Nobody bet on the Sony console in the debut of the turbulent era with which the 32-bit generation began. The reality is that PlayStation devastated all other rivals due to a multitude of excellent ideas a few had come up with.
For the PS1 RPG genre, the arrival of CDs allowed to expand the size and spectacular nature of many projects. That helped to create, with a more magnificent reception in the west, a kind of Golden Age in which our region received all the essential titles developed in Japan.
Loved by many, criticized by some, the RPG is one of the genres that has given us the best times during our gaming life. Although, we must recognize that it is not currently going through its best moment. However, on 16 and 32-bit consoles, it shone in its light.
On no console, there was such a succession of glorious exponents of the genre as on PlayStation, and today you will see its best role-playing games.
12 of The Best PS1 RPGs Of All Time
It may not be among the most remembered games in Play Station. But this conversion of a game that initially appeared in SEGA Saturn is one of the most special RPGs that have gone through the Sony console. The reasons are the charisma of its characters, the interesting history, and its attractive combats. They are genuinely active and dynamic to be in turns, which makes it difficult to get tired of them despite of how numerous they are.
Its technical section was already somewhat out of date for its time. The Saturn version was already a few years old, and hardly any improvements were made. But even so, it endured the passage of time.
The story of Justin and the company begins as a child’s play in their neighborhood and ends up becoming a long journey around a well-structured world with lots of diverse landscapes.
11. Star Ocean: The Second Story
Star Ocean came to the west late, but even so, it was worth being able to enjoy this great adventure that combined science fiction elements more typical of a medieval story.
The second episode of the Star Ocean saga stood out for its elaborate plot, its beautiful static scenes, and genuinely complex menus full of possibilities at a level rarely seen in a game of its style. Also, for combat style, that was between the action RPG and turn-based fighting.
10. Valkyrie Profile
Being faithful to Nordic mythology, Tri-Ace and Enix offered an RPG with a very original approach in a genre that used to repeat the same schemes over and over. Living the stories of humans about to die, then recruiting them, training them fighting with us, and finally sending them to Odin was shown as something of the coolest.
It has irresistible 2D decorations, endowed with a beauty that few games in Play Station achieved. It also has a very active and strategic combat system, an enormous freedom to choose our path, and a multitude of stories with great interest and emotion.
Valkyrie Profile is not only a different Role-Playing Game but also an excellent and impressive odyssey.
9. Wild Arms
Standing out among the best games in a genre isn’t easy, but Wild Arms did it their way.
This title presents a very original setting, which you can see again in the other three installments. With a reasonably medium level, Media Visions presented it as a game that stands out in all its sections. It has a great story and many options for improving weapons and magic.
The game itself is quite linear, so it will be difficult to get lost in it. This characteristic makes it not difficult except in some specific situations, such as a maze, puzzle, or riddle, but it is normal in these games.
Wild Arms is a recommended option for lovers of this genre.
8. Breath of Fire IV
Breath of Fire IV, developed by Capcom, is another remembered role-playing game that has added fans in different parts of the world. This title has a spectacular graphic section to show us the story of a powerful young man named Ryu. He, along with a group of warriors, must avoid an immortal emperor from destroying the world they inhabit.
In addition to its beautiful graphics, Breath of Fire also offers an interesting story and a great turn-based combat system.
7. Parasite Eve
In the late 1990s, Squaresoft proved that they were also capable of creating an RPG not located in a mythological kingdom full of wizards and dragons. They developed a game located in the world as we know it, well, almost.
Parasite Eve is a great title that combines a story about monsters and supernatural beings that invade New York City. The protagonist is a policewoman called Aya Brea, who must confront these beings, which come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
This game is brilliant not only for daring to tell a different story style but for its combat system. Parasite Eve includes various types of firearms that you can customize.
6. Chrono Cross
Chrono Cross is a great role-playing game that had a difficult time when released, as it is the sequel to a legendary jewel, such as Chrono Trigger which is one best Role-playing game of all time.
This title managed to stand out by introducing us to a perfected turn-based combat system and a brilliant storyline. It involves two parallel universes and a protagonist named Serge, who displaces between both locations in search of a mysterious item called Frozen Flame.
Chrono Cross, like many RPGs created by Square, also boasts a surprising visual and artistic section.
5. Final Fantasy IX
After the twist to the saga, which was the seventh part and that the eighth continued, Squaresoft tried to recover the origins. The developers showed Final Fantasy IX as a fusion between the classic episodes and the spectacularity which it had in the latest games.
The mythical cartoonist Yoshitaka Amano returned to the saga, which he had risen to fame and returned the magical-medieval touch that it had in the past. Also, he brought more casual design characters far from the realistic feel of those of Final Fantasy VIII.
Final Fantasy IX has an approach of the most conventional in the genre, but with some charming graphics, a slightly convoluted but well told and emotional story. Besides, it has some battles with all the appeal of the traditional Japanese role, and some characters to remember. All that makes it a fantastic game, which has not aged badly.
The only aspects, such as the ease of its vast majority of battles and several upgradeable dungeons, take Final Fantasy IX away from the top.
4. Suikoden II
With the vintage flavor of 16-bit RPGs, Konami gave Play Station a couple of episodes of the Suikoden saga that received a good reception among fans of the genre. Reasons were not lacking, especially the second part, which was able to improve a new formula significantly.
With a discreet graphic section, but that still had a special touch, Suikoden II takes us by the hand to an epic story. In this story, a young man with little military experience is involved in a cruel war, in which he will go from being a simple spectator to lead large armies.
We will not dominate a multitude of troops in a few minutes. Instead, we will undertake a long journey in which we will recruit members and kill enemies. Besides, we have the task of turning an old castle into the center of operations of what one day will be a substantial military force.
Suikoden II is an experience that no RPG lover should miss because of the feeling of creating a great army from nothing. Also, it has some classic but fluid battles and allows us to recruit up to 108 characters. If it is not enough, we will have to fight against the most bloodthirsty villains.
3. Vagrant Story
The great masterpiece of Yasumi Matsuno is a unique RPG, unlike any other. It is one more demonstration that the Squaresoft of its golden age did not care about breaking schemes with a consecrated saga or releasing new licenses.
Vagrant Story took us to Léa Monde, a thousand-year-old and dark city that housed a mysterious cult of wicked intentions. There is where one of the most careful, intense, and disturbing plots of any game ever took place.
It is a cold and dangerous city, far from the typical concept of role-playing games. Usually, cities are quiet places to shop, chat, or rest, but in Léa Monde, many bloody and cruel battles take place.
But in addition to its setting, which is possibly unparalleled in PlayStation, Vagrant Story will always be remembered for its profound and exceptional battle system. Together with the very complete and essential weapon forging system, it formed one of the most challenging and demanding RPGs that have seen the light on any console.
Xenogears is one of those great games that are released once in a while. It is one of those titles that start in the second division with a modest budget, and their quality makes the public raise it to the position of honor they deserve.
It is an adventure in an aerial perspective, like Grandia, with an incredible combat system and a complex, exciting, and unique story that is worth being played by everyone. Namco knew how to see the potential and managed to create several spiritual sequels of the game with the name of Xenosaga, and later Xenoblade. Those games are all located in the same universe, although with thousands of years of difference between them.
1. Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy is the best PS1 RPG and the best game of the Final Fantasy series. There is no doubt that Final Fantasy VII is the most legendary RPG, not only from Play Station but also in the entire history of the videogame. The revolution that supposed in its day is, for many, difficult to forget. The level of spectacularity that Final Fantasy VII managed to leave the world with its open mouth was incredible. Squaresoft showed an overwhelming graphic display and surprised by the strength of the plot and the characters.
The odyssey of Cloud and his companions against the evil Sephiroth had an extraordinary strength, capable of launching Olympus from the video game characters to a formidable hero and villain. The fame of these characters raised from a single game knows no other similar case in the videogame sector.
Final Fantasy VII is also the odyssey of Midgar, the city where it all started. It is a decadent and dark city with an immeasurable setting. But it is only part of a vast world, full of magical and unique places, witnesses to events that many of them recorded, and that we will hardly forget.