Earlier in the week, Sony somewhat unexpectedly announced that PlayStation 2 emulation will be coming to the PlayStation 4. This got many a PlayStation fan in a stupor about what PlayStation classics could be making their way to the console. Therefore, I thought I’d take a look at five games I would like to see on the PlayStation 4.
Before launching into my list though, I thought I’d mention a few self-imposed rules. Firstly, I haven’t chosen any games that have become part of any HD collection as most of these are on PlayStation Now. That’s why there’s no Jak and Daxter, Silent Hill, Final Fantasy or God of War. Secondly, I haven’t gone for any old iterations of existing franchises as they are more modern (and frankly better) installments on more modern franchises so that excludes Gran Turismo and Grand Theft Auto.
So, here we go…
5. The Thing
My first game on the list is admittedly a very personal one and would unlikely make any other list, but I’m a sucker for atmospheric survival horror games. The Thing was a rare example of a good game adaptation of a horror classic. Part of it’s success was in emulating the atmosphere of paranoia found in John Carpenter’s classic. This was because that, whilst on the face of it The Thing was a relatively by the numbers third person, squad based shooter, underneath was an interesting squad dynamic that played on your fears of isolation and of not knowing who the real enemy was.
At a moment’s notice, one of your squad members could suddenly transform into a hideous creature and start to viciously attack you. Not only was there this constant worry of an enemy within your ranks, but your squad also had a well-being to maintain. If the stress of facing an unknown alien enemy got too much, your squad mates could suddenly commit suicide. Whilst it was by no means perfect and at times clearly scripted, it was an interesting dynamic that I’m surprised hasn’t really been attempted since.
Rockstar’s often forgotten l’enfant terrible, Manhunt is probably one of the most controversial games of all time. Whilst games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto have been labelled by some as ‘murder simulators’, Manhunt was in fact unashamedly violent and was a true murder simulator. The game’s story follows a supposedly executed death row inmate who is forced to participate in a series of snuff films for a former film producer and now underground snuff director.
The bleak and nihilistic tone of the game was unlike anything seen before in gaming and with an intriguing plot and a focus on hand to hand, stealth combat the game was unique. Admittedly, like most Rockstar games, there were moments when the game crossed the line of taste and it’s no surprise the game was outright banned in some countries. Yet it had a grittiness and dirtiness, that made it disturbingly compelling.
3. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Before Ubisoft drained the Assassin’s Creed franchise of all of it’s worth, there was another franchise that Ubisoft milked dry until people got bored of it and that was Prince of Persia. Despite a number of sequels and an intriguing reboot, the original Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time stands the test of erm… time as being a truly standout action, adventure platformer.
The first game to really make free-running look cool, the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time rolled together a great time manipulation mechanic, thrilling action and a truly touching story to make an adventure that was difficult to forget. Whilst it was re-released with it’s companion sequels on the PlayStation 3 in Europe it isn’t widely available and it’s high time a new generation got to experience a memorable game.
2. SSX Tricky
Come on, you can’t tell me that you weren’t just singing THAT song. SSX Tricky was made in an age of awesome, when snowboarding games were as cool as Tony Hawk Pro Skater games were. A sequel to one of PlayStation 2’s launch titles, SSX tricky builds on the ridiculousness of the original and throws out any attempts to remotely simulate genuine snowboarding.
Instead gamer’s are presented with a psychedelic theme park of snowboarding runs filled with mountainous jumps and lots of brightly coloured things that make your eyes hurt. Pure exhilarating joy, is the game’s raison d’etre and in the age of split-screen multiplayer there was no game that inspired as many laughs as it did cries of pain as jumps ended in total failure. This is a game everyone should experience.
1. TimeSplitters 2
Another sequel to one PlayStation 2’s launch titles, TimeSplitters 2 was a dramatic improvement upon it’s predecessor adding a wealth of options to make one of the most entertaining console shooters ever. Developed by the same brains as Goldeneye, the campaign saw you spanning various time periods from the Wild West to the 25th Century, but it was its wealth of multiplayer options where TimeSplitters 2 really succeeded.
Multiplayer was fun and frantic and with the ability to customise almost every aspect from the guns that were available to forcing everyone to play as monkeys, the game was a riot of laughter. The inclusion of bots, enabled those who didn’t have real, living breathing friends to still be able to join in the fun in what was probably the last great, couch multiplayer shooter. Many of the customisable and unlockable elements had a clear influence on today’s online shooters but we’ve yet to see a one that is as un-apologetically silly since.
So what PlayStation 2 games would you like to see on PlayStation 4? Are there any I missed off my list? Let me know in the comments below.