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10 Worldwide Studios creators name their favourite PlayStation game of all time

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10 Worldwide Studios creators name their favourite PlayStation game of all time

WWS Studios head Hermen Hulst, Santa Monica Studio's Cory Barlog, Guerrilla's Angie Smets and more pick from 25 years of classic titles

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 favourite 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 picks, hit the comments and tell us: What’s your favourite PlayStation game of all time?


Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Cory Barlog
Title: Creative Director
Studio: Santa Monica Studio

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

PlayStation
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 (PlayStation 3)
  • Metal Gear Solid (PlayStation)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Jason Connell
Title: Creative Director
Studio: Sucker Punch

Shadow of the Colossus

PlayStation 2
Shadow of the Colossus is such a classic. It became an instant favourite the moment I played it. The colour, 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 (PlayStation 4)
  • Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Nicolas Doucet
Title: Creative Direction / Producer
Studio: Japan Studio (Team Asobi)

Metal Gear Solid

PlayStation
With MGS, it felt like games suddenly took a massive leap forward. Half-way across realism and pure fantasy, it is a game that totally sucked me in with its stealth action. The gameplay was innovative at the time and I loved the way the game surprised the player in many ways. It also carried a deeper message that keep us talking about it years on. MGS V may be the best game of the series but this one is the most iconic.
Honorable Mentions:

  • Ridge Racer (PlayStation)
  • Resident Evil (PlayStation)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Hermen Hulst
Title: Head of Worldwide Studios
Studio: Sony Interactive Entertainment

God of War (2018)

PlayStation 4
So tough this, like having to pick a favourite 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 SMS succeeded even in making Kratos a likeable character.
I loved the Norse mythology-inspired world so much, I made a trip to Jotumheim recently.
Honorable Mentions:

  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PlayStation 3)
  • Rayman (PlayStation)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Bryan Intihar
Title: Creative Director
Studio: Insomniac Games

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

PlayStation 2
I went back and forth between MGS1 and 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, the 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 (PlayStation 3)
  • God of War (PlayStation 4)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Siobhan Reddy
Title: Studio Director
Studio: Media Molecule

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

PlayStation
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 game makers. 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 Oddysee (PlayStation)
  • Dark Souls III (PlayStation 4)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Dominic Robilliard
Title: Creative Director
Studio: Pixelopus

Ico

PlayStation 2
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 favourite. 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 (PlayStation 3)
  • Tearaway (PS Vita)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Jeff Ross
Title: Game Director
Studio: Bend Studio

The Last of Us Remastered

PlayStation 4
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 favourite PlayStation game of all time.
Honorable Mentions:

  • Red Dead Redemption (PlayStation 3)
  • Syphon Filter 2 (PlayStation)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Angie Smets
Title: Studio Director & Executive Producer
Studio: Guerrilla

Journey

PlayStation 3
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 (PlayStation 2)
  • The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

Worldwide Studios creators on PS4
Name: Stuart Whyte
Title: Director of VR Product Development
Studio: SIE London Studio

Demon’s Souls

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!
Every combat 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. It was the spiritual prequel to games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne. It was, and still is, a masterpiece.
Honorable Mentions:

  • Final Fantasy VII (PlayStation)
  • The Last of Us (PlayStation 3)

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.

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13 Comments

  • The Last Of Us. The story shook me like no video game did before, and to be honest after that no game quite did it to that extend. The game is also a blast to play with rewarding gameplay and diverse situations to adjust to and of course the beautiful environments! Destroyed beauty can be breathtaking if you let Naughty Dog design it, even the houses have their own story to tell, if you take the time.

    Honourable mentions:

    Beyond Good & Evil

    Resident Evil (all of them!)

  • Doesn’t anyone like something not in the “normal persons guide to the top 100 games” or not just stuff that their company made???

    I was expecting some interesting answers at least…

  • Wheres the ppl behind naughty dogs’ THE LAST OF US’?

  • Wheres NaughtyDog and the last of us ppls?

  • I wish more PS1 era games would get a new lease on life.

    I would love to have a modern day Alundra or a light, fun and cartoony game like Tomba.

  • Why does this looks like they were told to love…or else!

    • These articles are always like that. This time we’re obviously supposed to think TLoU is amazing.

      I like how none of them remembered to love a certain dull open world monster hunter ripoff with horrendous facial animations and little to no gameplay depth. Even the guy that made it. Weird how that game was supposed to be “the game of the generation” not so long ago.

    • @MiseryPrincess What game would that be?

    • The Last of Us was an amazing game though.

    • The Last of Us was not really an amazing “game” as the “game” bits were rather average at best.

      It’s pretty much just a simple cover shooter with next to no enemy variety, very basic mechanics and a few equally simple sneaking sections (basically just Uncharted without the fun, running bits or puzzles). Mostly you’re just walking and talking and watching cutscenes, not really playing a game.

      As for the forgotten game… it’s best everyone forgets it, it’s rather forgettable…

  • To me it’s sad to see nobody infatuated with the Yakuza series. Over a decade, eight games have celebrated the seedy underbelly of Tokyo’s nightlife, showing the players how one district can both stay the same and continue to change. With the same happening to the main character, who we witnessed growing into and then outgrowing his role. Despite the recent PC ports, this is a very Playstation experience.

    Listening to my PS2’s humming while it played through a 24-hour race event in Gran Turismo 4 in B-spec, and always having Persona 4 Golden ready to play on my Vita, would be my runners up.

  • Favourite game is hard to choose, but if I go with favourite series it’s easily Suikoden, love the five main games and the spinoff Tactics for PS1 and PS2, wish I could play them on the PS4. Ico should be available for PS4 too.

  • Way to many favourite PlayStation games over the years :P Hears to another 25 years of Amazing-ness ;)

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