The Complete List of Ratchet And Clank Games in Chronological & Release Order

The Complete List of Ratchet And Clank Games in Chronological & Release Order

There are few genres as over-stuffed as the action-platformer series Ratchet & Clank.
Legions of anthropomorphic mascot hopefuls vie for the limelight but few see as much well-deserved success as the unlikely intergalactic duo of Ratchet & Clank. Insomniac’s follow-up to their as-beloved-as-successful Spyro trilogy carved out a remarkable legacy in the world of video games, taking players on a thrilling journey across the cosmos.

Ratchet & Clank (2002)

  • Released for PS2

In 2002, Insomniac Games introduced us to Ratchet, a Lombax mechanic with dreams of intergalactic heroism, and Clank, a diminutive robot with a penchant for witty banter. Their inaugural adventure for the PS2 took players on a quest to stop the evil Chairman Drek from destroying planets to create his own. This game set the stage for the series’ signature blend of platforming, shooting, and humor.

Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (2003)

  • Released for PS2

In the wake of the whirlwind success of the original Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac managed to pump out a vastly superior sequel in barely a year. The snarky – but dynamic – duo returned in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, expanding on the formula and a deeper focus on action. This installment’s witty writing and intricate level design cemented Ratchet & Clank as a force to reckon with in the gaming world. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando introduced a refined upgrade system for weapons, allowing players to level up their arsenal. New gadgets like the Dynamo and Thermanator added depth to – at times frustratingly difficult – puzzle-solving.

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Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (2004)

  • Released for PS2

The beautifully named Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal saw the titular heroes battling a new threat: the robot menace known as the Tyhrranoids. The game introduced strategic elements with Clank’s involvement in special missions upping the action ante while also fleshing out the character. The addition of an online multiplayer mode marked a significant upgrade, allowing players to engage in frenetic battles with friends. New weapons, including the Plasma Whip and Disc Blade Gun, provided even more creative ways to vanquish foes.

Ratchet: Deadlocked (2005)

  • Released for PS2

Ratchet: Deadlocked marks a departure for the series. While still maintaining its signature blend of humor and futuristic weaponry, this installment shifts the focus from traditional platforming to intense, arena-based combat. This change of the franchise’s established formula induced both excitement and skepticism among fans.

In Ratchet: Deadlocked, Ratchet, Clank, and Al find themselves kidnapped and forced to participate in a brutal gladiatorial combat sport. Known as DeadZone, the show broadcast throughout the galaxy by the enigmatic Vox. Stripped of his trusty wrench and accompanied only by Clank’s virtual presence, Ratchet is thrust into a world of ruthless challenges and relentless battles.

As the last game in the series for the PS2, it showcased improved graphics and animations. The character models, environments, and weapons all received a substantial visual upgrade. While the visual and tonal changes are notable, the biggest shift in Ratchet: Deadlocked is its heightened emphasis on combat. Instead of traversing lush planets, players engage in wave after wave of frenetic enemies.

Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters (2007)

  • Released for the PSP and PS2

The first title in the series for Sony’s handheld killer-app the PSP, Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters is a solid spin-off of the main franchise. The introduction of a unique mechanic that allows players to shrink and grow objects adds an extra layer of complexity to puzzles and combat.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction (2007)

  • Released for PS3

The franchise’s first entry on the next generation of consoles was a return to form for the series. The grittier tone and emphasis on action seen in Ratchet: Deadlock took a backseat to the prior games’ more light-hearted platform-focused gameplay. Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction capitalized on the power of PS3, delivering a visual spectacle with high-definition graphics, detailed character designs, and breathtaking environments.

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Narratively, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction takes players on a deeper journey into Ratchet’s heritage and the consequences of Tachyon’s obsession with the Lombax. The storyline reached new levels of emotional resonance, offering a more profound narrative that enriched the series’ lore. The game manages to balance the focus on character with more fast-and-fun gameplay. A new customizable armor system alongside new weapons and gadgets such as the Groovitron – which forced enemies to dance uncontrollably – brought a new depth to the combat.

Secret Agent Clank (2008)

  • Released for PSP

Secret Agent Clank sees Clank return to the PSP in the role of a secret agent. This departure from the usual Ratchet-centered gameplay focuses on Clank’s solo adventures.

The game mixes espionage elements with the series’ signature humor and platforming action. The game takes the world of spy film tropes and exploits them to various degrees of success. The controls feel a bit clunky and the gameplay a bit repetitive. It’s a solid stop-gap title but pales in comparison to even the weakest mainline title.

Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty (2008)

  • Released for PS3

Picking up right where Ratchen & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction‘s cliffhanger ending left off, Ratchet & Clank Future: Quest for Booty serves as a shorter entry. While the search for Clank doesn’t particularly show any growth from a narrative or graphical perspective, it retains the series’ core elements, including action-packed gameplay, humor, and inventive weapons. The second act of the Future trilogy offers a relatively compact but satisfying experience compared to its predecessors.

Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time (2009)

  • Released for PS3

The final chapter in the Future trilogy, Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time sees Ratchet and Clank as they search for each other across different dimensions, unveiling deeper insights into the Lombaxes and their advanced technology. The game offers a diverse gaming experience, combining platforming, exploration, and complex puzzles. It introduces new gameplay mechanics, including time manipulation, and equips players with the usual rich arsenal of weapons and gadgets to conquer various challenges.

This title showcases the series’ ability to evolve while staying true to its core gameplay elements, making it a standout addition to the Ratchet & Clank legacy. Its narrative intricacies and expanded lore add depth to the franchise, further immersing players in the captivating world of Ratchet and Clank as they strive to reunite in the face of formidable adversaries and unforeseen twists.

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One (2011)

  • Released for PS3

Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One takes a significant departure from the series’ traditional single-player experience by introducing cooperative multiplayer gameplay. This installment emphasizes teamwork as players join forces with up to three friends locally or online. While this shift away from the franchise’s single-player focus received a more mixed response than other spin-off titles, it provides a unique and replayable platform experience.

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault (2012)

  • Released for PS3 and PS Vita

Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault is the probably the biggest misstep in the series. The game drops the polished platform action for a place in the over-saturated tower defense genre. It’s a short passable experience that is probably best left to drift into the nexus.

Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus (2013)

  • Released for PS3

Serving more as an epilogue of the Future trilogy than its own entry, Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus is yet another short but engaging entry into the franchise. New gameplay mechanics, such as the gravity-manipulating Grav-Tether, add an extra layer of creativity to both puzzle-solving and combat scenarios. That said, the lack of further polish or innovation shows the limits of what is possible on the PS3. The mild stagnation of the gameplay feel aside, it still delivers on the series’ humorous and well-paced platform goodness.

Ratchet & Clank (2016)

  • Released for PS4

Similar to the Doom reboot released the same year, Ratchet & Clank (2016) is a celebration of the series’ history and a fantastic introduction to a new generation of players. It follows the core storyline of the original, where Ratchet and Clank join forces to save the galaxy from the evil corporate despot Chairman Drek. This reimagining not only updates the visuals to take full advantage of the PS4’s hardware but also incorporates weapons and mechanics from later entries in the series. The result is a visually stunning and action-packed adventure that retains and highlights all the things that fans love about the Ratchet & Clank series. The pared-down story and spot-on controls were a breath of fresh air at the time, especially considering the state of the mascot platformer genre.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (2021)

  • Released for PS5

The latest entry in the franchise screams progress. From eye-popping visuals (consider the PS5’s limits pushed), innovative new gameplay mechanics (dimensional rifts), and additional playable characters (Rivet, a female Lombax from an alternate dimension), Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart delivers in spades. The core platform mechanics are still there but even further honed. The controls are snappy and satisfying, the gameplay is challenging but never unfair, and the story retains the wit and charm fans expect from the series.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t just a new high for a beloved series, it’s a new touchstone for modern platformers as a whole. It’s so nice to see a long-running franchise as storied as Ratchet & Clank continue to push the boundaries of what it means to be a hero…in video games.

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