Sony’s original PlayStation is one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time. I love the system’s DualShock controller, evolutionary leaps forward in 3D gaming, and sleek CD format (compatibility with audio CDs was a nice bonus), which offered more memory than cartridges. Selling more than 100 million units, the PS1 changed the industry forever with such iconic releases as Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy VII, PaRappa the Rapper, and Twisted Metal.
Bidding Opens November 16 in the 2023 December 14 Power of PlayStation Video Games Showcase Auction
We have exemplary copies of these and other legendary titles in our December 14 Power of PlayStation Showcase Auction, but it’s time to shine the spotlight on some lesser-known games that deserve more attention. The following five titles are not only obscure but also hard to find in sealed condition, so we have no doubt that many PS1 fans out there need them to fill out their collections.
1. Barbie: Gotta Have Games – Wata 9.8 A+ Sealed, PS1 Vivendi Universal 2003 USA
With all the hoopla surrounding Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, it’s the perfect time to hop aboard the pink bandwagon, especially when you’ve got a chance to snag a beauty like this attractive, highly displayable PS1 release. It features eight different games, from DJ Booth to Bubble Machine to Fruit Fallout. Each can be played with Barbie or any of three of her friends. Are you “Kenough” for Barbie: Gotta Have Games? We think so, but only one lucky bidder will walk away with this lot.
2. Countdown Vampires – CGC 9.8 A+ Sealed, PS1 Bandai 1999 USA
If you like Resident Evil—and who doesn’t!?—check out Countdown Vampires, which plays a lot like the earlier games in the RE series. While it’s been labeled a clone of the survival horror classic, the game does have some key differences, such as a secondary dart gun weapon that can sedate enemies long enough for you to sprinkle “white water” on them, saving them in the process. This is our first time offering Countdown Vampires, and we can’t imagine getting a higher-graded copy any time soon, so creatures of the night as well as PS1 collectors should definitely stake out this lot.
3. Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors – Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Ridged Longbox, Early Production], PS1 Capcom 1996 USA
Darkstalkers was originally slated to be a Universal Monsters game, but no worries, the programmers came up with 10 creatures of their own, including unique takes on such archetypes as the vampire, werewolf, mummy, and even Frankenstein’s monster. There’s a Bigfoot character and a catwoman as well. The graphics are colorful and detailed, making for a very nice-looking game. The fighting action is similar to Capcom’s own Street Fighter II, but the game boasts some new moves, including Air Blocking, Crouch Walking, and Chain Combos. There are only four copies of this longbox variant on Wata’s June 2023 population report, meaning graded examples don’t show up for sale very often.
4. Gekioh: Shooting King – Wata 9.8 A Sealed, PS1 Natsume 2002 USA
The PlayStation is famous for bringing 3D gaming to the masses, but it has its share of 2D gems as well. One of the latter is Gekioh: Shooting King, a vertical shooter that gets intense to the point where some might call it a “bullet hell” game. It is an enhanced port of Sega’s Shienryu coin-op, but with a variety of quirky game modes, including Pocket, which imitates PocketStation graphics; Comical, which replaces standard sounds with laughter and applause; and Ancient, which has a decidedly retro vibe. There are only five copies of this game on Wata’s June 2023 population report, adding to its allure.
5. Monkey Magic – VGA 90 NM+/MT Sealed, PS1 Sunsoft 1999 USA
If you’ve only heard of some of the more popular PlayStation platformers, such as Crash Bandicoot and Rayman, might I suggest Monkey Magic? Beyond the likably alliterative title, the game features a nice mix of action and puzzles, and it has rock-solid controls and level design. Unlike the original Rayman, which is brutally difficult, Monkey Magic is magnificently manageable, thanks in part to copious extra lives. The game is based on the anime of the same name, which in turn was based on the Chinese novel, Journey to the West. This is just our third time offering the game, and there aren’t a whole lot of sealed copies floating around out there in the wild, so be advised.
What are some of your favorite hidden gems for the original PlayStation? Let us know in the comments!
Browse all the titles in the 2023 December 14 Power of PlayStation Video Games Showcase Auction