Sony revealed the PlayStation Classic earlier this week. It launches December 3rd and will retail for $99.99. They have announced five of the 20 games that will be preloaded on the mini-console, which is set to be 45% smaller than the original.
Those games are Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. The remaining 15 have yet to be announced. Here’s what we think they should be.
Note: I’m not including any games that have had recent faithful remakes/remasters. For those wondering, this is why Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, or Parappa the Rapper aren’t on this list.
Metal Gear Solid
One of the most iconic and influential games of the era, Metal Gear Solid is, for many, the PlayStation’s defining game. Kojima’s rebooted stealth/elongated anti-nuke statement game is an essential PlayStation title. I’ve already gushed about how much I love that game elsewhere, so I’ll spare you to details this time. It would be a huge shame if this didn’t appear on the Classic console due to licensing issues with Konami.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
A personal favorite of mine and another excellent PS1 game. The Pro Skater series are some of, if not the, greatest skating games of all time with fast and fluid controls, awesome soundtracks, and a highly addictive one-more-run structure. Arguably some of the best sports games of all time, if you ask me. This one might be hard to get due to licensing issues, but it would be great to see.
THPS 1 is a solid choice, too, but 2 is the one you want.
Symphony of the Night
The greatest Castlevania game of all time. Possibly the best Metroidvania of all time and still, in my opinion, one of the best 2D action-platformers ever made. I find it disturbing how little people talk about SotN when talking about classic games of the era. The huge sprawling castle is dense and never fails to surprise, and the RPG mechanics were a great addition to the Castlevania formula. The game is full of some great boss fights and features an amazing soundtrack. It was also one of the first games to include completion that went over 100%. Symphony of the Night is a fantastic game, it deserves to be on the PlayStation Classic.
The PS1 was something of a golden era for JRPGs. Some of the best and most beloved games in the genre were on that platform. There were so many JRPGs around this time, in fact, that many of them were pretty forgettable. Xenogears is most certainly not one of these. A wonderfully unique game that combines sword and sorcery fantasy with hard sci-fi, mechs, and all manner of cool stuff. I regret that I never finished it when I played it a few years ago, but it still sticks in my mind so clearly. A must-play for fans of the genre or fans of interesting science fiction stories, Xenogears should definitely be on the PlayStation Classic.
Although this recently got an HD re-release, that’s an HD release of the GameCube remake, so it doesn’t apply to my remaster rule. The original PS1 Resident Evil is different enough that I think it should appear on the Classic. It’s iconic, hugely influential, and still pretty spooky. The remake is the preferable way to play it, but the original is still worth experiencing.
I went into more detail in my Best Spider-Man Games piece, but Spider-Man was the first great 3D Spidey game and arguably his first great game period. It was the first game to include a charismatic and verbose Spider-Man, which many games before failed to capture. It had solid combat, pseudo-open world swinging, a variety of cool web abilities at the player’s disposal, and an awesome rogue’s gallery of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains. This might not be on the Classic, but I hope it is.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy‘s take on the strategy-RPG genre, Final Fantasy Tactics was a hugely successful tactical RPG that brought together everything that makes the franchise great into a different genre. Fans of the mainline Final Fantasy series should check this out and, well, so should everyone else because it’s just a really great game. PlayStation Classic, please.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
The Legacy of Kain games are solid third-person action games with some novel mechanics. The games themselves are pretty good, but it’s their unique gothic universe that makes them stand out. The vampire-esque characters and dark fantasy tones are still among the best in games.
Final Fantasy IX
Admittedly, I haven’t played nearly as much of this game as I would’ve liked (I’ll rectify that one day, I promise) but as a big Final Fantasy and JRPG fan, I know many people love Final Fantasy IX. Some people prefer it to FFVII (which I know I’ll agree with since I think FFVII is super overrated) and it’s not as out-there as FFVIII, which makes it a great fit. If Final Fantasy VII is on there, then this should be too.
The seminal spooky-town simulator, Silent Hill is one of horror game’s most talked about series. Although I think Silent Hill 2 is the series’ peak, the first one is still a pretty great survival horror game. Now, obviously this is a very early game in the genre, so there are certainly some kinks that had yet to be ironed out, but it’s still a fun and tense experience nonetheless. Definitely worthy of the Classic.
Gran Turismo 2
Sony’s premiere driving game series, Gran Turismo was hugely popular during this period. With a focus on realism and visuals, GT put an emphasis on being more of a simulation driving game than its arcade-y competitors. An essential driving game series, the early entries hold up pretty well, and GT 2 still plays and looks pretty good (for a PS1 game). Since this is a first-party series, I’d be shocked if this wasn’t on the PlayStation Classic.
Tomb Raider 2
This game deserves to be on this list purely because Lara Croft is one of gaming’s most iconic characters, and these games are where she got her start. Although the controls don’t hold up well and the combat isn’t great and … well, a lot of things about those early Tomb Raider games have aged pretty poorly. Look, my personal reservations aside, this is a very important game that should be on the Classic purely for its impact.
Square Enix now owns the IP and there have already been some Square games announced for the Classic, so this seems like a likely one.
Another JRPG I really need to go back and finish. The Suikoden (Sue-E-Koh-Den, I think) games are pretty traditional JRPGs that tackle some pretty heavy topics, such as corruption and revolution. It’s one of the most interesting series in the genre, and Suikoden II is one of the best of the era. More people should play it and it should be on the Classic.
Crash Team Racing
Admittedly, this was just Sony riffing on the success of Nintendo’s Mario Kart, but it’s still pretty fun. The characters of the Crash Bandicoot games racing against each other in a solid kart racer. Good stuff! Get it on the Classic!
Twisted Metal 2
David Jaffe’s Twisted Metal series is silly and fun. The definitive car combat games of the era (and arguably of all time) hold up pretty well. It’s still fun to drive around and blow up cars with a variety of nonsense weapons, even if the controls feel a little iffy in 2018. Twisted Metal 2 is the peak of the series, a peak that was never re-captured in future titles. This dumb game should be on the Classic.
Ape Escape is weird and fun and just great. More people should play this game and it should be on the Classic. The only reason it isn’t on this list is because it makes heavy use of the dual analog sticks, which the PS Classic controller doesn’t have.
Resident Evil 2
The only reason this isn’t on the list is because Resident Evil is. A great sequel that mixed things up nicely and kept the spooky vibes. I’m really looking forward to that remake!
This didn’t make the list for one simple reason: I haven’t played it. I don’t even really know that much about it. I just know that people really like it and it’s supposed to be an excellent JRPG. As a fan of the genre, it’s probably something I should play!
Did we miss anything? What do you think should be on the PlayStation Classic? Let us know in the comments!