Everyone loves dinosaurs. They are captivating, exciting, and fascinating. It’s no wonder why movies that involve dinosaurs go on to gross hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office. People are perpetually drawn to them, and knowing that these massive and powerful creatures actually lived on this planet adds a layer of terror and intrigue.
It is also this combination of fear and fascination that keeps dinosaurs at the forefront of our imaginations. So, what could be better than a dinosaur video game? How else can people interact with creatures from 65 million years ago? Here are 10 dinosaur video games that are exciting, scary, and filled with adventure.
10 Cadillacs & Dinosaurs (Arcade, Mobile)
In 1993, Capcom released another arcade fighter. However, this time, it had dinosaurs. Set in the future, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs follows four protagonists, who must fight their way to stop an illegal dinosaur poaching gang.
However, due to years of being hunted, the world’s dinosaurs have become extremely aggressive. Because of this, the dinosaurs can also join in on the fights and wreak absolute havoc. It may seem a little eccentric but it is 100% fun. Best of all, it’s been re-released for mobile devices.
9 Nanosaur (PC)
Over a decade before Jurassic World decided to genetically modify dinosaurs, the PC game Nanosaur decided to try it out. However, whereas Jurassic World used genetic splicing, Nanosaur grafted machinery onto dinosaurs, creating some powerful killing machines.
From raptors with machine guns to pterodactyls with lasers, what more could a gamer ask for? While the graphics weren’t phenomenal, the gun-wielding dinosaurs still compelled players to carry on playing the game.
8 Primal Rage (Various 4th & 5th gen consoles)
After a giant meteor strikes Earth and most of humanity is killed off, four massive deities are awakened from their slumber beneath Earth’s crust. Now, four godlike creatures – the yeti, raptor, T-rex, and triceratops – must battle the evil occult monsters who want to plunge the planet into chaos.
The game was a huge hit on 4th-gen consoles like Genesis and SNES, as well as 5th-gen consoles like Sega Saturn. These offered graphical improvements as well as more interactive settings.
7 ARK: Survival Evolved (PS, PC, Xbox One, Switch)
In ARK: Survival Evolved, gamers get washed up on a mysterious island filled with roaming dinosaurs and warring humans. The game is part Minecraft, as it requires you to build shelters and harvest food. It is also part Skyrim, as the player enters into a giant, mythical, open-world environment.
While the game was praised for its massive, dinosaur-filled gameplay, it was also criticized for its difficulty and how much time gamers have to waste performing menial tasks.
6 Star Fox Adventures (GameCube)
Star Fox Adventures was an extremely cool and extremely weird game. For the first time ever, Fox McCloud had been removed from his spaceship and was let loose in a Zelda-style adventure. He was also surrounded by dinosaurs.
It was later revealed that Star Fox Adventures was born out of an N64 game that Rare was creating, called Dinosaur Planet. Nintendo and Rare had a secret meeting, where they agreed to merge Dinosaur Planet and the Star Fox franchise together, thus creating Star Fox Adventures.
5 Jurassic Park (Genesis)
When Jurassic Park was released in 1993, two competing video game versions were soon released – one for Genesis and one for SNES. The two games were completely different, with SNES having a top-down view, and the Genesis game being a sidescrolling platformer.
Players and critics agreed that the Genesis version was far superior. It was the first video game ever to pit players against larger-than-life dinosaurs, and there was even a mode where gamers could play as a velociraptor.
4 Jurassic World Evolution (PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch)
There are some video game trends that come and go, but tycoon games have been popular since the inception of gaming itself. In Jurassic World Evolution, players are tasked with creating their very own dinosaur theme park, with the hopes of making it profitable.
This involves breeding and incubating dinosaurs, building enclosures, and keeping the dinosaurs fed and healthy. However, looming disasters, such as power failures, weather events, and dinosaur breakouts keep gamers on their toes in what is considered one of the most exciting tycoon games to come along in years.
3 Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4, PC)
For fans of action RPGs, Horizon Zero Dawn is a must-play. The game puts players in a giant world filled with mechanical animals and dinosaurs. In the game, the robots were originally created as militarized weapons but soon took over the entire planet.
Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t just an exciting game, but it’s also incredibly beautiful. Aside from the intricate designs of the mechanical monsters, every single aspect of the world was built with incredible detail. Fans of the game can expect its sequel, Horizon: Forbidden West, to release later this year.
2 Turok & Turok 2 (N64, Switch, PC, Xbox One, PS4)
Turok, officially titled Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was a first-person-shooter for the N64. Gamers play as Tal’Set, the chosen Turok warrior, who must protect the world from the Lost Land (which is a mystical realm filled with vicious dinosaurs, monsters, and aliens).
Both the original and its sequel (which was also released on the N64) were met with rave reviews and are still seen as two of the best games on the console. The games have remained so popular that remastered versions have even been released on PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
1 Dino Crisis & Dino Crisis 2 (PlayStation, Dreamcast, PC)
When the original Dino Crisis was released for PlayStation in 1999, it was deemed “Resident Evil with dinosaurs” by many critics. Naturally, the survival horror gameplay of Resident Evil, combined with the dinosaurs, was a winning formula. The game went on to be one of the bestselling PS1 titles ever.
Its sequel was also hailed by critics and audiences. It took a turn towards adventure over horror and created tons of new, intricate settings. Dino Crisis 2 is still remembered as one of PS1’s best games, that, unfortunately, has never been remastered or rereleased.
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