This is kind of a high concept article, but hear us out. The predominant genres being made right now are a seemingly endless supply of roguelikes, shooters, and competitive games. We are almost drowning in those three genres alone. The point is the game industry is filthy with copycats trying to earn that sweet dough whether they are earnest about their projects, or not.
With all of the clones out there we took a look back at ten PlayStation games with unique mechanics, or premises no one is touching or has touched in quite some time. There should be more! If that doesn’t make sense then read on to find out more.
10 Shadow of the Colossus
There are a couple of examples of games featuring nothing but bosses, but nothing on the scale of Shadow of the Colossus. However, there is an indie game coming soon called Praey for the Gods that is exactly this. Did it really take over a decade to copy this idea?
The Attack on Titan tie-in game for the anime could be argued to be a more action-heavy version of this concept but the point is there aren’t many examples out there and there should be.
9 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor could be said to be a combination of the Batman: Arkham games and Assassin’s Creed. The stealth and counter combat system are just two prime examples of this. However, what sets this and its sequel apart is the Nemesis System, which randomly generates opponents that keep score of the player’s moves.
When the game came out in 2014, it was assumed that that system would get poached by someone else. Well, developers proved us wrong because there are still no challengers five years later.
8 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Another stealth game that hasn’t been done before is Metal Gear Solid V. Technically its approach to an open world, where players could take on multiple missions in different territories, started with its predecessor, Peace Walker. However, that map was segmented whereas this game was like the true implementation of that idea.
There are tons of open-world games out there, but none of them focus on stealth as much as Metal Gear Solid V. For that matter what other games give players a puppy with an eye patch? The answer is none.
7 Parasite Eve
There have been a lot of games and even RPGs set in the real world, or an approximation of the real world. There has not, however, been that many set up as survival horror RPGs like this one.
Even Parasite Eve’s sequels couldn’t duplicate this novel idea and instead tried to buck the trend by leaning too heavily on other genres. For our money, this is the best in the series. If Square Enix isn’t willing to make another like it then hopefully someone else will take on the task.
6 Dead Space
The concept of survival horror, in general, is on the decline. There are plenty of horror games out there, but a lot of them don’t feature combat, or at least not much of it. Of the survival horror games still present, besides Resident Evil, how many are set in space?
This is what made Dead Space so great at the time, on top of its unique play ideas with gravity. Plus the navigation ping was such a good idea. Why haven’t more studios at least copied that?
5 Persona 3
Prior to Persona 3, the previous three entries in this series were pretty standard turned-based RPGs. It wasn’t until this game that Atlus decide to change the series by adding social elements.
Be a friend and a good student in the daylight and be a fierce warrior in the twilight. There actually have been a few copycats. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the latest example. It and others don’t integrate their social elements quite as much as Persona 3 though. Plus this game has the distinction of being set in the real world.
4 Ratchet and Clank
We know there are a lot of mascot platformers out there, but how many feature as much weaponry as Ratchet and Clank? For that matter how many of them have RPG elements? These two things are what make this series unique on top of having stellar scripts.
There have been weapon-based platformers out there like Super Mario Sunshine and Shadow the Hedgehog, but again nothing quite like this Lombax and robot combo.
3 Kingdom Hearts
Crossovers are not unheard of in games. There are actually a lot, but on that note, getting more specific, there aren’t many crossover RPGs on the scale of Kingdom Hearts. The most recent success was found with Mario + Rabbids, which is a good game with a combo no one saw coming.
As an X-Com clone, the game is pretty linear though. What two other properties should join forces? Many fans wish Star Wars and Marvel could join Kingdom Hearts, but what if they got their own crossover spinoff? What about DC for that matter?
2 Bushido Blade
What makes Bushido Blade so unique is not just that characters die in one hit. That mechanic hasn’t been repeated that much, but it hasn’t been absent either thanks to indie games like Nidhogg, Divekick, Samurai Gunn, and more.
The real killer combo that made this mix so well was the story. It wasn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it did offer more dialogue and cutscenes than typical fighting games on PS1 at the time.
1 Wild Arms
Red Dead Redemption II is the pinnacle of games set in the Old West. That isn’t saying much as this genre isn’t as prominent as it used to be. In fact, there was an even stranger game that combined the outlaw fantasy with RPGs. That series would be Wild Arms.
These were turn-based games with a Western vibe crossed with steampunk aesthetics. The best representation of this was the third game. There actually have been a couple of recent indie games like Hard West and West of Loathing. They are a nice step, but we would like more.