It has been nearly two years since Sony unveiled its PlayStation Now (PS Now) service. Since then, speculation has run rampant:
- What could this mean for the PlayStation 4?
- How will this affect Sony going forward?
- Does this mean players will have access to an ever-growing backlog of PlayStation games?
It is still too early to accurately predict the ramifications PS Now could have on the PS4 and Sony at large. Even so, it is impossible to not think about the advantages a service like PS Now could offer players that long to revisit the past. Especially for players that have fond memories of playing their original PlayStation for days on end, PS Now – a service that could digitally catalog the entire history of the PlayStation brand – could be the answer retro fans have been waiting for. Which PS1 games deserve to grace PS Now from day one? Let’s find out!
Note: This list is strictly the opinion of the author. If you believe a game should be added to this list, let us know in the comments below.
The sequel to one of the greatest roleplaying games of all time (Chrono Trigger), Chrono Cross was originally lambasted for not holding up to the perfection that was the original – but that’s okay. Players that have experienced Chrono Cross ‘for what it is’ have found that despite a few problems – most notably the massive amount of useless, playable characters – Chrono Cross is still one of the greatest RPGs of the PlayStation era; just be sure to go into it without any preconceived notions.
Driver: You Are The Wheelman
Looking back, Driver: You Are The Wheelman was ahead of its time. Giving us a taste of the open-world mayhem that Grand Theft Auto III would deliver in the next console generation, Driver made you feel like an undercover bad ass that could evade the law with the whip of your steering wheel. Although Reflections Interactive could have made the police more forgiving (Really? One small tap to your vehicle and you want to destroy my vehicle?), that merely added to the inevitable (and epic) chase scenes throughout the game. Nearly 16 years later, the game is still a blast to play.
Spyro the Dragon/Crash Bandicoot
With Spyro current spending all of his time in the Skylander franchise and Naughty Dog recently stating they have no plans for a next-gen Crash Bandicoot title, it is all the more reason to revisit these classic franchises. There really isn’t anything that needs to be said that countless players haven’t already said about them: they represent the best platforming action that the PlayStation 1 has to offer.
Metal Gear Solid
The game that transitioned the Metal Gear franchise from a forgotten NES series into a AAA juggernaut, the effect that Metal Gear Solid had on the entire industry cannot be understated. It practically introduced the stealth genre to a new generation while proving that video games can be as cinematic as Hollywood films. It doesn’t hurt that Metal Gear Solid also has a memorable cast, stellar gameplay that is still unmatched in the genre, and a protagonist that may just be one of the most beloved characters of all time: Solid Snake.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
By 1997, the Castlevania franchise was seemingly stuck in the past and unable to progress forward. The tired level-by-level platforming tropes left players wanting more, so Konami did something risky: they kept the same 2D perspective that made Castlevania great while incorporating an open-ended style of gameplay (similar to the Metroid titles) and RPG elements. The result? Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It’s the game that rejuvenated the entire Castlevania franchise and set the course for what the franchise would become as years went on. It has been close to 20 years since Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was released, yet it is still awesome: a true testament to a remarkable game.
Resident Evil 2
Before 1998, nobody had a clue that the Resident Evil franchise would become such a hit for Capcom. Sure, the original Resident Evil was well received, but where could the franchise go from there? The answer was Resident Evil 2: a game that took the positives of the original, expanded it to encompass much of Raccoon City, and added a new cast of characters that made the original pale in comparison. While it is arguably not the greatest Resident Evil game of all time (that title goes to Resident Evil 4), no other Resident Evil titles could match the greatness that was RE2.
Whereas the Resident Evil series will scare the pants off of you via dogs jumping through windows or fiery zombies chasing/screaming after you, Silent Hill preferred to scare players more subtly. Set in the fictional American town of Silent Hill, players take the role of an ordinary man named Harry Mason as he tries to find his daughter. Along the way, he stumbles across a cult trying to revise a powerful entity they worship, thus causing Mason to discover the origins of his daughter. Just thinking about the plot makes me shiver! If you are a fan of psychological horror, Silent Hill is the benchmark of the PS1.
Final Fantasy Tactics
Admit it: you expected me to list at least Final Fantasy VII, VIII, or IX. That would have been too easy – but a Final Fantasy game does indeed need to grace this list. Enter Final Fantasy Tactics: one of the most refreshing entries in the entire Final Fantasy series. A strategy RPG (SRPG) that has more in common with the Fire Emblem series than traditional Final Fantasy games, there’s a reason so many people herald Final Fantasy Tactics as one of the best RPGs of all time. Whether you love strategy games or want an RPG with a twist, Final Fantasy Tactics will satisfy.
Fun fact: Ape Escape was the first game to make the DualShock controller mandatory. Released in 1999, Ape Escape tasked players with catching hiding apes in each level. It sounds simple enough, yet SCE Japan managed to make every level field new and exciting. It’s one of the reasons why Ape Escape was often compared to another popular platformer of the era: Super Mario 64. PS Now would be a perfect opportunity to introduce this phenomenal game to a completely new generation.
You have probably never heard of Snatcher, but you have undoubtedly felt its influences. Originally released in 1988 and re-released for nearly a decade, Snatcher has only been released once outside of Japan (gracing the Sega CD in North American and Europe at the end of 1994). It was ported to the PlayStation in 1996 and featured the same updates and voiceovers of the Sega CD versions, and in my opinion, it’s time that this cyberpunk epic makes its way to PS Now. One of the greatest adventure games ever created, it must be played to be appreciated.
Oh, and another thing: it was created by Hideo Kojima, and your assistant is actually a Metal Gear. If that doesn’t confirm that Snatcher needs to be on the PS Now, nothing will.
Do you agree with the list? Are there any entries that you would replace with another game? Let us know in the comments below!
Dusty has interviewed some of the brightest minds in the video game industry at E3, written for Lifehacker, and much more. Dusty is also a passionate PS4 gamer who has a BA in journalism.