The Top 10 Timeless Classics of the Original PlayStation after 27 Years

It’s been 27 years since the release of the original PlayStation, and yet the console still remains a beloved icon in the gaming world.

With its diverse library of games spanning various genres, the PS1 has left a lasting impact on the industry that is still felt today.

From iconic characters to groundbreaking franchises, the console has given us some of the most memorable gaming experiences of all time.

And while it’s no easy feat to pick just 10 games, we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best PS1 games that stand the test of time.

Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or discovering these classics for the first time, there’s something for everyone here.

So without further ado, here are the 10 greatest PS1 games of all time, including some of the best PlayStation exclusives.

  1. Metal Gear Solid

Developer: Konami

Released: 1998

Konami’s Metal Gear Solid was a pioneer in the stealth genre and boasts impressive 3D environments and cinematic ambition. What sets it apart are its inventive ideas, such as hiding crucial information on the game’s physical packaging and offering ketchup to fake an injury. The boss fight with Psycho Mantis is also a standout moment, as it rewarded players for thinking outside the box.

  1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Developer: Konami

Released: 1997

At a time when the world was obsessed with 3D graphics, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night served as a reminder that superb game design is what truly matters. The game is a masterpiece of 2D exploration, with a sprawling castle that opens up as Alucard gains new abilities. The RPG elements are seamlessly integrated, the graphics have aged gracefully, and the soundtrack is truly excellent. The game even spawned the subgenre of exploratory platform games known as “Metroidvania.”

  1. Final Fantasy 7

Developer: Square

Released: 1997

Final Fantasy 7 boasts impressive production values, with stunning pre-rendered backgrounds, real-time spell animations, and a memorable soundtrack. But what truly sets it apart is its epic tale of Cloud, Sephiroth, and the fate of the planet. Despite its dramatic moments, the game also features moments of warmth and humor, making it easy to become invested in the characters’ plight.

  1. Resident Evil 2

Developer: Capcom

Released: 1998

Resident Evil 2 is to Resident Evil what Aliens was to Alien. The game marks a bigger budget, more action-packed sequel that still manages to deliver plenty of scares. The gun shop nightmare and first sighting of the Licker are standout moments. Innovative game design meant that the first playthrough could even affect subsequent runs.

  1. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Developer: Neversoft

Released: 2000

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 took the unique platform game-inspired take on extreme sports from the original game and expanded upon it. Classic stages that are still among the best in the series, twice as many goals, and the introduction of the manual that allowed for more complex combos. Players could even create their own skatepark.

It’s been 27 years since the release of the original PlayStation, and yet the console still remains a beloved icon in the gaming world.

  1. Tekken 3

Developer: Namco

Released: 1998

The Tekken series was the premier 3D fighting franchise on the PlayStation, and the third installment was its pinnacle. The core fighting action was refined, animations flowed more naturally, and the visuals were improved thanks to high-resolution mode and more solid character models. The game was packed with things to do, including bizarre characters like Gon and the scrolling beat-’em-up Tekken Force game.

  1. Crash Bandicoot: Warped

Developer: Naughty Dog

Released: 1998

Crash Bandicoot: Warped added heaps of extra stuff to do, including motorbike rides, jetski sections, underwater adventures, and more, while retaining the high-quality platforming of the first two games. The game is a great introduction for newcomers and still offers a challenge for fanatics, with some truly testing time trials to tackle for 100% completion.

  1. Gran Turismo 2

Developer: Polys Entertainment

Released: 1997

Gran Turismo 2 had to top the original, the biggest and most realistic racing game available on any console at the time. The solution was to have more of everything. While the racing felt similar, the game featured more cars, tracks, and the brand new inclusion of rally tracks, introducing off-road competition to the series.

  1. Silent Hill

Developer: Team Silent

Released: 1999

Silent Hill was a groundbreaking survival horror game that was one of the first to truly unsettle players with its psychological horror approach. The game’s developers, Team Silent, paid great attention to atmospheric touches like the use of fog to create a sense of unease, and the Dual Shock heartbeat when low on health. It was a game that relied on small details to create a terrifying experience.

  1. Spyro the Dragon

Developer: Insomniac Games

Released: 1998

At the time of its release, there was skepticism over whether the PlayStation could handle a 3D platformer with expansive levels, but Spyro proved all doubters wrong. With stunning environments to explore and tight controls that make playing as Spyro a joy, this game demonstrated that the PlayStation was capable of much more than simple, linear experiences like Crash Bandicoot and Croc. While it may not be the most difficult game out there, Spyro’s charm and sense of adventure make it a must-play for any PlayStation fan.

Craig Miller

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