PS1 Mini Classic – What 30 Games Should Be Included?
Last week I talked about 30 Games for a Mini N64. The week before that, 30 Games for a Mini SNES. Now, I’m moving away from Nintendo and onto Sony’s first console, the Playstation 1! One of my absolute favourite systems, with an incredible game library. 30 games? EASY!
1 – Twisted Metal 2: World Tour
My all time favourite PS1 game. The first game I owned for the system, the first game I played for the system, and its the oldest game I actually own (in terms of never selling it and having to re-buy it, unlike my NES games for example). I won’t go too much into why this game should be included, because I am currently working on a review for it (I’ll link to it when its out), but yeah, its incredibly fun and one of the top tier games on the system imo.
2 – Twisted Metal: Small Brawl
This was one of my “holy grail” gaming pickups, due to the face it was never released over here in the UK, so I had to import it from the US. After Twisted Metal 2, Sony and Single Track had a falling out, so the TM series got new developers. TM 3 and 4 kinda sucked, but along came Small Brawl and blew me away. It plays and feels JUST like TM 2, with many of the same characters, only this time you drive remote control cars in real life locations! A ton of fun being able to drive around and destroy other cars in a tree house or at the cinema! A must add to a Mini PS1 so European Twisted Metal fans can experience the closest game to TM 2 in the entire series!
3 – Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Crash 2 or Crash 3? That is typically a question people ask, and honestly, I’ve found the answer usually depends on which game people played first. For me, Crash Bandicoot 2 was my first introduction into the awesome Crash franchise on the system. Cool level designs, fun (yet easy) bosses, and addictive gameplay that makes you WANT to collect all those gems and hit all those boxes as well as just collecting the basic 25 crystals. I’m not 100% certain, but this might have been the first game I ever completed 100% that didn’t simply require finishing the game to do so.
4 – Crash Team Racing
While Sony have never had an official mascot, Crash Bandicoot was certainly the front runner for a lot of people. Just like Super Mario, Crash was moving out of just platforming games, and went right into a “Super Mario Kart” clone game. And holy crap is it one hell of a clone. Excellent driving, fun courses based on the universe, plenty of characters we all know and love, and a battle system seemingly lifted right out of Super Mario Kart. Then on top of that, it took the story mode and hub world from Diddy Kong Racing too, and we were left with one of the BEST Super Mario Kart clones to ever grace a system. A perfect addition to a Mini PS1, don’t you think?
Worms got a release on just about every system going, and it was one of the earlier PS1 titles I got that wasn’t bundled in with my console. An epic 2D turn based… strategy game? You know, I’ve never really took notice of what GENRE this game is lol. Ok, quick look on wiki and its classed as an “artillery strategy” game. Basically, you have procedurally generated maps, a team of 4 worms, and a load of unique, crazy and fun weapons. The object of the game is to kill every worm on the other team before the time runs out. If you play with 3 other teams, be they CPU or human controlled, its always chaotic and insanely fun. And for me, its still the best of the entire franchise, which is still going strong today, and needs a place on this list!
6 – Gran Turismo
Outside of fun kart racing games, actual racing games have never really interested me. And GT never interested me back in the day either, tbh. However, I did just pick up GT 2 and would like to own the original too, mainly because it just so happens to be THE best selling game on the PS1. The PS1, one of the best selling consoles EVER, selling over 100 million consoles. And the best selling game was a racing simulator. Hard to deny its place in history. A must add to this list.
7 – Command & Conquer Red Alert Retaliation
The C&C series is one of the greatest RTS game franchises ever made. While its typically known as a PC game, C&C did get some console releases. The N64 and PS1 both got some ports of PC games, however, the PS1 got RETALIATION, which was a PS1 exclusive! Yup, not even the PC gamers got this one! I never had a PC back in the day, so the PS1 games were my first introduction to the series, and Retaliation was my favourite. It proved that even RTS games could be successful on consoles. Many, many hours were spend on skirmish mode by me, as well as working my way through both discs of campaign mode! A fantastic addition to the C&C series, and being a PS1 exclusive, is a good pick for a Mini PS1!
8 – Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
So you bought a PS1 over the N64, but still want to play a Super Mario 64 style game? Well… here you go! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; Toy Story 2 on PS1 is THE best Super Mario 64 style game on the system. In the sense that you have open levels, each with multiple goals in them (Pizza Planet tokens instead of Stars, here), and boss fights after every few stages. Only real different is that this is a licensed game, and it just so happens to be one of the BEST. You follow the Toy Story 2 plot, complete with cutscenes from the actual film, and levels based on it too, with a few extra thrown in to extend gameplay. A magnificent game.
9 – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
In my Mini N64 post, I picked the first THPS game, because I KNEW I needed to place the second game on THIS list. The first game is amazing, no doubt about it, but for me, the second one is juuuust that little bit better. Small improvements here and there, all new levels that I enjoy more, another awesome soundtrack, and the ability to create your own skater AND your own skate park! Endless fun to be had in the season mode, create modes, and multiplayer modes!
10 – Grand Theft Auto 2
The groundbreaking GTA series began its console life on the PS1 (was originally a PC game), and the series continues to get better and better (minus the odd blip…). 3 GTA games were released on the PS1; GTA, GTA London (a sort of on disc DLC pack that originally required you to own the first GTA game in order to use, before getting a re-release as a stand alone game), and GTA 2. And GTA 2 stands out as one of the finest games in the series for me. Multiple maps, lots of awesome cards, plenty of crazy weapons, tons of secrets, fun missions, and awesome radio stations. Who doesn’t love a little “Jesus my saviour, my favourite flavour!”? It might not boast a 3D open environment like GTA III would have, but you still get the open world feel here, only with 2D overhead views. A must have for any PS1 owners/collectors, and a must have for a Mini PS1!
11 – Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko
Gex originally was planned to be a Panasonic 3DO exclusive, but with the massive failure of that system, Crystal Dynamics brought the series multiplatform, and thankfully were able to get another 2 games in the franchise made before Gex would disappear forever. The first Gex was 2D, and this game would see Gex’s first showing in 3D. It did one hell of a job, and quickly became a personal favourite game of mine as a kid. Another Super Mario 64 style platformer, only you jump into TV’s to enter “channels” based on popular genres, and must collect TV remotes to progress. The US version has an absolutely awful voice actor, making the speech from Gex get real old real quick. The European version though? We got an awesome voice actor, and to this day I still haven’t grown tired of the same old catchphrases from Gex no matter how many times he repeats them. The TV genre themed levels add a ton of variety and are a blast to play through, with my favourites being Kung Fu and Cartoon.
12 – Resident Evil
Resi 2 made the N64 list, and while Resi 3 is my personal favourite Resident Evil game, I felt that the Mini PS1 would need to include the original game due to its importance for the series, and survival horror games in general. Trapped inside a spooky mansion, you need to find out what the hell is going on while also trying your best to survive ZOMBIES. And this was long before ZOMBIES were overused to hell. Cheesy scripts and even cheesier voice acting actually add a charm to the game, and the tank style controls add a sense of urgency to your playthrough too. The atmosphere is incredible too. A true classic for the system!
13 – Dino Crisis
Zombies are cool (or were back then), but you wanna know what’s better? DINOSAURS! Capcom took their Resident Evil idea and simply replaced Zombies with Dinosaurs. And Dino Crisis was born. And became like, the greatest thing ever! This game is everything that Resident Evil was, only more refined, and featured awesome Dinosaurs. I actually completed this game in Japanese originally. Never have actually finished it in English. I should do that some time!
14 – Fifa Road to World Cup ’98
Obligatory sports game incoming! Only this is one I actually love! I don’t like football, yet for some reason I had this game as a kid. Was likely a present from someone. I dunno. All that matters is that this game rocks, and rocks HARD. I’ve tried playing other Fifa games a few years down the line due to my love of this one, but they never had “IT”. So I just go back and play this one again. While most sports games end up going for pennies only a couple of years after their release, FRTWC 98 has managed to keep a price of around £5 on average, because it ISN’T your average sports title that is obsolete a year later. Its the evergreen football game.
15 – WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role
Its probably a good thing that consoles at the time didn’t record how long you played games, because I might have caused my PS1 to explode trying to display the number. If you were to open up my PS1, odds are you’d either find this, TM 2 or Crash 2 game disc inside. So many hours spend playing this wonderful game. The N64 had No Mercy, which is fantastic in its own right no doubt… but for me, SD 2 is the best wrestling game of its generation, and holds up as a top 5 wrestling game ever for me. Insane fun with the fast paced arcade style action, grappling system, finishing moves, tons of match types (including TLC, Hell in a Cell and Casket matches), lots of backstage areas to battle in, a fantastic roster, deep (for its time) Create-A-Wrestler mode, Create-A-PPV, Season Mode, unlockables and more. If I ever get bored with this game, someone shoot me.
16 – Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer
Firstly… Gateway to Glimmer. How shit does that sound? NTSC version was called RIPTO’S REVENGE and sounds badass. PAL? Gateway to bloody Glimmer. Not quite as badass sounding. Anyway, title aside, this is a great game. I was very, very late to the Spyro series. I rented the first one back in the day and didn’t like it, so I never bothered with the rest. Was only last year I picked up the trilogy on the PS3 in a sale. I still think the first game is kinda crappy. It has large open levels filled with practically nothing, and it all comes across as a tech demo. Spyro 2 on the other hand is a full game, and its great! Nice large hub world with different locations to unlock, lots of levels, each with a main goal and then RPG style quests too. You can unlock new abilities as you go as well, such as being able to swim underwater etc. The third game is mostly the same in terms of visuals, sound and gameplay, but some of the new additions such as different characters and a… skateboarding level… really don’t sit well with me, so Spyro 2 was my choice for this list!
17 – Driver 2
Driver 2 took everything about the first game that was good and made it better. Larger maps, another interesting story (imo), and a brand new feature; the ability to get out of your car! This feels like a tech demo for GTA III, with it being something of an open world sandbox, and the ability to get out of cars and steal others lol. It doesn’t have much to do when you aren’t driving though, hence the game name DRIVER and not GTA, but it feels so damn good to drive around the large maps and hunt for the super cool secret cars. I spent so many hours just driving around seeing how long I could last before the cops would destroy my car. You can have a nice relaxing drive around any time you want, or you can take on the story mode and get your heart racing trying to avoid the cops and made it across town before the time runs out!
18 – Metal Gear Solid
I tried to like this game at the time, I really did. But I just never got into it. I have never cared for the franchise at all, but as usual this is one of those games I’d be a fool to leave off the list. MGS is still a game people talk about today, and is usually placed extremely high on favourite/best games for the PS1 lists. Who am I to deny the majority here?
19 – Final Fantasy VII
Already mentioned my uncaring-ness towards the FF series in the Mini SNES post, so I’m sure you realise that like MGS, I’d have to be insane to miss it out on this type of a list because for many, it was THE defining JRPG.
20 – Dragon Quest/Warrior VII
Dear Final Fantasy fans, play Dragon Quest instead. Dragon Quest, known primarily as Dragon Warrior outside of Japan for many years, was the first JRPG game. Everything you like about those early 2D FF games? Came from DQ. Ironic that both franchises are now owned by the same company with Square and Enix merging. I just wish The DQ franchise for the same love as the FF franchise gets with released and whatnot. For starters, this game never came out in the UK! It will only make it over here THIS YEAR with a 3DS remake. I would love to play this, and while a 3DS and a copy of this game is on my want list, I’d certainly buy a Mini PS1 to get the original version!
21 – Tombi!
Known as Tomba outside of PAL regions, Tombi is a weird, quirky 2.5D Platformer with RPG quests you need to complete throughout the game. Not too well known back in the day, yet still managed to get a sequel, Tombi is becoming more and more sought after these days and as such, it can cost you upwards of £100 for it. I for one don’t have that kind of money for a single game, so stick it on a Mini PS1!
22 – Silent Hill
Another ground breaking survival horror game, but with a different concept from Resident Evil/Dino Crisis. Most of the horror in this comes from the spooky atmosphere, fog to prevent you from seeing too far (on purpose, this isn’t an N64 game!), and mind games that will make you think something is there when there isn’t. Oh and monsters. There are monsters too. Yet another classic PS1 game!
23 – Ape Escape
Remember the first Dual Shock controller? It didn’t originally come out with the console, instead it was a few years later. And Ape Escape was the first game that REQUIRED the use of the 2 thumbsticks in order to play it. For that reason alone I think it deserves a spot on a Mini PS1. But aside from that, its a highly acclaimed game (and series), and while I’ve not played it, it is on my ever growing want list.
24 – Die Hard Trilogy
You want a super fun game based on 3 super fun films? Look no further! Die Hard Trilogy has 3 games in one, each based on one of the original 3 Die Hard films. Die Hard 1 is a 3rd person shooter set on multiple floors of the office building the film takes place in. You need to clear each floor of terrorists, save the hostages and prevent bombs from exploding! Die Hard 2 is an on rails shooter (light gun optional) set in the airport. Die Hard 3 is kinda like Crazy Taxi… only instead of taxing people around, you need to race to each location and again, prevent bombs from going off! Each game is very different, and equally as fun in their own way. Well worth being included here!
25 – Syphon Filter
Well, this might come as a surprise to people, given my thoughts on Metal Gear Solid. Syphon Filter is also a third person action/stealth game… yet for some reason it just clicked with me like MGS never could. These days I’m warming up more to games like this, but back during the PS1 games I would never usually have touched this. So when I played it, loved it and even completed it multiple times, I was just as shocked as some of you might be! I think this would be a good option for people like me who aren’t bothered with MSG but want a good game in the same style!
26 – Tomb Raider 2
Gotta have some Lara Croft here, right? Tomb Raider was again, a series I just never got into, however I did own this one and would play it every now and then in hopes of maybe liking it. I did have bits of fun, mainly in the training level where I did what everyone else did; lock the butler in the freezer! I also enjoyed the Venice level for its water aspects, but that’s about it. However, plenty of other people rave over this game and the series, so I gotta include it on a Mini PS1!
27 – Tekken 3
The Mini PS1 needs a fighting game, and Tekken 3 from what I understand was the best selling Tekken game on the system and the most critically acclaimed too! Never played it myself though.
28 – Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey
This game, and the next on the list, are here not just for being popular at the time, but to help show the variety that Sony strived for on their first console. Regardless of what type of gamer you were, the PS1 had something for you. Abe’s Oddysee is a very, very strange game. A puzzle platformer that sees you using mind control and farting to progress. I could never get far as a kid, and as such never cared to play any other games in the series. This one did get a remaster recently, showing that its still just as popular, and as such I think its a good choice here.
29 – PaRappa the Rapper
An insanely charming rhythm game from the early days of the Playstation. I’d never played anything like this before, and like the last game, I sucked at it. However I did play the demo that I had quite often, and found myself having a ton of fun even though I was sucking at it! Another game to showcase the variety of the PS1!
30 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Wanted to save a huge title for last, and this was perfect! The game that helped re-define the Castlevania series, and coined the term “MetroidVania”. It also happens to be considered one of, if not the, best game in the series too. So between the critical acclaim, iconic-ness and fantastic gameplay + soundtrack, there is no choice but to include this here. Oh and the fact it costs a fair bit of money here in the UK also gives me a good reason to want it included!
Remember at the start of this list, I said 30 games would be easy? Well I lied. This was hard. Very hard. Not like the N64 list, where I was struggling towards the end to get 30 games I felt really deserved to be there… but struggling to choose WHICH 30 games should be here. The PS1 has such a huge library of games that I was always going to be missing a TON off my list. Let me know down below in the comments which games you think I should have put on!