Naughty Dog became the crown jewel in Sony’s line-up of developers when Uncharted 2: Among Thieves debuted in 2009, and remains one of the best studios working today. It hasn’t missed a single beat, releasing nothing but excellent experiences, from the haunting The Last of Us, to the sand-swept adventure that is Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. Naughty Dog is the longest-running studio in Sony’s roster, and its legacy reaches all the way back to the mid-1980s, when it was making games for the Apple II under the name Jam Software with only a few high schoolers running the studio.
With the recently-released Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, it’s a better time than ever to rank all sixteen Naughty Dog games (excluding the Jam Software days).
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16. Keef the Thief: A Boy and His Lockpick: Keef the Thief was the first title developed under the name Naughty Dog. It's a role-playing game about a young thief on a quest to steal treasure from a massive city. Though the concept sounds interesting—pulling off a risky heist—the shallow mechanics, poor writing, and a rough pixel-art aesthetic regulates Keef the Thief to the bottom of the list.
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15. Way of the Warrior: Naughty Dog actually developed a fighting game before it tackled 3D platforming. Way of the Warrior unabashedly mimics Mortal Kombat, with extreme violence, bloody finishing moves, and an attempt at photorealistic graphics. But unlike Mortal Kombat, Way of the Warrior failed to grab people's attention, lacking complex mechanics and interesting characters. It was heavily criticized upon release, and Naughty Dog would never make another fighting game again.
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14. Rings of Power: Rings of Power suffers from being one of the earliest Genesis games: It runs slow, the interface is confusing, and the controls feel clunky at best. Its nonlinear structure will also turn off and frustrate many people, as it forces players to continually walk long distances to activate quests. However, despite the game's many obvious issues, it does attempt to introduce a few new ideas to the RPG genre. The way it treats combat is a prime example, as it's more of a sideshow rather than the focal point. The main draw is exploring and finding clues in the game's sizable setting.
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13. Jak X: Combat Racing: Just like with the Crash Bandicoot series, Naughty Dog capped off its time and work on the Jak and Daxter franchise with a racing game. Jak X: Combat Racing is modeled after Jak 3's driving mechanics. Players control characters from the series, all of which race in customizable dune buggy vehicles. The game attempts to tell a story that take place after the end of Jak 3, but it lacks the original trilogy's excellent writing and interesting plot points. Jak X also suffers from unbalanced difficulty, and is certainly not the best racing game Naughty Dog has made.
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12. Crash Bandicoot: Crash Bandicoot was the first game to catapult Naughty Dog to commercial and critical relevance. The animations, aesthetic, and linear level design were some of the best for their time, with Naughty Dog showing off what the first Playstation's hardware was capable of. Crash quickly became the brand's first popular mascot, allowing Playstation to compete with Nintendo and Mario. However, Crash Bandicoot has not aged well due to its lack of DualShock thumbsticks and a poor camera.
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11. Crash Team Racing: After completing the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Naughty Dog finished off the beloved platforming series with a kart racing spin off. While it lacks the adventure and rich content of its three predecessors, Crash Team Racing was, and still is, lauded for being one of the most enjoyable and finest Playstation kart racing games. It takes the best aspects of Mario Kart and combines them with Crash's colorful and eccentric world and characters.
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10. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back: The second Crash game is a slight improvement on the first entry, with a better game-saving system and decreased linearity. The Warp Room concept, a home area that lets you freely warp in and out of levels, allows for replayability and exploration. Crash Bandicoot 2 also successfully carries over the first game's beautiful aesthetic and goofy plot.
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9. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy: Naughty Dog took what it learned from making Crash Bandicoot and created its most ambitious game yet in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. For the time, it was a technical marvel brimming with detail and color—a Naughty Dog staple. Daxter quickly replaced Crash as a funny, cute mascot for Playstation, as well. The game was Naughty Dog's first true attempt at an actual story, and this is the one area where Jak and Daxter falters a bit as the main plot is overly familiar.
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8. Crash Bandicoot: Warped: The final game in the Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Crash Bandicoot: Warped is a marked improvement on its predecessors. Gone are the cheap deaths, awkward camera angles, linearity and lack of content. In typical Naughty Dog fashion, the studio took all the criticism thrown at the series to heart, creating one of the first Playstation's finest platforming games. The series has never been better.
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7. Jak 3: Though Jak 3 isn't the big technical and tonal jump that Jak II is, it still introduces a few new mechanics, the biggest being the introduction of dune buggy vehicles that you can drive across the game's vast wasteland. Mad Max's influences can be felt throughout, and the dark story concludes the trilogy in fitting fashion.