Many of us have played a good bunch of Disney titles — maybe you remember the likes of Toy Story 2, Epic Mickey, Hercules, Tarzan, Quackshot, Ducktales, The Lion King, Aladdin… we used to get a lot of Disney games, didn’t we? But there are several titles which were pretty darn great in their own rights, but didn’t quite get the same rapt attention. Join me on a magic carpet ride as I look at the Disney titles that aren’t quite forgotten, but aren’t quite so well known either.
I’ve focused on the platforms I played these games on, although I’m aware that many listed below vary between platforms!
A Bug’s Life (PS1)
I loved A Bug’s Life. The movie, and the game. It shocked me to learn that this hadn’t reviewed well, but at least it was better received by fans. Honestly, this was up there with Toy Story 2 for me. You play as Flik and go through the events of the movie, lobbing berries and bouncing on enemies along the way. I was all about collecting the FLIK letters, and playing around with the different seeds you could collect to grow unique plants to reach new areas. I fondly remember the dandelion flight scene recreated on PS1…
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion (3DS)
You’re likely familiar with the Epic Mickey games on Nintendo Wii, but Power of Illusion flew under many people’s radars. Exclusive to 3DS, Power of Illusion is inspired not only by Epic Mickey, but by the Illusion games on the SEGA Mega Drive — yes, even going so far as to take place in the Castle of Illusion once again! Featuring 2D platforming gameplay and many of your favourite Disney characters, Power of Illusion is a great addition to any 3DS and Disney fans library. Ah, seeing that jump animation takes me back…
Toy Story 3 (PS3)
We’re all familiar with the Toy Story 2 video game, but what about its equally as good sequel? This was around the time when movie tie-ins were falling out of favour, but Toy Story 3 was a great take on the movie, and included an extra mode in the form of the open-world Toy Box. You were able to take on a bunch of unique missions, play as other characters, and customise the expansive town and the townspeople. It was very cool, and I’d love to see something like this return someday.
Disney’s Stitch: Experiment 626 (PS2)
Ah, Disney’s Stitch: Experiment 626. The first game that came with my silver PS2, and I loved it. I remember it being tough. You take control as our fluffy blue alien in a third-person shooter, platforming adventure that acts as a prequel to the movie. This means Stitch makes full use of his four arms and laser blasters, climbing along walls, and you get to see him at his full destructive self before he learns and evolves on Earth with Lilo.
Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure (PS2)
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater but with Disney characters? Even going as far as to use the same engine from Pro Skater 4? Oh, how I wish for another one of these games on the current generation of consoles! I want to shred with Baymax, ollie with Rapunzel, take to the skies as Buzz and kickflip with Sully. This is one of those dream games…
You could create a human racer too, which is cool, but I was all about playing as the Disney characters I know and love.
Cars Race-O-Rama (PS3)
Cars 3: Driven to Win is a great racer, and many still fondly talk about the very first Cars game, but today I’m talking about Cars Race-O-Rama. Customise Lightning McQueen and participate in the Race-O-Rama series to protect the Doc Hudson Racing Academy and Radiator Springs from the meddling Chick Hicks Racing Academy. The story is good, but it’s the wealth of content, solid racing mechanics, and several open-world hubs with side-missions which kept me hooked.
Donald Duck: Quack Attack (PS2)
There was an amazing time where we got several games based on Donald Duck, and Quack Attack (also known as Goin’ Quackers), was among the best of them. When Daisy Duck is kidnapped by the villain Merlock, Donald, well, goes quackers. Our duck boy hasn’t got the best temper, and you’re about to know about it. Quack Attack is a fun platformer with some stunning animation, and his character still lends perfectly to a platforming beat-’em-up.
Fun fact: this game was released on GBC and GBA, but as a 2D platformer.
Another direct movie tie-in, Up is platforming game with a focus on co-op. I enjoyed this one enough to go for the Platinum trophy on PS3, actually! Also, it wasn’t too hard to achieve, haha! If you know the movie, you know what you’re in for here story-wise. You would switch between Carl and Russell, working together to combat the game’s many puzzles, and in taking down a few not-so-threatening enemies. Of course, you could play this via local co-op, which is always an ace option.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (GBA)
Have you played this? Atlantis: The Lost Empire was difficult, you guys. It took me so long to finally complete it, but darn was I satisfied when I did! Unlike its PS1 counterpart, Atlantis on GBA is a 2D side-scrolling platformer where you play as Milo. Of course, it remains faithful to the movie (which is also underrated, by the way), although it’s arguable if Milo really had as hard of a time as I did. I’m willing to concede though — he had it pretty rough, I guess, having to save Atlantis, and all…
You might be a little tired of seeing the term ‘platformer’, but it’s one of the most fitting genres for Disney games. Wheel around as WALL-E and Eve and make use of their different abilities, including Eve’s flight and laser blasters, and WALL-E’s trash compactor so he can create items to throw against enemies, and take on a fairly simple but enjoyable game that mostly stays close to the movie. Let me tell you, I adored this game, and loved exploring this expanded world.
I, for one, am happy to see that Disney is becoming more involved with video games once again, after the recent releases of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Battlefront II, Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. Here’s to more Disney games!
What are your favourite Disney games?