Whilst this list isn’t necessarily the highest rated or most well-received of original PlayStation games it is, however, a list of PlayStation games which mean the most. They all take me back to some of my fondest of memories in the early age of 32-bit gaming, so here’s 20 that Sony should have put on the PlayStation Classic.
20. ESPN Extreme Games
One of the earliest releases in the PlayStation library an extreme sports take upon the road rash formula, bomb down a course on either a bike, rollerblades or on a street luge, whilst beating the hell out of your opponents. It had 3d stages with sprite-based characters and featured a split-screen mode. It was basically Road Rash, which was a good thing.
19. Actua Soccer
Made by the now-defunct Gremlin Interactive it was the first fully 3d soccer game with none of that sprite-based player business, as per the early FIFA Soccer. Stunning graphics and astounding commentary by Barry Davis, this early PlayStation game made you feel like you were experiencing a whole new world of gaming.
18. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars
Ok so Discworld was the first point and click adventure which console gamers got to experience on their PlayStation, however, it had a niche audience. Broken Sword combined excellent writing, voice acting, a great soundtrack and a charming hand-animated graphical style to become one of the most successful point and clicks ever. Despite being released on nearly every single format known to man, the PlayStation claims over half of this games total sales, a testament to how important the format and game were to each other.
17. Bust-A-Move 2
Simple, intuitive and highly addictive. Quite simply one of the greatest puzzle games ever made, plus it has Bub and Bob from Bubble Bobble in it.
16. Destruction Derby 2
A massively underrated game. Let’s be honest the original was poor, yes it was a technical marvel at the time but the driving mechanics were diabolical. This sequel has the excellent deformation model from the first but with an actual driving game that works, controlling along similar lines to the immortal Daytona USA.
15. Die Hard Trilogy
Firstly, it was three games in one, 3rd person action, light gun game and an arcade driving game. Singularly these games aren’t great, however the Light Gun section stands out as the clear strong point on par with Virtua Cop, the other parts were a decent bonus.
14. Dino Crisis
Resident Evil crossed with Jurassic Park enough said, if a game ever needed a remaster or a reboot it is this. The sequel did equally as well and then Capcom went and released some half-arsed third instalment on the OG Xbox, it was here that the franchise died. Let’s hope it gets a resurrection.
13. International Track and Field
A simple game anyone can play, from its arcade heritage, nothing, other than the graphics, changed. Plug in a multitap and it’s the most fun a group of four adolescents can legally have.
12. Motor Toon Grand Prix 2
A great kart-style racer which no one played. Made by the, as of then undiscovered Polyphony Digital, Motor Toon had amazing graphics and crazy weapons but it was a genuinely great driving game too. It’s no surprise the developers went on to make the world’s most successful driving series.
11. Medal Of Honor
The first game I ever played using a surround sound system, atmospheric both audibly and graphically. The story was written by some guy called Spielberg, who makes films. The soundtrack was done by a bloke who did some Jurassic World films. This pedigree hadn’t really been seen in games before and almost 20 years ago it really felt like you were playing a movie. EA of course completely ruined its reputation by saturating us with countless poor sequels.
10. Road & Track Presents: Need For Speed
To the layman you may know this game as Need for Speed, again another franchise EA has destroyed the reputation of. Released originally on the 3DO back in 1994 it came to the PlayStation two years later, which was a great move as no one actually had a 3DO. A huge step forward in driving games, with a fully 3d rendered world, differing driving mechanics for each car and a fantastic 2 player link mode this game was the future, 22 years ago.
9. Tobal No.1
Battle Arena Toshinden was poor, Tekken was actually a 3D fighter on a 2D plane but Tobal No.1 by Square was a proper Virtua Fighter style fighter, with a story mode and a truly in-depth fighting system, again like Virtua Fighter. It looked and moved great too.
8. Supersonic Racers
I was lucky enough to play the developers of this game, at a trade show, back in 1996. A 3d take upon the popular Micro Machines formula, unsurprisingly made by some of the people from the original Codemasters team of that title. It added weapons and supported the multi-tap. And yes, I beat them.
7. Point Blank
Well its Point Blank isn’t it, I don’t really need to say anymore.
6. Road Rash Jailbreak
The last decent hurrah for the Road Rash series. It had sidecars, weapons and bikes. A bit more about racing than fighting. Why has it been 18 years since a proper Road Rash release?
A genuinely funny platform game which played like it was made by David Perry, it wasn’t.
4. Theme Park
It’s Theme Park, oh look another franchise EA need to bring back. Many a day wasted creating a park utopia. This was another good example of the PlayStation bridging the gap between a type of game usually reserved for PC gamers.
I recall the first time I saw Wipeout running, I was absolutely stunned. From a sprite-based 2D world to an explosion of 3D. However, it was not just the fact it was a stunning world, it was the smooth frame rate, the physics and inertia-based driving/flying and the amazing soundtrack. Finally, games which exceeded the expectations of arcade cabinets had arrived in our homes. Never have I been as amazed as I was back then, I’d guess it was like the transition from black and white TV’s to colour.
Again, a type of game normally reserved for PC gamers. Worms replaced golf games as the perfect pass the controller party game.
1. Vib Ribbon
Many people have not had the fortuitousness to experience this game, it was never released in the U.S. I luckily still possess my preproduction copy, which I hope is worth a fortune. A rhythm game with an amazing J-Pop soundtrack and the ability to accept any regular music cd into the PlayStation, which you can then play along to, admittedly with partial success. It’s not an amazing game but its rarity makes it very special.