The 15 Best Spyro Games of All Time
What are the best Spyro games of all time?
The Spyro series debuted in 1998 on Sony’s PlayStation, and since then, numerous sequels and reboots have been created.
While the franchise has changed developers a handful of times, the IP has been owned by Activision since 2008.
Although the Spyro series includes many games, some have become more popular than others, and it is these titles we’ve rounded up today.
The 15 Best Spyro Games of All Time
In order to rank these games, we have compared reviews from reputable sources while also comparing sales data and fan popularity.
This has allowed us to figure out exactly which games in the franchise are the greatest of all.
So, let’s dive right into our list of the 15 best Spyro games of all time:
15. Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy
Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy is a side-scrolling platformer that was released in 2004.
As one of the best GBA games of all time, Spyro Orange was centered around a series of mini-games that comprised the majority of the gameplay.
Players can also use the Game Link Cable and connect it with Crash Bandicoot Purple, which was released alongside Spyro Orange.
If the two games are linked together, additional content could be unlocked, making it worthwhile to play with friends.
While critics were left with mixed reviews of the game overall, this was not due to a lack of content.
In fact, all of the mini-games were mostly praised, though the lack of a connecting story is what ultimately attracted criticism.
14. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
The first game in the Skylanders series, this 3D action platformer is played using a variety of toy figures that interact with the game using a “portal of power.”
Released in 2011, Activision reported that it had become the top-selling console and handheld game in the world by the following year.
While the game is centered around Spyro, there are also 30 different Skylander playable characters, each of which can be used by placing their figures on the portal.
Upon its release, Spyro’s Adventure became one of the hottest games in the world, especially for young gamers, and critics praised its family-friendly premise.
Despite younger players being the targeted demographic, Skylanders did well with adult players as well, and over 30 million figures were sold worldwide.
Although its success has dwindled in recent years, there are rumors of a remastered Skylanders collection that could potentially launch in 2023.
13. Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly
Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly was the first in the series not to be developed by creator Insomniac Games, and it debuted in 2002.
This platformer was released for the GameCube and PS2, and it centered around Spyro trying to prevent the abduction of 90 magical dragonflies.
While the story itself is fairly short, players do get to venture around with Sparx, Spyro’s dragonfly partner.
There were also some new additions to combat, including multiple breath attacks that Spyro can unleash, a blocking ability, and a blocking ability.
Unfortunately, due to technical issues and a lack of originality, critics weren’t fond of this entry in the series.
However, despite all of its issues, the PS2 version still received a platinum sales award, having sold over 300k units alone in the UK.
12. Spyro: Shadow Legacy
Spyro: Shadow Legacy came to the Nintendo DS in 2005, and it was the first released on that platform.
As the final entry in the original series continuity, Shadow Legacy picks up after the events of A Hero’s Tail, and it introduces players to the shadow realm.
This game is filled with action as players help Spyro master dragon-kata so he can rescue his friends and solve the mysteries of this strange new dimension.
Aside from the main story, there are likewise many side quests that provide additional experience points, as well as secret areas to discover.
Shadow Legacy also makes use of many DS functions, including the touchpad, which players can draw symbols on to cast spells.
While the game was met with mixed reviews, it is still considered one of the most entertaining in the series.
11. The Legend Of Spyro: The Eternal Night
The second game in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, Eternal Night, was released in 2007 for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Wii, and PS2.
Gameplay is similar to the first in the series, with players having to complete levels in a linear fashion and defeat a boss to progress.
However, Eternal Night has a much larger emphasis on puzzle-solving and exploration, which helps prevent it from becoming monotonous.
The primary goal of this game is to defeat Gaul, the Ape King who has risen to power, intending to resurrect the Dark Master.
While the PS2 and Wii versions of this game received fairly low ratings from critics, the Game Boy Advance and DS versions faired much better.
Due to the style of the game, which is reminiscent of the best retro games of all time, Eternal Night seems best suited for these handheld consoles.
10. Spyro: Attack Of The Rhynocs
This isometric platformer came to the Game Boy Advance in 2003, and it was the last to be released by Universal Interactive.
While the general gameplay is similar to other GBA Spyro games, Attack of the Rhynocs placed more emphasis on roleplaying and item collecting.
In-game, players follow Spyro, who must collect Hearts in order to prevent a hole in space from tearing reality apart.
Collecting these items involves warping to various other lands, each of which presents its own unique challenges to Spyro and Sparx.
Critics and fans praised Attack of the Rhynocs for its innovations and open-ended gameplay that gave players more freedom than many other platformers.
Some even called this installment the best Spyro game on the Game Boy Advance, thanks in large part to its expanded story and variety of activities.
9. The Legend Of Spyro: A New Beginning
The first installment in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, A New Beginning, focuses more on action than any of the previous Spyro games.
Rather than focusing on platforming, this game revolves around combat, and Spyro has tons of new moves and breath attacks that he can use.
While this game was released for various consoles, the Nintendo DS version contained additional challenges and attacks, as well as extra missions and puzzles.
The plot of A New Beginning focuses on the Year of the Dragon, where new dragon eggs are brought into the world.
Critics rated this game highly, and fans loved all of the action and new combat mechanics that previously hadn’t been seen in the franchise.
While it didn’t contain one of the toughest video game bosses of all time, both critics and fans applauded the fairly intense boss fights that were included.
8. Spyro 2: Season Of Flame
Released in 2002 for the Game Boy Advance, Spyro 2: Season of Flame is the fifth installment in the Spyro series and a sequel to Season of Ice.
This game centers around the abduction of the fireflies by the Rhynocs, causing the dragons to lose their ability to breathe fire.
Fortunately, Spyro can now breathe an icy blast against enemies and, after rescuing a number of fireflies, eventually gains his fire back.
Many fans and critics considered Season of Flame to be superior to its predecessor, though it did receive some criticism for its unintuitive controls.
The short length of the story was also seen negatively, with many wishing it had been more fleshed out.
Despite this, the game’s graphics and varied gameplay were seen favorably, with some calling it a great game for the whole family.
7. The Legend Of Spyro: Dawn Of The Dragon
Dawn of the Dragon is the third and final entry in The Legend of Spyro trilogy, and it was released for the PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii in 2008.
While it isn’t often considered one of the best PS3 games ever created, fans of the series still consider it a brilliant entry in the franchise.
Unlike previous games, Dawn of the Dragon is much more open, allowing players more room to roam and explore the world.
This game was the first to allow players to fly at any time, a feature that many players had been asking for.
Thanks to tweaks like these, fans and critics both rated this game highly, applauding its design, gameplay, and high production value.
While it isn’t without issues, including a few camera and control hiccups, Dawn of the Dragon is overall one of the best Spyro games in the franchise.
6. Spyro: A Hero’s Tail
One of the best GameCube games of all time, Spyro: A Hero’s Tail, was published in 2004 as the ninth game in the series overall.
Like most games in the franchise, there is a great emphasis on collecting items that will help progress the storyline further.
There are also many mini-games to play, which include other playable characters like Sparx, Hunter, and Sgt. Byrd.
The main goal is to collect corrupting dark gems that the former Elder Dragon has planted to drain life from the world.
Upon release, critics found this game to be superior to Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, though many disliked the lack of innovation.
While the lack of difficulty was something some players disliked, others enjoyed the pace since it made the game accessible to a younger audience.
5. Spyro: Season Of Ice
Developed for the Game Boy Advance as an alternate sequel to the first three games, Season of Ice was released in 2001.
The main objective of this game was to release fairies from their ice prisons and eventually defeat Grendor.
Throughout the game, players progress through various realms, in which lie numerous gems to collect.
Upon its release, Spyro: Season of Ice became the 13th highest-selling game for the GBA, Nintendo DS, and PSP in America.
While critical reviews were mixed, a majority were positive, with many praising it as addictive and fun.
Although there were some complaints about the controls and easy difficulty, fans easily overlooked these complaints, focusing instead on the game’s strong points.
Despite not changing much from previous games, Season of Ice maintained enough innovation and nostalgic charm to stand out as a great installment in the series.
4. Spyro The Dragon
Spyro The Dragon is the game that kicked off the entire franchise, and it debuted in 1998 for the original PlayStation console.
This game introduces players to Spyro and his dragonfly friend, Sparx, as the pair journey across the world to defeat Gnasty Gnorc.
As an open-ended 3D platformer, there was a lot to explore throughout the sprawling levels that comprised the main campaign.
Although sales were slow at the game’s launch, they quickly picked up speed following the holiday season.
By 2007, nearly 5 million units had been sold, making it one of the most successful games of its time.
Critics praised this game as the best 3D platformer since Crash Bandicoot and the best on the PlayStation console.
The level and character design were also praised, as were the dynamic lighting system and in-game animations.
Spyro The Dragon’s popularity helped make this purple dragon one of the most popular video game characters of all time, with a series that is still going strong today.
3. Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!
The second game in the main Spyro series, Ripto’s Rage, was released in 1999 as a platformer for the PlayStation.
This Spyro game revolves around the titular dragon going up against Ripto, who views dragons as pests to be exterminated.
Players can explore three separate realms in Ripto’s Rage, each of which contains various worlds and a dungeon where Ripto himself is hiding.
Like the first Spyro game, this sequel received critical acclaim, selling over 3.4 million units by 2007.
While some critics stated that the game felt like a kids’ title, the story, mechanics, and graphics helped make it entertaining for all ages.
Even those who hadn’t played the first game could jump into Ripto’s Rage without feeling overburdened or out of their depth.
It certainly helped build up the world of Spyro and further cement the series’ place as one of the best in video game history.
2. Spyro: Year Of The Dragon
Spyro: Year of the Dragon is one of the best PS1 games ever created, and like the previous two games, it was a hit with critics and fans.
This game takes players to the Forgotten Worlds following the theft of 150 dragon eggs that were stolen by an evil sorceress.
In order to get back the stolen dragon eggs, Spyro must travel across over thirty different worlds, collecting gems and solving puzzles.
Upon release, this Spyro game received universal acclaim, with critics praising the new playable characters, detailed graphics, and variety of mini-games.
Year of the Dragon was also applauded for having intuitive controls that made it accessible to players of all ages.
While some criticism was leveled at the camera, particularly when it failed to keep up with Spyro properly, overall, this did little to detract from the fun.
By far one of the best Spyro games ever made, Year of the Dragon is a must-play for any fan of this small purple dragon.
1. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
Taking our number one spot is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which is a complete remaster of the first three Spyro games.
With this collection, fans of the series can enjoy Spyro the Dragon, Ripto’s Rage, and Year of the Dragon in full HD with completely re-designed graphics and levels.
Needless to say, this remastered collection received a lot of praise from fans and critics, especially given its faithfulness to the original games.
While everything has been overhauled for next-generation players, the story remains the same, providing the right level of nostalgia for old-school fans.
Although some are critical of the long load times, this is relatively easy to overlook, given all of the improvements that have been made.
With everything that has been done to bring these classic games into the modern era of gaming, we couldn’t help but give this trilogy the number one ranking.
That said, rumors are circulating that Spyro may return in a new game soon, but only time will tell if it can beat these classics!
Since the very first Spyro game, this classic series has been making video game history with consistently entertaining installments.
However, not every game has been a big winner, and as you can see, the earliest Spyro games are the ones that have remained the most popular.
While future games might break this trend, right now, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy remains the go-to for most fans of the series.
Here’s a quick recap of the 15 best Spyro games of all time:
- Spyro Reignited Trilogy
- Spyro: Year Of The Dragon
- Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!
- Spyro The Dragon
- Spyro: Season Of Ice
- Spyro: A Hero’s Tail
- The Legend Of Spyro: Dawn Of The Dragon
- Spyro 2: Season Of Flame
- The Legend Of Spyro: A New Beginning
- Spyro: Attack Of The Rhynocs
- The Legend Of Spyro: The Eternal Night
- Spyro: Shadow Legacy
- Spyro: Enter The Dragonfly
- Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
- Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy
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