The original PlayStation housed some of the most influential games ever made. From Final Fantasy VII through to Resident Evil, Tekken, and more, many genres were defined for years to come by the classic releases that made their way to Sony’s console. However, history hasn’t remembered every PlayStation game, and a few great games have therefore slipped by the wayside.
So what are the most underrated PlayStation games ever? Let us know in the comments below, and as always we’ll feature our favorite.
Paul Tamburro, executive editor: To be honest, my experience with the original PlayStation almost solely consists of playing underrated or downright terrible games. For whatever reason, I chose to avoid every popular release and stick to games that no one else bothered playing. This meant that while everyone else was playing Metal Gear Solid, I’d decided to invest in Lucky Luke. I was a moron.
But being disinterested in well-received games did ensure that I stumbled upon a few hidden gems. The original Dynasty Warriors was one of them. Before becoming a hack and slash series, Dynasty Warriors started off as a 3D fighting game that completely overlooked fast-paced combos in favor of methodical, thoughtful combat. Instead of blocking, players would instead have to time their attacks in order to parry their opponents’ moves, with each fighter brandishing their own unique weapon to duel with. I spent months playing this game with my dad until I exchanged it with a friend for a copy of the Small Soldiers tie-in game. This was a terrible decision.
Jason Faulkner, senior editor: I know I’ve harped on Colony Wars in the past, including writing a feature on it, but it’s by far the most underrated PS1 game. It’s strange, when it came out it was critically acclaimed and must have sold well, but it’s a series that has been lost to the annals of time. It brought a fantastic arcade space shooter experience to the PlayStation in a time where the genre was primarily relegated to being PC only.
The story is classic space opera and is one of the first I remember to have branching paths depending on your successes and failures. Getting shot down didn’t always result in a game over. Instead, you had to face the consequences of your faults, which was a big deal in 1997. The lack of any revival of the series in almost 2 decades is depressing. I even had to make my own t-shirts for it since I’m pretty sure there was never an official clothing line.
Mack Ashworth, lead editor: Croc: Legend of the Gobbos deserves some love. Giving players a Mario 64-esque experience on PlayStation was a big deal back then, and scratched an itch that other platformers couldn’t quite manage. Sure, Crash and Spyro are deserving of their remasters, but what about Croc? PlayStation Mini, maybe?!
Michael Leri, sub-editor: While I’m tempted to say Ape Escape (because it’s rad and I want a new one), Einhänder is truly the most underrated PS1 game to me. The music and ship designs were marvelous at the time and, even if I couldn’t put my finger on why at the time, I knew it was special. Shoot ’em ups are not quite as special to me now, but Einhänder will always be one that I’ll remember. It would only be better with apes and if it were called Apeinhänder.
Bradley Russell, sub-editor: Bloody Roar was always underappreciated in its time and remains so. It may have lacked the melodrama of Tekken and the intricacies of Street Fighter but was was there was a really visceral (for its time) fighting game that made up for its lack of polish with power. Every hit mattered; every collision with the backdrop felt rib-shatteringly real, and its USP, the animal transformation system, made no two fights feel the same. It’s sorely missed, even today.