When I sat down to write this list of the best PS1 games of all time, I figured it would be a piece of cake. 50 of my favourite PlayStation games – easy. No problem at all.
Then I started listing my favourites, and soon I had around 200 titles with more popping into my head every second.
Not so easy after all, then!
The PS1 was, and in many ways still is, a pivotal console in the world of gaming. It’s the birthplace of many of today’s most influential video game characters, a groundbreaking console that changed the way we play forever.
The PS1 wasn’t just Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s home console devices. It was soon to be the home of some of the best games ever made, franchises that are still going strong today. From a child-friendly dragon to dragon armoured warriors, there are so many exciting titles on this console that I’ve had a sweat on trying to whittle it down to just 50!
Still, no task is too great for us here at Retro Dodo. Check out our 50 best PS1 games below. I’m going for a lie down!
Grandia, one of the best looking RPGs of all time, kickstarts this list of the best PS1 games of all time!
For starters, any game that has over 80 hours of gameplay under it’s belt is a winner with me. So many games are over too quickly, but Grandia gives real value for money, especially if you’re picking up a sealed copy from the internet!
Championing the skill development of characters and a superb magic system, this game is a credit to the genre. Not only that, but there’s a healthy amount of standard and turn based battles in this game so nothing ever feels samey or stale.
But what is Grandia all about? Well, players follow a dude called Justin. Like all kids, he wants to be an adventurer, and after chancing on a clue as to how an ancient presence vanished, he sets out on an epic quest.
The graphics in this game make it one of the best on the console, and the battle system is intuitive while giving lots of freedom for the player to attack in their own style.
Honestly, with thousands of games released for the PS1, sitting at 50 is still as high achievement. This game needs to be in your collection!
Madden NFL 2001 is American Football at its finest. We’re talking all the highs, the lows, and the brutal tackles that the game has to offer.
These games all basically have the same premise year after year, but 2001 was the first game that I came to in the series and is a firm favourite in my collection. The commentary is superb, the pitch looks great, and all the pros from the time make an appearance.
It’s never enough to just play the sport though; the crowd reactions and the player’s banter is what makes games great… am I right?
The NFL Coaches Club License gets you closer to the action with close ups of managers yelling instructions and cursing their rotten luck at losing yet again. And having Pat Summerall and Mr John Madden himself explaining what’s going on to the player makes it feel like you’re right there in the stadium!
Even if you know nothing about American football, this game is a great way to get into the sport and the perfect way to dish some vengeance to your mates for all the crap they give you. It’s time to play dirty!
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis takes the 48th spot in this list of the best PS1 games of all time, and boy is it a gruesome gorefest.
Wimpish readers should probably carry on to number 47…
Resident Evil titles are known for their mindless Zombies and bloodlust around every corner. Still, The Nemesis is perhaps the most freaky dude bar Pyramidhead that I’ve ever experienced in a game.
This title totally gave me goosebumps as a kid, and I’m pretty sure it still does now too!
Guts galore and brains a plenty, Resident Evil 3 remains one of the most action-packed survival horror titles ever made. There’s less of a tactical approach to this game when I’m playing as opposed to mashing the fire button and screaming.
And The Nemesis is lethal! He just appears out of nowhere and runs after you like a crusty, half-eaten gorilla, determined to eat your throat and guzzle up your innards.
Definitely not a family game then…
A key feature in survival horrors is multiple endings depending on paths that you take in the game. This keeps people playing again and again, which is good as the title itself is a little on the short side.
Wrestling was everything when I was a kid, and playing as my favourite wrestlers in Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role was the greatest.
The Rock, Kurt Angle, Triple H, The Undertaker, The Hardy Boys, The Dudley Boys; the list goes on.
Watching those guys on Sky One and then playing as them right after was how I spent pretty much every Saturday morning. Pile-driving opponents through tables, brawling in the carpark; this was the real deal!
Tables, ladders, and chairs matches were the best, as were tag-team matches with mates. Recreating rivalries from the TV Show never got old, and neither did pulling off timeless moves like the People’s Elbow or the Tombstone.
There are a lot of moves to learn, but show me a fighting game where there isn’t. I spent far too many hours playing this game as a kid and I’m now urging you to do the same!
If you don’t like survival horror titles, then you might want to skip this bit and move on. Still, you’ll be missing out on Galerians, one of the finest ‘edge of your seat’ games for the PS1.
‘What’s the premise of this game?’ I hear you shouting from behind the sofa. Well, players control a chap named Rion who has suddenly developed psychic abilities. Not only is he now a walking-talking Alakazam in shorts, but he’s also got amnesia.
Oh, and he’s earth’s last hope of stopping a race of GM humanoids from terrorising the planet.
It’s probably fine; I bet Rion has access to some killer guns along the way… right?
Rion has zero weapons apart from his Psychic powers. And here’s the real stinger; he has to take a drug every time he attacks someone.
This certainly isn’t Hyrule Warriors; running in and attacking willy nilly isn’t going to do you any favours here.
Galerians focuses on attacking at the right moment, conserving attacks for when they’re really necessary, and knowing when to leave a fight and run.
Trust me, you’re going to do a lot of running.
Colony Wars takes the 44th spot in this list of the best PS1 games of all time!
This game is one for the Rogue Squadron fans out there. It’s a space fighter game that sees players taking control of a starfighter, strapping into the cockpit and getting ready for some interstellar combat.
That should have been the blurb on the back of the game!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bravely fight as part of the League of Free World’s forces. Each craft is selected for you on each stage, so there’s plenty of new weapons to get used to along the way.
Wield EMP cannons, fire torpedos, and blast enemy fighters out of the sky as you bring peace to the galaxy.
As with Lylat Wars, different actions result in different paths between levels. There are a few different outcomes to the game too, and losing in a mission doesn’t always mean the end of the game.
If you’re the kind of person that wishes you could be a gun turret operative in the Milenium Falcon, then Colony Wars needs to be in your collection!
Spyro: Year of the Dragon glides in at Number 44 on our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
I’ve often thought that after the groundbreaking success of games one and two, Insomniac could have put out an absolute dung bomb of a game and still made tonnes of money on it. Instead, they made a title that not only compliments the series, but ones that’s still heralded as being one of the best Spyro games today!
Year of the Dragon boasts mini games for the first time. Yes; Spyro in a mini game; obviously I lost my freaking mind when this came out!
The third and final game in the original bunch came with groovier music, slick graphics, and tonnes of new characters and features for gamers to sink their claws into.
And instead of just following the same form as the first two titles, Year of the Dragon felt more like a Nintendo platform game. Play as different characters, complete missions, and trade items for gems with Moneybags the Bear.
Will you reach high with Sheila the Kangaroo or take Spyro for a swim without fear of drowning? Year of the Dragon is a solid game that I’ve played again and again on the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for Nintendo Switch!
Before the CIA, there was the OSS, and they play a pivotal role in Medal of Honor: Underground. Players control Manon Batiste, a resistance fighter recruited by the OSS to stop the Nazis in their tracks.
Your mission; to track and battle the members of the Reich across the globe, putting your life on the line everywhere from Paris to the Northern reaches of Africa.
This FPS is incredibly famous. I remember the first time I hd to go up against a tank in MOH: Underground and resisted the temptation to run the other way as fast as possible.
For anyone who hasn’t played a MOH game before, the premise is simple. Aquire predetermined collectibles, and destroy enemy targets.
And when the game finishes, the real fun begins. The bonus level that becomes available after completing the main story see players going up against dogs with guns, zombies, nutcrackers, robots, and mythical knights.
It’s a little like a shooting game crossed with the most potent hallucinogens of all time, but it’s also one of the best levels on any game ever made!
Take a trip back to where it all began with the next title on our list of the best PS1 games – Resident Evil.
If you’ve just joined the canon at Resident Evil: Village, then you may want to grab hold of a copy of the first ever game in the series. Step into Racoon City, a city swarming with zombies and horrifying creatures that would like nothing better than to eat you alive.
Other than that, the weather’s usually pretty decent and it’s easy to find a parking spot…
Ok, so it might look a little raw these days. Coincidentally, raw is how the zombies in this game like their meat, so I guess it’s just as well.
Players take control of a special operative sent to determine what happened to the city. Enter Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, the chosen characters who must uncover what really went down in a secret genetics laboratory.
If one thing Resident Evil is known for is its zombies, then the other is its array of guns. There’s so much firepower available here that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Still, don’t take too long thinking about it; there’s a Zombie about to bite your face off!
Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped takes the 41st spot in this list of the best PS1 games ever made!
Released in 1998, this is perhaps one of the toughest Crash games in the series. We’re still not sure why PAL games had to have the ‘3’ in the title to make it clear that it was the third one…
… we’d played the first two to death, of course we knew it was the third one!!
Warped follows straight on from the events of Crash Bandicoot 2. Dr Neo Cortex and the vengeful Aku Aku are back to cause havoc once again, and Crash has to stop them from getting crystals and enslaving the minds of the people.
Play as Crash or Coco as you leap over holes, collect apples, spin enemies, and try to stay alive. The music still sets my feet tapping and puts me in a great mood. In fact, ask anyone about Crash Bandicoot and they’ll hum the iconic tune to you…
… you’re doing it right now, aren’t you?
Here’s a fact for you; this was the first ever non-Japanese game to hit over 1-million sales in Japan. How insane is that. Looks like Crash knew how to bring home the bacon, and he’s still kicking ass in new games today!
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assasins takes the 40th spot on our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
Many readers may well have met Rikimaru and Ayame in the original Tenchu: Stealth Assassins game for the PS1. Well, this prequel to the original classic title sees players controlling the trained killers as teens.
The story follows Rikimaru and Ayame while learning their craft from Ninja Masters. Things don’t get much cooler than this!
Like many of the following third-person PS1 games in this list, stealth is the key to both winning and surviving. Taking down enemies without being seen increases a player’s ranking, and higher ranks mean better gadgets to help with future levels.
In other words, don’t go in with all-guns-blazing as it won’t help you!
Tenchu 2 has a great level editor too. If you liked Mario Maker but want to see lots more swords and blood, then creating your own stealth-based ninja-battle levels should prove to be pretty fun!
Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles is up next, a simplified version of Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace that gives players the opporunity to control other Jedis.
The game follows a plot line very similar to the film. All of the same bad guys and many of the same places feature, though gamers can now use Mace Windu and unlock other characters such as Captain Panaka and Darth Maul.
What I like about Jedi Power Battles is that it doesn’t feel solely like a hack ‘n’ slash game like Hyrule Warriors. There are some puzzle/adventure elements to the game too.
Many levels have jumping puzzles to overcome, putting those midichlorians to the test while traversing different stages. Some levels require piloting crafts, and most involve using R1 to deflect and take down Droidikas and other enemies from the film.
With 10 levels and four unlockable stages, it’s not the worlds longest game. It is a winner in my book, however, and Star Wars fans should certainly give it a try.
Next up is Einhänder, a Square scrolling-shooter title with epic cutscenes and some seriously bad-ass robo bosses.
German readers may well be wondering where the one-handed sword is or what part it could play in a spaceship game. Well, the name refers to the fighter jets large manipulator arm, giving it the impression of being a fencer reader to strike.
Or something like that, at any rate…
While classed as 2.5D with occasional 3D viewpoints, the game mostly follows a side-scrolling format. The levels look very futuristic and industrial, like a rave those kids from the Jetsons might hold when they’re eighteen.
Einhänder has a rather odd plot line. The ships are used by kamikaze pilots in a battle between a colony on the moon with a colony on the earth. One pilot decides that terminating his life isn’t something he wants to do, and he goes on a bit of a rogue bender.
Singlehandedly turning the fate of both colonies, the lone Einhänder pilot is an unnamed hero. Players must square up against their own superiors in order to bring peace.
Think you’re up to the task?
Jumping Flash! takes the 38th spot on our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
Robbit the robot rabbit first bounced into our lives back in 1995. He, along with the game itself, are often credited as championing 3D gaming on home consoles.
Whether you care about impressive accolades or not, Jumping Flash! is a cracking platform game that requires lots of exploration while searching for hidden jet pods. stashed by a maniacal science boffin.
Imagine, if you will, a first person Space Station Silicon Valley. That’s basically how Jumping Flash! works, minus the changing into multiple different animals.
Robbit must save the world by collection pods dropped by the game’s antagonist, Baron Aloha. The graphics might look a little dated now, but this was cutting edge stuff back in the day!
Critics praised the groundbreaking success of this game and the immersive action spread across each of the 18 levels. It still holds the world record for being the first true 3D platform game too.
That’s not a bad award to have under your belt as a developer, right?
One took me absolutely ages to find pictures and links for, so the least you can do is stick around to learn a little more about it.
Do you what comes up when you type in ‘one Ps1 game’? Just lots of singular PS1 games, and none of them One!
This could well be why many people haven’t heard of One and why it remains such an underated game. It’s probably one of the least known titles on this entire list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying.
On the contrary, One is an epic game that requires brains to beat. Sometimes blind shooting isn’t enough; players must use the scenery around them and unlock new abilities by powering up a ‘rage meter’.
I always used to hate the long load times with PS1 games, though One never had that problem. It used asynchronous loading to keep gameplay flowing, leaving players to pump enemies full of lead and figure out clever ways of staying alive.
The main character wakes up with an arm missing. It’s been replaced by a gun, and he has no idea who he is. With only a tattoo of a barcode on his neck, players must try to keep the mysterious fighter alive long enough to find out who he is.
Finding out why everyone wants to kill him would be a good idea too!
One looks and plays like a PS2 game. It’s slick, its fun to play, and the gameplay is exciting from start to finish.
Bushido Blade takes the 35th spot on our list of the best PS1 games ever made!
Square (Squaresoft) feature a heck of a lot in this article. They’re responsible for making some of the greatest PS1 games we’ve ever had the pleasure of playing on, and Bushido Blade is certainly one of them.
Imagine Mortal Kombat with Ninja Swords. I’ll admit, it’s a crude comparison, but it would have certainly caught my attention back in 1997!
Not that my mother would have let me buy it back then, of course…
Matches in Bushido Blade are like playing a game of chess. A single move could prove fatal, and while the rounds may last a long time, the gory deaths are pretty quick and brutal to watch.
Players feel every hack and slash in this game, as do the characters. Unlike Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, there is no time limit or health bar. One strike really is enough to defeat an opponent if timed right.
The levels have no constraint’s either, so backing off and dodging until a player loses concentration is also an option too. Characters can be wounded with certain hits, leaving them to hobble or crawl.
Admittedly, it’s a little like playing with your food, though you can really make your mates suffer if they’ve annoyed you on a previous game!
THAT’LL TEACH YOU TO BEAT ME AT MARIO KART, BRANDON… ahem… where was I?
R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 is the perfect title for recreating arcade feels in the living room. With stunning locations and epic powerslides, it’s one of the best racing titles for the PS1.
It’s also the last Ridge Racer made for Sony’s first home console, with Ridge Racer V dropping on the PS2.
Players choose one of four imaginary teams and car makes from four different countries before going for gold in different races.
As with titles such as Burnout and Need for Speed, new cars and upgrades are unlocked as players progress through the game.
There are 320 main cars to unlock in total, with a final car based on a certain famous dot-eating arcade character arriving as a bonus vehicle thereafter. I don’t know what I’d do if I had 321 cars to choose from in real life! Where would I put them?
Ridge Racer fans will already love the hi-octane corner taking and drifting past opponents, and PS1 fans in general should give this game a go. Find a JogCon and experience this game with total control.
Trust us, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Spider-Man wall-crawls into the 33th spot in our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
I couldn’t get enough of this game when it first came out. As a marvel nerd anyway, anything with Spider-Man is usually on my radar. But playing as Spidey for the first time with voice actors from the original cartoon series – well that just blew my mind!
Weird how i hate spiders though…
Spideys out to clear his name after being mistaken for a criminal. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Venom, Mysterio, Scorpion, and all the usual baddies are here to make life tough for our wanted-wallcrawler.
Narration from the one and only Stan Lee, the opportunity to unlock comic book covers, swinging through cities; the Spider-Man video game has it all. And while I’ve played this game on multiple consoles over the years, the PS1 version is still my all-time favourite.
The game sent critics into a frenzy, and it’s not hard to see why. Compared to Miles Morales, one of the best PS5 games, this much simpler adventure feels more like a comic book outing and less like a motion picture. That’s why this title will forever be one of the best PS1 games of all time!
Twisted Metal 2 takes the 32nd spot in our list. It’s one of the most popular vehicular combat titles of all time and resembles a gnarlier version of the Battle Mode in Mario Kart multiplayer.
It’s essentially Goldeneye while in cars with a bit of demolition derby thrown in for good measure. And when I put it like that, it suddenly becomes one of the best games ever, right?
Ruined husks of Moscow, New York, Holland, and other countries around the globe serve as proving grounds in this no-holds barred battle game. Driving well won’t earn you any points in Twisted Metal 2. It’s all about putting the pedal to the metal and causing as much havoc as possible.
Like current deathmatch games such as Fortnite, the last plater standing is the winner. There’s no point-based scoring system, just stay alive to win.
Items and weapons are scattered around each of the battle arenas for players to collect. This game is fun to play in single player, though it’s best enjoyed with friends. Nothing beats plowing over your mates in a tank…and I mean nothing!
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace force pushes its way into the 31st spot on our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
As a self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd, the Phantom Menace game was like a dream come true. Wielding lightsabers on a federation ship, solving puzzles in Naboo, traversing the underwater Gungan city; it all happens in this epic playable version of the film.
Fighting with Lightsabers in 3D was the closest I could come to being a Jedi back in 1999. Deflecting blaster fire felt so cool, and the game’s levels looked and felt just as great as the scenes from the movie.
One of the best bits about this title is how in depth each of the levels are. Lucas Arts could well have made a simple Star Wars title, though they went to great efforts to add engaging NPC dialogue into the game and areas for players to explore.
What’s more, new scenes have been added that don’t feature in the film. These explain what other characters may have been up to while other scenes were playing out. Rest assured, this is a cleverly made and well thought out Star Wars game for the ultimate Jedi-wannabe.
Final Fantasy VIII joins the umpteen other Square titles in this list of the best PS1 games of all time. They should have renamed the console the PlaySquare!
VIII is the eighth game in the series, though this won’t come as a surprise to any Roman Numerals fans out there. As with the other games in the canon, it champions turn-based battles and RPG plotlines that George R.R Martin could only dream of conjuring up.
Featuring an unknown world, a futuristic sorceress, romance, action, and gigantic monster, FFVIII is a stunning game for players to sink their teeth into. It has everything that one might expect from a Final Fantasy game.
The graphics are pretty special too, once again producing scences that wouldn’t look out of place on the PS2.
Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage blazes its way into the 29th spot on our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
Spyro games have a timeless feel to them that make them popular with gamers everywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you are 8 or 80, collecting gems, awakening dragons, and blasting enemies with fire will always feel amazing.
Ripto’s Rage follows a similar style of play to the previous Spyro game, though the none of the other dragon characters make an appearance. This time Spyro and Sparx feature in a brand-new adventure, rescuing castles from Ripto’s control and gliding around Avalar in style.
As before, Sparx acts as Spyro’s health bar. Watch his colour as he indicates how much life Spyro has left. Bottled butterflies act a little like a bottled fairy in Zelda, giving Spyro an extra life.
The enemies, buildings, and scenery are quintessentially Spyro. I know that’s a given for a Spyro game, but I bet any of you could see the picture above and tell me what game it was from. It’s an iconic style that many of us grew up with, and Spyro is without a doubt one of the most influential gaming characters of all time.
Glide to hidden areas, ram bad guys, and get that perfect gem-collecting score on every level. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.
Speaking of games that dreams are made of, Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire provides Rogue Squadron-style action on the PS1 that puts gamers right in the heart of the Rebel Alliance.
Pilot all kinds of crafts from the Star Wars franchise including X-Wings as you take down Tie Interceptors in the heart of space.
This game rules! Honestly, it’s. a joy to play and looks stunning on the PS1. From Admiral Ackbar and Darth Vader’s inclusion in the story to the chases through space, this slice of Star Wars Expanded Universe gameplay is a winner right from the word go.
Players control Rookie One, which admittedly isn’t the world’s most inventive name. Chase phantom ties and defend Rebels from obliteration at the hands of the Empire.
That sentence gave me goosebumps!
Unsurprisingly, the game was huge commercial success. Besides the gameplay, the game score was phenomenal and, true to every Star Wars film, had us humming and whistling along in no time. The controls are a little skittish at times, but the PS1 port is like watching a 4K video compared to the PC version.
Grab a copy today and help turn the tide of the war for the Rebels.
Parasite Eve roars into the 27th spot on this list of the best PS1 games of all time, accompanied by Bring Me The Horizon playing at full volume!
Parasite Eve can best be described as a Resident Evil with RPG feels. Aya Brea is tryuing to stop a demonic woman called ‘The Eve’ from killing humans through spontaneous combustion.
Sounds like she should have a bash at starring in Mortal Kombat!
Gameplay follows a similar pattern to Pokemon, albeit without the fluffy monsters and a load of burning bodies instead. Aya encounters battles at random while walking over certain areas and can dodge and attack in a turn-based system.
Check out how good the graphics look too. This game looks well ahead of its time and plays like a PS2 title. It’s crisp and handles well, though if I had to be critical I’d say it needs to be a little longer.
Still, playing the game again after completion brings a new mode with a new level filled with battles to test your wits against. It’s an immersive survival horror with a difference and a nice change from the R.E series if you’re bored of slaying zombies.
Xenogears takes the 26th spot on our list, adding to the ever growing number of Square titles compiled here. Honestly, I’m only noticing just how many Square titles there are now that I’ve put them all together in one place!
As the first entry in the ‘Xeno’ family of games, Xenogears kickstarted a franchise that would go onto rival Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, as well as every other RPG title Square monopolised during this time period.
Players begin by exploring the world of Ignas, working alongside other characters and utilising information from NPCs to find, collect, and battle their way to victory.
Turn-based battles are the name of the game in Xenogears. Gamers control Fei Fong Wong as he tries to remember who he is while teaming up with other interesting folk from different parts of the region.
Expect reincarnation, magic, upgradable skills, and every other desirable trait one might find in a Square game. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys Fenyx Immortals Rising because you loved BOTW, then this Final Fantasy-esque game should provide an exciting adventure that feels both familiar and new at the same time.
This futuristic racer is faster and more dangerous than the original game. It’s set four decades later, and it seems that racers have a need for bigger weaponry the further along through time your travel!
The damage bar was introduced for the first time in this game. You’ll be watching it constantly as you use that air brake to zip around corners at frightening speeds.
The graphics on this game are superb and the courses are well thought out and incredibly imaginative. The music really got you pumped up and added to the whole feel too.
There’s no wonder Wipeout 2097 received positive scores accross the critics board, including a couple of 5/5 ratings from reviewers. Looks like we’re kicking off our best PS1 games with a winner!
If you’re a fan of F1 titles rather than family-friendly games such as Crash Team Racing, then give Wipeout 2097 a try. It’s white-knuckle action from the moment you start your first race!
One of the only reasons that I used to agree to go bowling as a kid was so I could play Time Crisis in the arcade afterwards. This game was the coolest, and when a port came out for the Playstation, I could finally give up bowling altogether.
Standing behind the sofa with the GunCon Light Gun was amazing. It felt like I was really in the action, except for the fact that I was in a house and not a cavern filled with gun-toting enemies.
The duck and reload element of Time Crisis is what made the Arcade game so exciting. That and the mega bosses you had to face up against too. The PS1 port is amazing and great fun to play with a friend.
The game doesn’t differ from the arcade mode that much at all. As the player, you make your way through various stages kicking bad-guy ass. There are various objects to hide behind while you reload, and you have to tactically pick off the enemies one by one to move to the next stage.
The arcade-style time limit is what keeps this game addictive and your nerves on edge. You can’t hide forever, so you make a move, get hit, and start all over again. That’s Time Crisis!
Time Crisis will never win an award for the best storyline in a game, but it is one of my favourite titles and a nostalgic one at that. It’s certainly worth adding into your collection.
This next title in our list of the best PS1 games is one that many of you will remember. Big-eared wonder-kid Klonoa and his pal Huepaw are the stars of the show in side-scrolling platform game Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. It’s vibrant, it’s fun to play, and it’s well worth taking a look at if you’ve never played it before.
The game is interesting for the fact that it’s a 3D game set on a 2D plane. Does that make it 2.5D?
The whole game kind of reminds me of Goeman: Mystical Ninja. Except Goeman wasn’t an anthropomorphic animal in a dream world. Maybe he and Klonoa could team up for a sequel!
A lot of retro games tend to revolve around a dream world, but this game does it superbly without rehashing old ideas. It’s set in Phantomile, a world based on the dreams we have at night. When an airship crashes and Klonoa finds a guy who wants to turn the planet into a world of nightmares, you know there’s going to be trouble.
There are bosses to fight at the end of some stages, and the grunts throughout the game provide just the right level of difficulty. You can pick up and throw enemies as weapons or turn them into springboards to reach new areas.
The whole 2D/3D thing might seem weird to gamers delving into the PS1 for the first time. Still, once you get a hang of it, Door To Phantomile is a cracking game. Fans of Crash and Mario? Give this a go!
If you need introducing to the Mega Man Legends, then you must have been living under a rock for most of your life! Mega Man seems to flit between consoles more than I have hot dinners, making him a well-known gaming icon no matter where your gaming allegiances lie.
Most of Mega Man’s previous titles have been side-scrolling games, but legends is more of a cross between Mario 64 and Holy Magic Century. It features some of our space-age hero’s coolest power-ups and abilities and has some exciting worlds to explore.
Legends was later ported to the N64 as Mega Man 64 (catchy title). The PS1 title went on to spawn two sequels. Mega Man Legends 2 looks better visually, but I prefer to play the game that kickstarted his PlayStation career.
For those rock dwellers who don’t know who this blue dude is, Mega Man is a space-age robo-guy. The game is set in the year 80XX, whenever the hell that is. Humans have been replaced by fast-breeding cyborg imitations, and most of the planet is underwater.
Sound’s like we’ve got a lot to look forward to!
Mega Man has to deal with a host of antagonists during the course of the game. Pit your skils against the meddlesome Reaverbots, the fourty-one Servbots, and the Bonne pirate family. The characters are a motley crew, but they helped to make the game an instant hit amongst fans of the blue boy-wonder.
You didn’t think I would leave it too long before bringing in Final Fantasy IX, right?
Squaresoft have made some of my favourite ever titles for the PS1. I would be scared to tot up all of the hours that I’ve spent playing Final Fantasy games; it’s definitely a lot! It’s probably no surprise that I happened to get hooked on what many critics have claimed to be the best game in the series.
FF IX is based on a war in the made-up realm of Gaia, which is the Greek primordial deity of the Earth for any history buffs out there. The story is far too complex for me to fit into these short paragraphs, as is the case with every FF game.
All you need to know is that it’s addictive as hell and an instant winner.
You play as bandit Zidane Tribal (awesome name), as well as controlling a number of other characters that you pick up throughout the game. FF IX has a new item reveal system, a little like the noise that appears in Links Awakening to tell you that there are hidden secrets nearby. It’s perfect for those players that love to explore every nook and cranny.
The game has a top-down perspective for most of the exploration, with close up 3D battle scenes that boast some cool looking monsters and enemies. The worlds that Squaresoft create are always magical, and FF IX is no exception.
If you’re a fan of RPG turn-based combat games and titles where exploring and interacting are the keys to success, then this NEEDS to be in your collection.
The next title on our list of the best PS1 games is Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, an underworld themed action-adventure game of epic proportions. Set 150 years after Blood Omen, the first game in the series, Soul Reaver brings Dark Souls style fun with some demonic characters and blood-thirsty battles.
The game follows the journey of a vampire/wraith called Raziel. He used to be mates with Kain until the great Vampire Lord bumped him off. Now, the Elder God has revived Raziel and made him his personal Soul Reaver.
There’s more confusing conflict going on here than in an episode of Game Of Thrones!
This game was a classic and gave a nice twist to the kind of gothic gameplay you find in the Castlevania series but in a 3D world. Raziel’s abilities and weapons were awesome and some of the creepy enemies still give me chills when I think about them.
Soul Reaver was, however, a little repetitive. It’s definitely worth a play if you can pick up a copy cheap online, and the graphics are way better than what you’d expect from the PS1.
If third-person horror-themed platformers are your bag, then you’ll soon become enthralled by the immersive worlds in Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. Give it a shot and let us know your thoughts!
A game about rapping – that should be enough to make you purchase it straight away!
Before Donkey Konga and Guitar Hero, PaRappa the Rapper was the music-matching game hero that made this title one of the best PS1 games around. Dressed like every cool ’90s rapper of the time, PaRappa must learn how to rap from a teacher that looks a little like a warrior walnut.
I always thought that the makers of Wario Ware: Smooth Moves might have taken inspiration from this game. The bright visuals and quirky theme are super addictive. And while it’s a weird one to play, it’s one of the most memorable and best PS1 games on the console.
You’ll be pleased to know that you don’t actually need to rap out loud. Like Guitar Hero, you have to press different symbols to make PaRappa Rap in time with the teacher. Get a good score and progress to the next round.
The whole game revolves around PaRappa having to rap against teachers to reach the front of the line for the bathroom. Then you go on to compete in a rap battle to profess your love to a female pooch named Sunny.
I know it all sounds bizarre and a bit like a psychedelic trip gone wrong, but it’s worth it. Trust us, you’ll be dressing like PaRappa and busting out rhymes in no time.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 takes the 18th spot in our list of the best PS1 games of all time!
Everyone knows about Street Fighter. There have been so many different games on multiple consoles, and the series is so popular that it can even be recognised by its individual characters.
The Alpha series is a sub-series following Street Fighter 2 and one of the best PS1 fighting games to date.
The game largely follows the same mechanics but has a couple of differences. The graphics look a little more cartoony albeit more put together, and the game has some new characters added to the roster.
Alpha 3 brought back Street Fighter favourites such as Ryu, E.Honda, and Blanka. It also featured new characters such as the Zangief-obsessed R. Mika, who would go on to become a firm fixture in future games.
Alpha 3 also brought in a new feature that allowed gamers to change fighting styles. Players can choose between ‘A-ism’ – 3-level super combo gauge moves, ‘X-ism’ – the same playing stye used in Street Fighter Turbo, and ‘V-ism’ – variable style like in Alpha 2.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 is great for multiplayer madness with your friends. It’s also perfect for blowing off a bit of steam when you don’t want to think about engaging plot lines or puzzle solving.
Besides, what more of an excuse do you need to shout ‘HADDDOUUUKEN’ at the top of your voice?
It’s time for another RPG game! Chrono Cross is the sequel to Chrono Trigger, a game that some of you may have read about in our list of rare SNES games. It’s visually perfect, so much so that it received a score of 10/10 from many critics when it first came out.
I love the plot in Chrono Cross because it deals with parallel worlds in a very clever way. You play as a boy named Serge who died in an alternate reality. You and your companions must try to avoid that other world and work out the truth of how the realities are intertwined.
Obviously there’s bad-guys trying to stop you along the way and important onjects that need to be collected. Why can’t games developers make these things easy for the poor characters, eh!
As with other RPGs, conversing and exploring are the keys to success. The turn-based combat works well, and the different abilities that the characters possess complement each other nicely.
There’s an elemental magic system in Chrono Cross like all the best RPG games, and abilities can be enhanced as you progress through the game. The characters backstories all help to draw you into their world and the levels are all richly textured.
If you’re a fan of parallel worlds, three-dimensional play, and games with over 40 influential characters, then get on the internet and start hunting a copy of this game down!
Driver is the first thrilling car game that I can remember playing. It was so different to everything that had come before it and encapsulated every element of the car chases in my favourite movies. Speed, reckless driving, and a plot that could have been taken straight from the series ’24’.
What more do you when looking for the best PS1 games?
Driver follows an undercover cop named John Tanner who infiltrates a notorious gang. What starts off as a means of finding out about the shady stuff they get up to soon turns into the discovery of their intent to assassinate the President.
Talk about things escalating quickly!
Unlike Crazy Taxi where the cities are loosely based on real places, Driver is based around four real-life cities. The player must travel around Miami, New York, San Fransisco, and Los Angeles. As a cop and former racing driver, you make yourself useful as a getaway driver for the various mob activities, proving your skills and trying to stay one step ahead of the game.
You can even unlock the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, with a cheat code. I love a good hidden Easter egg!
Driver is renowned the world over as being one of the best PS1 games ever made. It’s one of the PlayStation platinum collection and went on to spawn multiple sequels.
Fast cars and undercover police work is what every citizen dreams of being involved with. Driver makes those dreams come true!
If Link was Nintendo’s signature warrior, then Lara Croft is undoubtedly PlayStation’s most kick-ass character. Tomb Raider II takes the 15th spot in our best PS1 games list!
Arguably the gnarliest woman in gaming, Lara Croft has gone on to commercial success in both gaming and Hollywood. She’s a cosplay go-to character and the second-hottest video gaming character according to a recent poll. (She lost out to Bayonetta if you’re interested in that sort of thing).
We’re only interested in how good her games are, and they were spectacular! That’s why she’s in our list of the best PS1 games, after all!
Tomb Raider II was a huge success. It sold over 8-million copies in total as of 2003 and helped to prove that women are far more than side or supporting characters. It’s a shame it’s taken so long for the rest of the world to catch up…
Tomb Raider II has all of the exotic locations and dangerous dungeons that we’ve come to expect from Lara Croft’s exploits. New weapons, moves, and vehicles are available to enhance the gameplay, and you can save your progress pretty much anywhere you like without having to find one of those annoying crystals from the first game.
In this adventure, Lara is on the hunt for a dagger that, when plunged into the heart of its owner, can turn them into a dragon! I’m not sure stabbing myself and becoming a dragon is entirely worth it. But if that’s the kind of thing that floats your boat, then who am I to judge.
Lara will always be one of the coolest gaming characters of all time, and Tomb Raider II is a must have for any PS1 collectors gaming arsenal.
Speaking of dragons, the next title in our list of the best PS1 games of all time is rife with them! With a production cost of over $16-million and well over one-hundred staff members, The Legend of Dragoon could well be one of the most epic PS1 games of our time.
The original soundtrack for this game was astounding. The monsters were incredible, and the character abilities were super cool. It’s essentially an RPG with the same turn-based action as other games in the genre.
But in Dragoon mode, the characters can develop armour and wings, giving them extra powerful attacks and improved defence capabilities. How cool is that!
Play begins following a character named Dart. He’s been hunting a monster that killed his parents. There’s a dragon attack, and then bad stuff just starts happening all over the shop. He’s got his work cut out for him, but the various characters that you meet along the way are they to help you put things in order.
Collectibles, interaction, and exploration are the keys to completing Legend of the Dragoon. It’s not that different to other RPGs for the system, but I really like the whole dragon armour element and the dragon references throughout.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re a nerd like me, then you’ll love this game.
Now, Resident Evil 2 is a game that will forever make people feel freaked out when alone in dark rooms. This survival horror title was certainly not for the faint of heart. Although it looks pretty tame now, it was creepy beyond belief when it first came out!
Resident Evil 2 is set just two months after the events of the first R.E game. You have to escape the fictional Racoon City and avoid being eaten alive by zombies, using your wits to stay alive and big-ass weapons to destroy hordes of undead.
Sound like something you’d be into? Then keep reading!
The game mechanics are pretty similar to the first title, though now you have to cope with solving puzzles as well as pumping zombies full of lead.
There are a couple of instances where you can experience events from the different characters perspectives, which makes for cool gameplay and some nice ’cause and effect’ storylines.
Fans of The Walking Dead and World War Z will love Resident Evil 2. There are so many sequels out on different consoles now, but Number 2 will always be one of my favourites.
Crash Team Racing is one of the only titles to come close to knocking Mario Kart off the family-friendly racing top spot. It’s a genius little game with all of the favourites from the series showing up for some Kart-based madness.
15 of the series’ most famous characters appear in CTR. The players are all racing against the tyrannical Nitrous Oxide in a bid to save their planet from being blown to smithereens.
The game mechanics are very similar to Mario Kart, with weapons to stop other opponents appearing in crates and apples to collect instead of coins.
Players can drift, boost, and in some cases soar over massive ramps as they drive around the various courses. There are five modes to choose from – Adventure, Arcade, Time Trial, Versus, and Battle.
There are 16-tracks in total, and more unlockable content can be discovered as you progress through the game. It’s fast paced and certainly a game that you can keep coming back to time and time again.
All you need to do now is decide which is a cooler invincibility shield – the Mario star, or the Aku Aku mask. My money’s on the second one if you’re still reading this article!
The next title in our list of the best PS1 games is one that went on to span across 8 glorious years. Syphon Filter is a third-person shooter, and it’s hard as nails!
If you’ve read my best games articles before, then you’ll know I’m completely rubbish at stealth games. Still, that doesn’t mean that I can’t pretend I’m good at them, right? Syphon Filter is secret-agent spy action at its finest. We’re talking biological outbreaks, terrorist attacks, and saving the United States.
Looks like the stakes are pretty high then!
Players control special agents Gabriel “Gabe” Logan and Lian Xing. They’re on a mission to stop a German terrorist from wreaking havoc in America (sounds a little like another franchise loved by ‘die-hard’ action fans).
The stealth and puzzle action in this game is second to none, and the way in which you can engage with the game’s multitude of enemies keeps the action fast-paced.
You’ll travel everywhere from cramped American streets to the deserts of Kazakhstan in Syphon Filter. It has a compelling storyline and more than deserves a place in our best PS1 games compendium.
We’re down to the final 10 titles in our list of the best PS1 games, and Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
This title is even developed by a company called Oddworld Inhabitants. The whole game is odd from start to finish, but that’s why we love it.
For those people still wondering what Abe is, he’s a Mudokon slave who works at a meat processing plant. So that’s why he’s got his mouth sewn shut! Abe revolts when he realises he and his fellow Mudokons are going to be executed (and probably tinned with the rest of the meat).
The game follows Abe’s attempts to save his persecuted race, freeing as many weird and wonderful beings as he can while travelling through perfectly designed worlds and engaging levels.
The design elements in Oddworld: Abe’s Odysee are spectacular. It’s a perfect 2D platforming experience that simply works, and the detail in the background is just as impressive as what you see in the foreground too.
Abe, however, is a bit of a wuss when it comes to his own game. You can die so easily, pretty much by anything that touches you. You can throw rocks and jump or sneak past enemies, but if one of them grabs you or you fall from a great height (or hold something for too long), then you’ll return to the last checkpoint.
Oddworld might be an odd world, but it’s one that defined my PS1 experience. There are few characters as weird as Abe out there; he’s a Sony institution!
Number 9 in our list of the best PS1 games is a racing classic. Selling close to 10-million copies worldwide, Gran Turismo 2 is one of the most successful games on the PS1 and considered by many to be the daddy of all racing games.
GT2 doesn’t differ that much to other racing games in terms of mechanics. It’s the well thought out tracks, the large array of cars, and addictive gameplay that separate it from other titles in the genre.
Players can choose from 27 tracks to play on, some of these being rally tracks. The best part of this game, however, is the sheer number of cars that you can choose from. There are 650 available – that’s insane!
GT2 had the largest collection of classic cars in any game at the time of release. It was never hard to find a favourite with all of those vehicles to choose from, and it made replaying all of the courses with the different cars super fun too.
Which such impressive sales records, it’s no surprise that GT2 received positive scores of around 9.8/10 across the board when it first came out. Tournaments, single races, and multiplayer modes made this game a huge success, and it remains one of my favourite racing titles to this day!
If that isn’t a good enough pitch, then I don’t know what is!
Here he is; everyone’s favourite dragon. Smaug tried to take the title in the second Hobbit movie, but he’s no much for the purple-winged wonder that is Spyro the Dragon.
I think everyone who has ever owned a PlayStation has either bought or played a Spyro game in their time. Like Number 6 on our list, he’s a quintessential Sony character and one that is synonymous with the PlayStation brand.
Spyro is a 3D platform game with five magical worlds. Together with his dragonfly friend, Sparx, they must defeat the evil Gnasty Gnorc and free the trapped dragons throughout the various levels.
Spyro was Sony’s answer to the family-friendly Nintendo 64 which was known for having games that appealed more to younger players. But Spyro didn’t just capture the hearts and minds of children. It hooked big kid gamers too!
The game itself isn’t incredibly hard, but it is good fun. Collect treasure, burn bad guys, ram sheep. However you play, you’re sure to have a good time flying and bouncing around with Spyro.
The various characters and wise words from the freed dragons help to create a spellbinding plot that hooks you in from the very beginning. It’s PlayStation platforming at it’s finest and is usually twinned well with…
The spinning Crashing Bandicoot drops in at Number 6 on our list of the best PS1 games. He’s become a global icon since this first game, with players around the world bearing him on t-shirts, jackets, and even tattooed onto their skin.
I reckon you could say ‘UMBADAGAA’ to any gamer, and they’d get that you were talking about Crash’s witchdoctor mask, Aku Aku. Now THAT is the mark of a successful game!
Crash Bandicoot was a tough game to crack. I remember a level where you had to get past a goat on a bridge than almost made me throw my PS1, and later my Nintendo Switch, through the window!
Players must take crash through a variety of different levels and worlds. You’re ranked by how many boxes you break at the end of each level. Collect apples and search for the hidden icons on each stage to access a bonus area where you can find extra lives.
Crash is another one of Sony’s most iconic characters. He’s been bouncing on explosives and running away from boulders since the late ’90s, and there’s no sign of him stopping or slowing down any time soon.
All the enemies and level dynamics in this game are superb. Crash is a brilliant character, and as long as you can keep your cool, will be a great asset to your PS1 collection
Street Fighter might be one of the most popular names in the fighting genre, but nothing beats the Tekken series. Tekken 3 boasts some of the most memorable characters of all time, including the crazy Yoshimitsu and Eddy Gordo. They’re two of my favourite fighters, hence the picture below!
There were 23 characters to choose from all-in-all, giving you multiple ways to battle.
It didn’t matter whether you were going it alone or fighting against a friend, Tekken 3 packed some serious punch (and not just because it was a fighting game). Its one of the best PS1 games for blowing off steam!
The game mechanics are similar to every fighting game of the genre. There’s a countdown clock, health bars, and special moves that can be pulled out in order to get the upper hand on your opponent.
The characters and the attention to detail on the levels are what makes the Tekken series the best in the business if you ask me. It seems that you all agree too, what with the game selling over 8-million copies.
Critics scored this game highly, with many reviews getting close to or hitting 100%. Ryu doesn’t have to be in every fighting game. Try your hand at Julia Chang or Brian Fury instead. Once you play Tekken, you’ll never be shouting Hadouken again.
The Number 5 spot on our list of the best PS1 games of all time goes to the most famous skateboarder of all time.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is another one of those games that I reckon we’ve all had a go on at one time or another. For many people, myself included, this was the closest they’d ever get to pulling off a 1080 or cruising down a half pipe.
Don’t get me wrong, the first Tony Hawks game was still amazing. But the updated graphics and gameplay in Pro Skater 2 made it my favourite sports game on the console.
Every Tony Hawk’s game fan will remember how awesome the music was on Pro Skater 2. There was nothing better then cruising around the skateparks and grungy streets while listening to some of the best punk rock anthems.
Man, this takes me back!
Choosing from all of your favourite skaters was always one of the most exciting parts. Watching them on TV and then trying to recreate their most famous moves without face planting the floor was tricky. Still, at least it meant you didn’t have to get hurt in real life!
Konami know how to make addictive games, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is no exception. The Castlevania series is legendary and spans multiple consoles. It seems that gamers never grow old of killing Dracula and his many relatives, and they never get tired of trying to kill us!
Symphony of the Night is part action-adventure platform game/part RPG. Some of you might think that side-scrolling titles deserve to be further back up the list, but this game is seriously something special.
The player must explore Dracula’s castle and save the famous Richter Belmont from being possessed. This entry in our list of the best PS1 games makes Luigi’s Mansion look like a walk in a brightly lit park in comparison!
You might recognise the famous whip-wielding members of the Belmont clan from other Castlevania titles. In this game, however, you can choose from a variety of weapons and store them in an inventory.
Garnering experience points and exploring every creepy nook of the castle are the keys to moving forward in this game. The adventure is non-linear, but in true RPG fashion, certain areas will only open up when you have found specific items.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was almost a flop back in the day. It was a slow burner, but once critics got hold of it and began shouting from the rooftops, Konami was saved. It’s now one of the most successful selling games on the console and a true classic.
If I had a dollar for every minute I spent playing Final Fantasy VII, I’d be a very rich gamer. It’s the seventh game in the series and the first to receive a PAL release.
You play as Cloud Strife, which is a pretty good name for an ‘eco-terrorist’ who wants to stop corporations destroying the planet. It’s one of the most compelling plotlines in any RPG game to date and never fails to leave you coming back for more.
The game uses 3D characters in a 2D world. It’s the same type of 2.5D feel as Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. FF VII, however, is much more science-fiction orientated with a strong apocalyptic feel.
Play revolves around the massive world map, the field where most of the exploring happens, and the battle screen where you destroy your enemies. It’s very similar to the other Japanese RPG mechanics of the time, and PAL gamers went mad for it.
As with every FF title, the characters, their moves, and the people you interact with are what makes these games so damn addictive. It’s so easy to get hooked playing this game. I remember lying to my friends for the entire Easter holidays when I eventually got a copy because I didn’t want to leave the TV. I was obsessed!
FF VII is considered by so many gamers to be the best of the best PS1 games, but not on this list. It’s been pipped to the top spot by two other titles that are close to my retro gaming heart.
The fictional kingdom of Valendia was and still is one of the greatest places in gaming history. Squaring off against huge dragons while trying to take down evil organisations – Vagrant Story has it all and more.
It’s an action-adventure RPG, but there isn’t any trading of armour or speaking with every character to find a specific clue. The game concentrates on creating and modifying gnarly weapons, as well as using your brain to solve difficult puzzles and finding strategic ways out of sticky situations.
You play as Ashley Riot, which is easily one of the coolest names ever. You’re an agent referred to as a Riskbreaker, and you’re used to diving headfirst into dangerous situations.
That’s just a normal day at Retro Dodo towers!
Vagrant Story has tonnes of cool features like the Grimoires that you have to find to learn magic spells. Everything from the combat mechanics right through to the original score for the game is wholly epic.
The storyline is so intense I would need a week to write it out in detail, and there’s plenty of action to keep you hooked.
Critics went mad for this game. It sold 100,000 copies in the first 20 days and is the only PlayStation game to ever receive 40/40 from Famitsu Magazine. If that doesn’t prove how good this title is, then I don’t know what will!
For those of you that have been wondering when Metal Gear Solid would finally arrive, here it is. MGS is without a shadow of a doubt the worthy winner of the top spot in our best PS1 games list.
Let’s take a moment to give it a round of applause…
Despite being another stealth game that I was initially terrible at, I knew that this game was worth persevering with. It’s an absolute classic, perfect from the moment you switch on your machine to the end credits.
Solid Snake, the games protagonist, is still one of the coolest characters to date too. I reckon he could even give Lara Croft a run for her money!
What makes Metal Gear Solid so special then? Well, Apart from Solid Snake having a cool name, a cool look, and a bad-ass set of skills, it’s full of organisations with names like FOXHOUND and DARPA. It made me feel like a real-life super spy – that’s even more dangerous than skateboarding down a half-pipe!
Stealth is the aim of the game in MSG. Solid Snake can be detected when he moves into an enemies line of vision, so the player has to duck, crawl, and sneak their way to victory. You can also shoot bad guys too, but don’t risk alerting other guards to your presence.
This game is 3D but is often viewed from a top-down perspective. The camera angle changes in moments of combat, however, giving you the best view of the action no matter what’s going on. Honestly, if you haven’t played this game, then you owe it to yourself to give it a try. It’s a masterpiece, and we can’t give it any higher praise than that!
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