Sony getting in on the mini retro consoles game is great for those of us with a glimmer of nostalgia for the good old days of video games, before we had to worry about software updates, online gaming, DLC and microtransactions.
If the last few years have proven anything, with modern remakes of some 90s classics, it’s that some of these games are still absolute gems even by modern day standards. The graphics might not have held up, but the gameplay can still bring people in droves.
Even so, 20 games was never, ever going to be enough for the PlayStation Classic, and Sony’s roster of titles misses out some really damn obvious games that are truly iconic. Here’s 10 games that prove exactly that:
PlayStation has had a few poster-boys over the years, but if there was ever a game that was utterly synonymous with their brand, it’s WipEout. Presumably it’s the licensed soundtrack that would cause the biggest issues after all this time, because Psygnosis’ assets should all merrily belong to Sony. It’s a shame not to see it, not just because of its indelible link with PlayStation, but because it’s still a genuinely good racing game.
Hogs of War
Anyone that ever played Hogs of War might well tell you it was the best game to ever grace the PS1. Any game that featured the voice talents of Rik Mayall was always going to be something special, but with strategy action that borrowed liberally from the Worms school of warfare and placed it in a 3D world, Hogs of War was a brilliant game that managed the tough trick of actually being funny.
Final Fantasy VIII
It would have made more sense to see Final Fantasy VIII appear here after its recent no-show amongst the Final Fantasy games making the jump to Nintendo Switch, and yet once again it has been shoved under the digital carpet.
Reputedly the original FFVIII files have been lost, but I’m sure that sticking the ROM onto a retro console would have been easy enough. On the other hand it looks very, very ugly by today’s standards, and your 55” 4K TV won’t do it any favours whatsoever.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Another character who had a brief few years in the spotlight, Klonoa brought colourful Japanese-flavoured platforming to the PS1, and at times nearly gave Nintendo a run for their money. Created by Hideo Yoshizawa – director of Ninja Gaiden – the game certainly had the right heritage, and it’s a crying shame that Klonoa has currently disappeared from view.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
If there was ever a game crying out for a remake or an HD remaster it’s Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. The unequivocally cool Raziel and his ability to shift between planes of existence made for some hugely enjoyable puzzling and brawling in a dark gothic world that was amongst the best-looking games for the PS1.
Gran Turismo 2
Likely another victim to licensing deals that have run their course, the early Gran Turismo games were, for many, the first time that a racing game approached the experience of actually racing a car. Starting off in a terrible hatchback and working your way through the licenses was a formula that I often miss in today’s releases, and it would have been brilliant to take one more shot at either of the originals, even if the visuals likely aren’t anywhere near as good as they are in my head.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
If we’re picking the Tony Hawk’s game that we’re really missing out on, it has to be number two, which obviously had the best soundtrack (Powerman 5000 ftw), and the best levels (Venice Beach). I know we’ve had some of these things remastered for us – and the license has long gone from Activision’s books – but Pro Skater 2 is pure PlayStation history, and a spot of two player SKATE collection would be just the thing to bring memories flooding back (or fights to start).
Tomb Raider II
Again, we’re picking the sequel over the original, but any of the four Tomb Raider games that graced the PlayStation would do to represent not only one of the most iconic women in video games, but one that became synonymous with PlayStation. Tomb Raider II did a lot to build upon the success of the first game, with new weapons, moves, vehicles and, of course, Croft Manor to explore.
Spyro the Dragon
Look, we know exactly why Spyro and Crash aren’t on the PlayStation Classic, it’s because there’s no need when there’s the two trilogy remakes of the games. Even so, it’s a real shame that the original versions of these games haven’t been preserved in some way, and with the timing of the PS Classic’s launch, this would be a neat way to show to all the kids getting Spyro Reignited for Christmas just how the game used to look.
The PlayStation might have brought 3D gaming to the masses, but it had its limits. Keiichiro Toyama and Team Silent didn’t see these as a creative block, but an opportunity. Making liberal use of fogging to obscure the short draw distance, they instilled a real fear of the unknown and psychological horror in players.
Even with these ten extra games, there’s still plenty more that could easily have featured on a PlayStation Classic. What would you pick and add to the machine, if you could?