On some real talk, everyone is all up on the PS4 and Xbox One’s dick right now. All braggadocios about HD graphics and photo realism and frame rates so fast you get motion sickness and puke on everything you ever loved. But let us not forget the roots of where everything is right now was ushered into place by the Playstation 1. The first Playstation is what introduced many of us to polygonal graphics, true voiceover work, and movie quality cut scenes (which are all the norm now). So how about we reverse this DeLorean for a minute and recall some of the badass Playstation 1 games everyone seems to have forgotten about? Sound good?
So imagine if the Nightmare Before Christmas was a playable game? That is the best way I can describe this action game for the Playstation 1. I will also tell you I was kinda obsessed with it. Honestly, it has one of my favorite boss fights of all time in it. The stained glass boss. I know they ripped it off from the Young Sherlock movie. Shut up, it was awesome, regardless.
And I felt like the game was very Ghosts and Goblins (NES era) so that also added to the appeal. Never understood why this game didn’t just keep getting sequels. The character was beloved enough to make it into the recent Playstation Battle Super Fight Mega Awesome Smash Brothers Rip Off Game, so there’s that.
Crash Team Racing
I know what people are going to say right now. They are going to say Crash Team Racing was a Crash Bandicoot themed rip off of Mario Kart. Yes, yes it was. But guess what? It was a slightly tighter game. Yes, I just totally f*cking said that. There was a moment with CTR where you just go full zen. You are drifting around corners like your last name was Paul Walker’s corpse, the courses were engaging, and multiplayer was an absolute blast.
Seriously, Mario Kart is a great game and stellar franchise, but CTR was as good as racing games got on the Playstation 1 (laughs at Gran Turismo fans).
People were so hyped up by the (frankly, fantastic) Final Fantasy 7 that they somehow missed this Square Enix game that was much darker and more complex than their FF series. Vagrant Story was an RPG with an active battle system (long before that was a ‘thing’ they started using) and it was paired off with an awesome story about power, betrayal, and lots of other words you would use if you were explaining Game of Thrones. Well, Vagrant Story didn’t have any rape, to that was good.
Also note, the Parasite Eve games almost made this slot, but those got a sequel, which says they were more widely recognized.
Legacy of Kain: Series
Okay, this was a SERIOUS ball drop on someone’s count. First Legacy of Kain was an overhead RPG (think Diablo) and was phenomenal. You were a vampire who could turn into fog or a bat or a wolf, and you did all sorts of awesome vampire shit. Yes, exactly as awesome as it sounds.
Second game (Soul Reaver) SERIOUSLY upped the cinematic quality and story telling. You played a different vampire who had his jaw ripped off and were at war with other vampire clans (and Kain, thus his legacy). The series was insanely good, with some of the best voice acting I had heard for the time.
But then boop. Gone, like no one cared.
Fear Effect 2
Polygonal lesbians. Do I need to say anymore? Game over. That shit wins. I literally remember nothing about this game except polygonal lesbians, but I remember them BLOWING MY TENDER TEENAGE MIND! And guess what? I write the lists, so it makes the cut.
Also, sorry I sound 14 right now, but that was about the age I was when I played, so shut up. Kidding, I love you. Kidding, I’m chaotic neutral. If you were a true geek, that would make sense to you. Speaking of geeks….