"Woah!" (jungle music intensifies)
It's an iconic intro to an iconic character. Naughty Dog's Crash Bandicoot smashed his way onto the Playstation in 1996, and Crash is still going strong today.
Why's that? Because Crash Bandicoot is one of the most underrated video games in history, of course! Here's why.
It's a 3D Groundbreaker
Crash Bandicoot debuted on the first Playstation, in the earliest days of 3D. Like many games of its generation, Crash was a groundbreaker in the 3D space.
Crash made glorious use of the extra dimension, freely switching between 2D and 3D gameplay. Whether you were going hog wild or running from a rolling boulder, there was no mistaking that you were playing a truly 3D game.
Yet Crash did something extra special: by keeping close to its platformer roots, its gameplay stayed simple and classic. Other platformers of the era still experience camera and control problems, while Crash remains a blast to play.
Gaming is old enough to have a rich and deep history now—and to have icons that have stood the test of time.
Crash is one such icon. To this day, the bandicoot with attitude is a recognizable mascot of the gaming industry, rubbing shoulders with other mascots like Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario, and Lara Croft.
Crash beat the competition, too. The Playstation didn't lack colorful, cartoony mascots. While others, like gecko contemporary Gex, are forgotten, Crash remains a household name.
It's Still Relevant
It's been a long time since Crash burst onto the gaming scene. Entire generations of consoles have come and gone.
But Crash is still here. Not every game gets the honor of earning a modern remake. Yet Crash did, and his remake even became the launching point for a series revival. Not bad for a game old enough to drink.
It's Pure Fun
As games have evolved, they've also fundamentally changed. It's almost quaint for a video game to aim for pure fun these days. The focus is often on immersion, realism, or monetization.
Crash is a reminder that video games can be unadulterated fun, too. It's not a coincidence that Crash now resembles games from the modern indie scene, where creativity and passion still shine through.
It Aged Well
Ironically, for a game that recently received a full remake, the original Crash games haven't aged too badly at all.
Early 3D revealed a lot of potential in gaming, but often at the expense of looking less than great. With its bright, bold graphics and stylized look, Crash avoided the uncanny traps of early 3D. It still looks great now, which is more than you can say for Final Fantasy VII's textureless LEGO characters or the nearly-faceless character models of Metal Gear Solid.
Crash Bandicoot: One of the Most Underrated Video Games in History?
It's true. Crash Bandicoot could be one of the most underrated video games in history, for all the reasons we've outlined here. Maybe it's time to think about adding it to your list of binge-worthy titles.
Do you agree Crash deserves more recognition? Leave a comment and let us know!