There’s A Ratchet & Clank Sized Hole In The PS Plus Classics Catalogue

We’re seeing a PS2 renaissance on PlayStation right now. The original Sly Cooper was finally ported to PS4/PS5 and immediately became the highest-rated classic in the catalogue, sparking hopes for the sequels. Immediately after, Jak 2 PSP spin-off Daxter was added to the library which means that every Jak game is now available in one place for the first time in the series’ history.

Mascot platformers are back, and even being celebrated in the upcoming Astro Bot among myriad other iconic PlayStation games. But there’s an obvious one missing.

There's A Ratchet & Clank Sized Hole In The PS Plus Classics Catalogue

We still don’t have a single original Ratchet & Clank on PS4/PS5. The only games you can play natively in the series are the swiftly abandoned 2016 reboot and the relatively new PS5-exclusive Rift Apart. If you want to play any of the old games on current hardware, you have to stream them, which means needing an internet connection that would make Dr Nefarious blush and nobody watching the Holovision at the same time.

I thought 150mbps would be enough, but it didn’t become stable until I upgraded to 300mbps. Streaming is still an intensive and expensive way to game that just isn’t reasonable for most people.

What’s especially bizarre about Ratchet & Clank’s absence is that it’s the one mascot platformer of the PS2 era that survived Sony’s transition to gritty, cinematic, third-person adventures. Sucker Punch jumped to Infamous and then Ghost of Tsushima, while Naughty Dog is better known these days for Uncharted and The Last of Us. The last Sly game was in 2013 and the last Jak game was in 2009; these studios have long since moved on.

Pour one out for Ape Escape, and Japan Studio, while we’re at it.

It’s amazing to see the classics brought to modern consoles—god knows I want to see Sly 2 and 3 next—but there’s an incredibly tough barrier for Ratchet & Clank fans who were introduced to the series with the newest game. If you enjoyed Rift Apart, the only viable option outside of a good enough (and stable enough) internet connection is the lamented 2016 reboot-slash-movie tie-in that was a dud with fans and newcomers alike.

There's A Ratchet & Clank Sized Hole In The PS Plus Classics Catalogue

It doesn’t have to be that way. While Sony doesn’t have a PS3 emulator which would let us play even more classics natively, it’s doing remarkably well with PS2 and PSP games, of which Ratchet & Clank has plenty.

If you do have a good internet connection, don’t skip out on Tools of Destruction, A Crack in Time, and Into the Nexus. They are among some of the greatest 3D platformers out there.

There’s the original PS2 trilogy, with Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal among the best in the series, and then there’s Deadlocked. It’s disputed if it should count as Ratchet & Clank 4, but it was the last PS2 game, the Japanese box art explicitly refers to it as Ratchet & Clank 4, and it’s a direct sequel that tried to move the series into the more mature direction that its sister platformer Jak was taking. Either way, it’s amazing.

Then we have the two PSP spin-offs—Secret Agent Clank and Size Matters. These also launched on PS2, but the ports were infamously bad to the point where you can still find forum posts of people warning fans away from them. Like Daxter, we could finally play these two games as they were on original hardware via PS4/PS5.

There's A Ratchet & Clank Sized Hole In The PS Plus Classics Catalogue

That’s six Ratchet & Clank games. Given that all six Jak games were brought to the Classics Catalogue, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched, especially considering that Ratchet & Clank is still going. You’ve got an audience waiting for a sequel who would more than happily dive back into the past to find out what they’ve missed while they wait. Right now, there’s no way to do that.

I’m ecstatic to see not just the platformers of my childhood making a comeback, but to see them thriving. It along with Astro Bot shows that there’s a love for this genre that Sony is barely scratching the surface of these days, but the one mascot who somehow survived generation after generation after generation while the others petered out is being left behind. I hope that changes.

Ratchet & Clank
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