Tall and skinny. No limbs. Very famous. This list ranks all of the Rayman games.
Rayman is one of the best platforming heroes of all time. He has won the hearts of gamers all over the world with his helicopter hair, floating body, and irritable smile. Rayman is a great example of the saying “quality over quantity,” even though he hasn’t been in a full-on mainline game since 2013.
All five of his solo console adventures have something to offer, whether it’s tight gameplay, beautiful graphics, or that cheeky French humor. But which game is the best?
We all have to begin somewhere. Rayman was first thought of when game creator Michel Ancel drew him as a practice exercise in the late 1980s. His first adventure would be played on the PS1, SEGA Saturn, PC, and Atari Jaguar.
It has a lot of creative depth and is a cultural landmark in the game medium, but it doesn’t hold up as well against its successors. Rayman has to free the Electoons from Mr. Dark in the first game. For someone with that name, Mr. Dark probably didn’t have many job options.
You’ll have to find your way through six twee worlds, such as one made of candy and another from musical instruments. Everything is nice, and there’s no doubt that, for the mid-1990s, it looks amazing. In the same way, Rayman’s smooth movement has more frames than an over-stuffed art show, which gives even simple jumps weight. Rayman 1 isn’t very good because it’s too hard. The level of challenge is stuck there, and the game was made in a time when games weren’t long enough to risk making them too easy.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (2003)
Rayman 3 is one of only two 3D games in the series, and it tries to improve on the way Rayman 2 made the game play. But even though the third movie is better than the second one in many ways, it’s generally worse. This game wasn’t made by Michel Ancel’s normal group of friends, but by a separate group. It was specifically made for a younger audience that might not have been around during his classic era.
This is instantly clear from Rayman’s slight redesign, which makes him look more angular and tough, as well as from the smirk on the box art. Many of the silly parts of Rayman 2 are gone, and many of the characters that became popular after that game are gone. In their place are broad, monochromatic landscapes and smug, self-aware dialogue from after Shrek.
There’s also an odd obsession on minigame stages, like a bad snowboarding part. But give credit where credit’s due: the story is crazy, and that alone makes 3 worth the trip. Where else would you see Globox looking at a corpse being cut open?
Rayman Origins (2011)
Origins was Rayman’s triumphant return to platforming games after almost a decade away (except for a few handheld games and his time with the Rabbids). It put the arm-challenged explorer back on the map for good. Setting a new standard for 2D co-op platformers, it had bright, hand-animated graphics and movements that felt like butter.
Again, the story is appropriately jumbled, as Rayman and his friends’ annoying snoring makes its way into the Land of the Livid Dead, home to a group of cruel and grumpy creatures.
They send an army up because they can’t stand not being able to sleep. Soon, the Glade of Dreams is threatened again, and the Rubenesque girls are locked up. We’re not going to let that happen. You can play alone or with three other people. You’ll dash, twirl, and karate chop your way through some of the tightest platforming courses in the genre. There are high-speed chase stages and boss fights that take up the whole screen. For Drive Mad fans, this is the best game out there.
Rayman Legends (2013)
up until it did. As an appetizer, Rayman Origins was Legends, which is a huge spread of all the things that made Origins great, plus more. Ubisoft took Origins’ already perfect art style and made it even better. This can only be dark magic. It’s full of characters; it’s like seeing Rayman’s world through the eyes of an artist from Studio Ghibli who had just watched all of Pixar’s movies in one sitting.
It’s also fun to play, and even though you’ll mostly be playing with other people, you can still have a great time by yourself. Legends was originally only going to be available on the Wii U, and that troubled system is still the best way to enjoy this classic. For example, the silly Murfy levels were made to work best on the GamePad because that’s how they were meant to be used.
There is also a lot of extra stuff to do, like football games and scratch cards, to break up the action. And that’s not even counting the musical stages. ‘Black Betty’ with wild hordes of enemies? Please say yes.
Rayman 2: The Great Escape (1999)
Rayman 2 is famous for having been copied a lot of times, so it can be played on almost every system. The chances are good that you’ve either played this game, seen it advertised, or at least had a device that could play it. The Nintendo 64, the DS, and the 3DS have all been there. The PlayStation 1 and 2 have also been there. Also, it stands out because it’s bloody great.
As rare as it is, this game is a better follow up to the first game. It has all the features you could want in a shooter. Of course, Admiral Razorbeard is the boss of the Robo-Pirate clan. When he attacks, Rayman and his friends have to make things right. To do this, you’ll have to hop through a conga line of famous places, collecting Lums and getting new skills that let you get to different parts of the map.
Stage tricks like TNT barrels that can be thrown keep things interesting, and the story is surprisingly intense. This story is more serious than Rayman 3, which was too cool for school. By the time Rayman limps out of the final fight as the winner, it feels like it was worth it. This is a true gem that should take the top spot.