Top 10 PlayStation Games

The Original Playstation was the console that launched a thousand games but which were the definitive top ten?

The Original Playstation; the console that launched a thousand games, the triumphant first foray into the console market for the Japanese company known as Sony. But for a console with so many games to its name, just which ones are worth playing? Well, you don€™t have to play them all because WhatCulture has taken the time to find out for you, sit back and enjoy our definitive top ten. In the early nineties things were looking up for video games, since the crash of the mid-eighties the industry had gone from strength to strength, helped by the fact that games are awesome! Home consoles were more popular than ever, with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Mega Drive leading the way. While Nintendo and Sega battled it out for the 16-bit console era in the early nineties, the next generation was glistening on the horizon. The mighty Playstation was part of the fifth generation of gaming consoles, the era began towards the end 1994 in Japan, with the rest of the world catching up the following year. Sega with their Saturn were first on the scene, but never really managed to get much of an install-base. It was easily the most expensive and didn€™t really do anything to justify the price, Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally Championship were some of its more notable titles. The Playstation was second into the ring, its launch titles weren€™t anything to get too excited about, but the good old PS certainly built up steam fairly quickly. Nintendo were last in with the imaginatively named Nintendo 64, undoubtedly a great console with some stand out games like; GoldenEye 007, Mario Kart 64 and Super Mario 64. So the stage was set for the fight that would become the fifth generation console battle. Sony ultimately won this battle, with sales of more than three times its biggest rival Nintendo, and more than four tiles that of Sega€™s Saturn. Sony's new gaming kid had won the day, but what was it that made the Playstation so popular?
Sony weren€™t winning any design awards with the Playstation€™s casing, the grey box with grills down each side wasn€™t much to look at. But don€™t worry, what the PS lacked in looks, it made up for in power! ... oh, hang on, no it didn€™t. The Saturn had twice the processing power (arguably) and the N64 boasted double the bits (the clue was in the title). Sony won the console war for a few reasons, but mainly there decision to market toward an older generation of gamer. Sega and Nintendo chose child-friendly mascots for their brands. No one wants to be treated like a kid, so sales of Sony€™s console went up, which meant more developers wanted to create games for their console, which meant more games, more games meant more gamers, and the cycle continues. The point is that the Playstation had way more games than its rivals, and with a better selection usually comes more quality titles. So that was the key to winning the console war; loads and loads of games!
But anyway, that is what this countdown is for; games, the best Playstation games. We should start with some honorable mentions; Parappa the Rapper was a quirky rhythm game that nearly made the list, it gets and special mention for being so unlike other games. Chorno Cross was apprently very good, perhaps even one of the best, but it€™s not my fault it didn€™t get released in Europe. Finally Crash Team Racing, for being the Playstation€™s answer to Mario Kart, and giving the Sony kids one more reason to win the console argument. Without any further distractions, here is WhatCultures Top 10 Playstation Games of all time, ever, forever: 10. Medal of Honor
We start our countdown with the grandfather of all those modern shooters that are dominating the current generation of consoles. It is impossible to pass-out in a gaming shop without hitting your head on a FPS before you hit the floor, either the earlier World War II titles or the more current modern era frag fests. Yes we had Doom, GoldenEye 007 and a few others years before, but Medal of Honor proved that the FPS was destined to become the genre of choice as video games stepped into the realm of 3D (taking over from the platformer, which was the genre of choice in the 2D gaming world). The graphics were great for the time, shooting Nazi's in the face never looked so good, with detailed character models, smooth animations and some sweet explosions. Enemy AI was accomplished as those evil Nazi's tried their best to end your killing rampage. Apart from one part where there are three of them just chillin' and looking at a snowman, not great wartime tactics. Ok so the draw distances are laughable by todays standards and almost all the levels are set at night to mask the Playstation's limited power, but the team at Dreamworks Interactive knew what they were doing and make up for this with clever level design. Real life footage and strong sense of history really help fuel the game, making it seem part of something much bigger. Directed by the great Steven Spielberg, bringing with him a cinematic feel, a focus on storytelling and the full score helped engross the player in the missions at hand. 9. Die Hard: Trilogy
It is a rarity for a movie tie-in games to achieve anything more than an average reception, this one is different; Trilogy wasn€™t produced to coincide with any of the films. Once the Die Hard films had wrapped up (we weren€™t to know that Bruce Willis was going to return after he€™d lost his hair), and made a place for themselves in the action movie hall of fame, the developers at Probe Entertainment created this beauty. As the name might suggest, this title is made up of three very different games, one for each film. The game loads to a menu, from which the player can select a section; Die Hard, a third person shooter that sees our hero battle through the Nakatomi Plaza of the first film. Die Hard 2: Die Harder takes the form of an on rails-shooter, blasting through Dulles Airport. Die Hard: With a Vengeance is a 3D GTA-style driving game (before there was a 3D GTA), allowing the player to joyride through the street of New York City, trying to defuse terrorist bombs. Trilogy was great, partly because of the variety on the single disc, but also because of the depth within the games included; any one of them could have been released on its own and would have been great. If you want a more detailed article about this triple title, check out this Forgotten Gems post. 8. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Instead of trying to add another new and primitive dimension to their series the guys at Konami decided to stick to what they know. With the superiour power of the next generation, most game series€™ tried to steer towards 3D land, Castlevania putting that extra power to good use in a 2D environment. Not the first Castlevania game by a long way, with the series starting way back in 1986. This titles sees the series keep with the same formula and adding to it once again, to create a game worthy of any games collection. There are a few changes from previous titles in the series; there is no whip cracking here and there is a map. The series is often compared to Metriod, this game is the first to utilise a map simular to that of Samus. The graphics look great, using the extra power to create more detail environments that add to the already brilliant atmosphere. A great score, generous helpings of moster killing and all the side scrolling you could ever want make this game a classic. After Symphony of the Night, Konami did try to realise the series in full 3D, but the games did not do as well as the 2D scollers we all know and love. They have since returned to 2D and produced some fine titels, well into the age of 3D gaming. There is still room for 2D platformers in todays market, just look at the brilliantly crafted and beautiful Raymen Origins that has done very well with its 2D jumping fun. 7. Resident Evil 2
The poster child for the survival horror genre; the Resident Evil franchise has enjoyed over fifteen years of success with a strong main series, many remake and spin-off games and a popular film series. As anyone who knows the first thing about the passing of time will know: you have to start somewhere, and Resident Evil started with live action cut scenes with lots of scary close-ups of a dogs mouth. But more to the point, Resident Evil 2 starts with a pre-rendered cut scene a sign that it acquired higher production values than its older brother. Pre-rendered in-game backgrounds meant that the game looked stunningly detailed for the time. Much like others on this list, it is with the sequel that the developers Capcom were able to polish and refine the good work done in the first game and create something special in the second. The aim is to survive against the odds in the ill-fated Raccoon city, the player must do so by shooting things and solving puzzles, oh and there is lots of doors. I love doors so it isn€™t a problem, but for some it can get a little repetitive along with the over enthusiastic footstep sounds. Playing the game was a cinematic experience, with different aspects of the game design working together to create spooky and very atmospheric gameplay. The graphically advancements, sound design and clever level design kept the player engrossed in the games story. 6. Tomb Raider 2 Lara Croft in her second globe trotting escapade set the benchmark in adventure gaming and her influence can be seen across the action adventure genre today. Now with many more games and two films under her belt, these were the days when all she did was jump around in the graves of the long dead. Known as one of the first female leads in gaming (Let€™s not forget Samus form the Metroid Series), the archaeologist was at the height of her fame, known to those outside of the gaming world for two of her assets. In this adventure Lara concerns herself with Dagger of Xian, a story told through pre-rendered, and sometimes in-game, cutscenes. The quest takes place in several locations around the world, from the foothills of Tebet to the canals of Venice, each bringing totally new environments, atmosphere and level design. The locations are a highlight, each country with its own distinct feel, as Lara dangles from ledges and drives into pools. One of the stand out moments from this game was when you realise that the monks in Tebet don€™t want to hurt you and only do so if you shoot one of them first. The idea that not everything that moves is an enemy has stuck with me to this day. It took a few restarts to realise that shooting the friendly guys wasn€™t the best idea, after you learn this, they just potter around the place doing whatever monks do, allowing you to jump around their monastery like it's your personal gym. Talking of personal gyms, Lara€™s mansion was another highlight, as with many of the TR games. Essentially a tutorial level, set in Miss Crofts massive country house, could give hours of gameplay in itself, complete with pool, maze, assault-course and a creepy butler. You can beat your best time on the assault-course, find secret areas or just play around with the butler, all before the game really starts. 5. Tekken 3
Often considered one of the greatest game in the genre, Tekken 3 doesn€™t attempt to re-event the fighting game. The team at Namco instead spend their time refining previous games. Tekken provides hours of fun for those that want to smash their friends faces into the ground without getting told of by their parents. Still keeping the same core fighting mechanics as its two older brothers, the game refines the winning formula with faster smoother gameplay and more detailed graphics and animations. Other improvements helped balance the play style and allowed for more challenging and engaging fights. The ability to side-step was a big difference, as it made the game use the 3D world more, adding further depth to the gameplay. Jumping was also improved, in Tekken 2 despite most factors conforming to fairly realistic physics, characters could jump to supernatural heights, floating over opponents, rendering their moves virtually useless. In Tekken 3 the jumping was improved so that fighters can only jump to more achievable heights.
Tekken stands out from most other fighting games because it has a back story, a hard task as each character has a story and can win the tournament and the hands of the player. Each game starts with a cut-scene that attempts to tell the story of each character and tells the player who actually one the last tournament, this can get a little confusing so there is a text in the game booklet that fills in the blanks. The story is an intriguing fantasy that ultimately revolves around the fighting tournament, with family fudes and rivalry as well as a helping of Japanese wackiness depending on which character you are following. Panda! 4. Gran Turismo The racing genre has been a constant in the gaming world in its various forms since the olden days, the only problem is that a lot of them are quite similar. So how do you make your game stand out from the pack and sell 10 million copies? Make an incredibly refined and realistic racing simulator with more polish than a shoemakers face, in the form of Gran Turismo (No, not Gran Torino or Grand Theft Auto). The games creators at Sony were allowed a five year development cycle, giving them time to fine tune the driving mechanics to ridiculous precision. Instead of going down the fun and colourful route of the Mario Kart series (A technique that Sony later followed with Crash Team Racing), the Gran Turismo team could focus on creating a mature racer that was more inline with Sony€™s marketing of the Playstation itself. An incredible car selection of 180 cars and 11 tracks made GT a must have for any racing fans. The solid gameplay was complimented by a brilliant soundtrack, sharp graphics and multiplayer fun. All of this meant that many kids and adults a like spend hours refining their racing skills, slicing off a few moments off their lap time, one of the great games in the Playstation back catalogue.
As you might of noticed the Gran Turismo series is still going strong today, taking their sweet time between titles. Now on the fifth main title the series has a firm cult following and has seen other driving series come and go over the years. 3. Final Fantasy VII Way ahead of its time, Final Fantasy VII proved what could be achieved on the Playstation. A massive achievement in itself the game boasted cutting edge graphics, cinematic sound design and music as well as a story that drove the gameplay from start to finish. It became the role play game for people that had never played an RPG before, a credit to the genre, it was a must play game for any PS owner. Obviously not the first in the Final Fantasy series, but this one was their first foray into 3D, meaning that instead of just appealing to Japanese role-play game fanatics the game could appeal to a much wider audience, also the fact that this was the first in the series to be released in Europe helped a lot. The legendary series started in 1987 with Final Fantasy, although the name suggests otherwise this was just the start of a mammoth game series that is now on its 14th adventure and a half or something. Also a few films and spin-off games have popped up over the years.
Back to VII, the game that made the series a house-hold name, if you live in a cool house that is. The game was long, really long, it came of three discs and took about 50 hours to complete. There was so much extra content too, things that didn't need to be in the game but were there if you wanted to learn more about the characters. 2. Metal Gear Solid
Where would a Playstation count down be without Hideo Kojima€™s love child, a game that brought the Japanese stealth series into our homes. Yet another on our list that takes the big step from 2D to 3D, Metal Gear still manages to retain a similar gameplay style, although there hadn€™t been a Metal Gear game since Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake eight years before. The third person stealth action game with its fair share of Japanese wackiness was very successful and has had many sequels across various Sony platforms. As Solid Snake the aim of the game was to work our way through the games detailed environment while trying not to be seen, the enemies sights it conveniently indicated on the HUD radar. The enemies lack any sort of peripheral vision, like a horse with blinkers on, which is great. Lots of support from your team (who aren€™t putting their life in direct danger) is helpful, but can get a little much if your the type of person that just wants to play a game. This game blow my mind a few times, it was the first time I had come across a game that knew it was a game and played with that idea. It forced you to think about the game in a way that was so outside the box it was crazy. The first time this happened was when someone on my codex told me to €œcheck the back of my CD case€, ok I thought, check the items; no CD, thats strange I must have missed it; I must track back and find the CD that I was stupid enough to miss. Skipping forward several frustrating days, I ask a friend and it turns out it€™s on the back of the actual game CD in real life, what the hell? thats crazy, this game should not know that it came in a box and now I€™m playing it in front of a TV, the games are taking over! Another example of this is the whole controller swap thing. 1. Tony Hawk€™s Pro Skater 2
Currently on hold due to the poor reception and even worse sales of the latest peripheral dependent title; Tony Hawks Shred, the Tony Hawk's franchise has seen better days. Before they tried to cash in on the Guitar Hero inspired craze for having a bunch of plastic in your living room, the series enjoyed nearly 10 years and 9 games worth of success as the almost unchallenged king of the skateboarding genre. With this title, just their second attempt at creating a skateboarding sim, Neversoft hit the jackpot. Following the previous years Tony Hawk€™s Pro Skater, the sequel did everything right, with bigger levels, tuns of new tricks, more challenges and the polishing of the already marvelous gameplay. Creating a near perfect title that would proved hours of fun for gamers around the world and inspire thousands to take up the real life board sport. Critics and fans alike praised the games and it is often seen on best games of all time lists.
The gameplay was a third person perspective of your character riding a skateboard, in Free Skate mode you could ride around performing tricks and exploring the levels. The single player consisted of various goals, such as collecting letters, high scores and level specific ones such as jumping over tramps.
The customisation and character selection actually made a difference, in most games characters give little more than an aesthetic change, but in Tony Hawk€™ each character allowed for different styles of play. Tony Hawk himself was great at getting big airs on the vert ramps and spinning around, but you would have trouble holding a manual for very long, Jamie Thomas could land massive drops, Rodney Mullen could grind and manual for years and Eilssa Steamer was the best at being a girl. A great social game too, before you could ho0k up your console to the internet, well before most people had the internet, Tony Hawk€™s perfect to play with others; watch your friends play styles, impress others with complex tricks and general express yourself. The classic games modes like €˜Horse€™, €˜Tag€™, €˜Trick attack€™ and €˜Graffiti€™, all made for hours of competitive fun. The game made use of other mediums, adding to the games playing experience. A great sound track of licensed music that started with the hard hitting Rage Against the Machine intro as soon as the game loaded, other great choices include; Naughty by Nature - Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Dub Pistols - Cyclone, Fu Manchu - Evil Eye and Anthrax feat. Chuck D. - Bring The Noise. If you find any of these tracks on youtube, you€™ll be instantly transported back twelve years to the glory days of the Playstation. The game makes great use of video with an intro video that runs through the roster of skaters, each of these characters also has a video that can be unlocked, giving good reason to complete the game with the different characters.
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