Top 25 PS1 Games You Need to Own (#5 - #1)
This is it: our final five games in this week’s special feature, the Top 25 PS1 Games You Need to Own. To finish off our list, here are our special mentions: famous games, noteworthy achievements, and cool underdogs that made it to the top.
Want more? Check out the other essential games on our list:
5) Achievement in music: Parappa the Rapper
The idea of a rhythm game seems completely reasonable to us today, but back in the 1990s, it wasn’t a common thing. Parappa the Rapper was one of the first and most successful rhythm games, leading to the spin-off UmJammer Lammy, which some people consider the better of the two. The rapping dog and the songs of his teachers and friends were catchy, as every good beat should be, but Parappa’s claim to fame was no small accomplishment. Parappa the Rapper’s contribution to video games was substantial, paving the way for an acceptance of music games and earning it awards in sound and interactive design.
4) Achievement in simulation: Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Simulation is a niche genre; some people love it, and some people wave it off as a triviality. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature ascended high above the criticism—cows, chickens, and all. It was the only Harvest Moon game produced for the PlayStation and the first one to grace a console other than Nintendo’s. The farm/life/social sim, or any sim for that matter, wasn’t as easy to pull off then as it is today, in an internet age populated with Farmville addicts, but Harvest Moon did it with charm and nostalgia. Considering how many hardcore gamers are protesting the social/mobile movement of “quickie” games with little substance, Harvest Moon is an example of a sim that does it right.
3) Achievement in racing: Crash Team Racing
Few games can rival the golden boy Mario and his kart racing pals, but Crash Team Racing put their tires in a spin. The game belongs to the Greatest Hits collection and was the last in the Crash Bandicoot series to be developed by Naughty Dog. To fans of the games, Crash and his friends (and enemies) were as iconic as Mario and the inhabitants of Mushroom Kingdom—perhaps because of their cartoonish looks and perhaps because both series had enough time to establish themselves with gamers. Mario may be the undisputed king of the road and of Nintendo, but there was a time when Crash was Sony’s lovable mascot, too.
2) Achievement in RPGs: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy IX and Tactics could easily hold this spot, but no Final Fantasy game has had quite the resonance that FFVII has. Fans today are still begging for a remake, but while FFVII is far from flawless, it did drop jaws and fascinate gamers in a powerful way. The Greatest Hits game was the first in the series to use 3D computer graphics and was the fastest-selling title on the PSN. It also has one of the most effective death scenes, some of the most interesting characters, and one of the most imaginative opening set pieces, beautiful in its grime and corruption. The game has been credited with making the PlayStation a hot commodity. Even if you think FFVII is sorely overrated, chances are there’s something about it you love.
1) Achievement in action/stealth: Metal Gear Solid
It’s impossible to ignore one of the most important games in the medium, not only because it launched a highly successful series, but also because it made the stealth genre popular. Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation (also a Greatest Hits wonder) wasn’t actually the first game in the series—Hideo Kojima released two before it, but decided against naming the installment “Metal Gear 3” because he feared the other games weren’t recognizable enough to gamers. He replaced the number three with “Solid,” which also drew attention to the 3D graphics. Whatever the logic, it worked.
Upon release, critics showered the game with praise, insisting it was as close to perfection as any PlayStation title in its genre was going to get. Others think it’s the best PlayStation game out there. Given the grandeur of its fanbase and the number of amazing sequels that have followed, we’re guessing they’re not far off.
This concludes our Top 25 PS1 Games You Need to Own. Thanks for reading! Now get playing.