This week sees the release of Ratchet and Clank, a reboot of sorts from two of gaming’s best oft-forgotten heroes.
It seems like an age since we had anything new from the series, but we’ve really been spoilt for choice over the years, with 14 games to keep us busy since 2002.
With that many to sift through, it can often be hard to know where to start. Let us be a guiding light as we bring you our definitive ranking of the Ratchet and Clank games, from worst to best.
Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault (2012)
That lewd sounding title is enough to put anyone off a family friendly title, but it was just one aspect of this game’s woes. A wonky tower defense mechanic, seemingly tacked on to the gameplay’s usually tight platforming, relegated spin-off Full Frontal Assault to the worst in the series.
Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One (2011)
This PS3 title introduced ‘drop-in, drop-out’ co-op to the Ratchet and Clank series, with mixed results. On the one hand, the ability to get your friends round for some couch co-op in Ratchet and Clank‘s colourful world was a coup. On the other hand, the puzzles were easy and the campaign was far too short.
Secret Agent Clank (2008)
Our little robot friend gets promoted from mere side-kick status for this PSP spin-off, which saw Clank undertake a secret agent guise that riffed on James Bond movies at every turn. The game received mixed reviews upon its release, with a PS2 port faring even worse.
Ratchet and Clank Future: Quest for Booty (2008)
This game – the second in the Ratchet and Clank Future series – clocked in at a measly three to four hours of game time. As such it was sold at a much lower price than many retail games, but that couldn’t really save it from being overlooked among the wider canon. Still, while it lasted it was the usual tight gameplay you would expect.
Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus (2013)
This PS3 Ratchet and Clank titled delivered some much needed classic gameplay after a slew of disappointing spin-offs and even introduced some inventive new gravity concepts to the mix. It was still mired by a short play length that tarnished the overall experience though.
Ratchet: Deadlocked (2005)
Things took a darker turn in 2005 for Ratchet’s first standalone game that saw him compete in gladiatorial style competitions in an effort to free his kidnapped friends. With more emphasis on combat than shooting, this was a cutesy looking platformer that really earned its ‘T for Teen’ rating.
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters (2007)
Ratchet and Clank‘s debut for the PSP is also one of their more well-rounded titles, coming at a time when developers Insomniac were still experimenting and refining their original concepts. In fact, they spawned a sister studio – High Impact Games – especially to concentrate on this handheld effort, and the benefits are obvious.
Ratchet and Clank (2016)
Ratchet and Clank‘s latest has only been out a few days (it was released on April 12) but already it’s been raking in some pretty positive reviews. It feels like decades since we last saw the platforming duo and even though it’s only been a three-year wait, it’s been an agonising one. With a film coming out in a number of weeks, Sony looks set to fire these two into the mainstream consciousness.
Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (2009)
Insomniac took a gamble with this 2009 effort which introduced time mechanics to the platform shooter, and with great effect. One of the more memorable entries in the Ratchet and Clank Future series, this is certainly a top 5 contender of the franchise.
Ratchet and Clank (2002)
The original (but not quite best) Ratchet and Clank debuted strongly on the PS2 in 2002 and kicked off a strong franchise in fine style.
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (2007)
The PS3 debut of Ratchet and Clank saw the first installment of the Future series and was met with critical acclaim upon release. Engaging and fun gameplay patched over the game’s technical issues and Tools of Destruction was nominated for several awards from gaming publications and was considered a commercial success.
Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando (2003)
Insomniac games very nearly nailed the formula on their second try with Going Commando, the series’ first sequel. Monstrously hard in places, Going Commando is considered one of the best PlayStation 2 games ever made with improved graphics, engaging gameplay and a longer story adding to its appeal.
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal (2004)
Third time lucky for Insomniac Games, who struck gold with Up Your Arsenal. The game refined everything that was already loved about the duo’s games, while adding multiplayer action to the mix. A definite classic game, and the finest Ratchet and Clank game going.
Ratchet & Clank is available now