It should not come as a surprise, but PS1 was the quintessential console for a lot of people and many of us. It was the start of our gaming journeys.
While I managed to get my hands on PS1 way later, I still remember watching my cousins play games on it, and I still fondly remember many of the PS1 games.
This brought me to think about the best PS1 games that I have played, and I decided to make a list. From the countless games I remember, the list contains some of the most iconic games that defined their respective series, and in most cases, the genres as well.
The games that I have listed below for you are in random order. We are just talking about them in general along with our favorite memories with them. After all, a lot of the millennials grew up playing PS1, so it is only fair that we are talking about them again.
Best PS1 Games
The article comprises some of the finest games that we played on PS1, and while most of these games have been forgotten by many, their legacy lives on in all the modern games that we play. That is why the article is going to serve as a way to honor and think about these games that we grew up loving.
#1- Metal Gear Solid
I honestly have countless fond memories with the Metal Gear Solid. I still remember the first time I played the game and was blown away by not only the graphics but the mechanics of the game, too. Sure, if I play it right now, it would look severely dated, and the mechanics would feel clunky as well.
However, back then, it was not the case. Metal Gear Solid, in one way or another, defined the stealth genre alongside Splinter Cell and became one of the most amazing games on the PlayStation, and while we have had several canon and non-canon installments ever since, the original remains a classic for a lot of us.
#2- Final Fantasy VII
I was very young when the Final Fantasy VII came out, and most of my experience with the game was spent as a backseat gamer, but I remember being engaged in the world of the game.
This was something that I had never seen before, and the way the world in the game builds itself and how characters are presented was something. I managed to play the remake, and it brought back all those amazing memories from the time that has gone by.
No matter how convoluted, the Final Fantasy series is one of the best for many gamers, mainly because many of them started their gaming journey with one of the Final Fantasy titles.
#3- Castlevania: Symphony of The Night
Even to this day, the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is regarded as one of the best games that have graced the PS1.
Not just that, for a lot of people, this game solidified something entirely different, defying expectations, and well, creating a franchise that has more or less lived on in many ways than one.
Although we have not had a good Castlevania game for some time, the Netflix series is amazing, and we are hoping to get a wonderful new installment too. If you are looking for something that is truly refreshing and brings back a lot of the old times, then playing this game is the way to go.
#4- Vagrant Story
It is safe to say at this point, but PS1 has more or less given way to countless action roleplaying games.
While this might not be the case for everyone but I remember playing Vagrant Story, and while it confused the living daylights out of me in the start, I managed to fall in love with the game in no time.
In my opinion, Vagrant Story did not deserve as much love as it deserved, but it remains to be one of the most influential games that I have played, and I know a lot of others who are going to agree with me over this statement as well. It simply is not something to be missed at this point.
#5- Parappa The Rapper
Back when the PS1 was in its prime, the idea of rhythm games was not as common, to be honest. It was only because of Parappa the Rapper that the whole landscape managed to change drastically.
While, as a kid, I did not understand the game as well as some of the other people did but growing up and reading more about the game, I understand the cultural impact the game had.
Parappa the Rapper is one of the best games for anyone who is looking to enjoy these games, and while you might not be able to have as much as you would have in the older days, the game has certainly become one of the finest for many.
#6- Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 more or less defined the Resident Evil franchise for many of us. While the game was not the first in the installment, it did things unlike any other game, and while Resident Evil 4 is considered to be the one that revived the franchise.
If there is one game in the series that is responsible for bringing all that success, it is the Resident Evil 2, and how good it has become.
While the remake is still considered to be a great rendition, the original still has a place in our hearts. For someone who was young and did not know much about games, this was a terrifying rollercoaster that I still remember vividly.
#7- Tekken 3
For me, the fighting game journey starts with Tekken 3, and while today, I waste my opponents in Mortal Kombat 11, it was Tekken 3 that started it all for me.
A funny anecdote here, but my first encounter with Tekken 3 was at an arcade, and for some reason, the experience was infinitely different. It was only until I got the chance to play the game on PS1, I fell in love with it.
Everything about Tekken 3 was amazing, and once you start playing the game, you would never want to go back, thanks to how fun it was. Tekken 3 was the fighting game to beat back in the day.
#8- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
There is no denying that for a lot of us, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 more or less solidified skating games. Granted, we never got a lot of great skating games after that one, but it was sure that we are on our way to something that will be good.
A lot of the fans are still looking for an excellent Tony Hawk game that can live up to the legacy that it created back when the Pro Skater 2 came out.
#9- Wipeout 2097
There is no overlooking the fact that even back when it was released, Wipeout 2097 was a very different game and possibly ahead of its time, too.
Despite being a multi-platform game, it still managed to amass a cult-like following and quickly became one of the highly regarded games of its time, and even to this day, the game is a lot of fun.
#10- Spyro: Year Of The Dragon
Spyro is another franchise that many of us have spent years with, and honestly, Year of the Dragon has been the fan-favorite for a lot of people, as well.
The game is fun, quirky, and gives you a lot of fun to have in very little time. You can easily get lost in this world because of how engaging it is, and everything about this game is amazing, to say the least.
#11- Tomb Raider
Even though the adventures of Lara Croft have taken her across the world in various settings, more than we can remember, and the scale of the game has changed almost entirely.
we can never really forget the original Tomb Raider and how it influenced generation after generation of games.
Honestly, if you look at it, for a lot of us, this was the game that started it all, and while we can go back and look at it again and it will not feel the same way or even play the same way.
If it were not for Tomb Raider, we would have never gotten a lot of the greatest hits that we have seen across various platforms.
#12- Gran Turismo 2
Although I would not call myself a fan of racing games, I do know how to appreciate good games when I see them. With the Gran Turismo series being one of the finest series, every time there is a conversation about good games, to be honest.
For the longest time, and even still now, Gran Turismo has been considered the start of all for racing games, and if you are looking to play something that is not only different but also unique.
This is the game that you should be looking at thanks to how good and fun it is for everyone. This one is not going to let you down.
#13- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
The thing about PS1 games is that in more ways than one, these games have been series-defining. Simply because PS1 was the first of its kind, and it resulted in many more generations of consoles.
So, for a lot of games, it was a starting point. Now, the good thing is that Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back remains one of the most memorable games.
It is fast, quirky, and a lot of fun. While the graphics have failed to hold up to today’s standards, the gameplay alone is a lot of fun and should draw anyone back who is looking to enjoy some nice and great games altogether. If you want something fun, this is your to it.
If you managed to get past that horrendous tutorial that we found in the Driver, then you were presented with one of the best open-world games of that time.
Sure, if you play it today, you would want to roll your eyes, but back then, Driver was the game to play for the fans of open-world titles.
Being a long-term series fan, it honestly is a sad thing to see the series go down the way it did, but that has been the reality so far. I can only wish for a new Driver game in the franchise at this point and hope that my wishes come true and we get to play a Driver game all over again.
#15- Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage
Another excellent entry into the list is Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage. For the fans of the Spyro series, this was a treat back then.
I remember spending countless hours playing this game, and I honestly do not remember if there was anything about the game that I did not like. The game demanded attention, and the more I played, the more it took the attention from me.
Overall, it was an excellent game which resulted in one of the finest gameplay experiences and a lot of memorable gaming moments. Spyro series will go down in the history as one of the most beloved franchises.
#16- Silent Hill
For the horror fans back in the day, Silent Hill was the game to be. I still remember the first time I got the chance to play this game, and I was genuinely terrified because I was not sure what I am supposed to be doing or if I am doing something wrong while playing the game.
It was fun, exciting, and there were a lot of cool elements in the game for that era. Granted, we never got a proper reboot of the franchise, but if Konami decides that they want to bring Silent Hill back, I will be the first one who is going to preorder the game the moment preorders go live.
#17- Final Fantasy IX
A lot of people will call me uncultured, but I never really understood JRPGs, to be honest. Sure, the game has a fantastic art style but aside from that, what even was there?
However, after playing Final Fantasy IX and some of the modern ones, I finally realized that this was a lot more than just combat or graphics.
For that time, these games were among the most meticulous in terms of writing and solidified a place for JRPGs in the modern-day and age.
These are classics that one should never miss out on. Because honestly, without these games, we would never have a lot of other games.
#18- Medal of Honor: Underground
Before we had Call of Duty or Battlefields running rampant in the first-person world, we had Medal of Honor.
This was one of the best of the best war-based shooters back in the day, and honestly, I am glad I belong to the era where Medal of Honor managed to be the behemoth it was before more modern games managed to come back.
That is not to say that the franchise died; there were some modern renditions, but they could never compete in the modern landscape.
So, the legacy of the Medal of Honor always rested with the original installments that made the franchise what it was. Medal of Honor will forever remain a favorite for a lot of people who started their first-person journey with it.
#19- Syphon Filter
I love stealth games where there is always a little bit of espionage, and there is no denying that. Syphon Filter is that game for me, and for years I have wished for a reboot, but that is something that has never happened.
With that said, for anyone who is looking to play an engaging stealth and espionage game, Syphon Filter was the place to be back in the old days.
Granted, we have many more advanced games now with even better mechanics, but Syphon Filter is considered to be one of the places where it started, and that is the reason the game is on our list. Aside from that, it was one of the most fun games of its time.
#20- Final Fantasy Tactics
Another entry sees Final Fantasy coming back on the list. This one is the legendary Final Fantasy Tactics, and while it did not manage to gain the same fame as some of the other installments that came out on the PS1.
This is still Final Fantasy, and this is still one of the best games that you can play on the console. Final Fantasy has come a long, long way.
One could easily say that the originals that were released back on PS1 managed to influence the modern options, and you would not be wrong at all. For old time’s sake, this is not to be missed at all.
#21- Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain
I played Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain on my PC back when it came out, but it was also released on PS1.
The moment I started playing the game, I realized that this is going to go down in the history as one of the most amazing and influential games of its time, and well, I, along with many others were right about the game.
To this day, there is a cult-like following for the game, and we have been waiting for a reboot or a remake, or anything that has to do with the Soul Reaver franchise because a lot of us have so many memories attached to it that we cannot look elsewhere.
#22- Crash Team Racing
One of the things that I loved about the Crash Bandicoot franchise has always been the fact that these games have been inherently different from each other and the rest.
The reason is simple, developers just use the IP and managed to make some of the most amazing games.
Crash Team Racing is one of them, and honestly, if you are looking for a game that you want to play while you sit back and relax, this is the way to go.
This game is not going to disappoint you, and you will do just fine with it, as well. Just have some friends over for added fun because it never goes out.
#23- Mega Man Legends 2
For countless gamers around the world, the Mega Man series is a bittersweet symphony that will keep playing until the day we hear something about the franchise because we no longer get Mega Man games, and that is a sad, sad thing.
It should not come as a surprise that when you are talking about games that changed the genre, Mega Man was one of the main ones.
With the Mega Man Legends 2 being one of the best games of its time and something we all dearly remember. The best part is that despite all the advancements in the franchise, the game still manages to be a lot of fun if you go back and play.
#24- Ape Escape
Despite being not as large in terms of scale and production as some of the other games, Ape Escape has always been an instant classic, and it is a shame that Sony did not try to revive the franchise.
Sure, there was an attempt to bring it back to the original PSP, but that never paid off. To this day, Ape Escape manages to be one of the best games that graced the PS1.
Everything about the game was great; this was one of the best games that did not take itself seriously and still managed to deliver an excellent overall experience for anyone who wanted to try it out. One could only wish for a revival at this point.
#25- Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey
Even though I have played a lot of weird games, nothing comes close to Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey.
I still remember picking up my controller and see what the fuss was all about, and I was given a wonderfully weird world that sucked you in and did not want to let you leave at all.
The game was fun, it was engaging, and it managed to give something truly amazing, to say the least.
If you are looking for a wonderful game, this one should be on your list because they rarely make games like this anymore. This is an instant classic that takes you back in time.
#26- Chrono Cross
It is safe to say at this point that the PS1 era was a wonderful time for RPG games, and Chrono Cross is one of them.
I honestly remember playing so many amazing JRPGs on the original PlayStation, and even though my tastes shifted towards ARPGs or WRPGs, I would never forget the different, quirky, and incredible ways a JRPG would play out.
Chrono Cross is one of them, and while it never managed to gain the same status or prestige as some of the other RPGs of that time, it still is an amazing game.
It is also something that I wish to come back to because playing the game again would be a lot of fun, and that is one thing that we cannot deny.
#27- Street Fighter Alpha 3
My first encounter with the Street Fighter series was at a dingy arcade. However, I soon picked up Street Fighter 2 on Sega, and I never looked back.
For me, the two games were either Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 or Street Fighter 2 that I would play for endless hours. So, there is no denying that if you are looking to play something good and a lot of fun, this is how you get started.
Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 changed the landscape of fighting games forever and managed to create a game that we all loved with a passion.
The Alpha 3, in particular, was amazing, it was filled with amazing, flashy combos and great graphics for that time, as well. It is still regarded as one of the best fighting games in the world.
#28- Wipeout XL
While the original Wipeout was a lot of fun, the developers behind the original thought that the game is going to get even better if they are adding something different to it.
That is how the Wipeout XL came into being. It was everything that the original was but improved.
Soon, Wipeout XL became the futuristic racing game standard, and honestly, we don’t really mind as it happens to be one of the best games available on the PS1, and we all have some amazing memories attached to this game, as well.
#29- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
When I first played Resident Evil 2 on PS1, I told myself that this game can never be topped or matched in terms of quality, and boy was I wrong.
Capcom released Resident Evil 3: Nemesis on PS1 as well, and while it was a lot similar to the Resident Evil 2, this game had Nemesis, and boy was he horrible.
Nemesis was everything Mr. X was and more, but this time, he was faster, there were several encounters with him, he was also equipped with some weapons, and he was one ugly enemy that you had to face. It was by no means an easy task, but boy was it fun.
#30- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
The last game on the list is again a Crash Bandicoot installment, but this time, we are looking at a direct sequel in the shape of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped.
The game is undoubtedly one of the most fun games that you could play, and if you are looking for something that is fun and something special, this is the way that you should be going, to be honest.
The game is fun, it is simple, and the best part is that you can easily have a lot of fun with the game, as well. You will not go wrong whenever you are playing this game simply because if you want to have fun, this is where all the fun is at.
My Final Verdict:
There is no denying that the PS1 is one of the legendary consoles that we still talk about to this day, and if you are looking to get started with something, you will not be let down.
The games we have mentioned here are among the best games ever to be released on any console, and the memory of these games is going to live on forever.
These games are excellent in every way, and most of them have defined genres or at least the franchises that they were released in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: What are the rarest PlayStation 1 games?
While almost all the PS1 games are considered rare, some of the rarest games are X-Men: Children of the Atom (1995), Castlevania Chronicles (2001), Suikoden II (1998), Klonoa Beach Volleyball (2002), Superbike Masters (2000), Brigandine: The Legend of Forsena (1998), Bust a Groove 2 (1999), Revelations: Persona (1996)
Question 2: What was the best-selling PS1 game?
The original Gran Turismo that was released back on 23rd December 1997 is also the best-selling PS1 game, with the game selling 10,850,000 copies in the entirety of its existence.
Such a number is massive even by today’s standards. This game was everything and more for the fans of the racing series and solidified the racing-game landscape forever.
Question 3: What PS1 games are worth money?
All the games that we have mentioned in the first question are not only the rarest PS1 games, but they are also worth a lot of money. People around the world are collecting these games and are selling them for great profit.
So, yes, PS1 games are worth a lot of money, and you can refer to the names in the first question.
Question 4: Are PS1 games worth collecting?
Without a doubt, countless PS1 games are worth a lot of money, and that is what makes them collector’s items. People around the world have countless PS1 games that they have collected over the years, and the collection is worth a lot of money, as well.
Question 5: How many PS1 games exist?
Over the lifespan of PS1, a total of 7,918 games were released on the console, and this is a massive number by every means.
However, the 7,918 games accumulated an impressive 962 million units that were sold, as well. Making this console one of the most successful consoles of all time.
Question 6: Was PS1 32-bit?
Yes, it might seem strange to find out, but the original PS1 was 32-bit. However, PS2 was the one that introduced 64-bit to the masses, and it was one of the best consoles of its time as well. That is one thing that no one is going to be able to deny.
Question 7: Why is PS1 called PSX?
In the U.S., the PS1 was supposed to be called PSX. However, PlayStation failed to get the focus study groups to get interested in the name. Eventually, the PSX was dropped, and it was just PlayStation or PS1.
Even the early advertisement had the signs of PSX in that, but we never really materialized until 2003 when Sony released PSX in a few countries.
Question 8: How long will PS1 discs last?
If you are still taking care of your PS1 discs and being sure that they are properly cleaned and are kept in their original packaging with time-to-time inspection, your PS1 discs should easily last you up to 25 years or even more.
Question 9: Does anyone still make PS1 games?
Nope, PS1 games are no longer being made. The last PS1 game released in Europe was back in 2005, but other countries saw their last games being released in 2004. Those years were the end of the console that lived a long, long time.
Question 10: Why does PS4 not have PS1 games?
PS4 is the only console that Sony made that cannot play the PlayStation 1 games while the older ones can. Sadly, Sony never really provided an answer to that. So, this secret is going to remain with them.