Today I discovered that I’m only 5 months older than my third console of choice. The PlayStation released way back in 1994, making it 20 years old. It’s the second oldest console brand that’s still on the market, trailing granddaddy Nintendo. Personally, I didn’t own a PlayStation until after I got a Dreamcast (sad face), at which point I owned both a PSOne and a PS2 (who didn’t own a PS2!)
So to celebrate the 20th birthday of PlayStation, we’ve decided to pick out 20 of our favourite titles that we’ve played on PlayStation systems over the last 20 years (in no particular order):
1. TOCA World Touring Cars (PS1)
Back in the day, this is was one of the best driving games around. Time hasn’t done it too well graphically, but it still feels pretty great to play, even today.
2. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
“SNAAAAAKE EAAAAATEEEERR!” Up there as one of the best games on PS2 and maybe the best game in the whole franchise. The attention to detail is superb and the change of pace from the usual fast-paced shooters and platformers of the time was well appreciated then, and still is now.
3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
No, not Vice City on this list. VC was great and all, but for me, the freedom and opportunity to explore of San Andreas makes it the superior title and one of the best games to grace the PS2.
4. Need for Speed: Underground 2 (PS2)
The first of two NFS games on our list. Underground 1 and 2 are defining games in the NFS series. U2 takes the pick though because of improved car list, the metric tonne of mods and, most importantly, free-roam.
5. Need for Speed: Most Wanted (PS2)
The other NFS title is arguably the series’ best. Most Wanted (not the remake by Criterion) presented one of the best stories, plentiful car mods, best police chases, amazing car list and some of the best handling and physics to be seen in an NFS game. In my opinion, the NFS franchise has yet to top this game.
6. Burnout 3: Takedown (PS2)
“4 driving games!? What!?” Yeah, I know but it is the last one though. Burnout 3 has eaten up so much of my time over the years, with numerous playthroughs. The real hook is those takedowns. It’s so satisfying to slam your opponents off the track again and again and again. It never gets old, even now. It’s stood the test of time too, still looking pretty great even now. It’s possibly the best arcade-style racing game of all time.
7. Dark Cloud (PS2)
Dark Cloud is one of those severely underrated games that never really got the backing it deserved on PS2. The dungeon-crawling, town rebuilding RPG that really is a lot better than it looks and sounds. It also offers a decent challenge.
8. Okami (PS2)
It’d be ludicrous for TechArtes not to include a Hideki Kamiya game in this list. Okami is a game that boasted beautiful and unique classical Japanese art visuals, with charming characters and it’s an odd but unique paintbrush system. Reviving the countryside from the darkness never looked so beautiful or felt so satisfying.
9. Sonic Heroes (PS2)
For me, Sonic Heroes was the last great Sonic game. Heroes had you split into 4 teams of 3 to defeat Eggman (well those who’ve played know differently, but shush). It has one of the best soundtracks in all of the Sonic games and didn’t try to be gimmicky like a lot of modern titles. Sonic Team, please make a sequel!
10. SSX Tricky (PS2)
“It’s Tricky, It’s Tricky!” If having the hit Run DMC song as the main theme for this game wasn’t enough, Tricky was an absolute dream to play. Pulling off those tricky tricks (sorry) felt unbelievably satisfying. It still looks pretty decent too. Easily better than it’s predecessors and it’s successors in every way.
11. TY the Tasmanian Tiger (PS2)
Set in Australia, you play as a boomerang throwing Tasmanian Tiger. Yup. It played in the similar vein to Banjo Kazooie games, where you collected mass amounts of objects. The difference is, you have boomerang’s. Puzzle play was a bit like Zelda too, where you had to figure how to use the items you’ve got to progress. It looks dated now and it’s a bit frustrating in places, but it’s well worth checking out this underrated classic. Oh, and did we mention that the main baddie is a turkey?
12. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (PS2)
I was told that I absolutely must have this on our list, and damn right too! Battlefront 2 was a fantastic game. Jumping into a ship and flying out to kill enemies before landing and killing more enemies on foot is not something you see in a lot of games, let alone Star Wars ones. It looks a bit rough now, but it’s still great to play. EA, hurry up with the sequel!
13. Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3)
One of Kojima’s lesser known franchises. It plays completely differently to Metal Gear Solid games, mostly because you’re a giant mech who’s shooting everything. We’ve chosen the HD collection because the touch-ups have breathed new life into the games. If you haven’t checked them out yet, then you should, although you’ll probably only find it on the PSN store, as it’s pretty rare to find one at retail.
14. Bayonetta (PS3)
The old guys from Clover Studios, who left after Capcom dissolved the unit, formed Platinum Games. They wanted to make a new Devil May Cry game but didn’t have the rights to the series anymore. The solution? Bayonetta. With one of the most fluid and brilliantly designed combat systems ever, it made various awards, including a few Game of the Year awards when it first released. The only game to top it since? Bayonetta 2.
15. Soul Calibur V (PS3)
When I first started University, my friends were on a mad hype with this game. We spent many nights trying to best our friend Gary, who just seemed purely unbeatable. It’s a pretty well made, if a little unbalanced, 3D fighting game, which offered a pretty tough challenge, even if you didn’t have a hard as nails friend.
16. Mirror’s Edge (PS3)
A game solely based around parkour might seem like a bit of a boring idea. Dice managed to pull it off though. Mirror’s Edge is challenging but also extremely satisfying to play, with a smile coming across your face as you nail those hard jumps. The idea of avoiding combat where possible is also a nice change of pace and can make those “bulletfest” sections a bit of a heart racer. The quirky art style looked pretty clinical but also gave that tech demo look. Either way, it became a cult hit and a sequel (or remake) is on the way soon(ish).
17. Ni No Kuni (PS3)
What happens when Level-5 and Studio Ghibli team up? Ni No Kuni, that’s what. Wonderfully charming and expansive, it captured the hearts of many. The soundtrack was fantastic, and it stands head and shoulders above the majority of JRPGs released in recent times.
18. Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic 06) (PS3)
Wait, wait, wait. Yes, I know this was awful, but that’s why it’s here. The fact that Sonic 06 was so awful is what made it so enjoyable. If you like seeing games glitch horribly, then this is the place to come. It’s believed that this game was so awful because Sony rushed Sega to get it in time for the PS3, considering Sonic Team decided it would be a good idea to split their team in half to make sonic and the Secret Rings at the same time… Not a great decision, considering both where flops…
19. GTA V (PS3/PS4)
GTA V holds the all-time UK sales record. Impressive, yes? It deserves it too. The story is one of the best in the series, online is a lot of fun if you have friends who are absolutely insane (or watch shows like Rooster Teeth). The next-gen update looks pretty too. Even now, I’ll still boot the game to casually cruise around in one of my cars or jets for a bit while I’m bored.
20. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (PS4)
The franchise reboot of Tomb Raider was seriously good and the definitive edition took things to the next level. Graphically stunning and the combination of stealth and platforming made for an exciting title, if a little annoying in places. The sequel is only coming to Xbox, but the speculation about a PS4 release started almost straight away. Hold tight Sony fans!
So here we have our 20 favourite PlayStation games. Let us know which one you like the most or if you have some other favourites!