Over the last 20 years or so, Activision has become one of the biggest names in the gaming industry. They bring in billions of dollars in revenue every year and are responsible for some of the most popular franchises. Yet, they have not always been seen as a publisher that deals in quality.
While it is hard to argue with the success of series such as Call of Duty, Activision has had a bad reputation. Many players feel like they put profits over the fans, releasing similar titles without focusing on innovation and gameplay.
However, this is not true of every one of their games. Activision has released a number of great games that every gamer should at least try. These are the best Activision games ever made.
While Prototype had plenty of hype before it released, the result didn’t quite live up to those expectations. Things were a little different by the time the sequel launched in 2012. Radical Entertainment was able to take everything that worked from the first game and refine it for the second entry in the series. What players got was a fun title that made moving through the fictional city a joy. Taking inspiration from Spider-Man, it allowed players to clamber up buildings and bound into the air without a moment’s hesitation. Combined with a deeper and more emotional story, Prototype 2 was everything you could want from a sequel.
Pitfall was arguably the game that first put Activision on the map. David Crane developed the game in 1982 for the Atari 2600 and it became an instant hit. Players have to travel around a jungle collecting treasures, finding them all before a 20-minute timer elapses. It was one of the very first popular side-scrollers and set the standard for all future platformers. Widely considered to be one of the best games of all time, Pitfall influenced games such as Prince of Persia.
Call of Duty
The original Call of Duty was something of a surprise hit when it released in 2003. The first-person shooter set a new benchmark for quality gameplay and excellent graphics. With a singleplayer campaign that was noted for its realism and historical accuracy, it told a gripping story. But the biggest innovation came in the multiplayer, which introduced a number of unique modes and helped to rejuvenate the entire genre. This was mainly due to the fast-paced action and refined gunplay on show. Of course, the original title also set the stage for all the future Call of Duty games to come.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
By the time that Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock released in 2007, Guitar Hero was established as the premier music rhythm franchise. The third game was the first to be developed by Neversoft and it took everything that worked from earlier games. Bringing along a new sense of outlandishness, Guitar Hero III was more difficult but also far more rewarding than ever before. Critics and fans hailed it as the pinnacle of the franchise and subsequent titles would fail to live up to the standard it set.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
Although Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is not technically a new game, it is arguably one of Activision’s best ever releases. That’s because it includes remasters of the first three games in the Crash Bandicoot series. Released in 2017, it brought the best entries in the franchise together in a collection for the first time. Not only that but it also includes graphical and performance enhancements to make it even more appealing. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is perfect for returning players or those completely new to the series.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The impact of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is hard to overstate. Released in 2007, it came at a time when games like Halo were dominating the first-person shooter genre. Quickly establishing itself at the top of the charts, the title became an instant hit all around the world. The fantastic online multiplayer and gritty story were the two main factors that made it such a success. A system of unlocking new weapons and equipment introduced addictive RPG elements to the series. Meanwhile, a series of engaging and balanced maps made playing online an always enjoyable experience.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Released in 1998, Spyro the Dragon came at a time when Nintendo still very much dominated the platformer genre. Few companies had been able to break their hold. But Insomniac Games tried to do just that with this colorful 3D series featuring a cute little dragon. Several sequels followed after the success of the first title. When Activision took over publishing duties in 2018, they immediately began a project to re-release the earlier games. The end result, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, was a collection similar to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, with upgraded visuals and performance.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was something of a revelation when it first launched in 1999. It brought the joy of skateboarding to consoles in a way that had never been achieved before. Neversoft’s simulator didn’t bother trying to be as realistic as possible. Instead, it just tried to be as fun as it could be. That was the smart choice, combining the outrageous the thrill of the sport with the outrageous characters involved in it. A series of sequels would follow and the franchise is still fondly remembered to this day. Small wonder remakes of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 are coming this fall.
What are your favorite Activision games? Tell us in the comments below!