Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection Review

When Jurassic Park roared into theaters in 1993, it ignited a powder keg of dinosaur mania that would engulf the world’s zeitgeist throughout the nineties. Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking film brought dinosaurs to life in ways never seen before, pioneering filmmaking techniques in CGI and animatronics that have ensured its remarkable longevity.

It didn’t hurt that Spielberg had the benefit of Michael Crichton’s exceptional novel as source material. While the film streamlined certain aspects of the novel’s more profound themes, it remains an undeniable cinematic masterpiece. As with all major motion pictures of the 1990s, it spawned a series of video game adaptations.

The first film inspired a wave of video game tie-ins across multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Game Boy, and Sega Genesis. While numerous Jurassic Park games followed, including those based on the sequels, how well did the first seven fare? How have they stood the test of time? Find out in this Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection review!

Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection
Developer: Carbon Engine, Limited Run Games, Ocean Software, Bluesky Software
Publisher: Limited Run Games
, Universal Games
Platforms:  Windows PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: November 22, 2023
Price: $29.99 USD

The titles included in the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection are Jurassic Park for NES and Gameboy which are almost the same game. Also included is Jurassic Park for the SNES and Genesis, which are two completely different games. Despite what the title implies, Jurassic Park Part 2: The Chaos Continues and its nominally different Gameboy version are not based on The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).

The best game in this collection is Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition for Genesis. Regretfully, all the other titles are either middling at best or hopelessly unplayable at worst. The NES or ‘8-bit’, Jurassic Park is a very standard overhead action game where players must collect dinosaur eggs in a few maps to open a gate and move on to the next level.

The action is surprisingly fair for a NES title and there is enough ammo for Dr. Grant’s guns to get by. Sometimes there are some gimmick levels to mix up the gameplay, like having to avoid stampeding triceratops. The Gameboy version is almost the same experience. Both titles even share the same in-game map as a QOL feature.

Jurassic Park on SNES is easily the worst and most offensive title in this compilation. The overhead POV gameplay looks similar to the NES/Gameboy games, but it couldn’t be any more different. Expect to be bum-rushed by insane raptors within minutes and get torn to shreds.

Jurassic Park on SNES is not a leisurely stroll through a Spielbergian theme park, sunshine and smiles are all around. This is a bare-knuckled slugfest against a horde of bloodthirsty dinosaurs, a test of your reflexes and sanity in the face of overwhelming odds.

Dr. Grant, our unfortunate protagonist, moves like a sloth on tranquilizers, while the dinosaurs are bullet-absorbing speed demons. The very first map is an exercise in frustration, a disorienting labyrinth that’ll have you questioning your grasp on reality. Thankfully, there’s an overhead map for those overhead POV sequences, but it’s about as helpful as a compass in a tornado.

The first-person sequences try to emulate the thrills of Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, but it falls flat on its face. Dr. Grant’s vision is obscured by a goggle overlay that makes the screen look like a kaleidoscope on acid, and the frame rate is so choppy it makes you question the very nature of time.

Jurassic Park on Genesis is a savage slap to the senses with its unrelenting and cruel difficulty. From the moment you step into this prehistoric nightmare, you’re thrown into the deep end. There’s no time for tutorials, no hand-holding, no explanation or context. You’re just dumped into a world teeming with bloodthirsty lizards, ready to tear you limb from limb.

The controls are as slippery as a greased weasel, and the footing is even worse. Expect to spend more time tumbling down from branches than actually exploring the park. And don’t even get me started on the visuals. They’re a chaotic mess, making it impossible to tell what’s a solid platform and what’s going to send you plummeting to your doom.

This game is a test of your survival instinct, a baptism by fire in the primordial soup of dinosaur carnage. Even playing as a velociraptor fails to impress due to the spotty hit-detection. The overall experience feels rough and not thought out at all. Its only saving grace is its impressive opening cinematic that veers on being a horror game.

Like many retro game compilations, this one has a rewind feature, a feeble attempt to sugarcoat the bitter pill of its unforgiving difficulty. This rewind button is a joke, a cruel mockery of our gaming prowess. It only sends you back a couple of measly seconds, not enough time to undo the cosmic injustices that have befallen you.

You’re still stuck in the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, still plummeting to your doom from a cliff, still trapped in an endless loop of frustration. This rewind button is like a placebo pill for gamers, a false promise of salvation in a world of relentless torment. It’s a cruel trickster’s delight, a way to keep you hooked on these games’ inherent masochism.

The Chaos Continues fares much better than some of the other titles in this compilation, but that isn’t saying much when expectations are lying next to dinosaur bones. In this alternate-dimension sequel, Dr. Grant goes full Bill Rizer and dives back into Isla Nublar guns blazing.

InGen is a bit tight with their dino assets, and they don’t take kindly to their prehistoric investments being turned into Swiss cheese. If Dr. Grant starts racking up a dino body count, the game will end abruptly, leaving him stranded with pissed-off pterodactyl for company.

Out of the titles in this compilation, The Chaos Continues is unique for giving players some freedom to play stages in any order, like in Mega Man. Levels are large and will require key hunting to open locked doors. The Gameboy version is more of a straightforward action platformer than its SNES big brother.

As if the ineffectual rewind feature wasn’t bad enough, there’s only one save state slot per game, making it feel like you’re playing with one foot tied behind your back. To make matters worse, none of the action platformer stages get maps, leaving you to navigate these treacherous landscapes like a blindfolded explorer in a minefield.

There’s no quick cheat menu to bail you out of those sticky situations, only one scanline filter option. Worst of all, there are no scans of the instruction manuals, those invaluable guides provided insight into how each game was meant to be played and what to expect. Players will have no idea about the power-ups or how each game controls.

The best inclusion in the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is Rampage Edition, which is a dramatic redesign of Jurassic Park on the Genesis. This is a superior run and gun with much tighter controls, fairer level design, and enemies, and the visuals are more appealing.

Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is a mind-bending odyssey through dinosaur hell but amidst this prehistoric menagerie, there shines a beacon of unrestrained insanity. Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition is a game that throws the shackles of source material to the wind.

This is a reinvention of the first Genesis game, a psychedelic trip that’ll leave your mind as scrambled as a velociraptor’s lunch. Dr. Grant, gets his fair share of dinosaur mayhem, getting mauled by pterodactyls and mounting a velociraptor for a wild ride through the park. Like in The Chaos Continues, players can play levels in any order.

Rampage Edition proves that sometimes the best way to be a fun game is to throw the rulebook out the window and embrace the madness. If the developers were ever serious about making a Jurassic Park game that captured the tone and style of the films, they probably would have been better off as a slower-paced cinematic platformer like Flashback or Out of this World.

What this collection needed was a bolder attempt at improving the experience like Night Dive Studios’ efforts. The SNES Jurassic Park should have been modified to have a fluid frame rate for the first-person shooter sequences and an option to lose the goggles overlay. There should have been an option for a ‘remastered’ mode where the controls and overall playability are made tighter.

Who is the intended audience for the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection? Most of these games weren’t good and it isn’t like there was a cult following clamoring for them. At the very least, these titles do have admittedly good pixel art, even by today’s standards and they are worth preserving for their contribution to dino mania in the 1990s.

The best and most notable Jurassic Park games tend to be management sims since they lean heavily on the core ideas of films and novels. Adapting the movie as generic action platformers was limiting since there was no shortage of them in the 90s. Gamers who are interested in more enjoyable dinosaur-themed retro action games would be better off with Dino Crisis or the Turok titles.

Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a code provided by Limited Run Games. Additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy can be found hereJurassic Park Classic Games Collection is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch.

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The Verdict: 5

The Good

  • "Rampage Edition" stands out from the rest by being the most polished and enjoyable in the compilation
  • The graphics hold up in most of the titles
  • Faithful emulation and presentation
  • All titles offer some gameplay variety that jump around various genres
  • In-game maps for the overhead POV games are helpful

The Bad

  • Most of the titles in this compilation are utter junk or soul crushingly mediocre and barely represent the films
  • The first-person gameplay in the SNES Jurassic Park is hopeless and unplayable
  • The 'rewind' feature hardly offers enough time to rewind any major mistakes
  • Playing as a velociraptor isn't as fun as one would hope
  • The compilation is hopelessly lacking features and content


A youth destined for damnation.

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