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Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
PSOne, PSOne games, Top Ten, Top Ten PSOne games

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Happy 20th Birthday, PlayStation. Looking back to the very beginnings of the brand, we take a look at ten of the finest games to grace the PsOne. Frankly, a roster of ten isn't nearly enough, and there'll be plenty of many people's personal favourites that we won't have been able to fit in here, but hit u up with your thoughts, and your top ten PSOne games of all time in the comments box.

Honourable Mentions: Dino Crisis, Parasite Eve, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy Tactics, Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Chrono Cross, Crash Bandicoot 3

10. Gran Turismo 2

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Those race replays were the most jaw-dropping things I'd ever seen. The original GT was a cracking game, but GT 2 ramped things up to a whole new level. With its faithful balancing act finding the sweet spot between simulation and accessibility, Gran Turismo 2 was the closest thing to driving nirvana on the PSOne. It turned everyone who had it into a car nut, with racers swapping tuning specs on memory cards in playgrounds across the land. Oh yeah, and it had over 650 cars unlockable via the awesome gameplay. What do you have to say to that, The Crew?

9. Tekken 3

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Tekken 2 was what got me into the series, but Tekken 3 was the true revelation. The storyline that was filled with innumerable betrayals, the huge roster of characters, unlockable dinosaurs, the introduction of Tekken Ball and Tekken Force. I remember being stunned by how much the home consoel version resembled its arcade equivalent. It felt like the future of fighting games. There are arguments to suggest Tag Tournament was a technically better game, but frankly, the series would never be quite as astonishingly brilliant as it was when Tekken 3 ruled the fighting genre.

8. PaRappa the Rapper

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

They just don't make games like this any more. One of the first rhythm games to strut it's stuff, PaRappa the Rapper was stuffed with beats that would get lodged in your head. Nintendo had long been peddling catchy tunes, but no-one had really thought to design an entire game around them. It's still amazing to play today.

7. Silent Hill

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Silent Hill 2 is still the best game in the series, but the original was a striking affair too. Silent Hill was the game that taught us that psychological horror was much more effective and creeping us out than jump scares and disgusting monsters. Silent Hill had those, of course, but Harry Mason wasn't a fighter or a soldier. Above all else, Silent Hill taught us that sometimes fear isn't there to be shot at and overcome, sometimes you just have to run away and hide and hope and whimper. Cerebral, psychologically-challenging, dimension-jumping, interactive horror... we never stood a chance.

6. Final Fantasy IX

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

One of the most traditional Final Fantasy titles in terms of its fantastical setting, Final Fantasy IX made us care about its characters perhaps more so than any of the games that came before it. A breath of fresh air after its absurdly convoluted predecessor,FFIX kept things pretty simple but executed everything with aplomb. A dazzling last hurrah for the series on PSOne that found huge critical acclaim, if not quite the vast audience that the previous games had enjoyed.

5. Resident Evil 2

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

Resi 2 outdid its predecessor in pretty much every possible way. When people talk about a "true" Resident Evil experience, this is generally the game that's providing the benchmark. The locations, story, graphics, cinematic scares, and the two character at the heart of it all -- Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy -- were all streaks ahead of their counterparts in the original game. There was a time when Resident Evil was a series that did tense and terrifying well. This was it.

4. Final Fantasy VII

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

It's Final Fantasy VII.

3. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

There are games with serious legacy here, and games whose series have dwindled and burnt out. Looking back, to even consider the name Tony Hawk is to sigh with weary abandon. But back when Tony Hawk's pro Skater 2 came out, it was the coolest game around. Every kid around was playing this things. No one cared if you could ollie in real life, but if you could Hardflip a fat gap straight into a reverse manual, and Shove-It into a Darkslide for maximum points in a virtual skate park, you were made. You'd play local multiplayer with friends, or just hotswap the controller, beating one another's two-minute scores. The bloat started afterwards, but THPS2 was a peerless slice of arcade, score-attacking, pop cultural brilliance.

And it had the best soundtrack.

2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

It's still the best Castlevania game that there is. The game was vast, filled with secret areas, opportunities for replayability thanks to persistent unlocks, RPG-esque systems, new items and abilities to play with and so on. Symphony of the Night boasts one of the finest musical scores ever conceived for a game. It spawned an entire genre (along with Metroid). That's how good this game is, it's up there with freakin' Super Metroid. Forget the best PSOne games, Symphony of the Night is, quite simply, one of the very best games of all time.

1. Metal Gear Solid

Top Ten PSOne Games: The Best of the Best

There's no button mashing in MGS. If you get caught in combat, the clunky nature of the game's action controls will frequently lead you to your death. But Hideo Kojima's stealth-em-up was such an outrageous, impressive, challenging, technically stunning tour de force when it emerged onto the PSOne that we forgave it everything. The cinematic cutscenes were one thing, but it was the audacious level design, the perfect stealth gameplay, the fourth-wall-breaking moments that made rumble features the coolest they ever would be. It was ambitious, steeped in rich production values that we'd never really associated hugely with games before. And suddenly our eyes were open. It is simply masterful.

Add a comment14 comments
Late  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:21

Shout out for the original WipEout.
Perhaps looked a bit dated by the end of the PS1's life (and I believe there were another 1 or 2 wipeout games later in that lifespan), but at the time it was absolutely stunning.
After growing up with 8-bit and then 16-bit graphics, the early playstation games were all graphically impressive in comparison to anything we'd seen before. Racing games traditionally best show off fancy new graphics in the early days of a console, and Wipeout was completely jaw dropping at the time - to look at, and to listen to.
Played very well, too - which is a nice bonus! ;)

Can't disagree with most of your list, though - other than I'd probably have FF7 at the top.

Last edited by Late, Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:23
stevenjameshyde  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:31

Soul Reaver would be right up there for me, closest thing PS1 had to a 3D Zelda and with added vampires! Also Vandal Hearts would definitely get into my personal top 10

Last edited by stevenjameshyde, Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:33
stevenjameshyde  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:34

Oh, and Ape Escape, Alundra, Crash Team Racing, Vagrant Story...

fowler002  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:56

Will come up with my top 10(if I can) later, however don't agree with 90-99% of your choices :p

fowler002  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:58

Will come up with my top 10(if I can) later, however don't agree with 90-99% of your choices(well 80% as I agree that mgs and gt2 should be in there) :p

Last edited by fowler002, Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:59
JonLester  Dec. 3, 2014 at 16:58

Great list, but how could you not put Metal Gear Solid at number one! Dammit Matt, you always try to troll me on this... wait a minute...

... oh, you did put MGS at #1.

Outstanding. Carry on then!

Think I might do a 'personal favourite' top ten in a bit too. Could be fun actually, though many of these games will be on there.

Last edited by JonLester, Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:00
MattGardner  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:00

It was close. Symphony of the Night is half-responsible for an entire genre, after all.

fowler002  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:18

As I've said site needs option to delete comments, my previous one got resubmitted.

Last edited by fowler002, Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:20
googleberry  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:22

PSone was my upgrade from my A1200 so everything about it blew my mind.

My list would have to include:

Wipeout 2097 - I played that again, and again, and again, and again, and again......

Micro machines - even though it was an amiga title first, the 3D, whimsical sense of humour, innovative 4 players on 2 joypad set up had me playing this forever.


Also Abes Odyssey. I totally loved that game too (I think it was on PSone first)

I liked Tekken 3 so respect it being on any list, but Tekken 2 is my all time fave of the franchise. I just like the feel of it better. Its combat was at a more measured pace, and godammit that music was sublime J-pop magic!

LordBuckles  Dec. 3, 2014 at 17:59

I would also have to put Wipeout 2097 somewhere near the top of my list. One of the few racing games I've ever been into and it had an amazing soundtrack that was responsible for introducing me to electronic music.

Also Rollcage was pretty badass in a similar way to Wipeout with the added bonus of being able to completely smash up the track.

First ever game I played on my PSone was Abes Oddysee and still love it to this day and fully intend to make sure the first thing I play on my PS4 when it arrives will be New'n'Tasty, ah nostalgia.

A little less known series but the Vigilante 8 games especially the second one were amazing, vehicles covered with guns that destroy each other and everything in their path, what's not to like.

LordBuckles  Dec. 3, 2014 at 18:04

How could I forget about the original GTA as well, played the demo disc endlessly before getting the full game.

snotters  Dec. 5, 2014 at 08:22

Shout out for the original WipEout.
Perhaps looked a bit dated by the end of the PS1's life (and I believe there were another 1 or 2 wipeout games later in that lifespan), but at the time it was absolutely stunning.
After growing up with 8-bit and then 16-bit graphics, the early playstation games were all graphically impressive in comparison to anything we'd seen before. Racing games traditionally best show off fancy new graphics in the early days of a console, and Wipeout was completely jaw dropping at the time - to look at, and to listen to.
Played very well, too - which is a nice bonus! ;)

Can't disagree with most of your list, though - other than I'd probably have FF7 at the top.


The original made your craft slow or stop severely every time you scraped the sides. 2097 was the true gem, as the fixing of this made it so much more playable.

Both the first two games have the best soundtrack IMO.

Late  Dec. 5, 2014 at 23:03

Ah, but knowing you'd stop if you merely grazed a barrier made you pilot your craft so much more carefully - and meant the good pilots became great pilots capable of punishing those who kept the thrust permanently on. ;)

googleberry  Dec. 5, 2014 at 23:13

Ah, but knowing you'd stop if you merely grazed a barrier made you pilot your craft so much more carefully - and meant the good pilots became great pilots capable of punishing those who kept the thrust permanently on. ;)


True, but 2097 was waay more fun!

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