The very first PlayStation console was released to the world of gaming around two decades ago.Hard to believe, isn’t it? Now we’re at generation four! There have been hundreds upon hundreds of games released for these platforms and their libraries have only grown exponentially since then. In such a massive selection of titles, there are of course bad ones, as well as very good ones. Some really good games have slipped under our radar, due to insufficient advertising or availability or whatever reason, so here’s a list of the unsung heroes from the previous generations of PS1 to PS3 that you could have missed.
Square-Enix (or Square back in the day) has always held a special place in our hearts. With their loveable, spikey haired, strangely dressed characters; rich storytelling; and fleshed out worlds, it’s hard to believe that any of their games could go unnoticed.
Vagrant Story is an RPG with unique rhythm based combat. This battle system involves the player stringing different attacks known as Chain Abilities to achieve large combos and deal damage to the enemy. This is done by pressing buttons in time (kind of like DDR), making combat resemble a rhythm game. You play as Ashley Riot, a male member of the Valendia Knights of the Peace (VKP) in pursuit of a cult leader named Sydney Losstaro. The story and gameplay are strange and fun, and offer a slight change of pace from the Final Fantasy games that overshadowed it.
It’s available for PS3 and PS4 on Playstation Network if you want to check it out!
2.Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Developed by Crystal Dynamics, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is an action-adventure game with a dark and gothic atmosphere, and is considered possibly the best of the long running series by its fans.You play as Raziel, a creepy vampire who can shift between material and spectral planes, making for an interesting way to advance and solve puzzles. The battle system is essentially hack and slash, tearing into enemies with different combos and finishing moves.
3. Parasite Eve
Another Square-Enix title that was overshadowed by Final Fantasy? And it’s rated M?! Parasite Eve is a survival horror game, with RPG qualities, that actually acts as a sequel to to the novel Parasite Eve, written by Hideaki Sena. You play as Aya Brea, an NYPD newbie who experiences a little trauma when she attends an opera at Carnegie Hall, only to see everyone around her literally explode, leaving her and one actress on stage alive. This actress turns into a monster, informing her that her name is Eve. So, we’re assuming there won’t be a standing ovation?
The battle system in this game is turn based, where you can choose whether you want to attack, using PE (Parasite Energy) for defense or assistance attacks, you can also upgrade and tweak your weapons and armor between battles. This game has a great story and mechanics that resemble a combination of Resident Evil style horror as well as classic RPG attributes. It also has great replayability with more content after you clear the game the first time.
1. Odin Sphere
With beautiful 2-D graphics,music, sexy ladies and great storytelling, how could you go wrong? This Atlus title takes concepts of Norse mythology and gives it that anime-style artwork we enjoy. This game is divided into several chapters and features five different stories with different protagonists. It has a fun real-time battle system, reminiscent of Dark Stalkers, but allowed you to move through a map. Other fun gameplay elements include Alchemy, where the player can combine two items to generate a new one. Equal exchange and all that. There’s also a cooking mechanic, where you can combine ingredients to make foods that give you XP and other benefits.
This game is a fun western themed first-person shooter with cool and dark environments and a pretty good story. You play as the typical lone-wolf drifter, Jericho Cross, a bitter Civil War deserter who has become a gunslinger and train robber. It starts with Jericho supposedly performing his last train robbery when he gets bitten and infected by a vampire, thus becoming a vampire himself. Throughout the game, there is an “alignment” mechanic in which you make choices that are good or evil. Depending on the decisions you make for him, you unlock different abilities based on your alignment. The controls in the game are very smooth and easy to use. Aiming in games, especially older ones can pose somewhat of a problem, but not for this game. Great action, story and gameplay.
Okami is a beautiful game that pays homage to Japanese folklore and traditional Japanese ink paintings. The game is set in Nippon. You play as Amaterasu, the sun goddess who has taken on the appearance of a wolf named Shiranui who saved Nippon from the destruction of Orochi, an eight-headed demon, 100 years prior to the present time. Though Orochi was silenced for that period, he has returned once again, spreading his darkness across the land. Amaterasu, along with a tiny and perverted artist, Issun, is on a quest to restore the beauty of the land and vanquish the demon once and for all. The battle mechanic is fun and unique. You fight using your weapons, as well as a Celestial Brush. You can pause the game at anytime to turn the environment into parchment paper and use specific brush strokes to perform certain tasks around the world and attacks. There’s also a mechanic where you feed cute animals!
This game is also available for purchase on PSN!
Titles for PS3
1. Valkyria Chronicles
This is a tactical RPG, much like Fire Emblem, based in a time and place like Europe during World War II. You battle using a mechanic called “BLiTZ” (Battle of Live Tactical Zones) to force the enemy back and achieve victory. This gives you an overhead map view of the battleground where you make tactical decisions with different types of characters that fulfil specific roles that do well against certain enemies, once again, much like Fire Emblem with its Weapon Triangle. Don’t worry, you zoom in on the action as well. You won’t just be staring at a map. There’s a very deep strategy oriented mechanic that most other tactical games don’t really have. IGN gave this game a rating of 9/10 if you need more convincing.
If you didn’t have enough testosterone in your library, then this game will definitely balance it out or perhaps even take the scale, kick it over and blow it up. This game doesn’t have much to it in regards of a meaningful story and has maybe eight hours of gameplay to it in case your attention span is super short, but it’s just primally satisfying and a blast to play (pun intended). You play as Grayson Hunt on the warpath of revenge on his previous commanding officer, Serrano. Throughout the game, you solve your problems with three different methods. 1. Shoot it. 2. Kick it, or 3. Leash it. What’s the leash? Well, the “electro-leash” is a piece of military equipment you recover that keeps track of all your stats and can also be used as a weapon. You can whip your enemies around like ragdolls and bring them to you for a serving of lead or leather in the face. The most fun part of the game is, of course, brutally murdering your enemies in as many ways possible to get “skill shots” which give you points to buy upgrades for your weapons and ammo. Great stuff.
3. Shadows of the Damned
This game is ridiculous. You play as Garcia Hotspur, a demon hunter who literally dives into the depths of hell to save his hot, blonde girlfriend, Paula, from the clutches of Fleming, The Lord of Demons. This game is almost the male counterpart to Bayonetta, which is appropriate since they were both developed by Grasshopper Manufacture. Garcia heals himself by drinking Tequila. He also has a gun that was once a former demon, named Johnson, who makes funny banter with him throughout the game, while being a guide through the demon world, as well as a weapon and torch. This game is fun, dark and strange in the best of ways.Oh, and his gun also turns into a motorcycle.
4.Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Inspired by the classic Chinese story, “Journey to the West”, this game took people by surprise with its interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world in which the world is taken over by mechs. In this setting, magic is completely replaced by technology. You’d expect desaturated colors, lots of dirt and barren wasteland, but this game makes a deviation from the norm with vibrant colors and jungle-like backgrounds. The main protagonists are Trip and Monkey, who have a very interesting relationship. Interesting, meaning Trip is using Monkey as a bodyguard against his will with mind control technology that forces him to follow her orders. This technology doesn’t come without some complications though. They become co-dependent, as it links the two, meaning that if one dies, the other goes with them.
The combat isn’t just a simple button masher, It’s actually methodical and requires some thought. But, the combat isn’t the main focus in this game. It’s mostly about storytelling, exploration and platforming. IGN gave this game a 9/10 as well!
Do you agree with what’s on the list? What other games do you believe didn’t get the attention they deserved? Leave a comment!
Here’s another list of the 6 PS4 games from 2015 you need in your collection!