Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is a platformer that first made its appearance on the PS2 and would go on to become one of the defining games on the console. The franchise was created by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment who also took on the role of publisher with Naughty Dog as the developer.
In an age that birthed many great titles in the genre, the game set itself apart from the competition with its science fiction and steampunk aesthetics.
After his friend is turned into an ottsel, the two set out on an adventure that will uncover much more than just finding a cure to return Daxter to his original form. With over 12 million copies sold, we compiled a list to discover the best Jak & Daxter game.
5. Jak X: Combat Racing
|Release Date||18 October 2005|
In this instalment of the franchise, Jak and his team are poisoned and forced to take part in a combat racing championship to obtain the antidote. The game has everything one might expect from a racing game in this genre with two distinct modes, Adventure and Exhibition.
Combat is defined by collecting different colored Eco orbs on the track with Yellow Eco for offensive capabilities, Red Eco for defensive, Green Eco for health recovery and Blue Eco for turbo. Damage sustained causes a Dark Eco meter to fill up, which when unleashed provides damage boosting potential to weapons.
Players familiar with the franchise won’t find any platforming elements here, with the main racing offering mediocre at best. The plot falls flat without much thought having gone into it with controls that are often an annoyance to handle.
Despite having gained an entry into Sony’s Greatest Hits collection it is our worst pick in the franchise.
|Developer||Ready at Dawn, Mercenary Technology|
|Release Date||14 March 2006|
With the appearance of Daxter as the sole playable character, one starts to notice a trend and must wonder whether the creators intended for the pair to pursue solo careers from the outset.
The story follows the adventures of Daxter as he takes on the job of an exterminator after his friend Jak is imprisoned. Expect the usual double jumping and ledge climbing action with vehicles available throughout.
The action is mostly melee-focused with an upgradeable extermination tank becoming available as the game progresses. Several collectibles alluding to games in the franchise are scattered throughout the levels for fans to find.
Despite its phenomenal graphical prowess, the game doesn’t add anything significant to the genre and fans will feel right at home.
The controls and camera might require a bit of patience in this 3D platformer with its linear levels feeling somewhat repetitive at times. Overall, it will come as a pleasant surprise to fans, whether they’re new to the franchise or not.
3. Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
|Release Date||3 December 2001|
|Platforms||PS2, PS3, PS Vita|
With Jak and Daxter on a mission to turn Daxter back to his original self, the pair discover that they must defeat Gol and Maia Acheron from flooding the world with Dark Eco, a substance that corrupts everything it comes into contact with.
Players control Jak primarily with the abilities to double jump, glide punch and able to execute a rapid spinning kick.
Power cells are collected to power machines to advance through levels and can be earned in a variety of ways, including defeating enemies. Different colored Eco orbs, like in Jak X: Combat Racing also provides Jak with various status-boosting abilities.
The game is quite short and can become repetitive once one figures out how to navigate the world. One may also find commonalities in games like Crash Bandicoot and although the game has elements that set it apart, it does feel quite similar.
The story doesn’t make much of an impact and one is forced to sit through cutscenes that do not offer an option to be skipped.
2. Jak II
|Release Date||14 October 2003|
|Platforms||PS2, PS3, PS Vita|
Daxter gets more of a starring role this time around and rescues Jak from the prison he was experimented on by bad guy, Baron Praxis. Not only is this the first time Daxter is given the ability to speak, but the game also takes on a much darker tone with Jak being able to transform into Dark Jak, a beastly version of himself.
Upgradeable guns form the base of the combat system with names like Morph Gun and Vulcan Fury. The action takes place in Haven City and while the Precursor Orbs are no longer a main component, they do allow access to secret content once collected.
Dark Jak is also upgradeable, with the player controlling a more powerful version of Jak once he has absorbed enough Dark Eco from his fallen foes.
The game has been criticized for feeling too much like Grand Theft Auto, which may put many fans off the franchise.
While the previous game had no loading screens, there is quite a bit of that going on when one wishes to exit the city. The checkpoint system also has to be this game’s greatest weakness with in-game deaths meaning hours of gameplay lost.
The darker elements might not be to everyone’s liking, but it is a solid game with enough variation to set it apart from its contemporaries.
1: Jak 3
|Release Date||9 November 2004|
|Platforms||PS2, PS3, PS Vita|
Jak and Daxter find themselves banished to the desert by the evil Count Veger.
The game starts in Spargus City, a settlement within the Wasteland and eventually progresses to the sprawling metropolis that is Haven City. Much of the game’s locations have been changed with some areas revamped, deformed or removed with new locations to take their place.
Still mission-based, the world is absolutely huge with all the familiar platform elements making a return, including the option to drive vehicles. Precursor Orbs allow for unlockable content and a Hero mode becomes available once the game is completed.
Fans of the series are also treated to Light Jak and weapon upgrades that expand on what was available in previous installments.
The game can be faulted for feeling similar to its predecessors, but Jak 3 is a triumphant return to what fans have come to enjoy.
There are enough changes present to make it a worthy successor and is our top pick for the best Jak & Daxter game.