Video game consoles have continued to evolve ever since they first came out in the 70’s. From the humble looking pong to the highly interactive Nintendo Wii, gaming has certainly changed over the years. We’ve seen how Nintendo and Sega dominated the home console market during the 80s and 90s, and were virtually unstoppable during that era. However, Nintendo’s own attempted monstrosity bit them badly in the rear, when Sony PlayStation hit the scenes in the late 90s.
With a plethora of next gen games and lack of solid competition from either Sega or Nintendo, the PS1 became the console of choice for home gamers in the early 2000s. The PS1 library is full of games that essentially redefined the gaming industry, spawning a generation of memorable games. If you loved this amazing console back in the days, here are some of the best ps1 games that you’d definitely love to revisit.
10 Best PS1 Games
1. Resident Evil 2 and 3
The original Resident Evil sure started the Survival Horror genre, redefining the formula used in previous games like Alone in the Dark and Sweet Home. While the first game was a stepping stone, it was Resident Evil 2 that achieved critical and mainstream success. The game is set in a city devastated by a zombie plague that the player must find a way out of. The next installment Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, although not as commercially successful as RE2, still represents the game’s epoch on this console and one of the best ps1 games ever.
With several graphical and gameplay improvements, Resident Evil 3 comprises of a highly engrossing gameplay with branching storylines depending on player’s decisions in game. Apart from this, RE3 Nemesis also featured a situational dodge move and the ability to create various types of ammo. This was doubled with a seemingly unstoppable enemy who will chase you everywhere, forcing players to always be on their toes. RE 3 was certainly a magnum opus of the original game trilogy on PS1.
2. Crash Bandicoot Series
While Nintendo had Super Mario Bros and Sega had Sonic the Hedgehog, the PlayStation was notable for what is considered the best platform game series of that era, Crash Bandicoot. The player controls an anthropomorphized bandicoot, who must defeat his creator and evil scientist Dr. Neo Cortex from taking over the world. The game spawned 3 titles for the PlayStation and has sold more than 50 million copies across the globe. Crash Bandicoot’s level and character design along with entertaining narrative makes Crash Bandicoot one of the best platformers and among the best ps1 games.
3. Crash Team Racing
Mario Kart fans would certainly love this one for its sheer graphical superiority and sense of humor. Crash Team Racing or CTR as the name suggests is a cart racing video game that features characters from the Crash Bandicoot series. The player can choose to play the story mode, completing which unlocks new upgrades and playable characters. Fluid controls and superb level design is what puts this kart racing game much above any other game in the genre, making this a definitive title for gamers even today.
4. Final Fantasy VII
If there’s one RPG title that has stood the test of time, it has to be Final Fantasy. While most titles in the genre were popular among core fans, Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation hit home run when it comes to sales and popularity. It not only improved on the mechanics introduced with previous titles, but its iconic characters and story left a major impact in popular culture. It also included one of the most shocking moments in video gaming history, when antagonist brutally impales and kills the protagonist’s love interest. Something this graphical in subject was unheard of for the genre and made this game extremely memorable.
5. Tekken 3
The previous gen gaming consoles had tons of one on one fighting games with famous titles such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and King of Fighter. Although Virtua Fighter was notable for using 3d graphics and models in fighting games, it was Tekken 3 that set a definitive standard. The second instalment in the series had already seen mild mainstream success. Tekken 3 however, became one of the most adept technical fighting game in the console’s history due to its fluid gameplay and learning curve that both novice and advanced players. Tekken 3 was certainly the best fighting game of the era and definitely one of the best ps1 games.
6. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Symphony of the Night was released at a time when the legendary game series was trying to reinvent itself. Thus, this game was no longer marketed as an action-platformer, but was overhauled as a non-linear RPG action. The story takes off exactly where ‘Castlevania: Rondo of Blood’ left off and now features a new character Alucard as the protagonist. The game completely overhauled the weapon system as the player’s arsenal now included a variety of arms, armors, shields, magic items and move set as compared to the whip and simple controls from previous games. The level design was also changed and is much more detailed and expansive than ever.
7. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear was an action-adventure game on NES that focused on stealth and evading enemies as opposed to confronting them. In 1998, the creator of the original games launched Metal Gear Solid (referring to its 3d graphics and not the name of the character) as the series’ 3rd installment for the PS1. The game was not only a commercial success, but pretty much set the standard for stealth based action games. Its story could be dubbed as a little confusing by some gamers, but its fluid and innovative gameplay, narrative and some of the best characters and bosses, make MGS as one of the most important video games ever and is arguably the best ps1 game you can get your hands on.
8. Silent Hill
Resident Evil and its several clones attempted to create a thrilling horror oriented action game experience for gamers with some genuine jump scares. But that still doesn’t make them a horror game due to the involved firearms and seemingly strong characters with militaristic backgrounds. But when Silent Hill came out in 1999, gamers finally had a taste of psychological horror and stuff that nightmares are made of.
Its story involves a single father who goes in search of his missing daughter in a ghost town after surviving a roadside crash. The player was given control of a regular joe with little to no training in firearms, as you wander through a fog covered town full of unusual monsters that are automatically attracted to you. The game was also famous for having multiple endings based on the decisions you take during the game’s course.
9. Twisted Metal 2
Vehicular combat wasn’t a full-fledged video game genre before Twisted Metal. The 2nd installment Twisted Metal 2 was a major improvement upon its predecessor and soon became a worldwide hit. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious character named Calypso hosts a demolition derby of sorts offering the victor his deepest desires. Twisted Metal 2 features more cars, more arenas to fight in and some major graphical and gameplay improvements. This was also the franchise’s bestselling titled till date.
10. Marvel Vs Capcom
While the main Street Fighter game series is a healthy mix of technical and projectile attack based one-on-one combat, Marvel crossover games provided a fresh breath of air to the saturated franchise. The first game Marvel Super Heroes Vs Street Fighter featured a roster of characters from Street Fighter and Marvel Comics. Its gameplay focused more on special moves and hyper combos as opposed to the comparatively realistic fighting in Street Fighter. This made the game more light-hearted, while making it extremely fast paced for even advanced players to handle. The game’s success spawned another sequel tilted Marvel Vs Capcom: Clash of Titans that also became a major hit due to its user-friendly yet, highly fluid gameplay. This was alongside a much more expansive roster, along with non-playable support characters and is certainly one of the best ps1 games.
- Syphon Filter 1,2
- Parasite Eve 2
- Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
- Mortal Kombat 4
- WWF SmackDown! 2: Know Your Role
The PlayStation might have run its course and is no longer manufactured by Sony. But that doesn’t mean it’s games are any less than classic. Sure it doesn’t hold much tangible value as the old Nintendo console. Nevertheless, the above games are still fun to play regardless of how primitive they might seem as compared to current gen titles. Only a true gamer knows that good and immersive gameplay is no slave to good graphics and the above games exemplify this in the best possible ways. If you wish to add any more to this list please refer to the comments section, below.
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