With 2015 being the 20th Anniversary of the release of the first PlayStation console, we wondered which series of games have been present across all four of Sony’s home entertainment systems. Some of them may surprise you, and others that we’re accustomed to seeing year after year weren’t always present either. Before we reveal which franchises our extensive research has unearthed, how many can you think of? Let’s find out if you’re right!
Currently just the one game in the shooter category which will raise a few eyebrows and that’s Rainbow Six. Medal of Honour will join the category next year with the release of Rising Sun in 2016, the first in the series released on the PS1 back in 1999. Rainbow Six has only just made the list too, with Siege being released in December following on from the popular Vegas series on PS3 and Lockdown and Rainbow Six 3 on PS2. The Wolfenstein series which started on PC only joined the PlayStation family on PS2 in 2003 and though it’s been released on both the PS3 and the PS4, was not present on the first console.
No doubt Call of Duty sprung to mind here since we see some version of the shooter churned out every year but the first version of the game was also released on PC and didn’t hit PlayStation until Call of Duty: Finest Hour on PS2. The original was released on the PSN in 2009, so it did make an appearance but through all 15 titles none of them were released on Sony’s original console. It has, however, appeared on every one since including both the PS Portable and the PS Vita.
It’s no suprise that Fifa makes the list of recurring sports games with Fifa International Soccer finding its way on PS1 in 1993, the series took a break in ’94 before being released every single year since. There were also several spin-offs in the form of Fifa Street, Fifa World Cup and UEFA Euro games for the international tournaments since 2000, though 2012 was simply an expansion to Fifa 12 and not a standalone game.
On the other side of the coin is Pro Evolution Soccer from Konami, originally known as Winning Eleven, that graced us with its presence in 2001 and each consecutive year since as Fifa’s only rival. Unlike Fifa, Pro Evo stayed straight and true with no spin-off titles and though each year seems to differ considerably from the last, for better or worse, the series still boasts a very loyal fan base.
Other sports games that EA like to spit out every year include Madden, NHL and PGA Tour which have been present through the long history of PlayStation. These titles are more popular with our American brethren whereas football, or soccer, is the most popular sport in the world with an estimated 3.5 billion fans, which is why Fifa continues to be the most popular sports title in the world of gaming.
A little further away from the traditional sports games is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, which recently made a comeback and now ticks off each PlayStation console with Tony Hawk’s 5. First appearing in 1999, there are actually ten games in the series with Underground 1 & 2, American Wasteland, Project 8 and Proving Ground between the forth and fifth titled games. There have also been several remakes and spin-offs such as Downhill Jam, Motion and Shred as well as Ride, which introduced a USB skateboard to try and immerse players more in the game.
The WWE games have also been a constant. Starting with Smackdown! in 2000 the series has had many name changes from the aforementioned Smackdown! to Smackdown vs Raw to simply WWE and now WWE 2K. At its core though, they’re generally the same game and classed as the same series which, like the majority of sports titles, is released year on year.
Mortal Kombat was around before the PlayStation was even a concept at Sony HQ. Originating in arcades in 1992, the supernatural fighter was first released on PlayStation in 1996 in the form of Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Trilogy featured similar gameplay to the arcade version of Mortal Kombat III but featured characters and stages from the previous games in the franchise, allowing them to be accessed by a new era of gamers.
Arguably, Pro Evo is to Fifa as Mortal Kombat is to Street Fighter. The latter has been around since 1987 and was one of ten launch titles for the PS1. As the Mortal Kombat fighters took on some DC Super Heroes in a one-off game, the Street Fighter combatants have been taking on Marvel Super Heroes since 1999 on PlayStation, following their first battles with the X-Men in 1998. Though this is another ‘soon to be inducted’ franchise as we’ve so far had Ultimate Street Fighter Collection on PS2, PS3 saw Street Fighter IV and the fifth game of the series will be released on PS4 on 16th February 2016.
Fighting games were very popular at arcades before home consoles really took off. Another fighter that came a bit later than those previously mentioned, was Tekken. First released in late 1994 it quickly jumped to consoles and found itself on PS1 in 1995. There haven’t been nearly as many Tekken games released as Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter titles but it’s still managed to find itself on all four of Sony’s beloved gaming machines, with the Tekken Trilogy on PS1, 4 & 5 on PS2 and 6 on PS3. Tekken 7 was announced for release solely in Japanese Arcades but an announcement made in October 2015 stated it will be coming to PS4 and is also rumoured to support VR. It’s the 10th game of the series and with the tagline “The Final Battle” could it be the final release for the franchise?
Beat ’em Up / Hack & Slash
Just the one in this category so far that comes in the form of Dynasty Warriors, though it could also fall into the fighting category. Warriors first hit shelves in late 1997 as a one-on-one fighter like those listed above but in 2000 came to PlayStation 2 with a more open hack and slash approach, which is where the series stayed. The third, forth and fifth installments followed until 2008 when the series moved to PS3 where 6, 7 and 8 found their home.
The reason Dynasty Warriors made the list is due to “Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends Complete Edition” being released on PS4. It isn’t a totally new game to the series but does add several new features to the eighth installment including a new difficulty, weapons, attacks and an increased level cap. Whether that’s enough to warrant it as a PlayStation faithful we’ll let you decide.
There are perhaps a few suprises in this list, some we as gamers may have expected to see but didn’t, Devil May Cry feels like it’s been around for a long time but was first released on the PlayStation 2, similar to God of War, both of which have been released on each console since. Others like Medal of Honour may be suprising given how the market is flooded with shooters like Call of Duty it’s easy to overlook those we don’t see every year. Call of Duty itself feels like it’s been around forever but again only began life on PS2 and building to what we know it to be today.
So how many in those categories did you manage to guess correctly? Check back soon for Part 2 where we’ll explore other genres including Racing and Action Adventure Titles. How long has Worms been around? Or Need for Speed? If you think we’ve missed any from this list then why not shout it out in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to add it.