Rare Ltd., originally called Ultimate Play The Game, then Rare is a British video game developer and a studio of Xbox Game Studios based in Twycross, Leicestershire. Rare is known for its platformers, which include the Donkey Kong, Banjo-Kazooie, and Conker series, although the studio does not adhere to specific genres and has developed first-person shooter, action-adventure, fighting, and racing games.
At first they were developers for computers such as the ZX Spectrum. Afterwards, they started to make games for various consoles; mostly for Nintendo ones. In 1994, they became a second party developer for Nintendo consoles; and in 2002 they were acquired by Microsoft and started making games for the Xbox consoles.
- Snake Rattle n Roll
- Battletoads (1991)
- Donkey Kong Country
- Killer Instinct (1994)
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
- Killer Instinct 2
- Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
- Blast Corps
- GoldenEye 007
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Jet Force Gemini
- Donkey Kong 64
- Perfect Dark
- Conker's Bad Fur Day
- Star Fox Adventures
- Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge
- Sabre Wulf (2004)
- It´s Mr. Pants
- Kameo: Elements of Power
- Viva Piñata
- Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise
- Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise
- Killer Instinct (2013) (only produced)
- Rare Replay
- Sea of Thieves
- Battletoads (2020) (only produced)
Why Their Games Rock
- High quality games, to the point that they usually set standards for games of the genres that they make.
- Great graphics, for example Donkey Kong Country had high quality pre-rendered graphics for the SNES.
- New ideas or great refinements to existing ones.
- Awesome and memorable sound-effects and soundtracks, most notably Banjo-Kazooie's soundtrack.
- Memorable, polished experiences.
- They made games for lots of different genres, meaning there's something for everyone.
- Lots of creativity and personality in their games.
- They greatly contributed to the classic "Collect-a-thon" style of 3D platformers.
- Some of their games can be too challenging for some, like Donkey Kong 64 or Banjo-Tooie.
- A lot of key people left Rare (to form Free Radical Design) around the time the company was acquired by Microsoft, and many of the remaining staff would leave near the end of the 2000s. Since then, the company's games have gradually declined in quality and reception. Luckily, it could have been worse had Activision won the acquisition.
- For a while, the company was mostly reduced to making Kinect sports games, until Sea of Thieves was announced. Sea of Thieves got very mixed reception and wasn't considered a good "comeback" for Rare.
- Back before their golden age, they were responsible for developing bad games published by LJN such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Despite Nintendo recently garnering a strong relationship with Microsoft to allow Microsoft’s IPs to appear on Nintendo consoles like Minecraft and Cuphead, Rare hasn’t put their games on Nintendo consoles nowadays, but that has changed very recently because Banjo-Kazooie was recently added to the Nintendo Switch Online library.