We all have fond childhood memories of the games we played as children, and even though sometimes we played games that we probably shouldn’t have been playing at such a young age, like Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid, so that the older kids thought we were cool, sometimes we couldn’t help but indulge in our guilty pleasure games that befitted our childhood whimsy!
But let’s make no mistake, these games may not have been as cool or as grown up as games like Resident Evil, but they were still great games! It’s just that you might not have been so quick to tell your little friends you were playing them!
But there were some great games from the PlayStation 1 era that you loved playing,but were probably a little embarrassed to tell your friends about, and this is what we’re going to look at here.
This is “Ten PlayStation 1 games that we all loved, but were probably too embarrassed to admit it.” But before you fret, we’re just having a playful look at the games we all loved as kids. No one is going to take your nostalgia from you, because if you’re like me, you guard it like it’s the One Ring!
10.Parappa the Rapper
There was a time when it seemed as though media for kids was designed and created by adults that were baked out of their noodles, and Parappa the Rapper felt like an addition to that list.
Although not exclusively for children, the game did have a certain daydream-wacky feeling that could be enjoyed by 90s youngsters and adults alike.
The game followed the story of a paper-thin rapping dog that sought to win the love of an anthropomorphic flower named Sunny Funny. See what I mean about the baked comment? Anyway, Parappa goes through from a kung-fu dojo learning from a master of martial arts…who has an onion for a head, to taking driving lessons, to baking a cake for Sunny Funny’s birthday, and all along the way the player has to engage in rap battles so that Parappa can achieve his goals and so that most importantly, he can be a hero for Sunny Funny.
If you have ever played it, then you’d think that it would have only been a small game at the time that eventually developed a cult following, but to everyone’s surprise, Parappa the Rapper was a smash hit, selling over three million copies.
Despite its relative shortness and overall weirdness, it was regarded as one of the best games to come out in 1997. But we know that you probably didn’t think that this was the game you wanted your friends to think you were playing back then, unless you were all stoned!
But let’s be honest, even though you may not have wanted to admit you were playing this game way back in 1997, we know you were. It’s okay, it’s a great game, don’t be ashamed!
9.Disney’s Hercules Action Game
You have to laugh, because I’ve never seen a more flagrant example of product placement than this game. Because when the think about it, the game is pretty much product placement for the film, and the game has within it product placement for merchandise that was available at the time.
Following the story of the film, Hercules has been stripped of his Godly powers and status by Hades, lord of the underworld, and must go on a quest to get them back, going through many challenges and battles along the way.
To replenish his health during the levels and restore his energy bar, Hercules can find little Hercules action figures, and energy can be replenished by finding by finding and drinking Herculade cups. See what I mean? This is as bad as Pepsi Man!
The game itself was a favourite for 90s kids however, as it gave you a chance to recreate the story of one of Disney’s best films of its lauded 90s renaissance.
Was it as cool and ‘in’ as FIFA 99 or Cool Boarders 2? Maybe not, but it had a fun, action-packed and jazzy feeling to it that made the film so memorable, and for that, it will always have a place in the heart of us 90s kids!
8.Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time
Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time was a personal favourite of mine when I was a kid, but that’s because I found Looney Tunes genuinely hilarious (to be fair I still do sometimes). Released in 2000, the game follows cartoon icon Bugs Bunny as he gets lost in time after, would you believe it, not taking a right at Albuquerque.
Just think of it, none of those gags would have worked these days, because Bugs Bunny could just follow his sat-nav.
To get back to modern day, he is told by Merlin Munroe, the sorcerer, that he must collect golden carrots, which in term will allow him access to clocks. He needs to collect ten clocks to move onto the next period in time, as Bugs slowly makes his way back to present day.
The game wasn’t exactly a world beater on release, generally garnering mixed reviews. But it will forever be remembered as a fan favourite for kids who played it in the late 90s like myself, and for those adults and teenagers who played it in secret while they told their friends they were playing Resident Evil!
7.A Bug’s Life
Another personal favourite of my childhood collection of PlayStation one games. A Bug’s Life may not have enjoyed as much critical love in game form as its parent film did, but I still stand by my claim that it is a great game. And in the words of Ron Burgundy, if anyone disagrees with that statement, then I will fight you, and that is no lie.
The game follows the film’s plot pretty closely, with only a few different levels. In all, there are 15 levels in the game including the training level at the start.
The game also includes unlockable clips from the film, and despite its somewhat negative reception, it was lauded for its family-friendly tone that kids would enjoy.
I loved playing this game when I was a kid, but if I’d have been my age now back then, I’d have probably kept my time spent with A Bug’s Life pretty quiet!
6.Bust a Groove
Not every game on the PlayStation was a gem, but this one proved to live long in the memory of those who played it as a kid, not only because of nostalgia values, but also because it was so damn addictive!
If you’ve ever wondered what a combination of Tekken and those dance games you get in arcades would look like, then this is it.
The game combines dance moves that are performed through commands on screen and parlayed into fighting moves, which gives it a very unusual feeling, as the game doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. That said, it has a certain charm to it that just seems to be lost in games these days. Only on the PlayStation 1 could a wacky game like this become successful, and yet it was.
If you played this, then you might have played it with your friends, but you’d have to have a very open group of friends in an age where Metal Gear Solid and Gran Turismo was king. I can imagine that many Bust a Groove sessions were kept pretty quiet.
5.Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
It’s amazing to think that a film that scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes was THIS close to being released direct-to-video. Nevertheless, Toy Story 2 was a huge hit, and in some circles even surpassed the original. The game that accompanied the film, Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue, was released in 1999 and followed the film pretty closely.
It saw Al, of Al’s Toy Barn, steal Woody from the family’s yard sale. On a rescue mission, Buzz Lightyear and the gang head out to find and bring Woody home. After leaving Andy’s house, the toys entre the neighbourhood in which Andy lives, then proceed to Al’s Toy Barn, the penthouse where Al lives and finally the airport terminal and tarmac where the movie ends.
At the end of the game, Buzz has a final battle with Stinky Pete (wonderfully voiced by Kelsey Grammer in the film) and two of his in-game henchmen. The only part where the game differs vastly from the movie is that contrary to the movie, the game’s conclusion is Buzz’s battle with the prospector Stinky Pete.
The critics reviews were generally favourable, and PlayStation was heading into a time, at the turn of the century, where the graphics and sharpness really improved. Sometimes, with games like this, you only tend to get what basically measures up as a marketing tool with a price tag on it, as some people said with A Bug’s Life (their words, not mine) but with this game, though its Game Boy version was savaged by critics, you could really enjoy some quality time trying to rescue Woody and re-living the adventure.
This was a great game for kids, but it was a game that you probably kept to yourself to maintain coolness with your friends!
4.Rugrats: Search for Reptar
This was one of the great games to have if you were a kid back in the late 90s, and if you were young back in those days, almost everybody played it. In fact, if you say now that you didn’t play it back when you were a kid, you’ll be met with the sort of surprise as if you’ve just said you never learned to read.
But that’s what it was for, it was for kids. But I can imagine that some teenagers and adults were pretty hooked on this game as well, they just didn’t tell anybody about it.
The game followed all of the Rugrats as Tommy Pickles searched for the missing pieces for his Reptar puzzle.
All of the puzzles and levels are based on situations from the TV show, and you can play as any of the hit show’s characters to solve puzzles to find Tommy’s Reptar pieces.
As you can imagine, the game was a hit with kids, but it was nonetheless criticised for its difficulty and clunky camera work. It was designed to be played by ages seven through twelve, but developers THQ designed Rugrats to be a game that could bring the whole family together, as PlayStation looked to bolster their family friendly market.
The game was a smash hit, and sold one and a half million copies. But if you were a kid like me and you wanted to show how grown up you were, you probably wouldn’t have been telling your mates how great you thought this game was.
3.Chris Kamara’s Street Soccer
I love the PlayStation 1 because you’d never get a game like this made now. It’s just so wacky and random. The world of gaming these days is too slick, refined and sophisticated to accommodate a flawed masterpiece like this. Another title released in 2000, Chris Kamara’s Street Soccer sees the player able to pick from one of 25 teams and compete in 5-a-side street games.
It had its issues, like listing Prague as being in Norway, instead of the Czech Republic. Refreshingly, considering this was made in 2000, it even had some female players from which to choose.
It was very much like Parappa the Rapper, in as much as on the face of it, it didn’t look like a good game at all, and to some people it was terrible, but there was something just so warm and charming about it, not to mention addictive, that made it un-put-downable. Plus any game fronted by Chris Kamara gets a pass in my book.
It may not have been as cool or as stylish as it’s FIFA counterpart, and you may not have been so vocal about your enjoyment of it, but it managed to find a place in the hearts of those who played it, whether they were willing to admit it or not!
Released in 2000, as the PlayStation 1 was entering the winter of its years, Disney’s Dinosaur was another Disney release that looked to serve as a marketing tool for the much-loved movie.
However, where sometimes games of films that have been released served as just that and not much else, this game is different in that it varied from the film quite a lot in parts, and was only loosely based on the film. As such, it managed to stand on its own two feet as an enjoyable and challenging game for kids to play.
Mostly consisting of puzzles, the player’s goal on each level is to complete tasks, such as defeating all carnivorous dinosaurs in an area, or locating and leading lost dinosaurs back to a herd. Enemies include Velociraptor, Oviraptor, Albertosaurus, Dryptosaurus, Spinosaurus and Carnotaurus.
It’s always a safe move to make a kid’s movie about dinosaurs, because what young boy especially does not go through a phase in his life when he is not mesmerised by them. And with Jurassic Park only seven years old at this point, the people were still in dino-mania mode.
It was a fun game for kids, but if you wanted to seem like you were cooler and more edgy, you’d have probably gone for the adult-targeted game Dino Crisis and Dino Crisis 2, which came out the same year. Or, if you were like me, you played both, but while you bragged to your friends about completing Dino Crisis, you kept your Disney’s Dinosaur accomplishments to yourself.
Nothing said Britain in the 90s quite like The Spice Girls. At the peak of their powers, they led the charge of the second British Invasion in the United States, and were on top of the world, and for a short time in the 90s they were quite possibly the biggest musical act in the world. They single handily introduced us all to girl power, and things have been better for it. They even had their own film, for which this short little game pretty much acts as advertising.
There’s not much to it, and there’s not much of a story or plot per say, but you can pick one of the Spice Girls to play as, and you can go round different levels, such as song mixing, dance practice, dance recording, spice network and television studio, as you prepare the girls for a live television performance.
The game wasn’t all that well received, generally because it was more of a chance to indulge in your Spice Girls fandom than actually play through levels, but nevertheless it was just a small part of the juggernaut that the Spice Girls were in the 90s. And you would be surprised just how many CD-cases this little number made it onto. Though if you were going to play it, it probably would have been behind closed doors, so that you can thoroughly get your groove on uninterrupted and away from p