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10 Worldwide Studios Creators Name Their Favorite PlayStation Game of All Time

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As we wind down our week of #25YearsOfPlay celebrations, we wanted to leave you with a special treat. We reached out to a few of the biggest names across SIE’s Worldwide Studios to ask a simple question: “What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?”

Read on to get a peek inside the mind of creators from Santa Monica Studio, Sucker Punch, Guerrilla Games, and more — even the new head of WWS, Hermen Hulst, spared a moment to share his pick!

Now that we’ve gotten answers from these 10 creators, it’s your turn: after you’ve read through these selections, hit the comments and tell us: What’s your favorite PlayStation game of all time?

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Cory Barlog
Creative Director, Santa Monica Studio
No single game that appeared on PlayStation hardware over the years has more solidly formed the foundation of how I make games more than Koji Igarashi’s seminal platforming action/adventure RPG mashup – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

The tone, world building, mechanics, pacing and level design are absolutely masterful. This game is so timeless that I find myself replaying this game almost yearly and it is STILL compelling!

Honorable Mentions
The Last of Us
Metal Gear Solid

Shadow of the Colossus

Jason Connell
Creative Director, Sucker Punch
Shadow of the Colossus is such a classic. It became an instant favorite the moment I played it. The color, light, atmosphere, and music contribute to a mysterious and eerie mood that’s so somber, yet so beautiful. The mechanics were fresh at the time and are still timeless, and I especially love the way you guide the light with your sword in order to explore. So awesome.

The game goes to great lengths to deliver a cinematic experience that has always stuck with me. The horse-riding animations and the sheer scale of the Colossi all felt so unique and ahead of their time.

To me, Shadow of the Colossus is a masterwork that has provided creative fuel for me throughout my entire career as a game maker.

Honorable Mentions
Bloodborne
Final Fantasy 7

Metal Gear Solid

Nicolas Doucet
Creative Director & Producer, Japan Studio (Team Asobi)
With Metal Gear Solid, it felt like games suddenly took a massive leap forward. Halfway between realism and pure fantasy, it’s a game that totally sucked me in with its stealth action.

MGS’s gameplay was innovative at the time and I loved the many ways it surprised players. It also carried a deeper message that keeps us talking about it years on. MGS V may be the best of the series, but this one is the most iconic.

Honorable Mentions
Ridge Racer
Resident Evil

God of War (2018)

Hermen Hulst
Head of Worldwide Studios, Sony Interactive Entertainment
So tough this, like having to pick a favorite child. Alright, I’m going to go with God of War. What a beautifully woven story that was — so immersive with the continuous camera, focusing on Kratos’ relationship with his young son Atreus. As the father of a 14 year old when it came out, this story was incredibly recognizable. Atreus finally throwing it all back at Kratos in the latter’s dream sequence – ‘I just wish he was better.’ Creative director Barlog had me there.

Reboots can be risky, but Santa Monica Studio succeeded even in making Kratos a likeable character.

I loved God of War’s Norse mythology-inspired world so much, I made a trip to Jotumheim recently.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Bryan Intihar
Creative Director, Insomniac Games
I went back and forth between choosing MGS1 or MGS3, but at the end of the day I had to choose the latter. I absolutely loved the decision to take the series back in time to the 1960s and its shift to a more natural setting, as well as a greater emphasis on surviving the wild. Oh, and that showdown with the ripely-aged sniper The End—I don’t think I’ve ever been more stressed out during a boss fight!

But it’s the larger-than-life characters that has always kept me coming back to this historic franchise, and Snake Eater has some of the absolute best. From the mad Russian Colonel Volgin to the brash (and now much younger) Ocelot, their unique backstories and motivations were only matched by their memorable performances. Yet, whenever I look back at Snake Eater, it’s The Boss who I will never forget. Snake’s mentor is the very definition of being the “hero of her own story.” And if learning why she was doing all of this wasn’t gut-wrenching enough, having to actually pull the trigger to end her life (or the cinematic wouldn’t end) did the trick. For me, that was an all-time gaming moment.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
God of War (2018)

Resident Evil series
(Resident Evil 2 if I have to choose!)

Siobhan Reddy
Studio Director, Media Molecule
I grew up in the era of “strange things happening” stories – the Bermuda triangle and UFOs were big features. I loved choose your own adventure stories, ghost stories, mysteries, and scary fairy tales. These things all terrified me but I loved them. It’s possibly no surprise then that I love horror and the idea that the unexpected can happen and totally change everything around us.

In real life, Resident Evil would be really scary. In a video game, it allowed us to suspend belief and just be in that world and help save it. I loved that I felt like I was in some kind of crazy X-Files episode but I was badass with my zombie killing and then when I was able to be nifty with my crafting potions. It changed my perspective of what games could do, and I could see before me that they would join films, theatre and literature as mediums to express a wide range of experiences, emotions and motivations.

This series is the reason I make video games, and it has inspired so many other creators. I have loved seeing the horror genre develop in Dreams. Long may the enjoyment of exploring “strange things happening” continue!

Honorable Mentions
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddyssey
Dark Souls 3

Dominic Robilliard
Creative Director, Pixelopus
Ico is such a memorable game for me, not just because of how beautiful the world, audio and narrative are but because it was the first time an actual gameplay mechanic had affected me emotionally. This story about a young boy trying to save someone is underwritten by a compelling and innovative gameplay ability – holding someone by the hand to guide them and solve puzzles together. The resonance of this game is pinned together by it and makes it so coherent in a truly player-driven way.

The experience of playing the game has stuck with me as a ‘feeling’ ever since I finished it for the first time. All of Team Ico’s games have a similarly powerful and memorable emotional quality to their gameplay and worlds, (all of which I love!) but Ico remains my favorite. It absolutely blew me away when I first played it, and expanded my horizons for what games can achieve as a medium.

Honorable Mentions
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

The Last of Us Remastered

Game Director, Bend Studio
A case of gameplay and narrative working together in perfect harmony.

Naughty Dog’s brave design shattered conventional power fantasies by building mechanics around each character’s physical and developmental limitations, which led to highly immersive and relatable encounters. In the final fight through the hospital corridors, as I cut through waves of Firefly soldiers, my mind raced with grief about Ellie’s fate to the point I engaged in rapid-fire emotional bargaining trying to rationalize an outcome I could live with if she were to die.

In Left Behind, I played as Ellie on a fateful night with her best friend in an abandoned mall and peeled back layers of their relationship through creative gameplay like taking pictures in a photo booth, trying on Halloween masks, and a playful water gun battle. I felt first-hand what it’s like for someone born into a bleak and dangerous world to yearn for universal human desires like freedom, idealism, and love.

I’ve never inhabited any character’s mind and feelings so fully in another game, but Naughty Dog accomplished this feat twice in one package, and that’s why The Last of Us is my favorite PlayStation game of all time.

Honorable Mentions
Red Dead Redemption
Syphon Filter 2

Angie Smets
Studio Director & Executive Producer, Guerrilla
A game that moved me tremendously, and has always stuck with me is Journey. It is visually stunning with impeccable sound design, and takes you to a unique and mysterious world while creating emotional connections to its characters and events. It beautifully combines subtle game design and storytelling into a deeply meaningful experience.

A profound classic.

Honorable Mentions
Shadow of the Colossus
The Last of Us

Demon’s Souls

Stuart Whyte
Director of VR Product Development, SIE London Studio
Demon’s Souls, at least in the UK, was a sleeper hit for the longest time. I remember getting my hands on a US copy and loading it up with very little awareness of the challenges ahead… From the opening section through to the end game Demon’s Souls was a breath of fresh air – an original action RPG with no safety net – no hidden walls to stop you falling off cliffs, no restrictions on being able to accidentally murder a key NPC with a slip of a controller press, and no ability to even pause the game!

Each combat encounter was a battle of wits, every trap avoided was a near miss – the experience was stressful but highly unique. The multiplayer was truly pioneering – completely integrated into the single-player experience, black phantom invading and that boss fight, the Old Monk, where you had to battle another player to progress – so original even now.

This was the spiritual prequel to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was, and still is, a masterpiece.

Honorable Mentions
Final Fantasy VII
The Last of Us

What a lineup! Our thanks to everyone who participated in this story, and to you for reading it.

Finally, thank you for your support over the past quarter-century. In the same way that a console is only as good as the games you can play on it, PlayStation would be nothing without its fans. Happy 25th, everyone.

About The Author

Dimitrije Stankov

The PC games fanatic. Got lost in Robin Hood: The Legend Of Sherwood at the age of 4, since then no one ever saw or heard anything about this person, some say he got stuck in deep forest swamps. True story bro!

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