Friday, July 13, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #1 + more!

If you missed #2 click here.

We're finally here. What is my favourite PS1 game? Before I reveal that, let's have a recap from #50 to #2...
  • #50 Spiderman ***1/2
  • #49 Sled Storm ***1/2
  • #48 Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling 2 ***1/2
  • #47 Kula World ***1/2
  • #46 Destruction Derby ***3/4
  • #45 Hogs of War ***3/4
  • #44 Tekken ***3/4
  • #43 Team Buddies ***3/4
  • #42 Psychic Force 2 ***3/4
  • #41 Crash Bash ***3/4
  • #40 Lego Racers ***3/4
  • #39 Bust a Move 2 ***3/4
  • #38 MediEvil ***3/4
  • #37 Tekken 2 ***3/4
  • #36 Tombi! ****
  • #35 Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver ****
  • #34 WWF War Zone ****
  • #33 Wu-Tang: Taste the Pain ****
  • #32 Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee ****
  • #31 Driver ****
  • #30 Soul Blade ****
  • #29 Parasite Eve II ****
  • #28 Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring ****
  • #27 Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko ****
  • #26 Rage Racer ****
  • #25 Street Fighter EX2 Plus ****1/4
  • #24 Crash Bandicoot ****1/4
  • #23 FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 ****1/4
  • #22 Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer ****1/4
  • #21 WWF Smackdown! ****1/4
  • #20 Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories ****1/4
  • #19 Jade Cocoon ****1/4
  • #18 FIFA 2000 ****1/4
  • #17 Spyro the Dragon ****1/4
  • #16 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis ****1/4
  • #15 Gran Turismo ****1/4
  • #14 The Legend of Dragoon ****1/2
  • #13 Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back ****1/2
  • #12 Silent Hill ****1/2
  • #11 Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon ****1/2
  • #10 Final Fantasy VIII ****1/2
  • #9 Resident Evil ****1/2
  • #8 Worms Armageddon ****1/2
  • #7 WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role ****1/2
  • #6 Crash Team Racing ****1/2
  • #5 Tekken 3 ****3/4
  • #4 Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! ****3/4
  • #3 Final Fantasy VII ****3/4
  • #2 Resident Evil 2 ****3/4

So my favourite Playstation 1 game is...

#1 - Final Fantasy IX
Released: 2000
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: The ending. For me, this is possibly my favourite ending in video game history. It gets reduces me to tears. Every. Damn. Time.
Well, if you know me personally, you probably knew more than 50 days ago that my #1 game was going to be Final Fantasy IX. It would possibly top my favourite games of all time list, if I were to ever make one, which I may well do one day.

FF9 to me is everything. Sure, I didn't give it a perfect score of 5 stars, but I don't think a game has been released that I'd rate a perfect score. FF9 has some flaws, some frustrating moments even, but it has HEART. It has more heart than any game I've ever played, period. This game makes me emotional in so many different ways. The story is perfect, the characters are just a great bunch, the music is timeless, the graphics are beautiful in their flawed way. I just have so much love for this game it's unreal. I even named my daughter, Vivi, after the black mage in this game. That black mage is, one of the best characters in video game history by the way.



FF9 is not the first Final Fantasy game I played. It's not even the first Final Fantasy I'd suggest people play. It's for a very particular audience. It has an old school, nostalgic, poetic feel to it. It does play like the classic Final Fantasy games but it's also harder than other games, probably intentionally as a nod to the very classic FF games on the NES. But the way the story is told, the twists and turns, the excellent cast of varied characters, and, for me, the most perfect ending, is what makes this game truly special. I do struggle to put into words why I love this game so much, but this has been my best effort. I just love this game with all my heart, and for me, undisputedly, is my Favourite Playstation 1 Game.

So Final Fantasy IX, congratulations, you've earned this prestigious trophy!

Here's some nerdy stats if you're into that thing!

Video Game Series With Multiple Entries
Crash Bandicoot - 5 (Crash Bandicoot #24, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back #13, Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! # 4, Crash Team Racing #6, Crash Bash #41)
Final Fantasy - 3 (Final Fantasy VII #3, Final Fantasy VIII #10, Final Fantasy IX #1)
Resident Evil - 3 (Resident Evil #9, Resident Evil 2 #2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis #16)
Tekken - 3 (Tekken #44, Tekken 2 #37, Tekken 3 #5)
Spyro the Dragon - 3 (Spyro the Dragon #17, Spyro 2: Gateaway to Glimmer #22. Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon #11)
WWF Smackdown! - 2 (WWF Smackdown! #21, WWF Smackdown 2: Know Your Role #7)

Best PS1 Game Per Year
1995 - Tekken - ***3/4 #44
1996 - Resident Evil - ****1/2 #9
1997 - Final Fantasy VII - ****3/4 #3
1998 - Resident Evil 2 - ****3/4 #2
1999 - Crash Team Racing - ****1/2 #6
2000 - Final Fantasy IX - ****3/4 #1

Total Games Per Year
As you can see, the year 1999 dominated my list. It's one of my all time favourite years in video game history. Crash Team Racing, Worms Armageddon, FF8, Silent Hill, Legend of Dragoon, Resi 3, FIFA 2000 all are in my Top 20!

Best PS1 Game By Genre
Party - Crash Bash - ***3/4 #41
Puzzle - Bust a Move 2 - ***3/4 #39
Action - Driver - **** #31
Strategy - Worms Armageddon - ****1/2 #8
Sports - WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role - ****1/2 #7
Racing - Crash Team Racing - ****1/2 #6
Fighting - Tekken 3 - ****3/4 #5
Platformer - Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped! - ****3/4 #4
Horror - Resident Evil 2 - ****3/4 #2
RPG - Final Fantasy IX - ****3/4 #1

Total Games By Genre
So Platformers, Fighting games and Sports games dominate the list. Despite RPGs being my favourite genre, there were only 5 in the list, compared to the 9 Platformers in the list.

So... that's pretty much it from me! Thanks for reading my Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games list. To go back all the way to #50 click here!


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Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #2

If you missed #3 click here.

#2 - Resident Evil 2
Released: 1998
Genre: Horror
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: Again, choosing one moment is super tough. Mr X on the "B" campaigns has some amazing jump scare moments. But if I have to narrow it down to one, it has to be the first time you see a Licker - it's one of the best moments in video game history.
When I first saw Resident Evil 1 back in the nineties I was mindblown... and terrified. I'd never seen a horror video game before and what they did with Resident Evil 1 was really scary, even if it does look dated now.

But then Resident Evil 2 happened. Resi 2 for me is possibly the best in the entire series, or at least on par with Resi 4. But back in 1998, everything Resident Evil 1 did before it was enhanced so much in Resi 2. The horror was better, the graphics were sublime, the characters were more engaging and the acting was a huge improvement. The storyline was brilliant, and how they managed to get, in theory, 4 different stories in two different scenarios was impressive. The monsters were far more terrifying on the whole, and the two big bad guys, Mr X and William Birkin were tremendous and frightening in very different ways. Speaking of William Birkin - if you haven't read my tribute to his greatness, you can read it here. Let's put it this way, I cannot WAIT to see him in the fully fleshed out remake.

Resi 2 for me is simply one of the best games ever made. It's certainly one of the best horror games ever, if not THE best horror game of all time. I've completed this game more than any other Resi game and for good reason. It's just a classic in every way possible.

We're finally here. Click here to find out what came in at #1 in my countdown of my Top 50 Playstation 1 Games!


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #3

If you missed #4 click here.

#3 - Final Fantasy VII
Released: 1997
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: The end of Disc 1 brings me to tears every time. I played through FF7 again earlier this year, and over 20 years later I still cried.
When it comes to listing the games that influenced me and my life the most, this game is very possibly top of the list. Sure, I like some (not many) games more than FF7, but this game is everything to me. It was my first RPG game. It was my first Final Fantasy game. It was the first video game to make me cry. It was the first many other things too. This game opened up the world of video games to me possibly more than any other game. Final Fantasy VII was probably the first time I experienced video games not just as games, but as genuine pieces of art.

FF7's story is insane. The characters are individually eclectic and memorable. The music is just beautiful. The graphics, sure, aren't the best, but the battle system was simple and innovative. The summons were just mesmerising at the time. Sephiroth is simply one of the best villains of all time, that's not even a dispute. The game meant so many things to so many people, and, of course, now we have a remake in the works. This game was... just amazing. I struggle to put into words what this game means to me and to many others like me, but I hope I've done it some justice. It's my third favourite Playstation 1 game, sure, it's not #1 but that takes nothing away from this game. It could have easily been #1, and is for many other people. But there's just two more games that just do ever-so slightly more for me than this. You'll find out what tomorrow and Thursday.

What was the runner up in my Top 50? Click here to find out!


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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #4

If you missed #5 click here.

#4 - Crash Bandicoot Warped!
Released: 1998
Genre: Platformer
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: So hard to choose, but I love the motorbike levels, the Pura the tiger levels, and I also love it when you perfect your relic time trial and get a platinum!
What a game. Simply, for me, this is one of the best, if not THE best, platformer of all time. It's certainly the best Crash Bandicoot game ever made. From start to finish, I just thoroughly enjoy this game, and nearly every single level is a smash hit. All the variations of the levels in the game are perfectly placed, and the inclusion to put Coco in the mix was a great move - some of her levels are some of the best levels ever designed, and of course, it helped get some of the female gamers into the game, something that was a little bit more difficult in the late nineties.

Adding the time trial mode was also a move of genius. It added another fantastic layer of longevity to the game, and getting the platinum relics on every level is a welcome challenge. Cortex is also on form in this game, and the addition of Uka Uka as a villain to combat Aku Aku was just perfect for the storyline. It's simply one of the best games ever made, regardless of genre, I absolutely adore this game.

Looking for #3 in my list? Click here!


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Monday, July 09, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #5

If you missed #6 click here.

#5 - Tekken 3
Released: 1998
Genre: Fighting
Rating: ****3/4 stars
Best Moment: I loved unlocking all the characters, and unlocking the secret characters Gon and Dr. Bosconovitch! I also loved playing Tekken Force Mode and Tekken Ball Mode!
When it comes to fighting games, for me, Tekken 3 is king. We've never had a better fighting game before it, or since. I know that might be an opinion you don't agree with, but that's what I think, simple as that!

Regardless of if it's the best ever or not, you can't deny the improvement Tekken 3 was over Tekken 2 and Tekken 1. It was... INSANELY better. Everything came together with Tekken 3, the moves were more fluid, the combos were better, the character roster was simply exceptional, the graphics were just beautiful for back in 1998, the bonus features of Tekken Force Mode and Tekken Ball Mode were so much fun and the character endings were simply so much better, overall, than the ones given for Tekken 2. I just love Tekken 3, and sure, looking now it does look a bit dated, but at the time it was just a stunning masterpiece. No fighting game could compare, not Street Fighter, not Mortal Kombat, nothing, back in 1998 could compare. It was truly head above heels above everything that came out before it, and in my opinion, since as well.

Looking for #4? Click here!


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Sunday, July 08, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #6

If you missed #7 click here.

#6 - Crash Team Racing
Released: 1999
Genre: Racing
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Oh man, choosing one moment... so tough! Probably nailing the power sliding turbo boosts the full maximum of three times, it's a difficult but fun art to master and it makes a huge difference to your racing.
I think I may have said this before, but again I'll say it, I do think this is better than any Mario Kart game. It's probably because I was a Sony Playstation kid growing up and not a Nintendo kid, but I clocked so many hours on this game it was unbelievable. The one negative thing about this game is simply, that there's not as much access to 4 player racing, unless you bought the multitap, something that was a lot easier on the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo Wii with their setups. But when it comes to single player mode, I truly believe this game is the king of kart racers.

What I love about Crash Team Racing is the single player mode, where you drive to each destination and race for the trophy, CTR tokens and relics, and each area of the map has its own boss. I just think this layout is really cool and each individual track in Crash Team Racing is very different from the last. Sure, you could argue, that some the tracks in CTR are heavily influenced from Mario Kart, and I'd agree with that statement. But I just love the slickness of the racing, I love the differences in abilities within each character, and, of course, I love the Crash Bandicoot flavour of a kart racing game. Lots of people are asking for this game to be remastered, and I agree, I'd love nothing more than to see it re-done, but right now I hope that Activision concentrate on making a brand new Crash Bandicoot game, rather than rely on this which probably would make them a lot of money - just keep the fans waiting a little longer!

Want to find out what kicks off my Top 5? Click here!


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My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #7

If you missed #8 click here.

#7 - WWF Smackdown! 2: Know Your Role
Released: 2000
Genre: Sports
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Customising your character to great detail and also giving them a fantastic moveset. I also love Season Mode too.
Everything that was great in WWF Smackdown 1 was vastly improved in Smackdown 2... apart from the graphics I'd say! The music was much better, the customisation was top notch, all the unlockables were good and very detailed. The Season mode was far more slick and in depth. Simply, everything was so much better in Smackdown 2 and I spent many many hours playing through this game, creating my characters, creating multiple characters and trying to also create newer wrestlers who came into the WWF/WWE too.

This game came out in the same year as WWF Smackdown 1. You could argue if the games were created this way today, in a modern day video game world that the second one would have been a upgrade patch from the first game, because really they didn't do a lot to the engine of the game, or the graphics. But everything they did was bigger and better. It reminds me a lot of what Valve did with Left 4 Dead 1 and 2, which were released a year after each other. The second games are just brilliant, not that the first games were bad, just that the second ones added more quality and depth. WWF Smackdown 2 was simply one of the best wrestling games ever made, if not THE best wrestling game ever made. I love it.

What game came in at #6? Click here to find out!


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Friday, July 06, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #8

If you missed #9 click here.

#8 - Worms Armageddon
Released: 1999
Genre: Strategy
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: Landing the perfect shot from afar on a sudden death. Or using the ninja rope through the narrowest of gaps. Or using the holy hand grenade. Or using the prod successfully. I can't choose one!
This is probably the best Worms game ever created. It's certainly my favourite, and the one I go to whenever I fancy a game. I've played this game so many times with so many different friends I've lost count. It's just a classic.

The first Worms game was great, but it was released at the wrong time. The world was getting ready for 3D games, bigger and brighter pixels. The first game had a good base but looked poor. That's when Worms 2 and Worms Armageddon came in. They made the graphics bigger, brighter and bolder. They made the game funnier. They made the weapons far more outrageous. The two games are just brilliant. They then tried to make Worms 3D and that just never felt right.

Worms Armageddon is where the Worms games peakedand I'll always love playing it, it provides the perfect balance of comedy and strategy, it's for me the perfect party game for adults. I just love it.

Looking for #7 in my list? Click here!


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Thursday, July 05, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #9

If you missed #10 click here.

#9 - Resident Evil
Released: 1996
Genre: Horror
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: The Hunters. They're so damn scary and so frustrating to deal with, and they've never been as terrifying as they were back in this original game over 20 years ago!
The original Resident Evil 1 is easy to mock now, the graphics look dated, the acting is cheesy as hell and the Remake from 2002 was just wonderful. But... if you played this game in the mid-to-late nineties, it was so fricking scary.

Like it or not, you can't mention horror video games without mentioning the Resident Evil series. You can debate what the best horror games are all you want, but if it wasn't for this game, it's very unlikely the other games would have followed, or at least, the process would have been a hell of a lot slower. It wasn't the first horror game, sure, but it was the first major 3D blockbuster horror video game, and we need to applaud it for that. And, you know, I still play it now. Sure, it does look dated, and the lines are just hilarious, but the actual core gameplay is still really solid. It's also a tough game, especially if you're Chris Redfield and you have the lack of help Jill has.

There's so many iconic moments in the game too, the first time you see the dogs smash through the windows, the first time you see Yawn, Plant 42 comes right out of left field, and, of course, you have the Hunters, to this day, probably the most frustrating Resident Evil monsters in Resi history. And the cheesy lines are great, especially the Jill Sandwich and lockpick ones! Resi 1 is just a classic, and it's a shame nowadays it doesn't get the love it deserves, because it's an absolute belter.

Looking for #8? Click here to read about it!


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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #10

If you missed #11 click here.

#10 - Final Fantasy VIII
Released: 1999
Genre: RPG
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: The intro. Spoiler alert - if I ever do a listing on my favourite intros in video game history, this will be #1. It's just magnificent.
As a huge Final Fantasy fan, surely, you knew that the FF games were going to be highly placed on this list?! But it wasn't all plain sailing for FF8. It is, by a noticeable margin, my least favourite FF game on the Sony Playstation 1. But again, it's an incredible game. I actually reviewed the game back in 2006 when I was a teenager, and looking back on the review it's not the best article I've done. Either way, you can read it here.

All three Final Fantasy games on the PS1 are classics. FF8 was very different at the time though. Firstly, the graphics were just INSANE. Sure they may look dated now, but, to be honest, you'd be hard pressed to find a better looking game on the PS1 across the entire game selection. The FMVs are just gorgeous, and the character models were great for 1998. The Junction system really changed things for FF8 comparatively with the previous entries in the series. Your summon monsters control everything, from your magic to your abilities, from what elements you're strong against and even enemy encounter rates. Drawing magic in FF8 is where you get your strength however, and this is a very laborious task, hence the reason why I find this game to be the weakest of the trilogy on the PS1. But the story is marvelous, the music is great, the battling is lots of fun when you don't depend on drawing magic. The summon monsters look absolutely badass and some of the locations in the game are just incredible. FF8 is definitely one of the best RPGs ever made, but, in my opinion, there were better entries into the Final Fantasy series.

Want to know what came in at #9? Click here!


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Tuesday, July 03, 2018

My Top 50 Favourite Playstation 1 Games: #11

If you missed #12 click here.

#11 - Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon
Released: 2000
Genre: Platformer
Rating: ****1/2 stars
Best Moment: It's got to be the skateboarding right??
Spyro 3 for me, like Crash 3, is as good as the Spyro games ever got. There's so many parallels between the building of the Crash and Spyro games - the first ones set the foundations, the second games raised the bar significantly, then the third games really set the icing on the respective cakes. Sure, I may prefer Spyro 1 to Spyro 2, but I'm sure if I actually played Spyro 2 growing up, my opinion would have changed.

But Spyro 3 is a masterpiece. With the abilities that you learn from the first game, they added a lot more mini games in this Spyro game. And instead of saving adult dragons like in Spyro 1, you have to save the dragon eggs and help them hatch into baby dragons - which, by the way, are super cute. The music is splendid, the Sparx minigames are super fun 2D style games and the plot feels a lot more fleshed out in comparison to Spyro 2. The level designs are excellent, and the layout of each world is really well done, something that Spyro 2 really confused me with when I played that. All in all Spyro 3 is simply one of the best platformers ever made, and certainly the best in the Spyro trilogy, and I can't wait to play it on the Remaster in September.

So what game kicks off my Top 10? Click here to find out!


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