EZ Racer's Blog

Posted on Jul 12th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under Playstation, Castlevania, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil, RPG, Horror

The Playstation might not have the flagship franchises the way the Nintendo consoles do, but that doesn't mean it didn't have a vast library of excellent games, and that truly came through in the voting for this month's top 20.

While there were a few games that garnered near universal praise, among 9 participants there were over 100 games that received at least one vote.

Participants for this list:

EZ Racer
Disposed Hero

At the time of the Playstation's release, many who had grown up on NES and SNES were looking for the next step forward in terms of deeper gameplay, storylines and subject matter, and that shows in the list as well.
It was heavily influenced by two genres, horror and RPG, as over half the list fit into one of these categories.

Don't forget to check out all the awesome titles on the submissions forum- http://www.rfgeneration.c...topic=19335.msg273260#new. With so many quality games on the system, there were plenty of great games that didn't quite make the cut. It was really interesting seeing such a vast array of opinions come in.

Also in July/August, we'll be looking at two consoles with lesser known libraries: Turbo Grafx 16 and Sega Saturn- http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=19360.0

Playstation may not have had a Mario or Zelda franchise, but it did have some tremendous experiences that set the foundation for a console series still relevant today.

Honorable Mentions

23. Twisted Metal 2
2 votes (#19, #4)

"So much character and charisma jammed into such a weird idea. Played through this with nearly every character now and its never gotten old."

22. Final Fantasy Anthology
2 votes (#12, #7)

"Not only does this have the best Final Fantasy ever, Final Fantasy VI, but it also has Final Fnatasy V, which was never released in the U.S. until this disc came out.  If you love RPG's you have to do yourself a favor and pick up this game"

"Even though it's a compilation, this game feels like an essential title. FFVI has always been one of the crown jewels of the series, and getting the first NA release of FFV, with memorable characters such as Bartz, Galuf, and X-Death, among others, made it one of the best bang for the buck entries on the system."

21. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue

"This is a sentimental pick, as I know there are RPGs on the PS1 that are probably better from a technical perspective, especially considering this is a remake of a 16-bit RPG. But it's just such a solid game, and one that has really stuck with me. I have a soft spot for the first Lunar game, but this sequel is most certainly the better game.

"Super colorful and charming game from start to finish. Fun early voice acting and anime cutscenes, great story, cool cast and fantastic soundtrack."

-----And now your Top 20-----

As with previous months, Wempster and Disposed Hero have put together a fun companion video to the list-


20. Chrono Cross (50 pts)

Released- 2000
Genre- RPG
2 lists (#9, #8)

"Doesn't quite have the same magic as its predecessor, but this is still a great RPG nonetheless with some very interesting combat mechanics."

19. Final Fantasy VIII (52 pts)

Released- 1999
Genre- RPG
2 lists (#12, #4)

"It has some quirky mechanics that don't work as well as they should, but I still really enjoy this entry in one of my favorite series."

"This was one of the first games that I went all out on trying to find everything. There's so much to do in this game. While I know it's divisive, I enjoyed many aspects it, especially the characters and storyline. I even tried to convince my wife we should name our daughter Rinoa. Needless to say I got shot down."

18. Legend of Dragoon (53 pts)

Released- 2000
Genre- RPG
3 lists (#20, #13, #8)

"great character design, setting and one of the best battle systems in an rpg."

"The battle system is very unique for its time."

17. Tekken 3 (54 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Fighting
2 lists (#11, #4)

"I think what makes this game special is its quick learning curve. It's very welcoming to novices of the genre, but still carries the excitement and depth that a seasoned player will expect."

"In the 32-bit era, we started to see a shift away from only 2D fighting games, and into the 3D space. Virtua Fighter and Soul Edge may have had their fans, but on PlayStation, Tekken was King (pun intended). Tekken 3 reigned supreme. So many fighters, so much to unlock, and so well refined, this game is still a dream to play."

Editor's note: There was a three way tie for 14th place

14t. Einhander (58 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Shoot-em up
2 lists (#7, #6)

"We didn't get nearly the number of shooting games in the West that appeared on Sony's inaugural console in Japan, but we did manage to get the best of the lot, at least in terms of those with 3D graphics. Squaresoft's lone entry into the genre is a fantastic game that has layers to it, cool bonus stuff to unlock, and a killer electronic soundtrack. It packs a punch, and brings the challenge along with it."

"Though there are not a plethora of shmumps on the PS1, Einhander is best shmup on the PS1 hands down.  What makes this game special is not only the powerups, but how they work depending on where you decide to attach them. Mixing these weapons gets you differing and sometimes awesome combinations to experiment with. Awesome music as well."

14t. Ape Escape (58 pts)

Released- 1999
Genre- Platformer
2 lists (#8, #5)

"The first game on the system to require the DualShock controller, rather than being strictly a gimmicky affair, this turned out to be one of the best 3D platformers of the 32-bit generation, and a very fun game. Rather than a focus on violence, the mechanic of capturing monkeys was a welcome one, and the game's whimsical tone really helps sell the whole package."

14t. Suikoden (58 pts)

Released- 1996
Genre- RPG
2 lists- (#9, #4)

"It was a toss up for my favorite RPG on the PS1, a system primarily known for the genre.  However, Suikoden snuck just below my #3 overall pick and top RPG.  I love the character recruiting system in this game and having over 100 characters to choose from is great and not as daunting as it sounds. My only knock on the game might be the rock/paper/scissors battles throughout, but the actually turn-based battles are some of the best, if not the best, of all time. Beautiful game."

"A great RPG for the PS1."

13. MediEvil (65 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Action Adventure
3 lists (#19, #10, #5)

"A very solid early 3D action-adventure title."

"Certainly not deserving of this rank in terms of "best" games on the PS1, as this 3D hack and slash, puzzler is not without its issues. However, in terms of early 3D attempts, the game ages fairly well.  The platforming mechanics can be tedious at times, but the rest of the gameplay, story, and hysterical dialogue (and mumbling) more than make up for it. A really fun game and well-deserving of it's release for the PS4."

12. Mega Man X4 (67 pts)

Released- 1997
Genre- Action Platformer
3 lists (#19, #9, #5)

"The last good game in the X series IMO before they started to drop in quality with each release. Also have a soundtrack that makes Mega Man proud."

"Once again, there was still some life left in 2D at this point, and the 1st outing for Capcom's flagship character was a very strong one. Taking full advantage of the improved visuals offered by the PlayStation, as well as the availability of CD audio, this game kicks up the Mega Man X formula a few notches, and has become one of the more beloved entries in the Blue Bomber's spin-off franchise with good reason. A must play for 2D action platformer fans."

11. Lunar Silver Star Story Complete (75 pts)

Released- 1999
Genre- RPG
3 lists (#17, #6, #5)

"While I had played the Sega CD original before this remake (by about five months), I have the most nostalgia for the revision on PSX.  The voice cast, the music, the story changes, and yes, the packaging.  While it never had the impact on me that games like FF4/6/7 did, I will always have a place in my nostalgia for this title."

10. Vandal Hearts (77 pts)

Released- 1997
Genre- Tactics RPG
4 lists (#19, #16, #14, #3)

"A great strategy RPG that is more streamlined than many of the more complicated titles in the genre."

"I have little familiarity with the Tactical/Strategy RPG world, so this is my entry point. I first played the game for an RF Generation Community Playthrough. However, I quite enjoyed it, and feel as though it's a strong candidate for the best entry level TRPG on the platform. Interesting characters, a lot more story than one might expect, and an engaging battle system all make for a worthwhile experience."

"Yep, to I'm sure the surprise of many, this game just snuck past Suikoden in terms of my favorite PS1 games. After playing Shining Force and Shining Force II on the Genesis, I really feel in love with strategy RPGs, and the usual turned-based mechanics that I was always so used to lost a bit of their luster. Vandal Hearts came out of nowhere as a pick for our monthly playthroughs, and boy did it deliver! I would say that over the past 5-6 years of the playthroughs, it has been the most surprisingly good title to date."

9. Final Fantasy Tactics (111 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Tactics RPG
4 lists (#15, #9, #3, #3)

"I've never played a strategy RPG before this one and this game hooked me.  It was refreshing and I loved the job system and trying to upgrade everything.  Everything just seemed right with me.  I definitely recommend playing this game."

"I once held this game as the gold standard of strategy RPGs, but replaying it recently, I realized how cumbersome and unbalanced it can be at times. Still a great game, but there are better strategy games on the system in my opinion."

"Still one of the best "tactics" games of all time.  So many options to build your party along with a more mature story has this as my top final fantasy game, even though its not part of the main series."

8. Silent Hill (113 pts)

Released- 1999
Genre- Survival Horror
4 lists (#17, #6, #6, #1)

"The bulk of my PSX gaming was done in my first apartment, and I played this game so much that I suspect it was an effort to desensitize myself so I could play it without being afraid.  It did work, but it took a long time. The second game was so well received that I think many people tend to remember this game mostly for it's flaws, but I remember it for that singular moment when my eyes stop seeing the grainy, cloudy graphics and I was there in Silent Hill with Harry Mason, navigating the world within the cone of my flashlight and running from scores of dogs and pterodactyls."

"Not nearly as good as the second and third entries in the series, but still a very solid survival-horror title."

"Another horror game but with a much more psychological approach.  I really enjoyed this one as well but the tension was so completely different from other horror games."

7. Resident Evil (130 pts)

Released- 1996
Genre- Survival Horror
4 lists (#10, #5, #3, #1)

"This started one of my favorite series and genres.  While I started with 2, I find myself coming back to 1 more frequently.  The B-movie vibe it gives off was just so different yet despite the horrible acting and cheesy premise it was a blast to play."

"Campy and scary at the same time. Perfect combination and the start of something truly special"

"The iconic original that put 'survival-horror' on the map is still one of my favorites of the series. RE2 is probably the better game, but there's just something about the first game that appeals to me more."

6. Resident Evil 2 (142 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Survival Horror
5 lists (#20, #9, #6, #2, #1)

"This is the reason we all love and enjoy survival horror to this day. Really beyond anything we'd see for years and set the standard of the genre."

"One of the best survival-horror titles of all time!"

"What I remember most about this game is the demo disc, which was played ad infinitum at the game store I worked at, always on the Samsung gamer tv out of view of the customers.  And then the game came out and we passed out what seemed like a million preorders, I took my own copy home that night and played the intro sequence about a million times."

"While not as silly as 1, 2 definitely improved on nearly every aspect of the series."

5. Metal Gear Solid (146 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Stealth Action Adventure
6 lists (#13, #13, #11, #9, #6, #2)

"I have such fond memories passing the controller across the couch with my roommate in college. I enjoyed the Metal Gear game on NES, and this game took it to another level with more realistic graphics, awesome gameplay, really cool items, and of course, challenging boss battles.  This game should be on everyone's top 5 list in terms of best games on the PS1, and if this were my BEST OF list it would be; however, it's just on the cusp in terms of my favorites on the system."

"The beginning of MGS series and for me, the very best.  I've tried many games in the series since then, and none compare in my mind with this first achievement.  It manages to be "the perfect amount" for about everything, including strangeness, wordiness, long winded-ness, and cut scene length.  All the other games in the series fall too much in at least one of other categories, and ends up boring me to death.  MGS is perfect, I tell you, and I need no other.  For me, it all ended with Snake and Meryl on a snowmobile."

"Highly influential and ahead of its time. I actually enjoy it more now than I did when it was new."

"Say what you will about Hideo Kojima, but this first entry into the franchise in 3D is a stellar work of bananas storytelling, socially and politically conscious themes, a mix of action and stealth, and a game that raised the bar on production values on nearly everything since."

4. Parasite Eve (151 pts)

Released- 1998
Genre- Horror RPG
6 lists (#16, #13, #11, #9, #3, #1)

"A blend of survival-horror and RPG that still stands as a unique and captivating adventure."

"I know this game and definitely this series has it's haters, but those who love this game seem to be very passionate about it. It's not a perfect game for sure, the weapon upgrading system and menus take a little getting used to, but the real-time, turn-based combat (active time bar) really sells this sci-fi horror RPG. Boss battles are intense and the story is complex, yet poignant and not too difficult to follow. Plus, you get to play as one of the most bad*!$ female charcters ever."

"Most folks will probably say that Resident Evil 2 is the best horror game on the PS1. I haven't played it, so I have to go with this. I bought this game not knowing fully what to expect, but ended up loving it. It's RPG-lite, with horror elements, and great world building. Aya Brea is an excellent, memorable character, and the game's cutscenes were astounding for their time, and still hold up relatively well, all things considered."

3. Final Fantasy VII (204 pts)

Released- 1997
Genre- RPG
7 lists (#16, #14, #8, #4, #3, #2, #1)

One of my favorite games ever. It absolutely blew my mind as a kid, and I loved playing it just as much as an adult, if not more. The materia system was a great magic/skill system that is very flexible and allows for a ton of customizability, and its influence is still felt in RPGs today. It introduced series staples such as Limit Breaks which still persist throughout the series to this day, and it has the greatest videogame soundtrack ever in my opinion."

"Simply put, this was the game I left the comfortable folds of Nintendo Fanboy-ism for, and it was so worth it.  Back then I didn't have any issues with all the stuff that made no sense, or the glacial pace of the combat, or the cartoonish way Barret spoke. I just wanted to curl up like a kitty in front of my PSX (strat guide on hand just in case) and sink into this game.  Ah, the nostalgia."

"Are there better RPGs on the PlayStation than Final Fantasy VII? Probably. Are any of them as influential, historically significant, or culturally important than this? Not likely. The game's goofy aesthetic juxtapositions, crazy storyline, and pacing issues aren't enough to dampen the delightful cast of characters, the flexible and interesting Materia system, or the magic of the summons, even if we're tired of seeing Bahamut after the 25th time."

"I know, I know, you're probably saying, "Why is this so low on the list?"  Honestly, I loved this game when it came out and for a long time, I considered it my favorite game on the PS1.  However, time hasn't been as kind to this title; it's still a fantastic game...but it's not longer as high on my list and it's not even my favorite FF game on the PS1." [from the 16th place voter]

"Another great entry from Square.  This one was a complete package, the characters were interesting, the music was phenomenal, the environments were nice and varied, coupled with a classic jRPG battle system."

2. Final Fantasy IX (224 pts)

Released- 2000
Genre- RPG
8 lists (#18, #10, #9, #8, #7, #4, #2, #1)

"Encompasses everything from all previous Final Fantasy games. Amazing soundtrack that includes one of my favorite songs, 'Melodies of Life'"

"Sure to not be a popular opinion, but FF9 is the best Final Fantasy game on the PS1. I think it holds up much better than 7 in that it has better characters, a better story, and better gameplay. Solid RPG."

"I fully bought into the hype of this game, so much so that I must have had ten magazines featuring stories of FFIX.  When it finally came out I forgot about the console craziness that permeated the video game world at the time.  It took me a long while to finish it, but it was worth it.  I am not a fan of the boss rush-style ending at all, but the rest of the game I still want to play it anyway."

"Takes all the things you loved about previous Final Fantasy games and boils them down to their essence. Best cast of characters in a FF game and beautiful and touching story."

"One of the best entries in one of my favorite series."

1. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (280 pts)

Released- 1997
Genre- Adventure (Metroidvania)
8 lists (#12, #4, #3, #3, #2, #2, #1, #1)

"Without a doubt, one of the most amazing games of the 32-bit era, and a miracle of the time, considering that Sony was pushing hard toward everything being 3D. One of the best game soundtracks ever, and a game that is tons of fun to replay."

"Konami's bold new take on their classic Castlevania series was a massive genre-defining success. I still consider this the gold standard of 'Metroidvanias.'"

"Possibly the best Castlevania game which is saying a lot since there are several contenders. Really unparalleled sense of exploration and progression."

"Another apartment nostalgia game. My room was a sub-floor with little to no insulation, and it was cold all whole time.  That is how I remember playing this game; in the freezing cold at night sitting on my bed wrapped in blankets.  Good times.  And the game is good too ;P. SOTN took what Super Metroid was doing to new heights, and I remember feeling like the game had infinite replayability, as it seemed every enemy would randomly drop items, it made me want to just sit and see who would drop what. Never got it to the top percentage (200%?), but then again I never used a strat guide."

"A fantastic early example of the "metroidvania" genre.  It still holds up so well today with its 2D gameplay while everything else was going 3d."

"An incredible game and I'm sure it's going to be at the top of several voters' lists.  Playing as Alucard was such a great twist in the franchise and the back and forth now known as "Metroidvania" style helped to develop a classic genre of action platformers. Beautiful graphics, incrdible boss battles, cool equipment, and the awesome special abilities you come across and need to acquire to advance, make this game a classic and must own for the PS1."

Closing thoughts

Another list down, and I gotta say, while I expected to see survival horror and RPG's on the list, after all those genres really evolved and blossomed during this era, it did surprise me as to how heavily represented those genres were. Also, more than other lists we've done, there were several surprises, several games seemed to be unexpected omissions, and several others hit a ranking much higher or lower than I would have expected.

But again, it was a blast putting it together, and thank you again to everyone who submitted a list, and to Wempster and Disposed Hero for all you do with the videos.

Don't be shy to join in the next list(s)- the TurboGrafx 16 and the Sega Saturn.

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I'm a little surprised the list is so RPG-heavy. I realize the PS1 was a big console for RPGs, but I thought maybe there'd be a little more variety. Interesting mix here. Also surprised to see Lunar made the list, and not Lunar 2.
After seeing the thoughts on it, I may end up picking up Chrono Cross now.

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