When the PlayStation Classic was announced in September, the mini-retro box had plenty of details confirmed, including a December 3 release date and a $ 99.99 price. But its full 20-game list was missing, which changes today with an unveiling of what will likely be the make-or-break factor for potential buyers.
In the United States, the PlayStation Classic will ship with the following games. (An asterisk means the game was previously announced during the September unveil.)
- Battle Arena Toshinden
- Cool Boarders 2
- Destruction Derby
- Final Fantasy VII *
- Grand Theft Auto
- Intelligent Qube
- Jumping Flash! *
- Metal Gear Solid
- Mr. Driller
- Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
- Resident Evil (Director’s Cut)
- Revelations: Persona
- Ridge Racer Type 4 *
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- Syphon Filter
- Tekken 3 *
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
- Twisted Metal
- Wild Arms *
The list includes a few glaring omissions for PlayStation faithful. The biggest crater in the list is arguably thanks to publisher Activision, whose PlayStation-defining series Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater all missed the cut. (Sony originally published Crash and Spyro games before those series’ rights were acquired by Activision.) EA is nowhere to be found, as well, though its roster of popular sports games would likely be a rights quagmire to bring back in a retro collection like this.
Additionally, Sony has left two of the PlayStation’s defining racing series off the roster: WipEout and Gran Turismo (which each had two PS1 entries). Standing in their stead is Cool Boarders 2 (which is the only ’90s “extreme sports” game on offer; sorry, Jet Moto fans). And while Square Enix has shown up with the previously announced Final Fantasy VII, the publisher apparently didn’t cough up any of the best-selling original Tomb Raider games—or any of its other hugely popular ’90s RPGs.
That’s different in Japan, where Squeenix RPGs Parasite Eve and SaGa Frontier will reach that nation’s version of the console. Japan’s PlayStation Classic will also ship with two Arc the Lad RPGs.
We do see a decent number of bonafide PS1 classics on the final USA version, particularly the original Metal Gear Solid, which could have been locked up in a Konami-Kojima rights nightmare, and the first Persona RPG, which could prove quite interesting to newer fans of that long-running series. And the system includes a fair number of solid two-player games, which emphasizes the fact that the PS Classic ships with two controllers. (Though, to that point, Battle Arena Toshinden should be nowhere near this console; while the game’s 3D visuals impressed during the console’s launch period, Tekken‘s graphics and combat quickly eclipsed it, and its sequels drove that point home.)
As we pointed out in September, an FAQ at the console’s Japanese site claims there will be no official way to download updates to this console, so what you see is likely what you’ll get when the system launches in December. Whether it proves to be an easily exploitable (and thus dubiously expandable) living-room box, like its miniature NES and Super NES rivals, remains to be seen.