Everyone loves dinosaurs. They are exciting, exciting and mesmerizing. It’s no surprise that dinosaur movies gross hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. People are constantly drawn to them, and the knowledge that these massive, powerful creatures actually lived on this planet adds to the fear and intrigue.
It is this combination of fear and admiration that keeps dinosaurs at the center of our imagination. So what could be better than a dinosaur video game? How else can humans interact with creatures that lived 65 million years ago? Here are 10 thrilling, scary and adventurous dinosaur video games.
Updated by Melody Macready on June 15, 2022: Jurassic World: Dominion dominates the box office, interest in the best dinosaur games of all time will resume. Dinosaurs have a way of getting players’ attention when they interact with them, run away from them in terror, or shoot at them.
It’s impossible to talk about just ten dinosaur games, especially when there have been so many over the decades. From classics on older consoles to new blockbuster hits, dinosaurs are always a hot topic for entertainment. Some of these games are created directly by the Jurassic World brand, while others are original games created by talented developers.
15 Nanosaurus (1998)
More than a decade before Jurassic World decided to genetically engineer dinosaurs, the computer game Nanosaur decided to give it a try. However, since Jurassic World used genetic splicing, the Nanosaurs grafted the machines onto the dinosaurs, creating powerful killing machines.
From raptors with machine guns to pterodactyls with lasers, what more could a gamer want? While the graphics aren’t phenomenal, the armed dinosaurs still make players want to keep playing.
14 Primal Fury (1994)
After a giant meteor crashes into Earth and kills most of humanity, four huge deities awaken from their slumber beneath the earth’s crust. Now four divine creatures – Yeti, Raptor, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops – must fight evil occult monsters who want to plunge the planet into chaos.
Primal Rage was a hit on 4th generation consoles like the Genesis and SNES, as well as 5th generation consoles like the oft-forgotten Sega Saturn. They offered graphical improvements as well as more interactive settings.
13 Robinson: The Journey (2016)
While the VR controls may take some getting used to, the learning curve is well worth it as Robinson: The Journey is a beautiful experience on another planet. The player controls Robin, a teenager stranded on another planet who is still in his prehistoric age with an AI companion and pet dinosaur named Laika.
Designed on the Crytek engine, Robinson: The Journey is visually stunning and ahead of its time as one of the earliest examples of VR gaming. The biggest problem is that it’s a bit short, but the alien dinosaurs, including Laika, make it unforgettable.
12 Jurassic: The Hunt (2009)
Deliberately trite and B-movie-like, Jurassic: The Hunted is an often-overlooked first-person shooter that sees scientists and mercenaries travel back in time to prehistoric times. The plot and dialogue are ridiculous, but that adds a lot to the charm of the game.
What really sets Jurassic: The Hunted apart is the first-person action with enjoyable gunplay and well-designed dinosaurs. Spinosaurus really shines as the big bad dinosaur in the game, but there are other, more obscure dinosaurs like Deinonychus and giant scorpions that add a lot of variety.
11 ARK: Evolution of Survival (2017)
In ARK: Survival Evolved, players are stranded on a mysterious island inhabited by roaming dinosaurs and warring humans. The game is part of Minecraft as it requires you to build shelters and collect food. It is also similar to Skyrim as the player is taken into a giant mythical open world.
While the game was praised for its large-scale dinosaur-filled gameplay, it was also criticized for its difficulty and the amount of time players waste on menial tasks. It was recently released for free on Steam due to the hype around the upcoming sequel.
Fox’s 10 Star Adventures (2003)
Star Fox Adventures was an unusual addition to the Star Fox series of games. For the first time, Fox McCloud was lifted off his spaceship and sent on a Legend Of Zelda-style adventure. It was also surrounded by dinosaurs, which caused some backlash from some fans, but for the GameCube, it has become a cult classic.
It was later revealed that Star Fox Adventures originated from an N64 game made by Rare called Dinosaur Planet. Nintendo and Rare held a secret meeting where they agreed to merge Dinosaur Planet and the Star Fox franchise, creating Star Fox Adventures.
9 Oak (2019)
In the same vein as the Outlast games, Oakwood is a linear horror game where dinosaurs, such as the deadly velociraptors, are the main threat. It’s based on classic tropes like abandoned buildings, forests, and even sewers, but effectively makes dinosaurs creepy.
Each location adds dinosaur challenges and environmental mysteries to keep Oakwood entertained. And because the game isn’t all that long, it’s a short but enjoyable experience that shows the potential of dinosaur horror games, reminiscent of the scarier episodes from Jurassic Park.
8. Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005)
This first-person shooter is based on the movie of the same name and is one of the few times the game is as good, if not better, than the source material. Not only does it feature the actors from the movie reprising their roles, but it also lacks a HUD, making it difficult to conserve ammo.
The monster sequences in the film are even more extensive, with even more creatures from Skull Island still appearing. Of course, dinosaurs pose the greatest threat, such as the smaller theropods resembling velociraptors, the long-necked giant scrambler, and the V-Rex, which is one of the most intense levels in the game.
7 Jurassic Park – Genesis Version (1993)
When Jurassic Park was released in 1993, two competing video game versions were quickly released – one for the Genesis and one for the SNES. The two games were completely different: the SNES had a top-down view, while the Genesis game was a side-scrolling platform game.
Gamers and reviewers agreed that the Genesis version is much better. It was the first video game to have players face huge dinosaurs, and it even featured a mode where players could play as a Velociraptor.
6 Jurassic World Evolution (2018)
Some video game trends come and go, but tycoon games have been popular since the inception of the game itself. In Jurassic World Evolution, players are tasked with creating their own dinosaur theme park, hoping to make it profitable.
It includes raising and hatching dinosaurs, building enclosures, and keeping dinosaurs fed and healthy. However, impending disasters such as power outages, weather events, and dinosaur eruptions keep players on their toes in what is considered one of the most exciting tycoon games in recent years.
5Horizon: Zero Dawn (2018)
For action RPG fans, Horizon: Zero Dawn and its recent sequel is a must. The game places players in a giant world filled with mechanical animals and dinosaurs. In the game, robots were originally created as military weapons, but soon took over the entire planet.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is not only an addictive game, but also incredibly beautiful. Beyond the intricate designs of the mechanical monsters, every aspect of the world has been crafted with incredible detail.
4 Jurassic World: Evolution 2 (2021)
There’s no denying that Jurassic World: Evolution was a stellar tycoon game, but it was also too simplistic. The sequel introduces not only new dinosaurs, but also many new factors affecting the management of the parks: new mechanics, new biomes, new threats, new items to manage and much more.
With new DLC expansions including content from Jurassic World: Dominion, Jurassic World: Evolution 2 does what a sequel should do. It takes everything that was done in the first game and improves on the formula, making it bigger and better.
3 Turk (1997)
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was an N64 game that is still relevant today. Players take on the role of Tal’Set, Turok’s chosen warrior, who must protect the world of the Lost Land: a mystical realm filled with dinosaurs, monsters, and evil aliens.
Both the original and its sequel (which was also released on the N64) received rave reviews and are still considered two of the best games on the console to this day. The games have remained so popular that updated versions have even been released on PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
2 Horizon: Forbidden West (2022)
Much like Jurassic World: Evolution 2, the Horizon sequel simply adds to the grandeur and creates one of the biggest and most immersive RPGs in years. With so many side quests, memorable characters, and even better combat, Horizon: Forbidden West has earned a lot of praise.
Robotic dinosaurs have been further developed with a host of new enemies that are works of art in their own right. It’s not often that a sequel outright surpasses its predecessor, but Forbidden West succeeded, turning them into a modern classic gaming duo.
1 Dino Crisis 2 (2000)
When the original Dino Crisis game was released for the PlayStation in 1999, many reviewers called it “Resident Evil with Dinosaurs”. Naturally, survival horror Resident Evil gameplay combined with dinosaurs was the winning formula. The game became one of the best selling PS1 games of all time.
Its sequel also received critical and public acclaim. It turned towards adventure rather than horror, and created many intricate new settings. Dino Crisis 2 is still remembered as one of the best PS1 games ever, which unfortunately has never been remastered or re-released.
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