In this article, we’re going to find out the best Japanese PS1 games that never made it to the US and the rest of the world. Best believe it there are tons of good PS1 games that were only released in Japan. After doing a little research, I realized there are many titles that appeared on PS1, which I render unplayable if one does not understand Japanese. As a result, I came out with the list below featuring the best Japanese PS1 games.
This role-playing game features fully polygonal stages and characters. It is widely known for its surreal imagery and was released back in 2001. Also, it has 3D graphics integrated in the game. There are 3 main nations in Volfoss that the player is required to conquer. The player is in command of the Silver Fang which is a mercenary unit attempting to take power. The 3 nations are Ikuiape, Asdenia and Caldea. You can either choose to become a noble player or an evil player; whichever option suits you best. The game has a small cult following and has some parts considered inappropriate for younger audiences. There’s no remastered North American release of the game.
Iru! or simply ‘Something’s here’ translated in English was released in 1998. This first-person exploration game has a horror/survival genre. The game begins at a given high school that has recently started having mysterious disappearances. Contemporary gamers will find it very difficult to play this game because of the clunky controls that the original PS had. Also, the blocky 3D graphics do not make the game any better. However, there’s a game called ‘White Day’ which falls under PS4 games that has almost the same storyline as Iru! that curious players can play. The game has scary moments that will steel your nerves.
LSD: Dream Emulator
The best description for this game’s aesthetic is surreal. This is because the exploration game is experimental in nature and has a procedurally generated gameplay. LSD: Dream Emulator was released in 1998. Unlike mainstream games, this game lacks any real objective. The game is set to emulate the REM stage of sleep, the stage where individuals begin dreaming. Players that accidentally touch special objects or the wall are transported to much frightening dimensions. This kind of weird storyline has made the game acquire some cult following by a fraction of players.
Yuuyami Doori Tankentai
This Japanese horror title was released in 1999 for the original Playstation. The game features a group of teens that go around their neighbourhood at night investigating local urban legends. Thanks to the amazing visual elements and interesting mechanics, the game gained a lot of popularity among players. As a matter of fact, it is one of the best Japanese PS1 games. The game’s high commercial value can justify this. Due to its rarity, the game’s original copy goes for up to $800 in fanmade ports online. However, there’s no remastered North American release of the game, and I don’t think there will ever be one.
Weltorv Estleia is a completely 3D role-playing game produced by Hudson. It is a fantasy game with a medieval setting and was released in 1999 for the Japan audience. The player begins the game by creating a fictional male or female character that will explore the world for the rest of the game. Also, the player gets to choose the physical appearance, personality and intellect of the character. It’s upon you to decide the roles you’ll be playing in the game, either become a villainous character or a legend. There are several quests to be completed, and companions are also provided.
Shachou Eiyuuden: The Eagle Shooting Heroes
Released in 2000, this game is based on a Chinese novel called Legend of Condor Heroes. The surprising bit about this game is that it is entirely produced in Chinese. The characters are in 3D, and the gameplay progresses in a stage by stage manner. The storyline is about 2 former friends whose sons become bitter rivals. The game is playable to contemporary players with little knowledge of Chinese or Japanese.
Velldeselba Senki: Tsubasa no Kunsho
This is a 2D role-playing game released in Japan in 1997. It mainly focuses on 3D aerial combat engaging targets in real-time. You’re provided with a variety of weaponry, but the ammunition is limited. Also, provided are ships that players can shift between targets. The ships parts are upgradable to improve on the flight control and aiming. You’re required to survive whilst following your commander’s orders.
In this game, the player must find ways to survive in the hostile Eldora World. Another critical role played by the player is trying to find out what disrupted the balance between two worlds. Eldergate is a role-playing game that has random battles and randomized items appearance. There are eight chosen elemental spirits that the power of the characters rely on. The elements can be further forged to bring about additional skills for warriors and spell-casting ability for magic users.
Ningyo no Rakuin (Mark of the Mermaid)
This tactical survival RPG is one of the best Japanese PS1 games. Also, it is one of the easy to play games by contemporary players. The game centres on a high school couple Keisuke and Mizuki who had survived a plane crash in an unchartered Island. This Island is dominated by a pagan cult that conducts human sacrifice and ritualistic disfigurement. The role of the player is to find Mizuki who has been abducted by the cultists.
London Seirei Tantei-da
This adventure game was released in Japan in 1999. The game’s setting is in the 19th century just after the invention of the steam engine. Players are tasked with the role of discovering where monsters are emerging from since the steam engine invention. During this journey of discovery, you’re ought to meet and face several enemies that you have to defeat to progress. Interestingly, your armour is composed of different real-world items such as umbrellas, shovels, lace ribbons and bowlers. It is definitely one of those PS1 classic games that I would recommend to any player.