Ps Fea 1

There are the guts of Party Poppers on the floor, and Twisted Metal has taken over the office television; many happy returns PlayStation, we’ll be sure to have a drink (or six) in your honour this evening. With the PSone turning 20 today – prompting some extraordinary celebratory announcements – Sony’s gaming brand is finally reaching that ripe old age where it’s acceptable to feel a little nostalgic.

Much like you, we’ve grown up with the Japanese giant’s gaming consoles, and they subsequently represent an enormous part of our DNA. That doesn’t mean that we don’t get miffed at the manufacturer from time to time, but it’s because we care so passionately that we want the platform holder to succeed. And triumph it has over the years, with more great games than we care to count. As such, in order to round out today’s festivities, we’re looking back at our favourite PSone titles.

Ps Fea 9

Sammy Barker, Editor

Fashion is cyclical, and good ideas almost always come back around. This is part of the reason why the Official Chart Company is on the verge of launching a weekly vinyl chart in the UK, which will track booming sales of old-school LPs in this supposedly digital age. While I’m shuddering at the thought of cassettes making a return, though, I’m thankful that the burgeoning indie movement has allowed out-there titles like Incredible Crisis to flourish again. A rare minigame compilation where its genre is anything but disparaging, this experimental escapade follows the bizarre adventures of a working class family as they try to go about their daily lives. It’s the type of title that has no right to exist, but it does, and I own it.

Ps Fea 2

Robert Ramsey, Associate Editor

The PSone was the first home console that I really got into, so when it comes to games, I've got plenty of fond memories, which makes it difficult to single out any favourite title in particular. That said, I don't think that any release resonated with my younger self as much as Final Fantasy IX did. It was one of the machine's last big blockbusters, and it possessed a certain charm and sense of adventure that few games had provided me with before. The incredible thing is that, despite obvious bouts of nostalgia, Squaresoft's brilliant RPG still holds its own today, and it's aged shockingly well. After playing through it again on the Vita after so many years, and subsequently penning a review for Push Square, I'm convinced that Square Enix's beloved series just doesn't get much better than this. It was and still is a triumph, and when I think of the best times that I had with the PSone, Zidane and his colourful allies immediately spring to mind.

Ps Fea 3

Ben Potter, Video Editor

I have extremely fond memories of skateboarding's mop-haired frontman's second PSone video game effort, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. I'd spend hours kick flipping and flip kicking my way around the various parks, desperately trying to master the art of 'manuals' so that my combo of tricks would never end, as well as, for some reason, obsessively collecting golden cassettes. However, finding the secret areas also proved very rewarding. For example, grinding along the propeller in the hangar area would reveal an additional half-pipe filled with collectible goodies and treats to further increase my completion of that location.

I would have just as much fun with my friends, trying to outdo one another's combos playing HORSE, but with words that were so much more obscene. What made this even more entertaining was playing with buddies while masquerading as a superhero, and as if it couldn't get any better, there was an insanely long cheat code to not only unlock a video of Tony Hawk dressed as Spiderman doing tricks, but the actual wall crawler himself as a playable character. Don't tell Activision, though, because if they could find a way to charge you for historic 'should have been DLC' enjoyment, this would certainly come under that banner.

Ps Fea 4

Kell Andersen, News Reporter

Without a doubt, the best thing about Final Fantasy Tactics is the jobs. There are a ludicrous number of different professions that your characters can apply themselves to, which always filled a young Kell with a profound sense of wonder and discovery. Totally carefree, he would pick the jobs with the coolest names and the funnest costumes. However, older Kell knows the error of his youthful folly. Because let's be clear here, I have never actually beaten the game – partly due to its frequent and punishing difficulty spikes, but mostly because of my insistence of running an entire team of Ninjas, however impossible that proposition might actually be. Regardless, it is a title that I remember very fondly, and one that I will hopefully return to with my now sharper strategic mind.

Ps Fea 5

Alex Stinton, Reviewer

There were plenty of great games to be found on the PSone, but for some reason the fondest memories that I have all relate to PaRappa the Rapper. There was something about the rapping dog, bursting with positivity, that kept me playing this rhythm game just so that I could hear its hero proclaim "you gotta believe!" one more time. The catchy tunes you time your button presses to are all ear worms of the best variety, wiggling their way deep into your brain, to the extent that even today I can recall them with a clarity that doesn't stretch to other parts of that period in my life. While it's not the most challenging game, the fact that I owned a copy – but not an actual PlayStation – speaks volumes to the impact of this genre launching title.

Ps Fea 6

Graham Banas, Reviewer

Medal of Honor was my first true taste of what games could be when I was kid. At the time, everything in it just looked and felt so lifelike. I was also absolutely obsessed with World War II history in my youth – still am, as a matter of fact – so even when I look back, I'm not really surprised that this was the first title that caught my attention when I got my PSone. From Michael Giacchino's score (still one of my absolute favourites all these years later) to the amazing controls and the locations in the European theatre of the war, I was hooked. I'd have to wait a few more releases into the series before I'd be able to experience the Normandy invasion in a game, but that doesn't detract from my adoration of the inaugural entry in the franchise, which jump-started this series into superstardom.

Ps Fea 7

Jamie O’Neill, Reviewer

Strider 2 instantly popped into my head, although with a number of flaws I’m hesitant to call it my favourite PSone title. Kouichi Yotsui left Capcom before Strider 2, despite his influence as game planner of the original Strider coin-op, but Capcom’s developers accurately recaptured Hiryu’s speed and Cypher sword acrobatics in the sequel. Disappointingly, the PSone conversion disrupts the game’s pacing with intrusive loading screens jarringly strewn throughout stages, and infinite continues that make Strider 2 short and easy to complete.

I’ve had a heightened interest in 2D and side-scrolling PSone games for a while now – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a legitimate contender in any discussion about the greatest game on the system – and I was tempted to mention the 2.5D allurement of Klonoa here. However, with the PSone double pack including the 1989 arcade original on a separate Strider 1 bonus disc – one of my favourite games of all time harking back to the Mega Drive conversion – I was so excited for a true Strider sequel that I didn’t mind the PSone port being a rough gem in 2000. The combination of fast gameplay, along with plentiful boss battles, establishes Strider 2 as my personal recurrent PSone snack indulgence.

Ps Fea 8

Joey Thurmond, Reviewer

There are some games that utterly capture your imagination, y’know? Whenever you think about them or go back to play them, they rarely seem to ever lose their edge and always make you feel happy and nostalgic whenever they're brought up. For me, that game is Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, and it's not only my favourite PSone game – it’s one of my all-time most beloved titles.

Although Spyro the Dragon was a wonderful start for Insomniac Games' trilogy, I feel as though the studio reached its peak with the middle entry. The massive hub world and dozens of other areas that you can visit are varied and beautiful, thanks to its vibrant art style and solid graphics. Meanwhile, the characters are humorous and entertaining (even the NPCs) – and don't get me started on Stewart Copeland's masterful soundtrack, which is filled with ambient and upbeat tunes.

The improvements made to the ‘feel’ of Spyro is one of the standout points for me when comparing the game to the rest of the trilogy, though: he's a blast to control, as he glides, rams, and swims his way through 3D platforming goodness. There are also many hidden things to discover and meaningful side quests to complete, and you'll get distracted finishing everything before you know it. To me, it's a near-perfect game with a flame that will never die out as a PSone classic.

That’s our thoughts out of the way, but this article doesn’t end here; now we want to know all about your favourite PSone titles. Which games still make you feel giddy when you think about them, and which have you come back to time and time again? Feel all nostalgic in the comments section below.