The original PlayStation was a completely groundbreaking console. Released way back in 1994, it made Sony a player in the gaming scene and was the first system to ship over 100 million units; eventually going on to sell over 120 million units. Not only did the PlayStation spawn the creation of some of the most obscure accessories (I think that’s a blog post in itself), but was also home to some of the greatest games ever created.
I grew up in a “PlayStation Household,” meaning we had a PSOne instead of a Nintendo 64. I am infinitely grateful for the kind you man working at Wal-Mart who convinced my parents that my brothers and I were too old for the N64. Because of their decision, I was able to enjoy so many great games that weren’t limited by a gaming cartridge’s memory issues.
Below I give you my list of favorite PlayStation games. Remember, this list is simply a list of the games I enjoyed playing the most and is not reflective of any other rating system or total sells.
|15. Metal Gear Solid & Final Fantasy VII
– I remind you, these are just my picks. Metal Gear Solid was a genre-defining game. Along with Final Fantasy VII, I knew people who bought a PSOne (after they got smaller in price and size) just to play this game. As a younger kid, I did struggle with the sneaking and stealth aspects of this one.
– Once again…these are just my picks. I say this again because I know I’ve already offended the vast majority of our readers. That being said, this game isn’t higher on my list because I never actually played until 2006. I really enjoyed once I got my hands on it, but never felt a strong connection to it. But none of this changes the fact that I am dying to get my hands on the re-make for PS4 slated for release later this year.
|14. Crash Team Racing
– This game was the PlayStation’s response to Mario Kart 64 (which is still my favorite kart-racing game). It wasn’t Mario kart, but it soften the blow of not being able to play it at every party. CTR was a great game, and the first kart-racing game that I remember featuring an “adventure Mode.”
|13. Twisted Metal 2
– I’ll never forget when my brother got this game for his birthday. The live-action-comic-like cinematics were amazing. Twisted Metal 2 improved in every way over the original and really pushed you to beat the game with every character so you could find out how Calypso would inevitably screw them over.
|12. WCW Nitro
– My brothers and I were on a mission with this game: We would unlock every character without using codes. And we did it. I have no idea how many characters this game featured, but it was a ton. I recall waking up early before school just so I could play through Arcade mode and unlock a character before school.
|11. NBA Live 2000
– It’s hard to feature sports games on lists like this because they are obsolete and get better every year. I include this version of the once-great NBA Live series because it was the game that brought Michael Jordan back to video games (see: Michael Jordan’s Chaos in the Windy City). The catch was you had to beat His Airness in a game of one-on-one before you could use him. That proved to be a tall order.
|10. Silent Hill
– This is the first video game that scared me. My parents went out of town for a few days, leaving my oldest brother in charge. We immediately rushed to the movie store and rented Silent Hill. While my brother was at work, I booted this game up…only to turn it off after the first five minutes. Needless to say, I we didn’t play until all three of us were together.
|9. Knockout Kings 2000
– This game was my favorite installment of EA Sports’ Knockout Kings series. It expanded on the roster of available boxers and simplified the gameplay for a more enjoyable experience. The career mode was a blast, especially when you unlocked special characters such as Tim Duncan, Marlon Wayans, Smacko the Clown, and Mills Lane. “LETS GET IT ON!”
|8. Need for Speed: High Stakes
– High-speed car chases just like in movies. While we probably spent more time playing Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, the sequel improved on the game mechanics to make a much more enjoyable experience. High Stakes also allowed you to play on either side of the law. I will forever love this game because it was one of the few video games my Dad would play with us… not to mention it also prompted him to buy us a racing wheel.
|7. MegaMan X5
– One of the only PlayStation games that I still play (via emulator, of course). My friend brought this game over to my house one night after we already had a PS2, so I was naturally resistant to it. But after I overcame my “old-gen bias,” I discovered a game filled with timeless gameplay that will be enjoyable until the end of time. I selected X5 over X4 because it had more gameplay options, and over X6 because I found the sequel too difficult.
|6. Driver 2
– The first game that let you get out of the car and explore the city, this game was ground-breaking. Driver 2 took you on a 1970s old-school undercover cop journey across the world. Being able to change cars mid-mission was an entirely new concept that helped lay the ground work for the revamped Grand Theft Auto Series on the PS2.
|5. Gauntlet Legends
– After playing this game in an arcade, I was thrilled to find it at Wal-Mart a week before my 11th birthday. Gauntlet Legends was my first love in a long affair of action-RPGs. The open world, powerups, memorable heroes and bosses are just a few of the reasons I love to go back to this game. I was a Valkyrie, by the way.
|4. Syphon Filter
– My brothers and I put our money together to buy Syphon Filter instead of Metal Gear Solid. I won’t fault you if you think we made the wrong choice, but you’ll never change my mind that we made the right choice, either. Until the Mass Effect series, Syphon Filter was the only third-person shooter that I really enjoyed. It featured the perfect blend of strategy and action, and had an amazing story. It’s a true shame none of the sequels (on any system) were that great. That being said, I will continue to buy each sequel because of how great the original was. Besides, is there anything more satisfying than pulling out your taser for a long range kill that lights your enemy on fire? No, there isn’t.
|3. NFL Blitz
– The best sports game ever made? Probably. The best party sports game? Absolutely. This game was equal parts fun, ridiculous, and surprising. I have so many fond memories playing this game against my oldest brother because it was one of the few games I could compete with him in. The remake is also my favorite Xbox Live Arcade game.
|2. Command and Conquer Red Alert: Retaliation
– I had no idea what this game was when my brother got it for Christmas one year. He played a C&C computer game at a friend’s house and asked for Red Alert: Retaliation. We decided to indulge him and let him play his game first… and we didn’t turn it off for about a week. This game is tied with Age of Empires II as my favorite RTS game ever. Whether it was playing the scenarios (for either the soviets or allies) or just playing a skirmish, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest games of its time; one I still play to this day.
|1. Tekken 3
– The all-time greatest fight game. No one will ever convince me otherwise. Not only did this game feature a robust roster, great cinematics, and gameplay that is still relevant, but the additional modes were amazing. Team battles, Tekken Force (an adventure-type mode), and the greatest game of all: Tekken Ball. This was the lone original PlayStation game that I continued to play all the way through the PS2 lifetime. I still play this game on my tablet. It is simply the best. And it continues to steal my money because I buy every new Tekken game because of how much fun we had with this game. There are simply too many good memories associated with Tekken 3 to ever put another game higher. My favorite PSX game? Try my favorite game ever.
Did I miss your favorite PlayStation game? Let me know in the comments!