The Best PS1 Strategy Games

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In 1995, Sony decided it was time to enter into the gaming market. After a deal to develop a disc system for the SNES with Nintendo fell through, Sony took their technology and developed their own gaming console that could compete with Nintendo and Sega. They entered the market with strong competition. The Sony PlayStation became the best-selling console of that generation, and has a giant library of memorable games that players still celebrate today. Without a doubt, Sony started off with a strong entry into the console race and has continued that momentum for the last 25 years.

Strategy games have always had their hardcore fans. Fun gameplay with a challenge. There are hundreds of ways to play with a large number of stats to tweak and build. The late 90’s and early 2000’s was an amazing time for strategy games with titles such as Warcraft and Command and Conquer which are still renowned today. The PlayStation was a great console for strategy games - Monster Rancher, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Harvest Moon are still held up as some of the best games for the console. The genre has had some of the best games of all and there are still plenty to come.

Monster Rancher

Nintendo had Pokémon, Sony had Monster Rancher. These games have been compared for a while, but Monster Rancher had some awesome features that have not really been seen since.

One of the coolest features in the game is allowing players to summon their monsters by inserting another disc into the console. Once the disc was inserted, the game will read the data on the disc which will then create a unique monster based upon this data. Once you have your monster, you are able to feed, train, and fight with it. Each monster has six stats that can be upgraded through mini-games which will boost how your monster’s fighting abilities.

If you are a fan of collecting cool monsters and pitting them against each other in fierce battle, then this is an awesome game to pick up.


Final Fantasy Tactics

1997’s Final Fantasy Tactics was a departure from the usual Final Fantasy game. Instead of fighting in turn-based combat portions in which you stay in one position, Tactics works similarly to the Fire Emblem games. You take turns moving your characters throughout a 3D, isometric battlefield with a specific number of tiles each character can move. Movement is based upon each character’s various stats and character class. Instead of randomly encountering enemies, combat is on predetermined locations.

If you are a fan of XCOM or Advance Wars, then this is a great game to try out.


Harvest Moon: Back to Nature

Similar to other Harvest Moon games, 1999’s iteration, Back to Nature, has you start with very few tools and extremely overgrown land. You progress by reviving this land which you inherited from your grandfather, and finally prove that you are the rightful heir to this arable plot of land.

Along with farming, players are able to build meaningful relationships with the townsfolk and further integrate yourself within the community. Some of these relationships can even turn into marriages after you reach a certain goal with this character.

Part of being a member of the town is participating in town activities, appeasing and befriending Harvest Sprites to further upgrade your farm, and finding secrets hidden around the area. This is a fantastic game for players looking for a more casual gaming experience.


Bomberman: Party Edition

Are you looking for a return to the original Bomberman fun? Bomberman: Party Edition is a return to what made the series a classic. The main goal; blow stuff up. Compete against your friends in the maze with some of the most explosive action the PlayStation has seen.

Up to five people can play on one console. No friends to blow up? That’s totally fine! Bomberman: Party Edition has an awesome story mode which pits you against AI in head-to-head Bomberman action. This is easily one of the best party games on the console and a must play for some friendly competition.


Saiyuki: Journey West

Saiyuki: Journey West is a tactical role-playing take on the classic Chinese tale, “Journey to the West”. Similar in gameplay to Final Fantasy Tactics, players must take Sanzo/Genjo to India to deliver a thunder staff and then back to their homeland, all while fighting fantastical enemies and making new friends along the way.

All of the characters you meet along the way will prove useful in combat with awesome were-abilities that allow them to transform into a beast and brutally take out opponents. Nothing can stand in your way as take your powerful party through this classic story. If you are looking for even more turn-based action on the PlayStation, then this is a great pickup.


Sheep

Sheep is the perfect mix of puzzle and strategy games. Aliens have devolved into sheep and need to be rounded up in order to be saved. Their ancestors enlist the help of Bo Peep and Adam Half Pint through subliminal mind control in order to round up all of these alien sheep.

Traverse six worlds herding sheep by solving puzzles and strategic planning to then load them up on UFO’s and send them back to their homeworld. There are four types of sheep to collect, each having their own characteristics to set them apart from each other which adds some new challenge to each level.

Team up with a friend and go on a sheep rounding frenzy as you complete mini-games and levels. The AI reflects the “dumbness” of these sheep which adds an extra level of challenge to each area. This a great casual game with a clear objective and plenty of personality.


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  • Updated March 19, 2020
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