Ratchet & Clank are household names having fought their way across galaxies for years. Insomniac’s lovable duo have had many outings, and we’ve decided to rank the main ones from worst to best and tier them all too.
Insomniac took a giant step in the early 2000s by ditching Spyro The Dragon and working on a new IP called Ratchet & Clank. Given how universally popular Spyro was, it was a risky move for the studio to undertake such a gamble.
13 games and 1 film later, and it’s safe to say that Insomniac’s gamble paid off, and Ratchet & Clank are now bonafide gaming icons. So to celebrate the series and the release of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart here’s a detailed list ranking the primary games, with a bonus tier list thrown in for good measure.
Ratchet & Clank games tier list
Before we delve into a proper list and ranking, we’re going to smash out some tiers for all of the games to quickly determine the quality of every Ratchet & Clank title.
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Here’s an explanation of our tier system:
- S-Tier games are the best of the best
- A-Tier ones are great
- B-Tier games are just missing something
- C-Tier ones are not worth your time
Here is our official tier list of all of the Ratchet & Clank games in order:
- S-Tier: Ratchet & Clank (2002), Ratchet & Clank (2016), Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time
- A-Tier: Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
- B-Tier: Ratchet: Deadlocked, Ratchet & Clank: Quest For Booty, Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
- C-Tier: Secret Agent Clank, Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Ratchet: Full Frontal Assault
Ratchet & Clank’s main games ranked
10. Secret Agent Clank
Cute and considered in its approach, Secret Agent Clank feels like the kind of game people think they want but realize it’s not as good without Clank’s better half. Still a decent game in its own right and a good outing for the PSP, but not a game considered highly.
9. Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One
All 4 One retains many of the elements that Ratchet & Clank was built on but doesn’t do them that well or make them that interesting. The notion of Ratchet, Clank, Captain Qwark, and Dr. Nefarious doesn’t really make sense, and it feels like a much dumbed-down, kid-friendly version of the classic formula – with basically no story.
8. Ratchet: Deadlocked
In the same way, that comparative series Jak and Daxter took a darker turn with a great emphasis on combat and fighting, Ratchet & Clank: Deadlocked felt like that – a step in the wrong direction.
The fundamentals are still solid, and there’s lots of classic R&C gunplay here, but the loss of platforming and a massive, coherent worlds to explore game brings it down compared to other entries.
7. Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus
The first of the “core” games to feature on our list, Into The Nexus is a great game. It looks great, feels great, but it really felt like an adventure we’d had before.
Which to say this isn’t a bad thing, but a shorter length and a feeling of familiarity bogs down the quality here. Also, the story and new villain didn’t scream “memorable” at us. Whereas A Crack In Time innovated and tried to push the series forward, Into The Nexus felt like a clear step back.
6. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Going with the PSP version here, Size Matters wasn’t even developed by Insomniac Games, it was High Impact Games, and they still delivered something incredible.
A fully-fledged R&C title that showed the capabilities of Sony’s first portable console. Size Matters did everything a great R&C needed to be amazing and even managed to retain the cool space battles welcomed in Going Commando – a great feat for a portable game.
5. Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time
Insomniac went back to the drawing board after Tools of Destruction and devised a way to reinvent the formula and differentiate this title from previous ones.
They did this with some mind-bending time logic puzzles and centered the theme of the game around this idea. It worked brilliantly and along with the usual array of zany weapons made R&C feel fresh once more. Plus, we got a great narrative inspection of Clank, learning a great deal about his backstory with some emotional twists here and there.
4. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando
The second game in the franchise introduced tons of new weapons, weapons levels for each gun, and really upped the chaos from the first game.
Ratchet & Clank continued to bond and forge an even stronger friendship and they help to save the galaxy once again, although they do so with a very underwhelming end of game boss fight.
3. Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction
The duo’s debut on the PS3 was the next logical step as the world’s greatest galaxy savers got a pleasant technical upgrade in every department. The series had never felt so smooth and it boasted the biggest and best worlds to date.
It didn’t do anything substantial to really innovate and push the boundaries like other titles on this list may have done, but Tools of Destruction was an immense launch game and gave the fans what they loved, whilst attracting new ones.
2. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
History tells us that the third entry in any film or game franchise is usually ‘meh,’ but not with Up Your Arsenal. Not only were the game’s names getting better, but so were the games in general.
It ramped up the intensity of its combat, multiplied the enemies, and somehow increased the fun. It introduced the series’ long-time villain Dr. Nefarious, featured awesome side quest locations, fun 2D scrolling mini-games, and Up Your Arsenal was just a monumental game.
1. Ratchet & Clank (2016)
The only thing that could have possibly pipped our second entry was the truly epic Ratchet & Clank 2016 reboot, remake, or whatever you want to call it. It’s one of the most graphically stunning games ever created, it handles as smooth as ice, and retells a captivating story.
The scale of Ratchet & Clank 2016 can’t be stressed enough and it takes all that made the original great, filters in elements of later games, and garnishes it with the modern day touch. Ratchet & Clank 2016 is a technical masterpiece, is endlessly replayable, and is the best Ratchet & Clank game in our eyes.
Image Credit: Insomniac Games / High Impact Games
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