best playstation RPGs suikoden

10 Best PS1 Games to Try

Sony’s PlayStation consoles are among the greats of home console gaming, but that was not always the case. In fact, the inception of the PS1 only happened because a deal between Sony and Nintendo went absolutely sideways when creating a CD-ROM accessory for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It’s strange to think if this had never happened, the legacy of PlayStation would probably not exist today. If it hadn’t, we wouldn’t have had some of the best PS1 games for people to try and establish future series.

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Image via Activision

Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot spearheaded the PlayStation brand back when it was initially released. From the get-go, there was something enduring about a wacky orange bandicoot with baggy blue trousers trying to save the world from a nefarious evil doctor. The gameplay looks deceptively simple, but several hours in, some of the levels can become somewhat tricky, as you will have to utilise Crash’s spinning and jumping abilities with exact precision to complete a level. If you completed Wild Hog or The High Road on your first attempt, then kudos! But most mortal beings will need several attempts, which adds a lot of replay value. If you relish playing challenging platformers, this is definitely one to play.

Image via Square Enix

Chrono Cross

Do you believe in fate? Do you question whether the outcome will differ if a specific chain of events happens? Or are we all merely a byproduct of our environment? With such powerful themes, it is easy to see how Chrono Cross pulled at the strings of people’s imaginations with its ingenious storytelling of parallel worlds and alternative realities.

The adventure was made even more impactful by the possibility of encountering an array of vibrant characters that could join your team and the need for multiple play-throughs to unlock several different endings. The battles system also ditched the traditional levelling-up system in favour of gaining base stats after defeating certain opponents within the storyline, requiring you to pay more attention to the battles during the course of the game.  

Image via Capcom

Resident Evil

Back in the day, if a friend mentioned they spent yesterday battling a horde of lifeless bodies swarming towards them due to out-of-control capitalism, they might have been referring to a flash store sale or been immersed in Resident Evil (it was probably the latter, but it may be worth double-checking). The original Resident Evil offered a gruelling experience that propelled it to the forefront of survival horrors. The eerie, deserted halls of the mansion instilled a constant sense of unease to players. One key part contributing to its success was its survival aspects of combining herbs or items for health boosts or increased firepower. Once you finished foraging for items, you could save the “old school way” of logging information with a typewriter, which was a unique touch. Plus, Umbrella Corporation will not be able to hack that, no matter how hard they try!

Image via Konami

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of those notorious PS1 games that kept many up at night, and no, that’s not just because it’s got the best, hypnotic, shadowy castle to run around in. (Though I’m sure that helped.) You take control of Dracular’s son, Alucard, and explore Dracular’s lair to figure out what is going on, which requires you to slay a swarm of demonic creatures and overcome devilish obstacles at every corner. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night revolutionised the series, and the template used, most notably, more freely walking around within the environments, was carried on in future instalments. The action is addictive and incredibly challenging, as conquering the ghoulish stronghold is no simple walk in the park (or castle, in this case). This is one of the best Castlevania games out there and one of the best PS1 games.

Image via Bandai Namco

Tekken 3

Tekken has always been a top-notch fighting series, but Tekken 3 knocked it out of the ballpark. The fighting mechanics became far more elaborate and technical with this instalment, as the gameplay added a lot of emphasis to sidestepping. This might not sound too radical on surface value, but this resulted in you being unable to avoid all ground manoeuvres with a mere jump, drastically changing how you approached the fight. Tekken 3 also introduced many new characters, including Jin and Eddy Gordo, who are now heavily affiliated with the series. Ultimately, the fighting feels phenomenal and is incredibly satisfying to play. And to top it all off, the Tekken series is the only fighting game on the PS1 where you can fight against a bear, which gets a massive thumbs up!

Image via Eidos

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft single-handedly made the occupation of being an archaeologist damn right cool and has become one of the most recognisable gaming icons out there. Even though she has reached the dazzling heights of the big screen (and soon a Netflix series), her origins started with the original Tomb Raider. Akin to other 3D games at the time, it indoctrinated a tank control scheme, which may feel a bit outdated now but complimented the third-person perspective view back then. This style of controls crafted an immersive gameplay experience, which made exploring the ancient landscapes pretty exhilarating. Unironically, the original Tomb Raider has become an artefact of gaming history, and you should play this title just to see what all the fuss is about. Plus, shooting a T-rex in the face is also pretty satisfying!

Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Image via Activision

All the Spyro games on the original PS1 were stellar, but Spyro: Year of the Dragon was on another level. The premise was fairly simple: Spyro, with the help of his dragonfly companion Sparks, must retrieve all the dragon eggs stolen from the evil sorceress. But the brand-new playable characters and the plethora of mini-games made this title stand out from its previous incarnations. Whoever came up with the idea of putting the pint-sized dragon on a skateboard deserves a raise! The bottom line is if there is one Spyro game to play, it has to be this one.

Side note: the Yeti boxing mini-game was much harder than it should have been!

Image via Konami

Suikoden 2

The Suikoden franchise, as a whole, is a criminally underrated RPG series. However, Suikoden 2 showcases the series firing on all cylinders. This beloved RPG has it all: a hyper-political plot, comedic rhythm and heartbreaking tragedy. There is even a cooking contest mini-game, so get your best chef hat on standby!

One of the best aspects of the series is if you recruit all 108 Stars of Destiny (which are different characters in the game), you will have the opportunity to achieve a different ending. Suikoden 2 deserves the high acclaim it receives, and if, for whatever reason, you still haven’t played it, stop doing yourself a disservice and start playing this revered RPG title immediately.

Image via Konami

Metal Gear Solid

Remember that time when you had to sneak out of a tight situation? You most likely found yourself surveying the terrain, locating potential people who are guarding, marking all possible exit points, and mapping out the patrolling times. And then, in a sudden burst of adrenaline, dash for the door. If you’ve ever pulled off such a daring escape, you’ve probably honed your skills playing Hideo Kojima’s highly revered Metal Gear Solid.

Essentially, Metal Gear Solid is the ultimate game of cat and mouse, as you control Solid Snake, a military operative trying to infiltrate and bring down the dastardly FOXHOUND. There are so many reasons why Metal Gear Solid is memorable, from its excellent plot to its clever humor, evident in parts where Solid Snake evades detection by disguising himself in a cardboard box and the game’s fourth-wall-breaking commentary via the Codec. However, the haunting sound of Solid Snake being apprehended and his anguished cry as he is being gunned down will be burned deep into your brain.

Final Fantasy VII

The original Final Fantasy VII was a genre-defining experience as it had so many admirable qualities, leaving an ever-lasting impact on anyone who played it, from its retro-futuristic world with a captivating political narrative to its enduring cast of characters. The 3D character models may be humorous-looking compared to modern standards, but it’s hard to emphasize how much of a technical marvel this was back in 1997. Final Fantasy VII was pretty much an immaculate experience for its time, and it’s easy to see why, to this day, it’s still hailed as one of the greatest games of all time.

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