The original PlayStation has a legendary library of classic titles. Picking which games make it onto the Classic is like choosing between your children, but since Sony hasn’t chosen the last 15 games yet, someone has to, and that someone is me. Here are the rules:
- No games that require a Dualshock controller. As much as I’d love to put Ape Escape on this list, the PlayStation Classic controllers don’t have analog sticks.
- Games with remakes or remasters aren’t allowed. These games easily accessible in modernized forms, and as iconic as Crash and Spyro are, they’re already on PS4.
And with that out of the way, here are the 15 games that should round out the PlayStation Classic’s lineup.
Metal Gear Solid
This is an obvious one. Metal Gear Solid is a landmark title that proved games can tell cinematic stories. With memorable characters, strong boss battles, a phenomenal soundtrack, and a selection of cardboard boxes, Metal Gear Solid is an easy choice for the PlayStation Classic.
Silent Hill isn’t content with jump scares and horrifying monsters. It aims to psychologically devastate you, making you fear every shadow and every sound. It took technical issues of the era like low draw distances and transformed them into creepy atmospheric elements like the town’s fog. Silent Hill evokes a feeling of uneasiness that few horror games have managed to recreate, and with Resident Evil’s recent comeback with a fantastic seventh entry and a remake of the second, it’s only fair Silent Hill gets a chance to shine as well.
An absolutely massive cast of memorable characters combined with a sweeping, large scale narrative make Suikoden 2 a fantastic RPG. Not enough people played it, but those who have swear by it as one of the greatest role playing games ever developed. A spot on the PlayStation Classic would give Suikoden 2 some much needed, and very much deserved attention.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Symphony of the Night is an incredibly influential game. It’s half the namesake of the Metroidvania genre, and that alone makes it worthy of inclusion. However, on top of that, Symphony is also an amazing game. Rewarding exploration, RPG mechanics, and fluid movement blend together to create one of the greatest video games ever made.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy Tactics strengths lie in its customization. Bold strategies and crazy party compositions pay off in the most unexpected ways. That, in combination with a strong Shakespearean narrative, makes Final Fantasy Tactics a solid choice for the PlayStation Classic.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater nailed the arcade skateboarding gameplay, but Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 perfected it. Brilliantly designed levels, a banging soundtrack, addicting gameplay, THPS 2 has it all. It even has Spider-Man in it. It’s the highest rated PlayStation game on Metacritic, how could you not include it?
I first played Vagrant Story as a PS1 classic on my PSP. Even on that 4.3″ screen, I was hooked. It’s introduction is one of the most captivating scenes in any game. The presentation is top-notch, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the game features an incredibly complex and rewarding battle system and gripping narrative. Vagrant Story needs to be experienced by more people, and it absolutely deserves its spot on the PlayStation Classic.
Bushido Blade is a fighting game without health bars. It’s a one on one sword fight, and one well placed strike can end your opponent. There really hasn’t been much else like it. It’s incredibly cinematic, incredibly elegant, and incredibly fun. Bushido Blade is an excellent choice for the PlayStation Classic.
Final Fantasy IX
I know there’s already a Final Fantasy game on this thing, but IX deserves a spot on here too. Final Fantasy IX is a love letter to the franchise. It’s constantly overshadowed by VII, but those who have played IX will tell you it holds up. It’s medieval setting also provides a nice contrast to VII’s futuristic technology. Final Fantasy IX is charming and light-hearted, and it needs to be played by more people.
Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider was a pioneer in the 3D action/adventure genre. It’s sequel, however, did everything better, and cemented Lara Croft as a gaming icon. Tomb Raider’s mix of exploration, platforming, puzzle-solving, and combat were perfected in the sequel. Refined controls, interesting environments, and exciting set pieces make Tomb Raider 2 the high point of the original games.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is a drastic departure from its predecessor, which was a top-down RPG. Soul Reaver is a sprawling action RPG with an engrossing narrative. The game’s key mechanic of switching between the physical and spectral realms allowed for interesting gameplay, and it’s also one of the first projects written by Amy Hennig, one of the industry’s most talented writers.
Rayman, like Symphony of the Night, ignored the call of the third dimension and instead remained 2D. The result was a gorgeous and incredibly animated game with great music and strong platforming. Rayman’s legacy can be seen in many 2D platformers since its release, and it’s still worth revisiting today.
Chrono Trigger is widely regarded as one of the greatest games ever made. Its sequel doesn’t quite reach the same heights, but it’s still a phenomenal RPG and one of the best games on the PlayStation. In true Chrono fashion, the game features multiple endings and a journey that will send you across time and space.
Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
Metal Gear Solid and Tenchu were the tentpoles of 3D stealth on the PlayStation. Tenchu 2 featured a mission creator where you could build your own assassination missions and customize every feature from objectives to level layouts. An endlessly replayable stealth game with ninjas? Yes please.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Criminally underrated, Klonoa is an exceptionally designed platformer that didn’t go fully 3D, instead opting for a 2.5D approach. The result is a challenging and deliberately designed platformer that uses the PlayStation’s graphical power to create gorgeous scenery. It’s up there with the platforming greats, and a spot on the PlayStation Classic could finally give this game the recognition it deserves.
Got any suggestions for the PlayStation Classic lineup? Did I miss something? Be sure to let me know down below.
When he's not playing video games, Diego's talking about video games, and he does both a lot.