By Alex Maidment (nSanity Beach)
I’ve long said that the original Crash Bandicoot games are not only some of my all-time favourite games, but they’re also the games that got me properly interested in gaming.
It began with playing a few levels at a time at my friend’s house to the day I finally owned and regularly played all of the original trilogy; Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped and the supporting games, Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash.
As a young gamer, the Crash Bandicoot games were a great example of a fun, exciting and challenging games that made you think both about how to beat the level but also how varied a game can be in terms of level types. Between the three original trilogy games, there were around 100 levels to spend hours trying to complete.
The fun didn’t stop at just completing levels either, the use of time trials and awards for certain tasks (i.e. smashing all boxes!) as well as secret levels gave the game longevity far beyond just a basic play through.
Until the recent remaster (which I loved by the way!), it wasn’t unusual for me to go back to my parent’s house, blow the dust of the PS1 and load up some Crash Bandicoot for an afternoon of chilled, nostalgic gaming. It was like picking up where I left off all of those years ago.
The use of additional characters for different levels was always a nice touch as well and I couldn’t even begin to count the amount of times I’ve played Orient Express on the third game with Coco and Pura, running along the Great Wall of China as fast as possible in an attempt to beat all of the time trials.
In fact, I would go as far as saying the third game is my favourite but this is more likely down to the fact that it’s the game I played most as a child. Replaying the N.Sane Trilogy on Xbox One and again on Nintendo Switch just reminded me how versatile and good all three games were, all with merits for different elements.
There’s not many people I know that don’t enjoy a cheeky go on Crash Bandicoot and in many ways, for me, the series holds up as one of the best game series as all time, regardless of how juvenile it might be. Unlike many games over the years, each game was as good as the last and they were supported by the aforementioned Crash Team Racing and Crash Bash which added an incredible multiplayer aspect to the Crash Bandicoot game series.
In many ways, Crash’s very own version of Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing was in my eyes superior to all others just because of the characters and equipment used on the track!
It’s not an opinion that everybody will share but for me, the original Crash games will always have a special place on my games shelf and I will always enjoy going back to them and spending hours playing through the multitude of different levels.
What makes it the perfect game series to me is the consistency between games, the variation in levels, the challenging aspect of game and just the hours and hours of fun you can have playing it, whether as a child, teenager or full-grown adult!