There are many video games based on the Jurassic Park films, some good, some bad, and others that might make you wonder how they ever made it past playtesting. We’re here to save you a ton of time by letting you know which the five best games inspired by the franchise.
Jurassic Park remains one of the most popular film franchises on the planet. Since the original film was released in 1993, it has grown to include six official sequels, a short film titled Battle at Big Rock, and the Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous animated series.
There has also been a Jurassic World board game, four different iterations of a pinball machine, as well as official Jurassic Park and Jurassic World slot games by Microgaming that fans of the franchise can try for free spins at Canadian casino sites such as Playamo.
5 Best Jurassic Park Video Games Ever Made
This goes along with nearly 50 (you read that right) video game titles published across all platforms, from the early Nintendo Entertainment System to modern consoles, PC, and even mobile. With a catalog that size, it comes as no surprise that some are better than others.
This is the list of the five best Jurassic Park video games ever made:
1. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Arcade, first-person shooter, 1997)
This video game wasn’t released on any console that people could play at home; rather, it was an arcade game that would cost 50 cents a turn. This fact is important because it ties into why this game worked so well.
You see, it is a shooter in which the player needs to travel from crisis to crisis, impact Jurassic Park and blast their way to safety. It was so much fun because it is precisely the kind of thing people would try to do if a bunch of dinosaurs was on the loose, but it is also something they could not pull off on film.
This is because you always know the main character will survive, so there is no suspense. However, when it is just down to you and your last 50 cents, staying alive and gunning down as many dinosaurs as possible suddenly becomes an incredibly tense activity.
2. Jurassic Park (Sega Genesis, platformer, 1993)
While look at it with a modern eye will clearly show the flaws with this game, it was a marvel on the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive for readers outside North America) all of 28 years ago. The typical maximum storage size for a Genesis cartridge was only around 4MB, so there wasn’t much for developers to work with.
However, developers BlueSky Software did an incredible job squeezing content into this game. They made it possible to play as either Dr. Alan Grant trying to avoid dinosaurs in an attempt to get to the visitor center, or you can play as a velociraptor trying to eat Dr. Grant.
The two playstyles are entirely different too, with Dr. Grant toting plenty of guns and tranquilizer darts, while the raptor relies purely on agility and instinct. The levels are also expertly designed to allow you to maximize the strengths of each character. The phrase “an oldie, but a goodie” has never been more apt than this. It would be very difficult to play it today, however, unless you have an old Genesis lying around or get your hands on an emulator.
3. Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (PC & console, management simulation, 2003)
The only real criticism of this game is that it took so long for it to be produced. Despite the obvious popularity of the Jurassic Park franchise, it took almost 10 years before they made a video game in which players could build their own dinosaur park. Given the game’s quality, you’d have to say it was worth the wait, but, man, why did it take so long?
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a construction and management simulation that allows the player to create the park of their dreams. The game’s only real objective is to build a 5-star theme park that includes various attractions and dinosaurs, and the rest is left up to your imagination.
The game feels a little dated now and has been rendered virtually obsolete by the next entry, but it was a fantastic game that fans had been requesting for a long time, so it is well worth its place on this list.
4. Jurassic World Evolution (PC & console, management simulation, 2018)
This video game is aptly named as it is the evolution of Operation Genesis in almost every way. Also a park management sim, there is way more to this title, adding to its depth and immersiveness.
Players are not only in charge of building a top-quality park but they now also have to carefully balance budgets, conduct research, and development, as well as handle security for their guests. The game also features more than 40 different types of dinosaurs and crisis moments in which dinosaurs can escape.
Overall, it is an excellent game and should be considered a must-play for anyone who has ever wanted to build their very own Jurassic Park.
5. LEGO Jurassic World (PC, console, & Mobile, platformer, 2015)
Like LEGO Marvel before it, LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all of the material from the Jurassic Park movies that had been released by the time it was published.
The trouble with most LEGO video games is that their first offering (LEGO Star Wars) was so good, everything they’ve done since has paled in comparison. LEGO Jurassic World bucks that trend and may even have set a new standard for LEGO conversion games.
The spin with this one is that in addition to being able to actively play plenty of humanoid characters, players are also able to play just about any dinosaur that has ever been featured in one of the films.
Not only that, but some thought has been put into the puzzles, so players aren’t simply playing the same game in a different skin when they switch characters or dinosaurs. They actually need to take some time to think about how that particular character or dinosaur would be able to solve the puzzle.
It is a little gem of a title that kids will adore and adults will love as long as they can get past the slightly kid-like aesthetic and corny jokes that are impossible to avoid with a LEGO title.