How do the 20 PlayStation Classic games measure up?

A few weeks back, I wrote a wish list of the 15 games I’d like to see round out the PlayStation Classic roster, following the announcement of the first five titles. And now, the full line up for Sony’s retro console has been announced. It’s as follows:

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash!
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr. Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms

So what do you think? My first reaction was, “what an odd list”. There’s a mix of a few stone-cold classics (Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, etc.), obscure puzzlers (Intelligent Qube) and downright rubbish (the poor conversion of Rainbow Six that’s really quite dreadful compared with the PC version). It’s quite strange.

It’s interesting that several of the PlayStation launch games are included, like Jumping Flash, Battle Arena Toshinden and Destruction Derby. I wonder whether the focus on earlier PlayStation games is because the original PS controllers are included rather than Dual Shock analogue controllers? Perhaps that’s why analogue-focused games like Gran Turismo and Ape Escape don’t make an appearance. Could we be seeing a PlayStation Classic 2 somewhere down the line that comes with Dual Shocks and games that take advantage of the analogue controller? Who knows…

It’s also weird that some series are represented by their first instalments rather than later, better ones – the sequel to Destruction Derby is miles better than the first one, for example. The same goes for Twisted Metal. It looks like Sony is focusing on the early days of the console – but then again, we have Ridge Racer 4 instead of the original, and Tekken 3 as well. Very weird.

I’m pleased to see Syphon Filter on there, as it’s s bit of a forgotten classic. Likewise the first Persona game. And the Director’s Cut of Resident Evil is a nice touch, even if it’s been surpassed by the later REmake version. Then again, Resident Evil 2 or 3, or even the whole trilogy, would have made for a much more attractive proposition.

All in all, it’s a bit of a mixed bag – and a bit of a missed opportunity, in my opinion. It’s disappointing that WipeOut isn’t on there, but I suspect this might be down to music licensing issues. But it’s downright strange that PaRappa the Rapper doesn’t make an appearance, especially since Sony only recently rereleased it on PS4. And no Silent Hill? Odd that it isn’t included, especially as Sony have licensed Metal Gear Solid from Konami. Why not sign up a few more games from Konami’s back catalogue? As I said, weird.

Based on this game list, I’m not exactly clamouring to get a PlayStation Classic right now – there are a few good titles, but an awful lot of filler. Now, let’s just take another look at the wish list I came up with and dream of what could have been…

The dream PlayStation Classic:

  • WipeOut 2097
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
  • Vagrant Story
  • Silent Bomber
  • Gran Turismo 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Suikoden II
  • Silent Hill
  • Parasite Eve 2
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
  • Dino Crisis
  • G-Police
  • Policenauts
  • Um Jammer Lammy
  • Tekken 3
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Wild Arms
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Jumping Flash!

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