Sony may have averted the shutdown of the PlayStation Store on PS3 and Vita, but you still shouldn’t miss your chance to grab some of the best PS one Classics! But there are a lot of options, so which should you choose? We’ve compiled a list of top picks.
Here are our criteria:
- It must still be available for purchase on the PlayStation Store in North America.
- No comparable version of the game is available on a modern platform.
- It offers something great or special to today’s players.
Onto the games!
Mega Man Legends
Mega Man Legends 2
The Misadventures of Tron Bonne
These three games are definitely the headline of the PS1 games collection on PSN. All three are ludicrously rare and expensive to get physically, and all are beloved games by a dedicated fan base to this day. They did get a bit more polished and playable as the series progressed through the growing pains of 3D platforming, but honestly, if you think there’s even a chance you’d want to play these someday, pick ‘em up. Better safe than sorry!
Is it the peak of the Suikoden series? That’s harder to say, but Suikoden II certainly makes a case for itself with its well-written story and engaging gameplay. The art style ages well on a platform infamous for missing the mark on that front, and the campaign sticks around long enough to build attachment to the characters and world.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
This fan-favorite platformer combines a pleasant atmosphere with interesting aerial movement to make a side-scroller that feels very much its own. While the game got a Wii remake, many still swear by this original as the one to play, and much like a lot of this list, it’s way easier (and cheaper) to get digitally.
Reaching North America for the first time through this PlayStation Store release, Vib-Ribbon is a weird little rhythm game like nothing else. At its core, it’s simple: hit buttons to the rhythm to perform jumps and such to avoid obstacles on a one-line path. What makes it special is its soundtrack function! In the original game, you could put in any CD and use those songs to generate new tracks for you. Though you’re stuck with the built-in music on Vita, you can use this function if you play on a PS3.
Tomba! 2: The Evil Swine Return
Is it a joke? Yeah, sort of, but Tomba! hides some quality platforming under its somewhat bizarre exterior. Pink hair! Pigs! Fart gags! Push past these, and you’ll have a pretty good time in a way that’s… honestly not dissimilar to Klonoa. The first game is largely pixel-based, while the second makes the move to polygons. Go where your heart leads you!
This rare Human Entertainment strategy-RPG was part of Working Designs’ efforts to bring smaller Japanese games to the West in the PlayStation era. It has mechs, but it’s more Fire Emblem than Front Mission. And it isn’t the easiest to learn! But genre fans have grown familiar with long play sessions, and the best PS one Classics have to include games like this that are so hard to play anywhere else.
Arc the Lad I – III
These three strategy-RPGs, once again localized by Working Designs, are notable for two things: quality and rarity. Originally released super-late as a bundle, these story-heavy tactics titles are worth your time. The fourth game in that bundle, Arc Arena, is also available on the PlayStation Store, but it’s more of a utility than a game and much less essential.
Known as Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix in some editions, this chibi fighter takes familiar Street Fighter characters and infuses them with humor and charm. It’s a less cutthroat sort of fighting game, with gems and costumes and easy combos. The arcade version of the game makes an appearance on a PS2 compilation disc, but the home port adds a few functions.
Jumping Flash! 2
These weird platformers were an interesting exploration of what 3D games could be. First-person jumping games? Strange. But they’re also charming and fun! Sure, it takes some getting used to, but there really is nothing exactly like Jumping Flash! in the modern games scene. The sequel is definitely an improvement, but neither are particularly long. Try out both!