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The Best PS1 Games From Our Childhood

Our favourite childhood PlayStation 1 games

A seven year old me ran downstairs on Christmas morning to open a box. Inside was another, much heavier grey box with a strange opening and the letters “PS” on top. I had no idea what it was at the time. But it changed my life.

It’s been nearly 25 years since the PlayStation was first released. Even now there’s something beautiful about revisiting its blocky graphics and sometimes-failing soundtracks; back to the days when loading screens took forever but had awesome artwork and animation. Back in the days where games from films and TV programmes were actually decent. Back when it was cool to play games on your own…

Plus, let’s not forget the beautiful sound of the PlayStation starting up. I’m sure I wasn’t the only person to mimic it with, “byuuuuwoooiiiiibyuuuuuu… pishhwingggggdoobedoobedooodooobedoooo”

…Right?

There were so many great, genre-defining games on PlayStation 1 that have helped shape games into what they are today. There were also plenty of not-so groundbreaking games that we still couldn’t help but love. With that, then, here are 10 of the best games on PS1 from our childhoods.

Casper

Casper-min

Playing as everyone’s favourite poltergeist, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Casper sees you trying to unlock doors, pick up objects and solve puzzles. In a strange, roof cut-off type view, you can explore the mansion, open chests and run like hell from other ghosts. I don’t remember the game too clearly but I certainly got plenty of entertainment out of it.

Lilo and Stitch

Lilo and Stitch-min

Running around as Stitch collecting Elvis Presley LPs and photos of fat people? Who doesn’t love that premise? Lilo and Stitch is lovely and was a great accompaniment to the Disney film. The music’s funky, the tone’s light-hearted, and it was just really fun and easy to play.

Ape Escape

Ape Escape-min

I first played Ape Escape on a PlayStation demo disc from McDonalds (those were the days!) and thought it was awesome. You travelled through various worlds and literally caught apes that have escaped, by all manner of marvellous methods. You had a net to catch them in, but many other ridiculous gadgets to help you out, like the stun club, monkey radar and the RC car.

Monsters Inc: Scare Island

Monsters Inc PS1-min

Play as Mike and Sulley, collecting screams from children over a range of various landscapes; from Egyptian deserts to children’s playgrounds. No two levels were the same, and they were all extremely fun. The voice acting was good, the puzzles were enjoyable, both characters have unique abilities… Everything about this game was great, just like the Pixar film that it was based on.

Rugrats: Search for Reptar

Rugrats-min

I loved the films and TV series as a kid, and the game was equally as entertaining. Explore the Pickles’ house and take part in a series of minigames including minigolf, balloon popping and just generally causing havoc. At times these games were difficult and almost always they were downright trippy. Almost anything could happen next. One minute you’re a baby in a playpen, the next you’re on an alien spaceship running for your life. Rugrats: Search for Reptar was awesome!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter Chamber-min

With beautiful narration by Stephen Fry and staying mostly true to the plot, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets perfectly summarises the second instalment of the series, as well as including parts from the book that the film did not, such as Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party. Like my other top ten games, The Chamber of Secrets has lots of collectibles, secrets and mini games.

Spyro the Dragon

Spyro 1-min

Surprisingly not the first of the Spyro franchise I owned, but this was the game that ignited the Sparx (excuse the pun) of my love of the trilogy. It’s perfect in every way; soundtrack, humour, gameplay, graphics… This is one of few games I know where you only have two attacks for the entire game and yet it’s still enjoyable throughout. The worlds are huge, beautiful and well-crafted. There’s always an excitement about entering a new level, even if you’ve played the game before.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter Philosopher-min

Following the same formula as its sequel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Sorcerer’s Stone as it was known across the pond) is a timeless classic. Explore as far as the sunlit Hogwarts grounds to the dingy dungeons. Solve puzzles, collect Bertie Botts beans and follow the main storyline of how it all began. And unlike the films, they actually included Peeves! The minigames are annoying and horrible to get past, but it’s all part of the charm. You know, like when the troll is chasing you and half of the floor is missing. Good work making that school safe, Dumbledore! Ten points to Gryffindor!

 Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue

Toy Story-min

This is a beauty of a game. Slightly sidetracking from the film’s plot, Buzz Lightyear must try and save Woody from Al… via the scenic route. There is a plethora of levels exploring the world as he travels to save his best friend. From bin-dwelling slime monsters to evil kites, there are a whole bunch of enemies and bosses to fight, some of which I still struggle to fight even today. There are plenty of collectibles to find too; from Little Tyke men in the construction yard to the rubber ducks in the streets. This is, without doubt, still my favourite film-made-game.

Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer

Spyro 2-min

My all-time favourite PS1 game, and one of the first I ever owned. Gateway to Glimmer (or Ripto’s Rage) is just perfect; cynical dragon, truckloads of collectibles and just an overall awesome game. It appeals to my sarcastic, rather dry sense of humour. There are three worlds to explore, and you can tell each one has had so much work put into it. The characters are funny, the plot is extremely cheerful and non-serious, and the gameplay is just so damn enjoyable. This is one of the rare occasions where a game company has taken a popular game, built on the system and improved it, rather than dismantling it and starting again (let’s not talk about the games beyond the first trilogy, they most definitely do not exist…)

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