Sony’s PlayStation Classic was unveiled earlier this fall, but one essential component of the miniature console was missing — the list of games available. While Sony promised 20 games for launch, they only initially announced a handful: Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms. Final Fantasy VII was the standout lead title, but Tekken 3 is a strong inclusion as well, and fans went nuts with their own starry-eyed predictions for the platform. We ourselves predicted what we felt was a “safe” range of likely inclusions. Now the actual list of games has dropped, and it’s distinctly underwhelming.
Despite our predictions to the contrary, there’s no Tomb Raider, Tony Hawk, Silent Hill, Castlevania, or MediEvil on the list. The full list of titles is:
Battle Arena Toshinden
Cool Boarders 2
Final Fantasy VII
Grand Theft Auto
Metal Gear Solid
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Resident Evil Director’s Cut
Ridge Racer Type 4
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
I’m thrilled by the inclusion of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, but baffled at the exclusion of… well, an awful lot of everything else. No Suikoden, Silent Hill, or PaRappa the Rapper, no Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It’s nice to see series like Twisted Metal and Resident Evil represented, but Twisted Metal 2 and Resident Evil 2 were both considered marked improvements over their initial installments. I can’t help thinking “Cool Boarders 2” was covered already by Final Fantasy VII’s snowboarding game in the Gold Saucer, and the PlayStation version of Rainbow Six received downright lousy reviews.
I know the PlayStation has a fan base as rabid as anything Nintendo can summon, but this feels like the first whiff of the first-party console relaunches to me. We’ve seen a number of subpar platforms launched to date, with mediocre efforts from AtGames for Sega and a Commodore 64 no one should actually purchase, but Sony is the first of the major console vendors besides Nintendo to take its own crack at this type of product.
There are still great games on this console — Tekken 3 is good, the first Persona is interesting to see, Final Fantasy VII is a classic, and games like Abe’s Odyssey were extremely well regarded in their day — but after seeing the final list of titles, this is a pass for me, personally. There’s not enough of the games I’d be interested in potentially picking up (I never owned a PS1, but my best friend and college roommate did), and too many titles that, while solid entries in their own series, don’t capture the PS1 at its very best. And as PCMag points out, this kit doesn’t even ship with a power adapter — you’ll need to buy one separately to play on it.
We’re still curious to see just how much gas is in the tank for these kinds of retro consoles. In theory, Sony and Nintendo could launch at least one more generation (two more for Nintendo, if it split the GameCube and N64), but past that, we’d be stepping into the PS3’s territory. Still, if the PlayStation Classic sells well this year, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a PlayStation 2 Classic for holidays, 2020 — corresponding to that console’s 20th anniversary.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my Geritol and Metamucil.
Now Read: Sony Announces the PlayStation Classic, Packs in 20 Games, Sony Bows to the Inevitable, Allows Fortnite Cross-Play on PS4, and AMD Working With Both Sony and Microsoft on Next-Generation Consoles