Unlike games from its successors, the PlayStation 1 library has not aged well on multiple fronts. With each passing year, the archaic controls, primitive graphics, and limited gameplay of the PS1 become harder to overlook as gamers encounter its incredible library. Despite PlayStation showing a solid willingness to bring old games into the 21st century via remakes and remasters, many remain left behind, shackled by their low polygon counts and stiff controls. What a shame, considering the excellence of some of these games. Som in an effort to keep the flame alive for as many of them as possible, check out PS1 games overdue for a remake treatment.
Now that gamers have a handful of great Sengoku-era games with samurai and ninjas doing their thing on modern consoles, can someone please give Tenchu a remake? Tenchu broke ground as one of the first games to do 3D stealth well while keeping more confrontational combat a viable option. Tons of ninja items, open-ended levels, and a lengthy campaign all make the original Tenchu a real classic from the PS1 era that feels overdue for some revival. Given that the series lost its footing a bit during the PS2 era, we think starting from scratch with a proper remake is the right way to go.
2. Clock Tower
Clock Tower doesn't get talked about much these days, but that doesn’t mean it doesn't warrant a discussion. While the original Super Famicom game has a remaster in the works by the good folks over at Way Forward, this PS1 sequel has yet to get the same treatment. Ironically though, this one probably needs it the most. The flat 2D sprites of the 16-bit era have proven more resilient to modern eyes than the early polygonal graphics of the PS1, and as such, an early PS1 game like Clock Tower is quite rough to look at. The voice acting, while charming in a way, also sounds stilted and could use a refresh. The core of the experience, however, still entertains with a slasher story mixed with a “who done it” element, as the cast members try to figure if the infamous Scissorman is actually after them, or if someone they know is posing as him. It’s a shame such a great story packed with excellent scares remains buried under dated voice acting and graphics.
3. Resident Evil
With the slew of largely excellent Resident Evil remakes and sequels seen over the last several years, it makes perfect sense for Capcom to return to the game that started it all. While we can certainly recommend the first Resident Evil in its original and current remake form, the more current over-the-shoulder formula of the recent Resident Evil remakes would make a lot of sense for this game. What fan could ignore the tantalizing prospect of walking through the hallways, courtyards, and underground labs of the infamous mansion in true 3rd-person perspective? Logic would imply that Capcom has this in the works, but just in case they don't, we want it on the record saying it should be.
4. Jersey Devil
With Croc, Gex, and Tomba officially on their way to joining the ranks of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro as PS1 characters with some sort of modern revival, Jersey Devil feels like an odd omission at this point. Sure, it never had the name recognition or mass appeal of its bandicoot brethren, but neither did Croc or Gex, which lack the creativity and inventiveness of the wild world of Jersey Devil. The Halloween themes throughout the game would make it a great October release for Sony, and the family-friendly nature of it would keep it a viable option for all ages, unlike most spooky games these days. It’s a win-win!
5. Jet Moto
The arcade racing genre doesn't have the following it once did, but the clamoring among racing fans for more of it never seems to go away. Starting up a new racing franchise takes time and great cost these days, but remastering an older one with decent bones offers a great way for Sony to mitigate cost and risk. This brings us to Jet Moto– a formally popular racing series with hovercrafts that race across land and water at breakneck speeds. The eye-popping color and brightness of the N64’s Wave Race series combined with the edginess and attitude of something like Wipeout became a great mix at the time.
6. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Rumors have circulated for years that someone will revive the Legacy of Kain IP, but so far nothing concrete has bubbled to the surface. With a handful of good-to-great games in the series, and no misses, fans still wonder why it ever ended up on ice. The otherworldly and vaguely medieval realm of Nosgoth has always felt limitless in its potential for isolated stories as well as more sequels to the adventures and misgivings of Kain and Raziel.
7. Fighting Force
Starting life as a doomed sequel to Streets of Rage 3, Fighting Force would eventually become its own thing after SEGA washed their hands of it. Streets of Rage would eventually get its due in 2020 with the excellent 4th installment, so now, Fighting Force needs a turn. Few 3D beat ‘em ups have the visceral charm of Smasher bludgeoning dudes' heads in with fire extinguishers or Mace Daniels swiping her high heels across their faces. Fighting Force 2 would go on to miss the point of everything the original game did well, so in this case, a complete remake of the original game seems best.
8. Parasite Eve
With all the horror revivals going on, one of the more unique examples of the genre from the PS1 deserves a redux: Parasite Eve. Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and even Alone in the Dark all have reboots in the works, so to leave Parasite Eve out in the cold would be a huge mistake. Mixing traditional RPG mechanics with classic survival horror gameplay served as a neat idea at the time, and mixed well with the unique monster designs and endearing characters. With both the RPG and horror genres currently going through their own independent renaissance, now feels like the perfect time to capitalize on both trends with a complete, ground-up remake of Parasite Eve.
9. Bushido Blade
With Tekken, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat all feeling like they have plateaued as franchises, something like Bushido Blade could offer the perfect antidote for the genre. Bushido Blade has a lot going for it. From the authentic style and air-tight gameplay that can see fights end with a single strike, it holds a very special place in gamer hearts. Opponents test each other’s boundaries and size each other up for minutes at a time. Eventually each fight will culminate into a climactic moment that determines the outcome. Square would promptly release an excellent sequel with Bushido Blade 2 in 2000, but after that, mysteriously, nothing. A complete remake of the original game is certainly in order.
Side-scrolling shoot ‘em ups remain a big part of the indie space right now, and Einhander helped popularize the genre. Back when few shooting games used 3D polygons, Square decided to go all-in on them with this game. With a dark, broody, cyberpunk look and lots of devastating weapons to choose from, this game quickly solidified itself as an excellent example of how shoot ‘em ups could hold their own during the incoming polygonal era. Despite its age, it actually still looks and sounds pretty good, too. A bump up with its visuals and some modern controls would help though.
Few third-person shooters of the PS1 era look as good as MDK, and even fewer have such a winning combination of personality, humor, and spectacular shooting. One moment, players will survive a heart-pumping shootout with aliens and the next, platform up a giant staircase. Also, given that it still plays and sounds so great with spot-on controls and fantastic music, a remake solely focused on modernized visuals would help MDK to take the world by storm.
Now that the “boomer shooter” genre has come back in style, perhaps Insomniac’s hidden gem could return. A wide variety of futuristic weapons and enemies make Disruptor a great shooter, though the FMV cutscenes between the levels really make the whole package special. The cornball story has its share of predictable twists and some very hokey dialogue, but somehow Disruptor stumbles into feeling more endearing than anything else most of the time. More importantly though, the variety of levels, enemies, and weapons, keep the experience moving in the right direction. Plus, the controls also feel rock-solid. A modern interpretation of the game might risk some of the charm, but we think it’s worth doing regardless.
13. The Legend of Dragoon
Out of all the JRPGs that seem like perfect candidates for a remake, Legend of Dragoon seems to come up the most in such conversations. The timeless characters, addictive gameplay, and the expansive adventurous story remain one of the genre’s best. A more streamlined approach to the menus and modern graphics would put this game among the top of its contemporaries.
14. Jumping Flash
Jumping Flash still ranks as one of the PS1’s weirdest games. It takes a big risk by combining platforming with a first person perspective, and despite being a tad clunky, it mostly pulls it off. The strange cartoony visual style might remind one of the Katamari games, but other than that, nothing can compare. Jumping Flash 2 improved the gameplay slightly, but a modern iteration of this concept, 30 years later, would realize that much more of its potential.
15. Vagrant Story
Another RPG from the PS1, Vagrant Story, feels lost to time. Unlike most JRPGs of the 90s, Vagrant Story tells a very grounded tale with somber characters and a rather bleak world. Square delivered a unique blend of action, mature storytelling, and solemn tone here, which makes Vagrant Story a great candidate for the more diverse RPG audience of today.