Sony dropped a surprise on the unsuspecting gaming public on late Tuesday night. As the clock approached midnight on the west coast, Sony announced that would be throwing its hat into the retro console game. The PlayStation Classic is set to include 20 original PS1 classics pre-loaded and ready to play, with no CD-ROMs necessary.
Interestingly, the full lineup of games has yet to be revealed. The only knowns thus far are Final Fantasy 7, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. That's only five games, leaving fifteen more to be revealed at a later date. But what could they be?
Never one to turn down an opportunity for rampant speculation, Shacknews is ready to weigh in on what other games could pack the PlayStation Classic. And if nothing else, these are definitely the games that we want to see on Sony's retro console re-release.
Metal Gear Solid
This one feels like a no-brainer. Before Konami changed things up with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, PlayStation consoles were the primary destination for the entire Solid Snake saga. In fact, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was considered the major system seller for the PlayStation 3.
So it only makes sense to go back to where the entire thing started. While Metal Gear released on the NES a decade prior, there's a reason that Metal Gear Solid is so beloved. That's because its stealth gameplay and its blockbuster presentation was unlike anything that had come before it. It was a spy thriller come to life, with an engaging (if complicated) story, great voice acting, and eye-popping visuals. But more than anything, it put the stealth action game on the map. Its influence is still widely felt to this day across an array of action games.
A key theme throughout this feature is going to be "Never mind where the series is now, look at how much it meant then." That will ring especially true for Metal Gear Solid, one of the greatest games of its era.
One of the most joyful things about the Nintendo 64/PlayStation rivalry was that the two parties would often diverge down wildly different paths. While Nintendo 64 was capturing imaginations with its legendary kart-racing phenomenon, Sony went in the other direction. The idea was more to capture the mature player, forgoing go-karts in favor of an all-out demolition derby.
That was Twisted Metal, a vehicular deathmatch filled with explosive items, badass-looking vehicles, and insane personalities. It's less Wacky Races and more Mad Max, with players firing missiles and machine guns at one another in an effort to be the last driver standing.
Twisted Metal wasn't a pretty game to look at. Its visuals feel like an eyesore by 2018 standards, but the vehicular deathmatch is a timeless idea that still holds up today.
With so many modern follow-up clunkers cluttering up store shelves, it's very easy to forget what a triumph Silent Hill was. A revered gem from Konami, Silent Hill centered around main character Harry Mason waking up in a strange town. He doesn't know how he ended up there, his daughter is missing, and he has to navigate around this sleepy town in an effort to find her.
Silent Hill is one of the pioneers of the survival horror genre, filling the town with odd characters and Harry's subsconcious with demonic creatures. It's a mind-warping trip through nightmares and through a nightmarish reality. It was made all the more ominous by a dreary atmosphere, a haunting soundtrack, and scares that aimed straight for the player's psyche.
The original Silent Hill was a masterpiece, one that's still loved today. It's why there's so much anger when a subpar (if not outright awful) sequel is released. There's a great desire out there for a good Silent Hill game, which is why Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro teasing a Silent Hills game was met with so much excitement.
And for those who haven't experienced the original, this would be the perfect opportunity to try it for the first time. (Preferably with the lights out.)
While the rebooted Tomb Raider series wraps up, the PlayStation Classic offers an opportunity to see what made Lara Croft such an iconic hero in the first place.
Let's just get one thing out of the way. Yes, the Tomb Raider visuals haven't aged well. There's no greater evidence than last week's Happy Hour stream when Chris Jarrard tried parading around the Amazon jungle in Lara Croft's old PS1 duds. Eesh!
But there's a reason that Tomb Raider is looked back at so fondly. It was a chance to go on a daring archaeological expedition with a heroine who felt larger than life. Lara Croft had nerves of steel, her bravery matched only by her craftiness. The first game felt like a different kind of 3D platformer, with gorgeous tombs to explore, death traps around every corner and wildlife that was aching for a chance to prey on their next meal.
Tomb Raider is another highly-influential game, inspiring many future gaming explorers like Nathan Drake. There's a good reason for that, because Tomb Raider's solid controls, platforming sequences, and challenge level were top-notch for the time and still play exceptionally well today.
This might seem like an out of left field suggestion, especially with so many other iconic Sony titles taking the spotlight (looking at you, Final Fantasy), but Driver was a game that nailed the feeling of the ‘70s and ‘80s police car chases.
Those that played the original Driver back in 1999 will no doubt fondly remember the very first mission in the game. Set inside an underground parking lot, the mission tasked players with completing several manoeuvres within 60 seconds, failing to do so meant players couldn’t continue onto the campaign. It’s interesting to look back on this now in light of how most games treat player progression, especially in what could be considered a tutorial.
However, players who were able to clear this first mission (likely with the help of reading the instruction manual – remember those?) were treated to the sights and sounds of Miami, San Fran, LA, and New York. It was one of the first car games that didn’t focus solely on racing or murdering other vehicles, which made it a really unique feature in Sony’s cap at the time. Furthermore, the handling of the vehicles was superb, with real weight, physics, as well as crumpling metal and shattering glass!
Though there have been a wealth of sequels, none of them quite lived up to the glory of the original. Driver could be another excellent addition to the line-up of games on the PlayStation Classic.
Brave Fencer Musashi
Many fans of the classic Brave Fencer Musashi consider the game to be the PS1 equivalent of a Legend of Zelda title. Players took on the role of the titular Musashi as he quested for five scrolls that would grant him untold powers and push his sword skills to their ultimate limits. The game not only looked splendid for the time, and its hack-and-slash style was an ambitious departure for Squaresoft from what their more traditional JRPG titles of that era. Nowadays copies of the Musashi are a rare and often expensive find. Hopefully, the PS1 classic will give Brave Fencer Musashi a chance to show its stuff to a whole new generation of gamers.
Battle Arena Toshinden
By today’s standards Battle Arena Toshinden’s polygons might not be the prettiest pony at the party, but they were some of first to pioneer the 3D fighter genre. At the time, it blew Virtua Fighter’s less polished visuals out of the water and gave the PS1 a solid brawler right out of the launch gate. Toshinden’s influence can still be seen today in titles like Soul Calibur and Tekken. I’d even argue that Soul Calibur’s Ivy is a direct descendant of BAT’s Sophia. Even if my fan theory isn’t accurate, the game’s weapon-based frantic combat kept myself and my friends entertained for hours on end back in the day and I can only imagine it would do the same for a new generation of gamers if included on PS1 Classic.
Final Fantasy 8
Everyone seems to love Final Fantasy 7, which is why it's an easy choice to add to the collection of games featured on the PlayStation Classic. With that said, there are a number of 32-bit RPG fans that would much prefer to see Final Fantasy 8 on the system. Not only did the 1999 release eclipse the graphical capabilities of 7 in every possible way, it also came with a story that was much more detailed and a battle system that was much more involved. Sure, the Draw system was a bit of a nuisance when compared to the simple brilliance of the Materia system, but Final Fantasy 8 is remembered fondly for its complex time-bending narrative, its in-depth Guardian Force and Junction systems, and its heavy use of full-motion video. It's not the best Final Fantasy to release for the PlayStation — Final Fantasy 9 takes that honor, clearly — but it's still a fan favorite, and an excellent release for those who missed 7 the first time around and thus don't view the title through the rose-tinted lens of nostalgia.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
We'll put it bluntly: if Castlevania: Symphony of the Night isn't available on the PlayStation Classic, someone at Sony dropped the ball. Not only does it feature the ineffable influence of industry legend Koji Igarashi, it's also one of the primary ancestors (and arguably one of the main influences) of the modern Metroidvania genre. Overflowing with loot, power-ups, and secrets to be found, Symphony of the Night could be considered not only best game on the original PlayStation, but also one of the most iconic video games of all time.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
It's the year 2000, yo-yos are for some reason popular again, and JNCO jeans paired with wallet chains are still part of the modern style. You and your friends get together to watch WWF on Pay-Per-View, and after Steve Austin has slammed several beers and a few Jabronis have hit Rock Bottom, it's time to play some video games. Pressing the power button the PlayStation, what do you see? Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk pulling a 1080 set to Rage Against The Machine's Guerilla Radio. The original Tony Hawk's Pro Skater may have kicked off the series' success, but it's THPS2 that solidifed the series' hold on 32-bit gamers' hearts. Packed with unlockable skaters and some of the most recognizable levels in the series' history, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is an obvious choice to add to the PlayStation Classic lineup.
PaRappa the Rapper
Kick, punch, it's all in the mind! If you wanna test us, we're sure you'll find the things the PlayStation Classic are sure to beat ya, but nevertheless, you'll get a lesson from teacher, now kick! That's your cue to bust out one of the most amazing rhythm games of all time, PaRappa the Rapper. For any list of iconic PlayStation games, you've got to make sure this cult hit is included, especially as the iconic rapping dog is one of PlayStation's veritable mascots, and paved the way forward for additional rhythm games to make their way over to the US, including its spiritual sequel Um Jammer Lammy. PaRappa's legacy is one that essentially everyone with a PSX is familiar with, and it's accessible and short enough that it shouldn't take up too much space on the hardware, so we're hoping to see everyone's favorite rapping dog find a home on the system. He just has to!
This excellent action role-playing game became difficult to find almost immediately upon release back in 2000, though despite its high quality, it's largely languished in obscurity since then. Thus, a rebirth on the PlayStation Classic is absolutely warranted, despite the fact that it's playable on consoles like the PlayStation Portable and PS Vita. Following the Riskbreaker Ashley Riot as he works his way to the city of Leá Monde, it weaves a tale of murder and political intrigue that plays out between threads of puzzle-solving and strategy as well as role-playing elements. It deserves a remastered edition, but we'll take what we can get at this point.
One of the most iconic survival horror series on PlayStation began with Shinji Megami's idea to throw dinosaurs in with Resident Evil-styled combat and exploration. Capcom's Dino Crisis is a veritable masterpiece, and deserving of a spot on the PlayStation Classic. Its sequel Dino Crisis 2 is absolutely excellent as well, but the first game is what really hooked players. The game takes folks through a mission throughout a secret research facility, where a weapons project is being worked on in secret. Four agents: Regina, Gail, Rick, and Cooper head in to find a missing scientist, but they get tangled up in a jungle full of bloodthirsty dinosaurs. Yes, it's awesome, yes it's full of dino gore, and it deserves to be on any PlayStation fan's must-play list.
Bloody Roar 2
The original PlayStation was home to plenty of great fighters — Tekken and the Street Fighter Alpha series being obvious contenders — but there's one fighting franchise that really took fans by surprise, and it's one that we haven't seen much of since: Bloody Roar. While the first game gave players their first taste of the series' distinct animal-morphing mechanic, it was Bloody Roar 2 that really drove the notion home. The title's adrenaline-fueled mix of combo-focused fighting and blood-soaked attacks (it's called Bloody Roar for a reason) made for a delightfully intoxicating combination, and one of the most addictive fighters ever to grace the PlayStation.
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 2 is to Resident Evil what Street Fighter 2 is to the original Street Fighter. And that is... a sequel, obviously, but both sequels were so innovative that their predecessors paled in comparison. RE2 featured two playable characters, introducing newbies Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. But where Chris Redfield's and Jill Valentine's campaigns told slightly different stories, RE2's "zapping system" doubled the fun: four campaigns, two per character. Finishing the game with either Leon or Claire unlocked their counterpart's "B scenario," a parallel track that let you experience what they were up to during the other character's "A scenario" along with new bosses and puzzles. RE2 also upped the first game's tension by painting more environments in darkness and increasing enemy counts, forcing players to use health and ammo more conservatively. Including RE2 on the PS Classic would be the perfect way to introduce newer fans of the franchise to arguably the best classic-style--tank controls and static camera angles--Resident Evil title before the remake lands early next year.
That's the Shacknews list. Any games that we might be missing? Join the conversation and let us know in the comments.
Shack Staff posted a new article, The 15 games we want to see on the PlayStation Classic
This is a great list. A couple comments on some...
Twisted Metal - I'd like to see TM2 instead, I think it was the better game
Brave Fencer Musashi - Yes. You know what you're talking about. What a gem.
Dino Crisis - I think this would be nice, but with a resident evil game I'm not sure it makes the cut. I'd swap Soul Reaver in here instead
That’s kind of what I mean. Which titles would only be available in a ported form? And still enjoyable? I can find a lot of these with shiny new coats of paint and UI improvements. Gimme an modern HD update psx mini with 6-8 titles and I’m interested. That’s probably asking for too much though. I’m still intrigued about this.
For historical reasons, I think Gran Turismo needs to be on any PSX classics list. Driver was a great game, but not as important to the platform. A Crash game should probably be included too, for similar reasons. And instead of two Final Fantasies, I'd drop VIII in favor of Grandia or Xenogears or maybe Chrono Cross.
I actually like FFVIII over all other FF games that I've played. I feel like the balance between the Limit Breaks and use of Guardian Forces is better than the others,and this is something that I feel that all of these games struggle with.For instance,I LOVED the open world aspect of XII,but the Espers were totally useless. They weren't easy to get,and once you got them,they were super weak.In FFX,The Aeons were great,but were hamstrung by the fact that only Yuna could cast them. The actual combat(though repetitive) and magic were done well though.
To this day,I can't understand how Vagrant Story was a one and done game.