Get in Losers, We have Video Games to Play
When we started this list we all gleefully remembered playing the first Jurassic Park game on whatever system we had as kids. As we got deeper into the conversation, we realized something. We had all played vastly different games, despite them having the same title. Many of us stopped after the first, or even second iteration (but not all). We decided to find more games to play before Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom comes out (because we need to), and we realized something.
We had missed a few titles. Quite a few titles. A LOT of titles. Not only that, but each system seemed to have a completely different game that had the exact same name, which means… we had to divide and conquer. Thankfully there are quite a few of us, and while we couldn’t find all of them. We did our best. So here is a tour of the vast array of Jurassic Park Games and we included the brand spanking new ✨ Jurassic World Evolution ✨, because we are all dying to go pick up our copies.
Jurassic Park (Genesis)
Like all the Jurassic Park titles you controlled Dr. Grant as you attempt to escape Jurassic Park. It was a 2D platformer and you side scrolled your way through the island using non-lethal weapons to take out dinosaurs who tried to stop you. As you battled your way off the island you square off against raptors and the rex as well as other dinosaurs. Speaking of raptors…
YOU COULD PLAY AS ONE! How cool is that! When you chose to play the Raptor route (it was shorter, but who cares) you spent your time trying to avoid InGen scientists and looking for a way to escape the island. You win when you sneak onto a boat and successfully leave — likely to lay eggs on the mainland and end us all.
Jurassic Park (SNES)
This sure isn’t the same game as the one we described above. This game has the same name, sure, but it has very little else in common. You control Dr. Grant, but you aren’t trying to escape Jurassic Park. You are trying to collect all the eggs before they hatch. There were also disconcerting bits where you played in a doom-like first person perspective and collect keycards. The biggest fault of this game was that there was no way to save, and no password system, so you better finish it in one sitting or you lose all your progress. No pressure.
Jurassic Park (Game Gear)
This one was more like the Genesis version of the game, sort of. Instead of non-lethal means, Dr. Grant now uses a pistol (non-lethal be damned). The game is a bit more non-linear and you take your pistol rampage wherever you like. Each area has a vehicle segment, a side scrolling pistol segment, and then a boss fight.
Jurassic Park (Game Boy and NES)
Like the SNES version you get a top down perspective and you play Dr. Grant. Unlike the SNES version you don’t wander aimlessly. You need to gather enough eggs in each area to move on to the next room. You fight all manner of dinosaurs and occasionally fight bosses. Dr. Grant gets one weapon which seems to be… a rocket launcher (we’re not joking). Over all, it’s not our favorite of the Jurassic Park named games, but not the worst. We love that you could take it with you.
Jurassic Park (Arcade)
Another game with the same name that is nothing like the others. Finding this in an arcade was about the coolest thing ever because it was enclosed with a bench, so you got to sit down while you shot dinosaurs. If your arcade was anything like ours, there was pretty much always a line for this thing. The game takes place several months after the movie and you defend the vehicle from dinosaur attacks. The game ends when you drive off all the dinos, and you get a happy ending with all of the dinosaurs caged again. We call that a happy ending — except for all the dinosaurs you murdered to get here.
Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues (Game Boy)
A non-canonical addition to the series. Doctor Grant’s car breaks down during an intentional power outage and you control him as he tries to make his way to safety. You fight pterosaurs and raptors as well as a variety of boss monsters. It was okay but definitely not one of our favorites.
Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues (SNES)
We want the creators of Jurassic Park games to promise us that after this they will stop making two video games that are completely different and naming them the same thing. Okay. That’s done. This game is a run and gun. InGen wants to reopen the park, but their competitor BioSyn is trying to take over the island. Dr. Hammond asks Dr. Grant to return to the island with the help of a tactical sergeant named Wolfskin (yes, that’s really his name).
You had to use non-lethal weapons on the dinosaurs and lethal weapons on the humans — or risk killing too many dino’s and ending the game early. The coolest thing about this game was the ability to play with a friend in co-op mode. Otherwise it was pretty forgettable.
Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition (Genesis)
This is the same game as the original Jurassic Park for the Genesis excepting a few minor details. The first most obvious one, both Dr. Grant and the Raptor can now kill their foes (so much for non-lethal). Dr. Grant also get a couple cool new tricks including riding dinosaurs and using zip-lines. The story line stops being liniar (because — that’s why) and Dr. Grant gets to use more weapons, because he no longer cares about keeping dinos alive so why not give him a bigger arsonal? A pretty good update, but basically the same thing.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Playstation and Sega Saturn)
This game was pretty cool because you could play as five different characters. You play as characters struggling to survive on Site B. Our favorite part? Over half the playable characters are dinosaurs — and who doesn’t want to be a dinosaur? You could play as a Compsognathus, Human Hunter, Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Sarah Harding (aka Human Prey). You play have to survive through various levels of increasing chaos and the final levels consist of Sarah Harding escaping the island.
The best part of this game, however, appeared only if you picked up every piece of DNA (dino-DNA if you will), the collectibles you find throughout the game. If you 100% the game, Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm congratulates you for winning and then suggests you go outside and do something else. This is by far one of our favorite easter eggs — ever.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Sega Genesis)
Dang it Jurassic Park, didn’t we just ask you to stop using the same title for different games!? This is getting out of hand. Here is another game that has the EXACT SAME NAME, but is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT! Okay, moving on. While you can’t play as a dinosaur (bad move), we consider this the better console version of Lost World.
The gameplay was a bit more inventive and fun. Instead of side scrolling you get a top down view. You play as an unnamed character (could be anyone), trying to capture dinosaurs while preventing rival hunters from transporting their catches to the mainland. Even better you can play co-op with a friend or competitively against them. Each area ends in a boss fight before you can move on and the game really pushed the Genesis to its limits.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Game Boy)
Another unnamed character! You get to try to stop smugglers from trying to take dinosaurs off the island. It’s a run through a level and collect stuff before moving on game. Not too much to say, but we always love an addiction we can take with us.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Game Gear)
Another fun handheld game. You play as a hunter looking into the status of Isla Sorna. You have to stop other hunters from stealing dinosaurs off the island which is pretty cool. There are also two levels you play as the compsognathus which we think is awesome.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (Arcade)
This is the only game that seems to have anything to do with the actual story. Only it kind of doesn’t. Ian Malcolm and Sarah Harding go missing on Isla Sorna, and a rescue party (that’s you) is sent to find them. You fight your way through all manner of dinosaur attacks to save them, including big boss fights with Tyrannosaurus Rex and Carnotaurus.
Sometimes other survivors would pop up — and by pop up we mean they would be getting mauled by dinosaurs. If you saved them, you got bonuses which would help you advance. It was a bit more fun than the original Arcade game, but that’s in part because the graphics had advanced.
Chaos Island: The Lost World (PC)
Ever want to hatch your own dinosaur army? Well then Chaos Island is for you! The game followed the cast of The Lost World (They even got them to voice act the game, which rocks), after crashing on Isla Sorna. They possess a serum which allows them to control dinosaurs that they raise. You spend your time battling wild dinosaurs and hunters who are trying to steal dinosaurs for an amusement park. Just like in the movie you save the baby rex (with the help of your dino squad) and then make your way to the communications center to request an evacuation. If you complete the game you get a bonus level where you play as Mama Rex in San Francisco. Which is an excellent addition to the game.
This game was supposed to be the digital sequel to the movie. This game wanted to push the boundaries of what was possible for gaming. This game wanted so badly to be something incredible — and sort of fell flat. They tried too hard to make it too advanced, and well, most computers couldn’t handle it. Which made it an unplayable mess to most people. Then they tried to rush production to meet a pre-planned release date, which shot it in the foot again. If that wasn’t enough they aimed for such a high level of realism with the gameplay the interface became clunky and a pain to use — another shot to the other foot.
You play as Anna who is the sole survivor of a plane crash. You have to fight your way through Isla Sorna to the top of a mountain where you can contact the US Navy for rescue. Unfortunately the clunky gameplay and over complicated controls make it a nearly impossible task.
Warpath: Jurassic Park (Playstation)
This was the game every Jurassic Park fan had been waiting for. A chance to sink our teeth (quite literally) into dino on dino combat. Warpath was a traditional fighting game where you pit dinosaurs up against each other and fight to see who wins. Each dinosaur had special moves and various skills to give the advantage in the ring.
Unfortunately for all our hype, the game didn’t quite measure up. The animations on the dinosaurs were good, but everything else was kinda… meh. The backgrounds were rushed and they didn’t even offer intro animations for the dinosaurs leaving it feeling a little lacking. The AI also was lacking and if you weren’t playing against another human in versus mode, you could easily win every match.
Jurassic Park III: Dino Defender (PC and Mac)
A nice return to better games. Dino Defender goes back to the non-violent means of handling dinosaurs. You play a Dino Defender (a dude in a bio-mechanical suit) who is tasked with turning the power back on Isla Sorna and capturing the rampaging dinosaurs before they destroy each other. It’s a platformer and can be pretty tricky.
You have to use your various non-lethal methods to either distract or capture the dinosaurs in your way. It was challenging (some fans say too challenging, but to them we say “Get good”) and it was over all a great game. We really enjoy trying to puzzle solve our way through the game.
Jurassic Park III: Danger Zone (PC)
This was a spiritual successor to the Dino Defender game — if by spiritual successor we mean it used a lot of the same sounds and a few of the same cut scenes. You are a Dino Defender (still a dude in a suit), and you are sent to get new Dino-DNA samples from Jurassic Park because the labs are running out! Only they decided it was a board game — and needed Mario Party style mini games. It’s a surprisingly easy game and you really can only play against a pretty easy AI. We recommend skipping this one and just playing Dino Defender.
Jurassic Park III (Arcade)
This arcade game is another title that comes after the movie. It’s graphics felt dated at the time of the release, but it was still a fun time. You play as mercenaries trying to rescue survivors who crashed on the island. You fight all manner of dinosaurs and plow your way through boss battles.
The game added an “escape” button that allowed you to temporarily run away and escape damage, but it didn’t add enough to the game to be anything groundbreaking. It’s fun, but not phenomenal.
Jurassic Park III: Island Attack (Game Boy Advance)
A game hailed by critics as “Not great” we have to agree. The gameplay is clunky. The graphics are okay, but the music hardly adds anything to the game. You play as Alan Grant and you have to escape to the coast to get rescued. We really don’t have a lot to say about this one — probably skip it.
Jurassic Park III: The DNA Factor (Game Boy Advance)
Another Game Boy Disappointment. You are trying to rescue DNA samples from a crashed cargo plane, and that’s about all the plot you get. There is this weird background and foreground path mechanic that didn’t work. The graphics were okay, but everything else was so lacking it didn’t make up for it. Skip it.
Jurassic Park III: Park Builder (Game Boy Advance)
The best of the Gameboy Advance games, but given the competition, that’s not saying much. You got to build a Jurassic Park style Park (that feels redundant), using DNA you collect throughout the game. You had to balance building exhibits filled with dinosaurs, meeting your dino’s needs, and tourist areas like hotels and restaurants.
The biggest problem with this game was that it had no tutorial. None. Park Builder had a lot of moving parts, and if you could figure them out it was an enjoyable game, but it took a lot of figuring out.
Scan Command: Jurassic Park (PC)
This really is prime Jurassic Park fun. An evil scientist named Dr. Irene Corts has taken over Jurassic Park with the help of her genetically enhanced dinos. It’s up to you to stop her, and instead of tossing you into the boots of a hunter, or Dr. Grant — they throw you into the claws of the dinosaurs! The graphics were good, the soundtrack was good. All around it’s a really fun game.
The most interesting part of this video game came in the form of a barcode scanner that came with the game. If you scanned enough barcodes you could use them to upgrade your in game dinosaurs when you hooked it back up with your computer. This was a really neat mechanic and worked really well with the game. If you can find a copy with working scanner, we highly recommend giving it a try — it makes grocery shopping so much more fun.
Jurassic Park: Dinosaur Battles (PC)
The exact same game as Scan Command, but you don’t need the scanner. That’s literally the only difference.
Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (PC, Playstation 2, and Xbox)
This game was a great addition Tycoon or Sim style games. If you enjoy business sims or zoo sims this game is for you. You get to build your park and design attractions the way you wanted. Operation Genesis did what Park Builder wanted to — and succeeded. It came out on three systems, but we highly recommend the PC version, as modders have had a field day with it. The modding community has added better AI, new behaviors, new dinosaurs, better skins, you name it — they’ve done it. It’s a fun game… and if it weren’t for Evolution coming out, we would recommend it as the best park builder sim on our list.
Jurassic Park: The Game (PC, OS X, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, iOS)
An episodic adventure that came out on pretty much every system available at the time. The game is interesting because it takes place at the same time as the original movie, meaning you see things from an alternative perspective. Like all of Telltale’s games, it’s a point and click adventure with quicktime events. It’s fun, interesting, and a great continuation of the story.
Jurassic Park Builder (Android, iOS, PC)
This is Jurassic Park gone Freemium. We aren’t big fans of Freemium games here. It’s really annoying to have to wait hours for things to happen such as building buildings. Don’t even get us started on the lottery system that gets you new dinos. We love the idea of running our own Jurassic Park, but we would rather fall back on Operation Genesis and deal with the outdated graphics, than get conned into spending lots of money to unlock that one dino we really want. It’s amusing, in short bursts, and alright if you have patience to spare. Mostly it’s an idle game to sink time into and not get much back out of. We give it a pass.
Jurassic Park Arcade (Arcade – duh)
This is not the Arcade game from 1994. This game is an all new, all updated, high speed thrill ride. You play as a security team sent to bring back one of each dinosaur species from the island. On your hunt you have to contend with the dinosaurs running wild on the island. The action is great and better yet — there is a deluxe version with moving seats. We think this is a fantastic addition to the arcade line, and if you haven’t been to an arcade in a while, get out there and give it a try.
Jurassic World: The Game (iOS)
An updated and new version of Jurassic Park: Builder. It’s the same concept. We still don’t like Freemium. We still don’t recommend getting into this one.
Jurassic World: Alive (iOS, Android)
This sucker just dropped out of the blue and it’s pretty cool. While it’s pretty clearly a rip off of everything that made Pokemon Go good, they added some cool features unique to the game, like the ability to have random battles with strangers. The freemium aspect is reduced in this one compared to the predessors, and it’s encouraging fans to go for a walk. Over all we like it and it’s a fun thing to do while getting some exsersize — Especailly if you’re more into dinosaurs than pokemon.
Jurassic World Evolution (Steam, Xbox Live, Playstation Network)
This is the big one guys! Hit the alarms and get ready! We are finally getting a new NON-FREEMIUM park building game! Ever since Operation Genesis we have been waiting for this moment and it’s finally here. We’re ready to build the biggest and best park yet. We’re ready to prevent the mistakes of Jurassic Park, and Jurassic World, and any other Jurassic that comes after it. We want to create the biggest, baddest park ever.
We know that the developers have been working closely with universal and have been in the archives digging up references. From what we can tell this is going to be the most accurate, most astonishing game yet and we can’t wait to pick up our copies.