So we finally know which games will be appearing in Sony’s upcoming PlayStation Classic console.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting the likes of Crash Bandicoot of Spyro to turn up. But with such a rich catalogue of video games to choose from, there was always going to be disappointment when certain games didn’t make the cut.
No matter what, the games offered up provide an interesting look at the history of one of gamings most beloved consoles.
To reflect this, I’ve decided to take a look at all 20 of the games being offered up int he PlayStation Classic – ranking the games by general enjoyment and how well they’ve held up. I’ve also thrown in suggestions for games I’d have probably chosen ahead of each game (Without a Crash Bandicoot in sight!)
Let me know what games you think are the best in the collection.
Revelations: Persona: I won’t lie, my experience with this game is non-existent. Unlike all the other games, which I’ve played in one form or another, this is a game I’ve never personally experienced. That being said, it does look interesting and has managed to excite fans of Persona. It’s a surprise inclusion and one of the games I’ll be most keen to play from this package – if only to see what the hype is about. For this reason though, I’ve opted to not put this game in the ranking with the rest of the games from PlayStation Classic.
19. Jumping Flash
While not much to look at now, this game was a huge deal back when the PlayStation 1 touched down.
Released in 1995, the game allowed you to leap around a large 3D environments collecting various items.
Honestly, the nicest thing you can say about this game is that it was important in wooing the early adopters for the console. It’s one of those early titles that people remember fondly but dare not revisit for fear of breaking the nostalgia.
The reality is that this game is mostly here as a tech demo. It’s not the most interesting experience and quickly hits repetition. The graphics are insanely blocky while the sound effects are about as interesting as listening to paint dry.
Other than novelty, there’s very little reason to start this one up more than once. It’s quite the relic of its time and only makes it to PlayStation Classic thanks to its importance to the platform.
What Could Replace It: That T-Rex demo off the demo one disc.
18. Cool Boarders 2
There was a time when snowboard games were everywhere, appearing on all major consoles and in huge variety.
Yet while Nintendo 64 gamers got the excellent 1080 Snowboarding and Snowboard Kids, PS1 gamers had to deal with the slightly more tedious Cool Boarders 2.
It’s not a bad game by any stretch but it doesn’t excel in many areas. From graphics to track design, the game doesn’t inspire much awe when looking back at it. Not helping things are controls that feel like you’re handling a broken trolley on ice.
The PlayStation Classic has a lot going for it in terms of multiplayer options and I honestly can’t see Cool Boarders 2 getting much action.
What Could Replace It: Tony Hawks Pro Skater 3. There was no reason to keep Tony Hawks off the PlayStation Classic outside of licensing issues. The fact that the series isn’t represented at all may be one of the bigger omissions in the entire collection. It was fun. It was exciting. It was miles better than Cool Boarders.
17. Destruction Derby
I’ll admit that nostalgia clouds this one for me. I remember getting this game as a kid and being amazed by the graphics and general carnage the gameplay brought out.
To be fair, for the time it was released, this game had a lot going for it. The game features an impressive collection of cars, arenas for causing destruction in and a decent soundtrack.
Add in the different modes offered up and Destruction Derby had a lot going for it.
Yet its inclusion in the PlayStation Classic ultimately disappoints as it’s a vastly inferior game to its sequel. The game feels barebones by modern standards, lacking any real intrigue.
What Could Replace It: Destruction Derby 2. Better in every way, the only reason I suspect they opted for the original was pure nostalgia.
16. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
One genre the PlayStation 1 struggled hard with was first person shooters. Despite some solid outings, the console never really managed to emulate the quality over on Nintendo 64. It didn’t help that most FPS games were ports of PC games that didn’t do well in the conversion.
With that weakness in mind, I find the decision to put Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six on the PlayStation Classic baffling. It really isn’t that great.
Even back in the day, the game was cumbersome and creaked like an old floor. It has some interesting ideas but the PlayStation wasn’t ready for this kind of experience, leading to a mess that frustrates more often than it excites.
Add in the fact that the graphics have aged about as well as bread and there’s plenty of reason to suspect Sony went for this one as a way of getting a big name on the box rather than delivering something people would want to play more than once.
What Could Replace It: Alien: Trilogy. There are only a handful of first person shooters I’d consider decent, even that list isn’t all that great. Alien: Trilogy managed to deliver a tense, well thought out experience that invokes the best of the Aliens franchise. Quake II is also really good on the PS1 although its got load times that would make a snail scream in frustration.
15. Battle Arena Toshinden
Before the PlayStation became THE destination for fighting games, the console had to showcase its chops in the genre. With franchises like Tekken and Mortal Kombat months away, the console ended up with a surprise early front-runner in this areana.
Battle Arena Toshinden is a 3D fighter that arrived early in the PlayStation 1’s life and quickly found itself as a fan favourite. It’s use of 3D polygons drew comparisons with Sega’s Virtua Fighter and managed to showcase the arcade level of quality that gamers could expect. It was all rather exciting back in 1995.
These days it’s a bit of a dog’s dinner.
The fighters move with all the stiffness of Barbie dolls while the animations are woefully inadequate. The 3D arenas provide challenge but also make matches slow and cumbersome. The roster of fighters is generally bland and lacks creativity while the weapons on show do little to liven things up.
One you’ll play a handful of times then return to Tekken 3.
What Could Replace It: Soul Blade. Namco hit their stride early on PlayStation, delivering Tekken and Soul Blade in quick succession. Soul Blade is a magnificent weapons based fighter that not only tops Battle Arena Toshinden, it really set the early bar for what fighters should be aiming for.
14. Twisted Metal
A real throwback for PlayStation gamers here, Twisted Metal was the first outing in the much travelled series.
It came at a time when the PlayStation was busy impressing gamers with its 3D capabilities. While other games on this list managed to go into more detail, I doubt any managed to capture the spirit of the early console quite like Twisted Metal.
Packing 12 vehicles and a heap of different stages, gamers could choose to play through the single player or face off against friends. It was fast. It was furious. It ran a bit slow and was a bit of a hardware hog but that doesn’t take away from the greatness that this game offered back in 1995.
These days it’s a very bland experience. Age hasn’t been kind to the graphic style while the controls suffer from their D-Pad limitations.
If you’re keen to see why people were so excited for the PlayStation 1, this is probably one of the better examples.
What Could Replace It: Twisted Metal 2. Again, I’m surprised they went for the original game when the sequel is so much better. Arguably a much more defined game, the sequel has a lot more going for it.
13. Syphon Filter
Long before third person shooters became all the rage, Syphon Filter managed to create a loyal following over on the original PlayStation. While not earth shattering in any respect, it did at least try some interesting ideas.
The game sees you running through large levels, taking out baddies while using a wide range of gadgets to overcome obstacles that are placed in your way. Objectives range from saving hostages to disarming bombs – so there’s plenty of variety on offer.
The gunplay is also fairly fun, holding up well in all but the most intense firefights. Levels are well designed, requiring you to survey the situation beofre running in all guns blazing.
The big issue with this game comes in the minor choices made. Respawning enemies are a huge problem while the controls meander wildly between playable to downright frustrating. It can lead to some incredibly frustrating deaths and does create some moments of tedium that can undermine the experience.
Being honest, Syphon Filter won’t knock anyones socks off. It’s no Metal Gear and it doesn’t compare favourably to later games from the genre. But you could do a lot worse than spend an hour or two reliving this forgotten game – if only to say that you beat one of PlayStation 1’s more challenging games.
What Could Replace It: Tomb Raider II. If Sony really wanted to showcase the 3D chops of their PlayStation, the second Tomb Raider arguably delivered the best overall experience. It’s challenging, it’s fun and it’s also much-loved. How none of the Tomb Raider games made it into PlayStation Classic is beyond me.
12. Grand Theft Auto
Let’s be honest here, the original Grand Theft Auto hasn’t exactly aged all that well.
The game is ambitious if awkwardly flawed, filled with all kinds of ideas that don’t mesh into a seamless experience. While aspects of it are memorable, others are almost gamebreakingly frustrating.
There’s an abundance of cities on offer but this makes their almost uniform appearance that much more apparent. You’ll struggle to find your way around as the game worlds melt into one big blur.
You’ll also be frustrated by issues like off-screen enemies capping you and difficulty spikes so tedious you’ll be seeing a lot more of the hospital than you’d like. The missions aren’t all that interesting while the free roam gameplay lacks any wider interest.
I can understand why this game is included in PlayStation Classic, the Grand Theft Auto name carries huge weight. The reality is that this isn’t even close to the series high point.
What Could Replace It: Driver. The original Driver made huge waves when it landed in 1999, setting the bar for 3D heist games that wouldn’t be shattered until Grand Theft Auto 3 released on PS2.
It’s not the best game but I suspect would have proven more interesting than the GTA game we ended up with.
11. Ridge Racer Type 4
When you consider just how many racing franchises found their footing on PlayStation 1, it’s somewhat surprising that the only racing game to make the cut on PlayStation Classic is Ridge Racer Type 4.
Not that it’s a bad game by any stretch.
Improving on its predecessors by adding in gorgeous graphics and one of the series best soundtracks, the game never takes itself too seriously. Which is good because you can stop mid race to pick up women to ride alongside you.
It’s a good laugh and the game is filled with enough courses and tracks that you could easily spend hours playing through its content. There’s a lot to like in this package and if you’re looking to get some rubber burned, there are much worse ways to do it.
What Could Have Replaced it?: Gran Turismo 2. The fact it didn’t make the cut disappoints me hugely as it’s arguably one of the greatest racing games ever. Outside of this, PS1 was home to some incredible racing titles. The likes of Porche Challenge, Colin McRae Rally and Crash Team Racing are just some of the options that could have been considered.
10. Mr Driller
Perhaps one of the more underrated genres on PlayStation 1 was the puzzle category. While none of these games managed to become household mainstays, there was plenty of variety on offer for those who dared to venture in – with Mr Driller proving to be a highlight.
The game is fast and furious in its pacing. One slip up and you’ll be back to the start.
It’s important to manage your air guage, refilling as and when you need while also gaining the combos that bag you the big scores. There’s a huge element of luck involved but the game is so fun to pick up and play, you’ll likely forgive its more frustrating aspects.
Add in the fact that it’s a wonderfully colourful experience backed up with an ear catching soundtrack and there’s plenty to like in this package.
If you’re in for a fun but challenging puzzle game, Mr. Driller may very well prove to be an unsung hero on the PlayStation Classic collection.
What Could Have Replaced it?: Bust-A-Move 4. Arguably the more popular puzzle franchise, Bust-A-Move really churned out the entries back in the PS1 era. The fourth entry is probably the best and delivers the most complete package of the series.
9. Resident Evil: Directors Cut
Another one of those “it had to be in there” games, even if the game itself is a bit of a mess these days.
Unlike the remakes, the original Resident Evil games are stuffed to the brim with B-movie tropes. The game revels in this, delivering some of the hammiest voice you’ll ever have the pleasure of listening too. With dogs jumping through windows and jump scares galore, there’s
Gameplaywise, the original Resident Evil is all over the place. It’s got a lot of backtracking and some of its puzzles are insanely opaque, requiring the gamer to investigate every nook and cranny to find key items.
It’s a solid outing and well worth a try. I suspect that many returning to experience this for the first time may find it something of an acquired taste.
What Could Have Replaced It: Resident Evil 2. Much better game that arguably rounds out a lot of the original games issues and delivers a much more endearing experience. Silent Hill was also a shout, although that game has its own issues.
8. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Taking popular franchises and spinning them off into puzzle games isn’t new. Sonic, Pokemon and Mario have all dabbled in the idea, so it’s no surprise that Street Fighter took the chance.
Super Puzzle Fighter II brings a unique experience to the PlayStation Classic, one that combines the tense play of both fighting and puzzle games. It’s very similar to the Puyo Puyo in that you have to match up coloured blobs.
The more of these you chain together, the bigger the score boost you get. The more score you gain, the quicker your fighter can beat up your opponent.
The end result is a brilliantly realised puzzle game that entertains and proves to be a lot of laughs as well. It’s still hugely playable and has a great soundtrack to boot.
What Could Have Replaced It: Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The only thing that could top this choice is the game its largely based off. It’s a solid port of the much-loved game, ruined slightly by load times that cripple the experience.
7. Intellegent Qube
Anyone who owned a PlayStation 1 console back in the day probably remembers this one from its appearance on the many, many demo discs that made the rounds. I’m actually surprised it made the cut as modern gaming has all but forgotten it existed.
It’s a unique game that forces you to plan ahead, asking the gamer to make snappy decisions in order to save themselves. As you wipe out blocks, you’re required to avoid make sacrifices and work hard to stay one step ahead of the crumbling platform behind you.
It’s a tense game and one that may put some off because of its fairly simplistic looks – which serve their purpose but won’t stimulate in extended gameplay.
While not the most visually appealing game on PlayStation Classic, it’s an incredibly fun little puzzle game that challenges in impressive ways. I’d recommend giving it a good try.
What Could Have Replaced It: Pappa The Rappa. Infinitely more adored than IQ ever was, Pappa became something of an early mascot for the console. The game is a lot less challenging but also a lot more visually appealing. An odd omission I’d argue.
6. Wild Arms
You have to feel sorry for Wild Arms.
It turned up in the shadow of Final Fantasy VII, a game so groundbreaking that it changed the direction of an entire genre. Despite this obvious disadvantage, Wild Arms manages to set up to the challenge and delivers one of the best RPG experiences on PlayStation 1.
It’s a wonderful extension of 2D RPGs from the SNES era, filled to the brim with character and a lot of game to work your way through.
On top of this, the game looks amazing to this day. It’s one of the few games on this list that doesn’t look incredible dated – managing to stand head and shoulders above its peers in that regard.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Final Fantasy VII, Wild Arms is very much a worthy destination and one that is very welcome on PlayStation Classic.
What Could Have Replaced It?: Final Fantasy VI is probably the only major game that could replace Wild Arms. It’s an incredible game and vastly underrated.
Back at the genesis of PlayStation 1, there was a strong focus on getting 3D games out the door. So strong in fact that Sony actively discouraged developers from developing 2D games. Somehow the original Rayman managed to avoid this and managed to carve out its own place in gaming history in the process.
The game is gorgeous to look at, invoking a cartoon charm that holds up all these years later. Adding to this is the excellent musical score which is both iconic and catchy as heck.
Don’t be fooled by all this though. Rayman is tough as nails and will have you clawing in frustration in later levels as the difficulty rises to hair pulling levels.
It’s an important game in PlayStation 1 history and well worth a revisit once you get your hands on the PlayStation Classic console.
What Could Have Replaced It?: Punky Skunk. While not as challenging as Rayman, Punky Skunk is an insanely overlooked 2D platformer that probably would have surprised many had it been included.
4. Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee
Before New n’ Tasty dragged Oddworld back into the public view, Abe’s Oddysee was very much one of the PlayStation 1’s underrated gems.
The game sees you jumping through Oddworld in an attempt to save (or massacre) your fellow Mudokins. The game constantly reminds you of your progress in this regard, pushing you to go out of your way to save your fellow slaves.
This is helped by gameplay that rewards patience. Puzzles range from bypassing obstacles to solving musical doors. It’s an interesting blend and arguably better balanced than its sequel Exodus.
The game has a unique look that holds up all these years later. It moves seamlessly from industrial gritty settings through to beautiful vistas that showcase the scale of the world being offered it.
It was a great game when it released and it’s a great game now. It’s oozing with charm and is a very welcome addition to the PlayStation Classic.
What Could Replace It: Castlevania Symphony of the Night. Arguably a much better known 2D platformer, SOTN is held up as one of the PlayStation’s most treasured titles and probably should have been on this list.
3. Tekken 3
If you’re looking for muliplayer experience on your shiny new PlayStation Classic then Tekken 3 is arguably the best destination.
By this point the Tekken series was a fully formed beast. Complete with an exhaustive roster of characters and a wide selection of modes to keep you entertained. The core gameplay is refined enough to offer all levels of player a fair playing field.
Tekken 3 also delivers one of the best looking PlayStation 1 games, with graphics that were jaw dropping back when the game landed on the console.
It’s also got Gon and frankly, that’s worthy of a spot in the top three on this list any day.
What Could Replace It: There’s an exhaustive list of fighters that could have made the grade, none of which are better than Tekken 3 in my opinion.
2. Final Fantasy VII
Sony couldn’t have a PlayStation Classic collection and not include at least one of Square’s iconic Final Fantasy games in the process.
VII is the safest choice from across the PS1 games as it delivers the most memorable moments. Everything from Cloud’s sword to *THAT* moment that still causes upset among long time fans of Final Fantasy.
The core game holds up as well as any other Final Fantasy game on PS1 and manages to remain playable and enjoyable to this day. It’s cast of characters are fun to play alongside while the story is gripping and hugely fun.
Plus this game is HUGE, offering plenty of bang for your buck.
What Could Replace It: Final Fantasy IX. It’s a tough call as all the Final Fantasy games on PlayStation 1 are beloved by their fanbases. FF9 just has something extra special over its companions and would have made for an excellent showcase of everything non-VII.
1. Metal Gear Solid
If the list of PlayStation Classic games leaves you feeling cold then the appearance of Metal Gear Solid should warm you right up.
Arguably the best game on the PlayStation 1, Metal Gear Solid is a seemless blend of stealth and action, woven together with one of the trippiest stories this side of Kojima’s last acid trips.
The voice acting is well delivered while the cut scenes manage to hold huge cinematic prowess thanks to an eye for detail from Kojima and his team. The gameplay holds up (mostly) and manages to remain as immersive as ever.
It’s nowhere near as refined as later entries in the series but it’s still very much a solid experience if you’re willing to forgive some of the games more aged aspects.
What Could Replace It: Nothing. There really wasn’t anything better on PS1 for stealth and MGS was far ahead of the pack in this regard.