The original PlayStation was revolutionary for the console gaming market by allowing players to move around in a 3D space. This additional freedom was able to provide gamers with a new level of immersion and gave us the chance to experience fully realized action-adventure titles. Because of this, the PlayStation 1 was home to some of the best action-adventure titles ever released on home consoles.
Throughout its life cycle, the PlayStation became synonymous with epic action-adventure titles. Gamers rushed to pick up titles that were both larger in scale and more in-depth in combat than had ever been seen before. These games are all classics in their own regard and still hold up today.
10 Tomb Raider
The original Tomb Raider was a PlayStation exclusive and introduced the world to the iconic Lara Croft. Lara acts as the main protagonist of the games as an archeologist with a passion for history and adventure.
The game was immediately a critical and commercial success, spanning decades of sequels and reboots. Any Tomb Raider adventure would be worthy of our list, but the original maintains one of the best stories in the series and the introduction of the game’s mechanics set the groundwork for years of third-person action-adventure titles.
9 Tenchu Stealth Assassins
Tenchu Stealth Assassins is a stealth-based action game that puts you in the shoes of the world’s deadliest ninjas. The game features thirteen different open levels and allows you multiple ways to silently kill your target.
The stealth genre was not new at the time of Tenchu, but the game certainly made enough of an impact to solidify its place on our list. The game brought a new perspective on Ninjas to a western audience and remains one of the more challenging games released on the PlayStation system.
MediEvil is a 1998 hack-and-slash game starring the skeleton remains of an unsuspecting hero trying to reclaim his good name. The game is notable for its Tim Burton-esque visuals, becoming a cult classic of the PS1 era and being remade for the PlayStation 4.
The remake is easily accessible, but the original version is just as fun to play today as it was when it was first released. MediEvil reminds of us a time when games took big swings with their art and aesthetic.
7 Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro
Before Insomniac took over the Spider-Man franchise, Vicarious Visions made two incredibly polished action-adventure titles starring the titular wall-crawler. The second title in the series, Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro, has Spidey facing off against comic favorites Shocker, Lizard, Sandman, and, of course, Electro.
The game features the same action platforming that made the original a success while retaining its fun comic-book feel. Spider-Man 2 on PS1 reminded us just how fun it can be to zip around New York City fighting bad guys.
6 Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver
Soul Reaver is the second installment in the since-forgotten Legacy of Kain series. The Legacy of Kain series takes place across thousands of years, following the Vampire Kain in the Blood Omen games and the Wraith Raziel in the Soul Reaver series. The hack-and-slash combat is easy to pick up, but it’s the intertwined story of Kain and Raziel that gives this game a spot on our list.
Soul Reaver became a must-own action-adventure title for the PS1, allowing gamers to experience the vampire-infested world of Nosgoth from a different perspective with a grander scale and higher emphasis on puzzle solving. All of these mechanics working together so smoothly shot this game to the top of the charts upon release. The series ended on the PlayStation 2, but this classic is still easy to find today and just as fun.
5 Silent Hill
The power of the PlayStation 1 allowed developers to blend genres, creating atmospheric action-adventure titles that dove into survival horror. Silent Hill retains all the elements of an action-adventure game with a sprawling narrative, challenging puzzles, and well-voiced dialogue, but it adds elements of horror and thriller films to create a unique experience that has only grown in popularity.
While its sequel, Silent Hill 2, is often remembered as the highlight of the series, the first entry contains a superb story and elevated survival horror games to a level we had never seen before. Silent Hill can be found and played today, but you might be better off playing with a guide; some of the puzzles are difficult to figure out without some help.
4 Resident Evil
Resident Evil was released in 1996 for the PlayStation 1 and has since launched an incredibly successful multimedia line featuring films, comics, games, and TV shows. The original Resident Evil is a classic game that popularized a plethora of video game tropes still seen today like inventory management and combat being broken up by puzzles and cut scenes.
The original version can be difficult to play today with its tank controls and cringey FMV segments. A remake made for the Gamecube updates the control scheme and offers better visuals, but there is a certain charm to this wacky first installment that makes it a must-play for PS1 fans.
3 Dino Crisis
Dino Crisis was developed by the same team at Capcom that worked on the original Resident Evil game, and their DNA can be seen all over this action-adventure title. The game features one of our favorite female protagonists, Regina, as she works to uncover the mysteries of a dinosaur-infested secluded island.
Capcom was able to use a real-time 3D engine for the environments as opposed to pre-rendered ones of Resident Evil, which added a more immersive feel to this title. The series was successful and spawned a few sequels, but sadly the series has remained dormant for almost twenty years. We would love for Capcom to bring this classic back in some shape or form, but until then, we’ll have to be content with reliving the mystery of Ibis Island.
The first Spider-Man game for the PS1 is a powerhouse when it comes to its fast-paced action, original story, and immersive voice acting. The game contains appearances from many fan-favorite Spidey characters, and it even features voice-over work by the legendary Stan Lee.
Superheroes have always lent themselves well to video game adaptations, but Spider-Man for the PS1 raised the bar in what we should expect in terms of quality from our superhero video games. Spider-Man continues to be one of the best superhero games ever made for consoles.
The first game in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, being preceded by two games without the “solid” moniker, Metal Gear Solid remains today one of the most ambitious projects ever created for the PS1. The power of the PS1 allowed director Hideo Kojima to add a host of new elements to his game that were previously impossible. Metal Gear Solid features incredibly well-voice acted extended cut scenes, intense stealth action gameplay, and an unforgettable cast of characters.
Even today, Metal Gear Solid stands out as one of the most memorable PS1 titles. The game has received multiple sequels, but unfortunately, the series seems to be stagnant after Kojima’s departure from Konami. Metal Gear Solid is a classic video game that deserved all the praise it received upon release, and it is still a fun adventure today.
NEXT: Best PS1 Style Horror Games Ranked
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