Three Up, Three Down: PlayStation Classic

Three Up, Three Down: PlayStation Classic

Personally, I have always found playing classic consoles akin to being invited to a pool party with an above-ground pool.  Sure there’s some nostalgia there. You’re doing something you used to think was cool but now it just feels lame, boring, and a little gross.  That’s why when Sony released the lineup for their Playstation Classic my first reaction was to roll my eyes. Like all of the retro consoles before Sony’s, there are some great old games worth revisiting, but there are also titles that are missing and some that should never again see the light of day.  That said, here the top three and bottom three games that the PlayStation Classic has to offer.

Bottom

Intelligent Qube

Looks awesome, huh?

Here is the actual description of this game:

I.Q.: Intelligent Qube is a puzzle game for the PlayStation. In the game, the player controls a character who must run around a platform made of cubes, clearing certain cubes as they approach.”  

Sounds like a ton of fun right? A plain black background, gray cubes, and a small brick polygon figure running around.  I’m sure there’s an audience for this game, I’m sure there are a handful of people who are glad that this game made the list, but I don’t know who those people are and quite honestly I’m glad I don’t.  Hard pass. Why not include a better game with challenging puzzle elements? Something like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo

Over 20 years later, I still have no idea what’s happening on this screen.

The PlayStation Classic features two fighting titles (Battle Arena Toshinden and my beloved Tekken 3) that are considered groundbreaking games. Somewhere along the way, somebody at Capcom said, “you know what would make the gold standard of 2D fighting games even better? Tetris.”  To me, there isn’t much value in playing a fighting game within a puzzle game.  It just seems like a fighting game for people who were never good at fighting games.  Truth be told this game could be considered fun on its own, but with space for twenty titles on a single console, I’m not entirely certain why this one made the list.  More than that (and we’ll run into this problem again shortly) why have several types of games of the same genre when one of them is clearly the better title. If you want to play a colorful puzzle game, play Mr. Driller.

Destruction Derby

Crash and burn.

You have Ridge Racer 4 AND Twisted Metal on this console, why do you need a game that is a worse version of those other two?  Simply doesn’t make sense. Besides that, the purpose of this game is to hit other cars with your car.  Doesn’t really seem like a whole lot of depth to this title. I also don’t really remember this game playing particularly well, but I do remember the repetitive music and terrible menus.  If you want to play a great racing simulator, play Ridge Racer.  If you want to smite your automotive enemies as a killer clown in a missile-shooting ice cream truck (how cool is this sentence) then play Twisted Metal.  There was no reason to play this game when it first came out, so there is CERTAINLY no reason to play it now.  Moreover, I have no idea why Sony’s Gran Turismo 2 isn’t a part of this release.

 

Top

Final Fantasy 7

Don’t let this image fool you. This kid can whoop ass.

While the graphics and gameplay are a bit dated by this point, the impact of Final Fantasy VII cannot be understated.  Incredible characters, great soundtrack, a compelling story, and one of the best turn-based RPGs ever created FF7 definitely deserves another look.  

Tekken 3

So many moves. So many cool characters. All the time in the world.

In my mind, there are few fighting games worth talking about.  There are even fewer games worth spending hundreds of hours playing and mastering movesets with myriad characters.  Tekken 3 is both of those things.  To me, this is the first game to master the 3D fighter. While each iteration of this game has attempted to build off of Tekken 3, there hasn’t been quite been a game this polished.  Again, the graphics look dated, but the razor-sharp gameplay and depth of mechanics make this an absolute must-play for fighting game fans.  Seriously, might be worth the c-note just for this one.

Metal Gear Solid

Sneaky l’il Snake.

Come on.  If you’re reading this article and haven’t played this game we’re going to need to figure some things out.  One of the best PlayStation games ever? Without a doubt. A landmark stealth game that reinvented an entire genre? Sure.  One of the best video games ever, created by one of the most prolific game designers who ever lived? Yeah, that too. Lots of stealth, lots of action, lots of challenging boss battles.  This is the game we all wanted on the PSC, and this is the one game that makes buying this console worth the somewhat steep price of $99.00.

While there are 14 other games offered with the PlayStation classic, I believe that they simply fall under the “good” category insofar as I will play them for an hour and then never again.  For all “classic” consoles the issue has always been that sooner or later the nostalgia wears off, and what you are left with is a console carrying inferior games to what you are playing now.  Sure, there is something to be said for looking back and seeing how far we’ve come in terms of the games we play. However, not every console is a classic and not every game needs to a second look.  

Ryan Davey

Ryan is a professional educator, podcaster, journalist and gamer. When not writing or shaping young minds, he can be heard on his weekly podcast #Dork and on his Twitch stream. Ryan also enjoys ungodly amounts of coffee, 80s action movies, and yacht rock.