15 Underrated PS1 Games Everyone Should Play Immediately

There are hundreds upon hundreds of PS1 games, from well-known sellers to hidden gems that flew under the radar. Here is our list of 15 of the most underrated PS1 games that may not have performed or sold and some of the most well-known PS1 games out there. 

Pandemonium!

Pandaemonium! Nikki jumping
Image Credit: Crystal Dynamics.

While this game did have a good reception, it is often forgotten in the grand list of PS1 games. It is a fun 2.5D platformer where you can play as Fargus the Joker or Nikki the Sorcerer and traverse Pandemonium’s weird and wacky world. 

Overall, this game is super fun and great for all ages, but it was seen to have some bland gameplay, even if there are fun power-ups to use and many interesting and vastly different biomes to go through.

Intelligent Qube / Kurushi

Intelligent Qube/Kurushi level one
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment.

Intelligent Qube / Kurushi is a complicated PS1 game where you have to solve puzzles as you run around a platform of cubes and clear the correct ones so you don’t get crushed by the cube rolling towards you. 

This game can get intense and complicated, and it might be difficult to navigate the levels if you’re a young player.

That said, it’s still a great game and is criminally underrated.

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile level 1-1
Image Credit: Namco.

It performed poorly in Japan but didn’t perform as well in the Western market. However, the game is a beautiful platformer that takes you on a gorgeous journey through Phantomile, as you play as Klonoa as they’re accompanied on a journey by Huepow. Both are incredibly lovable characters with adorable creatures scattered throughout the world. This game has fun bosses to fight through as you work to save Lephise.

The cutscenes are adorable and heartbreaking all at the same time. Now, it has a modernized remake and is available on all platforms for players to enjoy the whimsy of Phantomile.

Parasite Eve II

Aya speaking to Police Officer in Parasite Eve II
Image Credit: Square.

For fans of Silent Hill, Parasite Eve II is a must-have. A survival horror created by Square, this game carries traditional survival horror elements that the first didn’t have, as this one was written by the original writer of Resident Evil (1996).

While the game was somewhat heavily criticized for having difficult controls, as she could only move forwards and backward, pivoting left to right, it made up for it with a great story and other fantastic mechanics. 

If you are yet to play this game and want to get your hands on it, it may cost you a small bomb, but it is worth every cent. 

Croc: Legend of the Gobbos

Croc near lava pit in Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
Image Credit: Fox Interactive.

While this game was received well by the general audience at the time of its release, the gameplay was criticized and said to be uninspiring. However, this game is ridiculously cute, as you play as Croc. With fun attacks such as a tailspin and a stomp, what’s not to love about him? You also get to rescue equally precious creatures named Gobbos from an evil scientist. The platforming through the levels of Croc is enjoyable, and hearing Croc say “Kersplat!” is heartwarming and brings a true sense of PS1 nostalgia.

Creatures

Creatures cover photo PS1
Image Credit: Mindscape.

Creatures is a peculiar game and still has a somewhat active community to this day. You raise Norns, alien creatures that start as babies, and you have to show them the ropes in their daily lives. Creatures was one of the first life simulation games I ever played, and it remains seared into my memory. 

It wasn’t easy to play as a young kid, but it was also incredibly fun, and the creatures were highly lovable and cute. You get to teach them how to have fun and punish them when they misbehave so they don’t pick up on bad habits. The worlds for Creatures was expansive and gave players much to learn, with minimal hand-holding. 

Apocalypse

Bruce Willis in Apocalypse level one
Image Credit: Activision.

Apocalypse is a third-person shooter game with Bruce Willis as the main character; Apocalypse is a hidden gem on the PS1. 

Escaping the jail to fight back against an evil scientist called “The Reverend,” Trey Kincaid (main character) fights all sorts of enemies and gets power-ups to allow you to do more damage. 

This game includes some really fun and intense boss battles and has some tricky platforming to navigate the game.

Demo One

Demo 1 PS1 cover screen
Image Credit: PlayStation.

Demo One may seem like a bit of a cop-out on this list, as it is what it says on the tin: a disc full of different demos to try out. However, these sorts of discs don’t exist for modern consoles, and they were what was so great about the PS1. By having demo discs, you get introduced to amazing new games that you may not have had the opportunity to try before. 

This disc allowed gamers of all ages to find new games they may want to add to their collection. From WipeOut to Crash Bandicoot to Tekken, there was something for everyone in these trailers and playable demos. 

Point Blank

Point Blank starting screen
Image Credit: Namco.

Like WarioWare, Point Blank is a game full of minigames where you have to shoot targets, cardboard criminals, and other targets to test your accuracy and get the most points to come out on top.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation loading screen
Image Credit: Eidos Interactive.

One of the last Tomb Raider games to be produced for the PS1, this is the longest Tomb Raider game to exist on PS1. Plenty of levels exist to complete, and you get a look-in into Lara Croft’s life as a young girl in Cambodia as she ages up and travels through Egypt. 

This game has some very scary levels, and they can get pretty intense as you solve puzzles to survive eerie Mummies running from you.

Tombi

Tomba/Tombi jumping
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment.

Known as Tomba to the rest of the world and Tombi to Europe, this side-scrolling platformer is colorful and full of fun platforming levels where you play as a feral child who is trying to get their Grandfather’s bracelet back from an evil race of Pigs. 

Tomba is a bizarre game with interesting mechanics that give it a Metroidvania feel to it. This game also allows Tomba to sometimes climb between the background and foreground, giving this game an extra layer of depth that most PS1 games didn’t have. 

Kula World

Kula World beach ball
Image Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment.

Kula World is a criminally underrated puzzle game where you can play as a beach ball in a 3D platformer. To complete levels, you must collect keys, fruits, and jewels to unlock bonus levels and get a high score. 

The more levels you complete, the more complicated it gets, and it gets very intense as you race against the clock. 

Kula World challenges physics in this game, allowing gravity to have reverse effects and allowing the ball to hang upside down in the air, as you can rotate on a 3D platform and hope to find your way to the exit.

Tobal 2

Tobal 2 start screen
Image Credit: Square.

The PS1 made way for a lot of fantastic fighting games, introducing Tekken to audiences for the first time. Tobal 2 was one of these fighting games and has faded to the background, with huge hitters like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and even Soul Blade taking center stage. 

Tobal 2 allowed for 3D arenas with a grapple and block system. Each character now comes with a fireball in this sequel and even has a Quest Mode for those not interested in battling other players. 

While this game was fantastic, it didn’t quite hit the North American audience like it had success in Japan, with critics finding it couldn’t compete with the likes of Mortal Kombat and Tekken. 

Incredible Crisis

Incredible Crisis starting screen
Image Credit: Titus Interactive.

Incredible Crisis is a bizarre game, as you follow a family of four working-class Japanese family members trying to complete their daily routine before their Grandmother’s birthday. Similar to mechanics in WarioWare, there are action-based minigames to complete, and you have to complete them successfully to continue.

In total, there are 24 levels to work through and various puzzles and action tasks to complete, such as quizzes and quick-time events. 

For those who didn’t have access to Nintendo consoles, Incredible Crisis is an excellent alternative to WarioWare.

D loading screen PS1
Image Credit: Panasonic.

D was ahead of its time with how you maneuvered through this horror game. This game was an interactive movie and adventure game with plenty of horror aspects hidden within. To succeed, you have to complete the game within two hours with no save or pause function. 

The game was incredibly dark, with themes of cannibalism and violence scattered throughout, making it an even more horrific experience than Silent Hill. It was a commercial success in Japan but didn’t have as much luck in the Western market, especially once it was released on PS1 and Sega Saturn.

That concludes our underrated PS1 games list. Are there any of your favorites on this list? What games would you put on this PS1 list, and why?

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