Sony’s upgraded PS Plus plans include access to hundreds of PS1, PS2, and PSP games at the highest tier. That means there’s hope for some underrated gems in the lineup along with PlayStation’s biggest hits.
Square Enix is almost synonymous with turn-based RPGs, but it also made the best side-scrolling shooter of the PS1 era. Wide weapon variety and satisfying bosses elevated it to the peak of the genre.
Along with space shooters, Square Enix dabbled in off-the-wall fighting games in the ‘90s. Ehrgeiz doesn’t have the best combat ever, but its deep RPG Quest Mode and stable of Final Fantasy characters make it an oddity we’d love to revisit.
Crisis Core tells an action RPG side-story to FF7 from the perspective of Zack Fair. While the Compilation is being remade for mobile as Ever Crisis, getting to play the original games would be a treat for FF7 fans.
9. Nightmare Creatures
Like a proto-Bloodborne, Nightmare Creatures features fast-paced combat against mutated monsters in a gothic horror setting. The game split reviewers with its intense difficulty.
If you like the bizarre, irreverent NieR series, you have director Yoko Taro’s Drakengard to thank for it. Playing out through ground and air battles, the idiosyncratic RPG got a lot of attention for its great but convoluted story.
You could be forgiven for not knowing Xenoblade Chronicles is a spiritual successor to PS2’s Xenosaga. The sci-fi RPG epic was released in installments and canceled before its conclusion, but its philosophical story and streamlined battles still hold up.
6. Persona 3 Portable
Persona 3 was beloved on release, and the PSP-only Persona 3 Portable makes it even better. It adds a female protagonist, new difficulty options, an expanded soundtrack, and even combat changes inspired by Persona 4.
In an era of button-mashing fighters, Bushido Blade focused on ultra-precise combat that could end with a single blow. Its realistic sword-fighting paved the way for games like Ghost of Tsushima and Sekiro.
Team Ico’s Shadow of the Colossus is a critical darling, but the studio’s first masterpiece doesn’t get as much credit. Ico’s clever puzzles and the emotional bond between its main characters make it a cult classic.
2. Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
Although the series went downhill quickly, 1998’s Tenchu: Stealth Assassins is one of the best stealth games ever. FromSoftware’s Sekiro was even inspired by the series.
Vagrant Story is an experimental RPG that adds real-time elements and the ability to target specific body parts to its combat. Its fantastic story is even referenced in Final Fantasy XII and XIV.