Sony’s PlayStation has been one of the most successful and iconic console franchises in gaming history. From the industry revolutionizing PS1, the best selling PS2, the media-redefining PS3, handheld powerhouses and all the way up to the PS4 (their current-gen juggernaut), PlayStation has been at the forefront of the industry with every piece of hardware they release.
But it’s not the console designs and state of the art processing power that have defined PlayStation’s greatness. It’s the software, PlayStation’s extensive four-generation long back catalog, that has ensured its legacy and greatness. Spanning every conceivable genre, there are countless quality games of all types for all players, giving it an accessibility and a reputation for quality that is well earned. PlayStation exclusives alone would warrant these qualities, which include the Uncharted series, Gran Turismo, The Last of Us, the team Ico games, Crash Bandicoot, God of War, Tekken, and Bloodborne, to name only a few (and to to mention once-exclusive mega franchises like Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, and Resident Evil).
However, while most high quality or classic games receive the critical and fan acclaim the usually deserve, sometimes there can be inconsistencies. From time to time, exceptional titles can get lost in the shuffle or forgotten in history, while games that are not of the same standard get lauded due to hype and promotion. In this list, we are going to look at 15 forgotten gems as well as 15 games that just aren’t as good as they’ve been made out to be. In OUR OPINION, of course…
30 Overrated: Resident Evil (PS1)
Okay, so the impact that the first entry in the survival horror had on the industry is undeniable. In many ways, this game helped popularized the genre, which has spawned its fair share of classic titles.
That doesn’t change the fact that as a game, mechanically, its just not that amazing.
The second game in the series was better on all fronts, showing what this title could’ve been with better game design and production. That said, if you want to see the potential of this game fulfilled, check out the exceptional REmake version.
29 Revisit: Resident Evil 2 (PS1)
Speak of the devil, the second Resident Evil game is among the best in the series. The first is lauded for pioneering the genre, the fourth is heralded as the best in the series, and the latest is seen as a triumphant return to form. Because of this multi-generational roller coaster of dizzying highs and depressing lows, this game often gets forgotten. However, it is well worth revisiting: its eerie soundtrack, tense atmosphere, and fantastic pacing make it one of the must-play titles on the console… if you have the courage!
28 Overrated: God Of War (PS2)
This, the original title in the series, spawned one of the most iconic characters in gaming Kratos, the Greek God of destruction. It was very well received by critics and fans alike, who dug the quick hack-n-slash gameplay. The main issue is that there isn’t much depth here outside of the chaotic combat. The series grew in terms of narrative depth as it wore on, making it more compelling. And now with the release of the acclaimed God of War on PS4, there are less and less reasons to revisit the original.
27 Revisit: Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Originally shrouded in controversy due to the shift from the traditional turn-based RPG style of combat to real-time fighting, this initial negativity helped derail the hype train of this entry in the famed series.
This meant that it didn’t make as much of an impact as other entries in the franchise.
Which is a shame, because it is a great RPG with a terrific story, quality gameplay, and tremendous depth. Its recent remaster on PS4 means that hindsight has been kind to FFXII, and you’d do well to check it out!
26 Overrated: Journey (PS3)
The darling of the indie/art gaming crowd, upon its release Journey wowed gamers with its pretty graphics, haunting score, and melancholy atmosphere. The only problem is, nothing really happens. We understand that it’s supposed to be a metaphor for life, and that’s all very clever, but clocking in at just a few short hours with practically no gameplay progression it all feels, well, a little cheap. Psuedo-intellectual video game journalists and hipsters were supposed to love this game, and like well-trained poodles, they did just that.
25 Revisit: Ico (PS2)
With every subsequent release, Team Ico gathers more and more momentum. The recent remake of Shadow of the Colossus and then the PS4 exclusive The Last Guardian before that have garnered a mainstream recognition the studio could’ve only dreamed of when the released the original Colossus and Ico before that. Want to see the origins of the developer and its unique approach to video game creation? Get your hands on a copy of this criminally underrated PS2 gem.
24 Overrated: Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
Not unlike the original Resident Evil, GTA III helped mold the 3D sandbox genre, bringing it into the mainstream while simultaneously launching a video gaming dynasty.
The only problem is, like many firsts in art, it just doesn’t stand up to the more polished reiterations of the formula.
With a poor soundtrack, poor aiming mechanics, and ridiculous difficulty spikes, there is no real justifiable reason for any gamer with a PS2 or PS Plus account to replay this game over the superior Vice City or San Andreas.
23 Revisit: Vagrant Story (PS1)
Developed by Square of Final Fantasy fame, this is yet another underrated RPG that flew in the face of convention. Rather than follow traditional JRPG turn-based gameplay traditions, this title opted for a more action-heavy aesthetic, focusing more on weapon customization and combat in what plays like a precursor to the Fallout games. If you factor in the great story and decent graphics, you have an early PlayStation title that you may have never heard of but really should give a go.
22 Overrated: Ratchet & Clank (PS2)
One (well, technically two) of the darlings of the PlayStation pantheon, Ratchet & Clank emerged onto the scene with the launch of the PS2 at an opportune time. The last console’s powerhouses of platforming, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, were floundering, quickly going from acclaim to abysmal to non-existent in less than a generation, leaving a vacuum in the genre. It’s not that Ratchet & Clank is a bad game, it’s just that compared to clever and addictive titles like Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, it fails to wow in the same way.
21 Revisit: Black (PS2)
I think it’s fair to say that the state-of-the-art console first-person shooter didn’t really hit its stride as a genre until the PS3 and the seventh generation of consoles.
So, in many ways, Black was ahead of its time.
There were other great shooters on this console, but none had the same sheen and weight as Black. The graphics were borderline next-gen, and guns like the assault shotgun felt as terrifyingly powerful to fire as the exceptional sound effects suggest.
20 Overrated: Jak & Daxter (PS2)
Another celebrated platforming duo that lives in the hearts of PlayStation fans, Jak & Daxter began life on the PS2 to help fill that aforementioned platforming void. And in many ways, it is similar to Ratchet & Clank. The main difference here is that the characters are darker and the color palette is darker too: lots of browns and greys, perfect for a platforming game. Not really? Yeah, we concur. Similarly to R&C, this is not a bad game, it’s just doesn’t shine in a crowded back catalog.
19 Revisit: WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain (PS2)
Often considered one of the best wrestling games ever made, HCTP is often overshadowed by its Nintendo 64 cousin, the classic WWF No Mercy. Conversely, the last few years of lackluster WWE releases means that many people have forgotten about this game, while younger gamers unfamiliar with the roster would have no interest in it. Which is a shame, because with solid controls, a litany of classic wrestlers, and customization options, and probably the best story mode in a WWE game period, you wouldn’t regret stepping back in the ring and grappling with HCTP.
18 Overrated: Portal 2 (PS3)
When the first Portal was packaged with The Orange Box in 2007, it was a standout game in a collection of fantastic games.
The unique puzzle title with original gameplay, great pacing, and a sharp wit was a short, enjoyable blast.
When Portal 2 was released, reviews were uniformly ecstatic as everything that made the first game great returned in a longer campaign. Like the second BioShock game, though, the impact of returning to the world is diminished the second time around. Similarly, the lengthier campaign loses steam the longer it goes on.
17 Worth Revisiting: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 (PS2)
Another game series that has had its reputation all but destroyed by a slew of terrible games, but there was a time when the Tony Hawk franchise was one of the best in video gaming. The addictive arcade gameplay, great graphics, and a fantastic, eclectic soundtrack ensured critical and fan acclaim. With the first two PS1 titles celebrated for creating and popularizing the games and the later titles blamed for destroying them, THPS3 often gets overlooked. But with the inclusion of the revert and amazing level design, it is arguably the best in the series.
16 Overrated: LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
The unfortunately named Sack Boy became the unofficial mascot for the PS3. However, unlike Crash’s tenure as the face of Sony’s first console, he had little of the impact or charm of his animal friend. The same could be said about LittleBigPlanet as a game. As great of a concept as it is (an elaborate creation system which allows players to create their own platforming levels), the execution was tedious, convoluted, and LONG! The story mode wasn’t outstanding either.
15 Worth Revisiting: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey Of The Cursed King (PS2)
One of the finest JRPGs on the PS2. The gorgeous cell-shaded graphics, dramatic musical score, and whimsy of Journey Of The Cursed King is irresistibly charming for those with the patience to stick with it.
Undoubtedly challenging and definitely strange for those unfamiliar with the Eastern style of gaming, those who undertake the journey through this game are rewarded with a long, beautiful game which is as much fun to complete as it is to explore and behold.
14 Overrated: BioShock Infinite (PS3)
Heralded as the return to the top table for Irrational Games best series, Infinite charmed players (and reviewers even more so) with its dramatic and political storytelling (especially the ending) and the beautiful sky world of Columbia. The fact that this game is often considered better than the original BioShock would warrant its entry here alone. But for us, it’s the repetitive gameplay, rehashed tropes, and storyline and ending which is filled with plot holes and not nearly as clever as Ken Levine would like you to believe that really seals its fate here.
13 Revisit: Bully (PS2)
With Rockstar goliaths like GTA and Red Dead hogging the spotlight, the rest of the developer’s titles often receives less praise as a result. Bully is a prime example of this. Released in 2006, this school-sim was a more light-hearted version of the GTA sandbox action genre. Although criticized for its depiction of bullying in the media, it actually told a somewhat morally righteous story of the follies of people who abuse others. Add to this some great gameplay, characters, and a wonderful score, and you’ve one of Rockstar’s finest releases.
12 Overrated: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
Often considered one of the best games on the PS3 and the best in the series, Uncharted 2 took the parkour, cliff-scaling gameplay, and action flick heroics of the first game and upped the scale and set pieces dramatically.
And while it is without question a great game, its reputation as being a step above its predecessor and subsequent sequels is unwarranted.
With the exception of perhaps the third game and the Vita spin-off, any of the other Uncharted games would be just as worthy of the title as best in the series.
11 Revisit: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
The game that began the acclaimed series, the original Uncharted is overshadowed by its sequels. However, this is unfair, as it does many things better than the other titles. While those games have a tendency to globe hop throughout their campaigns, Drake’s Fortune did less of this, keeping you in one location for longer, giving it a pacing and sense of exploration unmatched by subsequent releases. And while later games attempted to explore the “darker side of Nathan Drake” (something counter-intuitive to his character), Fortune kept it light, fun, and, subsequently, more natural.
10 Overrated: Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2)
Ranked among one of the best multiplayer racers of all time, and one of the best racing games ever, there is no question that Burnout 3 is one heck of a driving game. Our main issue with this title is that the whole thing is essentially built around a gimmick. While deliberately making your friends crash for maximum carnage is a lot of fun, it just doesn’t ensure that much longevity. Great for a romp with friends (and an excuse to dust off the multi-tab), but not much else.
9 Revisit: Soul Calibur II (PS2)
While fighting games held their own as one of the premiere genres in gaming up until the 5th generation, by the release of the PS2 the market became saturated with new genres as the technology facilitates more complicated, elaborate games.
However, amidst the drought, Soul Calibur II emerged wielding a katana, offering players a unique and perfectly balanced weapons-based fighter.
With a deep move set, challenging difficulty, and addictive story mode, this beat-em-up showcased its value and lifespan to players even outside of local multiplayer. Which, incidentally, is also fantastic.
8 Overrated: Killzone (PS2)
Hyped as PlayStation’s answer to Halo, Killzone is the kind of game which hindsight has not been too kind to. Bland graphics, bland gameplay, and an uninspired story, Killzone was a paint it by numbers shooter which sold more copies based on its box art and Halo-esque aesthetic than on its gameplay mechanics. While the admittedly functional shooter and its sequels have all received uniformly positive reviews, there’s just nothing special or particularly interesting about these first-person shooters.
7 Revisit: TimeSplitters 2 (PS2)
Now, if you’re looking for a special and interesting shooter, look no further than this underrated jewel from Sony’s best selling console. Made by the same people who developed GoldenEye, this is an FPS with a very similar feel. Benefiting from an improved next-gen engine, it inherited the exceptional gunplay from its older cousin, becoming arguably the greatest multiplayer title on the console, regardless of genre. Never really receiving the publicity it deserved, its unique graphical style, sense of humor, and time-skipping campaign, mean this is worth another round.
6 Overrated: Devil May Cry (PS2)
Becoming one of the most recognizable faces of the sixth generation, and something of an emo icon.
Dante charmed gamers with his pistol-wielding antics, demon slaying prowess, and slick costume design.
However, much like Kratos and the God of War series, there just wasn’t that much depth here (at least in the franchise's infancy), meaning gamers sank their teeth into something that was actually rather hollow. Not bad enough to warrant any real ire, but hardly good enough to help define Sony’s top console.
5 Revisit: Okami (PS2)
Created to be Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, Okami delivered where Killzone did not in delivering an outstanding product. That being said, where Zelda went on to be only second to Mario in defining the Nintendo brand, Okami drifted into obscurity, underselling in spite of repeated re-released and remasters. The reason for this is down to Okami’s trippy art style, paintbrush gameplay aesthetic, and an extremely slow start. In a way, it had everything going against it, but if you’re looking for something different (and great), try it!
4 Overrated: Grand Theft Auto V (PS3)
The darling of two generations, GTA V smashed sales records in gaming and media in general, becoming nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon that still sells consistently five years after its release thanks to the endless appeal and revenue of its online multiplayer. The only problem is, the main story just isn’t that good. The ability to shift between three protagonists, shiny graphics, and outstanding voice-acting aside, the story is convoluted and badly paced, the humor is duller than previous entries and a lot of the missions just aren’t that amazing. Blasphemy, I know…
3 Revisit: Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3)
Considered by many to be the black sheep of the GTA family, GTA IV ramped up the realism, toned down the silliness and delivered a melancholy story dealing with redemption, betrayal, and the inner struggle of man.
But no, you wanted jetpacks and parachutes and wacky characters!
Tell you what, now that you’ve grown up a bit, why not revisit Liberty City so you can play out an adult story in a realistic city surrounded by a genuinely funny cast of characters in a perfectly paced, immersive gaming experience? Just a thought, children.
2 Overrated: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4)
Find me another title which has been critically lauded with perfect scores and claims of “masterpiece” and “best in the series” which is widely considered by true fans of the series to be among the worst, if not the worst, in the series. You can’t, and that, in a nutshell, is why this game is perhaps the most overrated in history. Excellent gameplay made redundant by repetitive environments, missions, a lack of boss battles or pacing, and an abysmal story for a series famous for its storytelling. Literally destroyed the series.
1 Revisit: The Orange Box (PS3)
Earlier in this list, we talked about Portal 2 being a great but unnecessarily long game. This is where you’ll find the original shorter, better game. You’ll also find revolutionary classic FPS title Half-Life 2, as well as its accompanying episodes one and two alongside the fun, quirky, but strategic online FPS lunacy known as Team Fortress. Yes, you will find all of these exceptional games on this: the single greatest video game compilation, released on the PS3 at a bargain price. You’d be a fool not to pick it up!