Crash Bandicoot is one of the most well-known video game characters and franchises, and was created by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation.
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While the main Crash Bandicoot games are platformers, the franchise has spawned numerous offshoots, including a racing game series set in the same universe.
All of the Crash Bandicoot games, both the main series and the spin-off racing games, are included in this rundown, in chronological order.
We hope to add more games featuring the genetically enhanced marsupial to this list in the future, as there has been a resurgence of Crash interest ever since the release of N.Sane Trilogy.
A Brief History Of Crash Bandicoot Games
1996: Crash Bandicoot
The original Crash Bandicoot, created by Naughty Dog, is where Crash’s legendary gaming career begins. Even though he wasn’t formally designated as such, he was pretty much the face of Sony’s PlayStation 1.
Can I use it right now? In a word, yes. While the original Crash Bandicoot was a PlayStation One exclusive, the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy remasters the first three games and is the easiest way to get your Crash fix.
1997: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
After the massive success of Crash, a sequel featuring largely the same plot was released the following year.
Can I use it right now? Buying the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy would be the quickest and easiest option.
1998: Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Naughty Dog is finishing up the “classic” Crash trilogy with this final installment.
When can I start playing? This is the third book in the N.Sane series.
1999: Crash Team Racing
False, terrifying I don’t “want a piece of you,” Crash Mascot Man.
Naughty Dog’s final game, Crash, was a Mario Kart competitor for the original PlayStation. It wasn’t quite as polished as Nintendo’s efforts of the time, but it did have sharper visuals than Mario Kart 64. As someone who has completed Muppet Racemania, I can attest to the console’s abundance of subpar kart racers and the widespread appreciation for the developer’s decision to at least try and make a playable one for the PSOne.
What about right now? Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fuelled, released in 2019, is a modernized remake of Naughty Dog’s original. The review from Kotaku is available here.
2000: Crash Bash
At the turn of the millennium, fans of Crash Bandicoot wanted nothing more than a boring collection of minigames based on the series.
Sure, the vast majority didn’t. Crash Bash was rather dull, like many other games that tried to emulate the success of Mario Party.
When can I start playing? There’s been no word on a remake of Crash Bash, so if you’re longing for the PlayStation One era, you’ll have to pull out your old console.
2001: Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex
The Crash commercials on TV are terrifying. Regardless, in the generational jump, Crash moved from Naughty Dog to Traveller’s Tales — yes, the folks who churn out endless LEGO games — and also lost his PlayStation exclusivity, although it did launch on the PS2 first before being made available for the original Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube.
If you’re looking for a more out-there connection, though, that’s the same Traveller’s Tales that brought you Muppet Racemania. Even after all of these years, the scars are still visible.
When can I start playing? You can play this if you still have a PlayStation 2, Xbox, or GameCube; it was also available for a short time as a digital download for the Xbox 360; however, it is not a particularly great game.
2002: Crash Bandicoot XS: The Huge Adventure
Maybe the best commercial for Crash Bandicoot ever. I’m sure there’s a lot more to it than the absence of scary mascot characters.
Crash Bandicoot XS (or Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure, as it was known in other regions) is a Gameboy Advance game that condenses the core Crash experience for Nintendo’s portable console. It’s still pretty good, especially for a mobile platformer.
When can I start playing? Sure, if you have a Gameboy Advance. At this point, we don’t expect to see any remasters.
2003: Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
The critical reception to this year’s portable Crash Bandicoot game continued its downward spiral, with many critics claiming that the series’ trademark platforming gameplay had become repetitive.
Can I use it right now? These are the least likely Crash games to be remastered, so you’ll need a GameBoy Advance and a copy if you want to play them now.
2004: Crash Twinsanity/Crash Nitro Kart/ Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto’s Rampage
Until I saw that commercial up there, I had completely blocked out Steve-O from certain parts of my mind. At least with Crash Twinsanity, we got to see an attempt at variety, as Crash teamed up with Dr. Neo Cortex to battle some evil parrot twins.
I warned you it was unique. That isn’t the same as saying the game is good, as this is just another below-average entry in the Crash series.
When can I start playing? You’ll need a PS2 or Xbox to get your double Crash fix, as this is not a remastered version of the game.
Crash Toys sound more appealing than that scary mascot, though I could do without the bikini babe part.
Just like the name implies, Crash Nitro Kart was a kart racing game, and it was one of only two Crash Bandicoot games for the Nokia N-Gage.
When can I start playing? Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fuelled is a remake of the original game, and it does borrow some gameplay elements from Nitro Kart.
Although it was part of a movement toward “two part” Gameboy Advance games, Crash Bandicoot Purple stands out as something of an outlier. Crash explores the world of Spyro the Dragon, and it’s rumored to be a solid, if unremarkable mobile platform game where you take on Dr. Neo Cortex.
When can I start playing? Get out your old GameBoy Advance or Nintendo DS and you’ll be good to go.
2005: Crash Tag Team Racing
Crash Tag Team Racing was the third Crash racing game and the only Crash Bandicoot smash hit of 2005. Though I haven’t played the game, the tag-team mechanic makes me feel like I have after spending so much time with it in Mario Kart Double Dash.
Critics panned the game for being just like every other Crash game out there.
When can I start playing? Once again, Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fuelled is the best option for fans of the Crash kart series.
2006: Crash Boom Bang!
Another Crash Bandicoot game that I don’t own is this one, a multiplayer party game for the Nintendo DS. Reviews at the time panned it for being too generic and having too little to do with the Crash Bandicoot canon, so perhaps it’s for the best that it didn’t.
When can I start playing? It seems that if you have a DS and a desire for boredom, you can.
2007: Crash of The Titans
That Crash Mascot outfit is SCAREFUL AS HELL.
Despite this, Crash of the Titans went through another change in developers, with Radical Entertainment handling the main console versions (PS2/Xbox 360/Wii), the PSP port being handled by SuperVillain games, and the Nintendo handheld versions being developed by Amaze Entertainment.
I haven’t played it, but the story of Crash of the Titans seems like it was written by a preteen. Crash must “jack” into the Titans to defeat Neo Cortex, free his sister, and save the Wumpa islands once more. The reviews weren’t exactly glowing. Perhaps that mascot paid them a visit.
Can I use it right now? Once again, it hasn’t been ported to any other platforms, but if you still have a Nintendo DS, you can play it on your 3DS.
2008: Crash: Mind Over Mutant/Crash Nitro Kart 3D
How does Crash fare with a human face protruding from his mascot outfit? My outlook is deteriorating.
Also terrible was Crash Bandicoot Mind Oer Mutant, which paled in comparison to games released in 2008. Mind over Mutant is still sitting on my game shelf, but it rarely gets touched these days.
When can I start playing? Yes, I can do that, but it’s highly unlikely that I will. It was a popular game to port at the time, with releases on the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS, and PlayStation 3 (via download).
With the release of Crash Nitro Kart 3D for the N-Gage, Symbian, and iOS, Crash takes his racing ambitions to the mobile space. It was one of the first iOS games, but given its age, it’s easy to see why it didn’t do very well. Even though the iPhone was all the rage as a smartphone, responsive control schemes for mobile games were still in their infancy.
When can I start playing? Perhaps your mom is using an out-of-date iPhone that she never updated.
2010: Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart
Until the release of Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, this was the most up-to-date Crash Bandicoot game. Unfortunately, it was a terrible mobile racer for iOS devices only, though critics did note that some issues with the original had been addressed.
When can I start playing? Find an iPod Touch that isn’t broken at a thrift store (good luck!) or look in your dad’s desk drawer for an iPhone that supports 32-bit apps. There was also support for multiplayer, but I highly doubt the servers are still online.
2020: Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
It was expected that a new Crash game would be developed following the success of N. Sane Trilogy. The last two decades of Crash games are considered canon after the release of Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time in October of last year, a direct sequel to Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
Congratulations, you have caught up to speed on Crash Bandicoot lore.
When can I start playing? In the present day, Crash Bandicoot 4 is playable on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One/Series X. Nintendo Switch owners will be able to get their hands on the game on March 12. Here at Kotaku, we’ve reviewed Crash Bandicoot 4 for you.
Date of Publication: September 9, 1996
In the first Crash Bandicoot game, mad scientist Doctor Neo Cortex uses his “Evolvo-Ray” to modify local wildlife into genetically superior soldiers with the goal of conquering the world.
One of his creations, Crash Bandicoot, rebels against his master after developing feelings for another of Cortex’s experiments, a female bandicoot named Tawna.
The objective of the game is to destroy crates and fight Cortex’s minions by jumping on their heads or using Crash’s signature spin attack as you make your way through linear 3D environments.
Critics praised Crash Bandicoot’s graphics and the character design, and the game went on to become one of the best-selling PlayStation games of all time, selling over 6 million copies.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Date of Publication: October 31, 1997
PlayStation, the System.
Naughty Dog came back a year later with a sequel, in which Doctor Cortex kidnaps Crash and leads him to believe he will save the world from destruction.
Crash has a change of heart after collecting all 25 crystals needed to activate the world-altering Cortex Vortex and goes on to defeat Cortex’s evil assistant Dr. N. Gin before going to face Cortex himself.
Initial reviews of Crash Bandicoot 2 were generally positive, praising the game’s impressive visuals and presentation but noting some issues with the game’s trial-and-error gameplay and a lack of level variety.
In addition to being one of the best-selling PlayStation games, Cortex Strikes Back was also the best-selling Western game in Japan for a while.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Date of Publication:October 31, 1998
PlayStation, the System.
In Warped, or Crash Bandicoot 3 as it is known in Europe, the villainous Cortex teams up with the spirit Uka Uka and Doctor Nefarious Tropy immediately after the events of Cortex Strikes Back.
The three devise a scheme to enslave humanity by using Nefarious’s Time Twister Machine to collect crystals from different eras.
Crash and his sister Coco learn of the villains’ plot and embark on a quest to retrieve the crystals in time to stop them.
Critics have hailed Warped as a new series high point due to its polished gameplay, improved visuals, and top-notch audio.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
On the market as of October 29th, 2001.
Consoles: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
In a break from Sony and Naughty Dog, publisher Universal Interactive commissioned Traveller’s Tales to create the next game in the series, Wrath of Cortex.
As a result, it became the first Crash game available on more than one platform, breaking with the series’ tradition of PlayStation exclusivity.
Crunch Bandicoot is the protagonist of the story; he is another of Doctor Cortex’s creations who plans to use the mask spirits known as the Elementals to conquer the world.
While opinions on the game were mixed, many pointed out that Wrath of Cortex simply recycled ideas and mechanics from other games without adding anything new.
Published on September 28th, 2004.
PlayStation 2, Xbox
The developer, Traveller’s Tales, came back for the sequel, which was initially titled Crash Bandicoot Evolution and aimed to change the series’ tone to something more serious.
Due to its obvious similarities to Ratchet & Clank by Insomniac Games, the original premise was scrapped. It involved a pair of interdimensional parrots stealing Crash’s island and attaching it to their planet.
Crash Twinsanity, a more comedic outing in which Cortex and Crash team up to prevent the Evil Twins from destroying Wumpa Islands and stealing Cortex’s brain, was the result of a resumption of production after the latter’s cancellation.
Critics were divided upon the game’s release, with some applauding the game’s variety of gameplay, visuals, and humor while others criticized the camera, controls, and design of the platforming segments.
Crash of the Titans
Date of Publication: October 4, 2007
Consoles include the PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, GBA, and DS.
Vivendi Games (formerly Vivendi Universal) commissioned two additional studios to work on handheld ports of the upcoming mainline Crash game, which was developed by Radical Entertainment.
In Crash of the Titans, the protagonists, Cortex and his niece Nina, use a mysterious new substance called “Mojo” to transform the natives of the Wumpa Islands into a mutant army known as “Titans.”
After Cortex and Nina kidnap Coco to use her to build a doomsday machine, Crash tries to stop them by seizing control of the Titans and retrieving their Mojo. He also tries to rescue Coco.
While many have praised Crash of the Titans for its new features and level variety, others have voiced concerns about the game’s reworked characters and short length.
Crash: Mind over Mutant
Dropping on the 7th of October, 2008
Consoles include the PS2, PSP, Xbox 360, Wii, and DS.
Mind over Mutant, which takes place a year after Crash of the Titans, is notable for its free-roaming environments and increased focus on beat ’em up-style combat.
In it, the newly liberated Titans establish thriving communities across the Wumpa Islands, but their peace and prosperity are short-lived after Cortex invents the NV, a device that allows him to control the mutants’ minds with bad Mojo.
Crash and Aku Aku are two of the few creatures who are not affected by the NV, so they are responsible for breaking them out of the device and stopping Cortex and Nitrus Brio.
Mind over Mutant has received mixed to positive reviews, with most of the acclaim going to the game’s satirical humor and quality voice acting, both of which are meant to mock today’s advanced technologies.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
To Be Made Available on October 2, 2020
PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, created by Toys for Bob and published by Activision, retcons the franchise’s timeline by ignoring all main games released after Crash Bandicoot: Warped.
In the story, Crash and Coco are trying to stop the evil Cortex and Nefarious Tropy from using the Quantum Masks to take over the universe.
With the Quantum Masks, It’s About Time expands the series’ gameplay by giving characters special abilities that can be used to change the environment and access new pathways.
It received positive reviews from critics and fans alike, who praised its gameplay, level variety, presentation, and new platforming elements as marking a return to form for the series.
Crash Team Racing
Date of Publication: September 30, 1999
PlayStation, the System.
A spin-off kart racer featuring Crash and other characters competing in a variety of races was developed by Naughty Dog after the success of the main series platformers.
The plot of Crash Team Racing revolves around the efforts of the game’s protagonist, Cortex, and a group of misfit racers known only as the Crash Team.
Numerous offensive and speed-boosting power-ups litter the tracks, and a novel “power-slide” drifting mechanic gives players a brief boost to their speed.
Multiple sequels to CTR were approved because of how much people enjoyed the gameplay and how advanced the visuals were for the time.
Crash Nitro Kart
Date of Publication: 11 November 2003
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance
Crash Nitro Kart, the sequel to CTR and the first Crash game to include full-motion videos, was created by Vicarious Visions and published by Universal Interactive.
Emperor Velo XXVII, a cruel dictator, kidnaps Crash and his pals and threatens to destroy Earth if they don’t agree to race in his coliseum for his amusement.
Crash Nitro Kart has received mixed reviews across platforms, with some preferring the handheld version due to its smoother gameplay and higher frame rate.
While many people dismissed CNK as just another generic kart racer, the inclusion of the power-slide mechanic set it apart from the pack.
Crash Tag Team Racing
Date of Publication: October 19, 2005
Video Game Consoles: PlayStation 2, Playstation Portable, Xbox, GameCube
Crash Tag Team Racing came after Crash Nitro Kart, and in it, Crash has to find some stolen Power Gems to fix up an old amusement park.
The primary motivation is to foil Doctor Neo Cortex’s plan to purchase the amusement park for his own nefarious purposes.
A new “clashed” vehicle type with two racers—one at the wheel and one in the back where a mounted turret let them shoot at other racers—was clearly inspired by Mario Kart: Double Dash.
The game received high marks for its entertaining presentation and humorous writing, but low marks for its original racing gameplay and level layouts.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Date of Publication: June 21, 2019
PS4, Xbox One, and Switch are all supported.
Beenox and Activision have released Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, an updated version of the original CTR for modern consoles.
The plot revolves around Crash and his pals competing to prevent Nitros Oxide from destroying their world, and hasn’t changed much since the first game.
While the gameplay remains true to the original, the game’s HUD and menus have been updated to include a new boost gauge and character selection options.
Nitro-Fueled was praised for its visuals, gameplay, and authenticity to the original, but it was panned for its lack of difficulty settings and long load times.
N Sane Trilogy
Yes, technically speaking N Sane Trilogy is a remaster of the first three games in this series. But its mechanics are significantly different from the originals, so it deserves its own entry on the list. While the visuals are impressive and players are happy to see Crash return, the game is much harder than the first three platformers due to the inclusion of hit boxes. Do you remember all the memes based on Dark Souls? These didn’t appear for no reason at all. This comparison verifies N Sane Trilogy’s challenging nature, given how intimidating Dark Souls can be.
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
The third game in the original trilogy is the most challenging because of the new types of levels it introduces. There are levels where Coco and Crash ride Polar and Pure, as well as levels where they ride motorcycles, underwater levels, and airborne levels. This makes the game more challenging overall. Extreme difficulty can be found in the motorcycle stages. Many players find these stages to be extremely challenging due to the large pits and tricky steering mechanics. Oh, and it doesn’t get any simpler in the N Sane trilogy. Crash requires a more maneuverable bicycle.
The fact that it is a party game in no way indicates that it is simple. This one is especially annoying. Minigames are interspersed throughout Crash Bash and must be completed in order to advance. To avoid slipping off an icy platform in “Polar Push,” for example, is a challenge in and of itself.
The game ‘Ballistix’ is also very challenging. If you’ve ever played air hockey with the Hulk, you might find it easy, but for everyone else, it’s a real pain. Furthermore, there are a number of balls in motion simultaneously. Yikes! Despite the desire of some fans, this is best left in the past.
How to Play Crash Bandicoot: On the Run on PC with BlueStacks
Keep in mind that while we’ll be discussing BlueStacks 4 and Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, the latest and greatest version of BlueStacks, BlueStacks 5, is already available and boasts significantly improved performance, decreased resource consumption, and increased stability. Try out our most recent Android emulator by downloading it here.
As you may already know, the auto-runner gaming sensation Crash Bandicoot: On the Run was released just a few days ago, bringing everyone’s favorite bandicoot brother and sister duo to the mobile platform. Crash Bandicoot is a perfect fit for this new type of platformer because the only difference from the originals is that the characters now run automatically, but all the usual enemies, pitfalls, wumpa fruits, Aku Aku masks, and other stage hazards and power-ups are still present.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run’s gameplay is remarkably faithful to the classics, but the controls leave something to be desired. Instead of pressing buttons on a gamepad, you’ll be tapping and swiping your touchscreen to direct Crash’s movements. This control scheme makes it difficult to perform precise platforming and can even lead to failure in the game’s hardest stages.
Thanks to BlueStacks, our robust Android emulator, playing Crash Bandicoot: On the Run on a personal computer is a breeze. Our app player provides you with not only the best visuals and performance, but also a suite of tools that can be used to improve your gaming experience in a number of ways. This article will walk you through the process of downloading and installing Crash Bandicoot for Windows.
Installing and Playing Crash Bandicoot: On the Run on PC
You’ll need to install BlueStacks, our Android app player, before you can play Crash Bandicoot, as we mentioned up top. Step-by-step instructions are as follows:
- Get BlueStacks for your PC and set it up.
- You can skip Google Sign-in and go straight to the Play Store.
- Use the search box in the top right corner to locate Crash Bandicoot: On the Run.
- From the search results, select “Install” to have Crash Bandicoot: On the Run installed.
- If you skipped step 2, complete Google Sign-in before installing Crash Bandicoot: On the Run.
- Start playing by tapping the Crash Bandicoot: On the Run icon.
The PC port of Crash Bandicoot is a small file, so installing it won’t take long. However, if you have any trouble configuring it, please let us know in the comments section below; we are always happy to assist!