Crash Bandicoot

First appearance Crash Bandicoot Released 1996 Format PS1 created by Naughty Dog

All hail the king. On paper, Crash Bandicoot’s first appearance on PS1 didn’t sound like a game that would give others from that golden age much to lose sleep over. Here was Naughty Dog, an almost unheard of developer, with its first game for the PS1 – and it was going to be about a bandicoot (whatever that was) in jeans on a quest to rescue its girlfriend from an evil scientist. But something clicked with Crash. Though the levels were largely linear and gameplay followed the same sorts of tropes players were used to from arcades (vault over obstacles, jump on enemies, avoid blundering into bottomless pits), Crash’s adventure was colourful, charming, and punishingly challenging. Its 3D platforming wasn’t just novel, but a glossy demonstration of what Sony’s first console was capable of. Enemies such as Ripper Roo and Koala Kong provided colourful interludes that broke up the standard obstaclecourse gameplay. And as your skills improved and you collected more gems, new areas and secret paths would open through old levels, adding replayability and bragging rights when comparing times with friends. Looking back on it now, Naughty Dog’s inaugural PlayStation effort seems a charmingly simple affair. But for our money at the time, no other game’s mechanics, world and personality came together as seamlessly as Crash Bandicoot’s – and it seems that you still lovehim just as much as we do.

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