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Top 10 PS1 Games

Every Week I will be posting a new “top 10” list for every major video game platform in my lifetime, starting with the 5th generation of consoles and moving forward from there. I would love to hear your input on some of your favourite games, from each console or handheld. This is not necessarily an objective list of the 10 best games on the console, but rather my subjective opinion on the best 10 games of each console.

Playstation 1

The original Playstation was a very special console for gamers, and pivotal for the industry in transferring to dvd games instead of cartridge games. Here is my top 10 for the PS1.

#10. Crash Team Racing

Playstation’s big move into the kart-racing market proved to be underrated. I have fond memories of trying to beat CTR with friends as the bosses got progressively more and more ridiculous (and “cheap” as we called them) to the point where one mistake would end inevitably in defeat. That being said, CTR possessed some of the best maps on any kart racer at the time, a great variety of characters, meaningful power-ups, and rewarded players with skill, not luck.

#9. Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Spyro is one of those weird Sony mascots (alongside Crash Bandicoot) that was created in the 90’s that somehow managed to stay relevant for a long time. The Spyro games were all about platforming and adventure, mixed with some combat. It was a weird game, and all of its sequels proved to be the same, but that did not stop it from being a special game. Year of the Dragon holds a lot of fond memories personally for me, and I am glad that Sony was able to experiment and create so many new IPs in the 90’s.

#8. Metal Slug X

Metal Slug is a great shoot-em-up style game that is completely over-the-top, challenging, and great with friends. Metal Slug X is the best in the series, as it utilized the dvd format of the PS1 beautifully to create an art style that still holds up today. The gameplay has been perfected and the levels were all well crafted.

#7. Silent Hill

This game scares the S**T  out of me. Enough said…

But seriously, Silent Hill is one of the scariest experiences I have ever… experienced? Yes. I never actually finished this game because I was too scared to when I was younger. The atmosphere and story was enough to scare the socks right off of my feet, and still is. The barely functional, brand new 3D element of gaming just added to its creepiness.

#6. Medal of Honor

I always liked the Medal of Honor games… well, the earlier ones anyways. I thought that they did a wonderful job of surrounding the player in a time and battle – something that other series like Call of Duty never really did for me. Great gunplay, good graphics (for the time), and a fun campaign puts this game high up on my list for those qualities alone. Before the ridiculousness of the current shooters, there were games that just tried to accurately portray games realistically and in events that actually happened. I respect that immensely, and I wish that more games would try to do this  in a contemporary fashion.

#5. Tomb Raider

The game that launched an entire franchise that has now spanned 20 years (woah..), the OG Tomb Raider was as offensive as they came back then – huge pixilated body parts, ridiculous one-liners, and a main character that constantly objectified herself. Put all of that aside, and you get a game full of intricate puzzles, mystery, and the fantastic tombs that the game was named after. This is a game I am very thankful for, and one that I am even more thankful for that they changed Lara after so many years of objectification.

#4. Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX (9) is one of my favourite Final Fantasy games. Still fresh off the heels of one of the most important games of all time, FF7, 9 had a lot to live up to. It is full of memorable characters, a story that made a lot of sense (a rarity for final fantasy…), and breathtaking visuals that pushed the PS1 to its limits, as well as new minigames and battle mechanics that added additional gameplay. I would say that this game is the 3rd best in the series, and one of the best games on the PS1.

#3. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2

Oh man, how the mighty have fallen. Tony Hawk used to be such a staple of video games and video game culture. Everyone I knew who had a PS1 had this game, and for good reason. At the time, this game perfected what was thought to be the pinnacle of skateboarding video games (the Skate series later proved them wrong). The gameplay is easy to learn and impossible to master, which for those who don’t know, is the sweet spot for every single video game. Few have achieved such a balance. This game has.

#2. Metal Gear

The start to the legendary Metal Gear series. I had to choose between this game and Syphon Filter for the stealth-action game on this list, and while it was close, in the end it was Metal Gear that took the cake. Although the A.I. was not very smart, they were positioned on the map in a way that you had to outsmart their placement and movements. Couple this with a huge story and great characters, as well as genre-defining gameplay, and you have one of the most important games on the PS1. This would be the best game on the PS1 if not for the next game on this list…

#1. Final Fantasy VII

For those who don’t know why Final Fantasy VII Remake and Remastered is such a big deal for everyone, it is because this game could be considered one of the most important games of all-time, not just the PS1. Final Fantasy VII was the first time on the PS1 where they introduced a new battle system that was more friendly, but harder to master than the original (see a trend here?), as well it boasted incredible visuals and stunning CGI cutscenes. The game was so big it had to be played on multiple discs; remember at the time that the CD/DVD was the largest capacity for home consoles. I wouldn’t call this game perfect, because I do not think that any game is perfect, but I would call this game as close to perfect as you can get for the genre. Well done, Square Enix (formerly Square Soft). Now, all there is left to do is to make the remastered Final Fantasy VII available on the Xbox One… Seriously. What is taking so long? Bank it.

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