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Recently, I finished a project that I'd been working on for over a year. I showed some friends and it was suggested that I post it in a forum or two to show it off and preserve it, and I immediately thought maybe I could show you all here on Serenes! I didn't see anything in the rules about this kind of topic being forbidden, so I hope it's okay and I didn't miss anything. So here it is (I directly copy-pasted what I typed out and showed my friends, so apologies if it seems a bit oddly-worded)! ____ IT'S FINALLY FINISHED! After over a year of work, research and writing, I have completed it! I am so happy to finally be able to share it: The 25 Most Essential PS1 Games. (This list is subjective and is only my personal opinion, don't get too mad about it.) This was originally going to be a blog post on Game Informer, but since the website updated and blogs aren't an option anymore (at least not yet), that was no longer possible. But even so, I kept working on it and have been working on it for over a year. I researched over 200 games, looking at their critical and commercial reception, the impact they left on both the PS1 and gaming as a whole, and how synonymous each individual game was with the system. I narrowed the list from 200 down to 56, and then narrowed THAT list down to 30, and then finally 25. I feel very relieved and exhausted to finally have it done and to be able to share it with all of you. I'd like to reiterate: This is not a "best" or "favorite" list, this is an "ESSENTIAL" list. The term is admittedly subjective depending on what you view as "essential," but to give you a better idea of what I mean, think of it like this: If there was a PS1 Hall of Fame, these would be the first batch of games to get in, and the games with the biggest exhibit. If there was a criterion collection for PS1 games, these would be the games that would be 100% guaranteed to make the cut. These are the games that are the most synonymous with the PS1; these are the games that are the most important to the PS1, the history of Sony, and to the greater gaming world as a whole; these are the games that should be played by every gamer at least once. Now, without further ado, here it is! The 25 Most Essential PS1 Games: 25: Syphon Filter Honestly, this spot was heavily, HEAVILY contested between Syphon Filter and five other games, but I ultimately decided that Syphon Filter deserved this nod. Edge magazine stated that it borrowed elements from Metal Gear Solid and GoldenEye 007, and I’d say that’s a very fair and accurate assessment. Syphon Filter is basically a mix of Metal Gear and James Bond. But that isn’t a bad thing! Syphon Filter was a highly successful and very popular game when it came out, most people praised the way it blended stealth and action together and most enjoyed the weapons and gadgets it offered. Syphon Filter left a sizable impact on the PS1, enough that it cemented itself as one of the system’s more prominent titles. 24: Final Fantasy VIII Nowadays, Final Fantasy VIII seems to be the forgotten child of the Final Fantasy franchise, but it was a massive success when it first came out. It rode off the success of VII and became the fastest-selling Final Fantasy game all the way up until XIII came out a decade later. It popularized many elements of sci-fi and fantasy, such as the gunblade, and went on to become the seventh best-selling PS1 game. Sure it may be the source of memes and it may continuously get passed up in favor of other PS1 FF games, but I think VIII earned this spot and deserves much more recognition than it gets. 23: Twisted Metal Twisted Metal wasn’t quite a launch title on the PS1 as it came out two months after the system’s North American release, but it was an instant hit. It managed to basically create its own genre and establish itself as a must-have for the system, while also immediately giving the system a recognizable character with Sweet Tooth. It inspired a significant number of clones that for years tried, and failed, to copy its success. 22: Tekken Virtua Fighter existed, yes, and it was the first 3D fighting game series, but Tekken is what ultimately pushed 3D fighters forward. Tekken started off as a test case for character models and texture mapping, but then it became an actual game that impressed gamers everywhere. Most everyone with a PS1 wanted Tekken! It was THE fighting game on the system when it came out, and thus it was launched into being one of the most essential PS1 titles. 21: Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! Following up the success of the first Spyro game, Spyro 2 was an extremely popular and critically acclaimed hit, cementing the Spyro franchise as one of the PS1’s absolute best. It expanded upon the gameplay of the series in all the right ways and is often cited to be the absolute best of all the Spyro games, as well as one of the must-have platformers on the PS1. 20: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortext Strikes Back We go straight from one highly-acclaimed PS1 platformer to another! After the first Crash game was such a massive hit and literally gave the PS1 its mascot character, Crash 2 was naturally highly anticipated; upon release, it proved to live up to the hype and the expectations! Becoming an immediate and huge success both critically and commercially, Crash 2 pushed Crash even further to the forefront of the PS1 and left a sizable impact. 19: Silent Hill Silent Hill was the most definitive horror game of the PS1 era not named Resident Evil. While it did borrow a bit from the RE series, as pretty much every horror game back then did, it still made itself something different. Its nightmarish creatures, creepy atmosphere, and titular town have stood the test of time and cemented it as a memorable and important game in the PS1’s catalog. 18: PaRappa the Rapper Did you know rhythm games were around before Just Dance and Guitar Hero? You probably did. And with that knowledge, you’ve probably heard of PaRappa the Rapper. PaRappa was basically THE rhythm game on the PS1, most people didn’t even know other rhythm games existed because they were so busy playing PaRappa! With a unique art style and some catchy tunes, this game helped pave the way for rhythm games while also giving the PS1 one of its more recognizable characters in PaRappa. 17: Tekken 2 With the success of the original Tekken, the excitement for Tekken 2 was undoubtedly high. So high, in fact, that when Tekken 2 released, it won multiple Game of the Year awards and was called by many the greatest 3D fighter on any system. It surpassed the original as THE fighting game on the PS1, a title it kept until Tekken 3 came out two years later. It became the twelfth best-selling PS1 game of all time, and to this day it remains a favorite among fans. 16: Crash Team Racing Name five other kart racers on the PS1 that were as successful and had a bigger impact than Crash Team Racing. Actually, I’ll make it easier! Name five kart racers on ANY PlayStation system. That’s right, you can’t, because there hasn’t been any. Not before, not since. CTR had the benefit of being part of the Crash series in the height of the franchise’s PS1 days, but it was also just a darn freaking good game. So good, in fact, that even people who weren’t fans of the Crash platformers liked this game! An important PS1 game it is indeed. 15: Resident Evil 2 I didn’t rate Resident Evil 2 as high as I’d originally wanted, for reasons later on in the list. With that said, RE2 is probably the best horror game on the PS1 and the best of the PS1 RE games. It was a massively successful sequel to the game that set the standards for the horror genre, immediately becoming a big hit and the game the vast majority of fans pointed to when talking about the best horror game on the market. To this day, many consider it one of the best, if not THE best, game in the Resident Evil series. 14: Crash Bandicoot: Warped Originally, Warped was much lower on this list; I initially had it below Crash 2, and Spyro 2. But when I was doing all of my research for this list, Warped was consistently ranked as one of the best platformers of that era, if not THE best, as well as one of the definitive titles on the PS1. Period. It was acclaimed by both critics and audiences, it’s one of the few PS1 titles whose graphics actually aged well, it’s the thirteenth best-selling game of all time on the PS1, and it was voted as the fourth-best PS1 game of all time by PlayStation fans in Sony’s official poll on the PS Blog a few years ago ( https://blog.us.playstation.com/2015/09/10/poll-vote-for-the-best-playstation-game-of-all-time/?fbclid=IwAR0rSoU837CwpyP7dHLhQTkbvDTYucBQMz0VTiXRMSR57vjaafJ_QXsY1Uo ). In pretty much every single nook and cranny I looked, Warped was being praised as a must-have for the system, leaving a bigger mark than Crash 2. It made a giant impact, more than even I as its and Crash Bandicoot’s (self-proclaimed) biggest fan in the world thought, and thus earned this spot on the list. 13: Gran Turismo I know there are fans who may put Gran Turismo 2 in this spot over the original, but the original Gran Turismo is the *best-selling PS1 game of all time. That’s something that should be recognized. Plus, according to some sites, it’s also the highest-rated racing game of all time. It has enjoyed immense success and is considered by many to be one of the best video games ever made. To many, it’s still THE definitive racing sim, even over the popular sequels! Gran Turismo earned this spot. *It’s only fair to note that Gran Turismo was also packaged with PS1 consoles when it released. 12: Medal of Honor Let me start off by reminding everyone that the story of Medal of Honor was created by Steven Spielberg. Now with that out of the way, this was the game that basically invented the World War II sub-genre in shooters. Okay maybe it isn’t a sub-genre, but after this game, there was a tsunami of WWII shooters for years to come on multiple systems that were all riding off the phenomenal success of Medal of Honor. Call of Duty was obviously the most successful afterwards but that’s a story for another time. Back to Medal of Honor! This game succeeded in not only creating a monstrously successful subject (that being WWII) for shooters that’s still being used to this day, but also in being what is perhaps the best FPS on the PS1. If you’re an FPS on the PS1, you can’t get more essential than Medal of Honor. 11: Spyro the Dragon While Crash Bandicoot was the PS1’s mascot, Spyro came around and became somewhat of a secondary mascot (or third-ary, with Lara Croft perhaps being the secondary…more on that later). After Crash, Spyro was the premiere platformer franchise on the PS1, with the original game making a massive impact and being highly successful. It was immediately recognized as one of the best titles on the system and pushed itself into being one of the PS1’s most essential games, with Spyro becoming one of the most recognizable characters of the era. 10: Tekken 3 Take Tekken 2’s success, multiply it by about a million, and you have Tekken 3! Tekken 3 left an enormous impact, being the fourth best-selling PS1 game of all time and the second best-selling fighting game of all time, and with good reason. It pushed 3D fighters, and fighters in general, to the next level and is to this very day considered one of the greatest fighting games ever created. It’s one of the PS1’s most successful titles in all areas and overtook both of its predecessors and every other fighting game as the one single fighter on the PS1 you simply had to have. It kept that title. 9: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was praised by critics, but unlike many other games on this list, it wasn’t initially as commercially successful as you might think. Symphony gained its popularity through word-of-mouth and took a little bit to gain steam. But once that steam hit, it really hit! Symphony became so impactful and so popular that it spawned the “Metroidvania” subgenre, and that’s a pretty big deal! Numerous games over the years have been directly influenced by Symphony, and now Symphony is considered one of the best games ever made. It’s the perfect example of how a game that’s initially not a big hit can ultimately leave an enormous impact and go on to become one of the greatest games of all time. 8: Twisted Metal 2 Take the original Twisted Metal, improve everything about it, and you have Twisted Metal 2. The original basically created the genre and is certainly one of the most essential games on the PS1, but Twisted Metal 2 perfected the formula. It was immediately one of the most essential games of the generation and a perfect example of a sequel surpassing the original in terms of essentiality. There has been no vehicular combat game as good, successful, or memorable as Twisted Metal 2. 7: Ape Escape The PS1’s DualShock analog sticks first came about in 1997, but it wasn’t until 1999 that game actually required use of both analog sticks. And that game in 1999 that first required it was none other than Ape Escape. This is one of the main reasons it’s such an essential game the PS1, as well as PlayStation and gaming as a whole. It’s literally the poster game for PlayStation’s entire DualShock setup. It pioneered the way many games are controlled and was itself a really fun and awesome game! This game is significant, and certainly one of the most essential. 6: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 While it was released on multiple systems, it was first released on the PS1 on September 20th in 2000, and that original PS1 version remains the definitive way to play. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is one of the highest-rated video games of all time is widely considered to be one of the greatest sports games ever created, offering gameplay that’s incredibly addictive. You can spend more time than you realize messing around in this game, especially when you’re playing with a friend! This game left an astounding impact and was bought in droves, almost instantly becoming one of the most essential games ever made. 5: Tomb Raider So, do you like Uncharted? Let me introduce you to the original treasure hunter: Lara Croft. Tomb Raider is one of the most successful PS1 games ever made and has been wildly influential for action/adventure games ever since its release. In addition, the character of Lara Croft was an important success, standing as one of the prominent female figures in gaming. There’s a very strong case for Lara being the PS1’s secondary mascot after Crash Bandicoot. Tomb Raider has been beloved ever since it came out and is one of the most important games on the PS1 and in gaming. 4: Crash Bandicoot There’s no denying that the original Crash Bandicoot is the worst of the original trilogy, but there’s also no denying that it was one of the greatest helps in putting both the PS1 and Sony on the gaming map. Shigeru Miyamoto himself played and liked Crash Bandicoot! The original Crash Bandicoot was a monstrous success and literally gave the PS1 its mascot, its most recognizable character. A character that even people who didn’t play video games recognized! It pushed the console forward more than a vast, vast majority of other games and helped pave Sony’s way. Crash Bandicoot is one of the most important and essential games in the PS1’s library, and to gaming as a whole. 3: Resident Evil Resident Evil 2 is the better game. It is. You’d have an extremely difficult time arguing otherwise. But when it comes down to which one is more ESSENTIAL, I think the original Resident Evil takes the crown. This is the game that got a release on the Game Boy Color and the DS, as well as an excellent remake that’s been ported to basically everything. This was the game that other horror games tried to copy. This was the one that literally set the standard for horror games for years to come. This is the game that basically invented survival horror as we know it. 2: Metal Gear Solid I can already hear a whole lotta people disagreeing with this. Anyway, Metal Gear Solid single-handedly popularized the stealth genre, despite other games such as Tenchu: Stealth Assassins releasing before it. MGS was just that impactful. No other stealth game has been as influential as MGS, and none as memorable. Not only that, but with its lengthy cutscenes and cinematic story, it completely changed the way video games told their story. It played out like a film, something completely unheard of at the time. MGS proved the concept could work, and you could say it’s the reason we have games today that are more cinematic in their story-telling approach. It also pushed Solid Snake into popularity, making him one of the most popular characters in gaming. I’m sure there’s a lot more to say, and there really is a very strong case for Metal Gear Solid to take the top spot as the most essential PS1 game, but I think there’s just one other game that just barely edges it out… 1: Final Fantasy VII And here we have it, the grand finale. The game that I personally believe to be the most essential PS1 game: Final Fantasy VII. While there’s a very strong argument for Metal Gear Solid to take this spot, Final Fantasy VII wasn’t called “the PS1-seller” for no reason. It sold over two million copies in its first three days in its Japanese release, which in turn caused North American retailers to break the street date for their release just to meet the demand. Much like MGS had done for stealth games, FFVII popularized an entire genre, pushing RPGs out of the niche zone and into the limelight; it was immediately considered one of the greatest games ever made and influenced not only RPGs, but other genres in various ways. Cloud Strife became a gaming icon and the main influence for many video game protagonists for years to come, creating entire trends and tropes based around him. Sephiroth had a similar influence on video game antagonists, becoming another gaming icon. It also had a musical score that was critically acclaimed and has served as an influence over other games’ music. There’s so much more I could say, but I don’t want to ramble on and on about it, so I’ll close with this: Final Fantasy VII was and still is a landmark for all of gaming and is, in my opinion, the most important and essential game on the PS1. Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order): These are the five games that wrestled with Syphon Filter for Slot #25. Each one is certainly essential and if I were to expand the list to 30 games, these would all be on it. Dino Crisis It’s Resident Evil with dinosaurs, what’s not to like? Dino Crisis became a classic, and a series many people want brought back. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis While still being one of the most essential horror games on the PS1 and leaving a significant mark on the system, it didn’t leave quite as big of an impression as the first two games, or Silent Hill. That’s probably because Code Veronica was originally supposed to be Resident Evil 3, and this was originally more of a side-project. Ridge Racer One of the launch titles in both Japan and North America, Ridge Racer was often called the very first “system-seller” of the PS1, as it showcased what the system was capable of. It was very successful and is still popular, but it only took the silver medal; Gran Turismo sped away with the with the gold. Spyro: Year of the Dragon As with RE3, Year of the Dragon didn’t leave quite as much of an impact as the first two Spyro games. It’s certainly beloved and one of the most essential platformers on the system, but the first game is what made Spyro a household name, and the second is what truly pushed the series forward and gave Spyro many of his notable characters and achievements. Tomb Raider II Tomb Raider II was extremely popular and successful when it released and went on to become the ninth best-selling PS1 game of all time. However, unlike Crash, Spyro, Tekken, and Resident Evil, Tomb Raider’s impact lessened with each subsequent game. It’s still certainly beloved, but the original is still the queen and the one that truly stands above so many other PS1 games. However, this is the game that gave Syphon Filter the most fight for its slot. Other notable games: Bushido Blade I’m only mentioning this one because I really like this game. It was very unique, but still a bit more niche and definitely not as essential as the games on the main or honorable mentions list. Crash Bash The final Crash Bandicoot PS1 game. It’s basically the Crash version of Mario Party, but unlike the other four games, it wasn’t developed by Naughty Dog and it didn’t leave as much of an impact on gamers or the PS1. Final Fantasy IX I know there’s many, MANY fans of this game, and a whole lotta people probably would have put this on the list over VIII, or some other game on the list. But from what I could tell, it didn’t leave quite as much of an impression on people when it released as VII or VIII did. It’s a game that really sort of gained its popularity after the PS1 era. Final Fantasy Tactics As with IX, Tactics is a favorite among many Final Fantasy fans. But when looking at the gaming community as a whole, it was really more of a cult hit when it came out. And unlike fellow cult hit Symphony of the Night, it didn’t help found its own subgenre. Gran Turismo 2 As I said, many fans might have put this one on the list over the original. I almost did, too! But in the end, the original got the nod. Jet Moto Jet Moto was a popular racing game and pretty unique in its style at the time, but I really couldn’t justify putting it over any other game on the list. It’s still pretty cool, though! The Legend of Dragoon The critical reception of Dragoon wasn’t negative, but it wasn’t a critically acclaimed smash hit, either. It was a commercial success and it has its fans, but it fell short of Final Fantasy and the other games on the list. MediEvil MediEvil is a game that, while it did get mostly positive reviews, was still criticized for control issues when it released. It gained fans and became somewhat of a cult hit, and in recent years it seems to have gained a bit more popularity, but at best it would have been an honorable mention. Parasite Eve Another game that falls under the niche category. It definitely has its fans and it was decently popular, but it didn’t leave an impact that I’d say made it very “essential.” Rayman Another launch title for the PS1, it was a successful game and spawned an icon in its titular character, but it was definitely more niche than Crash or Spyro. And unlike Ape Escape, it didn’t help pioneer an entire DualShock system that’s been used for twenty years since. Tenchu: Stealth Assassins While it released a little before Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu wasn’t as successful, impactful, or influential as MGS. It has its fans, and it is a recognizable PS1 title, but it does still fall under the niche category. Xenogears Xeongears has many fans and it was a critical success, but it wasn’t as essential or as beloved as any of the Final Fantasy games on the system, and it didn’t have quite enough merit to place above the other games on the list. It did ALMOST make it, though, and would probably be directly below the honorable mentions. Q&A: Q: Why didn’t you limit the list to one game per series? A: That would have been a disservice to many of the sequels on the list. Several of them, such as Crash Bandicoot: Warped, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Final Fantasy VIII, left a bigger impact and made themselves more essential than a great deal of other games on the system. They deserved their recognition. Q: If you did limit the list to one game per series, how would it differ? A: There would be eight more slots available (as I would make an exception for Crash Team Racing since it isn’t a platformer like the other Crash games on the list) and Dino Crisis, Ridge Racer, MediEvil, Rayman, Xenogears, Jet Moto, Parasite Eve, and Tenchu: Stealth Assassins would have all made the list. Q: Why didn’t you group series together? A: Individual impact and franchise impact are two different things. This list weighed individual impact and would look very different if I grouped series and went with franchise impact instead. For example, Final Fantasy VII is one of the most important and essential games on the PS1, if not THE most important and essential, but if grouped together with VIII, IX, Tactics, and other FF games on the system, then it would be ranked lower than franchises like Crash Bandicoot, Resident Evil, Spyro the Dragon, and Tekken, all of which are arguably more important FRANCHISES to the PS1.
Hello everyone of SF!! well I figured since many of you probabaly have one and know the ins and outs of it so how exactly do you get a PS1 emulator up and running? I treid to get one a month back and it ended in anger and me deleting it. I had been trying to get Tearring Saga to run on it but nothing happens so do I need a PS1 emulator made specifically for running Japanese games? or what? I tried epsx I think that is what it is called but these playstion emulators are so complicated to use and get started up :o the thing that got me was the various plugins you had to install if possible is there are more easy to use one around anywhere with less plugins and one that can run Tearring Saga with no problems?