Launching on Dec. 3 for $100, Sony’s PlayStation Classic will cram 20 hits from the 32-bit era into an adorably tiny replica of the company’s 1994 debut console. Only five games -- Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms -- are currently confirmed, which leaves the door wide open for which PlayStation staples could make the final cut. From Metal Gear Solid to Resident Evil, here’s our wishlist of games that would make the PlayStation Classic a must-have retro box when it launches later this year.
Where were you when you learned that a cardboard box could mean the difference between life and death? The answer for many is likely the same: diving headfirst into Solid Snake's PlayStation debut. One of the most successful stealth action games of all time, Metal Gear Solid taught us all how to crawl through vents, dodge the watchful eyes of security cameras and unplug our controllers to avoid Psycho Mantis' terrifying skills. Also, Metal Gear Solid set a new standard for completely mind-boggling video game storylines, with double agents in the highest offices, confusing code names and soldiers whose lives are defined by cloning experiments. — Henry T. Casey
The PlayStation Classic would be fundamentally incomplete without the presence of Gran Turismo. It’s easy to forget, but the very first Real Driving Simulator was actually the best selling game on the original PlayStation, shipping more copies than even Final Fantasy VII and Crash Bandicoot. Gran Turismo single-handedly brought sim racing into mainstream consciousness, blending the most satisfying and realistic driving experience available on consoles with a revolutionary progression system inspired by RPGs.
Though, if we had our pick, we would definitely take the sequel, which featured much more diverse car roster, introduced rally racing, doubled the number of tracks and tightened up the handling a bit. In fact, the physics have aged wonderfully, making GT2 still an invigorating drive nearly 20 years on. Unfortunately, though, licensing is almost guaranteed to stand in the way of this entry on our wish list. — Adam Ismail
When I think of the original PlayStation, no stronger memory pops up than that of grinding my way through School II while Millencolin’s “No Cigar” blares in the background. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is the definitive PlayStation skateboarding game (and arguably the peak of the franchise), improving on the original’s addicting, accessible gameplay by introducing the manual and allowing you to extend your combos near-indefinitely. Getting that classic soundtrack back would probably be a licensing nightmare, but you can’t reintroduce the PlayStation without Tony Hawk. — Mike Andronico
It’s impossible to imagine the original PlayStation without the Twisted Metal series and its particular brand of vicious vehicular combat. While the franchise has seen its share of sequels and reboots over the years, few stack up to the second game, which featured Calypso and friends taking their demolition derby-to-the-death on a world tour across the globe. Building on the dark humor and fast-paced gameplay of the original, Twisted Metal 2 offered fleshed-out characters, better weapons and larger, more detailed levels — and best of all, a great split-screen co-op mode for channelling your road rage along with a friend. — Nick Bush
Yes, Twisted Metal 2 defines the car-fighter game to many a PlayStation owner, but this just-as-good competitor is a classic worth saving if you ask me. While TM2 placed drivers in a hyper-aggressive, post-apocalyptic world (think Mad Max with more weapons), Vigilante 8's a more light-hearted romp. The most memorable special weapon -- Boogie's giant floating disco ball that shot lasers at your rivals -- is an easy way to figure out if this game is right for you. Sure, it might be super-corny for some, but for me, it was hilariously weird and completely memorable. — Henry T. Casey
I have played this game so many times, I feel like I could play it blindfolded. Okay, maybe not that much, but Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of my favorite in the series. I spent hours exploring Dracula’s castle as Alucard, Dracula’s child from a union with a human woman. The game’s beautiful sprites andrich atmospheric music mix wonderfully with Alucard’s otherworldly powers, especially the familiars. And man, that castle was filled to the brim with secrets -- the challenge wasn’t defeating Dracula, but scoring 200.6 percent while exploring the castles after triggering the right ending. Filled with a myriad of twists and turns, Symphony of the Nightholds up against the test of time and deserves a spot in the PS Classic lineup. –– Sherri L. Smith
Even though it's not one of the numbered Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy Tactics is as beloved as any roleplaying game in history. It won approval for being publisher/developer Square's first foray into the strategy RPG genre, and for being one of the best in said genre at the time. And don't let its cutesy graphics and style fool you -- Tactics features a rich storyline, filled with plot twists that take place everywhere, even mid-battle. So, while Sony's confirmed that the uber-popular Final Fantasy 7 will be on the PlayStation Classic, that shouldn't be the only game of the series on the retro console. — Henry T. Casey