The Best the Playstation Has to Offer [06/09/01]

When it launched in 1995 with a handful of unknown, unproven titles like Battle Arena Toshinden and Ridge Racer, the original Playstation didn't look to be much next to Sega and Nintendo. Slowly but surely, the Playstation became popular and helped mainstream videogames. Over the years, Sony has managed to build a huge installed game library. With Sony's first machine about to see a slow fazing out, even with a small handful of decent games cropping up here and there, we here at ILS decided to compile a list of games that gamers should get in their collection before they become too hard to find.

Role Playing (RPG) - Until the arrival of Final Fantasy VII, RPGs were really considered a niche genre. Now, RPGs are commonplace and a big money maker for most game developers.

Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX - With three editions of this popular series available for the Playstation, any gamer can find one to their liking. Varying in style, each is well-produced and has great visuals
Breath of Fire IV - The first in this series to go into the 3D realm, BOF still retains the hand-drawn look that made it popular.
Vagrant Story - While not overly popular with casual gamers, this intense action/RPG allows players to forge weapons and equipment while fighting their way through dark dungeons.
Suikoden - One of the first RPGs for the PS, this adventure allowed gamers to recruit over 100 characters into their party.
Xenogears - Mixing a Street Fighter-like combat scheme and mech action, this strongly written RPG is a change of pace for Squaresoft.

Others of Note: Thousand Arms, Persona 2, Wild Arms

Fighting - The genre that was born in the arcades found most of it's games fairly well tranlated to the Playstation. While some of extras and graphical power may have been lost in the translation, the fun was still there.

Tekken 3 - Easily the best of the series. The story lines may have been none-existent, but the fighting system and extras make it worth the buy.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 - While most of the SF series didn't manage to see a great translation from the Arcades, SFA3 is the best of this premier 2D series.
Dead or Alive - This 3D fighter gave new meaning to "bouncy" action.

Others of Note: Soul Blade, Tobal No. 1, Bloody Roar

Action - The Playstation allowed game developers a greater brush by which to paint their action and adventure tales. With the release of Resident Evil, the Survival Horror genre came into it's own. Likewise, Lara Croft of Tomb Raider gained instant fame and success.

Resident Evil - The first RE really set the tone for the Survival Horror Genre on the PS. Still the cheesiest scripts and cheapest thrills yet.
Resident Evil 2 - A lot like the first RE, just bigger with two characters to play throughout the game.
Silent Hill - Still the scariest game you'll ever find on the Playstation. Unlike RE, you don't blast your way through the game. You run screaming from one locale to the next.
Tomb Raider - Like RE, Tomb Raider set the tone for 3D action/adventure games. Plus, Lara Croft has become a cultural icon.

Others of Note: Tomb Raider 2, Siphon Filter, Fear Effect 2, Soul Reaver

Platform - Jumping over enemies and from platform to platform evolved with more color and life in the 3D worlds created for the Playstation. While some developers stuck with their 2D guns, 3D is where PS platformers really came to life.

Crash Bandicoot: Warped - The best of the Playstation's unofficial mascot. Great platforming fun.
Spyro - Even though the little dragon may be super-cute, he still manages to give us a fairly deep and enjoyable game.
Ape Escape - One of the first games to make full use of both analog sticks.

Others of Note: Croc, Castlevania: SOTN, Abe's Exodus

Racing/Kart/Car Combat - Vehicles in all forms and facets fund a huge market. Even though most were not up to par, there were a few that really stood out. Both Sim and Arcade Racing found their markets and Car Combat was born with the Twisted Metal Series.

Crash Team Racing - While there weren't that many good kart racers, Crash Team Racing was as good as it could get for the PS.
Gran Turismo (I or II) - As far a racing sims go, this is the peak. There are none better.
Ridge Racer IV - When it comes to arcade-style racing, the Ridge Racer series was just as good as Gran Turismo.
Twisted Metal 2 - Car Combat was never really a big genre until this classic broke it. With great single and multi-player action, this game is a blast.

Others of Note: Wipeout XL, Jet Moto, Vigilante 8, Need For Speed 3

Sports/Extreme Sports - Much like every console before it, sporting games have always been profitable. Extreme sports, while not always well done, finally got their chance to shine.

Madden 2000 - Probably the strongest football series on the Playstation. This is the best one to have.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater - Before THPS, skating games basically were very little fun. THPS did just about everything right.
FIFA 2000 - EA's sports dominance on the PS is continued with this excellent soccer game.
Hot Shots - It's sad to say that the best Golf game was not a sim, but this arcade style game with superdeformed players and a easy to pick up interface.

Others of Note: NHL 2000

The Rest - With so many games out there, there were many genres that had a few really good games that are worth a look at. Here's a list of what else we though was worth your cash.

Strategy - Final Fantasy Tactics, Civilization 2, Ogre Tactics, Panzer General
Auto Crime - Driver, Grand Theft Auto
First Person Shooters - Medal of Honor
Puzzle - Intelligent Qube, Devil Dice, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Misc. - MTV Music Generator, Parappa the Rapper

- - Vane

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