Sony may have discontinued the PlayStation TV, but if you can get your hands on one, you’ll have an inexpensive gateway to some of the best video games of all time. That’s because this little black box can play nearly all of the PlayStation One classics available digitally on the PlayStation Store. So hook up your device, download the timeless classics below, and strap in for some serious retro gaming fun.
1. Final Fantasy VII
The PlayStation One era was phenomenal for the Final Fantasy series. And with all three of the games being readily available on the PSN, there’s no doubt one of them would land on this list. If you can only play one, Final Fantasy VII has to be the go-to pick. Not only was this game a mega-blockbuster when it launched in 1997, but it also holds up extremely well.
The story follows a ragtag group of rebels as they fight against forces much larger and more powerful than them. And despite its polygonal graphics, it retains much of the DNA that made Final Fantasy IV and VI so great. If you like this one, don’t miss Final Fantasy VIII and IX, either, also on the PlayStation Store. They’re all different in terms of setting and style, but they’re all worth playing.
2. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
By the time Symphony of the Night launched in 1997, side-scrolling video games had nearly gone extinct. This game was like a swan song for the style, and a perfect example of why that type of game was fun. Enormous, moody, elegant, and filled with secrets, this game delivers everything you could possibly want from an action game, complete with an RPG-like progression system that makes advancing through the game feel incredibly rewarding.
3. Harvest Moon: Back to Nature
Not all games have to be full of action and adventure. Sometimes you just want to kick back, relax, and … run a farm? Hell yeah. There’s something about this game, between planting seeds, harvesting crops, giving gifts to friends, and raising a family that hooks right into the pleasure centers of the brain. Just make sure you get all of your real-life work done before starting. This game is strangely addictive and can soak up tons of your free time.
4. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Colorful platformers are few and far between these days. Thankfully, this classic is available at the click of a button, and it has the advantage of being one you’ve probably never played. It’s time to correct that oversight by grabbing this hidden gem on your PlayStation TV.
It has your standard run-and-jump gameplay, but the levels are ingeniously designed. Although the graphics are 3D, it’s actually a side-scroller that weaves through a three-dimensional world. So you’ll find yourself turning corners and climbing spiral staircases as the camera follows along. There’s nothing else quite like it.
5. Suikoden II
If you’ve played Final Fantasy VII and developed an affection for Japanese role-playing games, Suikoden II can keep the party raging. It’s an absolute masterpiece that not nearly enough people played in its day (it’s also worth a bundle if you have a copy sitting around).
So what’s it about? It’s kind of like Game of Thrones in that it revolves around political intrigue, but the characters are so finely drawn and sympathetic — even the bad guys — that you’re invested in everyone’s story. The first game in the series is also available on the PlayStation Store, but you can feel free to start with this one.
6. Jumping Flash
When Jumping Flash came out in 1995, game makers hadn’t quite settled on how to add a third dimension to platformer games. Jumping Flash is a wild experiment that totally works, even if no one stole the ideas it pioneered. It puts you in the first–person perspective of a robotic rabbit that can jump dizzyingly high. You use this awesome ability to explore vast colorful worlds, collecting items and hopping on enemies. Any game that makes leaping from platform to platform such a joy is worth a look, and Jumping Flash is worth a lot more than that.
7. Resident Evil 2
The PlayStation era was the first time games could be considered “cinematic,” because previous systems weren’t powerful enough to pump out realistic 3D graphics. Resident Evil 2 took the relatively small scale of the original, filled it out, and cranked up the action. It’s a great game, filled with shambling zombies and undead dogs waiting to rip out your throat. The controls are a little clunky by modern standards, but if you stick with it long enough to get used to them, you’ll find one of the best PS One games available.