The original PlayStation had some truly amazing games, and that made selecting this list very difficult. In 2022 you’re able to play enhanced versions of many of these games on other systems, but these are the originals that influenced the rest of the industry.
In this list you’ll find ten of the very best games of all time, never mind the PS1 (also known as PSX). But yes, they’re all available on PS1, which basically cements the console’s place in history. If you want to play some of the greatest games of all time, play these PS1 titles.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy games are often at their best when they’re doing something different, and that’s certainly the case with Final Fantasy Tactics. This encapsulates the same grand stories you know and love from this series, but allows you to go deeper. Instead of spending hours in random encounters, there’s one big encounter per chapter, and a lot of dialogue and story dumps in between them. A classic that deserves to come back very soon. Please?
Metal Gear Solid
We all know the name Solid Snake now, and this was his proper introduction. The Metal Gear series had already featured on the MSX years earlier, but being able to explore the Shadow Moses base in full 3D felt revolutionary. There wasn’t anything else quite like Metal Gear Solid at the time, and it’s still an amazing game to play today.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
This is the game that catapulted the series to greatness. The mechanical tweaks meant that Pro Skater 2 made linking combos together more fun than ever, while hours can be spent in the Create A Park mode allowing you to design the park you use those combos in. Pro Skater 2 is a classic, and a PlayStation essential.
Final Fantasy VII
A game so iconic, so influential, that only the other day was there a presentation dedicated to its 25th anniversary, which showcased multiple upcoming games in the Final Fantasy 7 series. Yes, it made such an impact that its world and characters are basically a franchise separate from Final Fantasy itself. If you want to even understand why Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s story changes are so controversial, you still need to play the original.
Tekken redefined 3D fighting games, and Tekken 3 was the best of the PlayStation entries. The earlier Tekken games were good, but Tekken 3 was a true all-time classic. Loads of characters, fun game modes, and brilliantly refined combat. Tekken 3 was so good that Tekken 7 is still building on that base, and fostering an amazing competitive community.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
The last gasp of full-fat 2D home console Castlevania games, Symphony of the Night is considered to be not only one of the best Castlevania entries but one of the greatest games of all time. Alucard’s journey through the castle walls is iconic. It looks gorgeous, plays amazingly, and has an incredible soundtrack. If you play one Castlevania game, make it Symphony of the Night.
One of the only horror franchises that live up to the standard that Resident Evil set, while going in a totally different direction. Yes, spooky environments and tank controls are present, and so is the mid-western American setting, but while Resident Evil ends up relying on action and bosses as things progress, Silent Hill is a true horror experience, with each game going deeper to explore the psyche of the protagonists, and the origins of the ghastly creatures wandering the world.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter Alpha kept the spirit of 2D console fighting games alive during the PS1 era. Alpha looked better than any Street Fighter game had before and adopted a colorful anime aesthetic that is still iconic to this day. Street Fighter Alpha 3 is a fan favorite, and for good reason. Worth returning to in any year.
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil is the game that put the modern survival horror genre on the map, but Resident Evil 2 is where the game was perfected. Leon, Claire, and the police station are all equally memorable characters in their own right, and while the Resident Evil 2 Remake is a great way to experience this story, there’s still nothing quite like playing the original.
Lara Croft was basically a sex symbol for teenage boys in the ’90s. Yes, that’s a bit strange, but it’s the reality of the situation. It just illustrates how important and influential Tomb Raider was at the time, being one of the first-ever 3D action games. While your personal favorite could be any of the early games on PlayStation, the original is the one that quite literally changed how video games were viewed, and helped elevate them above being simple toys. An inarguable classic.
Written by Dave Aubrey on behalf of GLHF.