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Crash Bandicoot (franchise)

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Current logo for the Crash Bandicoot franchise

The Crash Bandicoot franchise is a series of platforming video games originally developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation. The first installment in the series, Crash Bandicoot, was released worldwide in 1996. The series was created by Naughty Dog co-founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin to compete with Nintendo's Mario franchise and Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series, with the title character as Sony's mascot.[1] The Crash Bandicoot franchise has sold over 50 million copies worldwide.

Throughout the series' life, the games have gone through multiple different gameplay and visual changes, due to the rights being held by numerous other companies and developers following Naughty Dog's departure from the series. In the original trilogy developed by Naughty Dog, Crash would run through multiple linear levels to reach the goal at the end, while breaking crates and collecting Wumpa Fruit which, when 100 of them are collected, grant Crash an extra life, and important items such as Crystals and Gems along the way. Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure and Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced would later share this gameplay style, albeit the latter two being in 2D rather than 3D. From Crash Twinsanity onwards, which was now published under Vivendi's Sierra Entertainment brand (both of which are now part of Activision), the levels would be more free-roaming and action-adventure-based as opposed to pure platforming. The franchise also spawned a few spin-offs which were either party-themed or racing-themed.

In 2007, all three original Crash Bandicoot titles were re-released on the PlayStation 3's PlayStation Network.

After the release of Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 on iOS, the Crash Bandicoot franchise entered a long hiatus. However, following rumors and speculation of a future installment in the series, Sony announced at E3 2016 a deal with Activision to develop full remakes of the original trilogy, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.


Main article: List of games

Main games[edit]

Name Console(s) Year released Synopsis
Crash Bandicoot PSX cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot
PlayStation 1996 Crash Bandicoot is the first game in the series, published by Sony Computer Entertainment and Universal Interactive Studios. Set on the fictional Wumpa Islands off the coast of Australia, the story revolves around Crash on an adventure to stop Dr. N. Cortex and Dr. N. Brio's plans on world domination and save his girlfriend Tawna. In this game, Crash has two basic controls: running, jumping and spinning, which he can use to defeat enemies and break crates to collect Wumpa Fruit. If Crash breaks every crate in a level in a single run, he will earn a Gem. The colored Gems, when collected, grant access to hidden areas.
Crash Bandicoot 2 PSX cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
PlayStation 1997 Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, released a year later, takes place immediately after the first Crash Bandicoot. Following his defeat, Cortex allies with N. Gin and tricks Crash into collecting Crystals scattered around the world, which he needs to power his latest creation, the Cortex Vortex. Each level in the game contains a Crystal that Crash must collect to proceed to later levels, as well as a clear Gem rewarded for breaking every crate in the level. Some gems such as the colored ones are found in secret areas. Crash also has new moves this time, including a slide and body-slam ability. Rather than an overworld map from the first game, Cortex Strikes Back uses a "Warp Room" as its main hub, which consists of five floors each with five portals leading to different levels in the game. If Crash manages to collect all 42 Gems, Brio, now no longer affiliated with Cortex, uses them to power a machine that ultimately destroys the Cortex Vortex.
Crash Bandicoot Warped cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
PlayStation 1998 Known as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped in PAL regions, the game takes place after the alternate ending in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, in which Crash and Brio destroy the Cortex Vortex. However, the resulting debris crash-lands onto Earth's surface, freeing Aku Aku's evil twin and Cortex's master, Uka Uka, who recruits Dr. N. Tropy, a master of time, to aid them into creating a "Time-Twisting Machine" that allows them to retrieve the Crystals from different periods in time. The gameplay is most similar to that of its predecessor, as Crash must enter different levels using the Time-Twisting Machine to collect Crystals. In certain levels, the player can play as Coco, or control a vehicle such as a motorcycle, jet-ski and bi-plane. In addition to Crystals and Gems, Crash can earn Relics by entering Time Trial mode, in which he must speed through the level as fast as possible to achieve the best time.
Crash Bandicoot TWoC cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex
PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube 2001 The first entry in the series to be released on multiple platforms, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, developed by Traveller's Tales, follows the traditional gameplay of the original trilogy, mainly that of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, featuring a Warp Room with 25 main levels, each containing a Crystal, Gem(s) and Relic, although the level environments are more varied, and Crash has more methods of control such as the Atlasphere (an object similar to a hamster ball) and a mech. The story revolves around Crunch Bandicoot, a muscular, mutant bandicoot and Cortex's newest creation who, with the help of the Elementals, a group of masks that control earth, fire, water and air, seeks out to destroy Crash under Cortex's command. After Crunch is defeated, he is freed from Cortex's control and sides with Crash.
Crash Twinsanity PS2 cover.jpg
Crash Twinsanity
PlayStation 2, Xbox 2004 In Crash Twinsanity, Crash and Cortex are forced to work together to stop the Evil Twins, a pair of mutant parrots, from destroying the Wumpa Islands. The gameplay is a departure from the traditional gameplay present in past Crash Bandicoot games, as it is more free-roaming as opposed to the linear nature of the previous games' levels, though Crash can still find Gems hidden throughout the game world. The game's music was performed by the acapella group Spiralmouth. Crash Twinsanity also introduces Nina Cortex, Cortex's niece, who is also playable.
Crash of the Titans Wii cover.jpg
Crash of the Titans
PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS 2007 Crash of the Titans is a platformer with beat-em-up elements, in which Crash ventures out to stop Cortex from taking over the Wumpa Islands using an army of powerful mutants known as Titans, and to save Coco, whom Cortex has kidnapped. Many of the characters have received drastic redesigns, notably Aku Aku and Tiny. The game's main mechanic is the ability to "jack" Titans, enabling Crash to take control of it. Each Titan species has its own unique abilities. Additionally, the game can be played cooperatively, and rather than collecting Wumpa Fruit, Crash collects pieces of a substance known as "mojo", which grant him new abilities. The game can also be played cooperatively.
Crash Mind over Mutant Wii cover.jpg
Crash: Mind Over Mutant
PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS 2008 Crash: Mind Over Mutant follows the same gameplay style as its direct prequel Crash of the Titans. This time, Cortex reunites with his former ally N. Brio to create a device known as "NV" that brainwashes any individual that wears it. Coco and Crunch fall victim to Cortex and Brio's mind control, forcing Crash to save them. A new feature added to the game is the ability to store a Titan for later use. Like the Game Boy Advance version of Crash of the Titans, Crash: Mind Over Mutant's Nintendo DS version has 2D gameplay instead of 3D.
Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy PS4 cover.png
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch 2017 (PS4),
2018 (Switch, Windows, Xbox One)
The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a compilation title featuring remakes of the three PlayStation titles. It was developed by Vicarious Visions. In addition to high-definition graphics and fully redesigned character models and worlds, the soundtrack and voice acting are also remastered and re-recorded.
CB4IAT PS4 box art.jpg
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S 2020 This game takes place after the events of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, while acting as a retcon to other mainline games. In it, Crash and Coco must stop Doctor Neo Cortex in his attempt to conquer a multiverse of dimensions scattered across time and space.


Name Console(s) Year released Synopsis
Crash Bandicoot THA cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure
Game Boy Advance 2002 Titled Crash Bandicoot XS in PAL regions, The Huge Adventure was the first Crash Bandicoot game to be released on a handheld. Developed by Vicarious Visions, it is a side-scrolling platformer with very similar game mechanics and level themes as those found in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped. At the beginning of the game, Cortex uses his newly developed Planetary Minimizer to shrink Earth to the size of a grapefruit, which forces Crash to gather the Crystals to power a device developed by Coco that will grow it back to normal.
Crash Bandicoot 2 N-Tranced cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced
Game Boy Advance 2003 Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced is the second handheld and 2D Crash Bandicoot game, and the follow-up to The Huge Adventure. Cortex is absent in this game; instead, N. Tropy aids Uka Uka in his plan for world domination. They recruit a new member, N. Trance, a master of hypnotism, as part of a plan to brainwash Crash and his friends to join their side. However, they only manage to capture Coco and Crunch, and Crash must venture out to save them. In addition to pure platforming, the game also features several wakeboarding and Atlasphere levels. Coco and Crunch also become playable in certain levels once they are freed from N. Trance's control.
Crash Bandicoot Purple Ripto's Rampage cover.jpg
Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage
Game Boy Advance 2004 Crash Bandicoot Purple: Ripto's Rampage is a crossover installment with the Spyro series; it was released in tandem with Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy, which in turn is a Spyro crossover with the Crash Bandicoot series. As the titles imply, Cortex joins forces with Spyro's nemesis, Ripto, and create minions disguised as Spyro, misleading Crash into believing the two protagonists are enemies. Both eventually meet and discover they were tricked by Cortex and Ripto and so team up against them. There are mini-games that Crash must complete along the way to obtain Gems and Crystals.

Racing games[edit]

Name Console(s) Year released Synopsis
Crash Team Racing cover.jpg
Crash Team Racing
PlayStation 1999 Crash Team Racing is a racing game and a spin-off of the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, as well as the last game to be developed by Naughty Dog. The gameplay is very similar to that of the Mario Kart series, as the player races against seven other racers, and can drive through the "?" crates scattered across the track to obtain power-ups and weapons. In the game's Adventure mode, the player must compete against an extraterrestrial named Nitros Oxide, who claims to be the fastest racer in the galaxy, by winning races and gathering Boss Keys. There are a total of fifteen characters in the game (seven of which are unlockable), and over sixteen different race courses.
Crash Nitro Kart PS2 cover.jpg
Crash Nitro Kart
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance 2003 Crash Nitro Kart is a spiritual successor to Crash Team Racing, developed by Vicarious Visions for consoles and the Game Boy Advance. The game features the same gameplay elements found in Crash Team Racing, with an added anti-gravity mechanic that activates in certain parts of the track. The single player campaign revolves around Crash, Cortex and their respective allies competing against the fastest racers in the galaxy in a tournament held by Emperor Velo, who has abducted the main characters from Earth, in order to earn their freedom. While both the console and handheld versions share the same roster of 16 characters and 17 race courses, the latter had its courses redesigned and several elements cut from the game (such as the full-motion cutscenes) to accommodate for the Game Boy Advance's limited hardware capabilities.
Crash Tag Team Racing PS2 cover.jpg
Crash Tag Team Racing
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube 2005 Crash Tag Team Racing is the first game in the series to be developed by Radical Entertainment. In it, Crash must help Von Clutch, a theme park owner, in retrieving the Power Gems stolen from him. In order to do so, Crash and his friends must partake in racing matches, which are the primary focus of the game. The main mechanic of racing is "clashing", which allows the player to fuse with another racer's vehicle and have one control the driving, while the other operates a gun used to shoot down racers. There are up to eight characters and a variety of vehicles from which to choose, each with its own attributes and gun type. Outside of racing, there is also a free-roaming platforming component, in which Crash can explore the theme park to gather coins required to unlock new vehicles.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled PS4 cover.jpg
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One 2019 A remastered version of the 1999 PlayStation title, Crash Team Racing. It also features content from the other two Crash Bandicoot racing titles.

Party games[edit]

Name Console(s) Year released Synopsis
Crash Bash cover.jpg
Crash Bash
PlayStation 2000 Crash Bash is a party game developed by Eurocom, in which players participate in a variety of four-player minigames. The game's story mode centers around a contest between good (Aku Aku) and evil (Uka Uka) to decide which side is the strongest. The minigames include Ballistix, in which each player pilots a ship to knock iron balls away from their zone; Polar Push, in which players must knock each other off the ice rink while riding on polar bears; Pogo Pandemonium, in which players ride pogos to color squares and earn points; and Crate Crush, in which players must use crates to deplete each other's health to win. There are eight characters in total.
Crash Boom Bang cover.jpg
Crash Boom Bang
Nintendo DS 2006 Crash Boom Bang! is a party game developed by the Japanese company Dimps, and the only installment to be developed in Japan. The main gameplay is similar to that of a board game, as it involves players rolling a die to move along the number of spaces shown. The spaces have different effects on the player, such as triggering a minigame, or granting them an item. The Adventure Mode's story centers around the characters competing to obtain the fabled Super Big Power Crystal.

Mobile games[edit]

Name Console(s) Year released Synopsis
File:Crash Nitro Kart mobile title.jpg
Crash Nitro Kart
Mobile phone 2004 Crash Nitro Kart is a racing game
File:Crash Twinsanity 3D mobile title.jpg
Crash Twinsanity 3D
Mobile phone 2004 Crash Twinsanity 3D is a platforming game
File:Crash Twinsanity mobile title.jpg
Crash Twinsanity
Mobile phone 2004 Crash Twinsanity is a platforming game
File:Crash Bandicoot mobile title.jpg
Crash Bandicoot
Mobile phone 2005 Crash Bandicoot is a platforming game
File:Crash Racing mobile title.jpg
Crash Racing
Mobile phone 2006 Crash Racing is a racing game
File:Crash Boom Bang mobile title.jpg
Crash Boom Bang!
Mobile phone 2007 Crash Boom Bang! is a party game
File:Crash Boom Bang mobile title.jpg
Crash of the Titans
Mobile phone 2007 Crash of the Titans is a platforming game
File:Chokkan Crash Bandicoot mobile title.jpg
Chokkan♪ Crash Bandicoot
DoCoMo SH904i 2007 Chokkan♪ Crash Bandicoot is a Japan-exclusive party game published by Vivendi Games Mobile for the DoCoMo SH904i.
File:Crash Nitro Kart 2 title.jpg
Crash Nitro Kart 2
Mobile phone 2008 Crash Nitro Kart 2 is a racing game
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D title.jpg
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D
N-Gage, iOS, Zeebo 2008 Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D is a racing game
Crash Bandicoot Mutant Island.jpg
Crash Bandicoot: Mutant Island
Blackberry 2009 Crash Bandicoot: Mutant Island is a platform game
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 title.png
Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2
iOS 2010 Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 is a racing game
CrashMoji app icon.png
iOS, Android 2017 CrashMoji is an emoji application for iOS and Android devices.
Crash on the Run group art.jpg
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!
iOS, Android 2020 Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is an auto running platformer for Android devices.



  1. PlayStation. (December 23, 2014). Naughty Dog Full Length 30th Anniversary Video. YouTube. Retrieved March 20, 2017.