Following in Nintendo’s footsteps, Sony have announced their own mini console, the PlayStation Classic. This tiny nostalgia bomb will come with twenty pre-loaded games for the price of $99.99 here in the U.S. and there’s no need to dig out those old memory cards as saves are handled internally, games can be suspended, and the OPEN button switches discs for the longer titles, making this an appeasing new toy.
As someone who owns way too many original PS1 consoles and is still building his collection, I want to embrace that sense of freedom and ignore the limitations on this new device for a moment, looking at some games that I would personally put on this machine if it was completely customizable. These aren’t just some of my favorites, but games that would be good to take traveling and have a ton of replay value. The five games that were already announced for the mini aren’t too shabby, but these are titles that will part me from my money a lot quicker.
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Here are ten more titles I want on that PlayStation Classic mini.
Like many, I spent a good portion of my youth in arcades, challenging all comers and taking my licks, learning from every encounter. When this port made its way onto the PlayStation I knew I needed Soul Blade in my grubby hands, and not just to save on some quarters. Not only was this a 3D fighter, which I was still getting used to, but the simple addition of weapons really did offer something different from other fighters. The gameplay is nowhere near perfect, but it is good enough to keep grinding through several matches for fun. I used to be pretty dominant with Siegfried, but with Soulcalibur VI releasing soon, I think it’s time to put some more practice in.
I’m a huge wrestling fan, and as such I’m obligated to admit that the N64 did these particular sports games better, but that doesn’t mean that the PlayStation didn’t have a few contenders. There is probably even a better one that WWF Attitude on this console, but for me Acclaim’s last tryst with the wrestling giant took up the most of my time. There was something so cool about being able to see actual video entrances of my favorite wrestlers on screen, able to watch these highlight reels whenever I wanted to, and stage my own epic clash of the titans with the stars of Monday night, which had me coming back for exhibitions often.
Tomb Raider II
Being so early in the field of 3D action-adventure games it is easy to say that none of the original series aged too well, but a lot of fun environments, new moves, and weapons all mixed well with a standout protagonist, as long as players didn’t mind some testy precision jumping. It was a challenge for sure and I put more hours into Tomb Raider II then I can recall, but I know a lot of them were spent simply dicking around Croft Manor. This is a title that made my younger self feel like an explorer, a historian, and such a badass. Like a few other titles on here, it might be just a bit nostalgia-based, but I can’t see a PlayStation without thinking of this entry.
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Out of every title in the series this is the one that I feel most comfortable playing, perhaps because it always felt a bit easier and that it seemed like they threw out all the stops for one more crazy adventure from Naughty Dog with a less than eleven month development cycle. The animations and use of color make for a certain visual splendor and the time travel plotline offered a lot of creative room for level designers. There are a few tough sections, but they are thankfully brief and the upgrades help a lot. The only part I hate are the motorcycle sections. Crash Bandicoot: Warped is a ton of fun with high replay value, as long as no one goes mad trying to collect everything in it.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
Arcade mastery condensed down to the PlayStation—minus a few features of course—with such a creative roster of characters, Marvel Vs. Capcom has so much going for it, but the gameplay is king. The combat has a certain flow, the cross-over attacks are satisfying, and learning the characters is incredibly fun. I personally found my stride with Ryu and Venom, but it’s always fun to switch it up. Crisp visuals, energetic songs, and a lot to learn from facing the computer make for a fun time waster. This series would evolve into much more, with many claiming the second installment the best, but I still find the simplicity and fun of this one calls me to action.
Duke Nukem: Time to Kill
I know this isn’t really a great game, especially considering its previous FPS counterparts, but it is a ton of fun. The opening movie and song (by Stabbing Westwards, which became one of my favorite bands) captivated me in what the PlayStation was capable of and how ridiculous it looked. The 3D environments, jumping through time, weapons and one-liners all kept me coming back even though it could be quite the challenging and even a little frustrating with the controls. This is also one of the last times I remember actually enjoying a Duke Nukem game, so Time to Kill was a bit of a capstone for me in that sense, and one I still revisit to blow off some steam.
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
I picked this title up thinking I’d get a chance to play as a powerful vampire, but wasn’t too disappointed when the opening cutscene resulted in my death and new life as a wraith. This game was a revenge story, a beginning to a much larger epic that I never finished, but sometimes a good start is all that is needed. Soul Reaver features a tortured hero in the form of Raziel, an incredible gothic atmosphere, and numerous creative ideas. The gameplay itself is serviceable and puzzles felt somewhat challenging, while the characters and story kept my interest. The PlayStation may not have the best version of the game, but having this title at the ready means that a great adventure is always close.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy
A culmination of the series that has had a lasting effect on me, how could I pass up the chance to have the best parts of those first three games all together? I could now play out several fantasy matches with this new enlarged roster while enjoying the updated stages and music. The only new thing the title added was Brutality finishers, but the old material was so good on a new console that it didn’t matter. Whether I was fighting friends or the computer, it wasn’t hard to waste away the hours covered in blood. Sure the characters were a bit unbalanced and loading times are a pain, but this one will always be a favorite.
This game is all about the environment and atmosphere, with its creepy gothic aesthetic, rockin’ boss fight tunes, and undead enemies, Nightmare Creatures grabbed me from the opening cutscene and kept me coming back to get better. The journey isn’t easy, and certain elements haven’t aged well, but having two playable characters and a strong urge to stop Crowley and his nefarious scheme saw me through to a tough final few levels. I know that the platforming elements and adrenaline meter have turned some players off this title in the past, but the experience is worth it. I could never make it through the sequel, but with the announcement of a new entry into the series, I’ll be going back to this one soon.
A fun title for whenever I’m tired of shooting zombies and need something a little bit bigger to hunt, Dino Crisis provided a game that felt familiar to several of Capcom’s other hits from the time while managing to pump up the action and ease back a little on the puzzles. The story itself isn’t the biggest attraction, but a strong female lead, Regina, and nice creepy island to run around on work just fine. In fact, the other games in this franchise don’t do it for me, so it’s good that the first one offers me so many hours of fun. Who doesn’t love seeing someone get eaten by a Tyrannosaurus?