Nostalgia hit our gamer Dads hard last week.
We were there. We were the ones that bought them new from Woolworths. Our greasy mitts desperately clawing the cellophane off the jewel case – all before basking in the best console boot sound EVER.
When we’re not top-dadding, us modern Dads do like to dabble in the world of video games. Even when we do have our responsibilities running around, we can always sneak in a round of Fortnite with the sprogs.
We thought, therefore, that it would be cool (and very important) to run a Top PS1 games poll on The Dadsnet Dad Gamers Group. We have let their voices of wisdom and skill determine the ultimate Top Ten PS1 Games.
Especially as now you can hack your PS Classic and add more titles – it makes perfect sense to revisit those polygonal halcyon days.
10. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Oddworld is a tight 2D platformer that’s packed with great innovative touches and some great character design. The game centres on the titular Abe, a meek Mudokon slave at the RuptureFarms meat processing factory. When he discovers that he and his fellow Mudokons are to be slaughtered, Abe decides to escape and liberate as many enslaved Mudokons as he can. The player assumes the role of Abe as he attempts a perilous quest to emancipate his downtrodden people. Multi award winning, it blended outstanding graphics animations with sophisticated gameplay. It also boasted good art direction and engaging cutscenes; be warned however, it does have a steep learning curve!
9. Resident Evil 2
The video game franchise that spawned a hundred Mila Jovovich films – ‘Resi 2’ is the second genre defining instalment in the survival horror zombie killing splatterfest category. Ground breaking graphics and scarily realistic gameplay wowed players at the time. With strong focuses on exploration, puzzles, and combat – each player character also has their own unique storylines and obstacles. It’s still considered by many to be the best in the long-running series, with some critics controversially citing the Nintendo 64 release as the “best version of the game”. Ignore the recent 2019 remake – go back and experience the game as it was originally intended!
8. Gran Turismo 2
At the time of its release, GT2 featured one of the largest lists of then new and historic cars available in a single computer game, tallied at nearly 650 cars. Mind blowing for the day. The game came recommended by critics to all gamers, car enthusiasts or not – it really was that good. Compared with the first Gran Turismo, the gameplay, physics and graphics are very similar, although they did improve upon the vehicle dynamics. The major changes were the vastly expanded number of cars, tracks and races in simulation mode. Building on, rather than transforming the original and super successful GT. It got another stonking music soundtrack too – something the whole series is famous for!
7. Worms Armageddon
Who doesn’t love the Worms series? While PC lovers had Worms 2 – the console world had to wait for Armageddon to drop before enjoying the carnage with a controller. You command a team of up to eight worms in ferocious combat against opposing teams, which are either AI- or player-controlled. Weapons are both based on real-life examples and ones that are seriously cartoon crazy. Holy hand grenades anyone? Players can customise battles, teams, and maps for near-infinite gameplay options – leading to a million and one ways to epically kill a worm. Hilarious voice sets for your warriors just adds to the overall comedy, with ‘Angry Scots’ being my forever favourite. Ya beauty.
6. Spyro The Dragon
The game that started it all. You are Spyro, who’s (you guessed it) a playable dragon, on an adventure through the dragon kingdom to rescue all the other dragons from a wicked spell. This title is an open-ended 3D platformer with large, sprawling levels which require the use of Spyro’s dragon abilities (most prominently, his mid-air gliding technique, which can be utilised to soar across large distances). Several collectable items – among which are multicoloured gemstones, stolen dragon eggs, and encapsulated dragons – are located throughout stages and must be collected in order to progress through the game. Bright, colourful and heaps of fun, you can’t go wrong with ploughing several well spent hours (maybe with the kids) into this PS1 classic.
5. Crash Bandicoot
It’s crazy to be reminded just how many huge game series debuted on the PS1. Crash Bandicoot was the game that put developers Naughty Dog (of The Last Of Us & Uncharted fame) on the world map. Our orange hero is out to stop world domination no less, complete with rescuing his girlfriend on the way. Recently remastered for PS4, this game is still worth revisiting – even if it’s just to get a large dose of the 3D retro vibes. Sony’s answer to Sonic, the level of care and detail in it’s development shines through. Apparently a Naughty Dog artist sketched every single background object in the game before it was modelled. The programmers used $100,000 Silicon Graphics workstations instead of the $3,000 personal computers that were the standard at the time. So yeah, go ahead and play it and bask in it’s groundbreaking use of polygons.
4. Crash Team Racing
Wait. What? Another Crash title? Do we have two awesome Naughty Dog titles in our top ten? CTR was definitely Sony’s answer to the runaway success of Mario Kart 64 on the rival Nintendo. We even have offensive and speed boosting power ups that can be used to gain an advantage during races. The difference? CTR was the game that made kart racing cool. We have those sharp looking environments again, full of funny animations and cleanly designed. This magical multiplayer offering of the Crash series also helped push the capabilities of the PS1, which by now was 5 years old. Still as fun to play now as it was back then – it deserves to hold it’s place in our top ten.
3. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid follows Solid Snake, a soldier who infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to neutralise the terrorist threat from FOXHOUND, a renegade special forces unit. Snake must liberate two hostages, the head of DARPA and the president of a major arms manufacturer, confront the terrorists, and stop them from launching a nuclear strike. All very dull, as you can imagine. Dramatic cinematic cutscenes are rendered using the in-game engine and graphics, and voice acting is used throughout the entire game. Unheard of in the early days of console land. That’s why it’s widely regarded as one of the greatest and most important video games of all time and one that helped popularise the stealth genre. A worthy entry onto our Dadsnet podium.
2. Final Fantasy VII
You knew it was going to be here somewhere. Final Fantasy VII in it’s day received widespread commercial and critical success and took home countless Game Of The Year awards. It’s quite possibly the greatest role playing game ever made. The game’s story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organisation to stop a world-controlling mega-corporation from using the planet’s life essence as an energy source. There’s a fantastic turn based battle system, which back then utilised jaw dropping animations to keep combat exciting. So much of the game’s ground breaking design, graphics, music and story telling remains ultra comparable and an industry standard. Regarded globally as a landmark title in the history of video games, it rightfully joins MGS as one of the greatest titles of all time.
1. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Surprised to see Pro Skater 2 come in at number one? It was the year 2000 and skateboarding was at an all time high in popularity. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was critically acclaimed upon release and remains one of the highest-rated video games of all time, as well as the highest-rated sports video game. So many aspects of the game are praised, including its addictive gameplay, large environments, detailed graphics, fluid and precise controls, customisation features and a ridiculously cool soundtrack. The aim of the game, as always, is to perform tricks in order to earn cash rewards, unlock other levels, improve the player character’s statistics and obtain better equipment. Pro Skater 2 is the first instalment in the series to feature a level editor, character customisation and the ability to perform ‘manuals’. For us, the level editor is what makes this game special. Back in the day it incorporated over 100 pieces and a variety of pre-built park bases meaning you could keep gameplay feeling fresh. Not much else gave you that level of customisation and most probably why it’s The Dadsnet most voted for PS1 game.