Sony’s first foray into the world of home consoles came with the PlayStation. It was first released in December 1994 - in Japan only - before making its way to the rest of the world in September 1995.
The PlayStation went on to sell over 100 million units before being officially discontinued in March 2005. It was so popular, Sony even released a slimmed down redesign, the PS One, in 2000.
The story of the PlayStation coming to be is an interesting one. Originally, Nintendo had asked Sony to make a disc player add-on for their SNES console, but Nintendo cancelled the project at the last minute. Rather than waste the new technology, Sony set to work on their own console which became the PlayStation.
The grey box was soon found under the TV across the world and the games available for it blew the competition out of the water. As the first console with the ability to produce 3D graphics, it was unlike anything that came before it. Game publishers quickly jumped on the success of the consoles and went on to release some iconic games that are still fondly remembered today.
Below you’ll find pictures of 25 of the most iconic games from the PlayStation era. All you have to do is try and remember the name of them.
This stealth game was a hit in 1998.
Konami released this iconic game in 1998 and it went on to define what the PlayStation was capable of. This was actually a sequel to two earlier games made for the MSX2 console but switched from 2D to 3D for the PlayStation iteration. Starring as Solid Snake, you aimed to infiltrate a secret enemy base all while avoiding the many guards and traps. The game was truly immersive and offered a serious challenge for even the most experienced of gamers.
This role playing game went on to define the genre
This legendary game was originally released in 1998 by Square for the PlayStation. Square had originally been making this role-playing game for the SNES but moved to the PlayStation. You take on the role of Cloud Strife, a member of an eco-terrorist resistance group who wanted to stop the megacorporation Shinra from using the planet’s essence for power. You’ll eventually encounter the evil superhuman Sephiroth and battle him to save the world. This game is still regarded as one of the best games ever and is receiving a high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4.
Take out your stress with this fighting game
It was time to dust off your fighting gloves in 1996 as this fighting game released its third incarnation on the PlayStation. There were over 20 playable characters which include the now famous Kazuya, Heihachi, and the Leopard-head wearing King. At the time, this became the second best-selling fighting game of all time. The series has gone on to have many sequels and the seventh edition has recently been released in 2017. There’s even been a bowling game spin-off in this long running series.
What was the name of this famous skating game?
The game that made skateboarding popular again came out for the PlayStation back in August 1999. It featured a cast of famous pro skateboarders and over nine different levels as you aimed to combo together ludicrous tricks to get a high score - all in just two minutes. Each arena also featured collectibles that made replaying level after level a common occurrence. This game also contained an excellent multiplayer mode for up to two people and forged many hard fought friendships through the contests.
What was name of this jumping marsupial?
This hit game saw you take on the role of a fuzzy marsupial as you traversed the fictional Wumpa Islands trying to bring down the despotic Doctor Neo Cortex. Each level saw you jumping, spinning, and bashing your way through a wide variety of enemies and wooden crates. You were also aided in your mission by the tribal witch doctor spirit Aku Aku that granted you invincibility for short periods of time. The game went on to have a couple of sequels and has also been remastered for the PlayStation 4.
Can you name this famous driving game?
If you dreamed of driving an Aston Martin or Dodge Viper then this was the game to head for in late 1997. With realistic 3D models of over 150 cars, this was the go-to game for petrolheads that was extremely addictive. It also featured expert artificial intelligence that made racing against the computer feel life-like. The first edition of the series also had a soundtrack featuring hits from Feeder, Ash, and Garbage. It has gone on to have six sequels and is still one of the most popular games in the world.
Can you name this platforming hit?
Another hit game for the PlayStation was this colourful platformer that saw you playing as a purple dragon. Developed by Insomniac Games in 1998, you made your way around a variety of fantasy levels as you attempted to defeat the evil Gnasty Gnorc. As the dragon, you could breathe fire and charge with your horns while your trusty friend Sparx gave you advice. There were two sequels released for the PlayStation and is now the main character in the TV series Skylanders Academy.
This car game had what name?
One of the first truly open world driving games to be released was this hit from June 1999. Inspired by many popular driving films such as Bullit and Starsky and Hutch, you careened around the four cities of Miami, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. The main game featured you as John Tanner, an undercover NYPD cop, who had to infiltrate an organised crime ring by showing off your impressive car control. This first edition was known for its high difficulty and truly tested your skills.
What was the name of this frightening game?
Zombies were threatening to take over the world in this classic PlayStation hit. Developed by Capcom and released in 1996, you took on the role of Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine who are two members of S.T.A.R.S, an elite department of the Racoon City Police Department. You’re dispatched to a creepy mansion in the woods to investigate a recent spate of homicides. Once there, you soon discover an underground laboratory controlled by the Umbrella Corporation that has been experimenting with biological agents and creating the Frankenstein-esque creations that threaten to kill you at every turn.
This war game went by what name?
With the world renowned director Steven Spielberg being the driving force behind this first-person shooting game, it was never in doubt that it would be a hit. You take on the role of the fictional Lieutenant Jimmy Patterson as he fights his way through the end of World War II. The game was very accurate to real events as veteran Dale Dye helped out in production, having previously worked on the film Saving Private Ryan, also directed by Steven Spielberg.
Can you name the game with this rapping dog?
This cartoon-styled game originally hit the PlayStation back in December 1996. You play as a small dog character who needs to earn money to woo over a fellow dog called Sunny Funny. To earn that cash, he takes up rapping on the street and you’re in charge of keeping the rhythm. This game looks as crazy as it sounds but the six stages were lots of fun and garnered great reviews. This is another classic that has since been remastered for the PlayStation 4 too.
Catching apes was the aim of this game
The PlayStation certainly had some inventive and wacky games and none were quite as wacky as this. You took on the role of a small boy who was tasked with tracking down and capturing rogue monkeys who had escaped the laboratory. The only problem being that the monkeys are now intelligent thanks to the experimental Pipo Helmet that a monkey stole. This was one of the few games that also required you to play with the innovative DualShock controller as you needed the analog sticks to control certain weapons.
This limbless hero is known by what name?
In yet another platformer game released back in 1995, this time you took on the role of a limbless man who is fighting to return his valley to peace. That peace was shattered when the evil Mr. Dark stole the Great Protton that kept balance in the world. Across six levels you jumped across colourful backgrounds and took down a variety of different foes. The game has gone on to have many sequels and appeared across a variety of different platforms.
What's the name of this futuristic flying game?
You suddenly found yourself in the year 2052 and you are competing in the F3600 anti-gravity racing league. There are four teams to choose from as you blast around the seven different race tracks at high speed while picking up weapons to stall your opponents. It truly felt like you were racing in the future and the pounding electronica music just helped to reinforce the setting. When this game was released in 1995, it was the highest selling launch title for the platform in Europe and has gone on to have several sequels.
Lara Croft made her debut in what game?
This was arguably the game that launched the PlayStation to stardom alongside this game’s protagonist, Lara Croft; a buxom lady who was busy exploring far off abandoned temples and caverns in search of treasure. The game immediately appealed to the mainly male game playing audience thanks to Lara’s assets but the game was also extremely playable. The game featured a mix of puzzles, platforming, and shooting down your enemies to create a heady mix of excitement not seen before in computer games.
You had to fight off time-travelling dinosaurs in this game
Taking heavy cues from the hit film Jurassic Park, this survival horror game made its way to the PlayStation in July 1999. As a member of a raid team, you make your way to a fictional island to track down a rogue scientist, but once you’re there, you're soon confronted by dinosaurs. These aren’t reanimated dinosaurs though - they’ve been transported through time by the rogue scientist and you must close the time rift to stop the dinosaurs from travelling to the present.
Were you prepared to be scared by this popular game?
In what was definitely one of the scariest - perhaps the scariest - game ever, you played as Harry Mason as he searches the eponymous town for his lost daughter after a car crash. When he begins to explore the foggy streets, he soon discovers creepy monsters and demons that haunt every corner. Apart from fighting off the monsters, you also had to solve puzzles that could be frighteningly maddening with you having to walk all over the town to collect certain items.
Could you stick to the rhythm with this game?
This unique-looking game made its way to the PlayStation in December 1999. The game was also innovative in that each level was created by you inputting your own music CDs. This would create the obstacles which you would have to jump over or avoid by pressing the correct buttons in time to the music. This meant that every time you put in a new song then, you would make a brand new level that had never been seen before.
Could you keep up with the competition in this racing game?
This racing game was less serious than some of the competition and actively encouraged you to powerslide around corners. Having originally started out in the arcades, this fourth instalment saw you take on the Grand Prix mode as you joined one of four teams who were battling it out for the championship. There were a total of 320 cars to unlock by placing well in qualifying or races and even a special one that looked like Pac-Man once you collected all of them.
This game required you to pilot your pigs to victory
From a less serious take on war games came this effort in June 2000. You take control of a small squad of pigs in a turn-based tactics game as you try to take down the other team. Each pig could make use of gadgets such as jetpacks to get around before choosing from an arsenal of bazookas, grenades, or machine guns to target your foe. There was even a campaign mode where you fought to liberate the fictional islands of Saustralia in the South Pigsific Ocean.
What was the name of this game where you controlled a skeleton?
Not all undead are evil as you took on the role of Sir Daniel Fortesque, a skeleton battling to redeem himself and stop the evil Zarok. Throughout the single-player story, you attempted to stop Zarok from raising an army of the undead by hacking and slashing your way through your foes. Sir Dan was even able to rip out his own arm to bash enemies away. The game was also heavily influenced by the Tim Burton film The Nightmare Before Christmas and featured much of the same style of humour.
You were a ninja in what PlayStation game?
In this 1998 classic, you were tasked with the role of a ninja in 16th-century Japan. On each level, you must use stealth to avoid the guards or use special Stealth Kills to dispatch them in one hit. There were two playable ninjas in this first entry in the series whose names directly translates into English as “Divine Retribution.” At the end of each of the ten levels, you would also be given a rank based on how sneaky you were ranging from Thug to Grand Master.
What was the name of this spy epic?
This spy epic was first released in February 1999 as you took on the roles of special agents Gabriel Logan and Lian Xing. Your mission was to intercept an international terrorist that sent you around the world to many different locations. Each level featured a combination of stealth and puzzle-solving to bypass any guards. Your main aim was to remain undetected and use silenced weapons to take out any foes. The game was well received on release and has gone on to have several sequels.
What was the name of this strange looking game?
Another platform game for the PlayStation was this entry where you took control of a Mudokon slave worker who was trying to escape captivity. The strange looking creature must make his way through a variety of levels avoiding the prison guards, solving puzzles, and attempting to overthrow the evil Molluck the Glukkon. Originally released in September 1997, it was widely praised and had plenty of charm to counteract its strange looking protagonist, who couldn’t even speak due to his mouth being sewn up.
You're a vampire in what action game?
Taking on the role of Raziel, a vampire-turned-wraith, as you search out to exact revenge against your vampire lord who killed you. Thankfully, The Elder God revived you so you can make your way through a variety of levels in search of your vanquisher. This game featured a unique twist in that you could switch between the spectral planes of existence to reveal hidden objects that helped solve puzzles that were unseen before. Throughout the game, you must fight off other vampire enemies and even your own brothers to gain powers.