5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest PSOne Games of AllTime

SotN's cornball intro might be the Monty Python and the Holy Grail of overquoted games, but that's partly because people keep coming back to it year after year. Though many of the subsequent Castlevanias used the same Metroid-like structure and ability progression, there's still nothing quite like sliding backwards through the castle as Alucard. By the end of the game you're an unstoppable powerhouse -- that is, just before the entire map flips upside down and your mind is blown out your ass.

 

4. Final Fantasy VIII

Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest PSOne Games of AllTime

The "least" of the proper PSOne Final Fantasy games is still one of the best games ever made. Square took a lot of chances with FFVIII, like the crazy magic draw system. It was a little bit more grounded than previous games, but that didn't mean you couldn't fight a giant mustachioed cactus. Cloud and crew were a tough act to follow, but Squall did an admirable job of picking up the slack. Still, we'll never forgive him for introducing us to the card game crack that is Triple Triad.

 

3. Final Fantasy IX

Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest PSOne Games of AllTime

After a few really heavy games, Final Fantasy IX took it upon itself to lighten up the the mood. Sure, the world is in peril and you and a scrappy bunch of rebels have to destroy the evil villain, but having a hero who isn't always doing his best Eeyore impression makes a world of difference. Even the battle system harkened back to the early days, back when fighters were fighters, thieves were thieves, and red mages were rightly ignored. It was the last of the "classic" Final Fantasy games, and no, we absolutely do not count anything you play on your phone.

 

2. Metal Gear Solid

Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest PSOne Games of AllTime

MGS touts itself as a Tactical Espionage Action game, but it was really so much more than stealth. There was the cinematic story, half crazy John Woo movie and half two-man radio play. You also had some insane puzzles, one of which required you to look for clues on the back of your physical game jewel case (Kojima's prank on renters, and later, anyone buying the game digitally). Still, there was a reason so many stealth imitators followed Snake -- choking out a whole room of dudes was just too fun.

 

1. Final Fantasy VII

Toplist Results: The 20 Greatest PSOne Games of AllTime

Don't give us that look. Everyone knew this was coming. Final Fantasy VII tops a lot of lists of games from every console, so it's only natural that it's on top of the PSOne. Look, we get that you're too cool to like everyone's favorite Final Fantasy game. That's fine. Nobody's making you try every game in the arcade. You don't have to spend days finding just the right strategy to fight the Ruby Weapon. We get it, chocobo breeding isn't everyone's thing. You go and play the hottest new releases. We'll be starting a new game for the 11th time. Maybe we'll finally go on that date with Barrett.