Best Dinosaur Games
July 2019 Update: We’ve added new entries to this list. They’re the latest and greatest titles in the genre.
Dinosaurs! Everyone loves the scaly beasts! Or are they even scaley? I can barely keep up with that particular part of canon anymore. Brontosaurus never existed, all my favorite dinosaurs actually looked a whole lot different, tyrannosaurus rex was ate carrion and didn’t hunt – or did he?
Anyway, we are gathered here tonight to celebrate video games that feature dinosaurs. Those beloved ancient beasts, staple food of any healthy boy’s diet. Or girl’s diet. Not that love for dinosaurs would be gender specific. Dinosaurs are a huge thing in popculture, so obviously they are a huge thing in gaming too.
Over the years, there have been a ton of games in which our lizardy friends had one or another role to play. There was Wonderboy in the 80s, Mario had the most famous of gaming dinosaurs ever (who even had his own game), but we’re focusing on the real deal here. Big beasts being big and stompy.
Kids (of all ages) love dinosaurs. As friends, as adversaries, as beasts of burden. Show me someone who doesn’t. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you were subjected to a ton of dinosaur stuff, read Jurassic Park after seeing the movie and didn’t really get what it was all about until years later. You watched a ton of TV series that featured dinosaurs. Dino Riders! Extreme Dinosaurs! So obviously you will have had a lot of love for video games feature them too. So let’s celebrate a fine selection of the best games featuring the best of extinct animals!
If you enjoy this list, you’ll probably like our list of the best pirate video games.
LEGO: Jurassic World
The game got mixed reviews thanks to some bugginess, poor audio patching from the original films, and frustrating Compsognathus battles. But it did allow you later on to play as a dinosaur character, making it at least worth a mention. Because playable dinosaurs. Playable. Dinosaurs. LEGO: Jurassic World will not go down as the best of the Jurassic Park franchise video game tie-ins but it will still be among the most memorable.
ARK: Survival Evolved
- Developer: Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efecto Studios, Virtual Basement
- Publisher: Studio Wildcard
- Platforms: PC, PS4, XBO
In this survival title, players fend for themselves on a mysterious island and tend to their basic needs while learning to hunt and tame dinosaurs. It also allows you to ride them, turning you basically into a pre-history Mario on a giant Yoshi. Currently in Early Access, ARK: Survival Evolved has a lot of positive pre-release buzz.
Off-road Velociraptor Safari
- Developer: Flashbang Studios
- Publisher: Flashbang Studios
- Platforms: PC
One of the few games, maybe even the only one, on this list to get dinosaurs right, a game where velociraptors look more like they probably really looked, and not like they looked in Jurassic Park. Meaning, these velociraptors sport some wicked plumage.
This here was a free little indie game, where the player was cast as a sentient velociraptor who got into a jeep to run down other, fellow velociraptors in a jungle. That’s pretty much all there is to it, but the dinosaurs feature so prominently in this one, this list wouldn’t be complete without it.
Jurassic Park: Trespasser
- Developer: Dreamworks Interactive
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Platforms: PC
Oh, Trespasser. You could have been the game to end all games, instead you ended up being a pile of rubbish. This overly ambitious project set out to revolutionize user interfaces for first person perspectives, but failed miserably by making things just too complicated. Plus, the game was so hardware hungry, it put Origin games (“Games from today for the computer of tomorrow!”) to shame.
Riding on the success of the first two Jurassic Park movies, this game was supposed to tie in with The Lost World – Jurassic Park 2. However, development hell struck, and what was supposed to be one of the biggest, most innovative games of the decade turned out to be a major dud, credited by a lot of contemporary critics as the biggest disappointment of the year.