The PlayStation 1, released in 1994, produced several popular games. There was a prime market for fighting games and role-playing games at the time. With the upcoming release of the PlayStation 5, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to revisit some of the original games. Here are 3 PlayStation 1 games that still deserve more attention than they received.
#1. Koudelka (RPG)
Koudelka, a survival horror RPG, released in 1999 for the PlayStation 1. The plot of Koudelka unveils itself slowly as you progress through the game.
The best description I can give about the game, with no spoilers, is that you wander through the Nementon Monastery in Wales 1898, which used to be a torturous and horrifying prison in the 1600s. They classify it as horror because of the haunting random encounters and hidden rooms you find in the game.
The reason Koudelka falls under the underrated game category is that it’s the prequel to the Shadow Hearts trilogy, also an underrated series. Your primary character, Koudelka, is actually the mother of a playable character in Shadow Hearts 1 for PlayStation 2. Another reason is the unique battle system of Koudelka. It’s unique because you have to think about every turn-based action available in the game. The choices are Action, Move, Wait, and Status. Each option takes a full character turn, but the same goes for the enemies.
#2. Parasite Eve (RPG)
Parasite Eve, a sci-fi horror RPG released in 1998 for the PlayStation 1. The plot of this game is centered around the concept of mitochondria. Do you remember early childhood science classes or projects? If not, don’t worry. The game will teach you the basic concepts of mitochondria and how it can be more than just the powerhouse of the cell.
I love Parasite Eve for 2 reasons. First, the game’s story is well-written and scientifically accurate. The writers go into significant detail about what mitochondria are and how it could cause deadly outcomes by consuming the nucleus. Plus, you play as a single character, Aya Brea, as the plot of the game unfolds within 6 days. Second, the soundtrack for Parasite Eve is amazing. It’s macabre, intense, and simultaneously relaxing.
Parasite Eve is an underrated game because of its genre. A sci-fi horror RPG was rare for the PlayStation 1. It goes in-depth with the sci-fi aspect and raises many questions throughout the game. No role-playing game in this specific category comes close to what Parasite Eve conveys.
#3. Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring (Fighting Game)
Ehrgeiz: God Bless The Ring, otherwise known as Ehrgeiz, released in 1998 on PlayStation 1. Ehrgeiz was your classic arcade-style fighting game, which allowed up to 2 players. The key plot to the game was that each character competed against one another in order to fight the last boss, Django, to retrieve the mighty sword Ehrgeiz. For the early stages of development as a fighting game, Ehrgeiz was just a game to play with your friends and pass the time. At least, in my experience it was.
The game had 8 original characters and 2 secret characters. The hook that Ehrgeiz had was a reference to Final Fantasy VII, another popular game at the time. It provided 3 FFVII original characters and 4 secret FFVII characters. Ehrgeiz was one of the first fighting games that had crossover characters, which was exceptional at the time.
There were 2 key factors why the game didn’t get the attention it deserved. The first was a very choppy fighting style. Characters were stiff and combos were difficult to perform. The second was because of the release of a very popular rival fighting game: Tekken. Unfortunately, Ehrgeiz fell far behind Tekken and was forgotten about.
The PlayStation 1 had phenomenal games. Almost every single game on the console should be appreciated for its uniqueness. Though there are more popular RPG and fighting games, relive your childhood (or discover a new favorite game) by checking out Koudelka, Parasite Eve, and Ehrgeiz.