Platform game Crash Bandicoot was created and distributed by Naughty Dog and Sony Computer Entertainment in 1996. Crash Bandicoot is a bandicoot created by Doctor Neo Cortex, a crazy scientist in the premise of the game. As Crash attempts to stop Cortex's intentions for global domination and save his girlfriend Tawna, a female bandicoot manufactured by Cortex, the tale revolves around Crash's efforts. While the majority of the game is played from a third-person perspective, certain levels feature forward and side-scrolling gameplay.
A cross-country road trip inspired Naughty Dog co-founders Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin to create a character-based action-platform game from a 3D perspective, which they did after signing a publishing deal with Universal Interactive Studios after seeing the trend in video games. Because Sony doesn't have a mascot character, Naughty Dog and Universal Interactive decided to make the game for the PlayStation when they first met. Cartoonists Joe Pearson and Charles Zembillas were brought in to help develop the game's characters and plot under the working title Willy the Wombat. Crash Bandicoot was given his name because of his proclivity for destroying crates, which were used in the game to fill up empty spaces. After seeing a demo from Naughty Dog, Sony decided to publish the game, and it was shown off at E3 1996.
After its release, Crash Bandicoot received generally excellent reviews from critics who lauded the game's visuals, audio production, level of difficulty, as well as its titular character, but questioned its linearity and lack of inventiveness as a platformer. There were almost 6 million copies sold worldwide, making it the best-selling PlayStation game and number one in US sales. After substantial retooling for the Japanese version of the game, it was a financial success in Japan thanks to the improved gameplay and graphics for the Japanese market. With Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog launched an eponymous series of games that would go on to be hugely popular, both critically and commercially. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy released a remastered version of the game in 2017.