Okay, Mega Uncharted Nerd moment here. In Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Nate mentions that he was 15 when he first Met Sully ("I was 15 Sully, I shoulda known when O met you I'd be in prison within a year"). The Flashback when Drake meets Sully was 20 years before the events of UC3. It is reasonable to assume that UC3 is a modern setting. Therefore, Drake was about 31 in UC1, 33 in UC2, and 35 in UC3 (which released in 2011). That would make Nate about 20 in 1996 when Crash Bandicoot came out.
Release dates have nothing to do with perceived character experiences/ages.