- Sony’s PlayStation console was a massive success, selling well and amassing a loyal fanbase due to its mature gaming experiences and improved graphics.
were standout JRPGs on the PS1, offering captivating stories and compelling protagonists that unfortunately faded into obscurity over time.
Final Fantasy 8’s
protagonist, Squall, was initially seen as aloof and rude, but his stoic personality and character development resonated with players, making him an underrated and misunderstood character.
After being hoodwinked by Nintendo and rejected by Sega, Sony decided to just jump into the console gaming market on their own with the release of the PlayStation. It was a massive success, with the PS1 selling like hotcakes and amassing a loyal fanbase courtesy of its focus on mature gaming experiences while also letting players enjoy better graphics than ever before.
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The best video game consoles left behind a lasting legacy thanks to their fantastic libraries and the innovation that they brought to the industry.
The console paved the way for Sony to take their gaming endeavors seriously for the future, and the company continues to hold a strong presence in the market courtesy of their amazing exclusives and superior hardware. The sheer wealth of games on this console was astounding, but this overpopulation also led to some well-written and engaging heroes from their respective games becoming forgotten relics as the years rolled by.
5 Aya Brea
The JRPG genre blew up on the PlayStation, with Final Fantasy 7 paving the way for other games in this genre looking to capitalize on this hype to receive localizations in no time flat. The golden age of JRPGs was a joy to witness, with players being whisked away on grandiose adventures in a fantasy worlds for hundreds of hours. However, despite the tropes and cliches that surround this genre, Parasite Eve decided to buck the trend and deliver a captivating roleplaying experience that lasted for around twenty hours or so with little to no filler.
The protagonist of the tale, Aya Brea, is a no-nonsense cop who is as competent as they come. Given how strong female leads were a rarity in gaming at the time, it’s a shame that this police officer faded away into obscurity. The 3rd Birthday is certainly to blame for this, with the lackluster nature of this RPG shooter causing Parasite Eve‘s stock to tank and Square Enix to ignore this franchise for good.
4 John Tanner
- PC , PS1 , PS2 , Game Boy Color
- June 30, 1999
- Reflections Interactive
Driver is an excellent racing game that tried to make its genre feel as cinematic as possible. Players control an undercover cop who tries to uncover the many atrocities occurring in the Castaldi crime family, taking on the role of a getaway driver to get as close to these operations as possible. This ex-race car driver has a chip on his shoulder that can be seen throughout the game.
The tutorial of this game is extremely challenging, and most players would’ve just given up here instead of seeing how the game evolved past this point. The series has lain dormant for quite some time now, which has caused John Tanner to become a footnote in gaming history. It’s a shame, since this franchise could’ve been something really special in the right hands.
3 Fei Fong Wong
- PS1 , PlayStation 3
- October 20, 1998
One of the most ambitious projects coming out of Squaresoft that ran out of budget halfway through its story, Xenogears is an interesting fusion of the mecha and JRPG genres that ends up dealing with some interesting themes. The main and side plots woven into this tale are as rich as they come and really help the JRPG stand out as one of the very best on the PS1.
10 Most Timeless PS1 RPGs, Ranked
These games have stood the test of time and are still great to replay today, even though they were released for the first PlayStation console.
The protagonist of the tale, Fei Fong Wong, is a mysterious individual who is in the dark about his own identity for the majority of the tale. There’s no denying that this protagonist would’ve been as legendary as any other main character from the PS1 era had the game achieved its full potential, but his riveting backstory and the implications it has on the main plot is still one of the best and most shocking revelations in gaming history.
2 Squall Leonhart
Final Fantasy 8
Final Fantasy 8
- February 11, 1999
- T for Teen: Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
Both Final Fantasy 7 and 9 were lauded for being some of the greatest JRPGs of all time, but the same adoration wasn’t given to the title that landed in between both of them. Final Fantasy 8‘s Junction system and the introduction of the true ultimate antagonist out of nowhere caused many people to write this game off as a decent but unremarkable entry in the series, even if the game’s improved graphics led to fans loving the spectacle in this title.
One point that fans brought up against the title was the protagonist Squall, who was seen as too aloof and rude for his own good. However, his stoic personality was a guise to hide his own insecurities, which really resonated with people at the time who understood what Squaresoft was trying to achieve with this character. This is what makes Squall such an underrated character, with the protagonist slowly coming into his own as a reliable leader after accepting the weight of the responsibilities he’d been given.
1 Koudelka Iasant
- December 16, 1999
- Survival Horror , Adventure
Most people are aware of Shadow Hearts, but what these fans don’t know is that the first game in this series was actually a tough-as-nails dungeon crawler that came out on the PS1. The difficulty and frustrating gameplay of Koudelka was what caused many people to give this game a pass, which is a shame since the story underneath all the gameplay was a treat to uncover.
Forgotten Local Co-Op & Split-Screen PlayStation 1 Games
The PS1 isn’t really remembered for its local co-op offerings, but the console did have a few great games for split-screen and couch co-op fans.
A huge reason why this narrative was so riveting stems from the eponymous main character herself, who comes across as flawed yet believable. Her chemistry with the rest of the main cast is electric, and she really develops over the course of the game into a likable character who was unfairly shelved as a side character in Shadow Hearts.
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