The PS1 had a long life cycle, one that saw many improvements. The biggest was the Dual Analog Controller, which brought two analog sticks to the system. This was a game changer, and no game showed off its potential quite as well as Ape Escape did. This goofy platformer was the first game that required the new controller, and helped make the DualShock into the icon that it is today.
One of the things that defined the PlayStation was developers taking risks. This meant experimenting within genre constructs, and it resulted in quite a few unique games. One of the coolest experiments was Bust a Groove, a music/fighting game hybrid. It was a really cool idea, and managed to spawn a few sequels.
3D may have been the biggest selling point of this era of gaming, but Castlevania: Symphony of the Night showed that there was still a lot of fun to be had in 2D. This revolutionary action platformer perfected what is now known as the Metroidvania genre. Its perfect blend of exploration and RPG elements make this one of the most influential games to appear on the PlayStation.
Chrono Cross may not be as popular as its SNES predecessor, but it's still a darn good role-playing game. The gigantic game features over 45 party members, and continues Chrono Trigger's tradition of allowing players to combine techniques. There are several new features that keep it feeling different, though, as it adds in a stamina bar and features a unique weapon system where players have to gather materials to get new weaponry.
Since the three Crash platformers are getting remade for PlayStation 4, it's unlikely they'd be featured on a PS1 Classic. That's fine, as the best game in the series isn't actually a platformer. I'm talking about Crash Team Racing, Naughty Dog's attempt to outdo the Mario Kart series. They succeeded, and ended up creating one of the best kart racers of all-time.
Seeing how Final Fantasy VII is already available on PS4, it's doubtful that Cloud's adventure would make its way onto a compilation. However, that leaves room for Final Fantasy IX, which never seems to get as much love online. Released in 2000, IX follows the story of the bandit Zidane and what happens after he kidnaps the Princess of Alexandria.
Arguably the best game in Square's series to appear on PlayStation, Final Fantasy Tactics was a big departure. It took the beloved characters and themes of the series, but placed it in a grid-based tactical RPG. This change was divisive amongst fans at the time, but it resulted in one of the best strategy games for the system.
The first game in the Hot Shots Golf series is a unique one, as it's the only title in the series developed by Camelot. The developer would later go on to create Mario Golf, and Hot Shots Golf was left in the capable hands of Clap Hanz. It's arcade take on golfing proved to be a success, and many series have followed its example in the decades since.
Filled with product placement, Jet Moto 2 ended up being the final game developed by SingleTrac. The arcade racer featured futuristic hoverbikes, and allowed players to race in a variety of locales. It even features all of the tracks from the first game, making it the ultimate version.
Jumping Flash! was ahead of its time when it released in 1995. The first-person 3D platformer helped usher in an all-new genre, and had players jumping around environments as a robotic rabbit. It's also a great example of how much graphics would later improve on PlayStation.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was one of the PlayStation's underappreciated gems. The 2.5D platformer was gorgeous to look at, and a joy to play. It also features an intriguing story revolving around dreams, both enjoyable and nightmares.
One of SCE Cambridge Studio's earliest titles, MediEvil is a 3D action-adventure title starring a skeleton hero by the name of Sir Daniel Fortesque. While not a graphical wonder, the game impressed gamers with its humor. It hasn't aged exceptionally well, but Sir Daniel still has a place in the hearts of many PlayStation gamers.
One of the most influential games ever made is Metal Gear Solid. The stealth action game took video game storytelling to a new level, and upped the bar in terms of production value. It allowed players to star in their own action movie, and helped the Metal Gear series become one of gaming's most iconic franchises.
Gran Turismo may be the racing series most associated with the PS1, but there's not much value in playing the older games. That's not the case for Motor Toon Grand Prix 2, an arcade racer developed by the team that would later become Polyphony Digital. The game features colorful cartoon graphics, and character designs by Susumu Matsushita. It's both an interesting historical footnote, and a game worth playing.
The original Resident Evil has basically been re-released on every console known to man, but most of the versions are of the GameCube remake. The PS1 original, while inferior, still offers up a slightly different experience, and it'd be nice to get to replay the iconic survival horror game. Just remember to avoid those darn dogs.
Few games are as iconic as Ridge Racer. The Namco developed racing game features vibrant tracks, distinctive drifting, and a memorable soundtrack. While it would later be outdone by its sequels, there's nothing like revisiting the game that started it all.
Resident Evil may have popularized survival horror, but Silent Hill took it to the next level in terms of creepiness. Focusing more on psychological horror instead of zombies, the game's memorable plot helps it remain a title worth playing. The same can't be said for its gameplay, though, which feels incredibly stiff and dated in 2017.
Soul Blade didn't make the impact that its sequel did, but it'd be great if gamers got to see where Soulcalibur all began. The PlayStation port featured five additional characters, making it the most content rich version of the game. It also hasn't been ported since its 1997 release, making it ideal for such a compilation.
Insomniac hit platforming gold with Spyro the Dragon. Released in 1998, their 3D platformer gave players more freedom to explore than the Crash games, and was more akin to Super Mario 64. It ended up becoming a huge hit, and Sony would end up publishing two additional sequels.
While the series doesn't have the name value of Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy, the Suikoden series of RPGs still managed to find passionate fans. The first game in the series featured an incredible soundtrack, and a satisfying battle system. Its story is based upon the Chines novel Water Margin, and tasks the player with recruiting 108 warriors.
One of the best PS1 puzzle games came from an unlikely place. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is a Street Fighter spin-off that has players battling it out by playing a variant of Puyo Puyo. It's great fun, and ended up being one of the best competitive puzzle games ever made.
While no Metal Gear Solid, Syphon Filter offered up a fun action game with a spy focus. It also had one of the worst running animations ever designed. Seriously. Look at it.
If one fighting game series defined the PS1 it was Tekken. The sequel, non-surpisingly called Tekken 2, featured 25 different fighters, and became a multiplayer mainstay at parties. The well balanced fighter is still fun to this day.
Developed by Acquire, Tenchu: Stealth Assassins is one of the first ninja games to have a stealth focus. As such, it was one of the first stealth titles that many gamers played, and has a special place in PlayStation history.
The Sony developed RPG The Legend of Dragoon didn't receive overwhelming praise upon release, but it's become a cult classic since then. As such, it's a perfect fit for the PS1 Classic. It'd be many players' first time getting to play the title, and its emotional story.
Not every iconic game is great. Tomb Raider may be a bit of a mess, but there's no denying the impact it had upon release. Lara Croft became one of gaming's biggest stars, and a bunch of blocky polygonals even became a sex symbol.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater brought extreme sports to the mainstream by helping popularize skateboarding. The addictive sports game had players completing various goals in 2-minute runs. The game has held up well, although it's missing some of the combo connectors that its sequels would introduce, thanks to great level design.
Released in 1995, Twisted Metal quickly became one of the system's best multiplayer offerings. The car combat game featured plenty of secrets for players to learn, easy to learn combat, and is a certified classic.
While the rapping dog may get all the attention, Um Jammer Lammy is the best rhythm game to hit PlayStation. Those that want to rap will be happy to know that a special PaRappa mode can be unlocked.
The second game in the series, Wipeout 2097 was a huge step up from its predecessor. Featuring an incredible soundtrack, fast-paced racing, and vastly improved graphics. It's one of the best games on the system, and Psyonix's most polished gem.