The original PlayStation took gamers by surprise as it featured one phenomenal library of games. In this list, I'll take a look at the ten most influential series that began on Sony's debut console. Let's get to it; greatness awaits!
10 Gran Turismo
Although the Gran Turismo series isn't as groundbreaking as it once was, the original game was an impressive change of pace from the countless arcade racers at the time as it offered a realistic approach to racing that very few games have perfected. Since its beginnings, Gran Turismo would go on to have sequels on every PlayStation home console with the latest installment (Gran Turismo Sport) being developed for PlayStation 4 with PlayStation VR support.
9 Namco Museum
Modern gamers may take advantage of the fact that there is an abundance of arcade ports almost everywhere they look. However, this wasn't the case back in the mid '90s. Namco Museum was one of the first compilations of arcade-quality gaming experiences that you could play in your living room. The series went on to include 5 volumes for the original PlayStation and loads of new versions for future consoles. If you would like to learn more about these compilations then you can read my reviews for all 5 volumes starting with Namco Museum Vol. 1 as well as my Top 10 Namco Museum Hidden Gems list.
8 Silent Hill
Konami's much-beloved horror series began back in 1999 as one of the most atmospheric and creepy games to date. The level of immersion and emotion in the storytelling made it an instant classic among horror fans. After a handful of sequels, remakes, and spin-offs; Konami finally released P.T. which acted as a demo for a new game in the series (Silent Hills) and also remains one of the scariest games ever created. Unfortunately, it was canceled so fans will have to replay the classics if they can't get enough Silent Hill.
Speaking of Konami, their JRPG series Suikoden is still regarded as one of the best franchises in the genre. However, with only 2 titles on PS1 and 3 on PS2 (plus an underrated Tactics spin-off); the series unfortunately didn't survive as long as many of its contemporaries. Konami really needs to go back to what made them special and start producing more sequels to these incredible series.
6 Crash Bandicoot
Crash debuted as a promising mascot for the original PlayStation back in 1996. After a few fantastic platformers, the series moved on to one of the best cart racers ever made (Crash Team Racing) and a few multiplatform games including the hilarious Crash Twinsanity and two highly underrated beat 'em ups (Crash of the Titans and Crash: Mind over Mutant). Recently, Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy came out which collected the first three adventures in one amazing package of remakes.
5 Ape Escape
Another fantastic platforming series that debuted on PlayStation is Ape Escape. The first game in the series utilized both analog sticks in a clever way as you run around with the left and use the right to attack and catch monkeys. It's so much fun and still remains one of my favourite series of all time. A couple of sequels were developed for PlayStation 2 which are surprisingly awesome and there are plenty of spin-offs, too, including an RPG (Ape Quest), a party game (Pumped & Primed), and a PlayStation Move rail shooter.
Although the Megami Tensei series has been around since 1987 in Japan, the Persona subseries debuted in 1996 as Revelations: Persona on PlayStation. It was initially a cult classic in the west and didn't gain popularity until the series progressed with a few sequels. Recently, Persona 5 released to glowing praise and is one of the highest-rated video games of 2017. It had such humble beginnings, too...
3 Spyro the Dragon
Insomniac Games unleashed Spyro the Dragon on PlayStation owners back in 1998 to critical acclaim. The open world gameplay, tight controls, and variety of content were spot-on for addictive platforming adventures. After the original three games, Spyro went on to star in a few multiplatform sequels yet they didn't receive as much love as Crash's did. However, that all changed when the spin-off Skylanders released which launched a whole new craze; toys-to-life! Meanwhile, Insomniac is still going strong with their Ratchet & Clank series.
2 Resident Evil
Silent Hill may have brought gamers to a twisted new world but there's no denying that Resident Evil paved the way for the horror genre to be as mainstream as it is today. Since 1996, there have been 7 games, loads of spin-offs, and too many remakes and ports to count. It has truly stood the test of time and when gamers think of horror games, Resident Evil is usually the first title that comes to mind.
As a side note, another great horror franchise by Capcom and Shinji Mikami that debuted on PS1 is Dino Crisis so be sure to check that out as well. It's like Resident Evil but with dinosaurs instead of zombies. Cool, right?
1 Metal Gear Solid
Sure, Metal Gear originally released on MSX2 back in 1987 but it wasn't until a lengthy hiatus and a complete reboot of the franchise in 1998 that Snake's stealthy antics would become one of gaming's most treasured series. The 3D environments, immersive story, unique gameplay, and talented voice cast made gamers' jaws drop. Each sequel from then on would have its own distinct take on the formula with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty featuring a mind-blowing complex plot, Snake Eater introducing survival elements, Guns of the Patriots containing a globetrotting chapter-based variety of missions, and The Phantom Pain finally boasting a fully open world.