The Most Essential Games And Features We Want To See From A PlayStation Classic

Sony’s revolutionary gray box needs to make a comeback

Additional writing by Sam Cadet

Sony flipped the industry on its head when the original Playstation dropped stateside in 1995. Slick marketing campaigns and an expansive library of cutting edge games gave fans experiences they never imagined beforehand. Ever feel like driving a Benz? PlayStation has you covered. How about capturing monkeys with an electric net? No problem. PlayStation even let you shoot missiles out of a flaming ice cream truck with no real-world consequences. It did everything.

The best games from PlayStation’s catalog shouldn’t stay in your closet like that Karl Kani fit you’ll never dropoff at Goodwill. They need to re-enter the living much like Nintendo’s NES and Super NES Classic bundles. The PlayStation Generation might not put an all nighter over a Gold Chocobo like the old days. Yet the success of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy shows they can splash the cash to replay PSX’s gems.

We’d* like to see no less than 20 games grace the hypothetical console with all the trimmings. In the interest of time we’ve listed 11 must-have games along with a few features it ought to target. Now let’s go back to an era where we played each other in person and microtransactions weren’t even a twinkle in EA’s eye.

1. Tekken 3

Namco’s third entry in the Tekken kickstarted its shifted towards dominance among 3D fighters. However, let’s call a spade a spade and see it as Eddy Gordo’s coming out party. Spamming random directions with XOXOXOXOXO delivered a perfect mix of salt and rage from hapless opponents every time.

Granted, Jin was the real enemy as his Electric Wind Godfist took souls by the dozen. Yet seeing scrubs break their controllers over Eddy’s cheese NEVER gets old.

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Mr. 900 ruled the roost when it came to action sports titles in the ’90s. However, THPS2 doesn’t have to be a history lesson as the game still plays well to this day. The controls and physics haven’t been properly replicated in later revisions as the franchise lost the plot. We might as well go back to the source and rekindle our SKATE rivalries with friends while we’re at it.

You’d figure Tony Hawk’s games would be stuck in licensing hell but it’s fun to dream, right? If the parties involved have to make changes like turning Spider-Man into Señor Tarantula then do it.

3. Gran Turismo 2

This title’s importance doesn’t stop at packing the entire world of cars as we knew it on a few discs. It legitimized racing sims on consoles and, for better or worse, turned gamers into gear heads. Now, we can talk all day about how GT lied to us when it came to after market parts boosting performance. However, I’d rather take my NSX for a spin in Rome one more time.

4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Often imitated, never duplicated, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night showed why we were all dumb to leave 2D games behind for our 3D overlords. Castlevania left the linear level design of its forebears behind for an expansive space filled with diverse enemies and awesome, novel abilities. These features, flanked by a lush OST and laughably bad voice acting, kept vampire apologists locked on their PlayStations until they thought they beat the game. Then the world as they knew it flipped upside down.

5. Street Fighter Alpha 3

Truth be told, ports of 2D fighting games on the PSX lost a ton of luster due to the system’s limited RAM. Thus it’s miraculous for Street Fighter Alpha 3 to be so robust compared to its contemporaries. Its World Tour mode still stands as an achievement in designing fighting games for S O L O B O I S. Plus the Ism system became fun to mix and match with your mains.

6. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back

Crash Bandicoot was the PlayStation’s mascot. Just peep how they used him to go directly for the competition’s neck.

It would be criminal to disregard one of his adventures in this collection so why not pick the best one? Cortex Strikes Back improves on every aspect of the first game, is a smoother experience, is a lot more fun,and a whole hell of a lot more irreverent. Oh and the improved controls and camera made it easier to, ya know, not die. I don’t know about you, but “not dying” is not only important in video games, but the very words we live our lives by.

7. Resident Evil

There are video games before Resident Evil and video games after. The first entry in this now 20-year-old franchise spawned imitator after imitator after imitator. Capcom used the PlayStation and the Sony name to be edgier than they could ever be on a Nintendo platform. Sure, the controls aren’t the greatest and would improve in subsequent entries, but we’ll be damned if this game’s sense of dread and fear waned today.

We’ve watched more horror movies than we can count but not a single one of them can replicate what we felt while turning a corner in this game.

8. Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid messes with your mind. There’s a point in the game where Psycho Mantisreads your memory card, determines how many Konami games you’ve played, and seemingly knows your every move. The only way to beat him is to switch the controller from the first player port to the second player port.

That is fucking genius.

1998 stood as an important year for games and this PlayStation exclusive solidified what the system would be and what gaming would become every year after. Yeah, there’s the Psycho Mantis fight, but there’s also the cinematic elements, the fully-fleshed out characters, the truly interactive experience, or even the fact it parodied video games. Metal Gear Solid is a love letter to games while being a classic game in its own right.

There are a handful of games synonymous with a gaming system. Metal Gear Solid is one of those games for the Playstation. When we think of that little gray box and that sound it made when we turned it on, we think of Metal Gear Solid. Espionage has never been so fun.

9. Spyro the Dragon 2: Ripto’s Rage

Spyro the Dragon remains a very fun 3D platformer. Actually, that’s not accurate; the Spyro series is an incredible platformer with interesting characters, unique level design, and surprisingly a pretty engaging storyline. The 1999 sequel to the ’98 original perfects the formula in every way. Don’t be fooled by the cute dragon on the front cover or whatever Spyro has become with the Skylanders because this game is fun for everyone. Kids will love the colors and the fact you can breathe fire while adults will love the mechanics and marvel at how smooth the game is.

Plus, it’s just a lot of damn fun and that’s what video games are supposed to be right?

10. Tomb Raider 2

On the real, there aren’t many warm fuzzies in our stomach for the first iteration of the Tomb Raider series.There’s no denying its impact and how key it was to the initial success of the PlayStation. Lara Croft became a pop culture icon and a character who could probably get in a Hollywood a party before Tara Reid.

Like most sequels, Tomb Raider 2 takes the “bigger is better” approach and adds to the first game. More tombs to raid, more guns to shoot, and more equipment for you to play with. The first game, while popular, was incredibly rough around the edges, something its sequel doesn’t have to worry about. There’s no way to celebrate the PlayStation and omit this game.

11. Final Fantasy VII

One of the greatest Final Fantasy games and it helped push the PlayStation’s power t places Sony probably didn’t even think possible. That’s why it’s here and there’s really nothing else that needs to be said.

Features

System comes packed in with a 20th Anniversary Dual Shock 4

We don’t mind paying a premium for this console if it leaves those tiny, awkward Dual Shocks behind. Having cross platform controller support between PS4 and PS classic isn’t unprecedented either. Playstation TV worked with said rinky-dink DS3’s .We might as well move on with the latest and greatest in the Dual Shock 4.

The last thing we need is something proprietary; especially when we all have that one friend who hits us with the “my bad, I left my remote at home” excuse every time they come through. This way you’d likely have an extra controller on deck for his/her forgetful ass if you already own a PS4.

Save states

It’d be convenient to save a game wherever you needed just in case life gets in the way. That way you can quit, go about your business, and come back right where you left off.

Rewinding

Look, there’s no way Sony can let Nintendo put rewind on a NES and Super Nintendo and not have it on a PlayStation. There are so many spots in Metal Gear Solid where a rewind function would be clutch. Games are the form of entertainment that push back at you and make you adapt. A rewind function is the perfect way to experiment with your skills and see just how much better you are after tangling with a boss who kicks your ass a couple times. Make it happen, Sony.

Optional visual enhancements

Textures on PlayStation games have a habit of looking crooked, jumpy and lack anti-aliasing. Emulators already tackle these setbacks in different ways but it’d be nice to carry said improvements into the living room with these systems. Note how “optional” functions as a key word since some purists want to make sure everything remains raw. Either way, a convenient path towards better image quality never hurt anyone.

Did we miss any gems? Sound off in the comments.

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