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5 games to play if you liked Jurassic World Dominion

Jurassic World Dominion is out to close the six-movie storyline that began with Steven Spielberg’s all-time classic, but there are other ways for fans to satiate their appetite for dinosaur-themed content after leaving the theaters. Given the natural mainstream appeal of these awe-inspiring animals from the prehistoric ages, blockbuster IPs like Jurassic Park naturally paved the way for tie-in media when it comes to video games.

The most recent example would be developer Frontier Developments’ Jurassic World Evolution 2 to help coincide with the newly released movie, but there are other dinosaur-themed — or dinosaur-adjacent — video games worth checking out outside of the synonymous Hollywood IP. Whether it’s park simulators, action RPGs, or survival games, there’s something for everyone to indulge their inner dinosaur enthusiast.

Jurassic World Evolution 2 (2021)

A T-Rex roaring in the deserts of Arizona for Jurassic World Evolution 2 promo art.

Frontier Development’s sequel is arguably the best movie tie-in Jurassic Park game available, making it an easy recommendation for those looking for something familiar that incentivizes creativity. Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a park-sim game where players are given the freedom of building their own Jurassic World, now with some welcome mechanical improvements over its predecessor.

The game features an expanded roster of prehistoric animals to house and raise, including marine and aquatic reptiles. Likewise, the park-building features have been made more intuitive and streamlined for newcomers. It even has an original story campaign based on the movies’ canon, as well as the new Chaos Theory mode to engage in exciting “what if” scenarios that flip established plot points on their heads.

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is available now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC, with the Dominion Biosyn Expansion DLC releasing on June 14th.

Monster Hunter Rise (2021)

A team of hunters and their Palico companions fighting the vampiric dragon Malzeno in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak key art.

It might only be a dinosaur-themed video game tangentially, but now is as good a time as any to dive into Capcom’s Monster Hunter Rise. After deservedly earning international acclaim from 2018’s Monster Hunter WorldRise modernizes the classic action-RPG gameplay loop even further to become the most addictively accessible game in the series yet.

Players create their hunter protagonist and participate in vast quests that mostly involve tackling creatively designed monsters in spectacle-level boss fights. The maps reward exploration more than ever, as the Wirebug and Palamute mount features give each biome a thrilling sense of verticality, as well as the monster fights themselves. Many of the monsters in the franchise are clear homages to various dinosaur species, so there should be plenty to appreciate.

Monster Hunter Rise is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC, with the highly anticipated Sunbreak DLC expansion releasing on June 24th.

Ark: Survival Evolved (2017)

Ark: Survival Evolved promo art featuring characters battling with each other with their dinosaurs.

For an over-the-top dinosaur-themed romp even more outrageous than the Jurassic Park franchise, Ark: Survival Evolved should more than satisfy those willing to take part in the grindy gameplay loop. Studio Wildcard’s survival game launched in an admittedly rocky state, and while not all the wrinkles have been ironed out, the wealth of post-game content provided makes for an addictive and immersive experience.

Ark lets players create their survivors on a mysterious island, start from nothing, and gradually build themselves up by leveling up stats, building new gear, and taming wild dinosaurs to pit against rival players. For good measure, there’s also a wide roster of prehistoric mammals and fantasy beasts available.

Ark: Survival Evolved is available now for PS4, XBO, Switch, PC, and mobile platforms.

The Isle (2015 – Early Access)

A raptor roaring and feeding on a carcass in The Isle promo art.

There’s an unavoidable caveat to The Isle, and that’s the game still being in Steam’s Early Access program since its 2015 launch. However, while there’s still a ways to go before the game is fully released, what The Isle brings to the table in a sea of aspiring indie dinosaur games, even in its current state, is unique and impressive.

It puts players in the role of various dinosaurs, where they’re tasked with surviving the wild and harsh environments by finding water, food (which could mean prey, depending on the dinosaur chosen), and avoiding or hunting rival players. The game then becomes increasingly more compelling once players establish their own metagame strategies.

The Isle is available in its current Early Access build through Steam on PC.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (1997)

Turok fighting with a raptor in Turok: Dinosaur Hunter promo art.

For those willing to dive into a nostalgic throwback, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is both a classic dinosaur game and a first-person shooter from the days of the Nintendo 64. Even with the game launching the same year as the acclaimed Goldeneye 007Turok still garnered an impressive critical reception for its creative blend of run-and-gun shooting gameplay with rewarding elements of exploration and level design.

Turok follows the titular Native American warrior as he travels through portals trying to stop an interdimensional conqueror, going toe-to-toe with dinosaurs and humans alike along the way. It’s another dinosaur-themed sci-fi game that’s even more outrageous than what the Jurassic Park franchise has morphed into, but it fits seamlessly in the ’90s era of gaming.

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter is available on modern platforms through PS4, XBO, Switch, and PC.

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