The 9 best PlayStation 1 games ever, from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 to Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 are among the best PS1 games. (ES COMPOSITE)
Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 are among the best PS1 games. (ES COMPOSITE)

While many PlayStation fans today are on the fifth iteration of the console, old school gamers will still have a  place in their heart for the PS1. Released in Japan 30 years ago in 1994 (followed by Europe in 1995), the first PlayStation console revolutionised video gaming with the use of CDs and went on to sell more than 100 million units in just 10 years.

Sony stopped producing the PlayStation 1 in 2006; by this time, it had already released the PS2, and was getting ready to release the PS3. But for those looking for a walk down memory lane, the nostalgic console continues to be resold on platforms like eBay.

So if you’re the lucky owner of a PS1, or you’re hoping to get your hands on one soon, what should you be playing? Take a look below at what we – and critics and gamers alike –consider to be the best PS1 games.

Best PS1 games

  • Crash Bandicoot: Warped

  • Gran Turismo

  • Silent Hill

  • Tomb Raider

  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon

  • Final Fantasy VII

  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

  • Tekken 3

  • R4: Ridge Racer 4

Crash Bandicoot: Warped

Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998) is a classic platformer, and many gamers’ favourite game in the Crash series. This one sees gamers play as Crash and Coco, who must travel through time to collect crystals and defeat bosses. With a Metascore of 91, it’s no wonder why Crash Bandicoot: Warped is considered to be one of the best video games of all time, and a best-seller for PlayStation.

Gran Turismo 2

Racing simulator Gran Turismo 2 (1999) is a fan-favourite, with nearly 10 million copies sold, and an average Metacritic score of 93 awarded. GT2 features an impressive 27 tracks and more than 600 cars, and to this day remains one of the most critically acclaimed racing games.

Silent Hill

Silent Hill (1999) is a psychological survival horror, and the first of several sequels and spin-offs, as well as film adaptations. Silent Hill puts the most hardened of gamers on edge, with its unpredictable, eerie nature. Despite being downright terrifying, its various endings and hidden secrets keep gamers coming back for more.

Tomb Raider

A Bafta poll revealed Lara Croft to be the most iconic video game character of all time. It’s no wonder, then, that the first game she appeared in, Tomb Raider (1996), is up there among the best PS1 games of all time. Tomb Raider, which sees Croft search for mysterious artefacts across the world, boasts a Metacritic score of 91.

Spyro: Year of the Dragon

Spyro: Year of the Dragon (2004) is a 3D-platformer and the third game in this beloved series. Improving on the first two games, Spyro: Year of the Dragon scores a massive 91 on Metacritic. In this edition, gamers play as the purple dragon as he embarks on a mission to retrieve dragon eggs after they were stolen by an evil sorceress.

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII (1997) tells the story of a resistance group fighting back against an evil power company mining the planet’s energy. It revolutionised RPGs, and is considered to be one of the most influential video games to this day. It’s no surprise, then, that this game was awarded 92 on Metacritic.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2000), which has a near-perfect Metacritic score of 98, features what many fans consider to be the best levels of the entire skating franchise. Not only have several reviewers dubbed it the best skateboarding game ever, but some have even claimed that it’s the best PS1 game of all time.

Tekken 3

Tekken 3 (released on PlayStation in 1998) is one of the best-rated games of all time, having scored a massive 96 on Metacritic. At the time, it was praised for how closely it resembled the arcade game and, more than 25 years later, it remains a firm favourite.

R4: Ridge Racer Type 4

R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (1999), the last in the series released for PS1, delighted fans when it was initially released. Fans of racing games were thrilled by the gameplay and touched by the story mode. With a mega 88 score on Metacritic, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 remains one of our favourite PS1 games.