Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back is a platform video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment, produced by Universal Interactive Studios (now the defunct Vivendi Games) and developed by Naughty Dog for the PlayStation. Originally released for the PlayStation in 1997, it was re-released for the Sony Greatest Hits and Best for Family line-ups in 1998, for thePlatinum Range in 1999 and for the PSone Books line-up in 2001. The game was later released on the European PlayStation Network on July 26, 2007, but was withdrawn as a precautionary measure when other PSone Classics MediEvil and Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, failed to function properly. The game was released on the North American PlayStation Network on January 10, 2008 and again on the European PlayStation Network on February 2, 2011.
Taking place on a fictional group of islands near Australia, Crash Bandicoot 2 follows the adventures of the anthropomorphicbandicoot Crash. Crash is abducted by series villain Doctor Neo Cortex, who has seemingly turned over a new leaf and now wants to save the world. Crash is then thrust into several parts of N. Sanity Island in order to gather Crystals and allow Cortex to contain the power of the upcoming planetary alignment and keep the planet from being destroyed. Crash is joined by his sister Coco, who is suspicious of Cortex's true intentions, and partially by Doctor Nitrus Brio, who tries to persuade Crash to gather Gems instead of Crystals.
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back received generally positive reviews from critics and was considered to be superior to its predecessor. Much of the praise went to the game's graphics, control and music, with minor criticisms varying between the trial-and-error gameplay, lack of level variety, easy boss levels and lack of innovation. The game went on to become one of the best-selling PlayStation video games of all time and replaced its predecessor as the highest-selling Western title in Japan, selling more than 800,000 units in the country by April 1998.