15 Games that Defined the PlayStation Brand

By David Savage in Features
Friday, December 18, 2009 at 12:15 pm
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The PlayStation is officially 15-years-old. It's been a crazy journey through those 15 years and you guys who have been along for the ride probably have some memory that will stick out in your mind as you read this post. 

We've come a long way since the original PlayStation was released and I'm ready to celebrate that today with a look back on the games that have helped define the PlayStation brand over the past 15 years. 

Appropriately, I will list only 15 games. There are so many, if you feel a game not listed should replace a listed game, leave a comment telling me about it and we'll create a "Reader's Choice" post. For now though, enjoy my choices and enjoy your PlayStation memories. 

Final Fantasy VII 

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You knew it was coming. Final Fantasy's debut on the PlayStation was one of the most significant events in the console's history. The idea to develop the game using 3D graphics came from Final Fantasy VI's director, Yoshinori Kitase, who did not want to see the Final Fantasy franchise get left behind as gaming technology advanced. 

Because of this choice, Final Fantasy VII quickly became a memory intensive game, more than Nintendo's latest console cartridges could handle. This led Square to develop Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation because of Sony's choice to use CD-ROMs for their games. 

All the stars aligned perfectly for the PlayStation and Final Fantasy went on to become one of the PlayStation's greatest franchises with Final Fantasy VII being called one of the greatest games of all time.


Metal Gear Solid 

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Much like Final Fantasy's move to the PlayStation, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, chose to develop for the console because of its technological abilities. In an interview with IGN in April 1998, Kojima's said his thoughts after experimenting with polygons for the PlayStation were "It's finally here, it's utter genius. I can create amazing, remarkable things with this!"

And he did. Metal Gear Solid is widely recognized as one the most significant games of all time because of its influence on the stealth-action genre. Not only that, but the game established a future bread-winning franchise for the PlayStation.

Gran Turismo 

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​Gran Turismo is one of the PlayStation's most successful and important franchises to date. While the Nintendo 64 had Mario Kart 64, the original PlayStation had Gran Turismo, a realistic racing simulator that helped give Sony the edge over Nintendo in yet another serious gaming genre. 

The game featured everything a fan of driving games would enjoy. The realism of the driving and differences in feel from car to car was truly incredible. To progress in Gran Turismo's simulation career mode, you had to earn licenses which gave you the ability to enter more and more events to earn more money which could be used to buy more cars, tune already-owned cars, and enter higher-class tournaments. 

To this day, 12 years after its debut, the Gran Turismo series is still going strong and known for its high quality design and realistic racing mechanics. 

Resident Evil 

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​Resident Evil, along with Metal Gear Solid, have had one of the largest influences on action games. The original was a gamble in a brave new genre called "survival-horror", which was named specifically for Resident Evil, inspired by earlier games like Capcom's own Sweet Home and PC title Alone in the Dark.

The gamble of this 3D survival-horror was the way the game played. Players were sent out to explore a mansion with limited resources and a fixed perspective that was determined by the area you entered. This made the game both frustrating and challenging, but drew fear in the player by making them feel as if they were trapped with no control.

The game turned out to be a massive success and became one of the PlayStation's most popular franchises, influencing future titles like Silent Hill.

Tekken

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The original Tekken may not have been the greatest game in the series to see life on the PlayStation, but its influence on 3D fighting games and the success it brought to the console make it impossible not to include on this list.

Tekken's release on the PlayStation after its launch in arcades gave the console a game to help sell the system to fans of the arcade version, following in the footsteps of past fighters like Street Fighter II and Virtua Fighter.

The game went on to become the first PlayStation games to sell one million copies and established Tekken as one of the best fighting game franchises.


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