Gamer Koala

The Best PlayStation 1 Games of All Time

The best PlayStation 1 games are easily among some of the best video games ever made. The PlayStation 1, sometimes abbreviated as PS, but more commonly known as PS1/PS One or PSX, was first introduced in Japan in 1994 and in North America in 1995.

What started as a CD-ROM attachment for Nintendo took a life of its own after Nintendo backed out of the partnership. The original PlayStation then revolutionized the gaming industry and became a cultural phenomenon.

With its iconic gray color and a vast library of games, the PS1 introduced us to incredible experiences that shaped the future of gaming. In this article, we’ll explore 10 of the best, each with unique gameplay, objectives, and lasting appeal.

10. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a side-scrolling action-adventure game that follows the journey of Alucard, a vampire hunter. Players explore Dracula’s castle, gain new abilities, and uncover its secrets. The objective is to defeat Dracula and save humanity.

With its non-linear gameplay, immersive world, and satisfying combat, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is hailed as a masterpiece and is not only one of the best PS1 games, but also one of the best games in the series.

9. Silent Hill

Silent Hill
Team Silent

Silent Hill is a psychological horror game that immerses players in the haunting town of Silent Hill. As Harry Mason, players navigate eerie environments, solve puzzles, and face grotesque creatures. The objective is to unravel the mystery surrounding Harry’s missing daughter.

With its atmospheric horror, psychological tension, and memorable sound design, Silent Hill delivered a chilling and unforgettable experience.

8. Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy 9

Final Fantasy IX is a captivating RPG set in the fantasy world of Gaia. Players embark on a grand adventure with diverse characters, engage in strategic battles, and uncover a deep and emotional storyline. The objective is to stop an evil queen from destroying the world.

The return to a more traditional medieval Final Fantasy style after the futuristic adventures of Final Fantasy VII and VII were welcomed by many fans.

With its beautifully crafted world, rich storytelling, and nostalgic charm, Final Fantasy IX resonated with fans and became a beloved entry in the series.

7. Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider
Core Design

Tomb Raider introduces us to the fearless archaeologist Lara Croft. Players navigate treacherous environments, solve puzzles, and battle enemies while uncovering ancient artifacts. The objective is to explore tombs and unravel secrets.

With its pioneering 3D exploration, thrilling action, and iconic protagonist, Tomb Raider established a new standard for adventure games.

6. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is a skateboarding game that allows players to perform tricks and complete objectives in various skate parks. The objective is to achieve high scores, unlock new levels, and showcase your skills.

With its intuitive controls, vast trick list, and hugely iconic soundtracks, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 became a favorite among skateboarding enthusiasts and gamers. Not only one of the top PS1 games, but also an iconic game all around.

5. Gran Turismo 2

Gran Turismo 2
Polyphony Digital

Gran Turismo 2 is a racing simulation game that offers an extensive selection of cars and tracks. Players compete in various races, upgrade their vehicles, and aim to become champions. The objective is to master the art of racing and build a collection of high-performance cars.

With its realistic physics, meticulous attention to detail, and addictive gameplay, Gran Turismo 2 set the standard for racing simulations on the PS1.

4. Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror game that plunges players into a zombie-infested Raccoon City. As Leon Kennedy or Claire Redfield, players must navigate eerie environments, solve puzzles, and fight off hordes of undead creatures. The objective is to uncover the truth behind the outbreak and escape the city.

With its atmospheric tension, cinematic presentation, and intense gameplay, Resident Evil 2 defined the survival horror genre.

3. Crash Bandicoot

Crash Bandicoot
Naughty Dog

Crash Bandicoot is a platforming game featuring the iconic marsupial, Crash. Players guide Crash through challenging levels, defeat enemies, and collect Wumpa fruits. The objective is to stop the evil Dr. Neo Cortex from taking over the world.

With its vibrant graphics, tight controls, and memorable characters, Crash Bandicoot became a mascot for the PlayStation brand and left a lasting impression on platforming games.

2. Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid is a stealth-action game introducing us to the legendary Solid Snake. Players navigate complex environments, avoid detection, and engage in tactical espionage missions. The objective is to stop a terrorist group from launching a nuclear strike.

With its gripping narrative, innovative gameplay mechanics, and cinematic presentation, Metal Gear Solid captivated players and set new standards for storytelling in gaming.

1. Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix

Not only the best PS1 game of all time, but probably the best Final Fantasy game of all time.

Final Fantasy VII is a groundbreaking role-playing game that follows the journey of Cloud Strife and his allies as they battle against the evil Sephiroth. Players explore a richly detailed world, engage in strategic turn-based combat, and unravel a fascinating story.

Final Fantasy VII’s memorable characters, stunning visuals, and emotional depth redefined the RPG genre and remains a beloved masterpiece.

While there is a remake series in progress, I can’t help but still recommend playing the original. You’ll get the complete story in one game rather than waiting for the new trilogy to be released. It will be interesting to compare the remake once it is finished, but I suspect I’ll still grab my Switch to play the old version, which is available on the eShop.