Naughty Dog is one of PlayStation Studios’ exclusive first-party studios, and their name has become synonymous with quality in the gaming sphere. Even before Sony purchased the studio in 2001, Naughty Dog had made a name for themselves with the incredible Crash Bandicoot series.
Naughty Dog rarely misses. With each release, it seems the studio strives for bigger and better stories, worlds, and gameplay. These are all of our favorite games from the studio, ranked from best to worst.
The Last Of Us: Naughty Dog’s PS3 Swan Song
The Last of Us takes the top spot on our list because of how influential it is on gaming as a whole. Last of Us introduced unforgettable characters, beautiful set pieces, and engaging stealth combat. It even turned the dreaded escort mission into a perfect 13-hour adventure.
Few games are still discussed so many years after its release, such as The Last of Us. The game has so far seen two remasters. One on PS4 and another on PS5. And an excellent adaption on HBO. The Last of Us may be Naughty Dog’s most recent series, but we believe we will see a lot more from this world in the future.
Crash Bandicoot Warped: The Best Crash Bandicoot Game
Crash became the de facto PlayStation mascot after a series of fantastic commercials showcasing him and the original PlayStation. A trilogy of platforming adventures for the original PlayStation made Crash a household name, and the third entry is the best in the entire series.
Crash Bandicoot Warped is a culmination of Naughty Dogs’ work perfecting platforming for the 3D console. The game has the best levels, stylistic humor, and has levels with Crash on a motorcycle. What more could you want from a Crash Bandicoot game?
Uncharted 2: Nathan Drakes Finest Outing
Naughty Dog’s first adventure featuring Nathan Drake was a good, if not formulaic, action/adventure game. The second entry in the series is the one that cemented the Uncharted series as a masterclass in video games and made the series into the brand it is today.
Uncharted 2 is our favorite because of the memorable set pieces and fast-paced action. The game has flaws, and some supernatural elements still feel wildly out of place. But overall, Uncharted 2 is a masterpiece and just as fun to play today as it was in 2009.
Uncharted The Lost Legacy: All Uncharted, No Nathan Drake
After the success of Uncharted 4, Naughty Dog decided to give Nathan Drake some time off finally. The result is the stand-alone expansion to Uncharted 4, which features two new female protagonists and is a more enjoyable experience than almost every other entry in the series.
The Lost Legacy is less of a sequel and more of a spinoff from the original Uncharted series. The mechanics and tone of the game fit right into the Uncharted world but with a shorter contained story. The entire game can be completed in around 7 hours, making this the perfect game for treasure-hunting weekend warriors.
Crash Team Racing: Watch Out Mushroom Kingdom
Crash Bandicoot had already become a real threat to the mustachioed plumber in the platforming space. It was time for him and his friends to take on Nintendo’s kart racing franchise.
Crash Team Racing is the only kart racing game that was truly as good as Nintendo’s properties. At the time, Nintendo had Mario Kart and Diddy Kong racing for the N64, and Naughty Dog could take the best parts of both games and land them exclusively on the PlayStation. CTR is still one of our favorite kart racing games and the best to appear outside of a Nintendo console.
Uncharted 4: A Fitting End
After nearly ten years of Uncharted being Naughty Dog’s standout series, the developers ended Nathan Drake’s story with a poignant and beautiful finale. Uncharted 4 follows Nathan Drake on his final adventure, where he decides it’s finally time to settle down and focus on the important things in life.
Uncharted 4’s ending is still discussed today as one of the most important narratives in gaming. It deals with the problem of violence in video games, fatherhood, and understanding when a profession turns into an obsession. Combine this with incredibly fun gameplay, and you have a video game masterpiece.
Last Of Us Part 2: Naughty Dog’s Most Controversial Game
Naughty Dog has never been known for their controversial titles. But that changed with the 2020 follow-up to one of their finest projects.
The Last of Us Part 2 continues the story of Joel and Ellie living in a post-apocalyptic America. The game garnered much controversy for its excessive violence and how Naughty Dog treated some of its beloved characters. Despite the game’s many controversies, Naughty Dog again created a masterpiece with The Last of Us Part 2, one of their finest outings to date.
Jak 3: The Best Game In The Jak And Daxter Series
Naughty Dog worked on the Jak and Daxter series during the PS2’s life cycle. Each entry in the series built upon the last in meaningful ways, culminating in Jak 3, the best Jak and Daxter game.
Jak 3 wraps up the Jak and Daxter trilogy and perfectly blends the shooting, driving, and platforming for which the series had become known. The series has remained dormant for over a decade now, but we would all welcome another entry in this fantastic PS2 classic.
Crash Bandicoot 2 The Wrath Of Cortex: Crash’s Successful Follow-up
Many PS1 gamers loved the original Crash Bandicoot, but the second entry solidified the Bandicoots’ staying power. Crash 2 brought back everything great about the first game and introduced new levels and bosses that have become a mainstay of the series ever since.
Warped may be the best entry in the platforming series, but The Wrath of Cortex is a very close second. The game was brilliantly remastered as part of the N-Sane trilogy and remains one of the best 3D platformers ever.
Jak And Daxter: Naughty Dog In Their PS2 Era
With the release of Sony’s new console came the beginning of a new franchise from Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog would go on to develop three more Jak and Daxter games for the PlayStation 2 before changing gears again with Uncharted and the PS3. The first entry in the series, Jak and Daxter, is a fantastic platformer that became a staple of the PlayStation 2’s library.
Jak’s first adventure suffered a bit from clumsiness and Naughty Dog learning how to harness the power of the PS2. The series would continue to innovate, though, and the first game is an excellent starting point for fans of Naughty Dog.
Crash Bandicoot: Naughty Dogs First Big Hit
The Crash Bandicoot series would go on to produce a number of spinoffs and sequels, but it’s the original that gamers fondly remember the most. Crash Bandicoot introduced the world to a mischievous blue jean-wearing Bandicoot and his arch-enemy, Dr. Neo Cortex.
The original game was released in 1996 and had to go toe to toe with Nintendo’s 3D platformer, Super Mario 64. While Crash Bandicoot could never fill those overalls, the game was still a massive success and went on to launch the series that is still around today.
Jak II: A Difficult Sequel
Jak II retains many aspects that made the original so much fun with a heavy increase in difficulty. While Jak II is a fantastic follow-up from Naughty Dog, the steep learning curve put off a lot of fans of the original.
It’s a testament to Naughty Dogs’ work as a developer that despite the game’s harsh difficulty, it still became a massive hit. Jak II became a PS2 classic, and we would love to see the Jak and Daxter games remastered, preferably with an added easy mode.
Uncharted Drakes Fortune: Naughty Dog’s PS3 Era
Unfortunately, the first game in the Uncharted series is also its weakest. Uncharted 1 is still a fantastic game. It just fails to live up to the highs set by other entries in the series.
The game tells a large, sprawling story that could only have been done on the PS3 then. The combat was fluid, and Nolan North’s portrayal of Nathan Drake solidified his work as a games actor. Uncharted’s supernatural ending may have left a bad taste in our mouths, but the rest of the game is a fantastic adventure.
Jak X Combat Racing: A Solid PS2 Racer
Jak X is a competent arcade racer built off the terrific mechanics introduced in Jak 3. The game would have ranked higher on our list, but unfortunately, Jak X never could justify its existence in the crowded arcade racer genre.
Most developers don’t dare to compete with Mario Kart, but Naughty Dog did so twice. Jak X isn’t technically a kart racer or as good as CTR, but it is still the best kart-like racing experience you can have on a PS2.
Rings Of Power: Naughty Dog’s Early Years
Naughty Dog’s earliest games are also some of their worst. Rings of Power was an RPG released in 1992 and published by EA. It is actually a fairly decent RPG, even though the controls can be a bit obtuse.
This Sega Genesis game failed to put Naughty Dog on the map, but it shows the team’s versatility in its early days. It may not be the worst RPG of its time, but it’s certainly not good enough to warrant a return.
Way Of The Warrior: Naughty Dog’s Mortal Kombat Clone
Way of the Warrior is the last game developed by Naughty Dog before their breakout with Crash Bandicoot. It’s a fighting game developed specifically for the 3DO that was created by Naughty Dog on a shoestring budget.
The most fascinating thing about Way of the Warrior is the story behind the game. Naughty Dog founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin had completely left the development industry after the failure of Rings of Power. The team then joined together Way of the Warrior, utilizing guerilla-style filmmaking to capture the in-game footage.
It can be tough to find a copy of Way of the Warrior today, and that’s probably for the best. Way of the Warrior has poor controls, poor visuals, and it is all around just a bad Mortal Kombat knockoff. Naughty Dog would finally find their niche with their next game, Crash Bandicoot, and thankfully, they have yet to try their hand at another fighting game.
Keef The Thief: Naughty Dog’s Worst Game
The worst Naughty Dog game is also the first game they ever released under the Naughty Dog moniker. Keef the Thief is a first-person point-and-click adventure released in 1989 for Apple IIGS.
EA published Keef the Thief and decided to turn Naughty Dogs’ adventure game into a comedy. Unfortunately, the jokes felt too over the top, and the puzzles were too hard for many gamers. Naughty Dog loves remaking their old titles, but we doubt there will ever be a remaster of Keef the Thief.