Sony celebrated the 20 year anniversary of the original Playstation last month and there was plenty of nostalgia to go around with special discounts on PS1 titles, limited edition 20th anniversary gear, and all sorts of social media activity. The original Playstation really shook things up with its awesome hardware, giving developers the chance to bring new and various types of games to market. This resulted in several different genres to choose from, offering players new experiences not yet available prior to the Sony Playstation. Here are five PS1 titles that any video game enthusiast should still play.
Front Mission 3
Developed by Squaresoft back in 1999, Front Mission 3 put you in the pilot seat of various wanzer (think robot mechs) that battled it out in a turn based role-playing game similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. Players could choose between two characters, each with unique story lines, while taking on various missions. The game was a lot of fun due to its customization and fun battle presentations. The gameplay is still solid, and thanks to its simple graphics it’s probably not too hard on the eyes at this point either. Front Mission 3 still provides some great entertainment even today. It’s available for $5.99 on the PSN Store.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident Evil 3 (RE3) is still my favorite Resident Evil title of the classic era, and that has a lot to do with all of the new features it introduced to the series. While not as true of a sequel to Resident Evil 2 as Capcom’s Resident Evil: Code Veronica, RE3 depicted the events leading up to Resident Evil 2 and beyond. Jill Valentine, the heroine from the first game, attempts to escape a decimated and zombie infested Raccoon City but quickly realizes she’s been targeted by Umbrella’s new bio-weapon known as “Nemesis.” This abomination pursues you throughout the game making this the most nail-biting tale in the series. RE3 also introduced a new ammunition creation system, the ability to dodge, and forced players to make spur of the moment decisions which lead to different events. An incredible experience from start to finish, RE3 stands tall among the other titles in the series as the most intense and innovative of the bunch. Grab it off PSN for a measely $5.99.
Final Fantasy IX (FFIX)
Final Fantasy VII may be the most revered title in the series but FFIX certainly deserves a play through. FFIX marked a return to the series’ roots both in style and narrative. In contrast with FFVIII’s realistic character designs, FFIX reintroduced a more cartoon like style akin to its Super Nintendo days. A quest for crystals was at the heart of the story, and the environment was far less technological than those found in FFVII and FFVIII. Despite it’s cartoon look and feel, FFIX brought an incredible amount of detail to its character models and pre-rendered backgrounds. The ability to use four characters during combat returned, as did character classes, making each character in the roster unique. You’ll still get days worth of gameplay out of this awesome title, so pick it up on PSN for $9.99.
Ghost in the Shell
Games based on best-selling japanese comics and film haven’t always received the best tender love and care they should. Thankfully THQ’s Ghost in the Shell for the PS1 stayed true to the source material with this awesome 3D-shooter. Players control lead character Motoko Kusanagi as she pilots her Fuchikoma robot around an entirely 3D environment. Traversing the environment in the Fuchikoma is a lot of fun, as it’s able to scale walls of any height and even walk upside down on ceilings. Combat is a fun and intense affair as you strafe enemy fire, then return fire of your own with your twin machine guns and guided missiles. Players are treated to incredibly detailed cut-scenes between missions with an original storyline written and illustrated by Masamune Shirow himself. As fun and original as this title was, it’s a shame that no one has returned to this style of gameplay for the Ghost in the Shell series ever since. Unfortunately, it’s not currently available on PSN so you’ll need to grab it second-hand from eBay or somewhere else.
Metal Gear Solid (MGS)
Like many, this was my first foray into the world of tactical espionage action. MGS presented me with an entirely different style of gameplay. Players were encouraged to sneak past enemies, and avoid detection in order to progress through the game. The game’s character design and narrative has an American military style, but with a very 1980’s Japanese anime flare thrown into it. The narrative is still second to none, with a fleshed out storyline that makes you fall in love with the “villains” right before having to finish them off in perfectly crafted boss battles. The final boss battle of the game is an incredibly epic sequence involving a giant mech, a cyber-ninja, and car chase while shooting a gun turret to escape Shadow Moses Island. Considering the massive popularity of the Metal Gear series, you’d be crazy to not go back and play it for the first time or all over again. Heck, you can even play the entire series in chronological order now, just sayin’. You can find it on the PSN store for $9.99.