Sony’s entrance into the classic console party kicks off December 3 with the PlayStation Classic, a miniature PlayStation One for $100. The console comes with two wired controllers (not Dualshocks, so no analog sticks) and 20 pre-loaded games.
As of now, Sony has revealed five of the games: Final Fantasy VII, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, Wild Arms, and Jumping Flash. That’s a solid start, but it’s unclear when the studio will reveal the remaining 15. So, we here at Digital Trends decided to round out the list with 15 games we’d like to see on the PlayStation Classic.
‘Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’
More than 20 years later, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night remains the pinnacle of the franchise. You played as Alucard, the son of Dracula, on a quest through the castle to save humans from his own dad.
Symphony of the Night retained a similar aesthetic to earlier entries, but it overhauled the progression system. The non-linear layout of the castle encouraged exploration. The freedom of exploration combined with the deep weapons and loot systems turned the franchise into something of a sidescrolling RPG. The beautiful 2D sprites still hold up today.
This lengthy adventure is still as wonderful today as it was 21 years ago. It inspired countless games in the now commonplace Metroidvania genre. As arguably the greatest original PlayStation game of all time, Symphony of the Night absolutely deserves a spot on the PlayStation Classic.
‘Metal Gear Solid’
Hideo Kojima’s first Metal Gear Solid game launched in 1998 to critical acclaim. The stealth classic has had a major influence on the genre and kicked off one of the greatest action-stealth series of all time.
Metal Gear Solid sees special ops soldier Solid Snake on a journey to save the United States from a nuclear attack. In order to do so, he must sneak his way into a hideout filled with wayward soldiers. As one of the first examples of 3D stealth games, Metal Gear Solid offered a novel experience at the time. Filled with gripping writing, excellent stealth mechanics, and a certain charm reserved for Kojima games, Metal Gear Solid is one of the greatest PS1 games of all time.
While the lack of analog stick controls on the PlayStation Classic controllers would make the already cumbersome controls a bit worse, it’s a truly defining game that certainly deserves a spot in the collection.
‘Final Fantasy Tactics’
Final Fantasy Tactics may have the iconic namesake, but it’s radically different than any other Final Fantasy game on PlayStation. It replaces the open world exploration and small-party system found typically in Final Fantasy games and replaces it with grid-based, tactical matches and full armies.
Tactics has a dizzyingly in-depth jobs system and a whole slew of customization options for characters. Simply put, it’s one of the greatest strategy games of all time. To top it all off, Tactics tells a sterling tale in the world of Ivalice about both big picture ideas (war) and smaller scale dilemmas (strifes between families). Final Fantasy Tactics packs over 100 hours of rich gameplay and is really the only strategy game the PlayStation Classic needs.
‘The Legend of Dragoon’
The PlayStation One was filled with so many great JRPGs that it’s easy to forget about one of the best ones: The Legend of Dragoon. The high fantasy filled with dragons and perpetual war was one of the prettiest games on PlayStation. The 3D character models and cinematics popped, while the environments were varied and detailed.
Most importantly, the turn-based gameplay stood out for not fearing to be different. The turn-based mechanics also included a real-time sequence that tasked players with timing up attacks with button presses. For that reason, Legend of Dragoon was somewhat polarizing upon launch.
Legend of Dragoon has gained a cult following of sorts over the years, and the PlayStation Classic presents an ideal opportunity to introduce its magic to a wider audience.
While some viewed Syphon Filter as an imitation of Metal Gear Solid when it launched in 1999, it was much more than that. Set in 1999, you play as agent Gabriel Logan on a mission to Costa Rica to look into biological attacks committed by terrorists. Yes, the setup and some of its stealth gameplay is similar to Metal Gear Solid, but Syphon Filter also adopted a third-person action game persona.
The blend of stealth and action made for a diverse experience that could be experienced through multiple different play styles. Sure, the early 3D visuals will be a bit rough on the eyes, but Syphon Filter has been cast aside in recent years. Perhaps a spot on the PlayStation Classic could lead to a Syphon Filter comeback? We can only hope.
‘Crash Team Racing’
Sony’s answer to Mario Kart didn’t reach the heights of Nintendo’s charming series, but Crash Team Racing was still an excellent cart racer with a whole bunch of exciting content.
Developed by Naughty Dog, Crash Team Racing had a neat adventure mode, arcade modes, and even multiplayer battle modes. Though it would’ve been cool to have a “Sony Team Racing” that featured racers from other franchises, Crash Team Racing is one of the best multiplayer game choices for the PlayStation Classic.
‘Resident Evil 2’
One of the greatest survival horror games of all time, Resident Evil 2 is a direct sequel to the defining original that improves on it in every facet. Set in and around Raccoon City, the game centers on two protagonists: Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield.
Filled with jump scares, puzzles, and extremely disconcerting set pieces, Resident Evil 2 keeps you on your toes at all times by providing you with a precious little amount of ammunition to fend off the zombies.
Even though Resident Evil 2 is currently being remade by Capcom and will launch January 25, it should be on the PlayStation Classic. It also would be pretty cool to play Resident Evil 2 in its original form once again before moving onto the remake.
Suikoden II deserved so much better, which is why it’s the perfect candidate for the PlayStation Classic. The cult classic RPG received a limited run when it initially launched, meaning that not many people had the opportunity to experience this moving JRPG.
While it told a sterling tale of struggle between nations, Suikoden II also offered robust and diverse gameplay. Like traditional Final Fantasy games and Final Fantasy Tactics? How about sandwiching both of those gameplay and progression systems into one glorious game? That’s what Suikoden II accomplished with both traditional turn-based party combat and grid-based matches with large armies.
Suikoden II pushed the PlayStation One to its conceptual limits. For that, we heartily hope it finds its way onto the PlayStation Classic.
The PlayStation Classic could realistically have five to ten Squaresoft games, and we wouldn’t have a problem with that. Xenogears, one of the PlayStation One’s best JRPGs not named Final Fantasy, should make the cut. Ironically enough, Xenogears was born as a Final Fantasy VII concept. Thankfully, we received two awesome games instead.
Playing as Fei Fong Wong, a young man on a journey to save the world (of course). Xenogears had active time battles and unique mech battles using the game’s eponymous suits. A brilliant soundtrack, excellent, introspective writing, and fully rendered cutscenes made Xenogears ahead of its time. Now we hope that more people will have the opportunity to play it on the PlayStation Classic.
Developed by Square, Vagrant Story broke away from the studio’s traditional JRPG games to create an excellent action RPG. The real-time combat system allowed players to target specific body parts to disable enemy abilities. Meanwhile, the progression system included new weapons and armor, which led to virtually endless possibilities in combat.
Unlike many other Square games, you played as just one protagonist, Ashley Riot, in search of a cult leader. Vagrant Story shows a different side of Square’s heyday, and we sure hope we’ll get to revisit the world on PlayStation Classic.
‘Final Fantasy Chronicles’
Is this cheating? Probably so, but it’s our list and wow, would we love to see Final Fantasy Chronicles on the PlayStation Classic. The compilation disc included both the wonderful SNES games Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger. The latter included new, gorgeous anime cutscenes.
We originally thought to just mention Chrono Trigger here (sorry, Chrono Cross), but wouldn’t it be great to also get one of the best old school Final Fantasy games as well? The inclusion of Final Fantasy Chronicles would do just that. What do you say, Sony?
Sure, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is more highly regarded, but the thought of playing a 3D platformer without an analog stick makes us queasy. Instead, how about the colorful 2D platformer that kicked off the Ubisoft sensation?
The original Rayman is a shining example of excellent level and enemy design, along with having a cool moveset for our limb-depleted hero. Rayman oozes personality and charm and it’d be a great platformer to include on the PlayStation Classic.
‘PaRappa the Rapper’
PaRappa the Rapper started the rhythm genre craze. Featuring a young pup named PaRappa on a quest to impress a girl called Sunny Funny for her birthday, you’ll face against a number of hilarious characters with unique lessons and songs, and rap along to the scrolling beat with timed button presses.
PaRappa the Rapper was a ridiculously addictive and forward-thinking game when it initially launched. Who would have thought that pretty mediocre songs could wind up being so catchy? Seriously, listen to PaRappa the Rapper‘s soundtrack today. It’s still great.
PaRappa the Rapper was one of the weirdest, most novel games to grace the PlayStation One. It’d be a shame if it doesn’t come with the PlayStation Classic.
‘Klonoa: Door to Phantomile’
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile looks like somewhat of an odd relic today. Developed by Namco, the platformer used 3D polygons across 2D levels. It was one of the first 2.5D games to find success, many years before the style became commonplace.
The eponymous hero lives in a world of soon-forgotten dreams, a truly interesting fantasy world. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is an important game in the platformer genre, but it doesn’t get nearly enough credit nowadays. We’d love to re-enter the magical world of Phantomile on PlayStation Classic.
Part survival horror, part RPG, Square’s Parasite Eve is similar to Vagrant Story in that you aim at specific parts of enemies in real-time battles. It also utilized the active time bar mechanics from early Final Fantasy games.
The game follows an NYC police officer on a mission to curb a thread from a dangerously powerful being named Eve. Parasite Eve managed to use survival horror and an RPG progression system to its advantage to create an experience that wasn’t really offered at the time. It’d be interesting to revisit it on PlayStation Classic.