Next year, the original PlayStation will be 20 years old. 20! Can you believe it? It was 20 years ago that Sony’s grey box landed and changed the gaming landscape forever!
Bringing 3D graphics to the masses, fighting off the challenge from Sega’s Saturn and 32X with without even breaking a sweat. For the first time ever, gaming seemed cool, no longer the hobby of geeks sitting in dark bedrooms. PlayStation bought gaming to the masses with fresh innovative games and graphics that you could just die for (back in the day). The PlayStation has long since been laid to rest after around five years – A relatively short life span in today’s age of ten-year cycles but in those 5 years the PlayStation set the scene for things to come. Launching a raft of games that were different from the 2D platformers that gamers were used to, and perhaps getting sick of from the 16-bit era. With the PlayStation we had slick 3D graphics and with it a new breed of games, games that we had never seen before on our old TVs at home. Games that we only thought possible in smoky arcades.
Sitting in the comfort of our own homes, gamers had First person shooters to play, survival horrors, Racers, and even had the first taste of Grand Theft Auto. It’s great then that games that started life on the PlayStation are still with us, bringing some of the greatest moments in gaming. Here are eight games that started life on the original PlayStation and are still going today.
Who could forget the PlayStation launch title, the game that made gamers realise that even the most powerful arcade machines, were no longer safe. Great graphics and gameplay made this game a winner and spawned like a bazillion sequels for all formats. The game hadn’t changed much over the years, and that was a good thing. It was pure arcade racing fun. Until Ridge Race Unbounded came along. The less said about that the better.
Resident Evil – the game more famous for its ham acting than it’s gameplay. Thankfully the game played great, bringing for the first time true scares to gamers. Who can forget the dogs though the window scene! Resident Evil continued to go from strength to strength cumulating in the amazing Resident Evil 4. After that its all gone down hill. Many expected Resident Evil 7 to be revealed at E3 but there was nothing from Capcom.
Until Ace Combat came along, all gamers had to quench their fighter pilot urges was After Burner and later on the vomit inducing G-Loc. Because you couldn’t fit a gyroscopic arcade cabinet in your home, Namco released Ace Combat. For the first time gamers could fly around a semi open map and shoot some lovely 3D rendered jets from the sky. Like Ridge Racer, Ace Combat has appeared on most systems, each with varying success. A new Ace Combat is on the horizon in the shape of free-to-play Ace Combat: Infinity. which looks, Ace..
Grand Theft Auto:
Grand Theft Auto – the daddy of open world games. Who would have thought it was possible to have an open world game on the PS1. Rockstar did. With its mix of violence, go-anywhere gameplay and a unique top down 3D environment, it was a hug success, followed up quickly by GTA London, the only GTA game not set in America. The rest you all know, GTA III came to the PS2 which cemented its place in gamers hearts. The latest game GTA V is heading to PS4 with lush graphics.
Driver on PS1 was a breath of fresh air for racing fans. It wasn’t just a game where you raced laps of a circuit. Driver allowed you to tear around a city, knocking boxes over and smashing into other cars in an attempt to slow them down. It was to all intents and purposes a 3D Chase HQ. What made Driver stand out even more though was the director mode. Where you could replay your finest chases and direct the camera. It was awesome. The latest game Driver: San Francisco allowed gamers to hop from car to car with super ease in an open world city. Not a commercial success but a great game in its own right.
Medal of Honor:
Before Call of Duty and Battlefield there was Medal of Honor, and before that, there was only Operation Wolf to get our army kicks from. Medal of Honor turned all that on its head by bringing WWII first person shooting action to the PlayStation. You could technically blame Medal of Honor for the trend in WWII shooters that seemed to last for a decade. The more recent iterations haven’t quite lived up to the original’s standards. Thanks in part to CoD and Battlefield who just done things that little bit better. EA have now put the series on hiatus but it is not quite dead yet.
Now Gran Turismo really set the standards for all racing games we’ve played to date. Releasing on PS1 with gobsmacking graphics, really, for the PS1 they looked ‘real’ but more importantly Gran Turismo had done away with the arcade style gameplay and bought out a proper racing simulator for all the petrol head gamers out there. To this day GT still blows my mind with the level of detail on offer. However, the crown of ultimate racer is slowly slipping away thanks to the likes of Forza and Grid. Lets hope the inevitable PS4 version will bring back the good old days.
The PlayStation saw the birth of one of gaming’s most famous characters. Lara Croft. Tomb Raider was (from what I remember) Sony’s answer to Mario 64, arguable the best 3D platformer out there. But this being Sony, they wanted do away with cartoons and focus on the more ‘mature’ audience the PlayStation had .So out goes moustaches and in comes heaving bosoms and a super serious story. Oh and lets not forget that awesome T-rex! Tomb Raider is still going strong today, after a few remakes, Crystal Dynamics have nailed the Lara Croft story with the new origin games with the latest game, Rise of the Tomb Raider hitting PS4 (and apparently PS3) next year.
I guess some of them technically didn’t start life on the PlayStation, but they sure as hell made their name on Sony’s first console. I’m sure there are many more games that are missing from this list. if you think of any let us know in the comments below. I’m also pretty sure there are a whole bunch of PS1 games that we would like to see remade for the current generation of games, but that’s another story…