The big headline on Planet PlayStation right now is the overhaul of PS Plus. The subscription service is to be merged with PS Now, with three tiers providing more benefits the more you pay. We won't explain each PS Plus tier right here, but the most expensive option is PS Plus Premium. The most eye-catching addition is access to a large library of PS1, PS2, and PSP games, as well as PS3 if your connection is able to stream them. Whatever your reaction to PS Plus' new structure, it's a cool bonus for those with a soft spot for the classics.
While we know the price and the general gist, Sony has neglected to tell us exactly which retro games will be available when the new PS Plus launches in the summer. All we know is they "look great". We're sure it will get around to that eventually, but in the meantime, we thought it'd be fun to go through some favourites we'd like to see included. You can check out our list of picks below, but more than that, we'd like to hear what you want, too. Give our list a browse, then hop into the comments and tell us what PS1, PS2, and PSP games might convince you to join PS Plus Premium.
It's a damn shame that Bloody Roar died off as a franchise, because it really did offer something unique in the fighting game space. For our money, Bloody Roar 2 is the most memorable instalment — an unsurprisingly bloody PS1 brawler that still plays pretty well. Its core gimmick of transforming characters remains a selling point, and there's an undeniable 90s swagger to how it presents itself. While we doubt that there are many people clamouring to chew on Bloody Roar 2 right now, it's something of an unsung classic.
Placing Breath of Fire IV on this list ahead of its immediate predecessor Breath of Fire III wasn't easy an easy decision to make, but IV just might be one of the most underrated RPGs to ever grace a PlayStation console. The original release ended up being overshadowed by the advent of the PS2, but its fantastic cast of characters, dark story twists, outstanding art direction, tight turn based gameplay, and top tier soundtrack cement it as a PS1 classic. We would very much like to play through this one all over again, because lord knows we can't rely on Capcom to, er, breathe new life into Breath of Fire.
The licensed soundtrack means this one is probably a pipe dream, but we're including it here anyway because it's our wishlist and we can do whatever we want. A game at the pinnacle of its genre, this fast, crash-happy arcade racer is an absolute classic. The combination of dangerously fast racing and the ability to send rivals spiralling into traffic, bollards, and barriers is devilishly fun and endlessly satisfying, and there's nothing like the game's brilliant Crash mode available today. Excluding this from PS Plus Premium would be a crime.
It's actually because Croc isn't the most iconic platforming mascot out there that we think he deserves to make the cut. While the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon have received modern remakes, this poor little guy is stuck on PS1, fondly remembered but almost entirely forgotten. PS Plus Premium would be a great opportunity to revisit this lovely game, though — colourful, imaginative, and challenging, albeit mainly because of the controls. Plus, who can resist those adorable Gobbos?
Apologies Capcom, but your recent red-haired tease in the Exoprimal announcement trailer only increases our hunger for Dino Crisis. Replacing the undead with prehistoric dinosaurs, this third-person adventure was a little more sci-fi than Resident Evil, in both its environments and puzzles. It still retained those survival horror hallmarks, though, tasking you with escaping a top-secret facility overrun with dinosaurs. Tense and over the top in all the right ways, there's still nothing quite like Dino Crisis.
For our gold coins, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King remains one of the most effortlessly charming RPGs on PlayStation. A PS2 essential, Journey of the Cursed King propelled the classic series to all-new heights in terms of visual presentation and world building. A true sense of adventure runs through the entire release, and even by today's standards it's a phenomenally well realised RPG. An enhanced 3DS port that launched in 2017 does take the edge off our pining for the original game, but we'd still love to see it make a return on PlayStation.
While we wait for Grand Theft Auto 6, how about a trip down memory lane to one of the first PS2 games considered a clone of the open world series? Nowadays the comparison wouldn't go down so well since The Getaway was very much its own thing; a serious take on the life of gangsters in London. Having to obey traffic laws, driving on the correct side of the road — perhaps the only real resemblance to GTA was they both had guns. As a make-good for cancelling its third entry on PS3, Sony can bring back The Getaway on PS Plus Premium.
In terms of rhythm games, we feel like PaRappa the Rapper is probably a shoe-in for PS Plus Premium, but what about Gitaroo Man? This Koei Tecmo title is a cult hit for a reason: it featured truly unique gameplay, a wacky story, and most importantly, some excellent music. A PSP port exists as well as the PS2 original, and we'd take either version if it means we can play along to the Legendary Theme once again.
Of course there are so many GTA games that could be included with PS Plus Premium, but Chinatown Wars feels like one deserving of more attention. It replicates the top-down origins of the open world series but with a neat visual twist, and features some imaginative missions and side activities. The mainline titles are seminal sandboxes, no question, but this unique title holds its own, and is as worthy of inclusion as its bigger brothers.
When you think of PS1 fighting games, Gundam Battle Assault 2 probably isn't a title that immediately springs to mind, but this licensed brawler is positively dripping with 90s anime goodness. A much improved sequel, it boasts a surprisingly diverse roster of mobile suits, and while the combat itself is very chunky by today's standards, it's a largely fun kind of chunk. Watching two hulking mechs smash into each other as sparks fly and battle damage shows on wonderfully drawn sprites is still a joy for any Gundam fan. A bit of a hidden gem.
If your bones are growing weary and your hair turning a subtle shade of grey, you may be finding it harder to find time for some of the full-length RPGs on this list. Half-Minute Hero solved that problem, condensing the traditionally time-consuming genre down to 30 second quests. The game goes a little off the boil in later missions and modes, but its core concept of abridged puzzle-like JRPG campaigns remains compelling, and we’re surprised developers haven’t copied the idea.
Camelot may claim that its Game Boy Color pseudo-sports RPG Mario Tennis has the greatest sports game campaign of all-time, but Clap-Hanz actually has its overactive hands on that accolade. Hot Shots Tennis, also known as Everybody’s Tennis, is a staggeringly entertaining adventure, with vivid colours and deceptively deep arcade gameplay. With a story that even manages to shoehorn Killzone’s Helghast into its plot, this is a true ace that needs to be part of PS Plus Premium.
Forget about native PS3 emulation, because Killzone was at its best on the PSP anyway. Isometric tactical shooter Killzone: Liberation was developed by series creator Guerrilla Games, and is a brilliant adaptation of the Dutch developer’s dismal sci-fi universe. With a buddy AI combat system and plenty of frantic firefights, this title would still stack up as a compelling digital download.
It's got to be there, right? One of the greatest stealth and storytelling experiences of all time, Metal Gear Solid is a game that defines the PS1 era. Since Solid Snake doesn't appear to be coming back any time soon (in a brand new game at least), let's get his PS1 adventure back onto modern hardware. The story holds up, the gameplay holds up. A masterpiece like this should never be lost to time. If Konami wants to be nice, we'll take Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, too.
Micro Machines V3 was a brilliant multiplayer racing game on PS1, and we've no doubt its brand of running other racers off the screen would prove just as maddening today. Racing across kitchen counters, pool tables, and workstations as miniature cars remains a novel idea, and few have done it better than this silly, light-hearted game. Put it on PS Plus Premium and watch friendships crumble.
The lesser-known MotorStorm game, but a flippin’ fun one. Originally released on PSP and then later ported to PS2, MotorStorm: Arctic Edge’s underlying USP is its frigid backdrop, which makes for some seriously cool off-road racing. MotorStorm is one of Sony’s most underrated brands of the modern era, and with Evolution Studios’ mainline entries chained to PS3 cloud streaming, we’ll settle for this overlooked entry instead.
Licenses mean this is unlikely, but racers honestly don’t get much dreamier than the delightful Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast. Despite being developed by UK studio Sumo Digital, this bright and breezy sequel has all the oversaturated presentation of Yu Suzuki’s arcade classic. The cars are always sideways, the sky is always blue, and Splash Wave is always on the radio. Don’t touch that dial!
Still the definitive version of a stonewall classic PS2 RPG, Persona 3 FES is as slick and stylish now as it was when it first released in 2007. Although it lacks the quality of life improvements that came courtesy of sequels Persona 4 and Persona 5, there's a darker, more sinister tone to Persona 3 that keeps it relevant. Excellently paced and hopelessly addictive in its gameplay loop that combines social links with tense dungeon crawling, it would be a crime not to have Persona 3 FES on PS Plus.
While the recent remake of Resident Evil 2 and the HD remaster of the first Resident Evil have effectively replaced the original PS1 titles, the same cannot be said of Resident Evil 3. The 2020 remake left out a number of locations and scenarios, to the point where it can hardly be considered faithful. That means the original Resident Evil 3: Nemesis still has a lot of merit, and we'd be lying if we said we didn't miss the fixed camera angles and tank controls. We'd take the entire original trilogy if Capcom's willing, but let's at least get the third mainline entry in working order first.
Sony Bend may be best known for grumpy bikers these days, but its back catalogue is bursting with brilliant handheld conversions. Resistance: Retribution, a third-person shooter inspired by Insmoniac Games’ FPS franchise, is a remarkably entertaining sci-fi shooter. Having worked on the Syphon Filter series for several years, the developer knew how to make shooters sing on the PSP, but launching so late in the handheld’s lifecycle, not many played this explosive Parisian excursion. With tasty production values and an impressive arsenal of firearms, this contemporary classic deserves a second chance with PS Plus Premium.
Oh, how we miss Ridge Racer. Bandai Namco's effortlessly stylish arcade racing series has been missing from PlayStation for about 10 years now, and it's a hole that could be filled by some retro versions. Ridge Racer Type 4 is a real highlight of the series — a stunning game that mixed gorgeous presentation with wonderfully slidey racing. If you won't give us a new entry, Bamco, we'll gladly take an old one instead.
The Shin Megami Tensei series has spawned a lot of spinoffs over the years, but few have hit the heights of Digital Devil Saga (and direct sequel Digital Devil Saga 2). A dark and uniquely atmospheric RPG, its story takes place across a strange world where rival clans battle for supremacy. The turn based combat system revolves around you and your party's ability to morph into bestial devil forms, allowing for access to additional attacks and skills. The story packs plenty of twists and turns, while an absolutely killer rock soundtrack ties everything together.
When you consider just how well regarded Silent Hill 2 is in the horror space, it's borderline criminal how difficult Konami makes it to play that original PS2 experience. Since the awful HD remaster on PS3 is a no-go, your only option is to buy a physical copy on Sony's second home system and hope the disc isn't scratched to pieces. Silent Hill 2 deserves to be restored in all its glory, allowing us to go in search of our long lost wife once more. It simply cannot be lost to time in the same way so many other Konami franchises are. As part of PS Plus Premium, it'll at least have a permanent home, despite Pyramid Head trying its best to destroy it.
No PS2 collection is complete without a trip to Springfield, and so The Simpsons: Hit & Run is an essential inclusion in PS Plus Premium. A surprisingly competent and enjoyable open world game, its charm took it a long way and into the hearts of many that grew up with the PS2. Maybe it doesn't hold up today, but we feel inclined to take Homer's pink Plymouth Junkerolla for a spin and stop off at the Kwik-E-Mart one more time.
Why bring back an ancient Spidey game when Insomniac is knocking it out of the park with its modern titles? Well, because in this one, the wall-crawler will appear on-screen and attack your profile name if you type in a rude word. It's also just a fun action game with a suitably OTT story that we remember loving back in the day. Licensed games like this are unlikely to make the cut, but Sony could surely pull some strings here.
SSX 3 is also more than worthy of inclusion in PS Plus Premium, but it's Tricky (tricky, tricky, tricky) that holds a special place in our heart. EA Sports BIG knocked it out of the park with this stylish arcade take on snowboarding, emphasising speedy mountain descents, massive air, and ridiculous tricks. As is the case with many older titles, the licensed soundtrack won't help its chances, but this colourful game and its cast of loveable characters would absolutely still stand out today.
Look, all we really want to do is run through that first level over and over again with the classic taser, but bringing back Syphon Filter at least through PS Plus Premium highlights how there's such a big gap in the market right now for a stealth-focused game. Anyway, back to the taser. The way the enemies shake in their boots and eventually set on fire? Come on, that's gotta be brought back for the modern era.
The quintessential PS1 fighting game, Tekken 3 kicked the genre into a new golden age when it released in 1998. Still considered to be one of the greatest beat-'em-ups of all time, many believe that Namco's series peaked with this particular instalment. Featuring an overhauled character roster in which returning fighters had aged and young newcomers added welcome spice, it improved upon everything that the property had achieved with Tekken 2. Sure, it's clunky compared to the brawlers of today, but we'd gladly boot Tekken 3 up just to hear that iconic soundtrack again.
Lara Croft may be a whinging wimp these days, crying into her crossbow while she takes out entire tribes, but back in our day the Tomb Raider totalled Tyrannosaurus Rexs in a tank-top. Tomb Raider 2 may have aged appallingly in this age of Uncharted, but this is still one of the defining PS1 action adventure games, filled with exotic locations and pulsated, dual-pistol combat.
With a television series and a brand new, PS5 native entry in production, Twisted Metal 2 is a shoe-in for PS Plus Premium, right? While the PS2 version Twisted Metal Black is arguably superior – and already available on the PS4 as part of Sony’s short-lived porting program – the second instalment in 989 Studios’ silly dark comedy car combat series takes you all over the world, as you wage war in cities such as Paris and Los Angeles.
That does it for our wishlist of PS Plus Premium retro games, but what about you? Are there any obvious candidates or personal favourites you'd add to our selection? Will you be subscribing to these new PS Plus tiers? Make yourselves heard in the comments section below.