For almost two weeks, I’ve been living life like it was 1994 thanks to Sony’s PlayStation Classic.
Sony’s tiny console is a fraction of the size of the original (and unfortunately doesn’t play original PS1 CDs) and comes with two faithfully reproduced controllers.
It’s one of the nicest throwback tech products in years and made me nostalgic of the early days of games with 3D graphics, while simultaneously making me realize I’m now old. I was seven when the PlayStation launched in Japan in 1994 and nine when my childhood best friend got one for Christmas two years later and we got to eventually play classics like Rayman, Crash Bandicoot, and Final Fantasy VII in his attic.
The PlayStation goes down in history for popularizing 3D gaming and lighting the path toward more mature titles with the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil. Still, all of us spoiled by today’s lush and photorealistic graphics often forget just how ugly most games on the console were.
Unlike the timeless, colorful 2D sprites of Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past that still look as beautiful today as they did 35 and 27 years ago, respectively, many of the once cutting-edge 3D graphics from the 20 included games on the PlayStation Classic simply don’t hold up in 2018.
The PlayStation Classic’s also missing many of the original console’s greatest hits. Don’t get me wrong, Final Fantasy VII — a game that took up three discs and defined bleeding-edge 3D graphics when it came out in 1997 — rekindled fond memories of Japan’s then-rise as a technology powerhouse and is worth the price alone.
But many people might look at the list of games and be disappointed by the omission of console classics such as Gran Turismo, Spyro the Dragon, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.