So I have been gaming for… a long time now. I have had most consoles over the years at one point or the other, but one of the few I had day one was the original Sony PlayStation. Why is this significant? Because the system is celebrating its twenty year anniversary this week (technically yesterday here in North America). I absolutely loved this system and put together a lot of my fondest video gaming memories playing it. So, to celebrate twenty years, I am listing out my top twenty games today.
20) Battle Arena Toshinden
Okay, so in retrospect, this really was not that great of a game. This is one of my more personal nods however, as it was one of my first games for the system. It really helped to pave the way for both 3D fighters and fighting games that used weapons as well. My buddy Randy and I spent countless hours playing this game, stumbling onto a handful of secrets along the way. It might not hold up to the test of time the way some of the other games here do, but it was groundbreaking and memorable all the same.
19) Metal Gear Solid
Admittedly, this was not my favorite game ever, but there is no denying the importance of the series or the following it has garnered over the years. The mix of action, stealth and um… zany story in the series has earned a well-deserved following.
18) Syphon Filter
Another game that spawned a series of follow-ups. I suppose that similar to Metal Gear Solid, it was a third person title that mixed stealth with action. Still, it was a completely different type of game from story to visuals and proved quite successful.
17) Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
I grew up playing a whole lot of Tetris with my dad. He was never particularly comfortable playing more advanced games, though he put in the effort with a few like Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. Tetris however, we spent hours on. This endeared me to the genre (including games like Columns for the Sega Genesis). Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo was an amped up title in the genre that I spent entirely too many hours playing.
16) Twisted Metal 2
The first Twisted Metal was an absolute blast. Racing games were turned on their head during this game featuring vehicular warfare. The second game in the series took everything players loved about the first and improved it – characters, graphics, sound and gameplay. This was a regular title for my buddies and I back in college as we sat around the television blasting the snot out of one another.
15) Chrono Cross
Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPGs of all time and arguably one of the best games regardless of genre or console generation. While Chrono Cross failed to fully capture that same inventive spirit as the original, it was still an incredibly entertaining RPG that kept players such as myself glued to the screen for hours on end.
14) Suikoden II
I adored the first game in the series, but the second managed to improve upon the formula in so many ways. There was more story, improved graphics, the requisite massive cast of characters and the amazing soundtrack. This list will have a lot of references to both RPGs and fighting games. They were the most popular genres at the time, and two of the genres that stuck with me personally.
13) Madden NFL 2000
I had been a huge fan of the Madden series since the Genesis titles (along with the NBA titles by EA). Probably the biggest change that resonated with my friends and I was the way you could include multiple users on season mode. This was the start of a handful of us playing Madden every year together, taking a team in season (and Franchise modes) and playing against each other year after year. My buddy Landon and I are in our 20th season right now of Madden NFL 2012. Clearly the series has stuck with us.
12) Silent Hill
Horror games were seeing a whole new opportunity with the introduction of the PlayStation. Sound and music quality were reaching movie levels and the visuals were more impressive than ever. Never in gaming’s history had it been so easy to introduce jump scares and ratchet up the tension and Silent Hill did all of this not through just traditional visual scares, but by playing with the gamer’s mind psychologically as well.
11) Street Fighter Alpha 3
I told you that there were going to be some fighters on this list. The genre was at an all-time high as consoles were better able to replicate the arcade experience than ever before. I was a big fan of Street Fighter II in the arcades and then later when it came to Genesis and Super Nintendo. Street Fighter Alpha 3 was a different kind of animal. It was tough, it was technical and it made me a better fighting gamer.
Thanks for reading through the first part in our top 20 list. Look for the next installment later this afternoon and sound off with any thoughts you have on this list!
Article by Nick