Launched in 1994 (Japan)/1995 (Worldwide), few could have predicted the future success of SONY‘s PlayStation, which has since become a cultural phenomenon. Cementing a status as the first ever games console to sell over 100 million units, the system – which took 5 years to develop – has since spawned 4 further editions. But before the days of wireless control pads, and online play or Call of Duty headsets, an entire generation were busy bashing away on the 32-bit system thanks to iconic titles such as Gran Turismo, Spyro, and Resident Evil.
So, which was/is the best PlayStation game of all time? Join us for our Top 10 countdown….
10. TONY HAWK’S PRO SKATER 2
A game which gave meaning to the terms ‘half-pipe‘ and ‘Ollie’ to even the most faint hearted of skateboarding fans. Mention the name ‘Tony Hawk‘ to most Millennials and his branded PlayStation game series will pop to mind before thoughts of his legendary professional career. Adding updated visuals and gameplay on the original version, this sequel – released in 2000 – helped spawn a generation of kids in beanies and long sleeved tees. Radddd, dude!
9. GRAN TURISMO 2
One of the most detailed racing simulators of all time, the Gran Turismo series gave incredible detail to a console which – in all honesty – could just about handle it, at the time. Later becoming beautifully crisp and aesthetically droolful when moving across to PS2, the real USP of GT2 came via the authentic handling of cars. With more than 600 vechicles to choose from, there was a clearly noticeable different on acceleration speed or corner handling when plumping for a Lambo over a Ford Escort.
8. METAL GEAR SOLID
Centred around a mesmerically written storyline, which has since helped birth modern classics such as ‘The Last Of Us’, MGS saw eye-poppingly positive reviews of 9.8 (IGN) and 94% (MetaCritic) upon release in 1998. The production has since stood the test of time thanks to a choice between first or third-person camera angling options, a vast array of weapons and equipment, and one of the console’s most universally personable protagonists, Solid Snake.
7. CRASH TEAM RACING
The first of two entries in this list for everybody’s favourite topless Bandicoot, CTR was essentially Sony‘s answer to the hugely popular ‘Mario Kart‘ series over on rival console firm, Nintendo. Giving gamers the choice of either Adventure, Versus, Arcade, or Battle mode, game developers Naughty Dog constructed a range of beautifully fun tracks, and equally simple yet enjoyable karts. Since remastered in 4K on PS4, this 1999 racer has since become categorized in the ‘legendary‘ folder.
6. ISS PRO EVOLUTION
Declared by the Official Playstation Magazine (UK) as ‘the greatest football game of all time’, such is the supreme quality of this cult classic, Japanese developers Konami really hit the jackpot with the ISS series. Later evolving into the ever-popular ‘Pro Evo‘ franchise, which dominated PS2 (Adriano 99 shot power, anyone?), ISS couldn’t match rivals FIFA for official player licensing, but due to far superior gameplay, fans revelled in ironic delight when thundering in screamers from ‘Radolno‘ or ‘Roberto Larcos‘.
5. TEKKEN 3
Whilst SEGA were busy working on a 3D fighting simulator to replicate the success of the 2D ‘Street Fighter‘ (eventually producing the somewhat-impressive ‘Virtua Fighter‘), Japanese designer Katsuhiro Harada found joy in ‘Tekken’, a game which – unlike many – managed to succesfully merge between both home-based console, and button-bashing arcade fun. A huge USP in Tekken‘s success (with the third instalment acting as the series’ piece-de-resistance) was the wacky design of characters, such as ‘King’, a fearsome amalgamation between Cheetah and Human.
One of the first-ever gaming pioneers of an ‘open world’ format, few were quite sure the purpose of ‘Driver‘ upon release. The game, set in San Francisco, would allow players to… Well, just, drive around. The premise soon became much clearer as gamers dived into a 70s cop-show vibe, clad with epic car chases, accelerating away from a squadful of feds in hot pursuit. The game proved a building block for the future success of titles such as Crazy Taxi, Need For Speed, and of course… Most notably, the 3D version of Grand Theft Auto.
3. SPYRO: YEAR OF THE DRAGON
Our top 3 features a trio of the most iconic lead characters in gaming history. The ordering could’ve gone either way, such are the fine margins between each, but taking the bronze medal is Spyro The Dragon. The friendly purple monster (steady!), was both hugely appealing to young gamers, and also offered a maturity in gameplay to keep adults amused for hours, breathing out fire onto enemeies whilst venturing across various lands. Has since been remastered for a modern audience.
2. TOMB RAIDER
The first crush of just about every 90s kid, Lara Croft was iconic in more ways than one. The incredibly pointy cone-shaped mammaries and Angelina Jolie movie-reboot aside, Eidos Interactive nailed the idea of a female lead, with the title becoming one of the biggest-selling PS1 games of all time. First released on Sega Saturn, the series soon spawned further titles in the shape of ‘II’, ‘III‘ and ‘Chronicles’ on PlayStation, with a rare glitch allowing the player to somewhat sadistically lock Lara‘s butler in the downstairs freezer of her mansion (you’re lying if you deny it).
1. CRASH BANDICOOT
It had to be, didn’t it! The mischievous jean-wearing bandicoot caused us endless hours of euphoria, or sometimes, terror (remember the boulder dash?). But much like how Mario became the posterboy for Nintendo, and Sonic was flying the flag for Sega, Sony soon found themselves with a household name, in the form of his loveable rogue. Wether jumping on boxes to collect apples, or spin-attacking past prickly armadillo… There was no finer way to button-bash, than in the company of Crash.
What is YOUR favourite PlayStation game of all time? Let us know via our socials!