Based in Santa Monica California, Naughty Dog have been developing games since 1984. Best known for producing games for Sony’s Playstation consoles they have been at the forefront of video game development becoming a subsidiary of the Japanese company in 2001 and continue to push the boundaries of the medium. With their latest game The Last of Us: Part II now in the hands of gamers we thought we’d round up our top 5 Naughty Dog games.
Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Yes, it’s the game that put them on the map. Having developed several titles under their former name JAM Software, Naughty Dog produced games for the Apple II, Mega Drive and 3DO before moving on to the brand new console called the PlayStation.
The platformer took full advantage of the 3D capabilities of the 32-bit machine with its vibrant levels and animation and introduced us to a character that would become iconic in the gaming world for years to come and for a while was adopted by Playstation as their mascot. Crash Bandicoot has remained so popular a remake alongside its two sequels was released in 2017 to rave reviews.
Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (2016)
Nathan Drake (Nolan North) and the Uncharted franchise has gone from strength to strength over the years culminating in his final instalment, A Thief’s End. Having debuted on the PS3 it was the first entry to be released on its successor the PS4 and with enhanced visuals it became one of the most beautiful games released on the console.
In this chapter the years are catching up to Drake and he has retired from the treasure hunting lifestyle, however the return of his brother, Sam (Troy Baker) pulls him back in for one last adventure. With a sharp script, solid performances and tight gameplay, this is a must have for any PS4 owner.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)
When Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune released on PS3 in 2007 it was Naughty Dog’s first foray into the pulpy action adventure series and redefined what a game could be with its cinematic visuals and motion capture performances. But while Drake’s Fortune set the mould, its follow up Uncharted 2: Among Thieves perfected it in every way.
The gameplay was improved, the story more compelling and the level design out of this world. Whenever people think Uncharted 2, the first thing they remember is the epic train chase through the jungles of Nepal and into the Himalayan mountains. It truly was one of the most exciting sequences ever experienced in a video game.
The Last of Us: Part II (2020)
Naughty Dog’s latest game is no doubt one of their best. With their experience on Uncharted 4 contributing to their ability to fully push the power of the PS4 so late in its lifecycle, they have managed to produce a game that not only excites and thrills with its gameplay, but comes with an emotional heft that is affecting gamers worldwide and leaving them pondering the game long after completing it.
Richly detailed environments, realistic animation, Oscar-worthy performances, it's hard to fault any area of their technical prowess. Despite the controversy surrounding story choices, it's no doubt an incredible achievement in game development and one that will change the medium in ways we could never imagine.
The Last of Us (2013)
Part II would not exist however without its predecessor The Last of Us. Like its sequel it arrived towards the end of the PS3 era, but that could not prevent this game becoming a runaway hit with gamers. With so many post-apocalyptic zombie-esque video games flooding the mark, it's difficult to create something original, but by using the outbreak as a backdrop and focusing on the relationships between its central characters and their development throughout the story, they managed to produce something that felt fresh and new.
Plus, its grounded survival gameplay such as gritty brutal combat and crafting without pausing made for an intense time, especially when infected were nearby. Lead characters Ellie and Joel have become staples of the Playstation family and loved by gamers all over, mostly due to actors Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson making them feel every bit as real. For any who have yet to experience this series, you will not be disappointed. Now is the perfect time.
So there are our top 5 Naughty Dog games. Do you agree with our list? Or do you think there are any games missing? Let us know in the comments below.