"What are the 25 best Playstation games?" Ask this in a circle of gaming friends and the debate could go on for hours. In 1995, Sony drastically changed the gaming landscape with the release of the PlayStation. While disc-based gaming consoles had already seen the light of day, none of them were very successful. Somehow, Sony was able to right the ship, and delivered a system that wasn't only impressive, but would become the home to some of the most cherished video games of the era. For more than a decade, the PlayStation pumped out hit after hit, creating one of the most diverse console libraries yet. Despite that, trying to determine the 25 Best PlayStation Games was easy. Even though everyone has their favorites, almost every player can agree these next two dozen-plus games belong in every collection.
One of the larger games to hit the PlayStation, Fear Effect's story spanned four discs. This was in large part due to the game's reliance on full-motion video backgrounds rather than rendered locations. Fear Effect also used a cel-shaded style, which gave the neo-noir a distinct look that recalled films like Blade Runner. There was a lot of trial-and-error play in Fear Effect, which tasked gamers with saving the kidnapped daughter of a businessman. The game also included loads of mythology, including a surprising reliance on demons to tell its story, but the narrative remained strong and true to its cyber-punk roots throughout. Have no fear gamer. This Eidos hit made it into our list of the 25 Best Playstation Games.
Strategy RPGs were all the rage during the PlayStation era, and few titles serve as a shining example of what was possible more than Suikoden 2. With more than 100 different playable characters, each with their own stories and abilities, there was almost no limit to how customizable you could make your six-person party when playing the game. There was an incredible amount of depth to the combat, including the ability to use leaders or just regular soldiers in the game's massive battles, and the new grid system made managing your forces more intuitive than ever. The systems at play in Suikoden 2 would go on to be improved in other titles over the years, but many gamers still have a soft spot for this gem.
Since Super Mario Bros. took the world by storm on the NES, side-scrolling platformers have been a part of every generation since. Numerous clones have tried to capture the essence of Mario's adventures, but few have come close enough to be considered contemporaries. Tomba! is one of those games. It's 3D rendered style and vibrant colors helped the game stand out, but what really gave Tomba! its own personality was the ability to shift planes within the game world. Filled with tons of mini-quests in addition to the regular game, Tomba! will always be remembered fondly by PSX owners who had the pleasure of entering the pink-haired protagonist's world.
Console puzzle games were few and far between back during the PlayStation's heyday, which helped Intelligent Qube stand out even more. The addictive nature of the game caused many a late night just trying to complete one more puzzle. IQ (see what they did there?), pushed your creative thought process to the limit in ways other games of the era didn't, and solving each and every puzzle resulted in a euphoric sense of accomplishment. Even though there wasn't a flashy presentation to hold the game together, or any real story to speak of, adding IQ to the 25 Best PlayStation Games was a no-brainer.
For the first time in the franchise's history, Mega Man made the jump from 2D to 3D, and the results were pretty spectacular. Mega Man Legends was designed by Keiji Inafune, the man who would later go on to give us the Onimusha and Dead Rising franchises. Mega Man Legends put players in the shoes of an all-new Mega Man, and as an action RPG, it played drastically different from the old-school side-scrolling adventures. The game invoked some similarities with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, as you had to explore dungeons one by one after exploring the overworld. Despite how far Legends strayed from the original formula, fans and critics still yearn for a return to this world from Capcom.
Syphon Filter may not be a household name now, but when it debuted on the PlayStation, it was one of the must-have games of its time. A third-person espionage shooter, Syphon Filter was a great new IP from Sony that provided action, intrigue, and further quenched the thirst of players hungry for a James Bond-esque experience. Numerous sequels spawned from this first game, but Sony has since let the franchise fade into obscurity. It's a shame too because games like Splinter Cell prove that there's an audience out there who enjoys this type of gameplay. Perhaps one day Syphon Filter will return. For now, we'll just have to make do with playing the original.
Before Naughty Dog was blowing people away with the PlayStation 3 exclusive Uncharted, or even the PlayStation 2's Jak and Daxter series, the developer cut its teeth on the Crash Bandicoot franchise. The third entry in the franchise, Warped, didn't deviate too much from the 3D platformer model established by the first few games. What makes Warped so unique was how the game took place immediately after Crash 2, and had players traveling back in time to the previous game to defeat Dr. Neo Cortex one more time. Warped did improve in just about every pertinent area (graphics, sound, etc.), over its predecessors, making it the best of the best when it came to Crash Bandicoot titles.
The PlayStation was better known for its polygonal 3D fighters, but Capcom proved there was still room for old-school sprites with Street Fighter Alpha 3. Hand-drawn fighting games aren't the norm anymore, but there was a time when 2D fighters were all the rage. With its multiple gauges to choose from, a plethora of play styles, and a beefed up roster, there was little bad to say about Alpha 3. The fact that players could finally match up Sakura and Guile certainly didn't hurt matters, and the wealth of variety kept fight fans coming back for more.
Back when Square Enix was still just plain ol' Squaresoft, the company produced a seemingly endless amount of quality role-playing games. While the developer is best known for its Final Fantasy series, the PlayStation was also home to a couple of well-regarded RPGs that didn't brandish a set of roman numerals. Vagrant Story differed pretty radically from what was expected of an RPG at the time. Instead of roaming the world to speak with NPCs in search of adventure, Vagrant Story was a dungeon crawler that put its emphasis on weapon creation and puzzle-solving. The game's difference helped set it apart, and is one of the reason's it's considered a member of our 25 Best PlayStation Games list.
Who's in the mood for a Jill sandwich? Resident Evil may have evolved beyond its simple roots over the years, but the first game helped launch an entire genre. In spite of some truly horrendous box art, Resident Evil Director's Cut was famous for two reasons. One, it came with a demo of the highly-anticipated Resident Evil 2. Two, every single aspect about the game was changed around to add a new twist to the now familiar game. Characters got new costumes and weapons, and a "Beginner" difficulty was also added for newbies who missed out on the original release. There was also supposed to be completely uncensored videos with all the blood and gore intact, but Capcom dropped the ball, leaving fans with the same censored footage from the first go 'round.