We often recommend products we like. If you buy anything via links on our site, we may earn a small commission.
Sometimes it’s nice to look back on the old days with rose-colored glasses.
Did games on the original PlayStation have problems? Absolutely! But we’re not here to worry about those today. Instead, we’re going to remember all the things that games on Sony’s first gaming console did better than games today.
Even with vastly inferior technology, the original PlayStation offered some pretty incredible gaming experiences!
1. You Could Play Them as Soon as You Got Home
This is one of those things that’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Sure, the introduction of patches has allowed game developers to fix games after they come out if they find something wrong, but it seems like game developers nowadays end up shipping unfinished games and releasing patches soon after release, or sometimes even on the first day.
Back in the PlayStation era, what was on the disc is what you and everyone else played. You didn’t have to wait for massive day-one patches, or huge updates if you bought the game long after it released. No, you simply ran out to the local store, grabbed a game, went home, and played it. The longest part of the process was ripping the plastic wrap off the game box!
2. They Had Awesome Manuals
If you did have to wait to play the game you just purchased for one reason or another, you got to look at an awesome manual filled with beautiful art, background on the game, and methods to play. I can vividly remember doing to the store to get a PlayStation game and reading every inch of the manual on the drive home.
By the time I got to my house, I knew how to control the game, and I had hyped myself up into a frenzy reading about it. Today, you’re lucky if you get a little single paper with a code on it for some piece of preorder DLC to look at. It’s a fun part of the new game experience that gamers today just don’t get to feel anymore.
3. They Let You Figure Things Out Yourself
The rise of the tutorial has been a good thing for the most part, but with many games, things have gone a little too far with the hand-holding. Very few games actually let you figure things out for yourself anymore. Instead of letting you struggle to figure it out (or have you look at the manual), games are more concerned with making sure they explain every last detail in a tutorial.
The original PlayStation’s generation was the last one before tutorials really became overkill (though the PS2 generation wasn’t that bad). Games would just send you on your way and let you figure out what you needed to do on your own, which added to the sense of accomplishment. It’s one reason why retro games are more appealing than modern games.
4. They Were So Hard
With the exception of a few games, modern games aren’t that challenging anymore. They’re more about experiencing a story or unlocking gameplay mechanics than they are about struggling to make your way through challenging milestones. Hard games have become the minority.
In the PlayStation days, actually beating a game wasn’t a matter of course. Instead, when you went to school the next day and told your friends you beat a game, you were actually proud. You didn’t just talk about the cool story, but you actually talked about how challenging it was. Even as someone who’s never been particularly good at video games, I miss that sense of accomplishment.
5. You Got Them on Day One Without Extra Cost
When it was first introduced, DLC seemed like the coolest thing ever. A game you loved could get more content added it to it, giving you the ability to stay in the world having a good time longer. But it didn’t necessarily work out as well as we’d all hoped. When you have major companies at the helm of these games, DLC becomes nothing more than another revenue stream. It can often feel like the content is being intentionally withheld for DLC.
In the PlayStation days, you bought the whole game on day one. Sure, you didn’t have more content to look forward to until the sequel, but you also knew that your hard-earned money was going to get you the complete game and that developers weren’t going to nickel and dime you for DLC and microtransactions.
Good Ol’ PlayStation Nostalgia
The PlayStation is truly an incredible piece of gaming history. Between the incredibly massive library of good games to the overall experience offered by the console, it’s easy to ignore the console’s flaws and look back at it with a sense of longing!