphics to a higher standard.  During development, this game was called the Sonic’s Ass game due to the camera being behind the player, which was a new technique that Naughty Dog was experimenting with.

As well, Naughty Dog discovered that they could unrender the graphics that were not being displayed on screen and render the graphics that were being displayed on screen in full, allowing the game to have more detailed textures and more blush worlds.  This was a big reason why Crash Bandicoot took off like it did, it innovated the platforming genre and completely changed the gaming industry.  If this game had no successors, it would have been a complete masterpiece that no one could challenge, however, it had successors that outdid it.  Nothing should be taken away from this game, it is definitely the best platformer to ever have hit the market thus far, however, it keeps getting better.

3. Crash Twinsanity

So I can see people getting mad at this for two reasons. 1. There are many people that believe that this game should be at the top of any list, and 2. There are also many people who believe that this game is definitely lower on any list than Crash 1.  Now let me tell you why both are true.

Crash Twinsanity was Crash’s first real attempt at an open world game, departing somewhat from his traditional platforming roots, but still keeping it as a key element in the gameplay.  Like Crash 1, this game innovated for the Crash franchise yet again, after the franchise had seemingly mastered the platforming and racing genres.  This game was not quite a revamp of the entire series, however, it took the series in an all-new all-different (Marvel reference) direction that had never really been thought of prior to the release.  It was an interesting take on an existing franchise, especially because Crash and Cortex had to team up in order to take down a new evil.

Screenshot from “Crash Twinsanity

Not only that, but you could play as both Crash and Cortex, as well as both at the same time.  This game introduced new mechanics that were never really thought of in the video gaming world prior.  In fact, in my opinion, this game is partially responsible for the creation of the “Army of Two” franchise, in which it takes two people rather than one to complete a set of challenges or obstacles. Comparing this game to the previous games in the franchise is nearly impossible because of these mechanics and innovations, so we’ll stick strictly with the plot.  It’s awesome.

This game’s plot delves deep into the hatred that Cortex has for Crash and the reluctance he has to team up with his sworn enemy.  It also delves into the past of Dr. Neo Cortex, by introducing his niece and his former pets as new villains.  This game continued to innovate in a time that innovation in this franchise was thought to be dead, and it revitalized the franchise for a short time after its release.  It’s comedic elements as well as new plotlines kept fans immersed in this game and impressed them sincerely.  This game had the most to prove and performed fantastically, and that is why it is #3 on our list.

2 1/2. Crash Team Racing

So upon finishing this list I came to the shocking conclusion that I had forgotten one key element in the Crash gaming universe, and that is the masterpiece that is Crash Team Racing.  I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten this masterpiece of a game and frantically tried to find a place to put it on the list.  However, the list was pretty much already ready for upload, so I just stuck it here as a cheap cop-out (at least I’m honest).  
Screenshot from “Crash Team Racing”
This was a fantastic game that was Crash’s first leap away from the platforming genre, and ended up earning its place in history as one of the best kart racers in the history of gaming.  It has been compared many times to Mario Kart, simply because Mario Kart was the only real kart racer available at the time,  However, Crash Team Racing took everything that Mario Kart had developed and improved upon it.  
CTR is an amazing time, giving fun times with every race, track, and adventure.  It’s drifting mechanic was revolutionary for its time, and its track development was unparalleled by any other kart racer (including Mario Kart).  CTR, in my eyes as well as many others, still stands to perfection as to what a kart racer should be.

2. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Screenshot from “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Here are the two titles that are most often up for debate amongst Crash fans.  Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back was, in a lot of fans’ minds, the perfect Crash Bandicoot game.  It took everything that Crash 1 created and perfected it.  It improved the graphics, it improved the mechanics, it improved the gameplay, and it improved and delved deeper into the lore.  The game truly was a masterpiece and still stands the test of time as one of the greatest playstation titles of all time.  

1. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped

Screenshot from “Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
While Crash Bandicoot 2 was a masterpiece, Crash Bandicoot 3 was the perfect-piece.  As stated earlier, Crash 2 perfected everything Crash 1 did, however, Crash 3 perfected everything Crash 2 did.  Crash 2 wanted to be the perfect mix between old and new, bringing back upgraded elements of Crash 1 while trying to innovate with its own mechanics.  And it worked, magnificently.  However, Crash 3 did everything to Crash 2 that Crash 2 did to Crash 1.  
Crash 3 perfected the elements that Crash 2 brought to the table while maintaining the perfect balance of Crash 1 elements that were in the mix as well.  In short, Crash 3 brought everything that its predecessors had brought to the table, organized it, and presented the final product as its own.  This final product will forever be known as the greatest Crash Bandicoot game, and arguably the greatest Playstation game of all time.

Let me know what you guys think and if you would have ordered this list differently! Please remember that these are just my picks, not the end all be all. Thanks for reading!