One of the earliest marketing slogans for Sony’s first video game console was “Don’t underestimate the power of PlayStation.” It’s now 24 years later and it’s the power of nostalgia that can’t be undervalued, particularly when you first turn on the PlayStation Classic and are instantly teleported back more than two decades by the iconic Sony Computer Entertainment splash screen and sweeping synth sound. Unfortunately, this nostalgic jolt doesn’t last past scrolling through the short menu of just 20 included games, as this adorable miniature version of the most popular gaming console of the ‘90s lacks too many big names to truly live up to the ‘Classic’ label.
That’s not to say there aren’t some heavy hitters in the 20 games included on the PlayStation Classic roster, and certainly such a short list could never be absolutely definitive when culled down from the thousands of games that were released over the system’s six-year lifespan. But a lineup of ‘classic’ PlayStation games without a Gran Turismo, Tomb Raider, Wipeout, or Crash Bandicoot, to name a few of the most glaring omissions, makes for a compilation that feels decidedly incomplete and not really reflective of the system at its best, particularly at its relatively high price point ($99.99USD/£89.99GBP/$149.95AUD). It’s basically the gaming equivalent of getting front row seats at a Guns ‘n’ Roses concert and having the band not play anything off Appetite for Destruction.