Looking back, the PlayStation was home to some of the most iconic characters in gaming. But, have you ever wondered what the best PS1 games were? Will Crash take the top spot? Or perhaps it’s going to be Metal Gear Solid… Let’s find out.
Ah… The console that started it all. On the eve of the PlayStation 5 launch, why don’t we look back at some of the titles that started it all. Debuting in 1994, in Japan, the PlayStation marked Sony’s entry into the video game industry. And, what an entry it was… Right?
With titles like Crash Bandicoot, Tomb Raider, and the incredible Spider-Man title, the PlayStation really had it all. But, have you ever wondered which PlayStation title was the best? We know that Crash Bandicoot and Spyro have that sweet nostalgia hit, but are they the best the original PlayStation has to offer?
Below, we’re going to take a trip down memory lane and look at the top 15 best PS1 games. They’re going to be ranked on two factors: their Metacritic scores and their units sold. Combining these two, we’ll get to the bottom of what the best PS1 game is… With any luck.
Best PS1 Games Ranking
15. Tomb Raider III
Edios Interactive’s Tomb Raider III was a huge step forward for the series. It was built on an improved engine which boasted better graphics and smoother gameplay. Not only was this a huge development for 3D video games, it was also not too bad for sales! Tomb Raider III shipped 5,900,000 units in it’s lifetime. This may be more than Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy IX, Crash Bandicoot 3 and Tekken 2, but it only got a Metascore of 76?! The User Score is 8.0, but it isn’t enough to warrant any higher on the list.
14. Tekken 2
Tekken 2, as you might imagine, is a popular game. The sequel to the revolutionary Tekken was brought to home consoles and with it eight brand-new fighters. Everyone remembers Roger, right? Right? Anyway… Tekken 2 sold just about as well as Crash Bandicoot 3, hitting 5,700,000 units sold. However, it’s lower Metascore of 89 and User Score of 8.4 sadly mean it sits just above last on our list.
13. Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped
The triumphant third Crash Bandicoot title has made it’s way onto the list! It sold a little more than FFIX, shipping 5,700,000 units in it’s lifetime. However, it has a lower Metascore meaning it sits just below FFIX on our list. It’s still 91, though, which is hugely impressive. The User Score is also 9.0.
12. Final Fantasy IX
The ninth instalment in the Final Fantasy series was released in 2000, over twenty years ago! It managed to sell an impressive 5,500,000 copies on the PlayStation too. What’s even more impressive is the fact that it has a Metascore of 94 and a User Score of 9.0! This means it very-slightly beats Crash Bandicoot 3. But, only just.
11: Resident Evil 2
Arguably the best Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 2 managed to sneak ahead of Tekken 2 and Crash Bandicoot 3 in sales. It managed to sell 5,570,000 units in it’s lifetime. Fun fact, the Resident Evil 2 Remake has sold well over 7,000,000 units. I guess it isn’t all about nostalgia! Metacritic gave Resident Evil a Metascore of 89 and it has a User Score of 9.2 meaning it sits comfortably at number 11.
10. Tomb Raider II
Tomb Raider II built on Tomb Raider in many ways. It added new weapons, including a harpoon gun, and a couple new vehicles. It also took Lara on another iconic adventure, having her travel across East Asia in the search for the Dagger of Xian. Tomb Raider II managed to sell 6,800,000 units in it’s lifetime on the PlayStation. It performed better than Tomb Raider III with a Metascore of 85 and a User Score around 8.0, but it isn’t quite enough to beat Metal Gear Solid.
9. Crash Bandicoot
Can you believe it? The fact that Crash Bandicoot isn’t higher is a little shocking considering the legacy it’s left behind! The original bandicoot-full adventure shipped 6,820,000 units, only just beating Tomb Raider II. Crash Bandicoot doesn’t have a Metacritic listing, though, so we’re going further afield for those scores. GameRankings list it as having 80%, with other publications matching this or listing it around 90%. It seems unlikely that a Metascore would top Metal Gear Solid‘s 94, so it sits just below it.
8. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
We all feel a little PS1 Hagrid now and again, right? This is one I wouldn’t have seen coming, but Harry Potter’s first outing onto PlayStation made a big impact and marks the first major sales jump of the list. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sold around 8,000,000 units in it’s lifetime. This is a whole lot more than Metal Gear Solid, but it’s measly Metascore of 64 means it sits here in eight. It has generally favourable reviews from users with a User Score of 7.5, though!
7. Metal Gear Solid
Snake? Snake?! SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!
Sorry. It has to be done. Metal Gear Solid is regarded as one of the most important video games in history. Not only did it help popularise stealth mechanics and cutscenes, but it also gave the world Solid Snake! The game that started it all managed to sell just over 6,000,000 units on the PlayStation. This is reflected in a Metascore of 94 and a User Score of 9.2. Metal Gear Solid, despite it’s lower sales, belongs this high up the list.
6. Tomb Raider
Sometimes, you can’t beat an original. In Tomb Raider‘s case, this is definitely true. Tomb Raider sold over 7,100,000 copies making it the best-selling game in the series. Well, on the PlayStation anyway. It also seems that Metacritic agrees with the sentiment that Tomb Raider is the best of the three, giving it a Metascore of 91. It also has a favourable 8.4 User Score. It may be a little lower than Metal Gear Solid but the difference in units sold is hard to ignore!
5. Tekken 3
What’s better that Tekken 2? Tekken 3, according to the sales figures. The third instalment in the Tekken series shipped a massive 8,300,000 units on the PlayStation. It is also, allegedly, the best when you look at the Metascore! It hits a huge 96, with a User Score of 9.1. Tekken 3 is THE best Tekken on PlayStation: any PlayStation. Tekken 7 only got an 82 Metascore!
4. Final Fantasy VIII
It seems that quite a few people dropped the Final Fantasy series after Final Fantasy VIII. While FFIX only sold 5,500,000 units, FFVIII sold over 3,000,000 more units hitting just over 8,600,000 in its’ lifetime on the PlayStation. It’s series dominance is reflected in it’s high Metascore, too. It got a 90, with a User Score of 8.7!
3. Gran Turismo 2
The second entry into the Gran Turismo series may not have been the perfect racing sim, but it was a damn good one! Despite the various game-breaking glitches, Gran Turismo 2 still made a dent in a lot of player’s wallets. It shipped 9,370,000 units on the PlayStation. It sits comfortably between the two Final Fantasy games with a Metascore of 93 and a User Score of 9.0. The difference in units sold is what places it above FFVIII.
2. Final Fantasy VII
Of course, this was going to be here. Final Fantasy VII is regarded as one of the, if not the, best Final Fantasy game in the series. It is regarded as one of the most influential games of all time, popularising console role-playing games. The seventh Final Fantasy game sold just over 10,022,000 in it’s lifetime on the PlayStation. If you thought it couldn’t get higher than Final Fantasy VIII, you’re wrong. Final Fantasy VII has a Metascore of 92 and a User Score on 9.1!
1. Gran Turismo
Some call it the original racing sim game. Others call it Gran Turismo. All we know is, it’s the best PlayStation 1 game of all time. It managed to ship 10,850,000 units on the PlayStation one and is deemed one of the greatest games of all time. The critics on Metacritic agree! It has a Metascore of 96, matching Tekken 3. The User Score is also comfortably 8.7, confirming it as one of the best PS1 games of all time, if not the best. That can still be up for debate.
So, there you have it. These are the fifteen best PS1 games of all time. I think we all knew it would feature a Final Fantasy or two, but there were a few surprises in there right?