Is the Playstation Classic Worth It?

Classic? Or Cash Grab?

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The full list of games included on the Playstation Classic Console soured many of its fans. With the much rumored and Nintendo 64 Mini deconfirmed you might be forgiven for thinking Nintendo might be seeing how well the Playstation Classic does before pushing their mini consoles into the 3D era. Here’s a quick round-up of the line-up, whether or not the hate for it is entirely justified and some points to think about before you fork over £90.

Image from Playstation.com

Does It Have All The Classic Games?

Yes and no. The omissions seem to have attracted more discussion than the inclusions. There’s still a lot of classics on offer here. Nintendo has it pretty easy for their mini systems – they made a lot of the best games on their systems. The Playstation Classic is singing from a far more diverse hymn sheet. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee, the first Rayman, Grand Theft Auto are all really strong inclusions that are among the system’s better offering. There’s even the very iconic Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII presented and accounted for. Resident Evil? Check. Tekken? Yep, the third one is here. There’s even Intelligent Qube, better known in Europe as Kurushi, a Playstation puzzle game that’s brought up to me by lapsed gamer friends that any other. It’s a very impressive line-up that suggests a lot of thought and effort went into it.

The omissions? Well, there’s no Spyro or Crash to be found. That’s not surprising – they’ve both just had full remakes released. Given that this console is trading on mostalgia though their target audience is always going to associate Playstation with the little purple dragon or the shorts wearing orange bandicoot. Crash Team Racing in particular would have been a welcome addition as it was basically the Playstation’s answer to Mario Kart. Lara Croft is also another icon of the era not to be included, but Tomb Raider’s awkward controls frankly mean this is not great loss. PaRappa the Rapper‘s absence is surprising, but hey that’s also had a remaster. And Ape Escape? Well, the controller’s aren’t even the models with analogue sticks so that one isn’t too tricky to figure out.

Image from Playstation.com

Will It Be Good For Multiplayer?

Yes, and for better or worse this is where the Playstation Classic really puts the effort in. As mentioned, there’s a few things missing – and any console like this could always be better. The Classic does a solid job of covering just about every multiplayer genre you could want. If you remember racing games it’s got Ridge Racer Type 4. If you want to play a fighting game its got probably the best of the era in the form of Tekken 3, and Battle Arena Toshinden for variety. There’s even Puzzle Fighter if you want some competitive puzzle action (although there’s no normal Street Fighter included. With Destruction Derby and Twisted Metal rounding things out this is definitely a system worth firing up and playing with a friend. To me that is one of the main draws of a system like this – nostalgia you can share.

Image from Playstation.com

Are There Timeless RPGs?

Yes, but it could definitely have had more. Despite Final Fantasy VII  being here Revelations: Persona is the one that might justify the price of admission. Why? Well, like most of the best RPGs on the SNES Mini it’s pretty expensive and never got a UK release. Wild Arms is another smart inclusion – its a little more obscure and is a nice departure from the standard JRPG aesthetic. What’s the problem then? Well, for me the thing that made the SNES Mini such a no-brainer was the quality RPGS. RPGs age pretty well as they’re mostly story driven, they’re a huge amount of the console’s playtime and they can be very expensive. While Final Fantasy VII will always be number one it’s available on Steam, is getting released on the Switch and there’s always the complete remake that is mentioned every now and again. Persona, too, had a PSP port and Wild Arms a complete remake back on the PS2. An inclusion like Suikoden, with a price tag online in excess £100, could have justified the price of the Playstation Classic Console itself.

Image from Playstation.com

Have They All Aged Well?

This is where things get tricky. While many of the NES classic games may look pretty rough, be hard as hell, or even very basic, they still play fine. The SNES Mini fared even better – 16 bit graphics have come back in a big way, particularly on the trendy indie scene. The early polygon era of the Playstation and N64 though? To me that seems a much harder sell. There’s a reason Spyro and Crash got a remake from the ground up, just like there’s a reason they’re doing FFVII over. These might have all been incredible games in their time, but they are far from the best inductions into retro gaming. People remember many of these games, and the omissions, as being better than they are – that’s how nostalgia works. Maybe the games that made it to the Playstation Classic Console are not the 20 must have PS1 titles, but here’s hoping Sony have made sure they’ve picked 20 that are just as easy to pick up and play now as they were then.

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Matt Crofts
Matt is the SFFN's Retro Editor, focusing on all things old but interesting, including (but not limited to!) books, movies and video games. As a researcher in Gothic literature Matt also has an affinity for black cats, Hammer horror, and all things Dracula.