The original Grandia was perhaps the technical pinnacle of Sega Saturn development, an all-assembler engine that emerged from four delay-filled years of tortuous development. Built around fully realtime-rendered environments, the game took advantage of the resultant freedom of camera movement to create a powerful sense of cinematic terror. All the trouble was worth it. Many of my co-workers and myself felt a wave of refreshing giddiness creep over us, as we all realized just what Capcom had just done. Gory, creepy, filled with suspense, and a story wrapped with puzzles, action, and adventure, Resident Evil 2 is the pinnacle of the series on the PlayStation.
It just had an enormous amount of appeal, the characters were cute and very inventive, and the songs were just so memorable. Scary as hell, yes, but still a remarkable achievement. The game featured one of gaming's best ever ending sequences and the entire experience of playing the game was pure ecstasy. And second, it was an extremely original title that was a departure from the cookie-cutter games that were being released on PlayStation in droves. We looked at the game's overall depth and replay value, while also taking into account its innovation and the impact that it made at the time of its release.
Dave Zdyrko's Take: Parappa The Rapper is one of those games that while I wasn't ever any good at it, I couldn't stop playing that silly thing. However, there was a little catch -- I didn't get the boxed copy of the game, but rather just disc one of the final reviewable gold version. Doug Perry's Take: With the exception of Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil appears to be the most imitated kind of game on the PlayStation. What really made the game great was the developer's attention to the car's physics. It takes a fair amount of skill to make this game look its best, but in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, it's poetry in motion. The game's cinematic presentation was unmatched.
It will remain one of my all time favorites on any system. PlayStation wasn't supposed to be good at 2D games, yet, in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, it had what is arguably one of the best 2D side-scrolling adventure games of all time. I can smash up their cars? Though Tekken 3 was the first Iron Fist Tournament to take a visual hit in the transition from arcade to home, Namco still delivered knockout visuals, and the suite of console-exclusive extras was typically impressive. It featured over 500 licensed vehicles, tons of tracks, and just provided what was a phenomenal racing experience. The game uses only the analog controllers, and enables gamers to use them in ways that have never been done on a system before.
While studying an anomaly in outer space, a mishap lands you on a distant planet. They find the inventions called the Peak Point Helmets and instantly become intelligent, with a particularly ingenious simian named Specter running the others. I happen to be part of the defensive minority that would still rather play Dead or Alive, and in my more bored moments I try to argue for its objective superiority. I never regretted it after playing those games. As a single-player game, Syphon Filter was much harder and required much more gaming savvy, where Syphon Filter 2 was far more linear, less exploratory, and literally more of the same.
After hours of play, there are still uncountable lines to be found in the superbly-designed levels. That brings us to where we are today; we have decided to put our heads together and come up with what we believe are the Top 25 Games of All Time on PlayStation. It took two years of wondering for the PlayStation version to see the light, most of which we spent accepting the fact that this was the one that got away. Doug Perry's Take: Believe it or not, it took a dead Saturn to make a great Street Fighter game on PlayStation. We measured factors such as how the game ranked against others in its genre.
That, as they say, is saying something. What makes Syphon Filter so good is its imaginative levels designs, each of which pleaded gamers to explore and climb about in, but which also required players to think about every time they began a new one. Doug Perry's Take: From the earliest moments that Metal Gear Solid was shown to the public, the game appeared to be destined for greatness. Parappa Parappa the Rapper 1. It's the one I want to look at, listen to, and volunteer my time to, every time. Silent Hill cut off all the trimmings, and just delivered horror.
David Smith's Take: Of course, there's a little part of me that rebels at having to write this. The premise was damn cool. But even though the PlayStation couldn't match some of the capabilities of its departed competition, Grandia's greatest strengths had nothing to do with megabytes or polygon counts. It's not for everybody, but it's definitely for me -- and that's all I really care about. But the system had its throwbacks, and this is one of them: not a game with heart, but a game with guts. Raziel Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver. The graphics were top notch, the animation was amazing, the character control was tight, and the level designs were excellent.
Dave Zdyrko's Take: When it comes to arcade style racing games on PlayStation, the Ridge Racer games are in a class of their own. In fact, based on studies of name recognition among young adults, PlayStation is the most recognizable brand name in the area of interactive entertainment and only comes behind Coca-Cola and Nike on the overall scale of things. You used ninja-style weapons and gadgets, the whole story and setting was based in feudal Japan, and the core concept was to sneak around in the shadows, and the better you were at that, the more rewards you received. I'm still not quite sure how I ever finished Final Fantasy Tactics. Just like me, they sunk hours upon hours into this fantastic, deep driving adventure.
It not only lived up to the hype, it exceeded it in many ways. So one of my regular purchases was the monthly demo disk in the Official PlayStation Magazine. To be sure, the PlayStation's 3D capabilities didn't allow for much of a draw distance. But Justin, Feena, Sue, and all the rest of Game Arts' crew of first-rate adventurers including Mio; yes, Mio - allow me my little peculiarities are certainly heroes of equal caliber. Cloud, Tifa, Squall, and Rinoa are the names most everyone remembers, and I suppose it will always be that way. Is that lucky, or what?.