Every gamer knows what it’s like to buy a “new-to-me” console. It’s not new but it’s new in the sense that suddenly a whole new world of previously –undiscovered (by you, that is) games now beckon. The process generally involves feverishly racking one’s brain for information on major games to have “made it big” back in the day when PS1 consoles were all the rage. And while most gaming enthusiasts are immediately able to recall games like Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy VII, the true hidden gems tend to go forgotten, having faded to the back of the minds of the majority of gamers for no other reason than sheer information overload.
Ironically, despite the fact that Sony’s PlayStation 1 console shot to console superstar famedom because of its 3D graphics support capabilities, the PS1’s 2D library of games marked one of the tech-giant’s finest achievements of all time. These are the games that may be temporarily forgotten, but certainly not gone. These are PS1’s hidden gems.
Beyond The Beyond – 1995
A true milestone in early console gaming history and as exciting as betting on eSports, Beyond the Beyond was the very first Japanese-style gameplay RPG title to have been released on Western continents. The game furthermore became the very first game ever to allow players to press a button at just the right time during a battle-scene in order to improve their chances of the fight. The feature was very much the forerunner to the “timing-based” attacks that would ultimately follow with the release of the cult classic Final Fantasy VIII.
Castlevania – 1997
Full title: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This was where it all started for Indie. Also, this was living proof that gaming is about much more than life-like graphics. Many die-hard gaming junkies to this day regard Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to be the best video game ever made.
Oddworld–Abe’s Oddyssee – 1997
A pre-rendered masterpiece, Oddworld – Abe’s Oddyssee practically disappeared into the abyss as a result of its having shared a release-year with Final Fantasy VII. Even so; at the time at least; it did manage to achieve sales figures very near those of Final Fantasy. What really stood out about Oddworld – Abe’s Oddyssee was the fact that it featured graphics that were nearly as realistic as the photographs of the time.
Legend of Mana – 1999
Two words: visual masterpiece. Without a doubt one of the most visually stimulating games of the day. Legend of Mana has its roots firmly beached in Gameboy’s first release of Seiken Densetsu. Also, Legend of Mana is traditional console-style sprite art at its very best. So much so that we’re not beyond making mention of “pixel perfect” art whenever the topic of Legend of Mana comes up. And it does.
Mega Man 8 – 1996
Ever wonder how it all got started for feature-film quality animation? Mega Man 8 was the game that started it all. The game drew heavily on the 2D fighter-style expertise of its creators at Capcom. It shows.