The day is nigh. Crash Bandicoot, one of the original PlayStation’s iconic mascots and hero to some of the best early platofrming, will find himself completely re-made in the N’Sane trilogy releasing on Friday. Naughty Dog’s franchise helped pave the way for platformers by creating a solid narrative, interesting level designs, and extremely fun gameplay with pretty solid mechanics. To honor one of the earliest greats in the genre, we’re taking a look at the top 10 PSOne platformers. For the sake of this article, we’ve only chosen one game per franchise.
I know, this game isn’t exactly a platformer at heart. It sort of falls into the action adventure platformer RPG label. Alundra, however, features enough platforming to keep the game unique enough to just barely make our top 10. While its sequel, developed and published by a completely different crew, perhaps is a better fit for a platforming list, it simply lacks the charm, style, and, frankly, gameplay of the original. Alunda sees you as its titular character and plays like a game straight from the SNES. It’s a blast of of nostalgia for older gamers and has great gameplay that still stands the test of time. Plus, its soundtrack is easily one of the best on this list. If you haven’t tried Alundra, I wouldn’t be surprised, but you should definitely give it a whirl should you ever have the opportunity.
~ Evan Schwab
9. Tomb Raider
By now, a good majority of gamers know Lara Croft. She’s the British explorer of ruins and the queen of action adventure platformers. She and the franchise have recently received a brilliant reboot, but Lara Croft was one of the premiere strong female protagonists back in her day. Tomb Raider featured Resident Evil-esque gunplay (at least as far as aiming goes) that pitted Croft against wolves, bats, bears, and, of course, those dastardly humans. Tomb Raider has become one of the most iconic games from the PlayStation One era, and it went on to spawn a multitude of PSOne/PC sequels.
~ Evan Schwab
8. Gex 2 Enter the Gecko
Voiced by stand up comedian Dana Gould for its U.S. releases, Gex, the Gecko, is the titular character for a crazy trilogy of comedic platformers from Crystal Dynamic. The series highlight has to be Gex 2: Enter the Gecko. After defeating the villainous Rex in the original game, Gex is recruited by the government (after a hard bribe and slap in the face) to re-enter the TV-verse and defeat his foe again. The charm in Gex lies with its protagonist, whose silly antics, humorous (but probably cringy) one liners, and bizarre adventures leave a memorable experience. The game takes a lot of inspiration from television that is widely seen throughout the stages and in Gex’s dialogue (he even references old Cheech and Chong). Gex 2 certainly hasn’t aged as well as other platformers on this list, but it holds a special place in my heart and provided us with many childhood laughs.
~ Evan Schwab
7. Mickey’s Wild Adventure
Despite being a port of a SNES/Mega Drive game, Mickey’s Wild Adventure found an entirely new fanbase when it reached the PS1 and created a whole new legion of Disney fans. The beauty of Mickey’s Wild Adventure is mainly its loving references to the classic era of Mickey Mouse, to the point where the first level is a clone of Steam Boat Willie that slowly changes from black and white to full colour. Mickey’s Wild Adventure can be difficult at times, but the gameplay is so enjoyable and the levels are so detailed that it is hard to not fall in love with the game.
~ Joe Hetherington
6. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Here’s another game that got the reboot treatment. Oddworld presented the story of Abe, a Mudokon slave. In his venture to escape from his tortuous and often deadly conditions, Abe attempts to sneak out of his factory prison. Abe’s Oddysee took gamers on an incredibly unique ride, as, really, none of the gameplay in any Oddworld game has ever really been replicated. Perhaps one of the original purveyors of the 2D platformer puzzle games, Oddworld set the stage for some of the greatest puzzle games we know. The difficulty – at least for me – of Abe’s Oddysee enhanced the overall experience and really required players to strategize and execute plans with immaculate precision. This, in particular, was a feat for the PSOne era.