It’s never been a more exciting time to be a fan of video games, and the types of immersive experiences that are now possible would have seemed impossible a few decades ago. The level of technology and scope of storytelling that video games now feature is incredible, but there are also now more gaming genres than ever before to satisfy the needs of different niches.
One topic of interest that many video games have experimented with in some capacity are dinosaurs, whether they’re original stories or adaptations of popular film franchises. Most video games present dinosaurs as terrifying monsters, but there are also many that represent the opposite and deal with creatures that evoke friendship, not fear.
10 Primal Rage’s Talon Is A Virtuous Beast Who Wants To See Urth Survive
The success of ultra-violent fighting games like Mortal Kombat opened the floodgates for extreme imitators. Primal Rage is a one-on-one fighting title set in an apocalyptic world where monsters emerge from the Earth and are worshipped as fearsome Gods by humanity. All eight characters in Primal Rage are different creatures that range from dinosaurs to King Kong-esque simians.
These creatures are divided into two factions–Destructive Beasts and Virtuous Beasts–the latter of which are the most likely to be considered friendly. Talon is a raptor who is dubbed the God of Survival, and his simple white mane does a lot to make this beast as cuddly as a dinosaur can be.
9 Rampage’s Lizzie Is The Friendliest Take On The Giant Lizard Trope
The destructive Rampage games are a fun, subversive twist on the action genre where the player controls the monster instead of some human who struggles to fight against them.
George, Ralph, and Lizzie are a giant gorilla, wolf, and lizard respectively, who thrive through the consumption of civilians and destruction of society. Lizzie might not technically be a dinosaur, but she’s not that far removed in both design and attitude. Lizzie is friendly in the sense that the audience is in control of the character, and she’s presented as an anti-hero in her own way.
8 Wario World’s DinoMighty Could Be Much More Threatening
Wario is a Nintendo character who’s undergone a fascinating development, starting as an evil Mario doppelganger and going on to become one of the most beloved supporting characters in Mario’s group of friends. Wario has also become the star of his own series of games, and the Gamecube gives the character his first fully 3D platformer with Wario World.
The first boss that Wario faces as he tries to recover his stolen treasure is DinoMighty, a disgruntled dinosaur with a penchant for tongue-based combat. DinoMighty poses a minimal challenge to Wario, and she’s surprisingly friendly for a creature who tries to eat the hero.
7 Jurassic World’s Blue Is Even Cuter After A LEGO Makeover
An odd trend that’s only become more prevalent over the past decade is the abundance of video games that cover sprawling cinematic franchises, only everything has been transformed into LEGO. Everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter to The Pirates of the Caribbean has received a huge LEGO game adaptation, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jurassic Park has undergone the same treatment.
Lego Jurassic World covers the first four films in the dinosaur franchise, and there’s a lot of novelty in seeing these ferocious lizards in LEGO form. Blue, a raptor, is presented as a friendly sidekick to the humans in Jurassic World, and the dinosaur is even more lovable in a LEGO context.
6 Tricky The Triceratops From Diddy Kong Racing Is Driven By A Good Challenge
Mario Kart 64 will forever remain the most popular racing game on the Nintendo 64, but Rare’s Diddy Kong Racing is a more ambitious release that combines the racing genre together with the storytelling and hub world aspects of an adventure game. Diddy Kong Racing is a successful experiment, and the game delivers boss battles in the form of intense one-on-one races.
The first boss challenge in Diddy Kong Racing is Tricky, a giant triceratops that’s intimidating in size and speed, but isn’t necessarily evil. Tricky is driven by the malevolent machinations of Wizpig, but shifts into a friend over time.
5 Super Mario World’s Reznors Have A Bark That’s Worse Than Their Bite
Mario encounters a huge Tyrannosaurus Rex in Super Mario Odyssey, but his experience with dinosaurs charts back to his 16-bit days. Super Mario World takes place in a location that’s referred to as Dinosaur Land, so it’s only natural that a wealth of prehistoric creatures are present in this platforming adventure.
Reznors are fire-breathing triceratops that fulfill the purpose of mid-bosses and typically attack Mario in a group effort. The Reznors are enemies, but their ill deeds are the result of being cursed by Bowser. Furthermore, they’re not much of a challenge, and they don’t seem fully committed to evil.
4 Prince Tricky From Star Fox Adventures Is A Fitting Sidekick For The Legendary Pilot
The Star Fox franchise has become one of Nintendo’s most popular properties, and it’s made its mark as a quirky take on rail shooters and space combat. The Gamecube’s Star Fox Adventures pushes the franchise a different direction in a polarizing adventure by taking Fox McCloud out of the comfort of his Arwing and putting him on his feet as he explores Dinosaur Planet.
Fox encounters a wide array of dinosaurs, but a precocious triceratops named Tricky, who’s in fact the Prince of the EarthWalker tribe, teams up with Fox on his adventure and is a major part of the story.
3 Baby T Helps Crash Bandicoot Dominate The Prehistoric Regions Of His Adventures
The Crash Bandicoot series helped Sony’s PlayStation establish a legitimate platforming mascot that could hold its own against Nintendo’s Mario. Each of the games in the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy push the genre forward in satisfying ways.
The third game in the series, Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped!, saddles Crash together with a helpful lizard companion, Baby T. Crash hatches Baby T from an egg in the level “Dino Might!” and it looks like the small dinosaur imprints on the bandicoot. Baby T allows Crash to efficiently attack the game’s prehistoric regions, and he sticks around for the series’ spin-off games, too.
2 Plessie From Super Mario 3D World Becomes An Adorable Form Of Transportation
The Super Mario series continues to reinvent the platforming genre in inventive ways, and this level of innovation frequently involves ambitious, contrasting environments. Super Mario 3D World introduces Plessie, a giant plesiosaur that helps transport the characters through aquatic areas.
Plessie is such a welcome addition to exploration and feels like a creature that actually belongs in Mario’s world. Plessie comes across as an evolution of the Loch Ness Monster creature, Dorrie, from Super Mario 64, but Plessie has endlessly more personality and a more charming design. It’s hard to be upset whenever Plessie appears.
1 Yoshi Has Become One Of Nintendo’s Best Characters And The Star Of His Own Series
Nintendo’s extended Super Mario series has established dozens of beloved characters over the years, but Mario’s faithful dinosaur sidekick, Yoshi, has been a staple of the franchise for more than 30 years. Yoshi first made his debut in the Super Nintendo’s Super Mario World, but he’s gone on to become the hero of his own series of games and is far more than a supporting player at this point.
Yoshi as a character continues to develop with new abilities and transformations, but the one constant through all of his video game appearances is that he’s an adorable ally. Yoshi is so cute and friendly that it’s frequently easy to forget that he even is a dinosaur.