I started the Cheapest Games series quite a while ago and I figured I should revise some of the posts to reflect some of the changing values and give more relevant recommendations. Hopefully, this revised list of PS1 games will help you start or build up your collection without having to spend much — I’ve even included some affordable “hidden gems” at the bottom if you need to round out your collection on the cheap (Prices listed are an average eBay price for US games, including shipping)
|Metal Gear Solid: $9
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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| 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 much. 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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| Wipeout XL/Wipeout 3: $5 each
If you are like me and prefer a futuristic arcade-style racer, 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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| Rayman: $7
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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|Crash Bandicoot 2 & 3: About $8 each
Crash Bandicoot was one of the first 3D platforming games that were worth playing. Sure, it wasn’t quite as smooth or expansive as the revolutionary Super Mario 64 (which came out just before Crash Bandicoot), but it was a leap above most of the rest of the competition – especially on the PlayStation. Crash 3 is considered by many to be the best of the entire series, as well as one of the greatest platformers of all time.
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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: $5 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: $5 each
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 $10 for the set).
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|Tony Hawk 3: $3
Before the Tony Hawk series plummeted into mediocrity, its first four installments broke new ground in a crowded market by offering unique gameplay, intuitive controls, and customization. The third installment greatly expanded the gameplay over the originals and allowed for greater replay value. Tony Hawk 4’s later levels are rather unpolished and glitch plagued, so the third installement is probably your best bet for the money. But when it comes down to it, all four of the PlayStation releases are technical achievements for the console and are worth playing today.
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|Metal Gear Solid VR Missions: $6
If you want an extra MGS fix in small bits, the VR Missions release is an excellent value. This disc will help you will help you build various skills throughout it’s 300 included missions. It’s not the full-bodied experience of a pure MGS game, but there’s some solid content here and for the price, you really can’t go wrong.
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|Ape Escape: $9
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 previously. All that and the game if filled with monkeys. It doesn’t get any better than that!
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|Bust-A-Move 2 or ’99: $6
I’m a sucker for solid puzzle games and it’s one genre that is never really hindered by aging techology. The Bust-A-Move (aka Puzzle Bobble) series is one of my personally favorites and the installements before the 4th are my favorites as they don’t yet have the rather confusing combo system. Part 2 and ’99 (otherwise known as part 3) are really the sweet spots in my book — especially for the price!
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|Gran Turismo 2: $4
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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|Spyro the Dragon: $9
While Crash Bandicoot would be the closest any character would come to being the PlayStation’s mascot, Spyro the Dragon was a close second. The Spyro the Dragon games are cartoonish 3D platformers that were quite popular with the younger crowd, but also had enough substance to keep established gamers entertained as well. And like Crash Bandicoot, the Spyro games were some of the few non-Nintendo platforming games that did well in 3D. It’s also worth noting that these three were the only three designed by Insomniac Games, and are often considered the best of the series.
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Other Cheap Favorites
Ridge Racer Type 4: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Mr Driller: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Colony Wars: Vengeance: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
Driver 2: $4 – eBay / Amazon.com
Soul Blade: $6 – eBay / Amazon.com
Medal of Honor/Medal of Honor Underground: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tomb Raider Series: $4 each – eBay / Amazon.com
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
Um Jammer Lammy: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
|Gundam Battle Assault 2: $9
It can be quite a challenge to find a solid 2D fighter on the PS1 that doesn’t have a more solid port on the Sega Saturn. However, the Gundam games on the Playstation are exclusives and are surprisingly solid fighters. In fact, you might actually have more fun with this mech fighter than some games that Capcom put out. Since this game isn’t super common and/or in demand, you can sometimes find a really good deal on a copy. Other times, sellers might be asking high prices for mint copies.
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|Tempest X3: $5
Don’t be thrown off too much by ther “X3” in the title. This is actually just a slightly enhanced Playstation port of Jeff Minter’s arcade remake, Tempest 2000 that debuted on the Atari Jaguar. If you enjoy old-school fixed shooting, this is quite a bargain.
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Personally, I didn’t find out about the MDK series until I picked up the second installment as one of my first Dreamcast games. Created by Earthworm Jim developed, Shiney Entertainment, this third-person shooter has solid combat, great puzzles, an impressive Tommt Tallarico soundtrack, and tons of personality. I think you’ll find the sequel to be more challenging, but it’s a solid game considering the price.
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|Trap Gunner: $9
If you want an action game that doesn’t follow the standard formula, check into Trap Gunner. You run the levels and set traps which are invisible to your opponent while duking it out with various attacks. It’s a refreshing blend of action, strategy, and puzzle gamplay. Unfortunately, it’s getting a bit harder to find for under $10 in good condition, especially since it’s not in abundant supply.
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|Tobal No 1: $8
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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Other Cheap Gems:
Omega Boost: $5 – eBay / Amazon.com
Looney Tunes: Sheep Raider: $9 – eBay / Amazon.com
No One Can Stop Mr Domino: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Speed Punks: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com
Tiny Tank: $8 – eBay / Amazon.com
Board Game Top Shop: $7 – eBay / Amazon.com