The PlayStation, commonly know as PS1, is a home video game console designed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was released in December 1994 in Japan and was, and the game took the world with a storm the following year. It gained popularity as it allowed its players to enjoy 3D games using discs instead of expensive cartridges.
PS1 was not only home to some of the most amazing games of that time, but it also highlighted a robust library of games. Including a great gaming experience also offered a convenient way to play music on C.D.s, which was unique in the mid-’90s.
PS1 featured a much diverse range of games that ranged from mind-bending puzzles to narrative-driven RPGs to fast and furious races, and so on. In its 11 year run, it offered a wildly diverse range of games.
Many of the games featured on PS1 remain beloved by the players as classics to this day. They were not only favorites of the gamers but are also critically acclaimed and praised as those times best. So in this list, we will go through 11 of the best PS1 games of all time.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
This was one of the most influential action- RPGs of all time and is still one of the most satisfying games to play to date.
The introduction of Symphony of the Night was a franchise defining moment for Castlevania, as the game drastically extended the series. This introduction came with progression and non-linear exploration and RPG loot that later resulted in the ‘Metroidvania’ genre.
Previously in Castlevania, the gamers only controlled the members of the vampire hunting Belmont family. At the same time, Symphony of the Night revolved around the son of Dracula named Alucard. In this, Alucardsets out to destroy the monstrous inhabitants of the castle to protect humanity.
The series thus stood out immediately and attracted the gamers. The bold choices hid half of the game behind false endings. The game utilized the CD format and had 2D sprites.
Metal Gear Solid
This game is one of the games that lead to the introduction of modern stealth video games. In 1998 the Metal Gear Solid was introduced and, to this date, remains an unassailable classic. It was a sequel to two lesser-known games that was created by Hideo Kojima.
In this game, the gamer plays as a special ops soldier named Solid Snake. The soldier infiltrates the hideout place of a rogue unit threatening the United States with a nuclear strike.
The soldier is given a variety of tools to achieve the mission, such as tools for taking out or evading the guards. Thus these games provided with one of the most tactical gaming experiences to its gamers at the time.
Due to its theme, it has since given rise to many more critically acclaimed entries as well as many spin-offs. They are thus making it the best game of PS1.
Twisted Metal 2
The Twisted Metal was designed by David Jaffe, who is also known for his work behind God of war.
This game provided the gamers with a post-apocalyptic extreme, where they are equipped with over-the-top armed and reinforced vehicles in a demolition contest. Even with the early 3D technology, the games iconic ice- cream truck ‘sweet tooth,’ the cars and the drivers, and a muscle-bound man straddling two truck tires oozed personality.
The game was had arenas that were set in the ruins of major cities around the world and had power-ups and projectile weapons scattered throughout the race.
The first game was only equipped for a single-player and co-op modes while the sequel was expanded. The sequel came with multiplayer modes, more arenas, more vehicles, and more custom modes that allowed players to just drop in and enjoy the mayhem.
The contractual dispute between the developer SingleTrac and Sony lead to TM2 be the peak for Twisted metal fans.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
This is a third-person game developed by Crystal Dynamics; this is a top-down RPG series that is action-focused.
In this game, the gamers play in a grim and dark fantasy world of Nosgoth as the ghostly vampire named Raziel.
The game gained popularity amongst gamers due to its compelling dark narrative, varied mechanics, and voice acting. The major attraction is the ability of the player to shift between the physical and spectral realm at any time. This effect was not a small technical feature because Crystal Dynamics was not able to layer one world on top of the other due to the limitations provided by the console.
The game was written by Amy Hennig, who is now amongst the best game narrative creators in the business. She is also the scribe of the series Uncharted. Thus Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is also amongst the top PS1 games.
Tenchu: The Stealth Assassins
Ninjas have played an important role in molding the early days of gaming in both within and beyond Japan, due to their long-held mystique. In some franchises like Ninja Gaiden, ninjas are seen as lithe, hack-and-slash fighters. This version of the ninjas was broken by the Tenchu: The Stealth Assassins.
This game breaks the old molds of ninjas and is one of the first games to see ninjas as a stealthy infiltrator. In this game, the ninja doesn’t rely only on his weapons and reflexes only. He must also rely on his intellects and tools to survive through the game.
The game was developed by a Japanese studio Acquire. The game is based on the Japanese feudal system. The game becomes more intriguing for the players as failing a mission causes the player to lose the tools they are carrying and thus making the players more careful and deliberate when approaching a mission.
The game further develops fun with elements from Japanese mythology. In its time, the success of the game was based on not only the fun the game provided but the fact of how human and vulnerable you felt during it, making the winnings a great deal sweeter.
This is another third-person action-stealth 3D game. However, it was a little overshadowed by the Metal Gear Solid.
A new developer named Eidetic took inspiration and aimed to create a super-spy game. The creator aimed to create a hybrid genre that had action, stealth, and puzzles. The game was highly acclaimed in its time; however, its legacy has not endured the same.
The game story is based in a contemporary and gritty world where the special operatives are facing off against biological terrorists. The story included multinational pharmaceutical companies, governments, and conspiracies. The plot of the game is extremely immersive, and it is greatly enhanced by gameplay, having a compelling balance of action and stealth.
When the game was launched, the critics acclaimed the game for its amazing A.I., which is still one of the impressive to date also, as A.I. is one of the key requirements for a good stealth game
Einhander was developed by a Japanese developer, Square, who was known for his work for role-playing games. However, Einhander was a scrolling shooter game that was released in November 1997.
The game is entirely based on the story of Selene and Endymion in the future. The story is during a war between the Moon and Earth. In the game, the player is part of The Moons forces, and it pilots a spacecraft, destroying enemies and collecting power-ups. The player has to invade enemy territories and gather reconnaissance and enemy weapons.
The name of the game is German, and it means a type of sword that is wielded with one hand. The same happens in the game as the aircraft has a single manipulator arm that collects the weapons from enemy territories.
The weapons have limited ammunition that means the player must constantly seek new weapons and adapting to the new playstyles.
In the ’90s, the gamers loved the game for its smooth presentation and tactical variety. Many believe that this was Square’s finest non-RPG work to date.
Ace Combat 2
Ace Combat 2 is the improved version of the original ace combat and was released in 1997 by Namco.
It is a combat flight simulator game in which the player controls one of the 24 different fighter jets through the 21 different types of missions. The game is an arcade-style combat game whose basic design favors gameplay over the simulation.
The game offers the players with semi-realistic physics, with the jets being able to carry far more missiles than the payload. However, in the greater difficulty levels, the game allows the player to fly with greater realism.
The game has linear objective-based missions, in which you can upgrade jet resources depending on how successful you were in destroying all targets.
In its day, it was a commercial success and was commended by the critics for its graphics and gameplay.
Mega Man Legends 2
It is an action-adventure game sequel to Mega Man Legends released in 2000 by Capcom.
In the game, the players are taken on Mega Man Volnutt’s quest to find the four keys hidden on the planet. The keys then aid in finding the Mother Lode, a legendary treasure providing an infinite energy source. The game is set in an archipelago and is based on the Caskett Family, treasure hunters.
The family travels across lands and scours through ruins and ancient machinery in search of Mother Lode. The second game not only refines the gun mechanics but is also richer and has a more character-driven narrative. The more entertaining bits are the voice-acted cutscenes that make it similar to watching anime. The game also features memorable characters like the nemesis, pirate Tron Bonne.
Tomb Raider 2
Tomb raider 2 is a game developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive, released in 1997 as part of the Tomb Raider series.
The original Tomb Raider game is believed to be the founder of the 3D action/adventure game genre, while Tomb Raider 2 made Lara Croft. The game is set upon the basic setup of the original game. The new features included new vehicles, extra moves, and new weapons.
The game, like the first, was expanded and had a mix of platforming, exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving. However, this sequel has wider environments, refined control, and more exciting set pieces.
The players readily embraced the iconic game’s character, the international treasure hunter named Lara Croft.
It was one of the best selling games of the time and is known as the series peak as the third version seemed a bit rushed.
It is the most popular 3D ones on one combat fighting game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and Square and developed by Japanese studio Light Weight.
The game themes, characters, and weapons are from Feudal Japan, but it takes place in the modern era. This is unlike other fighting games as it has no time limit or health gauge present during the combat. Thus the characters hit either break the particular body part or cause instant deaths. It is possible to wound the opponent without killing them.
This game thus provides a degree of realism with a much more tactical tempo. The game features eight realistically simulated weapons, six characters with different abilities, stats, and proficiencies with each weapon.
The game also doesn’t have any stance based fighting, thus allowing the players various gameplay options. The game offers different arenas that are all interconnected. This lets the player take advantage of the different environments provided.
The sequel has come after this game that has smooth out the small quirks. And other fighting games have been developed, but non have quite replicated the uniqueness of the original Bushido Blade. The game has been praised and critically acclaimed by many.