PlayStation has been around for 25 years now, which, I think is CRAZY. I’m only 20 years old myself, very close to 21 so PlayStation has been around for my entire life. In that time, I have spent countless hours across PlayStation consoles and gotten many favourite games. So, today, I thought I’d take you through some of my absolute favourite PlayStation games and why they are my favourites.
The original PlayStation was the first console I ever owned and remember playing. I have vivid memories of just before I got my PlayStation 2 which was probably 2002, playing Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back on it so, that’s where we should start.
Crash Team Racing is a game I was introduced to very early on in my life because it was a massive deal in our house. Both my parents and my brother were always playing it, so, of course I wanted to join in. I loved playing Crash Team Racing so much, obviously, when I was about three and four, I wasn’t the best at the game but I still loved racing around on it. It was my first introduction to playing a video game and I loved it, and, even now, I still enjoy racing around the tracks. Although, I am definitely much better at it now!
Similar to CTR, Crash Bandicoot 2 was one of the first games I ever played and my introduction to platform games which I still love to this day. Crash 2 was the first game I ever actually managed to be good at. Long into my PS2 days, I still loved playing Crash 2 and completing it over and over and over again until somebody forced me to stop. I didn’t actually play the original Crash until much later into the PS3 generation but I will always have fond memories of playing Crash Bandicoot 2 and completing it 100% for the very first time. And now, I am the very proud owner of the Crash 2 platinum trophy for the remaster on PS4!
Whilst we’re on the PlayStation original generation, it would be wrong of me not to mention it. The game that truly shaped a generation and changed the JRPG genre – Final Fantasy VII. I’m a bit ashamed to say that I didn’t play Final Fantasy VII until the start of 2018 but this game is amazing. It’s a game that means so much to me personally. Growing up, I used to watch Advent Children with my brother never having actually played FFVII but, this year, I took the plunge and actually played it for myself and absolutely fell in love with it. I can see why this game is so popular and why it has captured so many hearts. The characters are easy to love and cry over, the story is so beautiful and engaging and has one of the most shocking video game deaths of all time. I truly love Final Fantasy VII and I am beyond excited for the remake to pick it up in my hands in March 2020!
So, while I didn’t play too many games on PS1 mostly because I was very young at the time and very late to FFVII, the PlayStation 2 was a completely different story. This was the console that I grew up with and love with every fiber of my being. It was honestly so hard to narrow it down to only a few games here because I loved so many but I chose the ones that mean the most to me.
I thought I’d get the obvious one out of the way. Everybody knows it’s coming, the game that completely changed my life and me as a person, the game that, when I became a complete outcast with no friends, was there for me. And, that game is Kingdom Hearts.
Kingdom Hearts is so special to me and is still my favourite series of all time. I’ll never be able to explain in complete detail how much this series means to me but just know that this series changed my life. I first picked it up in 2004 when I was five years old and I still love it to this day. I have a tattoo dedicated to two of my favourite characters, I still talk about it everyday to my brother and one of my best friends. In fact, in the new year I’m ready to start my big Kingdom Hearts replay that I do at least once or twice a year. Going into this game, I wasn’t expecting it to take over my life and be as meaningful to me as it is now but I’m truly thankful it is. All my way through school, I had no friends, I was so completely isolated from all of them and the only way I got through it all was knowing Kingdom Hearts was there for me. Especially Kingdom Hearts 2 which is truly my favourite game of all time. The introduction to Roxas was everything I needed at the time and to this day, he’s still my favourite fictional character ever.
I just wish I could thank Square Enix enough for the joy they’ve bought to my life. The cushion they provided. There are a few times in my life I’ve been ready to end it all and Kingdom Hearts has always been there to hold me up. So thank you, Nomura and Square Enix, words will truly never be enough.
Sticking with Square and not actually venturing that far away from Kingdom Hearts honestly is Final Fantasy X.
What to say about Final Fantasy X, one of the best games ever made and definitely in my top three of all time. It’s a game that nestled its way into my heart within the first hour or so because I fell instantly in love with all of the characters. I didn’t play FFX again until earlier this year, I was bored of waiting for KH3 to come along and needed something to sustain me and there it was, Final Fantasy X. It also earned lots of brownie points when I got onto it for the first time and I recognised Tidus because of his appearance in Kingdom Hearts so I was determined I was going to love it. And, I can safely say that it did not disappoint me at all.
If you’re thinking of getting into Final Fantasy games but are intimidated, there are so many, they’re so loved, the VII remake is on the horizon, I fully recommend starting with FFX. It’s a good game to ease you into the world of Final Fantasy, it’s one of the few that actually has a sequel because most games in the Final Fantasy series are individual and it can get you used to using a turn based battle system. It has wonderful characters and a solid story to follow. As well as the fact you can get the remastered version for the PlayStation 4, Xbox 1 and the Switch, so, really, what are you waiting for?
So, for my last entry, I’m going with one of the most influential games for me. A game that really made me want to get into Final Fantasy although I didn’t pick another one up until 2016 and that game was Final Fantasy XII. When I was a kid, whatever my older brother was playing, I wanted to play. It’s how I got into Kingdom Hearts and then Final Fantasy XII.
The first time I picked up Final Fantasy XII back in 2006, I got stuck pretty much straight away. I didn’t know what was going on or how the battle system worked but I stuck with it. I kept pushing through until I started to understand and this game absolutely blew my mind. FFXII really got me to dive into the JRPG genre and the battle system was like nothing I had ever played with before and it just took over my life. I basically played nothing but Final Fantasy XII and Kingdom Hearts until about a year after the PS3 came out and I got my hands on one.
This is a game that truly had one of the most positive impacts on my life and I can’t imagine my life without having picked up that controller for the first time. I love this game, it’s so underrated in the FF community and that makes me sad because it’s so spectacular, the battle system whilst does take a little getting used to, is so unique and the story had me in tears in more than one occasion. I also loved Fran for her cat like ears. So yes, stop sleeping on Final Fantasy XII and try it, I promise it’s worth it.
Now, the PlayStation 3 was actually never a massive one for me. I played on it mostly because the remasters of Kingdom Hearts came out on it, I didn’t really play anything else on it apart from Crash Bandicoot because I could download it from the PlayStation store. But there was one game that completely stole my heart.
I’m sure if you ask quite a few people the game that first comes to their minds when they think of the PlayStation 3, it’ll either be Uncharted or the game that I chose, The Last Of Us.
Going into The Last Of Us, there was only one thing I really knew about it which was that it was made by Naughty Dog so, I went into it thinking this’ll be great, it’s going to be another colourful Crash Bandicoot or Jak and Daxter game. Honestly, I’m still laughing at how naive I was back then because let me tell you, The Last Of Us was absolutely nothing like those games. And there I went as a fifteen year old because my dad wouldn’t let me play it until I was 15, which really should have been my first clue. And, to cut this long story short, within the first half an hour I ran downstairs sobbing because you know that thing that happens at the start of The Last Of Us.
To put it lightly, The Last Of Us absolutely destroyed me as a human being and it still makes me cry everytime I pick it up to this day. But, I absolutely fell in love with it. Once I got over the initial shock of it being dark, graphic and a heartbreaking game, I was in. This game is beautiful, it’s incredible, it’s every good word that you can use to describe something. It’s a game that has been called generation defining and people who say that are not wrong. It’s an incredible game that has characters you are going to get way too attached to and hurt by and a story that packs a huge, huge punch from the beginning to the end. But, I can guarantee you will absolutely love it. So, if you’ve been putting it off because of the hype then stop, go and play it and fall in love with it yourself before the sequel comes out in May!
Here we are, at the end. There are going to be some quick PSP mentions afterwards but, the PlayStation 4, a console I adore and don’t want to say goodbye to when the PS5 comes along but am always very excited to see the next generation. This one was really hard to nail down to only a few, like there are so many more I could mention but I’m going to go with these three and at the end of the year, I’m planning on doing a bigger article just about the PS4 games I’ve played and loved this year!
Again, I’m going to get the big one out the way first. The obvious one. And, that, my friends is Kingdom Hearts 3. I know I’ve already mentioned both 1 and 2 but Kingdom Hearts 3 was so special. So long in the making that it has to be here.
Going into such a big anticipated game was scary for me. I was so worried that it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations and that I was going to be disappointed but I can, hand on my heart say that it definitely did not. Kingdom Hearts 3 was everything that I needed in this series and in this game. My favourite characters were in there, they got my favourite trios back together, some from the Disney worlds were some of my absolute favourites of the whole series. And, THE GRAPHICS were mind blowing. I remember booting this game up and just sobbing my eyes out because I couldn’t believe that it was finally in my hands and I was finally playing it.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is incredible and I’m so glad that we finally got it and I can now replay it whenever I want to. We did it. We made it.
Another big one I want to get out of the way is Final Fantasy XV, a game I picked up in January of this year and have never looked back with. Final Fantasy XV may be one of the most heartbreaking games that I have ever played but it is also one of my absolute favourite games of all time. It’s a game that you have to go into knowing that you’re going to love these characters, believe me, you’ll love these characters so much and fall in love with the friendship between the four of them. That was truly one of my favourite things about the game, the friendship was healthy and beautiful and whenever, they were separate, you just wanted them to be together again.
Also, this game is absolutely beautiful. Every single location you go to in FFXV is beautiful. The graphics are stunning and I just spent hours and hours driving around in my car and then flying around in my car over the world map because it was so breathtaking. I find it amazing how much video games graphics have come on over the years and comparing Final Fantasy VII for example with the remake coming up is a good way to see just how beautiful Final Fantasy games truly have become. Just a warning though, when playing XV, be prepared to cry, good luck.
Nier: Automata is next, a game that I played this year for the first time and it is definitely my second favourite game of all time. Since playing it for the first time in May, I completed this game six times, most of them were in a row. Nier:Automata is one of the best games that’s ever been made in my opinion. It’s beautiful, the music brings me to tears, the characters have so many depths and the story is both tragic and uplifting.
Going into Nier, I’d been warned that it would break me but I still wasn’t prepared for some of those endings. It’s a game that truly ripped my heart from my chest and stomped on but I’m grateful that it did. It’s an incredible experience and pleasure to play Nier:Automata and I think that everyone should be playing it. I’m so glad that my friend told me to pick it up and I listened. These characters are some of my favourite video game characters of all time and I love them and this game so much. Do yourselves a favour and pick this game up, you won’t regret it.
“Everything that lives is destined to end,”
Now, I was never a big PSP player but I wanted to give a shout out to two games that I loved from the era.
Birth By Sleep which is one of my top three favourite Kingdom Hearts games, I love Birth By Sleep so much and is the reason I bought a PSP in the first place.
And, a game I bought a new PSP for recently, Crisis Core which is the prequel to Final Fantasy VII and features Zack and Cloud who are my two absolute favourite Final Fantasy characters ever. So yes, whilst I didn’t use the PSP much, there were a couple games I loved.
Overall, what can I say? I’m so thankful for the PlayStation and all of the joy that is has given me over the last 20 years of my life. I will never ever be able to put into words how much some of these games truly mean to me and I cannot wait to see what the next 25 years hold for PlayStation. Maybe I’ll be writing an article then about my favourite games from the PlayStation 8, who knows? I just wanted the opportunity to say thank you. Especially to Square Enix who have produced most of my favourite PlayStation games of all time and I would not be who I am or maybe even be here without them.
So, thank you PlayStation, here’s to the next 25!
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