The PlayStation consoles are known for having some of the most well-known exclusive titles, and some of the most iconic characters in the gaming industry. Sly Cooper, Crash Bandicoot, and Ratchet and Clank, to name a few, have changed the way game mechanics are chosen for future titles. PlayStation titles are so iconic that they were able to create a Smash Bros. type fighting gaming featuring an extensive cast of characters ranging over two decades. Long time gamers have watched as companies such as Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch have evolved from fledgling developers into staples of the gaming community.
This does not mean, however, that a PlayStation exclusive series cannot have some rotten titles every now and again. There have been some games published under PlayStation consoles that Sony would like you to forget. Whether it is a sequel that fails to capture the charm of the game that came before it, a mechanic that gets forced into the gameplay, or the worst case scenario, a series falls victim to the kart racing spin-off syndrome. Some of our favorite titles have fallen victim to horrendous sequels, but that does not mean you shouldn’t love the original games for what they are worth.
So sit back, read the list, and enjoy the fact that you haven’t been forced to play one of these awful successors to some of our favorite games. And if you enjoy this list or bad games in general, make sure to check out our list of the Twenty Worst Games for the PlayStation 1 here.
15 Final Fantasy X (Final Fantasy X-2)
The idea of taking Final Fantasy X, a great entry for the series released on the PlayStation 2, and giving it a sequel, was not something that many fans of the game thought necessary, especially when you know how the first game wrapped up. Final Fantasy X-2 was the first true sequel to another Final Fantasy title in the series.
Final Fantasy X-2 takes out most of the party members from the first game, and while the combat of the game is not too bad, the story seemed to take the original and flip it on its head. It takes place shortly after the first game, with the main character Yuna transforming from a humble summoner, into a sassy sphere hunter (I’m not lying about this). Most of the wonderful settings from the first game have been turned into tourist attractions, and with the lackluster storyline and dull characters, Final Fantasy X-2 just seems to make fun of itself.
14 Jak And Daxter (Jak-X)
A good example of the dreaded “kart racing spin-off syndrome,” Jax-X was the first title in the series to be released after the success of Jak 3. The Jak and Daxter series has always been known for the way it evolved game mechanics. The original title, from the early 2000s, was a testament to the quality of 3D platformers. Jak 2 added vehicles and weapons while sticking to the famous platforming style it was known for. And Jak 3 was a fantastic conclusion to the trilogy that features more guns and cars to the gameplay. How did Naughty Dog decide to improve upon the formula to make another game in the series even better? You guessed it: MORE CARS!
Jak-X, while sticking with the same characters and settings that fans came to love, does nothing to improve the series. It is a stale spin on the genre where players race generic car models on unoriginal tracks, without having any sort of charm that you will find in a Mario Kart title.
13 Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath Of Cortex)
Crash Bandicoot is the game series that put developer Naughty Dog on their feet. With the upcoming release of the remastered edition, the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy is at the forefront of our hearts once again as an adorable and equally challenging platforming series. After the release of Crash Bandicoot: Warped in 1998, Naughty Dog handed the torch over to Traveller’s Tales for making the next title in the series.
Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex saw release in 2001, and fell ill to a bad case of muted graphics. While the game stuck to the general Crash Bandicoot level formula, fans were not pleased with how bland the graphics were, as even the simplest of animations seeming dull and unpolished. While the introduction of Crush Bandicoot seemed cool at first, the fact that he is the boss battle for every section of the game felt like a tease, and may of the levels, therefore, felt undercut.
12 Ratchet And Clank (Ratchet And Clank: Full Frontal Assault)
Ratchet and Clank is known for its charm and humor across multiple titles. Nothing says fun like visiting alien planets, acquiring new gadgets, and bashing enemy soldiers until your heart's content. In 2012, Insomniac Games released a follow-up to the original game, trying to spin the formula into something new with Ratchet and Clank: Full Frontal Assault.
What we got, however, spin on the tower defense genre with this title. While the gameplay is smooth and responsive, it was an overall repetitive experience even for any fan of the series. Sure, you might be pleased that the hover boots make a comeback in this game, but the lengthy sessions of travel to get to the next wave of enemies just doesn't cut it in modern gaming. If you are looking for a good title in the series to play, you can look at just about any other in the series and be pleased with your experience.
11 Persona 4 (Persona Q: Shadows Of The Labyrinth)
After Persona 4 and before the release of Persona 5, fans of the Shin Megami Tensei were absolutely dying for the next installment of the Persona franchise. To appease that hunger for more, Atlus decided to produce something different, and gave the fans a spin-off title known as Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth.
Released in 2014 for the Nintendo 3DS, Persona Q was exactly that: fan appeasement. Combining both of the characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4, the title seemed to be little more than fan fiction and was not overly appealing to newcomers for the series. It did not feature the timed dungeons and emotionally driven plots that recent Persona games are known for, and the dungeons themselves felt unoriginal and repetitive in execution. Persona Q seems to be nothing more than a cheap excuse for chibi characters in a Persona game.
10 InFamous (InFamous Second Son)
The first and second Infamous titles showed off what Sucker Punch could do once they were done with the Sly Cooper series. Many of us have memories of going to our local department store, and seeing the live demo for the PlayStation 3, featuring a good amount of gameplay from the first Infamous.
When InFamous Second Son was first released for the PlayStation 4 in 2014, fans were eager to get into something new after SPOILER ALERT, Cole McGrath potentially died at the end of InFamous 2. However, with this sequel, fans of Cole McGrath were then met with a new face. Many players were taken aback by the new whiny teen, Delsin Rowe, acting as the protagonist. The gameplay of InFamous Second Son was true to the original, but was so centered on Delsin gaining an array of powers, that the game's map felt dryer than earlier titles. Moreover, many of the decision-making aspects were forgettable. This game was more of an overpriced DLC than anything.
9 Twisted Metal (Twisted Metal: Small Brawl)
So, you know how the Twisted Metal series is known for the city-destroying carnage that comes from the vehicular showdowns? You know how all the characters are crazy and insane in their own twisted way? You know how the grim overtones make this series a classic in arena fighting games?
Well, imagine a game that captures none of those things and still manages to have the name Twisted Metal in the title. Twisted Metal: Small Brawl was released in 2001 for the original PlayStation and features all of the classic staple characters, this time as “cute” remote controlled vehicles. Battles take place on a small scale, with some maps including playgrounds, mini-golf courses, and other arenas that nobody asked for. The gameplay is slow and dumbed down to the basics, so that even turbo makes you feel like you’re driving a beaten down car in a suburban area. No one asked for this game, and no one wants to remember it.
8 Ape Escape (Ape Escape: Pumped And Primed)
The original Ape Escape trilogy was a fun set of games that both children and adults could enjoy. Getting various gadgets throughout the game to chase down and capture the iconic helmeted monkeys brings many vivid memories to our hearts. The game play was something new and simple.
With Ape Escape: Pumped and Primed, (i’m still not sure after playing where the “pump” or the “prime” comes into place) players were left with none of the original trilogy’s charm. There was no level design centered around chasing and catching monkeys. There was no cute and punny humor to be found. Ape Escape: Pumped and Primed, released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, is nothing more than a cheap party game spin-off that refuses to have any gimmick attached to it other than to make subtle references to the game play of the original games. Play five minutes of this game, and you will be aching to catch monkeys rather than arty with them.
7 Dead Space Ignition
Dead Space is one of the most horrifying games in to come out recent years (and not horrifying in a bad way). Nothing says fear like walking down a dark corridor and waiting for an enemy to pop out of nowhere, leaving you to spray all of your ammo trying to make sure it does not get back up.
With the success of Dead Space, it's not hard to imagine why a series of spinoffs was commissioned. There was a rail shooter released for the Nintendo Wii in 2009 that, against all odds, proved not to be that bad of a game, and a smartphone app version of the original game was released in 2011. However, let us not forget the black sheep of the series, Dead Space Ignition, released for the Xbox Live Arcade in 2010. There is not much to say about this spinoff, other then it is not much more than hot garbage on a summer’s day. As stated before Dead Space is about guns and fear, and Dead Space Ignition doesn’t have much in the way of either of those things.
6 LittleBigPlanet (LittleBigPlanet Karting)
LittleBigPlanet was a platforming series that expressed to the gaming community how players could make interested levels with useful gaming mechanics, almost as well as any developer could. Two sequels came out of the original release, securing the adventurous little Sackboy as an iconic character to come from the PlayStation in the last decade.
It seemed as though there was nowhere left to go but up for the developers of the series. And then, the dreaded LittleBigPlanet Karting was released in 2012. The game is what you can expect from a mediocre racing game. However, LittleBigPlanet Karting expands on the mediocrity of the spinoff genre by keeping the ability for user created content in this racing game. The result of this user-based gameplay is a racing title that acts as nothing more than a cluster of bland content and confusing tracks and characters that serve no real purpose.
5 Disgaea (Prinny 2)
After the release of the original Disgaea in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, strategy combat RPGs have never been quite the same. Since the title's release, there have been an onslaught of sequels and spinoffs that, for the most part, stick to the rigid, level grinding structure of the original game. There is one sub-series however that has not stuck to this formula.
The Prinny series is one of those types of games where the gameplay is not that bad overall, but there is nothing really exciting or interesting to keep the player going. In the case of Prinny 2: Dawn of Operation Panties, the sort of crude humor that the prinnies are known for is the only thing that seems to drive the game. In the normal Disgaea games, this worked as a way to lighten the atmosphere around the main characters, but having this humor in large doses all the time lets the title fall short. Sorry Prinny, you are not the hero we wanted you to be.
4 Crash Team Racing (Any Other Crash Bandicoot Racing Games)
Alright, so even though for a lot of game series, a kart racing spin-off is the sign of a cheap, cash cow of a title, every once in awhile there is a racing title that surprises just about everyone. Crash Team Racing was one of these titles. It is your standard kart racing title but was released before every major series had its own kart racer.More to the point: Crash Team Racing was superb.In 2003, Crash Nitro Kart was the second installment in the Crash Bandicoot racing franchise. While it was a pretty milquetoast game, it was still at the very least playable. It tended to exchange charm and story for playable and an extensive character roster. Nobody thought that another racing title would come from the Crash Bandicoot series after this one, and then Crash Tag Team Racing was released in 2005, putting an end to any more Crash Bandicoot racing titles. That is all I will say about that atrocity.
3 Resistance (Resistance: Burning Skies)
With the release of Killzone and Resistance, the PlayStation consoles final had their fair share of first-person shooters. The controls of Resistance have always been responsive and lets the player feel as though they are in control. However, sometimes, moving a game from a home console to portable platform results in some of the playability being lost.
In the case of Resistance: Burning Skies, this was exactly the case. Released in 2012 for the PlayStation Vita, this title proved that even when the game works, a little bit of polish is needed if you want players to enjoy the overall experience. The game does not have much in the way of emotion or style, and the sounds have been claimed to be repetitive and dull in execution. The fact of the matter is that Resistance: Burning Skies does not possess enough individuality to flourish in a market dominated by so many FPS games.
2 PaRappa The Rapper (PaRappa The Rapper 2)
PaRappa The Rapper is special, as it is the story of a game that went from 'meh' to bad in the course of one game. PaRappa The Rapper was always known for its style above everything else. The characters in the game are quirky, but interesting in the sense that you want to continue playing the game.
However, when it comes to the sequel of the original title, not much was changed. Released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2, PaRappa The Rapper 2 was not as charming as the original game at release. Fans were devasted. Sorry PaRappa, but we are going to have to leave those sweet bars back in the turn of the century, because you are just not capturing our hearts with this one.
1 Devil May Cry (Devil May Cry 2)
What very well may be the biggest case of a sequel gone wrong, Devil May Cry 2 did just about everything wrong in trying to live up to the hype of the first game. The original Devil May Cry was like God of War before God of War was even a thing. It was tough but not discouraging, it had some haunting moments, and nothing felt better than blasting away demons with a shotgun you find right at the beginning of the game.
With Devil May Cry 2, I felt like I knew less and less about Dante as I progressed through the game. Having played the sequel, I'm still not sure I've found the plot locked inside. Unlike the original game, most of the boss battles in DMC2 were easy. The larger-than-life confrontations in the sequel took a long time to kill, but posed no challenge whatsoever. There is so much negativity I would love to express with this title, but I will leave it with this: If you are looking for a game in which you spend an hour shooting a helicopter with a pistol over and over and over and over again, than you can play this one. Otherwise, just go ahead and play Devil May Cry 3, because you are not missing anything by skipping over the second game.