Top 10 Underrated PS1 games that deserve more attention

Arriving on Japan shores in 1994 then launching a year later in North America and Europe, the PlayStation one would become one of the best selling consoles of all time. 

Sony's first console not only stood out for it's epic library of games, but also the sheer volume of said archive.

Fast forward to 2022 and Sony have revamped their PS Plus premium service, which now features an impressive backlog of Playstation games - from PlayStation 1 2 3 4 5 and PSP

The PlayStation library, especially from PlayStation 1 is absolutely huge in terms of games released. There's literally hundreds, if not thousands of games that could be included in this PlayStation Plus Premium tier.

Popular video Games such as Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid and Grand Turismo are absolute no brainers. However this is the perfect time to turn our attention to several hidden gems and lesser appreciated games which also released on the console.

10. Rollcage

ps1 racing games

If you were ever looking for a futuristic racing game on four wheels with a big-beat electronica soundtrack, then you couldn't possibly go wrong with the intense, high-speed thrill that is Rollcage.

Although similar to Wipeout, the key difference is that you instead take control of a four-wheeled racer that can drive on walls and ceilings. Players can also wreck almost everything in their path, plus pick up Weapons and Power-ups, which make for plenty of hysterical and wild races to the finish line.

9. Kensei: Sacred Fist

tekken clones

Konami's 3D fighter didn't exactly set the world on fire in 1998, especially when going head to head against juggernauts like Tekken and Dead or Alive. Though what looks like a generic fighter, features a fighting system that’s a little deeper than meets the eye.

Kensei isn't the flashiest or fastest fighting game out there, but it's state-of-the-art graphics still hold up and it's innovative counter system quite often, results in comedic back-and-forth melees as fighters attempt to gain the upper hand. While kensei doesn't have a story mode, there are 22 characters with unique moves and combinations.

8. Shadow Madness 

Made in America, Shadow Madness is an horror RPG that blends a nearly flawless mix of fantasy, horror and dark comedy. Taking place in the world of Arkose, everything is plunged into chaos by a maddening disease called "shadow madness". After witnessing his village meet the same fate, a young hero called Stinger sets forth despite the odds to save his world.

On the journey he meets a misfit cast of allies who aid him on his quest, including the young mystic Windleaf and Harv-5, a harvester robot. The game's storyline, snappy dialogue and soundtrack are it's strongest suits. While it's apocalypse theme is fairly uncommon in traditional console RPGs and keeps you on your toes.

7. Saga Frontier 2 

Square Enix's SaGa series has always been looming in the shadows of franchises Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, so it's hardly surprising that the second game in the series to be released on the PlayStation never garnered the recognition that it deserved.

Unlike your typical RPGs. Saga Frontier 2 is not about exploring, but rather telling a story. Possibly as a throwback to Romancing SaGa 2, the plot tells the story of multiple characters during a period of 80 years. Tying the various characters’ plots together is the presence of a powerful mysterious relic known merely as “The Egg”.

 6. Croc 2

can you play ps1 games on ps2

It would be unfair to say that Croc 1 and it's sequel are nothing more then a glorified Super Mario 64 clone featuring a goofy dinosaur, because anyone who's played the game will know there's more to this game than meets the eye.

While the first game became a cult classic for it's cartoonish graphics, colourful world and relaxing yet at the same time challenging platformer gameplay, Croc 2 expands on the formula with an overall better level design and more freedom to explore a vast world. 

5. Alundra 2

ps1 rpg hidden gems

Many fans till this day feel that calling the game "Alundra" 2 despite it having no ties to the original game's character or setting was a huge mistake that ultimately led to it's downfall. Similar to the first game, Alundra is an Hack-n-Slash action RPG, but that is pretty much were the similarities end.

For many, Alundra 2 is a good game but a bad sequel. However Alundra 2 shouldn't be slept on or dismissed so easily. While the game is rough around the edges, it's still a really fun 3D hack and slash platformer with a light-hearted plot, which follows the event of  a young pirate hunter who is after a group of pirates who murdered his parents.

4. Jersey Devil 

Released in 1997, Jersey Devil was one of the first real 3D platformers to grace the Playstation one and while it didn't exactly set the world alight, there's no denying that it has irrefutable charm, which was mainly due to the snarky-looking bat character you play as and the Halloween themed world.

The main objective of Jersey Devil is to explore levels and find letters of Knarf's name (the main antagonist). What's more, you can only progress to the next stage, once all letters are located. Throughout the game you have various abilities including gliding through the air, climbing up flagpoles and swinging from ropes, to name a few.

3. Akuji the Heartless

black video game characters male

If your treacherous brother ruined your wedding by literally ripping your heart out using voodoo, while selling your soul to Hades, you would than likely be seeking revenge. This just so happens to Akuji the Heartless, and is the plot to the game. As Akuji, your quest is to escape from literal hell and take revenge on the wretched souls who betrayed you, while achieving redemption en route.

Akuji the Heartless is a extremely enjoyable and violent 3D platform adventure from EIDOS, set in an ultra-rich and ghoulish voodoo underworld. The focus of gameplay as you explore levels is the collection of the souls of Akuji's ancestors. There are four souls hidden in each world, and you must collect a certain number of them to progress between each subset of levels.

2. Legend of Legaia

list of ps1 games

If RPG fans want a unique fighting system that is unlike anything else, then Legend of Legaia is a perfect candidate. The story revolves around a trio of young heroes (Vahn, Noa and Gala) whose quest is to stop an evil mist which transforms humans aided by symbiotic creatures called Seru into monsters.

Despite Legend of Legaia's engaging story, the main highlight of the game is it's battle system which bought a new spin to the genre. Although you fight enemies in turn-based combat, the difference is that you specify the location of each character's attack, so for example you could strike with your character's left or right leg to form a combo.

1. Tombi 1

underrated ps1 games

Tombi 1 is about a feral kid who runs around biting villainous pigs in order to save the day, which takes the form of a free-roaming  metroidvania style game, filled with interlinked quests on an eccentric and colourful island.

Compared to other platformers, Tombi is way less restrictive as it's mainly focused on exploration,  which helps make the game feel less linear than it actually it. All of this plus the colourful, whimsical art design actually is why Tombi 1 quickly became a cult classic among retro gamers.

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