What are the best PS1 games ever created?
Created to compete against the Nintendo 64 and Sega Saturn, the release of the original PlayStation heralded Sony’s rise to prominence in the video game industry.
Throughout its lifespan, 7,918 PlayStation games were released for the console, and many were stand-out successes that fans fell in love with.
However, some of these games were markedly more memorable than the others and stand out even today as some of the best ever created.
The Best PS1 Games Ever Created
Our ranked lists are created by researching and rounding up information from the most reputable web sources.
If you enjoy this list, don’t forget to check out our other PlayStation game lists:
- The 50 Best PS2 Games Ever Created
- The 50 Best PS3 Games Ever Created
- The 50 Best PSP Games of All Time
- The 50 Best PS Vita Games of All Time
Here’s our list of the 50 best PS1 games ever created:
50. Dead or Alive
The first game in the Dead or Alive series was first released as an arcade game before being ported to the Sega Saturn in Japan and the original PlayStation across the globe.
Taking a lot of inspiration from Virtua Fighter, this game had an incredible fighting system, advanced graphics, and memorable characters.
Fans of the latest release, Dead or Alive 6, have this title to thank for kicking the entire franchise off.
49. Syphon Filter 3
As a third-person stealth shooter, this game was a PS1 exclusive, and it received a lot of solid praise when it was released.
While not the most critically acclaimed game, players loved it for its complex storyline, graphics, and wide selection of mission types.
48. Parasite Eve II
As an action RPG melded with horror and survival, fans couldn’t get enough.
Although critics didn’t like that the controls were a bit outdated, this didn’t hold back players.
The story, general gameplay, and ability to unlock harder tasks made it one of the best and most challenging games on the PS1.
47. Final Fantasy Anthology
Released in 1999, this anthology included Final Fantasy V and VI.
Instead of just a compilation of these two games, each had several changes, including CGI openings, access to concept art, a cinematics theater, a bestiary, and more.
Although the slow load times were criticized by fans, seeing as some modern games still struggle with this issue, it hardly overshadows the greatness of these games.
46. Brave Fencer Musashi
This action RPG included real-time combat and a well-designed 3D environment. It followed Musashi, a swordsman tasked with defending a parallel world from an invading empire.
Praised highly for its graphics and action elements, this game also came with several fun minigames and puzzles that players had to beat to advance the plot.
45. Breath of Fire IV
An RPG created by gaming titan Capcom, Breath of Fire IV follows the story of Ryu, a man with the ability to transform into a dragon.
Similar to Breath of Fire III, this installment uses both 2D and 3D graphics, along with turn-based combat.
Upon release, it was well-received in the West, with critics and fans praising its game design and beautiful soundtrack.
Developed by Matrix as an action-adventure game, Alundra followed the main character of the same name, who develops the power to enter people’s dreams.
While the story itself was fascinating and fresh, the gameplay, puzzles, platforming, and emphasis on exploration helped make this game even more exceptional.
Having earned critical acclaim upon release, it even earned a sequel released in 1999.
Based on one of the most popular Marvel characters, this game was originally published for the PS1 but later ported to numerous other consoles, including the N64 and Game Boy Color.
The action follows the adventures of our Spider-Man as he tries to clear his name after a doppelganger frames him. This title includes many of Spidy’s most recognizable villains, as well as narration from the one and only Stan Lee.
42. Gran Turismo
Originally released under the title Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator in Europe and Japan, this game was one of the highest-rated racing games released for the PS1.
Selling 10.85 million copies across the globe and spawning ten spin-offs and sequel games, Gran Turismo was an incredible commercial hit, and the numerous awards it won further prove just how incredible this game was.
41. Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
Bringing back Rikimaru and Ayame from the first game, this prequel shows their early lives and how they became Ninja Masters.
This title requires a lot of stealth and challenges players to take out enemies without being seen.
While not the highest-rated game by critics, it was still the sixth-highest selling title when it was released and is consistently considered to be one of the best ps1 games ever created.
40. Ace Combat 2
For players looking to live out their dreams of being fighter pilots, this sequel to Air Combat was a must-have.
With a selection of 24 different jets and 21 exciting missions, this game was exceptionally challenging and made players feel the heat when it came to getting into the cockpit.
39. Metal Slug X
After being ported to the PS1, this run and gun game was immediately embraced by players.
Not only did it have a lot of fantastic levels, but it had a lot of upgrades when compared to Metal Slug 2. These included stages that included time of day changes, less slowdown, more power-ups, more action, and brand-new enemies throughout levels.
38. Medal of Honor: Underground
In the second installment in the Medal of Honor series, this first-person shooter tossed players into the thick of 1940, when Germany occupied France.
While the Game Boy Advance version of this game didn’t receive as warm a reception, on the PS1 it was hailed as one of the best shooting games on the console.
37. Ridge Racer Type 4
The last Ridge Racer title to be made for the PS1, but also one of the best.
Praised for being fast and addictive, this game gave players the ability to unlock a massive library of 320 cars in total, which was absolutely incredible at the time, and many players wanted to collect them all.
36. Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy games are staples of almost every console, and the 8th game in this series contains some of the best turn-based battles and most compelling plotlines of any in the franchise.
When it was released, it was simply stunning, and it pulled out all the stops that fans of the series have come to love.
35. Syphon Filter
As a PlayStation exclusive, this third-person shooter was one of the best spy games to be released on the console.
With high stakes, puzzle-solving, and an incredibly compelling story, Syphon Filter was universally acclaimed, and it earned several sequels and spin-offs due to its success.
34. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
This game was one of the most gore-heavy on the PS1, and it definitely wasn’t for the faint of heart.
When it was released, it received some of the highest praise of any game of the time, and fans immediately fell in love with how engrossing the characters and story were.
Featuring everything a great survival horror game needs, this game was so well-loved that it even earned a remake released in 2020.
33. Medal of Honor
With a story created by acclaimed director Steven Spielberg, this was the first in the Medal of Honor series, and fans of shooters instantly latched onto it.
Another game on this list that critics acclaimed, MoH, featured some of the most engaging gameplay in any FPS, and even today it holds up as one of the best games of all time for the PS1.
32. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
Set in a 3D environment with the best punk, ska, and rock mixed soundtrack, this game was iconic.
With several of the most popular skateboarders to control, numerous tricks, several gameplay modes, and multiplayer co-op mode, Pro Skater really gave players a chance to channel their inner Tony Hawk.
31. Wipeout XL
This futuristic racing game was the second game in the Wipeout series, and it served as a direct sequel to the original.
Building on the foundation of the first, this title featured faster and more competitive races, a new damage system, and brand-new tracks and new weapons.
30. Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
A game that is still a cult classic today, this RPG was created as a remake of Lunar: The Silver Star.
As an updated game for the PS1, it featured new scenarios and a larger cast of new characters without compromising the original storyline.
29. Arc the Lad Collection
A compilation of the Arc the Lad trilogy, fans of the series were happy to get all these games within one collection, including the Arc Arena Monster Tournament and a Making of Arc the Lad documentary.
With each game building upon the last but featuring different characters as leads, getting them all in one collection made playing all of them sequentially much easier.
28. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Oddworld, developed by the company Oddworld Inhabitants, was certainly an odd game. However, it was also one of the most enjoyable to play.
As a cinematic platformer, critics praised it for its incredible art, gameplay, and engaging cutscenes. While the learning curve for the controls was a bit steep, it did little to take away from how fun this title was to play.
27. Dino Crisis 2
Developed by Capcom, this action-adventure title was the second game in the Dino Crisis series, and it sees Regina return as one of the main characters.
If you’d ever wanted to take on dinosaurs like a hunter on holiday in Jurassic Park, this was your go-to game.
26. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
A sequel to Lunar: The Silver Star, Eternal Blue featured more extensive voice acting and more intricate cutscenes.
Taking place 1,000 years after the events of the first game, it contained some of the most memorable characters in the series. Since being released, it has amassed a dedicated fan base.
This game is so beloved that even today there are folks petitioning to have Lunar 3 created.
25. Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
One of the best stealth games on the PS1, it follows Rikimaru and Ayame as they complete ninja missions across Japan.
The main goal of the game is to complete tasks without being seen or detected, which is much easier said than done.
Although Sony didn’t originally plan to release this game outside of Japan, Activision was impressed enough to petition for the rights and release it in the West.
It’s hard to believe that we almost missed out on this incredible game.
This side-scrolling shooter is named after a type of one-handed sword, and it refers to the manipulator’s arm that the player’s spacecraft has.
Although the story is based on Greek mythology, it takes place during a war between the Moon and the Earth.
Both fans and critics enjoyed this game when it was released, and even the soundtrack was praised for just how incredible it was.
23. Wipeout 3
Between the graphics, music, and minimalist design, there was a lot to love in this racing game.
While it wasn’t an incredible commercial success, fans of the series had a lot of love for this game, and the high level of difficulty that some tracks provided made for hours of fun trying to beat them.
22. Mega Man X5
Another great game created by Capcom, this was the fifth game in the Mega Man X series, and it was meant to be the final game. (Spoiler: It wasn’t.) But, it does have a feeling of finality to it that makes it stand out.
Although it received many positive reviews, some felt that it didn’t deviate enough from the previous games. However, fans didn’t complain because the gameplay and characters were already a winning combination.
21. Valkyrie Profile
With a strong influence from Norse mythology, Valkyrie Profile has some of the most inventive gameplay to debut on the PS1.
Positively received by critics and fans, the writing, plot, and characterization were particularly singled out for being some of the best in any PS1 game ever created.
20. The Legend of Dragoon
Not only was The Legend of Dragoon’s soundtrack incredible, but the monsters and characters were outstanding for an RPG.
No cost was cut when creating this game, and the developers spent three years and $16 million making it the best it could be. Fortunately, this was money well spent, as this game certainly earned a place as one of the greatest PS1 games ever created.
19. Silent Hill
Silent Hill takes the horror survival genre and dials it up to 10. It also features possibly some of the creepiest characters ever created.
The popularity of this game — and the whole series — has only grown stronger. With the 2006 film, an influx of fans was seen as people wanted to experience the horror for themselves.
Overall, this is one PS1 game that has exploded into the mainstream to be one of the biggest and most popular series of all time.
18. Final Fantasy Chronicles
A compilation of Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger, this game was incredibly well received by both players and critics, and it helped to bring these classics to a new generation of gamers.
It also features several bonuses, such as additional cut scenes, art galleries, and a full bestiary.
Upon release, this game was hailed as a must-buy, and it became an immediate commercial success.
17. Spyro: Year of the Dragon
The last Spyro game developed by Insomniac Games, this title received critical acclaim and sold more than three million units worldwide.
This game expanded its environments, included more detailed graphics, and introduced additional player characters known as critters, which could be unlocked throughout the game.
As a Spyro game, it was by far one of the best, and fans still hold it in high regard.
16. Parasite Eve
We’ve seen the sequel further up on this list, but the original takes the 16th spot.
Created as a follow-up to the novel of the same name, this game follows an NYC officer as she attempts to stop Eve, a woman bent on destroying the human race.
Fast-paced with cinematic graphics and a well-written, if linear, plot, critics and fans loved Parasite Eve for its astonishing detail and exquisite backdrops.
15. Crash Team Racing
This title is the only one that comes even remotely close to matching the excitement of Mario Kart.
Featuring 15 of the most popular characters from Crash Bandicoot, players can choose from five different modes and 16 tracks, along with loads of unlockable content that can be earned by processing through the game.
Although not a critical success, fans still loved this game, and it still stands out as one of the best.
14. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
Speaking of Crash, this game was one of the best on the PS1, and the music alone instantly set the mood for a good time.
As the first-ever non-Japanese created game to hit one million sales in Japan, Warped was something truly special. Once you started playing it, it was hard to put down.
13. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Set after the first game in the series, Blood Omen, this game followed Raziel along a plot so complex that even Game of Thrones looks straightforward compared to it.
It fit right in alongside other titles like Castlevania, and as a third-person horror platformer, it was one of the best — and critics agreed.
12. Vagrant Story
As an action-adventure game, Vagrant Story is wholly unique in that it doesn’t feature shops or even interaction with any NPCs. Instead, players focus on weapons, weapon customization, and puzzles.
For the month it was released, this game was the fifth best-selling title, and although it quickly was overshadowed by other titles like Chrono Cross, it definitely was a game worth picking up.
11. Gran Turismo 2
Building off the smash hit that was the first game, Gran Turismo 2 is often considered one of the best PS1 games ever created.
With more cars — 650, to be exact — and 27 tracks, this game was high-octane, pulse-racing, and absolutely addicting from day one.
10. Final Fantasy IX
This Final Fantasy game embodied everything good about the series and combined it into one hell of a great game.
With a top-down perspective, fantastic monsters and enemies, and a whole load of secrets to learn, this game had everything that fans of the series could hope for and more.
9. Final Fantasy Tactics
It should be no surprise that a franchise that still ranks high on modern consoles holds so many spots on this list.
However, this tactical role-playing game is such a cult classic we couldn’t not give it the attention it deserves.
Featuring two gameplay modes, with battles taking place on a 3D isometric field, this game was as challenging as it was fun, and it could take some serious thought to get through it.
Thankfully, the soundtrack was so good that even if you were losing, it was still a great experience.
8. Resident Evil
The game that began it all.
While Resident Evil: Village has been taking the world by storm in modern times, this series is no stranger to the hype with the strong foundation that the first laid out.
With zombie bad guys swarming across Raccoon City, the dark and gritty feeling of this game immediately set the scene, and the story sucked you in and had you coming back for more.
7. Final Fantasy VII
As the 7th game in the series, it sets the stage with a science fiction theme that hadn’t been seen in the franchise before.
Featuring a massive map and engaging battle screen where you could take down your enemies, this is often considered one of the best PS1 games ever created, and fans of Cloud Strife particularly enjoyed it.
A remake of this game for the PS4 was also one of the most highly anticipated Playstation games of 2020!
6. Tekken 3
Although Street Fighter may be one of the most well-known fighting games on any console, it doesn’t hold a candle to Tekken.
Compared to many other fighting games, Tekken boasts some of the most unforgettable characters, as well as some of the most engaging gameplay to ever come to the PS1.
While Street Fighter fans may beg to differ, this game definitely was better. Its sales reflect this, with Tekken 3 having sold 8.36 million copies and Street Fighter Alpha 3 only selling 1 million.
5. Suikoden II
In the second installment in the series, this game sports an incredibly large base of characters with over 100 recruitable NPCs in total.
While the game itself is engaging and has an incredible story that features the son of the first game’s protagonist, it is largely considered a hidden gem, as there wasn’t a lot of widespread appeal, and sales were far from incredible.
It’s only in hindsight that it was able to get the recognition it deserved.
The first in the franchise that would go on to rival even Chrono Cross, Xenogears was all about non-linear exploration and working with other characters to become stronger in battles.
As a breakout success in both Japan and America, Sony even gave it a Gold Prize, as sales rose above 500,000 in Japan.
At the same time, critics applauded the story, gameplay, graphics, and soundtrack, with many going so far as to call it the best RPG of the year.
3. Resident Evil 2
Like Silent Hill, this game scared a lot of people, and it certainly wasn’t one to play alone in a dark room. While it may seem tame by today’s standards, when it was first released it was terrifying.
With the goal being to escape Raccoon City and avoid becoming a snack for the zombies, players really had to think hard about their strategies to stay alive in this horror-survival classic.
Although it was positively received on the PS1, it was also one of the best GameCube games of its time as well!
2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Although this game almost tanked, it was saved by the praises of the critics who fell in love with it.
Symphony of the Night was a true non-linear RPG, and it featured a variety of weapons you could use as you worked your way through Dracula’s castle to save Richter Belmont.
It’s hard to go wrong with the Castlevania series, but this installment was certainly one of the best games of all time on the PS1.
1. Metal Gear Solid
Taking the top spot is by far one of the most impactful games ever released on the PS1.
Rising to become one of the most classic and iconic games in history, Metal Gear Solid introduced gamers to Solid Snake and challenged the skills of even the most well-versed stealth game veterans. Especially when it came to defeating Psycho Mantis, one of the toughest video game bosses ever.
Upon release, PlayStation Official Magazine – UK even called it “the best game ever made,” and it consecutively received incredible ratings from critics across the globe.
If you’ve never picked up this game, you’re definitely missing out because it is by far the best game to ever come out on the PS1.
The PS1 changed the world of gaming forever and gave us some of the most iconic games that are still beloved today.
While some games stood out more than others, ranking them is no easy feat, and all 50 on this list are worth playing at least once for the experience.
Here’s a quick recap of the 50 best PS1 games ever created:
- Metal Gear Solid
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
- Resident Evil 2
- Suikoden II
- Tekken 3
- Final Fantasy VII
- Resident Evil
- Final Fantasy Tactics
- Final Fantasy IX
- Gran Turismo 2
- Vagrant Story
- Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
- Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
- Crash Team Racing
- Parasite Eve
- Spyro: Year of the Dragon
- Final Fantasy Chronicles
- Silent Hill
- The Legend of Dragoon
- Valkyrie Profile
- Mega Man X5
- Wipeout 3
- Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
- Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete
- Dino Crisis 2
- Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
- Arc the Lad Collection
- Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete
- Wipeout XL
- Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
- Medal of Honor
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- Syphon Filter
- Final Fantasy VIII
- Ridge Racer Type 4
- Medal of Honor: Underground
- Metal Slug X
- Ace Combat 2
- Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins
- Gran Turismo
- Breath of Fire IV
- Brave Fencer Musashi
- Final Fantasy Anthology
- Parasite Eve II
- Syphon Filter 3
- Dead or Alive
What’s the best PS1 game ever created, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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