The lights are on
Growing up, my dad was a Sony man, so we've stuck with the PlayStation since the first console. As a family tradition, we trekked to the video store almost every Friday night to rent the latest PSOne games. Through all of these trips, we were willing to experiment and discovered a multitude of games without any other information besides what was on the box. These are the off-the-radar PSOne games that I’ll always remember.
I had played horror games before like Silent Hill and Resident Evil, but when I started Parasite Eve, I knew right away there was something different about it. The story enveloped me. I will never forget the opening cutscene in the opera house with its horrid, crumbling destruction amidst the self-combustion of the singing parasite. The most disturbing thing was the fact that she kept singing as the opera house burned around her. The gameplay itself is very similar to Silent Hill and I think that’s why it drew me in so well. It’s silent, sinister, and keeps you on edge as you explore. You can watch Game Informer editors in their replay of Parasite Eve.
Apocalypse was one of the games I used to sit and watch my Dad play because he was so good at it. The game stars Bruce Willis as Trey Kincaid, as he runs through numerous levels using the most ridiculous and explosive guns to take out enemies. His attitude is snarky and snappy and I thoroughly enjoyed it as a kid.
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
This game entails the story of the Gobbos and how they are captured and spread throughout the worlds, trapped in cages. It is up to Croc to rescue them and eventually save the king. Right around the time I was playing Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, I came upon this gem. The sound effects and the music from this game echo in my head as loud as Croc’s attack cry, “Kersplat!” You control Croc as he travels the different worlds and the best thing about this game is that it is challenging. Upon first beginning the game, I didn’t think it’d be that hard and I thought I could blow through it. But with puzzles, moving platforms, and surly enemies, Croc: Legend of the Gobbos is a surprisingly difficult game with replayable charm.
Tai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger
As Tai Fu, you use power-ups to beat up other kung-fu trained big cats and animals. To avenge the tiger clan, Tai Fu travels across the world to finish off the Dragon Master. This game was created way before anything like Kung Fu Panda. I spent countless hours playing this game because it was set in a universe I had never experienced before. The gameplay was delightfully fluid and entertaining with a number of special moves Tai Fu can enact on enemies. It made this game stand out when I think back to PlayStation games, simply because its character design and narrative were so unique.
Playing this game was nothing like the narrative in the film. It was better. As a Gorgonite, you have to save your fellow Gorgonites from the soldiers. The atmosphere in the game is very alien and Quake-like. This makes the multiplayer mode extremely entertaining. I think my family and I played the multiplayer mode more than the campaign.
With a range of fighters, each with their own animalistic capabilities, Bloody Roar creates a fighting experience unlike any other. Think Animorphs-meets-Mortal Kombat. Some characters can turn into a bat, wolf, tiger, mole, cheetah, and so much more – each with their own wicked special moves and combos.
Medievil tells the story of Dan, a warrior risen to save a town from the clutches of the evil sorcerer. Use Dan to beat up zombies and other creatures of the dead in order to defeat the sorcerer once and for all. When it comes to video games, I have a specific taste for all things horrific, supernatural, and undead. That’s why Medievil stuck out to me. In this game you get to battle a number of creepy undead enemies and supernatural beings in order to save the town. The setting, boasting smooth graphics for the time, is both unsettling and dark, like an Edgar Allen Poe story.
Heart of Darkness
Heart of Darkness is a game with a disheartening but motivational narrative. A boy and his dog are outside hanging out one day when a dark shadow passes overhead. The dog goes ahead of the boy to check it out and is kidnapped by these evil tar-like creatures from another planet. It is up to you, the boy, to battle the creatures and save your dog. I spent hours trying to beat this game, but it was (as I remember) incredibly hard and it may have been one of the earliest games that ever made me truly rage. With such a riveting storyline, I just wish I hadn’t struggled so much.
What are your favorite games from the PSOne era? Share them in the comments section.
Colony Wars! Someone needs to bring back space combat (I'm looking at you Star Citizen...)
I also had Blast Chamber, which had some pretty damn hectic 4 player action.
I played the hell out of Gex 2: Enter The Gecko, too.
Tai Fu: Wrath of the Tiger was a pretty good game at the time. From what I remember I can bet that it doesn't hold up well though.
How about Silverload ?
Croc! Thank you!
Had Heart of Darkness, Croc 2 and Small Soldiers. Loved them all!
I loved Parasite Eve, Heart of Darkness, Bloody Roar (the mole was my favorite), Midevil (hard as hell) but never got to play the other games mentioned. One of my all time favorite games wasn't on here though, Wild 9 was an awesome game and had excellent platforming, fluid movement, catchy music, smart creative levels that made you go wow! And I almost forgot to mention the way you could eliminate your enemies using the environment was top notch for its time.
Another game on the PSOne I loved was Vagrant Story, the story was told through comic book looking screens and the gameplay was what stood apart from most games back then. If you knew what you were doing you could chain a combo together and never quit hitting an enemy, and you could attack whatever part of an enemy/boss that you wanted to and either slow them down or make their attacks less devastating.
Nice article though, it makes me think back to a time when all I had to do was work days, go to school, and play games all night.
Medievil was a very dumb, funny, and fun to play game. Croc was also quite entertaining as well. But Medievil, yes.. it seems it has been forgotten. I miss that game
Driver 2 , Jackie Chan Stuntmaster ,and Dave Mirra Freestyle Bmx
Parasite Eve problem was you kill the big baddy, and then had to flee from green slime. And if just miss the turn game over.
I have fond memories of most of these games except only through demo discs as I was just a penniless child. I'd also like to toss Blasto onto the list.
I played Croc 2 on PC, it was one of my first 3D platformers. It was also one of the first games I beat 100%. Also I remember finding the manual for T'ai Fu and reading it, thinking it would have been an awesome game if I'd had a PS1 at the time. A quick Wiki search reveals that the main character was voiced by John DiMaggio, which is neat. Maybe it'll be on PSN one day.
Crypt Killer should be on here.
Legend of Dragoon
They didnt mention Legacy of Kain! UGH
I think I might have to keep an eye for some at these games at yard sales and stuff.
Azure Dreams for the PSOne was my favorite game on the console, beating out FF7/9 by a narrow margin. I feel as I am in the minority since it seems a lot of people I speak with haven't played or heard of the game before. It had a lot going for it, monster collecting, real-time RPG combat, town development and several female characters you could develop a relationship with, each with a storyline that plays into how you get them to like you. The game was awesome and I would love a sequel or remaster but I doubt it will ever happen.