Each and every week, if you pop into N4G, you’re bound at some point to come across some article rumoring the return of backwards compatibility to the PS3. Discounting the fact that this would be a huge kick in the balls to anyone who purchased a PS3 after Sony cut PS2 BC, it should be remembered that to its credit, the PS3 can still play a ton of old games. Indeedily, if you’re a fan of the PS1 generation and aren’t taken aback by the sometimes primitive controls and graphics, there are plenty of cheap , old games that are compatible with the PS3 and by extension, the PSP. This week, the Bargain Bin is going to take a look at a few of the better ones and hopefully lend a little direction toward the best of the 32-bit era
Resident Evil 2
Used – $22.00 (Note: Used Amazon.com prices are subject to change)
Resident Evil 5 just came out, but if you ask me it just doesn’t get any better than this. Combining a great atmosphere, great story and all the tank controls you could ever want, Resident Evil 2 is, in not just my opinion, the peak of the series. The game follows Leon Kennedy — before the steroids — and Claire Redfield as they attempt to escape the zombified hell that is Raccoon City following a disastrous T-Virus outbreak. The game is completely linear, but nonetheless offers some nice replay value with multiple versions of the story to play through. If you’re looking for some classic gaming that actually earns the name survival horror, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Fear Effect/Fear Effect 2
Used – $4.54/$12.00 (Note: Used Amazon.com prices are subject to change)
A sadly forgotten entry into the 32 bit era, the Fear Effect games were ambitious cinematic adventures combining Resident Evil style gameplay with a futuristic anime aesthetic. The graphics in some places are a bit dated, but after purchasing these games recently I was impressed to find that in some places they were still relatively nice-looking. Fear Effect follows a group of mercenaries, namely Hana, as they try to ransom off a girl to her wealthy father. Fear Effect 2 is a prequel to the first game and follows Hana and her “friend” Rain as they pursue an equally lucrative mission. In many ways these games were ahead of their time. Both feature mature themes and storylines, though one can’t be surprised as the PlayStation helped to bring mature gaming to the forefront of the industry. I might have to say mature with a bit of asterisk though; the game features a lot of violence, but the blatant sexuality of the games is more juvenile than anything else. The game was obviously trying to give a few teenagers their jollies. That said, the Fear Effect games are well worth the investment.
Final Fantasy VIII/IX
Used – $9.99/$9.87 (Note: Used Amazon.com prices are subject to change)
I know, how can I not include Final Fantasy VII here? Well, this is the Bargain Bin and if you’ve looked at a copy of FFVII on Amazon lately, you might note that they’re running between sixty and a hundred bucks apiece. Don’t blame me, it’s the fanboys’ faults. Speaking of the fanboys, don’t tell them I said this, but compared to VIII and IX, VII isn’t as good anyways. Yes sir, if you’re looking for a good deal and have a machine that can play either one of these puppies, well, I can’t think of a better way to spend at least forty hours of your time. Honestly you could invest dozens of hours into both of these games and still not finish them. The real test I suppose is how you feel about turn-based story-driven RPGs. Personally, I love them, and if you have a PS3 I can’t think of any reason not to buy either, or more likely, both of these excellent titles.
Tenchu: Stealth Assassins
Used – $0.10 (Note: Used Amazon.com prices are subject to change)
Still considered by many fans of the series to be the best of the bunch, Tenchu: Stealth Assassins is one of the first games in the stealth action genre. The player plays one of two ninjas, a guy or girl, in 16th century Japan. Tasked with a series of assassination missions, you can generally proceed through the missions as you like, slaying people, or sneaking through the missions as a ninja would in real life — you didn’t really think they were all like Ryu Hayabusa did you — and taking your opponents by surprise. The game does reward you more for stealth, but it doesn’t make it any less fun to butcher people with a sword. It is old, so the graphics are dated and the camera isn’t the best, but many still consider this a top tier game and for the price it can’t be beaten.