The original PlayStation will always hold a special place in my heart. It brought me many years of Crash Bandicoot, MediEval, and everything in between. However, five games have really stood out to me since then, and it seems like I’m not the only one who agrees these five titles all have made quite major impacts on the gaming world, including on myself. They are the cream of the crop in the wide library of PS1 titles, and also my personal pick of the best games the system has to offer… if you’re thinking about picking up a PS1 again. If so, please send me a message and tell me where you found it.
5. Crash Bandicoot
It could be argued that Crash Bandicoot 2 and 3 were the superior titles, but the original Crash Bandicoot is not only the most nostalgic for me, but also the one I feel really stands out as a wholly original and awesome piece of innovative new material. Naughty Dog, who we all know as the masterminds behind The Last of Us and Dude Raider, had their come-up into the spotlight too with this little gem. Platforming simply wasn’t the same after Crash. I’m ecstatic we’re getting a remastered trilogy soon.
4. Silent Hill
Silent Hill 2 pushed the series to its limits, but it all began with the first Silent Hill. For what Konami had to pull off back in the day due to the restrictions of the PS1’s graphical capabilities is actually remarkable, taking the worst of something and turning it into your games’ greatest strength – a groundbreaking feat if I’ve ever seen one. Silent Hill prided itself on being atmospheric, eerily bone-chilling, and intense in the way it presented its horror set amidst the legendary ash-ridden town. As a mere six year old first playing this game, I can honestly say many pants were shat. As for what’s been happening to Konami lately, though… They’ve pretty much lost their minds. Speaking of Konami and things they lost…
3. Metal Gear Solid
The original Metal Gear Solid, created by madman/eccentric game developer Hideo Kojima, put this iconic stealth series on the map and in an unexpectedly groundbreaking way. Not only did Metal Gear Solid steer the stealth/action genre into some unfamiliar turf, it also creatively manipulated gamers through stunning fourth wall breaks that makes you think if Kojima actually thought about this while stoned on an upside airplane one day or something. Like Silent Hill utilized the PS1’s software limitations, Metal Gear Solid gracefully used its hardware and made for plenty of unforgettable moments in my childhood. What do you mean I have to unplug the controller and be player 2?!
2. Resident Evil 2
The first Resident Evil, otherwise known as the Jill Sandwich, was among the first true survival horror video games. It was also the first to feature some of the most horrendous voice acting to ever grace a microphone, but thankfully it didn’t carry over to its sequel. Well, not entirely anyway. Resident Evil 2 upped the horror factor to some diabolical next levels while retaining the same spirit of the original. Players could take to the streets of Raccoon City in the middle of the fatal zombie outbreak in the shoes of resident series heartthrob and Korean band member Leon S. Kennedy; let’s just say zombie apocalypse wasn’t in his training manual as a rookie cop…
1. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy has always intrigued me more than I care to admit. Even though I haven’t played every single game, the lore always grabs my attention like a kid in a Hershey’s factory. Final Fantasy VII is where it all began, and was my first game on PS1. Frankly, I didn’t expect such epic grandeur from a video game before, basically being the equivalent of the Lord of the Rings to gaming. The story, the characters, the world-building, and the imagination all seamlessly melded together for one of the fondest and dearest memories of my childhood that I will always cherish. Also, you haven’t lived until you’ve seen a four year old try to cuddle the television in tears after Aeris’ death.