It’s time to grab a DualSense controller as we check out the best PS1 games on PS5 today!
When Sony relaunched their PlayStation Plus subscription service earlier this year, they included a selection of current and classic games from previous generations as part of the various membership tiers on offer.
This included a selection of PS1 games, meaning that you can now play classic games from the mid-90s and early 00s on your shiny new PS5!
Though some of these games can also be purchased separately (meaning that you don’t have to have a subscription to PS Plus), titles such as Tekken 2 are only available to subscribers. Which seems a bit cheeky, in our humble opinion!
PS1 games are also a bit thin on the ground on the PS5 at the moment – just 14 are available in total.
Which ones are worth a nostalgia-fuelled trip back in time to play though?
Let’s find out, as we check out the best PS1 games on PS5 today!
Table of Contents
The Worms games were an absolute phenomenon in the 90s. The 2D, chaotic turn-based carnage fuelled many a post-pub PlayStation session, with each of the games offering unrivalled local multiplayer fun.
So why is Worms Armageddon – one of the best examples of the Worms games overall – so far down the list of the best PS1 games on PS5?
Simple: there are two Worms titles available in the small selection of PS1 games that are currently playable via PlayStation Plus on the PS5.
And, with Worms World Party being an incremental improvement over Armageddon in lots of small ways, it makes Worms Armageddon’s inclusion on the service a baffling one.
Given that Worms World Party offers extras over Worms Armageddon, there’s no reason at all to choose Armageddon to play out of the two titles.
Make no mistake, Worms Armageddon is a fantastic, fun and incredibly addictive game. It just doesn’t need to be here, especially with such a tiny selection of PS1 games currently on offer!
Now this one truly takes me back.
A very early pioneer of the 3D platform game andone of the earliest examples of the genre ever, Jumping Flash! is unusual. It adopts a first person perspective, rather than the third person views that 3D platformers would soon after use as standard.
To be fair to Namco, the rules were being written as they made this game!
Though a technically impressive – and historically significant – game, Jumping Flash! hasn’t held up particularly well.
It’s very short, it’s far too easy, and there are countless examples of 3D platformers that are so much better.
For curiosity’s sake – and as part of PlayStation Plus Premium’s PS1 offering – it’s worth checking out. Jumping Flash! does provide a good history lesson and shows how far platform gaming evolved in such a short space of time, if nothing else!
A few years before they became known for their fantastic Lego games, Traveller’s Tales were known for their collaborations with Sega and their work with Disney Interactive.
After the success of their games based on the first Toy Story and A Bug’s Life, naturally Traveller’s Tales were chosen to develop the Toy Story 2 tie-in game too.
Though a little dated, it’s actually a much better 3D platformer than you may expect. In the mid to late 90s, licensed platformers based on animated movies and shows were everywhere – and they tended to be pretty underwhelming.
Traveller’s Tales delivered a fun game with Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue! – but do bear in mind that, next to the other games on offer, it offers little to the modern gamer than a hit of pure nostalgia.
Puzzle game I.Q.: Intelligent Qube – which was known as Kurushi in Europe – sees players dropped into a landscape of different coloured cubes to clear.
The unusual, minimalist aesthetic gives I.Q.: Intelligent Qube a unique look. The fact that the player’s human avatar actually appears on the puzzle stages also ensures that the game has a unique feel too.
Though not quite as recognisable or even necessarily as memorable as other games on this list, I.Q.: Intelligent Qube is a surprisingly addictive and original puzzle title that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Arriving pretty late in the PS1’s lifespan, Syphon Filter 2 is a slick, early example of third person stealth action.
Gabe Logan may not quite be Solid Snake, but for players looking for more modern day, high tech espionage action – after Metal Gear Solid – the Syphon Filter games were a great way to scratch that particular itch.
It also adds a multiplayer mode, which is well worth checking out.
The version available to play on PS5 via PlayStation Plus also has Trophy support added. Plus, it was the first title on the service to support both 50hz and 60hz modes.
Syphon Filter 2 isn’t a game that’s aged particularly well. However, it’s not a bad game by any means.
And, with the extra features, along with multiplayer support too, it’s more than earned its place on the best PS1 games on PS5 list.
So here we are with Worms World Party. As previously mentioned, this is the reason that Worms Armageddon – despite how good it is – doesn’t place higher on the best PS1 games on PS5 list.
Back in the day, it would have been difficult to justify a purchase of Worms World Party if you already owned Worms Armageddon, due to the incremental nature of the improvements on offer in this sequel.
However, with the choice of the two games on offer, it’s clear that Worms World Party emerges as the victor.
There’s no denying that Team17 really did hit on a spectacularly addictive formula with their Worms games – and, having hit near perfection with the near endlessly-customisable, cartoony overload of chaos in Armageddon, there wasn’t much more they could bring to the table in Worms World Party.
In fact, Team 17 seemed to acknowledge this themselves. Worms World Party was actually the last fully new 2D Worms game before the series gained an extra dimension, starting with Worms 3D in 2003.
The series was arguably never quite as satisfyingly addictive or finely tuned, gameplay-wise, as it was in Worms World Party, however.
As good as it is, there are a lot of stone cold classic PS1 games on PS5 right now – as you’ll soon see!
Sony’s initial response the the N64’s perfected analog joystick was the Dual Analog Controller, which had its rumble features removed when released outside of Japan.
It wasn’t long before the controller was superseded by the DualShock in all territories, which became the basis for all PlayStation controllers going forward. That being said, the PS5’s own DualSense controller is perhaps the most radical redesign since the first DualShock.
The very first game that required a DualShock – rather than it simply being optional – was Ape Escape.
A charming, humorous third person action game in which the player must travel through time recapturing intelligent, mischievous apes, Ape Escape makes brilliant use of the DualShock’s twin analogue sticks.
There’s little need for players to be trained to use twin analogue stick control schemes these days. Still, Ape Escape did brilliantly, and it’s still an engaging and fun experience.
It’d be great to see more of the Ape Escape games arriving on the PlayStation Plus service (Ape Escape 2 – on PS2 – is also available). But for now, we at Retro Dodo would definitely recommend getting acquainted with the first title in the series.
Known as Hot Shots Golf in America and Everybody’s Golf in other territories, this colourful, charmingly designed sports game was a massive hit, spawning a huge number of sequels.
Everybody’s Golf games have appeared on every Sony console since the PS1 – except for the PS5.
Which is why it’s great to have access to an Everybody’s Golf game via PlayStation Plus.
Though this first game may be lacking a bit in comparison to more recent entries in the series, it’s still a hugely enjoyable and accessible experience.
Originally intended to be a sequel to early 80s Namco classic Dig Dug, Mr Driller became a separate series entirely.
However, main character Mr Driller’s actual name – Susumu Hori – reveals him to be the son of original Dig Dug protagonist Taizo Hori.
That means connecting threads between the two games still exist!
The gameplay is definitely different too, though still set underground and with drilling, rather than digging, as its central mechanic.
In Mr. Driller, players must drill their way through coloured blocks as their oxygen level depletes, aiming to make it to the next level down before their air expires – or they lose all their lives being crushed by falling blocks.
In true puzzle game style, when blocks of matching colours touch they disappear… which can lead to dangerously falling obstacles that require fast reactions to avoid!
It’s a thrilling and brilliantly designed title that was originally released in the arcades. Mr. Driller’s fast pace, addictiveness and immediacy reveals its arcade-based nature.
Mr. Driller’s colourful 2D visuals have made sure that it’s aged a lot better than many of the games on this list. Plus, its timeless mechanics have seen the game spawn countless sequels and spin-offs on other platforms too.
Yet, as one of the few JRPGs available in the US at the time of release, it was a huge success.
Though outside of battle sequences – which were turn-based affairs using then-spectacular 3D visuals – the game looked like a SNES RPG, its visuals have stood the test of time and its detailed, 2D, pixel-art aesthetic is absolutely gorgeous even today.
With a great story, lots of well-designed puzzles and an excellent, party-based battle system, Wild Arms is a fantastic JRPG.
As the only example of the genre currently available on PS5 via PlayStation Plus, it’s well worth your time. In fact, you’ll also find it on our list of the best PS1 RPGs.
It’s more than deserving of its place in the top 5 of the best PS1 games on PS5!
Who could have predicted that the developers behind the infamously awful PS1 game Bubsy 3D – would bounce back and deliver such a superb, highly regarded and critically successful title?
Yet that’s exactly what happened, with Eidetic’s next game after Bubsy 3D being Syphon Filter.
We’ve already covered Syphon Filter 2 which the same team were also responsible for, but here, players were introduced to Gabe Logan and Lian Xing in a thrilling, stealth-based hunt for an international terrorist.
There’s a reason the Syphon Filter series is so fondly remembered; you’ll find more than one of the handheld Syphon Filter games on our very own best PSP games list.
And now, PS5 players can check out the origin of the series, thanks to its inclusion in the PlayStation Plus service.
It’s impossible to overstate the impact that the original Resident Evil had on gamers; a truly terrifying experience full of jump scares.
It’s not as if it was the first ever horror game, but it’s a title that really made the genre viable on consoles.
This Director’s Cut edition, which arrived 18 months after the original was released, followed the same story as the original, with an action-adventure based fight for survival in a spooky mansion, under siege by zombies and mutated animals aplenty.
It did change item and enemy placement, however, as well as adding a more powerful hand gun. Oh, and the random chance of exploding a zombie head with one shot!
The cheesy B-movie atmosphere, puzzles and gore have held up to this day, but the tank controls and fixed camera angles take a little getting used to for modern players.
That said, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut is still a brilliantly atmospheric piece of gaming history, and it’s a worthy addition to the PS1 games on PS5.
The very first game from Oddworld Inhabitants, PS1 title Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee was an instant smash hit.
A 2D platformer with absolutely stunning art design, a brilliantly dark story, and humorous elements to boot. With unique gameplay mechanics, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee features the titular Abe on a mission to rescue his fellow enslaved Mudokons from the RuptureFarms factory.
Though pretty tough and with quite a steep learning curve, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is such a remarkable game that it’s definitely worth persevering with.
Though its lack of save points is something that’s difficult to justify these days, in other ways it’s aged really well.
Which leaves us with just one game left! So what’s at the top of the list of the best PS1 games on PS5?
Let’s find out!
The original Tekken took arcades and the PlayStation by storm upon release.
Yet Tekken 2 was on a whole new level. The story was told with some seriously impressive cut scenes, there was a brilliant – not to mention very useful – training mode, and 8 completely new fighters (with a total of 25 to choose from).
As fighting games go, the Tekken games always feel pretty accessible too; that’s no different with Tekken 2.
In its day, Tekken 2 was undoubtedly the pinnacle of 3D fighting games; it’s still a brilliant game now, even though it’s obviously been superseded by modern fighting games from a technical and gameplay perspective.
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.