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PSOne Classics Buyer’s Guide — PS3/PSP Store Apocalypse Edition

Pick these PSOne Classics up before they’re gone!

psone classics

 

Edit (4/19/2021): Um, awkward: Looks like Sony’s going back on their decision to close the PlayStation store…for PS3 and Vita, anyway, but PSP owners should bear in mind you can install your PSOne Classic games there via Remote Play and whatnot. Regardless, aside from proving the value of fan feedback, this whole controversy just goes to show the delicacy of digital game preservation. We recommend that PlayStation fans and game historians alike heed this fiasco as a warning, and therefore peruse this list as if tomorrow were the PlayStation Store’s last.

Since 2006, the healthy library of PlayStation 3’s online store offered everything from digital-only ventures to emulated Golden Oldies; namely, PSOne Classics: emulated offerings of PlayStation games. From Metal Gear Solid to Jet Moto, these relics are the genuine 1:1 emulation experience, right down to disc-swapping, shuffling Memory Cards, and uncomfortable D-Pad controls; even so, it’s the only modern home for everything from Spyro the Dragon to Final Fantasy Tactics.

Alas, as we recently learned from Nintendo’s shenanigans with Super Mario Bros. 35 and Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and The Blade of Light, game preservation is the last thing on the gaming industry’s mind, leading to Sony’s closure of the PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. As we game historians scramble for our wallets, the clock continues ticking until July 2nd — when hundreds of 90’s classics threaten to fall into the digital ether forever.

What to do? Come up with a game plan, that’s what. Over the past week, we at Hey Poor Player have diligently researched most every notable PlayStation game available on PSN, and have compiled the following three lists — Limited-Time Offers, Available Elsewhere, and Japan-Only — for you to peruse. Even so, there’s some key pointers we’d like to dive into, so we advise reading our below FAQ to best browse our lists.


FAQ: What You Need to Know

 

Er, wait, PSOne Classic? Didn’t that come out just a couple years back?

No, no, that’s the PlayStation Classic — a physical replica of Sony’s original platform compiling 20 PS1 games, which released in December 2018. It’s long since out-of-print at local retailers, but you can snag used and like-new copies at reasonable prices on Amazon and eBay and the like. However, as we’ll reiterate below, you might want to think twice before purchasing one: as Polygon points out, the emulation quality is poor in everything from sound lag (Final Fantasy VII) to muddied graphics (Rayman), so there’s little reason to choose them over the originals.

On top of that, nine games included in the NA/EU release — Grand Theft Auto, Tekken 3, Destruction Derby, Resident Evil: Director’s Cut, Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, Cool Boarders 2, Battle Arena Toshinden, Jumping Flash!, and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six — are presented in their PAL format, which means that in accordance to European televisions, they run at 50hz; in other words, everything from the gameplay to the music runs slower than their North American counterparts. (You can imagine what this does with the 60hz upscaling.)

Even so, it’ll soon be the only modern method of snagging the likes of Twisted Metal, Wild Arms, and Mr. Driller — choose wisely, and quickly, because you’ll only have until July 2.

I hear games are already being taken off the PS3/PSP Store; should I panic?

Slow down, friend. Yes, there’s reports swirling around over various PSN store shenanigans such as the EU store delisting PSOne Classics to the removal of certain PS3 game updates, but while there’s explanations for all those, let’s stick with the former: apparently, the EU games involve titles published by MonkeyPaw Games — a defunct publisher that released everything from Japan-only eccentricities to abandoned game licenses. We’re not sure if this was either unfortunate timing or if people only just noticed, but for reference, the affected games are:

  • Arc the Lad, Arc the Lad II, and Arc the Lad III
  • Alundra
  • Gaia Seed
  • Tomba! and Tomba! 2
  • Blockids
  • Arc Arena: Monster Tournament
  • Tall Unlimited
  • Dezaemon Plus! and Dazaemon Kids!
  • Arcade Hits: Sonic Wings
  • Rapid Angel
  • Cho Aniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko

 

While all of these are still available on the NA store, in a bizarre twist, it seems some games there were taken down too!

  • Arcade Hits: Magical Drop
  • Magical Drop F – Daibouken Mo Rakujyanai
  • Kyuin
  • Yakiniku Bugyo

 

Thankfully, it’s only four games far more obscure than our European counterparts, but the lesson here? Don’t dawdle — pick up your favorite games and do it fast!

PSOne Classics

So, wait, have any other PSOne Classics been delisted before?

Sadly, yes. We’ve compiled a handy list for all three territories, but won’t include the MonkeyPaw games we just provided above, so mind those while you’re browsing these.

North America

  • Jet Moto 3
  • R-Types and R-Type Delta
  • Mickey Mania

 

Europe

  • Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
  • Wipeout
  • Tekken 2
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (Bizarrely, we’re told this only involves certain countries — European readers should check their PS3 store and let us know!)
  • Urban Chaos
  • Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty
  • Disney’s Tarzan
  • Theme Hospital
  • Populous: The Beginning
  • Sheep
  • Tekken (Only available via Namco Heritage Bundle)
  • R4: Ridge Racer Type 4 (Only available via Namco Heritage Bundle)

 

Japan

  • R-Type Delta

 

Boy, Japan sure got off easy, eh? Anyway, we’re sure European readers are despairing over everything from Klonoa to Alundra, but we’ve got some good news for you…

Wait, I’ve heard you can buy games from other regions. Is that true?

You sure can! By creating a new PSN ID via your PS3/PSP or Sony’s online store, all you have to do is select the appropriate foreign region as your home country. (Such as, say, America or Japan.) As far as payment goes, however, that’s a little trickier: the Japanese store obviously won’t take your American credit card, so what can you do? Why, buy a foreign prepaid card, naturally! From Play-Asia to SmartCDKeys, they’ll typically email the relevant digital codes right away, so heed the next question carefully as you browse our list.

Are the PAL games 50hz?

Aside from those marked as import titles, yes. Again, those games run slower than their 60hz American/Japanese counterparts, so we recommend our English-speaking readers to purchase the American versions. We sympathize with fellow American gamers who find their favorite childhood classics so close, yet so far away  — yours truly bemoans I.Q.: Intelligent Cube‘s absence from the NA store — but the European versions just aren’t the ones you remember.

Conversely, again, our European readers will find themselves much better off with our NA releases. Nostalgia’s a hell of a drug, but don’t let it run your life at any expense, yo.

Okay, but how much do they cost?

As far as American games go, most just cost $5.99, but others such as the Final Fantasy trilogy and both Mega Man Legends games are upped to $9.99. GameRant’s whipped up a handy price list for all the NA games, so budget your shopping spree accordingly.

Hey, you missed my favorite game! Put it on your list, NOW!

Whoa, sorry! Trust us: we scanned the relevant Wikipedia lists up and down countless times as we culled classic after classic, selecting everything from stone-cold classics to forgotten gems to obscure curiosities. Regardless, it’s inevitable we overlooked a gem or two; by all means, feel free to pipe up in the comments and recommend whatever we missed.

Now that we’ve got that all situated, time to dive into what you came here for!


PSOne Classics: Limited-Time Offer

psone classics

For the first of our three lists (and the one you’ll most likely rely on), we’ve selected a wide variety of PSOne Classics that, with one or two exceptions, you won’t find on any modern platform. This isn’t to say you’ll never see them any of them again — at the very least, we imagine the Crash/Spyro trilogies and the Resident Evil games will pop up down the road — but bear in mind licensing issues have plagued the likes of Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain and both Mega Man Legends games, and who knows whenever we’ll see the likes of Alundra, Tomba!, or Threads of Fate again…if ever.

Put simply: if you have even the slightest interest in purchasing any of these games, be it reliving childhood memories or archival/preservation purposes, you will want to pick these up.

(And hey, feel free to reference Wikipedia’s lists for NA/PAL libraries — we might’ve missed a classic or two you personally adore.)


Crash Bandicoot/Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back/Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (NA/PAL): 2017’s Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy garnered widespread acclaim and brought the beloved marsupial back into the spotlight, but the original PlayStation games that started it all were never ported anywhere else. Now’s your only chance to see how they hold up — some may say they’re even better than Activison-Blizzard’s re-imagining.

Crash Team Racing (NA/PAL): 2019’s Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled reintroduced this beloved racer to fans new and old. Unfortunately, the original game remains stuck on PlayStation — one point in the 1999 version’s favor is that it’s microtransaction-free!

Spyro the Dragon/Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage/Spyro: Year of the Dragon (NA/PAL): Like fellow PlayStation mascot Crash, Spyro the Dragon’s original adventures were repackaged as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. While these 2018 remasters also found success, his original PlayStation titles were, you guessed it, never released anywhere else.

Resident Evil 2 (NA/PAL): Everyone loves the 2019 remake, but believe it or not, Hideki Kamiya’s directorial debut was never preserved beyond PS3. Yes, there exist patches and the like for the PC port, but this is likely another PlayStation masterpiece you’ll want to collect.

Resident Evil 3 (NA/PAL): The 2020 remake was more divisive, with harsher critics citing its scripted encounters with Nemesis as inferior to the original’s infamous stalking. You’ll have until this July to decide for yourself.

Suikoden/Suikoden II (NA/EU): Loosely based on Chinese epics, these two strategy RPGs are considered some of the finest in the entire genre. While ported to other consoles in Japan, they’re PlayStation-only in the West.

Tekken (NA/PAL)/Tekken 2 (NA): We imagine the modern Tekken games make these more than a little difficult to revisit. (Not the least in that 90’s CGI, ew.) Even so, the first two Tekken games remain landmarks of the fighting game genre. Sadly, Tekken 3 never made the PSN jump. Oh, and for European readers: Tekken‘s only available via the Namco Heritage Bundle.

Parasite Eve (NA)/Parasite Eve 2 (NA/PAL): A Square-Enix survival-horror series with Yoko Shimomura music? Okay, she only composed the first game, but Aya Brea’s encounters with spontaneous combustion remain cult-favorite adventures within the studio’s pantheon.

Wild Arms (NA/PAL)/Wild Arms 2 (NA): Western-themed, gun-toting RPGs that’re hailed as cult classics even today. While the first Wild Arms received a PS2 remake, the second didn’t; either way, PSN remains the only modern method to experience these games…and soon, there won’t be any at all.

Namco Museum – Namco Museum 5 (NA): While many of Namco’s pixel-perfect arcade classics have since been ported to future Namco Museum iterations, some either remain on older platforms (Baraduke via Xbox 360’s Namco Museum Virtual Arcade) or were never featured beyond PlayStation. (Pac-Land and Valkriye no Densetsu) By the way, as we’ll discuss in the Japan-only section, Namco Museum Encore never left that region.

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (NA): The 2009 Wii remake of this charming adventure costs a pretty penny, but the original classic’s just a measly $9.99. Beloved for its innovative 2.5D platforming and feel-good characters, music, and visuals, Klonoa’s considered one of PlayStation’s finest platformers.

MediEvil (NA/PAL): Both remakes for PSP and PS4 were subjected to a mixed reception, but the original remains a beloved Halloween-themed action game; I mean, hey, anything that reminds us of The Nightmare Before Christmas can’t be that bad! Sadly, MediEvil 2 was never available on PSN.

Jet Moto/Rider – Jet Moto/Rider 2 (NA/PAL): A pioneer of 3D hovercraft gaming courtesy of SingleTrac, the shreddin’ guitar and high-speed racing consist of some of the most classic PlayStation memories, and fans still await a revival even today. For reasons unknown, Jet Moto 3 was pulled off the American PSN store years ago, and it never appeared on EU stores at all.

Twisted Metal (NA/EU)/Twisted Metal 2 (NA): Can you believe SingleTrac helped define PlayStation’s legacy with not one but two driving game series, and they debuted at the same time? Twisted Metal 3 and 4 might be missing, but the series’s devious demolition derbies remain multiplayer classics. Actually, the original’s available on PlayStation Classic, but as for reasons already discussed, that’s not quite optimal.

Syphon Filter 1/Syphon Filter 2/Syphon Filter 3 (NA/PAL): Barring the original’s inclusion on PlayStation Classic, the entire trilogy of 989 Studios/Bend Studio’s stealth/shooting series remains exclusive to PlayStation. Many agree the PS2/PSP sequels didn’t reach the same highs, so don’t miss this chance.

Tomba!/Tomba! 2 (NA): Starring a feral wild child pulverizing evil pigs, these wacky 2D platformers are wild, offbeat, and bursting with color. PlayStation was no stranger to weird games, so it’s little wonder the Tomba! series enjoys a cult following.

Mega Man Legends/Mega Man Legends 2 (NA): While these two fan-favorite Mega Man spin-offs were treated to Japanese PSP ports, Western territories weren’t so lucky. As it happens, licensing issues were initial roadblocks for their PSN debut, so it may be some time before you see another digital release; in other words, snatch these two up!

Misadventures of Tron Bonne (NA): Speaking of Mega Man Legends, remember this derivative spin-off of the digging-themed spin-off series? If you’re still heartbroken over Mega Man Legends 3, the antics of Tron Bonne and her adorable Servbots might just cheer you up, but be quick: this game will also disappear into the digital ether.

Final Fantasy Tactics (NA): Often cited as PlayStation’s finest strategy game, this Final Fantasy spin-off is lauded for its engaging depth in addictive gameplay and storytelling themes. An upgraded PSP port in Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions released in 2007, but you won’t get the original on any other digital store. By the way, did you know Final Fantasy XII takes place in the same universe?

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (NA/PAL): The bloody revenge of vampire Kain is, alas, shackled to PlayStation by apparent legal issues. There’s no telling when those’ll be sorted out, so you’ll want to grab this one.

Breath of Fire III/Breath of Fire IV (NA): Just to clarify: Breath of Fire III isn’t classified as a PSOne Classic, but outside of that game’s PSP release, you won’t find either Capcom RPG after the store closes.

Silent Hill (NA/PAL): What, you didn’t forget about that other famous survival-horror PlayStation game, did you? Introducing one of gaming’s most frightening icons in Pyramid Head, perhaps it’s time to see whether this psychological thriller can still induce jump-scares.

Gex: Enter the Gecko/Gex 3: Deep Cover Gecko (NA/PAL): What better way to reacquaint yourself with 90’s cringe by engaging in some tail time? Written and voiced by Dana Gould of Simpsons fame, Enter the Gecko was particularly infamous for its movie parodies. Word has it Sonic 06’s reviled kiss scene may or may not have been inspired by Gex’s, ahem, “relationship” with Agent Xtra.

Threads of Fate (NA): A niche entry within Square-Enix’s library, this charming action RPG’s known as “Dewprism” in Japan. As it happens, one of Final Fantasy X’s composers worked on this game, and mentioned that his experiences here had a significant influence on the PS2 RPG.

Hot Shots Golf 2/Everybody’s Golf 2 (NA/PAL): Whereas N64 owners had Mario Golf 64, PlayStation users had Clap Hanz’s Hot Shots — or “Everybody’s Golf”, if you live in Europe. Alas, the first game’s absent from PSN.

Wipeout (NA): Wipeout 2097 and Wipeout 3 might be absent, but the original 3D futuristic racer remains synonymous with PlayStation. It’s especially famed for licensed music from artists such as Chemical Brothers and Leffield — enjoy the likes of Afro Play and Chemical Beats as you race! Alas, while collectors might be interested to know both NA and PAL versions feature different playlists, the EU version was removed for unknown reasons.

Medal of Honor / Medal of Honor: Underground (NA): Did you know that not only was Medal of Honor originally conceived by Steven Spielberg, but developed by Dreamworks Interactive? Thankfully, you won’t meet any tacky talking animals in these classic shooters, but you won’t find them on any modern digital stores, either.

Cool Boarders (NA/PAL)/Cool Boarders 2/Cool Boarders 3 (NA): Just to clarify: the PAL version of Cool Boarders 2’s included in the PlayStation Classic, Cool Boarders 3 isn’t available on the EU Store, and Cool Boarders 4 never made the PSN jump. Regardless, these games helped pioneer 3D snowboarding.

Bloody Roar/Bloody Roar 2 (NA): Animorphs meets Tekken in these classic fighters. Originally dubbed “Beastorizer” in American arcades, Bloody Roar became a Konami property following Hudson’s closure in 2012.

UmJammer Lammy (NA/PAL): So, uh, we don’t know why Parappa the Rapper never made the PSN cut, but at least there’s the PS4 remaster; unfortunately, the same can’t be said for poor Lammy. Collectors might be interested in snagging both NA and EU versions, as certain scenarios were altered for the NA release.

Dino Crisis/Dino Crisis 2 (NA): With the Dino Crisis faithful busy screaming at Capcom for a new entry, we certainly hope they don’t forget to snap up these original thrillers. Surely, you can spend another twenty years wallowing in how Capcom will never conclude that cliffhanger.

Chrono Cross (NA): Is Chrono Chross a worthy follow-up to Chrono Trigger, or is it an affront to everything the SNES masterpiece stood for? The debate still rages on, but one thing’s certain: this is your only chance to pick up this PlayStation RPG.

Vagrant Story (NA/PAL): Developed by the same team behind Final Fantasy Tactics, this action RPG takes place in the same universe. Square-Enix has expressed interest in a Vagrant Story remake, but with how long it’s been, we wouldn’t get your hopes up. Until this July, the PSN store remains your only modern avenue.

Cho Aniki: Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko (NA): What, you’re saying you’re not interested in homoerotic shmups? An import game courtesy of MonkeyPaw Games, it’s considered one of the weaker games in this off-the-wall series, but as this Hardcore Gaming 101 article elaborates, it dials the weirdness factor up by 11.

Alundra (NA): A dark dream-venturing escapade that’s drawn comparisons to Zelda, Alundra’s famed for its one-of-a-kind story. Anime fans take note: One Piece composer Kohei Tanaka lent his musical talents here, so you know you’re in for a treat.

Arc the Lad/Arc the Lad 2/Arc the Lad 3 (NA): This trilogy of strategy RPGs remains a cult classic. While there was a Arc the Lad Collection released in 2002, the games are sold individually on PSN.

Front Mission 3 (NA/PAL): While there were two prior Front Mission games for PlayStation, this entry was the first one localized. If the series’ fervent fanbase is any indication, Front Mission 3 is another strategy RPG well-worth your while.

Pocket Fighter (NA): Yours truly just learned this was dubbed “Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix” in American arcades. Regardless, this tongue-in-cheek take on Street Fighter/DarkStalkers is the only game in the world where you can witness M. Bison enjoying a good sleigh ride.

Xenogears (NA): While originally conceived as a Final Fantasy VII proposal, Xenogears is better known as being the first of Monolith Soft’s “Xeno” franchise, although it bears no relation to Xenosaga or Xenoblade Chronicles.

The Legend of Dragoon (NA): Some may say this a more underrated RPG within the PlayStation pantheon — others say it’s rote and by-the-numbers. Why not decide for yourself? Only have three months to find out…

Saiyuki: Journey West (NA): You’re not tired of strategy RPGs yet, are you? This one’s at least worth a look if not for its Journey to the West-inspired premise. How many localized games can claim the same? No cheating with Dragon Ball!

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (NA): To clarify, this is a sequel to the original Persona 2, which wasn’t localized here until PSP’s Persona 2: Innocent Sin. With Persona hitting the bigtime, now’s your chance to experience its origins.

Jumping Flash! (NA/PAL)/Jumping Flash! 2 (NA): A first-person platformer? Shame we don’t have all eyes on the cute rabbit robot hero, but points for originality! Shame the third game wasn’t localized, but as we’ll discuss later, there’s a way around that…

Kurushi Final: Mental Blocks (PAL): The sequel to I.Q.: Intelligent Qube, it appropriately follows-up the abnormal 3D puzzler with some unique modes of its own. As for the original game, we’ll dive into that in the next section.

Vib-Ribbon (NA/PAL): Undoubtedly the most unique game on this list, this rhythm game courtesy of Parappa the Rapper-developer NanaOn-Sha generates crude, chalkboard-esque levels based on whatever music CD you insert. It works on PS3 just like it did back on PlayStation, so dig out your CD albums and groove away!

Bust-a-Move 4 (NA): Featuring Bub and Bob of Bubble Bobble fame, this is the only PlayStation Bust-a-Move on the service. Other versions exist on DreamCast and Windows, but this is the only digital release out there.

Pac-Man World (NA): Pac-Man’s foray into 3D platforming didn’t catch on the same way Mario did, but hey, at least he never crashed and burned like Sonic. Treated to solid media reception and fond memories alike, you could certainly do worse!

Strider 2 (NA): Not the European-developed Strider II released for Amiga and Sega Genesis and the like — the arcade/PlayStation game by Capcom itself. Digital downloads were included in the Japanese release of the 2014 reboot, but we imagine simply logging onto PSN’s a much easier avenue…for now.

Future Cop: LAPD (NA/PAL): A police mecha from the future hunting down crime? Um, yes please. This third-person shooter has everything from co-op to multiplayer battle arenas; alas, the online functionality from the PC version is obviously not included.

Harvest Moon: Back to Nature (NA): Ported to PlayStation Portable (Harvest Moon: Boy and Girl), remade for Game Boy Advance (Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town), and remade once more for Nintendo Switch (Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town). Regardless, this is your last chance to pick up the original PlayStation version.

Armored Core (NA): This fan-favorite mech series might remain dormant, but the original Armored Core’s still around on PSN. In case you miss the boat, you could make do with a Japanese PlayStation Classic.

Castlevania Chronicles (NA): Originally released for Sharp X68000, this is a remake of the original Castlevania. In case you’re wondering where Simon Belmont’s red hair came from…well, you could say his original sprite had red hair, but this is the first time both graphics and promotional artwork sported his new ‘do.

Herc’s Adventures (NA): While not to be confused with the game adaption of the Disney movie Hercules, this LucasArts action game takes on a similar cartoonish tone. Coincidence? Maybe not, but it has its fans.


Available Elsewhere, But Just In Case…

psone classics

Alright, so, there’s the “maybe gone forever” list — our second collection here involves PSOne Classics ported and remastered on modern platforms. From playing a refurbished Final Fantasy VII on your phone to hitting up Darkstalkers 3 online, these gems and masterpieces alike are preserved for a modern age…to various degrees of success, as we’ll elaborate below.


Final Fantasy VII/Final Fantasy VIII/Final Fantasy IX: All three Final Fantasy games on PlayStation have been treated to HD remasters for Steam, Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and mobile. From upgraded character models to Final Fantasy IX’s Safe Travel, these are the ideal versions for newcomers; however, veterans have taken issue with the blurry pre-rendered backgrounds and IX’s removal of 360-degree movement. While Steam mods and the like have addressed these, the point is: if you’re a “This guy are sick” kinda purist, this is your last chance!

Metal Gear Solid: Solid Snake’s revolutionary stealth mission is available on PlayStation Classic, but you’ll want to purchase it via GOG. Based on the PC version, which in itself was based on the Japan-only Metal Gear Solid: Integral upgrade, GOG’s release comes included with the Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions games — a standalone game in Western territories. Sadly, unique features such as Psycho Mantis’s Memory Card readings are removed, but, well, how do you expect them to replicate that?

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: The PS4 remaster of this series-favorite masterpiece should serve you just fine, but when considering the whole clock battery fiasco, you may want yourself a back-up. By the way, that version uses the Dracula X Chronicles voice-overs, so if “A miserable pile of secrets” is your definitive Symphony of the Night experience, you’ll want to hop onto the PS3 store like, now.

I.Q.: Intelligent Qube: The iconic 3D puzzler’s available on PlayStation Classic, but as we discussed earlier, while the inclusion of 19 other games might sound appealing, many raised issues with its poor emulation quality. You could consider purchasing the PAL version on PSN, but then you’re stuck with an inferior offering running at 50hz. No matter what option you pick, you’re kinda boned here.

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut: The acclaimed GameCube remake of Resident Evil is available everywhere from Switch to Steam, while the Director’s Cut release was ported to PlayStation Classic; again, given the emulation quality, you’ll want to consider your options here. Yes, not only does this feature “Jill Sandwich” in all its glory, but Director’s Cut is the version with the infamous basement theme.

Gex: GOG offers the original debut of the smart-talking gecko — while it’s based on the PC release, there’s little difference between the 3DO/PS1/Saturn versions.

Rayman: The origins of Ubisoft’s mascot can be experienced via PlayStation Classic and Ubisoft’s online store; naturally, you’ll want to go with the latter.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape: We can’t even count how many times this acclaimed 3D platformer’s been ported, so we’ll just refer you to the GOG page.

Grandia: Game Arts’ RPG is on PSN, but it won’t go away forever: Switch’s Grandia HD Collection has you enjoy both PlayStation games on the go. Both Grandia and Grandia II are available on Steam, but they’re sold separately.

Mega Man 8: Playstation’s sole entry in the core Mega Man series is offered within the digital-only Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 for Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One; yes, the laughable voice acting is untouched.

Mega Man X4/X5: Regardless of your feelings towards the post-SNES Mega Man X era, both PlayStation games are included within Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2, respectively.

Mr. Driller: The addictive Dig Dug-inspired puzzle game was sadly delisted on North American version’s PSN, but it’s available within PlayStation Classic. Not optimal, but hey.

Legend of Mana: As announced this past February, this PlayStation RPG will be remastered for Switch, Steam, and PlayStation 4 this July. You can check out how much they retained the beautiful spritework here.

R4: Ridge Racer Type 4: “Riiiiidge Racer!” Okay, embarrassing E3 2006 memories aside, this is the only PlayStation Ridge Racer game available on PSN, but it’s included in PlayStation Classic. However, European readers should know this game’s only available via the Namco Heritage Bundle.

Darkstalkers 3: Time to face facts: Darkstalkers ain’t ever coming back, but at least you can still enjoy the old games; in this case, Darkstalkers 3’s arcade version is available via Darkstalkers Resurrection complete with online play. Of course, that’ll go bye-bye with PSN, but that’s what Xbox Live Arcade is for.

Tomb Raider/Tomb Raider II/Tomb Raider III/Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation: Laura Croft’s acclaimed adventures are all on PSN, but never fear: all four classic games are sold on Steam, while GOG offers the first three games via bundle and packages The Last Revelation alongside Tomb Raider: Chronicles.

Street Fighter Alpha/Street Fighter Alpha 2/Street Fighter Alpha 3: All three PlayStation ports might be going away, but why grieve when the original arcade versions are right there in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection? Pick it up on Switch, Steam, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One.

Hogs of War: Steam and GOG both sell this pig-crazy war game, but be warned: it doesn’t run on Windows XP, Windows 10, or Mac. Fans and collectors alike should consider purchasing the PSN release just in case.

Disney’s Hercules: Action Game: Believe it or not, there’s quite a few licensed Disney titles on PSN, and apparently Disney’s Hercules was a solid adaption of the zany movie. Thankfully, you don’t need PSN to Go the Distance — it’s available on GOG.

Oddworld: Abe’s Odysee/Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus: The origins of the ugly, yet gentle Abe won’t go away with PSN — both Steam and GOG offer the two Playstation classics at exceptional prices.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver: The first sequel to vampire Kain’s violent escapades can be experienced once more via Steam and GOG.

Command & Conquer/Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Both Command & Conquer games were remastered by the original studio in the Command & Conquer: Remastered Collection for Steam. The Retaliation expansion for Red Alert was released standalone for PlayStation, but it’s included here, too.


Japan-Only Rarities

psone classics

So, uh, have you ever taken a gander at Japan’s PSOne Classics library? Boy, did they make out like bandits: whereas us Westerners had to deal with a trickled release schedule, PlayStation’s home country apparently had no trouble ironing out licenses and scooping up everything from system-defining masterpieces to obscure visual novels. Should you be interested in expanding your PlayStation library, we picked eleven hidden gems that’re often cited as import-friendly ventures.


Puyo Puyo~n/Puyo Puyo BOX/Puyo Puyo Sun: Thanks to the fantastic Puyo Puyo Tetris games, SEGA’s blob-filled puzzle games are finally getting some Western attention. As we learned via the Super Famicom games on Nintendo Switch Online, they’re perfectly import-friendly, although we should mention the PC version of Puyo Puyo Sun has a fan translation.

Panzer Bandit: Chances are you’ve not familiar with the repertoire of defunct developer Fill-in-Cafe, but this 2D beat-’em-up with explosive spritework is often named as one of PlayStation’s finest import titles. By the way, there’s multiplayer!

Namco Museum Encore: Featuring Sky Kid, Motos, Rolling Thunder, King & Balloon, Rompers, Wonder Momo, and Dragon Saber — not all off these are esteemed Namco arcade classics, but collectors should note the last three were never preserved in any future Namco Museum games.

Rakugaki Showtime: Up there with Vib-Ribbon as one of PlayStation’s most visually-innovative games, this Treasure-developed 3D-arena brawler depicts its crayon-drawn cast within a papercraft world. Seriously, look for yourself!

Robbit mon Dieu: What, you didn’t know there was a Jumping Flash! 3? Yes, the last one was never localized for whatever reason — low sales, maybe — but any nostalgic fans of these 3D platformers should know this is your last chance.

Ore no Ryouri: Infamous for its random inclusion within one of those PlayStation Underground demo discs, this bizarre cooking title emulates the high-pressure struggle of public cooking. Did you know this was the inspiration behind the Cook, Serve, Delicious! series?

Adventure of Little Ralph: This bizarre 2D’s platformer alternates between classic side-scrolling action and Street Fighter-esque fighting for its boss fights — notorious for its difficulty, only the hardcore need apply. The menus are in English, so it shouldn’t be too hard to navigate.

Harmful Park: Taking a page from the blinding colors and left-field settings of Parodius, this shoot-’em-up has you flying around a theme park as you shoot down gumball machines and inflatable gorillas with food-themed projectiles. Yes, really.

Slap Happy Rhythm Busters: A cel-shaded PlayStation fighting game? Yes, please. As you may’ve guessed from the name, it does indeed get rather “slap happy” by incorporating rhythm elements to its combat. How many fighting games can you name that do that?


 

Annnnd that’s a wrap! Again, we implore you to share your favorite missing PSOne Classics below, but in the meantime: GET SPENDING!

Anthony Pelone
Eating, breathing and living video games on a daily basis, Anthony is particularly fond of the Nintendo variety, but is by no means a console warrior. Somewhere in the midst of his obsession with cat pictures, he finds the time to pen about his favorite hobby. Having previously written for over three sites, Anthony remains dedicated to spreading the gospel of EarthBound.

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