As we get closer to today’s Sony event and the unveiling of the PS4, we’re taking a trip down nostalgia lane and counting down the best games to ever grace the PlayStation platforms. This time around, we’re featuring the top 5 PSX games. To establish some ground rules, games are representative of their respective series, so you only make it on a list once. These titles don’t have to be PlayStation exclusive, but if they are multiplatform, there must be significant ties to the PlayStation’s heritage. Alright, let’s get to the countdown, here are the top 5 games for PSX:
#5- Tekken 3
Tekken is still regarded as one of the top tier fighting games in the world of competitive e-sports. Standing alongside the greats such as Street Fighter and Soul Calibur, Tekken has cemented its place amongst a loyal fanbase by creating unique characters and a fighting system that is hard to pick up and ever even tougher to master. Tekken 3 earns a spot on the list because of the innovation it brought to the series. Using the Namco System 12 hardware, the series’ first mechanics upgrade, the game placed an added emphasis on utilizing the third axis; for the first time, players needed to understand depth in a fighting game to fully grasp concepts such as sidestepping and dodging. It was also the first time the series introduced mini-games, such as the inclusion of “Tekken Force”, which has become a staple of the series going forward.
#4- Ape Escape (Series)
Ape Escape bears significance to the PlayStation brand for a number of reasons. Besides its exclusivity, it was the first game developed specifically for use with Sony’s DualShock controller. Fully utilizing both analog sticks, players could jump, swing, and crawl across a variety of stages in this incredibly popular platformer. A massive success, Ape Escape has achieved nearly every internal accolade a PlayStation game can earn; having gone platinum, becoming a “Greatest Hit”, and earning a spot among the “Best of” releases in Japan. You just can’t discuss PSX-era platforming without mentioning those lovable, squeaky-clean simians.
#3- Twisted Metal (Series)
Forever making kids question the meaning behind the phrase “sweet tooth”, Twisted Metal turned the idea of vehicular combat into an overnight sensation. The objective is pretty simple: Survive. Offering an assortment of vehicles to choose from, players were thrust into an arena with the sole purpose of picking up whatever weapon they could find and creating as much carnage as possible. Featuring different endings for each playable character, the game constantly reminds players of its affinity for black humor with a general “be careful what you wish for” theme throughout each character’s epilogue.. While David Jaffe has done more for the PlayStation brand then simply duct tape big guns to cars, Twisted Metal remains a part of a legacy that will never be forgotten.
#2- Crash Bandicoot (Series)
On the subject of platformers, you can’t get too deep into the conversation of classic PSX experiences without mentioning Crash. The series kicks off when the villainous Doctor Neo Cortex creates Crash, a bandicoot who soon realizes his creator’s plans for world domination may not be in the world’s best interest. While not truly innovating within the genre, Crash is recognized more for its unique visual representation and superb graphics at a time when 3D games were still finding their place in the world. The game was a rousing success with younger audiences, and to this day conjures up fond memories for fans old enough to have grown up alongside the PlayStation brand.
#1- Final Fantasy (Series)
While many would expect Final Fantasy VII to be on any “the best of” list in regards to the PSX, I would rather include the entire series as a whole. Now, why include this within the PSX list as opposed to the PS2, you ask? Because the series’ first steps into the world of 3D games happened first on the original PlayStation, and for the purposes of this list, that’s what’s most important here. Final Fantasy VII was the first time the series moved to 3D computer graphics, including fully rendered characters on pre-rendered backgrounds. Without the groundbreaking success of FFVII, the series may have headed in another direction. But ever since the franchise first went 3D, every subsequent console release has pushed the boundaries for graphics and character models. Aside from graphics and design, Final Fantasy belongs on this list for its contributions to the role-playing genre. Offering a blend of powerful, character-driven narrative, with unique battle mechanics that are constantly being refined or refreshed with each new release, Final Fantasy has been a safe haven for fans of JRPGs for nearly twenty years now. For that, it firmly plants itself in the number one spot on the list.
What games make up the list for your favorite PSX classics? Share your story in the comments below.