Today officially marks 25 years of Playstation! The console has grown up quite a bit since the release of the grey Playstation 1 and has recently unveiled its design for the PS5, a unique V-shaped console. As of writing, the company has sold over 102 million units of its PS4 consoles, with the Playstation 2 still being its highest-earning console, at 155 million sales.
However, I want to step away from this history class and focus on a different history lesson: while Playstation has always had a fantastic line-up when it comes to their games, I’ll always remember the original line up of games. In celebration of the beloved console, I’m going to be counting down my top 5 Playstation 1 games. This will be based on my nostalgia for the games and how well they’ve stood the test of time.
So…here we go!
5. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 (2000)
The reason this is at the bottom is that, while I have a lot of memories playing this with my best friend after school, I have never played the full game. The official Playstation Magazine used to include a demo disk and, on here, would be one (or two) level demos of around 20 games. The only disk I owned had a demo for was Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and this was the demo I played the most. The controls were precise and responsive and the levels that were on this demo were based on real locations and the modeling is fantastic. The actual skating movements are accurate too, which was a first for skateboarding games.
This was one of the first games I got for the console. Originally conceived as a solo Yoshi game, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a colourful platformer that I played quite a lot. Despite its gorgeous visuals and soundtrack, the controls are a little clunky and the game does get a little repetitive quite quickly. I did a full review for Croc, which you can find here
3. Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (1999)
While a lot of fans would say the third game, Spyro: Year of the Dragon, is the best entry in the trilogy, I can’t help but love the second game more. Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer (or originally known as Ripto’s Rage) was the only Spyro game that I owned and, while I didn’t play this very often, I enjoyed myself whenever I did play it. I think this entry is more accessible to players unfamiliar to the purple dragon than the third game because the objectives are easier. The levels and home worlds are visually more interesting and there’s more to explore in the home worlds thanks to the orbs and talismans that Spyro must collect in order to progress.
2. Tomb Raider (1996)
Admittedly, I never played the main game as a child; I would spend hours running around Lara’s Mansion before giving the controller to my Dad so he could play the main game. However, playing the main game as an adult has given me a new-found appreciation for it. The first game was a fantastic adventure game and was a unique entry in the adventure genre, especially with the playable character being female. Despite eventually playing the first three games in the original trilogy, I picked the first one because the levels were challenging but enjoyable, whereas a lot of the levels in the later entries were quite tedious. Plus, the last area is Area 51! I also picked this due to the memories I have of my Dad playing and nearly completing the game.
1. Crash Bandicoot (1996)
Anyone who knows me will know this was an obvious choice for my number 1. Is the first Crash Bandicoot difficult and unfair? Yes: the only way you could save the game was if you collected a gem or completed a bonus level. And the only way you could get a gem was if you collected every box in the level without dying. Despite its difficulties, this was the first Playstation game I ever got; my sister and I were given the console and Crash Bandicoot as a Christmas present from our parents and, from that point onwards, this was the game that I played, and still play, the most. Due to most of the levels being timing-based, I always found the game challenging and had fun trying to see how quickly I could get through each level. For some, Crash Bandicoot is frustrating. However, for me, it is challenging, fun and my favourite Playstation 1 game.