Updated: Mar 7
There are many a game that have left a lasting impression on me. Form being a wide eyed youngster, watching my older brothers on the Commodroe 64, I have loved watching, and eventually playing games for a long time. With each generation, comes more choice and variation of game. I ploughed so many hours into games such as space invaders, stampede and breakout on the Atari 2600, but now, we expect so much more and the bar keeps being raised by new concepts, technology and an ever-expanding volume of indie and triple A games production ventures/ companies. With the extensive array of alternatives in genres, there is something out there for everyone. We have never been so spoilt for choice. Between the aforementioned triple A and indie production companies, all being able to get their games in the market for all to see, there has never been a better time to be a gamer. And with there being an estimated 2.7 billion of us in the world right now, most being able to connect online, it has never given us more opportunity to be so sociable while we are exploring the arts of the video game.
No matter which style/ genre of game you enjoy, whether it be single or multiplayer, there will be few that remain in your memories for years, or that spring to mind when questioned regarding your dearest and most cherished. Below are just a handful of my most memorable from the ps one era and the reasons why I love them.
Feel free to post on our forum with your own favourites, from any era. Or even offer your own opinions on my choices. Please be gentle though.
FINAL FANTASY VII - original (PS one)
Lets start off with a big gun. This is possibly my favourite game of all time. Unparalleled in levels of immersion. This game would easily hold up today as a classic, despite the aged graphics and dated soundtrack. It consists of an amazing, engaging and enthralling story, that holds you on the edge of your seat and develops into an adventure of epic proportions.
The characters develop throughout and you can connect with each and every one of them. They each have a unique personality, with their own traits, quips, goals, intentions and thoughts. This combines with the story to flesh out the world and give the game a uniquely deep substance.
The battle system was simple enough to pick up pretty quickly, but deep enough to continue learning and progressing your skills and combinations throughout. In the early stages, it's particularly linear, while setting up the story, before opening up and revealing the huge expanse of world that has many secrets to find and interesting locations to discover. And the rewards for searching can be fruitful. This game offers everything I needed in a game in my youth and will always be a favourite of mine.
My Score 10/10
Resident Evil (PS one)
The first survival horror of the generation that I witnessed. I was astounded by the presentation of this game. The graphics(at the time) were unlike anything I'd seen previously and the sound was crisp and reactive to the environment. It helped to immerse you into an eery and uncomfortable world. I disliked the jump scares and the control system left a lot to be desired, but it did help with the tone of desperation and panic of the atmosphere. I completed the story, but definitely spent 90% of my time trying not to s#@t in my pants.
I'm not a fan of playing horror games, because of the previously mentioned fear of an accident, but this made me realise how far consoles had stepped up in technology. The cheesy voice acting only added to the spine-chilling atmosphere of the iconic mansion.
My Score 8/10
Metal Gear Solid (PS one)
For a fan of stealth games back in the day, this was a must. I initially played an imported Japanese version. I soon realised that this was a big mistake as the games is about 60% monologue, part of which offers you advice on how to progress at various points in the game. And back then, we didn't have the plethora of guides available to aid when you hit a wall(This a reference to a point where I got stuck, due to not knowing that you needed to knock on the walls to find a hollow point to place explosives on).
This was a well polished game that impressively used it's in game engine for all of the cutscenes(Something that not a lot of games did, as cutscenes were great for TV ads). Most of these cutscenes were severely elongated and could become tedious at times, but didn't take anything away from the quality of the game.
My Score 8/10
Legacy of Kain-Soul Reaver(PS one)
From the studio that produced Tomb Raider(which I wasn't a big fan of) came this little beauty. It had similarities to Tomb Raider but for me, this was more of a polished item. The combat was melee based, which is more my cup of tea(aiming firearms is never my strong point) and it was fairly gruesome and gory with various animations in the game. The graphics were extremely impressive and quite innovative in my opinion. While utilising a power which morphed the world into a hell-type version of itself, you watched the surrounding area twist and warp at the push of a button, showing off the capability that the ps one possessed. There were an abundance puzzles and some stunning boss battles with huge abominations. Much to my delight.
The voice acting was also a treat, with a couple of famous names performing well with some fine script work.
My Score 9/10
For someone that doesn't particularly enjoy beat-em-ups, it takes something extra special to hold my attention in this genre. But this managed to do it. The only game since the original Street Fighter 2 to manage it. It is surprisingly, for me, satisfying to play. The characters are varied and have very unique styles. The combos, special moves and the fluidity of the combat all made for a brilliant game. Don't get me wrong. My button bashing tactics only got me so far before I had to actually learn some moves, but it was a joy to learn and improve my skills was unexpectedly rewarding. Eventually managing to overcome bosses after 30+ attempts was the icing on the cake after threatening to destroy controllers on numerous occasions. It's the only game of the genre that has grasped my attention for more than a quick fix of entertainment with mates. I amassed many, many hours attempting to best this game in my youth and I consider it to have been a worthwhile venture.
My score 8/10
Grand Theft Auto (PS one)
This wasn't a particular favourite of mine, but nevertheless, I had to include it. The reason being, I still remember the disturbing satisfaction, and obvious sadism, of mowing down streams of civilians on the 'sidewalks' and being able to jump from car to car on a whim. There was much ado about this around the time of release, due to the violent nature. Each sequel that has followed has been no different. Nevertheless, it was a fun game and has paved the way for some amazing achievements on each of the following systems.
My score 6/10