The Crash Bandicoot remakes have been massively succesful, but where does the series go now?
Gaming’s iconic orange tornado is back in a big way. The beloved platforming mascot had his triumphant return in 2017’s Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, and that remade trilogy ended up selling over 10 million units after debuting as a one-year PlayStation exclusive. The successful retelling of those games eventually led to a popular Crash spin-off getting a remake: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled.
It’s been a great couple of years for Crash Bandicoot fans, and the series’ return to the limelight has been felt across the gaming industry. Heck, even the Spyro the Dragon franchise followed in Crash’s footsteps and got a remake of its original trilogy. Now that Activision has reintroduced Crash Bandicoot to a new generation of gamers, what comes next for the famed marsupial?
There are a few ways this could shake out.
The easy route for Activision to take would be more remakes. There’s no shortage of games in the series to bring back, although few hold the same charm amongst fans as the original trilogy. In my opinion, Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex may be the only one worth revisiting, as it served as an introduction to Crunch Bandicoot. Even then, I don’t see the appeal in revisiting that title if it involves re-releasing middling games like Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant. It’s possible that Wrath of the Cortex could release as a standalone release, but I’m not sure fans would accept just one game unless the price is right.
Crash Bash is another spin-off that could find some footing with longtime fans of the IP. It released on the original PlayStation in 2000 as a solution of sorts to Nintendo’s Mario Party, although it was met with mediocre reviews. A Crash Bash remake with revamped mini-games, new characters and new modes could be a lot of fun. It would also serve as a nice stopgap before Activision takes on bigger Crash projects.
There’s only so many times Activision can revisit the same well though, so eventually they’ll run out of games to remake and will have to push the series forward. Fortunately, there’s a lot of room for the bandicoot to blossom.
Crash Bandicoot crossovers and cartoons
Activision needs time to develop a new game, but there are other ways that the series can bear Wumpa Fruit: crossovers and animated specials or shows. In truth, Crash Bandicoot isn’t a stranger to either after cameoing in the Skylanders Netflix show and video game series. A Crash Bandicoot cartoon show was even in development before eventually being scrapped for unknown reasons.
One caveat for whatever comes next for Crash: it’s best to leave a live-action film out of the equation. Given the backlash experienced by the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie, there are clear challenges when translating beloved gaming mascots into live action. Since Crash was already established in Skylanders, perhaps his own spin-off show would work best.
If there’s a desire to keep appealing to new audiences, I have another idea that might work. Crash Bandicoot would make for a crazy character addition to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Considering Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy was once 2018’s fastest-selling Switch title in the UK, there’s clearly an appetite.
Having the bandicoot go toe-to-toe with Mario and Sonic would be a buzz-worthy note for anyone that experienced the “console war” of the late ’90s. Perhaps that crossover is better reserved for a hypothetical second Smash Fighters Pass if 2020 won’t feature any Crash games. A crossover of that magnitude would create headlines and get gamers excited. It’s a win-win for Nintendo and Activision.
New Crash Bandicoot games
The last, and perhaps most obvious direction is a brand new Crash Bandicoot game or trilogy. Revisiting previous game with an HD makeover is great, but imagine how exciting a new entry would be? There are so many directions a new game could take, from a traditional platformer, to a new Crash Team Racing, to a new Mario Party-style Crash Bash. The world needs more Crash, it’s not an maybe, it’s a must. The absolutely thrilling thought to consider is this: if Activision considers Crash Bandicoot a “flagship” property, why wouldn’t they make a new game? Let’s hope a new title is in development right now and will be set for reveal in the coming years.