PlayStation Classic, Done Right

Return of a Classic

In September, nostalgic video game fans were teased with the announcement of the PlayStation Classic. Following the lead of the SEGA Genesis Classic, Nintendo Classic, and Super Nintendo Classic, Sony decided to throw its hat into the miniature retro gaming console ring. A preloaded emulator with a bunch of hits housed in a console that actually works without the worry of slapping your system, breathing into a cartridge, or performing weird but effective disc repairs. Say no more!

In the past week, Sony released the games to be included in the $99 package. To save you a click here they are in alphabetical order:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

The key to success

My initial reaction was a feeling of disappointment. Looking at the list, I recognize only 13 of the 20 games. I’ve played even less. Talking it over with Fred, he had similar thoughts. I checked with the community to make sure we weren’t outliers and it seems most of you are also underwhelmed.

Now, if you ask 10 people what their favorite PlayStation game was, you might expect 10 different answers. Knowing this, it can be hard to narrow down a list of games to include. But a carefully composed catalog of games is the key to the success of any of nostalgia machines.

“I’ve made a huge mistake”

Thinking back on it, the first PlayStation has always left a sour taste in my mind. Furthermore, it might be the least favorite gaming system I’ve ever owned. As an adolescent, I was dumb enough to exchange my NES, SNES, Genesis and a lump of games and controllers for the PlayStation.

GameStop be like
This was me a couple decades ago…

Young and dumb, right? In fact, I probably have grounds on suing GameStop for that employee who didn’t warn me about the mistake I was making. I clearly haven’t healed from this, but luckily I had an N64 to consume most of my time. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy my PlayStation; I just sacrificed far too much to obtain it.

batman sacrifice

So without further ado, let’s get into what I believe to be a much better selection of games. As a note, I’m not going to include sports franchises like Madden, FIFA, NBA Live, NHL or even Knockout Kings (this game was magnificent).


Here’s my list. I feel like this is a big improvement on what Sony ultimately decided to include in theirs. I consulted Fred for some input as I started to run out of ideas. Because when it comes to PlayStation 1, I definitely need the help. PS 2, 3 and now 4 all had much better catalogs of games in my opinion. On top of all this, PlayStation had to compete with Nintendo 64.

Anyway, here’s the list categorized in a weird way. Trust me, there’s 20. I included a brief explanation/justification for each.

Mario, who?
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped – Sony’s unofficial mascot never quite measured up to the far more popular Mario and Sonic but he certainly had a cult following. He’s too iconic to the PlayStation not to include and this game may have been the best of the series for the system.
  • Rayman – Rayman was another platforming creature created to challenge Mario’s throne. Like Crash, he targeted a specific audience while not taking himself too seriously, often parodying its competitors. His recent entries are incredible and extremely difficult once you start attempting to attain 100%.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon – Another platformer. This time a dragon traveling to different worlds to hunt down magical dragon eggs. I’m sure any similarities to Mario traveling to different worlds to hunt down 120 stars in Mario 64, released 4 years prior, were pure coincidence. The good news is that imitation is not all bad if the game is fun in its own way; and Spyro certainly was.
crash bandicoot
Not as polished as Sonic or Mario…
Life’s better on wheels
  • Twisted Metal 2 – This game was Mad Max before Mad Max (but really, after Mad Max). An “adult” version of Mario Kart that allowed for demolition derby style racing. What’s not to love?
  • Gran Turismo – For a long time, Gran Turismo was synonymous with simulation racing, though Forza may have stepped into that honor recently. Realistic car virtualization paired with a truckload of customization options allowed you to really trick out your ride the way you wanted and race how it might handle in real life.
  • Need for Speed – If you wanted simulation racing, pick up Gran Turismo. For arcade racing and epic police chases, go for Need for Speed. This racer granted players the ability to play the other side of the law and get behind the wheel of cop cars.
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – Tony Hawk’s skateboarding game was simply fun. Whether you actually knew how to skateboard or cared about X sports, I’m willing to bet you know who Tony Hawk is and have tried one of his games. From pulling off ridiculous 1080s (and above) and chaining them into physically impossible grinds to the appealing music and sound effects, this is a game that once mentioned would have many excited.
  • Dave Mira’s BMX – I thought about leaving this off because of its similarity to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but performing stunts on a bike is different enough to make this experience unique. I was, however, surprised to discover they were developed by different companies.

The “Sure Things”
  • Metal Gear Solid – Not sure if this really needs justification but this was a giant leap in gameplay and graphics to one of the most successful video game series of all time. The game was a masterpiece. My previous statement about asking 10 people and getting 10 answers doesn’t really hold true for anyone who played this game. Great story, great gameplay and memorable boss battles including one of the craziest battles I have ever experienced. To defeat one of the bosses who was a psychic, you had to plug your controller into the 2nd player’s port in order for him to not read every move you would make. If it wasn’t for Game Informer, young me may have never figured this out.
  • Tomb Raider 2 – If Crash is the official mascot of PlayStation, then Lara Croft has to be its queen. The games haven’t aged well (though the rebooted series is fantastic) but these games provided several memorable moments, such as fighting a T-Rex or a dragon.
  • Resident Evil 2 – When it comes to horror gaming, you can’t have a conversation without including the Resident Evil series. Playing as a member of a special task force you are soon trapped in a mansion with zombies and other monsters. If you like this genre check out Silent Hill series as well.
  • Tekken 3 – SNES had Street Fighter and Genesis had Mortal Kombat. Even without a Ryu/Ken or a Scorpion/Sub Zero, Tekken had several memorable characters and a much better time grabbing its market share with the introduction to 3D fighting. The series still is successful today with crossovers and guest fighters from other series.
  • Final Fantasy VII – If you look up the best RPGs of all time, you will see FFVII near the top of every list. From the memorable cast of characters to the legendary buster sword, this game made huge leaps for the genre and still holds up as a great game. Another good pick would be FFIX.
cloud FF7
Hard to find a more iconic video game weapon
A Pair of Peculiarity
  • PaRappa the Rapper – PaRappa predated Guitar Hero, Dance Dance Revolution, and Rock Band. Fred was a fan of PaRappa and mentioned a bit of what he loved about the game in his post about Rock Band.
  • Ape Escape – To be honest, I haven’t actually played this game. Sticking to the Sony theme, this game relies on humor and pop culture references as a backbone to its fun factor. As the name somewhat implies, the premise of the game revolves around capturing monkeys (not technically apes) before they carry out devious plans on the human race. Again, the numbers don’t lie – people loved this game.

Filling out the list
  • Syphon Filter – If you were able to get past the gigantic shadow that Metal Gear Solid cast on 3rd person shooters, you’d find the gem that is Syphon Filter. Often described as a perfect marriage between Metal Gear and Goldeneye, the critics agreed that this was a fantastic experience.
  • Dino Crisis 2 – Think Resident Evil but with dinosaurs. A fun sub genre to horror games which played smooth with tons of action.
  • Spiderman – Whether it’s the most recent iteration in consideration for 2018 Game of the Year or this PlayStation version, swinging around as Peter Parker will always be fun.
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six – Tom Clancy knows how to write a thrilling novel. Consequently, the plots to these books translate into decent backgrounds for video games. Rainbow Six was one of the first entries which really put the “tactical” in tactical shooters.
  • Chrono Cross – Sitting on the Mount Rushmore of RPGs besides the aforementioned Final Fantasy series would be Chrono Trigger for SNES. Though it isn’t as critically acclaimed as its ancestor considered to be among the best video games ever, Chrono Cross was highly rated and would be a good addition to this catalog we are building.

How’d we do?

So what do you think; is it worth $99 yet?

Did we improve on Sony’s list or does it still need work? Let us know your favorite titles for PlayStation below!

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5 years ago

Ha! Blowing into the cartridges. I think every 80s-90s kid can relate to that!! 😂

Two Average Gamers
Reply to  Crystal
5 years ago

Yea, back when times were simple!

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