|Sony’s Playstation 1 Console|
The Playstation 1 is a console that is incredibly near and dear to my heart. Not only was it the first console that I ever owned, but it helped create my first memories of gaming as I know it today. The console is only as good as its games, and the games for the Playstation 1 are usually overlooked in this age due to the superior technical performance of games that are currently on the market. However, in its day, the Playstation 1 was the home to incredible masterpieces of games that are, in a lot of cases, the cornerstones of adult gamers beginning their lives in video gaming. Here are 10 games that had the same influence on me. (there’s also going to be a rule that I’m not going to include more than one game in a franchise, so I don’t flood this list with Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon!).
Also keep in mind that this is my own personal opinion, if your favorite PS1 game didn’t make the cut, it is because we have differentiating opinions on the game or I never played it in my childhood or since, that is not to say I don’t think the game is good, so please don’t rage too hard!
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
|Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Playstation Cover
I never was one for horror/bloody adventure games when I was a kid. I was more involved with the fantasy/cartoony genres of characters and settings to really get into that genre. But Castlevania is an exception for me. It wasn’t exactly dead-center in the horror genre, but it gave me enough of a creepy vibe when I first booted it up to have second thoughts about the game. I’m glad I didn’t listen to my instinct and turn the game off though, this game was an absolute thrill ride for me. There’s honestly almost nothing to complain about with this game; the lore is deep, the replayablity is astounding, the depth that this game goes to in order to keep it interesting like the class system and rpg elements, the crisp platforming, the familiars, the multiple endings and so on. This game is undoubtedly a timeless classic and definitely an instance in which the original held up to be better than the remaster. In an era where a lot of the aspects of this game were still being tweaked by developers, this game ran with all of them beautifully and meshed them together into one amazing experience. This is a definite must-have and must-play for any classic/retro gamer who hasn’t played it yet, and if you have played it, you need to go play it again to relive this game once more.
Tomb Raider II
|Tomb Raider II Playstation Cover
If I’m being honest, I never played this game as a kid. It wasn’t until my girlfriend was insistent on getting the Tomb Raider trilogy when we recently purchased a PS1 for my collection that I was able to dive into this game, and boy did it impress. Not only was I given a look into how Lara Croft made it so big in the gaming industry, but I was able to turn back the clock and play a specific Playstation 1 game for the first time in over a decade. This game packed quite an adventure and due to the constant need for inquisitive puzzle solving and navigation, the game never felt boring. There was always something to discover, unfold, explore, and navigate throughout the world and it felt so lush for a Playstation 1 era title. The exploratory elements of this game surpasses some of the games in its genre that are coming out today, which is why this game holds up very well even to today’s standards. I definitely see why my girlfriend loves the game more than she loves me, as it is a true masterpiece and centerfold for the Playstation 1 library. If you’re looking for a fantastic semi-open world, puzzling, and exploratory game that doesn’t hold your hand, this is an awesome game to get your fix.
Metal Gear Solid
|Metal Gear Solid Playstation Cover
Similar to the Castlevania experience, Metal Gear Solid belonged to a genre in which I didn’t really care for as a kid: stealth. I didn’t like the idea of sneaking around, trying to get to an objective undetected when I could just go in, guns blazing, and get to my objective my own way (as seen in games like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro where you can just go around and destroy enemies with various, cartoony attacks). I played this game a dozen times before I actually figured out how to play the game, and it was this trial and error that both made me frustrated and infatuated with the game. The constant fear of failure symbolized by that red exclamation point above your enemy’s heads, the constant strive to get better at your strategy so you could outsmart your adversaries and get around them undetected, the thrill of getting to your objective successfully knowing that your foe is none the wiser, it was a great new thrill for me and an amazing experience. A great differentiation to the genre of games that I was used to and a great platform to get me into the genre in the future.
Twisted Metal III
|Twisted Metal III Playstation Cover
This game brought every child’s sick, demonic dreams of manning a hellcar while being able to shoot anyone down in their way and being a general badass to life in the best ways. Some of my best memories of this game comes from coming home from school angry and venting out all of my frustrations through this game vicariously. This game was a hell of a good time with exhilarating action unlike anything I had ever seen before at the time. It was truly the introduction to the destructive racing genre we’ve seen grow since this game’s inception and popularity among gamers. It is literally the perfect storm of adrenaline, action, thrills, spills, and testosterone. If you want to get some anger out because you had a bad day at work or school, or are just craving some destruction and action in your life, pop this game back into your Sony console and reap destruction on all that oppose you! It is a perfect way to channel your frustrations into something and give you that ultimate feeling of catharsis!
|Ape Escape Playstation Cover
This game is simple enough in its concept: capture the monkeys that have escaped to beat the level. However, it is the execution in which this simple concept was presented that brings gamers an amazing and fulfilling experience. At the time, 3D platformers were a concept that was being experimented with, but wasn’t fully mastered until this game came about. It combined the simple objective with capturing escaped monkeys with the 3D platforming design in order to bring a simple take on the experimental genre. The controls were crisp and every inch of the game was designed to bring out the best in the 3D aspect of the game. It is because of this that the game is loved, remembered, and cherished by so many, as it is seen as one of the true pioneers of the 3D genre done correctly for the first time. It is through the simplicity of the game that the genre seemed less daunting and unfamiliar to a lot of new gamers to the genre, and brought about a process to which the gamer was slowly and easily introduced to the genre instead of being thrown into it head-first not knowing what to do with it. It was a gradual experience that stands the test of time due to its simplicity and it cannot be expressed enough how much this game changed the playing field of the gaming industry, and especially for the PS1.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3
|Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 Playstation Cover
I’ve always been a fan of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise, and i prefer the titles on the PS2 much more than the titles on the PS1, but THPS3 gave me a lot of fun when I was younger. The implementation and mastery of all the elements that came before it in the franchise was crisp and satisfying, and it gave you the real feeling that you were actually living the life of a skater. In the later installments, you felt like you could bust an insane amount of tricks and combos without much effort (and that was one of the biggest downsides to those games) but this was truly one of the last games in the franchise that felt like you could bust cool tricks and combos without it becoming too easy or second-nature. It was still a challenge to land a double kickflip, whereas in the later installments you could land a double kickflip + method 540 without much effort and in the previous installments, the double kickflip was almost impossible (no pun intended). This game really felt like it was the real deal, the ideal portrayal of the life of a pro skater and it gave you the same adrenaline rush that it would if you went out and got on a real skateboard (unless you completely suck at skateboarding like me, in which case playing this game would be a lot less painful than actual skateboarding to boot).
Mega Man X4
I wasn’t familiar at all with Mega Man before I played this game, but playing this game made me want to dive into the lore behind it and learn all I could about our favorite blue robot-boy. The crisp and exciting 2D platforming made me reminisce about my love for super mario, but this game put a hell of a nice modern (at the time) twist to the genre and definitely upped the ante for Mario. It was action-packed and required reflexes and a keen memory to master, as well as an understanding of the weaknesses of each boss and how to beat them the easiest way. Each stage and boss differentiates from one another and creates a new environment for each stage, keeping the game from feeling boring despite the repetitive movesets and actions. With each powerup, you feel stronger and it adds a new feel to the gameplay, keeping it fresh and the replayability value extremely high. These aspects coupled with the game’s charm makes it playable to 100% multiple times, and is sure to kill a lot of time in your life if you’re dedicated enough. Hell, even if you’re not dedicated enough to go 100%, it is still a hell of an experience that any gamer, and especially 2D platformer/Mega Man fans, would enjoy thoroughly.
|Spider-Man Playstation Cover
This game is one of the games on this list that holds a very dear place in my heart. As you could probably guess by some of the other articles I’ve produced, I’m a huge fan of everything that is Marvel. When I was a kid I fell in love with Spider-Man and wanted everything that had to do with the hero. Enter the Spider-Man game on the PS1. Man. To this day it is still the best iteration of Spider-Man in video game form (save for hopefully the new title coming to PS4 later this year, but that’s beside the point.) If you honestly and truly want to feel like a web-slinging superhero saving the city of New York from Spider-Man’s most famous villains from the comic books, you need to play this game. It is extremely satisfying to swing from buildings, drop to the ground, fight your enemies, and save civilians in this game, and it will undoubtedly give you a good time. Feeling like a hero in this game is a feeling that is truly unparalleled, especially comparing it to other Spider-Man games that have been produced in recent years (which is a damn tragedy in my opinion). Nothing can compare to the classics, and in my humble opinion, this game has aged like a fine wine. I can go back and replay it with the same amount of enthusiasm as I did when I first booted it up when I was young. It truly stands the test of time as one of the best superhero games ever conceived, and I can only hope that the PS4 title later this year lives up to this game’s standard.
Spyro the Dragon
|Spyro The Dragon Playstation Cover
So this is one of the two games on my list that I really made that “one per franchise” rule for, because I truly adored the first 2 Spyro games (the third was eh, but it was still good). This game was one of the true essences of my childhood. From the adorable titular hero, to the bright colors, to the wacky enemies, to the great rush you felt when you charged right into one of the green knight-frog’s bare butts, this game is the definition of charm. It is captivating from the opening title screen and immediately sucks you in for a great adventure. Enough cannot be said about Spyro, as it is adored and beloved in the hearts of many gamers, and for those of you who have never played a Spyro game, I truly pity you. If there were ever a console-selling game, there are two on this console and one of them is Spyro (of course you could always wait until the PS4 remaster later this year which I’m also super excited about). The fluidity of the controls make playing this game extremely fun and satisfying, making it a game I could literally play for hours on end without getting bored, and a game that I can always come back to when I want a good time. A definite must-have and must-play for any gamer who is a fan of fun.
Before we get into the number one spot, I’d like to mention some titles that didn’t make it on my list, but are extremely fun to play on the PS1, just either not some of my personal favorites or would break my ‘one per franchise’ rule.
Resident Evil 2
Spyro the Dragon 2
Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and Team Racing
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
Parappa the Rapper
Crash Bandicoot 3 (Warped)
|Crash Bandicoot Warped Playstation Cover
Oh come on! You can’t tell me you didn’t see this one coming. The name of the blog is the Bandicoot Banter after all! I can literally talk about this game all day; how it perfected the art of mastering the 3D platforming genre, how it incorporated many different styles and settings into its gameplay, how its replayability is literally unlike any game I have ever seen, how beautiful it was given the time period in which it was released, the lovable and dorky protagonist and his sister, the amazing soundtrack, the list truly goes on with this game. In my opinion, this game is a true masterpiece that stands the test of time as one of the great games in history. You can always go back and play this game, or play the N.Sane Trilogy on the PS4 which masterfully encapsulates the spirit of all three games in the franchise into one beautiful package. Crash Bandicoot is da bomb. Period.
And that’s my list! Agree with me? Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments what you think! I’m always open for discussion! Hope you liked it!