What's Your Favourite PlayStation Game?

playstation games

Everyone has memories of games, but to this day I have the strongest, most vivid memory of playing Assassin's Creed 2.

You'll see a lot of nostalgia on the internet today, since the United States is busy celebrating the 25th anniversary of PlayStation. It's not just the OG PlayStation that's getting honoured, though, which opens up all kinds of buried memories.

Our Best (And Worst) Memories Of The PlayStation, 25 Years Later

On this day 25 years ago, the Sony PlayStation released in Japan. A lot of us here at Kotaku have pretty fond memories of the PlayStation, from bartering for access with our siblings to sitting in dark, dusty basements, illuminated only by the light of an old TV and some sharp, sharp polygons. Take a walk down memory lane with us.

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I didn't grow up with an original PlayStation, or even a PlayStation 2. My family didn't have a lot of money growing up, and the tech we had in the house was either stuff my Dad built, or hand-me-down stuff my Dad was given from friends or local businesses that didn't want them.

Free 286's as a kid wasn't the worst way to grow up, by the way. MicroProse knew their shit.

But it meant that my PlayStation experience didn't happen until much, much later in life. Family friends had a Nintendo 64 and a Commodore 64. Others introduced me to the back catalogue of Amiga games. It took a good friend and a long history with Counter-Strike before I discovered Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PS2 and had one of those "wow" moments.

But that wasn't my PlayStation moment, either.

It wasn't until around 2010. I was working full-time and could afford my own console and TV — spare TVs weren't a thing people gave away easily, but Aldi changed the dial on that. And that was great, because it meant I could pop something on in the morning and fall asleep.

And it was always morning. I was working night shifts at the time: midnight to 6:00 AM initially, and then 10:00 PM to just after 6:00 AM. I was living with my parents, and getting the train from "country" areas (it's really semi-rural, but it's country as far as Sydney trains are concerned) meant around five hours of travel a day.

So I had about a couple of hours a day, realistically, to myself. One in the evening would be for having dinner with the family, getting ready, doing anything I'd need to do before heading out. The other hour would be as soon as I got home, those final moments preying to pass out before the sun rose too far, the traffic got too loud, and the temperature picked up.

After buying myself a PlayStation 3, I grabbed a couple of games for cheap. I'd missed Assassin's Creed 2 when it launched, but I'd enjoyed grinding my way through the first one, so I figured: why not just knock out an hour of that? It cost me $29.95 at the time, which I figured wasn't a bad bet. I didn't really know what kinds of games I wanted from my "put me to sleep" gaming experience, but I figured I might as well just grab stuff I was interested in.

So I worked through Ezio's story, piece by piece. I was pretty regimented with my sleep schedule, so some nights I only got about 20 or 30 minutes in, just enough to finish off a side quest or two. It was a slow process. It wasn't efficient.

But it was comfortable. I was loving that slow lapse into sleep, where I'd run, jump, slice and dice my way through ancient Rome until my eyes got to sleepy to continue. I'd hold down the PS3 button, power down the TV, roll over to my left (to avoid the light from the window) and nod off.

That process carried on for two months. I took my sweet arse time with AC2. I didn't play it during the weekends, because I still loved smashing out games on the PC. AC2 was a game for a particular moment. It was the game I fell asleep to, the game that ensured I got just enough rest for another midnight shift.

You know that moment when something ends, and you're left with that odd mixture of satisfaction and anxiety, the moment when you're finally at the end but part of you wishes you weren't? I still remember lying in my bed, sitting up slightly, just thinking about that. It was a relatively quiet Wednesday morning: I could hear the ducks and chooks outside my window, kicking around the leaves and grass, ravaging the garden as a group.

I rolled over, turned the PS3 and TV off, and had a great night's sleep. I'd spent months getting everything I wanted, and not just from the game. And that was an experience I could have had with another console, for sure. But the way my life panned out, I had it with the PS3 and Ezio's brand of adventure.

What's your favourite PlayStation game or memory?


Comments

    This isn’t exactly the most ethical memory but having a friend come back from Bali with 50 games on dodgy discs for me that I’d never heard of was like Christmas-come-early to a 15 year old. I picked up the first disc with a picture of a mech and the words “stand tall and shake the heavens”. I placed it in the PS1 and used a toothpick to keep the tray open so I could use the disc-swap technique to get it to load.
    Xenogears is still my favourite game of all time and we desperately need a local release/remaster.

    Last edited 04/12/19 1:48 pm

      I also purchased it legitimately alongside a US PS2 so I could play it without having to stuff around.

    It's a hard call. My family also didn't have a lot of money growing up. We didn't have a PS2 until the PS3 was already establishing itself, so when we finally did get a PS2 — that was a special day. Or when I finished my first year of uni and bought myself a PS4, dove straight into Uncharted and The Last of Us after missing the entire catalogue of PS3 games.

    But I think the best moments were on our PS1, when me, my brother, and my mum, would take turns playing Crash Team Racing together. You can bet we were excited for the remake.

    God there are so many PlayStation and game related memories it’s almost impossible to choose, it’s something that’s been there for nearly my whole life.

    Those early days hiring random games and experiencing genres for the first time (often without a memory card), the day I got my first PS1, playing games like FFVII, Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid that lifted the bar, winning a PS1 in an Tekken 2 tournament and giving my old one away, getting one of the first PS3’s in Australia before release and recently when my partner bought me a PS4 Pro and I tested the difference between consoles and TV’s.

    I didn't get into Playstation until the PS4, but the launch software lineup was pretty shallow so I got a very cheap PS3 off Gumtree with a copy of The Last of Us which blew me away. Best believe I played it through again when it was remastered on PS4. That's up there with God of War for me.

    The Last of Us. Just my favourite game, Playstation or otherwise.

    Honourable mentions to Journey, the Uncharted series (especially 2), FFVII, Resident Evil 2, Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, God of War series, Demon's Souls...

    Jesus christ, I could keep going but I won't. When I start just listing them like that, I really start to get a sense of how many there are. And also of how old I'm getting :(

    Who knows! There are way too many awesome games to mention. My favorite would probably be God of Horizon Zero War.

    Consoles are, for this little black duck, only for PS exclusives. All other games are played on my PC.

    So while I put Assassin's Creed II in my top 10 games, I played it on PC, so it isn't my favourite PS game.

    Top three Play Station games would be Kingdom Hearts, Unchartered 2 and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Honorable mentions to GTAV and RDR2, both of which I played on PS then on PC.

    Both Final Fantasy VII and Breath of Fire III are absolute favourite games that evoke strong memories and were also formative in terms of my love of gaming and preference for the Playstation as a home console over the years. (Nintendo's handhelds are another story)

    When Final Fantasy VII came out, I wanted to rent it out but because of the popularity (and length) there was a waiting list. I put my name down but a few days before I was scheduled to get it I came down with Pneumonia and had to give it up since I was in hospital. All I could think about while I recovered was getting out and playing FFVII so once I knew I was on the way to getting out of hospital I got my parents to book it again and then when I played it I fell in love with it and JRPGs in general. (Before then my gaming exposure was mainly adventure, platformer and shmup games)

    Later when Breath of Fire III came out I had a copy reserved at the nearest EB Games which was about an hour's drive away. Turns out that day I was also scheduled to go into surgery to have ingrown toenails removed. So on the way home my parents went and picked up my game while I was groggy and still recovering from a General Anaesthetic and I'm glad they did because Ryu and co kept me company while I was bed ridden for the next few weeks.

    Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back.

    It came at the perfect time. It was a beautiful game, it played phenomenally, and I was at the right age. My mother loved to watch me play and try to beat the levels and get all the secrets. And then there was that twist in the story. Great memories.

      I loved Crash 2. It was the first Crash game I owned. Crash 1 was great but the checkpoint system was unforgiving and the controls were a little floaty. The sequel fixed the first game's shortcomings and set the standard for Crash 3. In fact, I prefer Crash 2 over Crash 3. The latter isn't bad at all, in fact it exceeds it in every way, but I absolutely loved the environments and atmosphere of Crash 2.

    Oooh, this is a tough one.

    I loved playing the Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot games, and there were other standalone titles, too, like Die Hard Trilogy, The Phantom Menace (fight me) and Rage Racer. And there are plenty of great titles on PSX that I either never played or only played the demo like Silent Hill, Tekken 1-3, Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil 1-3 and so on. But my most favourite PSX game is Metal Gear Solid. It's incredibly important to me because it completely changed how I viewed video games and what they could be. And for two years straight I played it until I got MGS2.

    Ditto with PS2. Even more great games I missed out on. My library of games and demo discs on PS2 was smaller than on PSX but I own a few bona fide classics. My favourite PS2 game is a dead tie for MGS3 and SotC. I can't separate them.

    For me this is a no brainer. Finishing Final Fantasy IX for the first time stands out in my memory. I'd fought my arse off to reach the end of the game mostly on pure brute force tactics. But I loved it. Went out and played MGS1 after that and I was hooked.

    I didn't get a Playstation until late 2009, when I got a PS3. I picked up Borderlands, which I had already been playing with a mate at his place on split-screen. We'd play on Friday nights until about 3am and had the most epic time. Once I got my own PS3 we started seeing who could get the various trophies first. I love Borderlands and it would have to be my first 'Playstation' memory.

    None. I'd rather slit my wrists than be forced to use one of their awful controllers. When I get a PS4 I'm also buying a custom Xbox style controller for it.

    The Last of Us of course. Demon's Souls and Heavy Rain are also up there, as well as Uncharted 2.

    For my mate an I, we used to hire two copies of Final Doom for PS1 and proceed to slaughter each other over LAN well into the am proceeding to get scolded by mum. Worth it.

    Good memories.

    But game? Something about the story telling in current gen has really got me hooked. Particularly God of Horizon War. Both of those games were stunning beautiful in telling a narrative, the approach to the player and general off the wall action. I played these back to back, Horizon then GoW. Other then feeling like there has been a massive influx of 3rd person adventure games this gen, I am absolutely floored by what the current console and devs have accomplished.

    My first console Sony console was a PS3 I got for my 30th from my wife which came with Red Dead Redemption.

    I was a bit disappointing as i was really keen for Uncharted 2 so i went and bought that, played it and loved it.

    Then thought i would have a go at Red Dead but haven't been an open world fan before, i was wrong.
    I've never gotten so lost in a game before that's just consumed me, loosing far to many hours riding around just because i could. Played some amazing games like Last of Us and GTA V on my PS3 and PS4 but nothing has matched the open world of the wild west and John Marsdens story.

    My sister and I got our first ps2 when we were 8 and 10 respectively. My uncle who used to contract for Sony showed up with it one day and asked if we wanted it. At the time I had no idea what is was (had only really heard of Nintendo and owned a 64 and gameboy at that point...). We got Smugglers run and The original tekken tag tournament with it, I remember playing the absolute shit out of both games, finding secrets and unlocks before the age of youtube etc.
    I still remember one of my favorite exploits in smugglers run was go to a certain corner of the forest map (driving the sports car) and just floor it at the wall, if you did it right you could climb all the way up and out of the map basically floating around in black space, you could see the entirety of the map below you like an RTS game, if you moved toward it your speed shot up to 999 and you came in like a god damn meteorite ricocheting off of every hill, tree or building.... good times.

    The saddest thing is my 10 year old cousin will be reminiscing about fortnite in 20 years time, the way we are about crash Bandicoot or gta. That right there is depressive

    It's Bloodborne. I left my heart in Central Yharnam.

    Silent Hill. Think I still have retinal burn-in of Harry running from all those years ago, though.

    I remember buying a chipped PlayStation so I could play a Japanese copy of Tekken 3 which had just been released there (given how much money I sunk into the coin-op there was a clear cost- benefit!)

    For PS2 the highlight was the first 3D GTA game I'd played - San Andreas. That was a revelation.

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