The Ultimate Countdown: My Top 10 Favorite PlayStation Games
Join James as he shares his personal 10 best games for the original PlayStation.
When it comes to consoles that define a generation, the Sony PlayStation stands out as one of the most iconic and revolutionary gaming systems of all time. Not only did it introduce us to a new era of 3D gaming, with its cutting-edge CD-based games, but it also boasted an impressive library of titles that kept gamers entertained for hours. The PlayStation’s groundbreaking technology and intuitive design have left a lasting impression in the gaming industry, and it will forever be remembered as one of the greatest consoles of all time, and my personal favorite that to this day I still enjoy.
That said, I am proud to share my top 10 favorite games on the PlayStation. Each one of these titles has a unique charm that has kept me enthralled for hours upon hours of gameplay. From captivating storylines to remarkable graphics for the time, these games are sure to keep you entertained. Whether you have experienced these titles already or this is your first time hearing about them, I hope you get hooked and join me for a nostalgic romp on the PlayStation. So, without further ado, here's my list of the best of the best on Sony’s first console!
10. Legend of Dragoon
When it comes to a game that takes advantage of the technology of the time and pushes a console to its limits, none compared to the Legend of Dragoon. This game immerses you in its world as you follow Dart and his companions on a grand journey to save the world of Endiness from the God of Destruction. While the story and way the game presents itself might be a bit linear, the combat, beautiful pre-rendered backgrounds, and visuals will keep you engaged from start to finish.
Speaking of combat, where Legend of Dragoon truly set itself apart is with its innovative “Addition” system, a feature that required true player engagement and strategic timing. By successfully pressing the correct buttons at the right time, players could maximize their damage output and even chain together devastating combination attacks. However, the combat experience is taken to the next level when players transform into a Dragoon and unleash maximum destruction.
This game is finally available again with PlayStation Premium on your PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, so what are you waiting for? Load this game up and experience this juggernaut in all its glory!
9. Legend of Legaia
What happens when you mix traditional turn-based JRPGs with fighting game mechanics? You get the wonderfully quirky game Legend of Legaia! Its unique blended system allowed players to not only unleash powerful spells and summon mythical creatures, but also to chain together combos and special moves to maximize damage and take down their opponents. With its beautiful visuals, engrossing storyline, and a tactical combat system, Legend of Legaia is an unforgettable gaming experience that will keep you coming back for more!
Legend of Legaia’s fighting elements is what always kept me coming back for more. It sees you inputting commands of either right, left, high, or low. These inputs each had their pros and cons. Every low attack you entered on a flying enemy always missed (my younger self did that quite often much to the detriment of my party). As you progressed in the game you were able to unlock more advanced combination arts to deal MASSIVE damage.
If you are looking to take a break from the norm in JRPGs and throw down like Street Fighter, Legend of Legaia is the game for you!
8. Final Fantasy IX
When you think of long-running series in gaming one name that comes to mind is the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy IX is the last installment that Hironobu Sakaguchi was truly a part of, and he delivered one of the best entries in the series! Sakaguchi delivered in spades with a robust story, engaging combat, and powerful cutscenes!
As much as I love the other Final Fantasy entries on the PlayStation console, this entry is my all-time favorite. Instead of continuing down the steampunk path, this entry returns to its medieval roots and delivers one of the best stories in the series as you follow Zidane in his quest to stop Kuja and ultimately save the universe from destruction. From the addictive card game Tetra Master to the adorable side quest of delivering letters for Mognet Central, this game delivers on all fronts.
This is available on modern consoles, so if you have not played this entry in the series, stop reading and go play this masterfully crafted game!
7. Threads of Fate
When it comes to this list as you can see so far, my love for all things JRPG is very strong. However, sometimes even I need a break from a 100-hour game, and on the PlayStation that takes the form of Threads of Fate. A very straightforward game, Threads of Fate hits you in the face with its amazing charm, eccentric characters, and all-around endearing world.
Threads of Fate allows you to take charge of either Rue, a stoic fighter who can take on the form of defeated enemies, or Mint, a backstabbing, self-centered, greedy princess who always gets her way. Each has their unique playstyle, so you never get tired of the game. This action RPG hits it out of the park with humorous dialogue, fast-paced combat, and a feeling of each character being wholly unique so that you never once become disengaged with the game.
This wonderful title only lasts for about 12 hours, so make sure to give it a shot when you need a breath of fresh air after an arduous 100+ hour adventure.
Giant Robots, political drama, and one of the most ambitious stories of all time, this is just a taste of what you get with Xenogears; one of the best games ever released. From start to finish (even with the woes of disc two), this game pulls you into its world as you journey to uncover the true story of Fei Fong Wong. This game is for players who are all about a grand story, and who don’t mind spending 70+ hours seeing it to the end.
With traditional turn-based combat featuring Fei and his rag-tag crew, to the giant robot battles, this game pulls out all the stops to deliver its gripping adventure.
5. The Arc the Lad Collection
I have said it before and I will say it again, I am a sucker for an amazing grid-based strategy games. This entry on the list isn’t just one amazing strategy game, it’s FOUR! The now-defunct company Working Designs delivered many powerhouses on the Playstation like Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete and Vanguard Bandits, but nothing compared to the sheer amount of gameplay, story, and experience that was the Arc the Lad Collection.
The Arc the Lad Collection is an incredible journey that takes you through an expansive world, allowing you to experience the war between good and evil in all its grandeur. From the breathtaking visuals to the thrilling battles, the Arc the Lad Collection promises an unforgettable gaming experience. With dynamic characters and a riveting plot, the Arc the Lad Collection is sure to leave you wanting more. You'll experience the full range of emotions as you explore the massive world, develop relationships with its inhabitants, and battle fearsome foes. In the end, you'll come away with a deep appreciation for the world and its people. Whether you're a fan of RPGs or a first-time adventure seeker, the Arc the Lad Collection is an absolute must-play.
4. Mega Man Legends
Super fighting robot, MEGA MAN! Thanks 90’s Mega Man cartoon for that wonderful slogan and amazing TV show. All jokes aside, this was the game where CAPCOM finally decided to leave 2D behind and bring Mega Man into the 3D age. Instead of the traditional side-scrolling action we were used to, we got an amazing action adventure RPG that delivered in all aspects!
Throughout the game you find yourself helping local townsfolk, enjoying platforming, diving into underground dungeons, destroying enemy Reaverbots, and truly enjoying a unique take on the Mega Man franchise. Like many Mega Man games in the franchise, there is no shortage of upgrades/powerups, which make for countless hours of entertainment, along with a gripping story that truly delves into the history of Mega Man like never before!
If you are truly a fan of the blue bomber, the super fighting robot, Mega Man Legends is the most unique and engaging game in this long and storied franchise.
3. Mega Man X4
The Mega Man X franchise is near and dear to my heart; I have played through Mega Man X 1-3 on the Super Nintendo almost a dozen times each! Mega Man X4 took everything I love about the SNES entries and dials it up to 11! In Mega Man X4 you have everything that makes the franchise so compelling, you have powerups, fast-paced run-and-gun platforming, and an amazing soundtrack, which are all presented in a tightly-woven game that hooks you from start to finish. This was the first foray onto the PlayStation for anything Mega Man and it paid dividends for CAPCOM.
While all of that is amazing, I haven’t even gotten to the best part, YOU CAN PLAY AS ZERO! Unlike Mega Man X3, where Zero was focused on ranged blasters, this entry sees the titular hero only using his sword! This complete change from the norm will hook you from start to finish and before you know it, you too will be a lifelong fan of the Mega Man X franchise!
2. Final Fantasy VII
When it comes to the PlayStation, there are quite a few titles everyone knows or has experienced. Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Metal Gear Solid are just a few of the prominent titles we all know when it comes to this console. However, all of those pale in comparison (at least for this guy), when it comes to the blockbuster that was Final Fantasy VII. (I know I said Final Fantasy IX was my favorite however, this game took up an entire summer for me so it had to be placed here) This was the title that catapulted the series into the stratosphere with its amazing cutscenes, epic story, legendary soundtrack, and grandiose summon animations!
Throughout three discs, you join Cloud and his companions as you seek to stop Sephiroth in his attempt to destroy the world using meteor. During this journey, the epic story unfolds compelling you to keep playing to unravel the mystery. From comedic moments, like Cloud in a dress at Don Corneo’s, to arguably one of the most gripping moments in gaming history with what unfolds near the end of the first disc, Final Fantasy VII is pound-for-pound the king of the mainline franchise.
1. Final Fantasy Tactics
What happens when you take the Final Fantasy moniker and combine it with Yasumi Mitsuno, the brilliant mind behind the Ogre Battle series? You get Final Fantasy Tactics, the best strategy RPG of all time. Final Fantasy Tactics hit the ground running upon its initial release and never looked back. From the best job class system in all of gaming to its politically driven story that focuses on rewriting history, this game delivers the best experience there is to be had on the PlayStation.
Instead of going on-and-on about this game and why it is perfect on all fronts; I will just say this. If you love recruiting characters, endless diversity in a job system, and one of the best stories in all of gaming, stop what you are doing and play this game.
This has been my list of top 10 games for the PSOne! I know more often than not, these lists can be subjective so take mine with a grain of salt. Or, why not take the challenge and find all 10 games on this list, play them, and let me know your thoughts on them? You can find me on IG @gameswithjonandjames if you would like to further discuss this list and any other game you can think of. I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on the games I have listed and any other classic games you think should be given a try!
James is an avid enthusiast of all things gaming, especially RPGs. He is an aerial photographer and digital marketer by day and a die-hard gamer by night. His ideal weekend is spent relaxing playing an RPG and recording the next episode of the Games with Jon & James podcast.