The PlayStation Classic, like the Nintendo and Super Nintendo Classic released before it, looks like it will be one of the hottest electronics this holiday season, and for good reason. The PlayStation is such a landmark console that helped usher in a new generation of 3D gaming, and as such, had plenty of classic games that were released for it. The PlayStation Classic is releasing with 20 built-in games this fall, and the full list was recently revealed. However, the console had a plethora of iconic games, so it’s inevitable that not all of them were going to make the cut. Here is our list of games that deserved a spot on the console, excluding games with recent remasters such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games.
The PlayStation Classic comes with Resident Evil, but Silent Hill is another game that defined survival horror and deserves a spot on the console. The title set the bar for tense, psychological horror games, and emphasized avoiding monstrosities rather than fighting them head-on. With five different endings to see (including the classic ‘alien’ ending that would become standard in future titles), the game had much more replayability than other horror games before it and has had a number of re-releases over the years, which just shows how impactful the original game still is. Plus, those puppet nurses still give me nightmares to this day.
Gran Turismo 2
Car junkies will be disappointed to see the lack of a Gran Turismo title on the console, especially the genre-defining Gran Turismo 2. The game features over 650 cars for players to tinker with and set the bar for racing sim games, packing the game with more cars and tracks than players imagined was possible for the time. Carrying over the first game’s excellent controls and true to life gameplay, the Gran Turismo series was one of the first true simulation games that showed how far gaming had come, and that landmark deserves recognition on the PlayStation Classic.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
If you like your action games to have a coating of dark and gothic paint, you’ll be sorely missing Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver from the PlayStation Classic. This game blends excellent combat, controls, and atmosphere into one magnificently gory hack and slash and also features an in-depth story to boot. Unfortunately, the game suffered from legal issues between Crystal Dynamics and Silicon Knights, which could be the reasoning why this iconic title didn’t get included on the PlayStation Classic. Still, the lack of everyone’s favorite ghost vampire Raziel is a shame.
Suikoden is a series that has unfortunately flown under the radar for most of its releases here on the western shores. With over 100 characters to recruit, the game offers plenty of playtime, especially if you are a completionist, and the battle system features more traditional JRPG turn-based battles along with more strategic grid-based battles akin to Fire Emblem. Though it received lukewarm reception upon release, Suikoden II has since become more respected as one of the best JRPGs on the PlayStation console, and easily deserves a spot on the Playstation Classic – especially since copies online go for around $100 and up.
The Legend of Dragoon
Speaking of RPGs, this one definitely deserves a spot on the PlayStation Classic. Legend of Dragoon is a turn-based RPG with timing mechanics similar to games like Super Mario RPG that allows to player to deal more damage and set up combos if they time button presses correctly when attacking. The game featured great graphics and cinematics and even sprawled a whopping four discs when it released. Though some critics complained the game lacked as much depth as other RPGs of the time, Legend of Dragoon became a mainstream hit and gamers still hold out hope for a sequel to this day.
One of the bummers of the PlayStation Classic is that it doesn’t include DualShock controllers, which means there was never hope for this classic simian seizing game to come to the system. That’s a shame because Ape Escape is one of the most iconic games on the PlayStation and appears on multiple top lists to this day, as many people praise the controls, fun gameplay, and technical advances the game made. Ape Escape will be sorely missed, especially since its exclusion is due to the baffling fact that Sony decided not to package the console with the revolutionary DualShock controller.
It’s surprising Tomb Raider didn’t make it to the PlayStation Classic, since Lara Croft’s first adventure is one of the most innovative adventure games of all time, and set new expectations for 3D action titles. Though the series has recently experienced a stellar reboot, journeying back to experience the original puzzles, platforming, and shooting would be a perfect inclusion on the console. We take a lot of this genre for granted these days, but playing through the origins of one of gaming’s most badass heroines would be a great experience to have available on the PlayStation Classic.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Any gamers that haven’t had the chance to have their custom character do a kickflip while Guerilla Radio by Rage Against the Machine plays in the background missed out on a great piece of gaming history. Even for players that weren’t skateboarding fans, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was a blast to play, with great graphics, environments that fostered creativity, and tight controls. The multiplayer modes were fun and creative as well and would have been a great use of the second controller included with the PlayStation Classic. Plus, many people discovered their love for punk rock through the game’s incredible soundtrack.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
The PlayStation Classic comes with Tekken 3, but where is the Street Fighter love? Street Fighter Alpha 3 was one of the most jam-packed fighting games of the time with 34 playable characters and boasted tight controls and more nuanced animations than previous Street Fighter games. It truly was the ultimate version of one of the best Street Fighter games of all time, and also highlighted Capcom’s love of re-releases and extra editions. Still, it remains a classic PlayStation title, and would have been a perfect inclusion to show off the classic sprite-based fighting games of old.
The PlayStation had a lot of great racing games, but Wipeout was the fastest of them all, putting you in the cockpit of an anti-gravity vehicle and speeding down tracks in a blur of noise and color. Wipeout XL is the second game in the series, and made the game even faster and allowed you to blow up your rivals using weapons you picked up on the track. Though the series lost its sheen in later years, Wipeout XL was fast, fun, and one of the most iconic weapon-based racing games of the 90s. This arcade styled racer will be sorely missed on the PlayStation Classic.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Yes, Final Fantasy VII is on the PlayStation Classic, surprising no one. But if you really want a game you can sink your time into, look no further than Final Fantasy Tactics. This tactical RPG has an incredible amount of depth and team customization and allows you to recruit and use a bevy of classes from previous Final Fantasy games. Each combat has a deep layer of strategy, and toying with the roles of everyone you bring into battles allows for some amazing combinations. Though it was overshadowed by more traditional Final Fantasy RPGs upon its release, it still deserves a spot on the PlayStation Classic as one of the most enjoyable and consuming time sinks that is still worth playing to this day.
Crash Team Racing
Although Crash Bandicoot may have recently gotten an HD upgrade, this frantically fun kart racing game was left behind, and definitely deserves to be on the PlayStation Classic. Naughty Dog’s answer to Mario Kart includes all the usual shenanigans of picking up items and using them to hinder other racers, while also featuring boss races against classic enemies like Neo Cortex. The game’s controls are great, and it has a creative grouping of tracks from all around the Crash Bandicoot universe. It’s too bad you won’t have access to it on the PlayStation Classic, as this game still holds up – especially if you have a friend to chuck TNT crates at.
Driver: You Are the Wheelman
The title of the game does a pretty good job of describing the gameplay, since you do a lot of driving. However, what sets Driver apart from all the other racing games on the list is its dedication to real-life locations. The game takes place in Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, and though they may not be as faithfully recreated as games nowadays would be able to feature, for the time it was amazing to feel like you were actually racing down real city streets. Or crashing, if you played like me. The game had great attention to detail and had controls that were tight without being as demanding as an actual racing sim like Gran Turismo. Though the game got outshined by other open-world games later, it is still a hallmark title that deserves a spot on the PlayStation Classic.
“Resident Evil with dinosaurs” is sometimes how this game is described, and seeing how it was also directed by Shinji Mikami, that seems to be an apt description at times. However, the game stands on its own merits, featuring 3D backgrounds instead of pre-rendered ones like in Resident Evil and more polish as the team took what they learned from that game and applied it to this one. Unlike shambling and brain-dead zombies, Dino Crisis featured quick and deadly dinosaurs, making each encounter a scramble to escape. This gave encounters a more terrifying feel, which Mikami lovingly referred to as ‘panic horror’. The game spawned numerous sequels of varying quality, but the first will always be iconic for bringing dinosaurs to life in the most terrifying way possible.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is another under the radar game that deserves a spot on the PlayStation Classic. The game brilliantly blends 2D platforming with 3D graphics and has plenty of smart puzzles involving Klonoa’s ability to grab and throw enemies. Though Klonoa as a character didn’t really take off in the West, this title is incredibly polished and features great controls, level design, and graphics. It’s a missed opportunity to not put this underrated gem on the PlayStation Classic and get it the mainstream recognition it deserves.