Everyone remembers the PSone differently, and that’s perhaps the beauty of it. While the Nintendo 64 was defined by Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and the Xbox was defined by Halo: Combat Evolved and, well, Halo 2, Sony has always cast its net so wide that you rarely get the same answers twice. There are recurring names – Crash Bandicoot! Spyro the Dragon! Tomb Raider! Metal Gear Solid! Final Fantasy VII! – but so eclectic was the Japanese giant’s first console that it was never going to please absolutely everyone with its upcoming PlayStation Classic mini-console. Just take a look at Twitter right now, as social media inferno rages over… Brave Fencer Musashi?
For me the PlayStation was all about Dino Crisis and Theme Hospital; for others it’s Final Fantasy Tactics, Suikoden, and Chrono Cross. And I think this is the underlying point: the PlayStation Classic, with just 20 games available in its roster, was never going to please absolutely everyone. There are high-profile absentees, of that there’s no doubt – but Gran Turismo, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, and WipEout were never going to make the grade due to licensing issues, and honestly I never expected Crash or Spyro given the existence of the PlayStation 4 remakes.
I think you’re left with a good selection of software that spans a variety of tastes and genres – in a way, it’s a microcosm of just how varied the PSone’s library was. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Grand Theft Auto may be curious inclusions for some, but they’re household names – and that they’re flanked by Japanese role-playing games like Final Fantasy VII, Revelations: Persona, and Wild Arms shows just how eclectic the console could be. There’s sadly no Silent Hill, but Resident Evil Director’s Cut was arguably the more iconic of the PSone’s survival horror titles, while Twisted Metal is the longest running first-party series in PlayStation history.
I think the platform holder’s done a good job of balancing first-party and third-party, and also mixing household names with unknown ones. Intelligent Qube is no Tekken 3 in terms of global appeal, but it’s one of those folk legends that’s still fondly remembered in 2018. Lara Croft, honestly, is probably the biggest absentee given just how prolific she was in the mid-to-late 90s, but maybe Square Enix is so invested in the “current” iteration of the character that it didn’t want to water down its marketing efforts by turning back time? At the very least we’re confident conversations were made.
The bottom line is that the PSone was a platform bursting with such riches that I could spend an entire month recapping the games not included on the PlayStation Classic: Whoppee-Camp’s legendary platformer Tomba (or Tombi, depending where you’re from) would have been a nice niche addition to the roster; Pandemonium, the jester-based polygonal adventure from Crystal Dynamics, lives long in the memory for some; Crash Team Racing, arguably the greatest non-Mario kart racer, is probably getting a remake; and there are about a billion JRPGs, some of which I can’t even pronounce, that you’ll read about on ResetEra this week.
The conversation surrounding the mini-console will no doubt be defined by its conspicuous absentees, but I genuinely don’t think any list of 20 could have universally satisfied. Perhaps there’s an argument that Sony should have doubled the selection of software, but that only bumps up the price and makes what is effectively a stocking filler a more expensive proposition. Between licensing headaches and a library so large and varied, I genuinely think the platform holder’s done a really good job. Not everyone, as social media showcases, will agree, though.
What do you think of the PlayStation Classic’s lineup? Are you happy with the games that made the grade, or are you fuming that your favourites failed to hit the list? Make a case for your personal fave in the comments section below.
Are you happy with the PlayStation Classic's game lineup? (117 votes)
Yes, I think it's absolutely amazing
I think it's pretty good all things considered
I'm indifferent about it to be honest
I'm disappointed, but it's not awful
No, it's terrible and I won't be buying
Please login to vote in this poll.