Best Jak And Daxter Games: The Entire Series, Ranked

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Nowadays, Naughty Dog is a well-known studio. They’re pumping out record-breaking games like Uncharted and The Last of Us every couple of years.

Truly giants of the industry, and their journey to where they are now is paved with other massively influential series, such as Jak and Daxter.

As their main project during the PS2 era, Jak and Daxter served as a training ground where developers poured their whole being into creating new experiences with each release.

Want a platformer? There’s Jak and Daxter.

A shooter? Jak and Daxter.

Racer? Jak and Daxter.

They did it all, and it was always fantastic.

It’s been a while since we saw the famous duo, but the love remains strong in the fanbase. And hope is the last thing to die out. So join me as we take a look back at the series – and rank the best games in this franchise while we’re at it.

 

6. Jak X: Combat Racing (2005)

Jak X: Combat Racing (2005) - Video Game Screenshot

Being at the bottom of the list doesn’t mean Jak X: Combat Racing is any less fun than other entries in the series.

But it would’ve been unfair to place a spin-off over the excellent experiences in the main entries.

Taking place a year after the events of Jak 3, our heroes find themselves in Kras City, a dystopian locale where Combat Racing is popular.

Long story short, Jak gets poisoned and must race for the antidote.

As suggested by the title, Jak X is a vehicular combat game with a focus on racing. But it’s not just any Mario Kart clone.

This title has a bad-ass personality, a killer soundtrack that gets your trigger finger twitching, and some of the best handling I’ve experienced in a game of its kind.

The graphics also look gorgeous on the PS2. And it has some of the most exciting cinematics in the franchise as a whole, so it’s really worth playing.

 

5. Daxter (2006)

Daxter 2006 Video Game Screenshot

It’s always a pleasure to talk about a PSP game.

It’s one of the most underrated consoles ever made, with insane graphical capabilities and some excellent games.

Daxter is one of the very best.

Developed by Ready at Dawn, this action-packed platformer occurs during the 2-year time skip shown in the first scene of Jak II, just before the titular Daxter rescues his friend from Baron Praxis.

Daxter’s bug exterminator skills are used creatively to help you overcome the game’s challenges, but surviving can get intense.

Overall, it’s one of the most addictive games in the franchise.

Easily my favorite parts are the dream sequences based on well-known movies such as The Matrix and The Lord of The Rings.

They’re hilarious and serve to break up the action and keep things fresh.

 

4. Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier (2009)

Jak And Daxter: The Lost Frontier - Game Screenshot

But Daxter wasn’t the only game in the franchise to make it to Sony’s widescreen handheld console, nor was it the best.

Developed by High Impact Games for the PS2 and PSP, The Lost Frontier follows the titular combo after an escort mission meant to help Keira become a Sage gets interrupted by sky pirates.

They crash on a nearby island, and the fun begins.

Besides the extra-angsty Jak, this game isn’t all that different from the main line of PS2 games. Except for aerial combat, which is just fantastic here.

While it presents players with an exciting narrative, challenging puzzles, and the same brand of humor the series is known for, it fails to reach the innovation and general excitement of its predecessors – even with the addition of Dark Daxter levels!

 

3. Jak 3 (2004)

Jak 3 - Game Screenshot

Jak is one of those series that, despite keeping reliable quality standards that make every game just as good as the last, it never truly re-captures the magic that made the original so well-loved.

Even so, Jak 3 remains a fantastic action-packed experience.

It offers several new additions to the gameplay (compared to previous titles) that keep the franchise from feeling stale, such as driving sections and turning into Light Jak.

The story this time around is much more focused on Jak himself, rather than the situations around him. And it answers many questions about his past, while also giving clues as to where his future will take him.

With more main hubs to explore, humongous bosses to fight, and a wide array of weapons to master, this PS2 game remains just as fun today as it was back when it released.

 

2. Jak II (2003)

Jak II - Game Screenshot

I’m a fan of games with well-written stories.

And Jak’s second installment might have the best one in the entire series.

The game starts with Daxter breaking Jak out of captivity, where he was being experimented on by the evil overlord Baron Praxis.

They proceed to dismantle his dystopian rule over Haven City. Good times.

This game’s aesthetic is fine-tuned to reflect the dark, gritty dystopian setting. It also introduced the possibility of becoming the Dark Eco-charged Dark Jak, to make it even edgier.

Even the greater difficulty and increased focus on combat continually remind you that you’re just one dude going against an entire army of baddies.

Luckily, the game also introduces many more gadgets and weapons that’ll help you prevail over Baron Praxis’ forces

 

1. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2001)

Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy - Game Screenshot

At last, we’ve arrived at the game that started the craze. And I believe it does deserve the #1 spot.

The original Jak and Daxter was a colorful and wild experience unlike anything seen before.

It was ambitious, presenting players with one of the first seamless open worlds in a console game, impressive graphics, and incredibly varied gameplay.

Jak and Daxter’s quest to save the world from being flooded with Dark Eco was straightforward.

But also well-written, and its tone was at just the right spot between serious and humorous to match its aesthetic.

Sure, it wasn’t really combat-oriented. Which became a bit of a must as the series developed.

But the mini-games, puzzles, and platforming were exciting by themselves.

It was unadulterated Jak and Daxter.

Its own thing, whereas its sequels all focused on adapting to the general audience’s interests, like shooters and angsty stories.

No other early PS2 title could match the memories that both I and an army of young fans created within this game’s universe.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.