My Top-10 PlayStation Games (possibly)

PSXAlright, today’s list is going to be a little different from what you’re used to seeing. I have never actually owned a Sony PlayStation, but obviously I’ve played it a fair number of times throughout my life. Especially the first PlayStation was a nifty little system and it had a lot of legendary games on it.

This list is my attempt at gathering up a Top-10 PlayStation games list, but it’s based on a collection of gaming experiences that are not exclusive to the PlayStation. In other words, I’ve played every game on this list, some of them on the PlayStation, but some on other platforms that the game was ported to or from. This is just a fun little exercise of what my favourite games for the system would probably be.

Since I’ve given non-Nintendo systems some Top-10s before, namely Mega Drive and Xbox 360, I felt that the old PSX really deserved one as well. On with the list…

HerculesPS110. Hercules

Probably saw this one coming, but seriously, there was a reason why this game was up on my Top-10 PC Games list as well. It’s very rare for a licensed game to actually shed its licency origins and be a solid action-game all its own, but that’s exactly what Hercules is. It has varied and interesting levels, solid gameplay, power-ups and an interesting mix of 2D sprites and 3D surroundings. Not to mention excellent music.

True enough, I played this one more on the PC but I have also beaten it on the PlayStation and the game is just as much fun on both platforms. Having a controller maybe is preferred to using a keyboard on a platformer, but regardless, it’s an awesome game and the one that really used the PlayStation’s tech to the fullest to recreate the animated look of the film.

However, Hercules is a very short game, which is why I can’t have it too high, but it’s definitely an excellent pick-up and play experience.

Battle_Arena_Toshinden_PSX_cover9. Battle Arena Toshinden

The PlayStation was home to many fighting game series, both 2D and 3D. This was definitely very impressive to me, but sadly I never got to try out more of the 2D fighters which I probably would have enjoyed more. My early run-ins with the Tekken series left me unimpressed and although I actually played Soul Blade (precursor of Soul Calibur) on the original PlayStation, I had to pick another favourite as my 3D fighting game.

Battle Arena Toshinden was a very tongue-in-cheek affair, featuring cartoony and anime-ish characters. It’s the first time I recall seeing a scantily clad woman fight with a whip, but it also featured other insane characters on varied levels. Toshinden was released during the PlayStation’s first year, but it holds up surprisingly well. It’s no master piece (and you’ll be hard-pressed to find any amongst the early 3D fighters) but a really fun time killer.

Like I said, my knowledge of the 2D fighters from this system was very limited, but I would think Toshinden has enough entertainment value to fit this spot.

Croc8. Croc – Legend of the Gobbos

One platforming series that sadly disappeared into obscurity was Fox Interactive’s Croc titles, featuring the energetic crocodile who went out of his way to save the lovable, furry gobbos. Croc was one of the earliest free-roaming 3D platformers predating Rare’s Banjo-Kazooie by nearly a year.

Now Croc may had been slightly rough around the edges. The levels weren’t exactly vast, and still fairly linear. But the obstacles and gameplay variety was quite nice. The colourful graphics made the world come alive and I think this is a game that has gone criminally under-appreciated for its cheery and lively soundtrack. In addition to which, Croc 2 was released after the advent of the Dual Shock, so Croc 2 might have actually been a more refined experience (sadly, I only ever got to experience said game on the PC).

Croc didn’t definitely break any new ground and I think the bigger platforming franchises probably kept Croc from ever becoming too great (plus, Fox Interactive went under not too long afterwards). However, I really enjoyed the game and its cutesy environments and music.

PuchiCarat7. Puchi Carat

This is definitely a left-field pick, but I had to put it on here since the PlayStation had the only decent home port of this rather obscure Taito arcade title. Essentially, Puchi Carat is just a clone of the game Breakout from Atari, a paddle and ball game where you try to clear a screen of gems which keep multiplying periodically.

What’s so great about Puchi Carat then? The anime characters moving around in the background and yelling nonsense in your face, that’s what. Puchi Carat is a testament to the fact that sometimes less is more. The game is just insanely entertaining despite being very simple and part of the reason is the colourful and lovable cast of characters who bring the game to life.

This game is available on one of the Taito Legends collections, but I think it’s awesome that this game at least wound up on some home system.

GTA26. GTA 2

I’ve always been a huge Grand Theft Auto fan and although the 3D instalments only came out after the PlayStation 2 was released, I actually got my start with the series on GTA1 and 2. GTA2 specifically was one of my favourite games and I think it’s the 2D instalment of the series which has honestly aged better.

The game is focused around completing missions for competing gangs and factions. The game introduces the Respect-system which dictates what level of missions you can accept from the criminals. You increase respect by doing missions but also killing enemy gang-members. The fun part is that you can then turn tables on a gang and start working against their enemies. This is all necessary in order to gather the ridiculous amounts of money you need to progress through the game.

While GTA2’s gameplay is very simplistic, it has a great atmosphere, the comedic radio-stations are a blast and the cities are fairly easy to navigate (even in the absense of a map). In my view, this game deserves a 3D remake, since I want to see the semi-futuristic Liberty City brought to life. Also, it had one of the coolest game openings in history which always made me wonder why there still isn’t a Grand Theft Auto movie.

resident-evil-ps15. Resident Evil

The old school Resident Evil games in my view perfectly captured the atmosphere of fear and panic you really want from a survival horror game. I have nothing against Resident Evil 4, but the preset camera-angles and tank-controls really made you stay on your toes.

Now, I’ve only played the remake of the game on Wii – but even with the lesser graphics, I think I would really enjoy myself playing this classic which popularised the survival horror genre. I’m already familiar enough with the gameplay style from other RE games, but the main reason I would probably love the original PSX version is the silly voice-acting, Jill-sandwich and all.

I already consider the first Resident Evil to be the best game of the series, but I’d really want to experience the real McCoy. From a technical aspect, I do think the game might feel a smidge outdated, but I think I would still have a blast with it.

BrokenSwordPSX4. Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars

What’s this? One of my favourite adventure games of all time on the very first PlayStation? Yes. I’ve gone on and on in prior blogs how much I love the Broken Sword series. For me, it’s very impressive that Revolution Software actually released The Shadow of the Templars on the first PlayStation.

This exciting conspiracy filled adventure has brilliant cartoony graphics, a great narration from Rolf Saxon, great music and reasonably challenging puzzles which probably wont hurt your brain even if you’re a novice to the genre. This game is so good, it’s pretty much a must-have for any platform it’s on.

The only downside I can think of to the game is having to play it with a gamepad, but I’m sure I’d get used to it. Revolution also released Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror on the PlayStation, so there were at least two great adventure games on the system. But Templars is easily the better of the games.

CrashBandicoot3. Crash Bandicoot

By now it probably doesn’t shock anyone to know that I’m a platformer fan. While Crash Bandicoot wasn’t really a 3D platformer as much as it was a 2D platformer disguising itself as a 3D platformer, it was never the less a really fun game. So fun, that I actually played all the way through it. I think the most impressive thing about Crash is how cartoony they were able to make the game, since you have to remember that this was the very beginnings of the system we’re talking about. Naughty Dog were really on the ball as far as 3D graphics were concerned.

While I’m sure Crash 2 and 3 added a bit more gameplay variety, what I remember from play Crash 2 is that I never enjoyed it as much as the first one. Crash 1 just had a simple straight-forward approach, but many, many varied levels. It’s very akin to the Donkey Kong Country games (and in fact you can spot a lot of the influence of DKC in the game). The crazy enemies, the cheery music and the mostly responsive controls (though there were a few slippery moments).

Crash gets maybe overlooked as a platforming franchise now-a-days because it didn’t push the envelope so much when the series was popular. However, the series had its own kind of charm and I kinda wish the series was still as big as it used to be, rather than the B-product line it’s admittedly become in recent years.

MegaManLegends2. Mega Man Legends

Here’s a game that definitely divides opinions, but I had loads of fun playing this game under the title Mega Man 64. Legends was the first 3D Mega Man game, but rather than a straight-forward action-platformer, Capcom made the series into a story-driven action-adventure game and it was really good for that.

What I love about the game is the goofy anime-ish feel. The voice-acting was actually pretty dang good (much better than in Mega Man 8, X4 or Resident Evil) and the game had a great cartoony look. The gameplay was a little complicated at the start, but eventually you get the hang of it and are just itching to go into the next cavern or mine to look for clues to the next puzzle. Plus, the cinematic feel of the game was very impressive as well.

I consider it a shame that the Mega Man Legends series never quite took off, despite the game getting a full sequel. However, I really loved this game and I wish Mega Man could have properly jumped into the third dimension.

Metal_Gear_Solid_cover_art1. Metal Gear Solid

This, again, probably surprises no-one given that this game already ranked really high on my Top-10 GameCube Games list. Once again, I’m more familiar with the remake, but what I’ve gathered from it is that MGS is a quirky, inventive, dramatic and excellent espionage title, with a bit of soap opera romance and giant robots in the mix.

The game feels like a suspenseful late-90s action film and you go up against an interesting roster of opponents. While the GameCube remake was a little more over-the-top, I think I would still enjoy the dramatic story-telling of the original just as much. Plus, this game brought Metal Gear from video-game obscurity to the mainstream, so it has a lot of accolades to its name.

I honestly think that this would be the one PlayStation game that I could view as a master piece of its day and I would love to experience the original in all its glory. Also, I’m really rooting for the movie adaption to see the light of day. Yes, I like it that much.