Skip to main content

The 10 best Ratchet and Clank games, ranked according to awesomeness

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
(Image credit: Sony)

The best Ratchet and Clank games are iconic releases for the PlayStation platform. Developer Insomniac Games has been creating some of the best action games with this series, ever since it made its debut 20 years ago. The stories shared between the infamous Lombax and his shiny sidekick have always been a real delight, with the duo building out a truly awesome universe throughout the best Ratchet and Clank games. 

Whether it was because of its best-in-show graphics, super slick platforming, or kinetic shooting, the best Ratchet and Clank games have always been a highlight for PlayStation players. And now, with Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Insomniac was able to take the series to a whole new level... maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. For our full list of the best Ratchet & Clank games, ranked by awesomeness, you're going to want to keep scrolling.

10. Ratchet and Clank: Before the Nexus

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: Before the Nexus

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2013
Platform(s): Android, iOS

The prospect of a Ratchet and Clank game on smartphones sounds curious enough, and that’s exactly what Before The Nexus was sent out to experiment with. It leaned closely to games like Subway Surfers, offering an infinite runner with a clear love and understanding of the franchise. Whilst it’s a shame that they didn’t explore a more ambitious-sized experience, it stood on its own with fan references and familiar faces all around, as well as lots of enemies to take down with all sorts of weapons.

9. Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2011
Platform(s): PS3

Back in 2011, Insomniac Games brought an ambitious new element to the series through another spinoff. Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One lives up to its title, allowing players to take part in local or online multiplayer sessions with up to three other friends for the entire campaign, or by having the game’s AI control Clank in single player. It was quite the departure for a franchise known for its solo nature, as well as the addition of a fixed camera replacing the always endearing free view from past games and a shift in art style. But the action translated well into co-op, and it’s still a one-of-a-kind experience for the franchise. We wonder if we will ever see a modern take on this idea in the future.

8. Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2007
Platform(s): PSP

Jokingly referencing its console from the get go, Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters is one of the two entries of the series that appeared on the PSP, the other being Secret Agent Clank. It follows the nature of the games quite closely, providing the protagonists with all sorts of weapons to wreak havoc and maintaining much of the tri-dimensional platform elements that we have all grown to love. Its biggest difference came from the lack of a right analogue stick to move the camera, which was replaced by two possible control schemes to try and emulate it. The familiar tone and similarly polished gameplay from past entries, however, made it a worthwhile entry all the same.

7. Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2007
Platform(s): PS3

Tools of Destruction led the helm as the series landed on PS3 back in 2007 for the first time. It retains much of what made the series so interesting in the PS2 area, focusing a bit more on the action this time around, as well as providing a next gen look back then with new particle effects and more astounding battle sequences than before. The story could be a hit or miss depending on how knowledgeable you were of past entries, and whilst the difficulty didn’t put that much of a fight, it sure was fun to engage in combat against dozens of enemies.

6. Ratchet and Clank 2: Going Commando

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank 2

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2003
Platform(s): PS2

The sequel to the first Ratchet and Clank, Going Commando, is an interesting entry to look back to after so many years. It took the impressive first look at what the franchise could be, and iterated just enough in the right places to make it a worthwhile experience. It’s also the one that began to introduce many of the elements that became the norm in following titles, such as weapons’ progression by making them level up and the often interesting array of minigames, experimenting with mechanics became more prominent later on.

5. Ratchet and Clank: Into The Nexus

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Release date: 2013
Platform(s): PS3

Into The Nexus was responsible for giving the series’ presence on PS3 their farewell, and it was on a high note filled with interesting ideas. It had an interesting focus on movements and puzzle sections around gravity, a darker tone that still maintained the lighthearted humor from past entries, and plenty of surprises, including Clank segments that were in 2D dimensions. It felt like an installment that wasn’t afraid of taking risks, even this far into the timeline as a 2013 release, earning its place as one of the most interesting of the bunch.

4. Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2004
Platform(s): PS2

Up Your Arsenal presented itself as the third instalment in the Ratchet and Clank family back in 2004, and it’s still remembered to this day thanks to its refinement of pretty much everything that Insomniac Games had brought to the table up to that point. The heroes return to the iconic planet Veldin, Ratchet’s garage locale, with new tricks up their sleeves such as the Lock-strafe mode, making the control scheme more akin to third-person shooters. It improved upon the weapon upgrades (across an arsenal of 20 of them, too) from its predecessors, introduced the mischievous Dr. Nefarious, and was also the first to offer online multiplayer.

3. Ratchet and Clank 

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank

(Image credit: Insomniac)

Release date: 2016
Platform(s): PS4

Ratchet and Clank’s incursion to the PS4 was an intriguing one - it was tied to the CG film by the same name, but it also reinvented the first title, so players got to witness the starting moments of how the iconic pair of characters got their start in the many adventures that came after in chronological order. But there’s also plenty of new elements in play, from a massive set of collectible cards to whole new flying segments. It all came together with the most striking look that the series had seen until then, pairing it closely to the movie’s counterpart in terms of visuals.

2. Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time

Best Ratchet and Clank games - Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: 2009
Platform(s): PS3

Introducing itself as the sequel to both Tools of Destruction and Quest for Booty, A Crack In Time redefined much of what had made the series so intricate and innovative back in the PS2 era. It was a welcoming callback to nostalgia amist titles that were trying new things for the next generation, and it carved its place by implementing the excellent Hoverboots and new ways to further customize your weapons, experimenting with new parts that could change how they felt completely.

1. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart - Ratchet riding a rail into a rift portal

(Image credit: Insomniac Games)

Release date: 2021
Platform(s): PS5

Straight in at number one of the best Ratchet and Clank games is PS5's Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, an absolute standout for the series whether you're a Lombax lover or new to the game's crazy universe. In this installment, Ratchet and Clank are joined by their dimensional counterparts Rivet and Kit and have to stop Doctor Nefarious from causing a universe-breaking disaster with his quantum physical meddling. With a story and snappy dialogue that has taken some cues from the very best Marvel movies and the visual might of the PS5, the game is an absolutely essential purchase for anyone with the console. 


Diego Arguello

Diego is an Argentinian freelance games journalist. His words can be found at Eurogamer, Polygon, The Verge, Washington Post, and GamesRadar, among others. He's now a Featured Contributor at Fanbyte, and is also the Editor-in-Chief of Into the Spine. Diego also hosts the Turnabout Breakdown podcast.

With contributions from