As we wind down our week of #25YearsOfPlay celebrations, we wanted to leave you with a special treat. We reached out to a few of the biggest names across SIE’s Worldwide Studios to ask a simple question: “What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?”
Read on to get a peek inside the mind of creators from Santa Monica Studio, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, and more — even the new head of WWS, Hermen Hulst, spared a moment to share his pick!
Now that we’ve gotten answers from these 10 creators, it’s your turn: after you’ve read through these selections, hit the comments and tell us: What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?
The tone, world building, mechanics, pacing and level design are absolutely masterful. This game is so timeless that I find myself replaying this game almost yearly and it is STILL compelling!
The game goes to great lengths to deliver a cinematic experience that has always stuck with me. The horse-riding animations and the sheer scale of the Colossi all felt so unique and ahead of their time.
To me, Shadow of the Colossus is a masterwork that has provided creative fuel for me throughout my entire career as a game maker.
MGS’s gameplay was innovative at the time and I loved the many ways it surprised players. It also carried a deeper message that keeps us talking about it years on. MGS V may be the best of the series, but this one is the most iconic.
Reboots can be risky, but Santa Monica Studio succeeded even in making Kratos a likeable character.
I loved God of War’s Norse mythology-inspired world so much, I made a trip to Jotumheim recently.
But it’s the larger-than-life characters that has always kept me coming back to this historic franchise, and Snake Eater has some of the absolute best. From the mad Russian Colonel Volgin to the brash (and now much younger) Ocelot, their unique backstories and motivations were only matched by their memorable performances. Yet, whenever I look back at Snake Eater, it’s The Boss who I will never forget. Snake’s mentor is the very definition of being the “hero of her own story.” And if learning why she was doing all of this wasn’t gut-wrenching enough, having to actually pull the trigger to end her life (or the cinematic wouldn’t end) did the trick. For me, that was an all-time gaming moment.
In real life, Resident Evil would be really scary. In a video game, it allowed us to suspend belief and just be in that world and help save it. I loved that I felt like I was in some kind of crazy X-Files episode but I was badass with my zombie killing and then when I was able to be nifty with my crafting potions. It changed my perspective of what games could do, and I could see before me that they would join films, theatre and literature as mediums to express a wide range of experiences, emotions and motivations.
This series is the reason I make video games, and it has inspired so many other creators. I have loved seeing the horror genre develop in Dreams. Long may the enjoyment of exploring “strange things happening” continue!
The experience of playing the game has stuck with me as a ‘feeling’ ever since I finished it for the first time. All of Team Ico’s games have a similarly powerful and memorable emotional quality to their gameplay and worlds, (all of which I love!) but Ico remains my favorite. It absolutely blew me away when I first played it, and expanded my horizons for what games can achieve as a medium.
Naughty Dog’s brave design shattered conventional power fantasies by building mechanics around each character’s physical and developmental limitations, which led to highly immersive and relatable encounters. In the final fight through the hospital corridors, as I cut through waves of Firefly soldiers, my mind raced with grief about Ellie’s fate to the point I engaged in rapid-fire emotional bargaining trying to rationalize an outcome I could live with if she were to die.
In Left Behind, I played as Ellie on a fateful night with her best friend in an abandoned mall and peeled back layers of their relationship through creative gameplay like taking pictures in a photo booth, trying on Halloween masks, and a playful water gun battle. I felt first-hand what it’s like for someone born into a bleak and dangerous world to yearn for universal human desires like freedom, idealism, and love.
I’ve never inhabited any character’s mind and feelings so fully in another game, but Naughty Dog accomplished this feat twice in one package, and that’s why The Last of Us is my favorite PlayStation game of all time.
A profound classic.
Each combat encounter was a battle of wits, every trap avoided was a near miss – the experience was stressful but highly unique. The multiplayer was truly pioneering – completely integrated into the single-player experience, black phantom invading and that boss fight, the Old Monk, where you had to battle another player to progress – so original even now.
This was the spiritual prequel to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was, and still is, a masterpiece.
What a lineup! Our thanks to everyone who participated in this story, and to you for reading it.
Finally, thank you for your support over the past quarter-century. In the same way that a console is only as good as the games you can play on it, PlayStation would be nothing without its fans. Happy 25th, everyone.