With so many gamers now owning a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and even a Nintendo Switch, it’s easy to forget how amazed they were when they first saw 3D games like Tekken running on the original PlayStation in superstores around the world in the mid-1990s.
Games like Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, and The Witcher series give gamers a lot to look at. But as good as those games are, old-school gamers still like the games from 20 years ago that pushed the hardware to its limits.
The PlayStation was a 32-bit machine that sold more than the Nintendo 64 and even the Sega Dreamcast before the PlayStation 2 came out. Part of the reason for this was that the developers were able to work around the machine’s limitations and get every last bit of power out of it.
Not all games did so well, though. Even though some developers did great things with Sony’s little grey box, others did not have the same luck. Part of the reason for this was the rise and popularity of 3D games, so the change from 2D sprites to polygons wasn’t always easy.
So, even though some games looked great for their time, nostalgia is the only reason why some of them are still popular today. However, many games from the PS1 era still look and play just as well as they did back then.
Bad: Metal Gear Solid
The story and cinematic style of Metal Gear Solid are still as good as ever. But since Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain, and even Metal Gear Solid 4 from the last generation came out, fans have been spoiled when it comes to graphics and game play.
It’s hard to go back to MGS on the PS1 now that we’re used to seeing things from the third-person view, which was introduced in Metal Gear Solid: Subsistence. The top-down view of older MG games can make modern players feel like they’re playing Pac-Man with guns.
Amazing: Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII was a big deal in 1997, and even though the characters are drawn with polygons, the game is still very good today. At a time when its closest competitors were still using 2D sprites, the graphics and presentation of this Japanese RPG were unlike anything that had come before.
Especially the towns, area maps, and dungeons had beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds that fit in with the cutscenes well. Also, the 3D world map still makes you feel amazed when you see a new town or place far away. FF7 became one of the most important games of all time and set a new standard for RPGs to come.
Bad: Tomb Raider
To say that Tomb Raider changed 3D action-adventure games for good would be an understatement. Its influence can even be seen in the Uncharted games. The main character of the game, Lara Croft, was one of the first major female leads.
What makes that picture even more unbelievable is that her character model did not look good even in 1996, even when she was wearing nostalgic glasses. Still, her sharp, jagged, and polygonal features caught the attention of more than a few gamers at a key time in gaming history.
Amazing: Tekken 3
The first Tekken was one of the best-selling games for the original PlayStation, along with Namco’s racing series Ridge Racer and the top-selling 3D fighter. Fans think that Tekken 3 is the best game in the series, and that it was the best in the series as a whole.
Namco did the impossible when they put the game on PlayStation consoles by lowering the quality of the background graphics. Because of this, the game’s character models, animations, and flow still look good today.
Amazing: Legend Of The Dragoon
After Final Fantasy VII’s success, Japanese RPGs were still very popular, but Square was the only company that could make games that were as well made as theirs. The Legend of Dragoon, made by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, cost $16 million and was released in 1999.
Even though LoD had beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds and CGI cutscenes, it wasn’t as well-liked as the Final Fantasy games because it was compared to them. The game’s graphics have held up well over time, which is good news. Also, the story is very good compared to most modern games, and the battle system, which is based on precision, will be liked by gamers who like to be challenged.
During the 1990s, one of the most popular games on the Amiga and Sega Mega Drive was Speedball 2, which was a violent future sports game. It is a mix of ice hockey, football, and the best parts of the movie Rollerball. It has been remastered several times because it is just as fun to play now as it was almost 30 years ago.
On the PS1, Rageball, which was billed as a spiritual successor, didn’t do so well. Even when it came out, the game looked bad, and instead of a top-down view, it had an awkward side-on camera angle that made it hard to play. It was another bad attempt to bring a classic up to date by adding 3D.
Amazing: Gran Turismo
When Gran Turismo came out for the PlayStation in 1998, it did things that no one thought the console could do. Gran Turismo was more than just a simple racing game. It was a true simulation of the sport, with a level of depth and detail that was almost scary.
Even though Polyphony Digital did have to work with old technology, they pushed Sony’s little grey box to the very edge of what it could do. So, they made a game that was a big deal, and the series keeps going with the beautiful Gran Turismo: Sport on the PS4.
Bad: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Since the first game came out in 1999, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater has been the leader in skateboarding video games. The name of the series’ main character, a skateboarding champion, is known all over the world, and the first game helped set the stage for the much better games that followed.
Even though the game set up a successful franchise, that doesn’t mean it still works in 2018. The first game doesn’t have series staples like being able to chain together different moves, and the lack of variety is very clear when comparing its PS1 sequel to more recent games.
Bishi Bashi Special
This mini-game collection should be in your library if you want a game that can be played by more than one person and that anyone can pick up and play. Bishi Bashi Special is a combination of Super Bishi Bashi and Hyper Bishi Bashi. It has 85 different button-mashing challenges with strange themes, like kicking mobsters or throwing custard pies at your wedding guests. You can use up to three controllers at once, so you’ll need a Multitap to get the most out of the game. However, if you’re playing with a larger group, everyone can still take part in the party mode, which lets up to eight people play at once.