Sony made its presence known in the gaming industry in 1994 with the release of its first PlayStation console. Not only did this console capture the hearts of children, it was also one of the first video game consoles aimed squarely at adults. The PS1 wasn’t the first home console to use disc-based gaming, but it was the first successful jump into that space and prompted the entire gaming industry to adopt the disc format in the future.
The effects of the original PlayStation are still being felt today due to its successful lineup of colorful characters, exciting adventures, and drive to prove that games can be enjoyed by people of any age. Here are the absolute best examples of those three rules with the top ten original PlayStation games.
Related: The best PS2 games
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Another PlayStation icon, Crash Bandicoot captured the fun and cocky tone of the ’90s with his three main games on PlayStation. However, the third Crash game was where the series reached its peak. For the first time, you could play as Crash or his sister Coco as they traveled through different time periods. Aku Aku’s evil brother Uka Uka was freed, and you needed to collect crystals in each level to prevent them from falling into his and Dr. Neo Cortex’s hands.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped features the iconic 3D linear platformer series that hasn’t been replicated since. Added to the formula this time around are Coco riding her Pura tiger or a jetski and Crash driving a motorcycle or a plane in certain levels. If you have Crash N Sane Trilogy on current consoles, make sure to play this game which has better level design than previous two games with much fairer difficulty progression.
final fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is one of those games that will always be fondly remembered by those who grew up with it. The first Final Fantasy not to appear on a Nintendo console at launch, it was an instant classic. The story of Cloud and company and his journey is an epic story told over several discs.
There are many cinematic moments that make this game feel closer to a movie in some moments accompanied by iconic Final Fantasy RPG mechanics. Each character is given the right amount of screen time for you to care about them. Aerith’s death remains one of the most well-known and talked about moments in video games. Sephiroth is a tough boss who remains the most iconic series to this day. final fantasy VII It is widely considered one of the best games of all time. It’s a great story that will appeal to the player with the slightest interest in RPGs. In 2020, the new version is finally released, but if you want the original experience, it’s available on all current consoles.
Gran Turismo is the PlayStation racing simulation series that has been loved since its inception. The first title was the best selling PlayStation game with 10.85 million units and is also one of the highest rated racing games ever.
140 cars and 11 different race tracks are featured in the game, each feels great with grand tourer strict controls and its superior AI technology for the moment. The game took five years to develop, but it was worth the wait for Sony and fans of racing games.
solid metal gear
Hideo Kojima is a known fan of blockbuster movies, and Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation was the best example of a movie-driven game at the time. Cutscenes were rendered in-engine (unheard of at the time) with full voice acting driving the experience along with stealth-based gameplay.
You play as Solid Snake, who is forced to go into retreat to find and neutralize a genetically enhanced special forces unit called the Foxhound, who have taken over a remote island in Alaska. This was the beginning of Kojima’s career at Konami as one of the best-known game developers in the industry. His methods are always unorthodox, but you can’t argue with the results he got with what ended up being one of the most famous video games ever made in Metal Gear Solid.
parappa the rapper
Parappa the Rapper was a PlayStation icon in the ’90s who has sadly not received enough respect in the new century. You played rapper-in-training Parappa as he solved all of his problems by rapping with beat-based controls. The game was mostly the original Guitar Hero or Rock Band about a decade before those games were released.
The game’s unique graphic style is 2D cartoon characters set in a 3D world. For the most part, it looks like someone drew these characters and they were taken off paper. Parappa the Rapper is a simple game, with few levels, but the charm is through the roof. If you have a PS4, check out the remaster of this game that was created to celebrate 20 years of the original rhythm-based mechanics.
resident evil 2
In 2019, Capcom released a full remake of this Resident Evil 2 to bring it up to today’s graphics and gameplay standards. The remake was a huge success, being considered by many people as the game of the year.
The original Resident Evil 2 was much the same when it was released in 1998. The horror game featured multiple campaigns that warranted multiple playthroughs. Leon Kennedy was starting his first day as a police officer in Raccoon City when the zombie outbreak begins. Claire Redfield is looking for her brother Chris, who was the protagonist in the first game. Throughout the campaigns, you are hunted by the monstrous Mr. X, who cannot be killed. He just follows you slowly, threatening your life with every step. As you complete each story, you are graded on how quickly you complete the campaign. The rewards for finishing with a high score make this a perfect single player game for multiple playthroughs.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Wrath
The original PlayStation had no shortage of mascot characters during its run. The 1990s were a platformer’s paradise with a pet (usually an animal) leading the charge. Enter Spyro the Dragon, a small purple dragon accompanied by his best friend Sparx the Dragonfly. The original game brought to life a colorful world where Spyro saved his kind from imprisonment by Gnasty Gnorc. It was a great start to a series, but the sequel took the series to new heights.
Ripto’s Rage saw Spyro enter the new world of Alora, where he is helping a land devoid of dragons end the tyrannical rule of the wizard Ripto. All the charm and personality of the series carried over to the second game with better functionality. The levels were arguably better designed, with Tom Kenny (the voice of Spongebob Squarepants) taking on the role of Spyro and becoming the iconic voice of the purple dragon. Insomniac Games provided one more game in the series with Spyro the Dragon: Year of the Dragon, which was also good, but perhaps provided too much in the way of varying gameplay. As it stands, Ripto’s Rage remains the best Spyro game to date.
tomb raider 2
The original Tomb Raider It was the first third-person action-adventure game. While it was innovative, it was a pretty basic game. tomb raider 2 Built on the foundation the original set for him with new moves, weapons, and vehicles, and the gameplay was much better for him.
This time, Lara Croft is looking for the mythical Dagger of Xian. The dagger was owned by an ancient Chinese emperor and could turn its bearer into a dragon. Lara races to find the dagger before a Venetian mob leader can get it. While the controls may not hold up well by today’s standards, Tomb Raider 2 was an essential step in making action-adventure games a more popular genre.
Pro skater from Tony Hawk 2
In the late 90s, early 2000s, Tony Hawk games were the kings of action-based sports games. He was given a time limit to perform as many tricks and combos to get the highest score possible. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is where the series hit perfection in the balance between skateboarding and arcade physics. Unlike the first game, players could do it manually, which made chain combos much more comfortable and gave the game a much better sense of movement.
THPS2 was the perfect example of what a sequel should do. It improved graphically and added just enough to the side of the game to make it feel familiar, but a smoother experience overall. You also can’t mention one of the classic Tony Hawk games without mentioning the brilliant soundtrack filled with punk and hip hop tracks to nail down the 90s skateboarding feel even more. There are many reasons why this game remains the go-to game. highest rated sports of all time.
twisted metal 2
Twisted Metal is another one of those series that was an iconic PlayStation staple in the ’90s. The game revolved around vehicular combat. Multiple fighters in a closed area drove by destroying environments and picking up weapons to blow up opponents. The combat felt excellent and the sequel saw levels based on big cities around the world. You could bring down the Eiffel Tower in Paris or destroy the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles.
As for the story, a man named Calypso launches the Twisted Metal tournament. Tons of the world’s most ruthless assassins fight each other for the chance to win a single wish from Calypso. Each character you play in single player has a different ending that involves a different wish. Watching each ending was rewarding enough to warrant playing the single player multiple times.
Looking back, Twisted Metal 2 was massive in scale for a ’90s 3D game. No other game strives for what the series did on the original PlayStation. There is a lot of open space for a remaster or reboot from Sony.