While Nintendo wasn't the first company to get into the "plug-and-play" game when they launched the hugely successful NES Classic two years ago, it definitely broke that concept through to the mainstream in a really big way. Since then, their NES and SNES Classics have been massive sellers for the company, and it was only a matter of time before other companies tried to get a piece of that very lucrative pie.
We've since seen similar products from SNK as well as Sega finally doing an official "Genesis Mini" more in line with what Nintendo is doing. But what has arguably been the most wanted non-Nintendo device to enter the world of classic console re-releases is Sony's original PlayStation—and a few weeks back, that was officially announced.
Not even bothering to come up with a different naming convention than Nintendo's, the PlayStation Classic is set to hit store shelves on December 3rd and will come loaded with 20 PS1 titles. So far, Sony has only confirmed five of those games—Tekken 3, Final Fantasy VII, Ridge Racer Type 4, Jumping Flash, and Wild Arms—and promises that the other 15 games will feature a selection of the system's best and most popular games. So we've decided to compile this wish list of what the remaining 15 games should be—and also include 15 games we don't think should be included. To be clear, the latter 15 isn't just going to be a list of bad PS1 games—there's no danger of Bubsy 3D being on the PS Classic—but instead, games that Sony might realistically want to include, but shouldn't, for reasons we will elaborate on.
30 Need: Metal Gear Solid
The concept of "games that are like movies" is taken for granted at this point, but there was a time when it was still a pretty novel concept to have a video game that looked, felt, and sounded like a Hollywood film.
Metal Gear Solid completely reshaped the video game industry when it was first released.
The graphics are a bit rough by today's standards, but you'd be surprised just how well the gameplay, story, voice acting, and cinematography of MGS holds up all these years later. Many PS Classic preorders will be cancelled if MGS isn't on it.
29 Don't Want: Resident Evil
Now before you start typing out your angry reply at our suggesting Resident Evil be left off the PS Classic, hear us out. RE is an undeniable classic and is a big part of many people's early PS1 memories.
But the GameCube remake basically made the original feel all but obsolete.
Coupled with that version's recent HD remaster, and the original vanilla RE just feels more unnecessary than ever. Best just leave this one to our rose-colored memories and play one of the newer versions elsewhere when we want to scratch that itchy tasty itch.
28 Need: Dino Crisis
We may say to leave out RE as well as the PS1's other big survival horror franchise—more on that later—but we concede that the genre should have some representation on the PS Classic as it was huge in the PS1 era.
This seems like the perfect excuse to revisit Capcom's forgotten horror series Dino Crisis. Maybe including Dino Crisis on the PS Classic will drum up enough interested for it that Capcom remasters it next after Onimusha. Some prefer DC's more action-heavy sequel, but we say the slower-paced, more traditional original is the way to go here.
27 Don't Want: Medal Of Honor
For some reason, first-person shooters just seem to age much worse than most franchises. Even early Xbox 360 Call of Duty games feel hard to play already compared to other types of games from that same time period.
Also, the PS Classic doesn't include a Dual Shock—so enjoying Medal of Honor on it would be almost impossible.
With those two factors in mind—and with all due respect to how amazing and groundbreaking this game was—Sony should probably pass on MoH for the PC Classic.
26 Need: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Realistically-speaking, getting the original music for a PS Classic version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is highly unlikely. And it isn't clear if Sony is willing to put in the work of removing the licensed music and replacing it with a generic soundtrack.
All that aside, though, it's hard to imagine a celebration of the PS1 library that doesn't include a THPS game. And going with part 2 is a no-brainer, as the introduction of the manual made the original almost impossible to go back to. Legal nightmare or not, make this happen, Sony!
25 Don't Want: Frogger
There was a time when we thought that classic games had to be given 3D makeovers in order to be palatable to modern audiences. That time spawned games like this reboot of Frogger, which was extremely popular at the time but just looks like an ugly mess now.
Thankfully, we're now perfectly okay just replaying old games as-is without an ugly face lift.
So if you want to play Frogger, just play the original on one of the many compilations it is available on. We don't need to relive this era of clunky 3D remakes of golden era arcade classics.
24 Need: Tomb Raider II
While Ms. Lara Croft was never a PlayStation-exclusive character, during the PS1 era she was still synonymous with the brand and was one of the console's unofficial mascots. Such was the Tomb Raider franchise's popularity in those days that there was a whopping five core entries in the series just on the PS1.
There is no question which TR game should represent the hit series on the PS Classic, however, and that's the second installment. It smooths out the rougher edges of the original—bye bye, save crystals—but hadn't yet lost its way like the later sequels.
23 Don't Want: Pandemonium
Legend has it that Sony pushed against 2D games on the PlayStation, which seems likely given its library. Developers that were interested in making 2D platformers came up with a compromise: 2D gameplay, but within 3D environments.
This came to be known as "2.5D," and was a pretty prolific game style on the PS1.
There were some great 2.5D games—Klonoa: Door to Phantomile being the best—and also some pretty mediocre ones, such as the clunky Pandemonium. Inexplicably, Pandemonium was a huge seller, so Sony might be tempted to put in on the PS Classic. Here's hoping they don't.
22 Need: Disruptor
We're going to break a few of the rules we establish elsewhere on this list with the inclusion of Disruptor, including going easy on FPSs because they don't age well and including games that are more "important" than good.
That isn't to say Disruptor is bad, but there are a lot of better games that could take this slot. But sometimes legacy is important, and the combination of being Insomniac's first game and also being an early FPS showpiece for the PS1 makes the case for Disruptor's inclusion here. And it was made specifically for an analog-free controller, which helps.
21 Don't Want: Battle Arena Toshinden
In the early days of the PS1, Sega's Saturn was still very much a legitimate threat. And one key thing that the Saturn had that the PS1 didn't was Virtua Fighter.
PS1 owners eventually got the Tekken series and all was right with their worlds, but in the meantime, they had to settle for the completely lackluster Battle Arena Toshinden. People have fond memories of this game, but it was mostly just the buzz of a new system and a fancy-looking 3D fighter to play on it that made them think it was a better game than it actually was.
20 Need: MediEvil II
Sony had so many great first-party franchises on the PS1 that, for one reason or another, they let languish in the jump to PS2 and beyond—such as MediEvil, the quirky Tim Burton-esque action series that saw two awesome entries on the PS1.
To be fair, the original MediEvil is the more beloved game—but the sequel is in greater need of revisiting.
The original MediEvil got a reimagining on the PSP and will soon have a 4K remaster on the PS4, so we feel that the PS Classic should have the series represented by the underappreciated sequel.
19 Don't Want: Time Crisis
We tried to mostly come up with our own list and not let other lists inform our opinion, but we couldn't help but respond to one particular game that we've seen more than one person wish would be included on the PS Classic.
Look, we love Time Crisis. It's one of the all-time great light gun games and deserves mention among the PS1's best games period. But it is extremely unlikely that Sony makes a light gun peripheral for the PS Classic, and that means having to play Time Crisis with a d-pad and a targeting reticle. No thanks.
18 Need: Legend Of Dragoon
The PS1 definitely became the go-to system for JRPG fans in the late-90s, mostly thanks to great third-party offerings like Final Fantasy VII, Suikoden II, and Star Ocean: The Second Story.
Sony themselves also added a classic to that stellar RPG lineup by way of Legend of Dragoon.
While well-received and a huge seller, Sony never made a sequel to Dragoon for some reason—but they can at least make things right by giving the original a much-deserved spot on the PS Classic. It would make for a more interesting, PlayStation-specific choice than just throwing another Final Fantasy on there.
17 Don't Want: Driver
We tried not to go too deeply down the rabbit hole of calling out PS1 games that haven't aged well, as it's all a matter of opinion how playable an old game is or isn't by today's standards.
That said, some PS1 games have aged much worse than others, and are better left to our warm fuzzy nostalgia rather than trying to revisit them. Driver is an undeniable classic, but it's one of those games that is better not to taint by trying to view it through a harsh modern lens. Plus, nobody wants to do that driving test again...ever.
16 Need: Twisted Metal 2
Up until recently, Twisted Metal was one of the PlayStation brand's marquee titles, with each PlayStation console either launching with a TM game and/or having a TM game be counted among its best games.
It seems that all ended with the disappointing PS3 Twisted Metal reboot and the franchise's subsequent indefinite hiatus.
Twisted Metal: Black remains the series' high point, but a close runner-up is Twisted Metal 2, whose spot on the PS Classic should be all but guaranteed. If it doesn't come with a second controller, TM2 alone will sell a lot of extra pads.
15 Don't Want: Mortal Kombat Trilogy
The Mortal Kombat series was in a weird spot as it entered the latter part of the 90s, struggling to make the transition to 3D and trying to stretch its already-tired 2D formula well past the point of relevance.
MK never had a great presence on the PS1, and MK Trilogy is one of the reasons why.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 already felt like more of the same, so to take that foundation and shoehorn in a bunch of unbalanced characters from MK1 and MK2 was a recipe for disappointment. This era of MK is just best forgotten altogether.
14 Need: Parappa The Rapper
In the humble opinion of the writer of this list, Um Jammer Lammy is actually a better overall game than Parappa the Rapper. But Parappa is still great of course, and with it being unlikely Sony includes both games—though they should—the obvious choice is to go with the original.
Parappa the Rapper is a perfect example of the kind of weirdness that existed on the PS1 the likes of which we sadly see far too little of in AAA gaming anymore.
Parappa's inclusion on the PS Classic should be a g-g-given.
13 Don't Want: Spider-Man
Licensed games don't usually show up on these types of systems, but Spider-Man doesn't seem completely out of the question given Sony's current use of the license and the recent release of the acclaimed, record-breaking Spider-Man PS4 game.
Yes, Spider-Man for PS1 was great, and was one of the best comic book games at a time when comic book games weren't at their best. But it's also very of-its-time, and its various issues—bad camera, lack of open-world exploration, etc—are tough to overlook today. And PS4's Spider-Man would only make it look that much worse by comparison.
12 Need: Crash Bandicoot: Warped
When Crash Bandicoot games first started showing up on Xbox and GameCube, it was jarring, as we spent the PS1 generation assuming the series was a first-party PlayStation property.
But Sony never actually owned Crash, despite him being positioned as the PS1's answer to Mario.
Still, Crash was synonymous with the PS1, and Sony needs to pay whatever needs to be paid in order to get a Crash game on the PS1 Classic. Any entry would be nice, but if forced to pick one, Warped is the best and most mechanically varied of the original trilogy.
11 Don't Want: Syphon Filter
Syphon Filter was always a weird series, feeling like Sony's answer to Metal Gear Solid—which didn't make much sense since they already had Metal Gear Solid. Nevertheless, the series was popular enough to spawn a trilogy on the PS1 and subsequent entries on PS2 and PSP.
They should only bother with Syphon Filter on the PS Classic if they can't get MGS for some reason. Otherwise, there isn't much point in including a decent—but vastly inferior—also-ran. Plus, the PSP Syphon Filter games were so much better and made the originals look that much worse in retrospect.
10 Need: Hot Shots Golf 2
Consoles like this don't include sports titles like Madden for obvious reasons, but that doesn't mean that sports games in general are out. Nintendo, for instance, likes to include some of their own in-house, non-licensed sports classics like Ice Hockey in their compilations, and Sony should do the same with Hot Shots Golf/Everybody's Golf.
The second Hot Shots Golf game—the first developed by Clap Hanz, who has largely handled the series since—was the best of the PS1 installments and remains one of the funnest golf games of all time. It would fit nicely on the PS Classic.
9 Don't Want: Silent Hill
Here is that other survival horror game we alluded to earlier in the list that should be left off of the PS Classic's lineup. Again, we tried to go easy on just keeping games off for having aged poorly, but it's a relevant issue when it comes to horror games.
There is also the matter of Silent Hill 2 being a masterpiece and making the original that much harder to revisit.
Surely there is a reason why Silent Hill was left off of the series' HD collection—and that's the same reason it shouldn't be on the PS Classic. An extremely important, groundbreaking game...but one best-enjoyed in 1999.
8 Need: Intelligent Qube
Some PS1 games have gotten pretty pricey in the second-hand market, generally the result of games that didn't have a particularly large print run and have also yet to be made available via PSN or some other means.
Intelligent Qube remains highly sought-after among PS1 collectors for those reasons, but not just because of its value—it's also a great puzzle game that doesn't deserve to be such a rare commodity. It would be a huge get to have this on the PS Classic, and a lot of collectors would buy one for that reason alone.
7 Don't Want: Croc: Legend Of The Gobbos
If you were a PS1-owning platform fan who claimed you weren't jealous of Super Mario 64, you were just in denial. Luckily, Argonaut Games—co-developers of Star Fox—brought a 3D platformer to the PS1 that was meant to be a 3D Yoshi game before Nintendo turned them down.
Croc definitely looked impressive and was a great early 3D showpiece for the PS1.
But as a game, it was fairly generic and wouldn't have been given a second look had it not been released to a group of gamers hungry for a better game they couldn't have.
6 Need: Spyro: Year Of The Dragon
As with Crash Bandicoot, we spent years thinking that Spyro the Dragon was a "PlayStation franchise" until it wasn't. Unfortunately, the Spyro games also never got quite the attention that the Crash games did, despite being every bit as good—if not better.
It might seem redundant to release a vanilla Spyro game on the PS Classic to coincide with the release of the shiny new HD remasters, but like with Crash, the series is so intertwined with the PS1's legacy that it deserves inclusion. And Year of the Dragon is definitely the game that speaks best for the series.
5 Don't Want: Warhawk
Before they found their niche with the Twisted Metal series, now-defunct developer SingleTrac—many of whom went on to form the also now-defunct Incognito Entertainment—made this early PS1 air combat game.
Warhawk's visuals and freedom of 3D movement impressed at the time, but the game itself was largely forgettable.
A flight game wouldn't be the worst thing to include on the PS Classic, but Sony should pay up the extra cash for a third-party entry like Ace Combat, Colony Wars, or G-Police and leave this one in obscurity where it belongs.
4 Need: Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus
If there is any proof that gamers sometimes have terrible taste, it's the fact that the Oddworld series had to basically be retired because the games weren't selling well enough. That the excellent Stranger's Wrath didn't sell the millions it deserved to is a huge bummer.
As far as the series' PS1 entries go, Abe's Oddysee is the better game overall, mainly because Abe'x Exoddus lost its way a bit with over-complicating the voice commands and having too many action setpieces. But Oddysee got a fancy HD remake and Exoddus didn't. Either would be great for the PS Classic, though.
3 Don't Want: Jet Moto
Another of developer SingleTrac's contributions to the PS1's libary—and also its success—is the Jet Moto series of racing games that combine jet skies with hoverboards...or something like that.
The Jet Moto games felt fresh and fun at the time, but there is a reason why the series didn't survive beyond the PS1—it had not only run its course, but we all realized that the games just weren't particularly good once we had better racing games to choose from. For a non-car racing game for the PS Classic, Sled Storm would be the better choice.
2 Need: Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night
There are some games that simply must be included on the PS Classic. It shouldn't even be an option for Sony to put the thing out otherwise. And one such game, probably the game of that type, is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
Arguably no other game in the PS1's library is every bit as fun and playable today as it was when it was released as SotN, which remains one of the benchmarks to which all other 2D video games are compared. It's been re-released a hundred different ways, but version #101 had better be the PS Classic version.
1 Don't Want: 2xtreme
We got a little worried when Sony said that the remaining 15 unannounced PS Classic games will encompass some of the system's most popular games, because companies typically measure "popularity" strictly by sales numbers.
To that end, 2Xtreme was Xtremely popular as it sold a baffling amount of copies in its day.
But much of that was in a pre-THPS world where we didn't know better. Hopefully Sony realizes this and doesn't think there is any nostalgia for what might be the worst million-selling game on the PS1.