When you add a console to your collection, the first thing you want to do is get a handful of games to keep you busy with your new toy. However, most of us can’t spend afford to spend fat pile of cash for a few games. This budget-friendly list should help you quickly find which games will start you off well without emptying your wallet. (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping)
Check out the other Cheapest Games Worth Your Time articles
Metal Gear Solid: $7
This Konami classic not only was one of the biggest games on the Playstation, but it also one of the few 3D 32-bit games that has aged gracefully. It’s combination of great story-telling, innovative gameplay, and impressive graphics for the era resulted in a game that holds its own when compared to its more modern series installments and other games in the genre as well.
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Final Fantasy VIII: $8
The eighth Final Fantasy installment essentially took everything that made FFVII a groundbreaking game for the 32-bit generation and took it to the next level with a generous dose of enhancements. With an epic storyline and some of the best looking graphics ever seen on PlayStation, Final Fantasy VIII stood as one of the best RPGs ever released on the console. The not-quite-as-exciting followup, Final Fantasy IX almost made it under the $10 mark, but came up a bit too expensive. But if you are going for the big three FF PS1 titles, go ahead and pick that one up as well.
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Street Fighter Alpha 3: $9
The PS1 isn’t known for having arcade-accurate ports of 2D fighters, but Capcom really came through in bringing Street Fighter Alpha 3 to the Playstation without compromising. This character-filled brawl-fest is actually one of the best console ports and is an excellent value. If you have a PS2 and want the entire Alpha collection, the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology may be a better value for you.
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Gran Turismo 2: $8
I debated if I should include this one or not as GT3 & 4 are both quite affordable on the PS2 as well. However, if you want a detailed console racer on the PS1 without spending much, look no further than Gran Turismo 2. The game features more than 600 cars, 27 tracks, hundreds of challenges, and more depth and replay value than any other racer on the Playstation.
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Wipeout XL/Wipeout 3: $7 each
If you are like me and prefer a futuristic arcade-style racer over the complex racing stylings of GT2, you will love the Wipeout series. Wipeout XL and Wipeout 3 were the pinacles of the series on the PS1 and both are quite affordable. At these prices, you really can’t go wrong if you want some blazing-fast racing set to a killer techno soundtrack.
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Ridge Racer Type 4: $7
When it comes to arcade style racing games on the PS1, the Ridge Racer games are in a class of their own. And of the Ridge Racer games on the system, Type 4 is the most complete and polished title of the bunch. Since it was released near the end of the Playstation’s life, Namco was able to max out the console to bring some of the best arcade racing graphics you will see on the PS1. What’s more, if you preferred the driving style of the first Ridge Racer over the others in the series, R4 was packed with a super-smooth 60-fps version of the original. You can’t get a better value than that.
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Tekken 3: $5
Personally, I’m not much for the Tekken series, but I know many a Playstation fan that will stand behind this 3D fighter franchise and the depth that Namco is known for. Tekken 3 was definitely one of the major landmarks on the PS1 and should be an essential purchase considering it’s bargain basement price. But keep in mind that the PS2 sequels are cheap as well.
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Mega Man 8, X4, & X5: $8 each
There are tons of Megaman games on the PS1. So if you enjoy all that running, jumping, and shooting action, there is plenty to keep you busy for quite a while without spending a lot of money. However, if you have a PS2, you might find the Megaman X Collection to be a much more affordable solution for you.
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Syphon Filter Trilogy: $8
If you want an action-filled good time to complement your Metal Gear Solid, take a look at the Syphon Filer games. Each game of the trilogy is filled with imaginative levels designs, each of which pushed gamers to explore, but also required them to think about every time they began a new stage. If you shop around eBay carefully enough, you may find someone selling all three of these game together for a much more cost-effective package (around $15 for the set).
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Um Jammer Lammy: $5
Parrapa the Rapper put a new spin on rhythm games on the PS1, but unfortunately its a bit to expensive to include on this list. Its followup, Um Jammer Lammy, however is one of the cheapest games on this list. This quirky and sometimes bizzare musical adventure is still a riot and is considered by many to have a superior soundtrack to Parrapa. So if you want to lighten your gaming time while keeping your wallet heavy, pick this puppy up.
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Tobal No. 1: $7
Squaresoft’s first entry into the fighting genre remains a underground favorite due to it’s tight controls, freedom of movement, and intuitive grappling and blocking system. It’s sequel, No. 2, is an expensive import-only title, but the original is stil quite affordable.
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If you want a well-rounded two-dimensional platformer for the PS1 that gives you lots of beautiful sprites to complement great level designs, take a look at the original Rayman. The Playstation game is also a bit cheaper than the Saturn version.
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A Few Must-Haves Slightly Over $10
Final Fantasy Chronicles: $15
This wonderful compilation includes both Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger. Considering the cartridges for the SNES originals of the games are so expensive, this is an excellent value.
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Final Fantasy Origins: $12
Even though Final Fantasy I & II have been remade a number of times on portable devices, Final Fantasy Origins is the only console remake of the original duo so far.
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Ape Escape: $10
Ape Escape is arguably one of PlayStation’s most original, innovative, and engaging platform titles on PlayStation. The game uses only the analog controllers, and enables gamers to use them in ways that have never been done on a system before. All that and the game if filled with monkeys. It doesn’t get any better than that!
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Resident Evil 2: $12
The peak of the survival horror franchise during the Playstation era. It’s also one of cheapest versions of the game (second to the N64 port) as the Dreamcast and Gamecube version command quite a premium.
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Front Mission 3: $14
Is Final Fantasy Tactics too expensive for your taste? Do you want a mech-filled alternative? Front Mission 3 is another wonderful tactical RPG from Squaresoft that doesn’t quite get the recognition that FF Tactics does. Take advantage of this by scooping it up for a lower price.
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Other Cheap Favorites
Metal Slug X: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Colony Wars: Vengeance: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Bust-A-Move: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Metal Gear Solid VR Missions: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Resident Evil: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tony Hawk 3: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
Driver 2: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Soul Blade: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Crash Bandicoot Warped: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Spyro the Dragon: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Medal of Honor/Medal of Honor Underground: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
X-Men: Mutant Academy 2: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tempest X3: An Inter-Galactic Battle Zone: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tomb Raider: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
My Starter Picks For $50 Budget
If I only had $50 to spend on starting out a Playstation collection, here would be my top picks (in order of priority):
- Metal Gear Solid: $7
- Final Fantasy VIII: $8
- Street Fighter Alpha 3: $9
- Wipeout 3: $7
- Um Jammer Lammy: $5
- Syphon Filter: $7
- Rayman: $5
- Total: $48