The line-up for the PlayStation Classic is finally out! The reception seems to be fairly mixed, but the selection of games isn’t bad at all. There’s a great variety of games which captures the essence of the PlayStation. Not every game will appeal to everyone, which is fine. Regardless, this is a nice sample of what the console has to offer.
That won’t stop us from thinking about what games we would’ve wanted on this console. In this list, I’ve compiled 10 games that would have been a great choice for the PlayStation Classic. I did try to cover as much ground as possible, but personal biases got in the way of that. Only a little bit though, I promise.
It’s a shame Chrono Cross doesn’t get as much attention as Chrono Trigger. This is also a game not readily available as other Squaresoft titles. Your choices are the original PS One version or PS3 emulation. Having this game on a modern device would’ve helped spread the word of its greatness.
I’d be so bold as to say this would’ve been a better addition than Final Fantasy VII. That game is available on so many platforms and gets enough attention as is. You could argue that Final Fantasy is too iconic of a game to leave out. To which I’d respond that the PlayStation Classic is missing Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
This is another game that isn’t widely available. Valkyrie Profile is a solid turn-based RPG and should have a greater presence than it does. It’s not as well known as some other games but is still a “classic” game of its genre.
The story is also quite unique for the time period. It’s based off Norse mythology and has characters like Odin and Loki. To be honest, this game would be hard to fit into a selection of only 20. Perhaps if they were offering a few more titles, then Valkyrie Profile could’ve had a chance.
Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
I put this here because of the immense popularity of Stardew Valley. Harvest Moon is one of the inspirations for it so this game would’ve gained a lot of interest among fans. It does look quite dated, but that’s part of the charm of playing retro games.
The main issue here is that Harvest Moon isn’t really a PlayStation franchise. It actually has more of a presence on Nintendo consoles. Still, this game would’ve been an excellent way to showcase the depth of the PS One’s variety in game genres.
I understand why this game can never be on the mini-console. The licensing will be a major issue and it was also never released outside of Japan. But what’s the point of having a dream that is easily attainable in real life?
Pepsiman is one of the original “endless runner” types of games, although it isn’t actually endless. Even though the game is Japanese, it has live-action cutscenes of a (supposedly) American man who drinks Pepsi. This is one of the most unique games on the PS One and deserves a spot on this list.
Vagrant Story is like Chrono Cross, except fewer people know about it. It’s a dungeon crawling RPG with turn-based combat. The story has a darker tone than 98% of JRPGs and pulls it off sufficiently well. Fun fact, this game takes place in the same universe as Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics (during a different time period though).
This would be a pretty difficult game to get into in modern times. The mechanics are quite different than most games and it’s fairly slow-paced. However, it’s an important game and provides an insight into what Square Enix was like before they spent all their time on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.
The Legend of Dragoon
RPG number four on this list is The Legend of Dragoon. Honestly, there are better choices for the “moderately obscure RPG” of the list. Suikoden II comes to mind, but Konami owns that one. Still, this does look like a decent game. I’ve never actually played it though.
Which is why I wanted it on the PlayStation Classic. Sony could easily do a PS One classic with only RPGs and it would be amazing. Some would probably prefer that to what we actually got. Still, the PS One had more to it than Japanese RPGs, so that wouldn’t fair to the fans.
This is a top-down action adventure game in the vein of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Except Alundra is more of a badass than Link can ever dream of being. The format of the game is similar to 2D Zelda games. There are dungeons with puzzles and enemies. An overworld with grass to cut. The usual.
But it’s different enough and has its own identity. Even though I’ve made a bunch of comparisons, I rarely thought about The Legend of Zelda when actually playing the game. Also, Alundra has excellent 32-bit graphics which probably made Nintendo very jealous. This is the game that ensures no PlayStation fan could feel bad about not being able to play The Legend of Zelda.
The PlayStation Classic does having the racing genre covered with Ridge Racer Type 4. But Gran Turismo is still an awesome game and it’s a shame it missed out. During both the PS One and PS2 eras, Gran Turismo was one of the best in the racing simulation market.
Oh well, there’s only so much you can do with 20 games. There was always going to be a bunch of awesome games that couldn’t make the cut. Sony had to make do with what is feasible and Gran Turismo wasn’t within the realm of possibility.
The original plan was to have Final Fantasy Tactics here. However, the PSP version of that game is superior and should be the one people experience. Instead, the spotlight goes to Xenogears.
This game deserves another chance to receive some recognition. It’s not the best RPG on the PS One, but you could do much worse. Trust me. The original game didn’t get many copies printed as Squaresoft wasn’t confident enough. Many people didn’t get the chance to try this game out. This could’ve been the perfect hidden gem to round out the 20 chosen games.
Spider-Man has seen a surge in popularity after the PS4 game. This would’ve been a cool throwback to the roots of Spider-Man video games. And it’s actually a decent action-adventure title for the time.
Of course, this hasn’t aged very well and will pale in comparison to Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4. Still, the PlayStation Classic could do with a few more fun choices, like an old Spider-Man game. Once again, the issue here would be to do with licensing and is out of Sony’s hands (unless they pay a lot of cash, which isn’t worth it). Maybe one day we can get a third-party PlayStation Classic.
This list barely scratches the surface of what the PlayStation Classic was missing. A keen eye would’ve noticed the lack of a Final Fantasy title on this list. Those games are so popular and are easily available. They didn’t really need to be on this compilation. One of the aims of a mini-console should be to try and make older games more accessible for the newer audience.
Yes, it’s mind-boggling that Crash Bandicoot and Spyro aren’t part of the “classic” PS One line-up. Is that really an issue though? Has anyone complained about not being able to legally play those games? The most important thing to remember is that this console is more than just a list of the “best” and “most popular” games. It’s meant to be an entry point for younger fans (or those who missed out) into the wonderful world of retro gaming. In that regard, the current line-up of the PlayStation Classic is good enough for the job.
That being said, what games would you have added to the PlayStation Classic? Or do you think it’s perfect the way it is? Let us know in the comments below!