It’s official. Sony is shutting down the PS on the PS3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation Portable. As much as we wished it was a rumor, 2000+ digital-only games will leave PlayStation. While some of the titles will remain available on the Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC, a few games exist exclusively in a digital format across the consoles mentioned above.
The PS3 and PSP stores’ closure begins on July 2nd, 2021, and on August 27th, 2021, for the PS Vita. According to a VGC report, 630 digital-only Vita Games, around 730 digital-only PS3, digital-only PSP, 293 PlayStation Minis, 336 PS2 Classics, and approximately 260 PS1 Classics are bound to be lost forever. So much for video game preservation.
What many of us are wondering now is what games will disappear? Many sources are circulating incredibly extensive lists. Some go more in-depth than others. I don’t intend to go through them all, so here’s my Top 8 recommended games/series to download before they’re lost to history! I’ve peppered in a few I haven’t played because, well, it’s finally time to stop dragging my feet.
Games I haven’t played that will disappear
Alundra (PS 1 – 1997)
The success of The Legend of Zelda led to many clones over the years. I’ve heard that Alundra is one of the most successful. We play as Alundra, a young man with the ability to enter people’s dreams. These dreams act as the dungeons that Alundra explores. Rather than traversing empty maps and waiting for random encounters, enemies are on the field, and combat occurs in real-time.
It is an action RPG that is praised for its storyline, its characters, platforming and puzzling solving, and taking on more mature themes. If it genuinely dives into clinical depression, fate, and other dark narratives, I have to try this before it disappears. If we don’t download it, we can attempt to find a physical copy for $200. Minimum.
Vagrant Story (PS 1 – 2000)
Vagrant Story is another action roleplaying game (aRPG) that escaped me. By the time I heard about it, I was deep into the Final Fantasy series. I bided my time, especially when released on the PSN for the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita. Well, I’m running out of time.
Now, ‘being deep into the Final Fantasy series is an odd excuse. Why? Vagrant story takes place in the world of Ivalice. Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII, and Vagrant Story take place in Ivalice. It centers on Ashley Riot, a ‘Riskbreaker,’ who must travel to Lea Monde to investigate the link between a cult leader and a senior Valendian Parliament member.
It’s a different beast, I’ve heard, and does not involve the typical non-player character (NPC) interaction and no shops. I have to try an aRPG that can’t be compared to many outings around its time. I won’t be shelling out $50 – $100 for a physical disc any time soon.
Dino Crisis 1 (PS 1 – 1999)
“You haven’t played Dino Crisis?!”
I know, I know. Dino Crisis is Resident Evil with Dinosaurs, yet I haven’t played it once. Fans of the original games continue to ask for a remake, and it’s time that I discover what makes this game so great. That is… if I can adapt to the old-school movement mechanics. Capcom classifies Dino Crisis as “panic horror,” so strap yourselves in.
If you’re looking for a physical copy, expect to spend $50+.
Dissidia Duodecim Prologus: Final Fantasy (PSP – 2011)
Ah, the Dissidia franchise brings back memories. Years before the Final Fantasy brawler made its way onto the scene, Super Smash Bros. showed that a brand’s cast coming together could be magical. So, we began to ask for all sorts of similar games. I didn’t expect Square to listen and give us a game with Final Fantasy characters from their most recent universes.
I never played Prologus, however. It was a promotional tie-in prequel to Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy and starred Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII) and the Warrior of Light (Final Fantasy I). Of course, I don’t know what the story entailed, but purchasing Prologus is the only way to receive Aerith as an assist character in the full Dissidia 012.
What am I doing? I need Aerith!
Onto the titles I HAVE played
Bloody Roar (PS 1 – 1997)
Some people played Tekken while others played Bloody Roar. I was on team BR! Something was exciting about a fighting game that allowed us to turn into devastating creatures in the middle of battle. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a new Bloody Roar title since Bloody Roar 4, which Hudson Soft/Eighting developed in 2003.
Physical copies run for $30 – $100.
Breath of Fire 4 (PS 1 – 2000)
Breath of Fire is a roleplaying game series that chronicles the adventures of Ryu, usually a young man tied to a clan of dragons. While his motivation changes throughout each title, Ryu is the protagonist in all but a mobile iteration. When it comes to the ‘best’ title, I struggle to choose between 3 and 4.
I’ve included Breath of Fire 4 in the list because of the unique situation between the protagonist and antagonist. I won’t give much away, but players shift perspectives between the two characters. Not only that, but the original soundtrack is one of the better OSTs I’ve heard in the PlayStation 1 era of video games. Download this to avoid chasing down a physical copy for $50 – $200.
RELATED POST: Link and Ryu are more alike than we ever imagined!
Xenogears (PS 1 – 1998)
There’s something about Xenogears that makes me want to return to it often, but I never finish it. Fans of the game will remember the infamous experience with disc 2. The first disc of Xenogears is packed full of stories for players to navigate through. Disc 2 is mostly exposition. Story details are summarized for you, showing just how incomplete the game is. It’s no lie to say the game appeared to be a massive undertaking, and it’s still well worth a playthrough.
Xenogears follows Fei Fong Wong and a group of freedom fighters facing slavery, war, and prejudice. 2D sprites fight in 3D environments. What made this game special was the characters could enter giant mechs called “Gears,” which became necessary as battles became more difficult.
The title wasn’t meant to be a one-off. In fact, Xenogears is the fifth episode in a series of six. Parts 1-4 and 6 never saw the light of day, although I believe that the Xenosaga trilogy of games are prequels. Soraya Saga, the scenario writer for Xenogears and Xenosaga, said, “I think all Xeno works are, so to speak, like rivers and lakes that once sprung from our mind, eventually became independent. They sure are kin, but not lineal.”
A physical copy of Xenogears costs $40 – $200.
Suikoden (PS 1 – 1995)
I’ve covered this roleplaying game series lightly in the past. Suikoden is a series that touches on politics, corruption, and revolution, all while hinging on mystical crystals known as the “True Runes.” There are 108 protagonists whom players can pick up in the game, making testing party composition so much fun. While every game takes place in the same world, they take place out of chronological order.
Suikoden is loosely based on the Chinese novel Shui Hu Zhuan. All 108 characters are loosely interpreted from the source material.
Look, a physical copy of Suikoden costs $200 to $500. It is one of the most fantastic RPGs from the PS1 era, in my opinion, and is well worth the download.
I’m one gamer of millions, so this list will look vastly different coming from someone else. With that in mind, let me know in the comments what you think are some Playstation classics that we must play!