The game that did more than any other to sell the PlayStation in the UK during its first years, Wipeout established a synergy between game and club cultures with a blend of hypnotic, high-speed visuals and dance music beats from the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Leftfield. The hip factor helped hide the fact that the gameplay - clearly influenced by F-Zero and EA's Powerdrome - was rather tricky and unforgiving. You can download Wipeout for PSP on the PSN store, but the PSP sequels Wipeout Pulse and Wipeout Pure are among the best games on Sony's handheld. A downloadable PS3 sequel, Wipeout HD, is expected on the PSN store within the next few months.
Each iteration of the Tekken series was lapped up by the lad culture that adopted the PlayStation as its own, but Tekken 3 was the best Tekken available until the launch of Tekken 5 in 2005. The third instalment refined the fighting system, adding a sidestep function and reducing the effects of knock-downs and jump attacks. More importantly, it enhanced the already impressive graphics and added a vast range of popular new characters. Tekken 3 is available as a bonus extra in the PS2 version of Tekken 5, while a download version for PSP is expected to appear on the PSN store in the near future.
Final Fantasy VII
Another landmark game, Final Fantasy VII turned the Japanese RPG from a mostly Eastern phenomenon into a Western obsession. Its mix of stunning CGI cut-scenes and a truly epic story captivated people who would never have touched a more conventional Fantasy RPG, and the game will go down in gaming history for having one of the most inspired villains - the sinister, silver-maned Sephiroth - and arguably the most famous fatality of any game ever. Despite constant fan pressure Square has never remade or updated the game for any other hardware platform barring a flawed PC port made in 1998. However, it has inspired a series of off-shoot games, including an FPS/RPG hybrid, Dirge of Cerberus on the PS2, and an upcoming PSP RPG, Crisis Core.
Sony PlayStation Games