• The original PlayStation made a significant impact on the gaming market, with many popular games finding success on the platform.
  • Some PlayStation 1 games were notoriously difficult, requiring effort and skill to overcome challenging gameplay elements.
  • Games like Hi-Octane, Populous: The Beginning, Magic Carpet, and Soviet Strike posed considerable difficulty, but the satisfaction of conquering them was worth the effort.

The original PlayStation was a massive step for Sony, marking their first foray into the console gaming market. After being betrayed by Nintendo and rejected by Sega, Sony decided to step into the market on their own and made a resounding impact that continues to reverberate to this day. The original PlayStation was a thing of beauty, with many popular video games making a name for themselves on this platform and endearing themselves to gamers all over the world.


25 Genuinely Scary PlayStation 1 Games

While it may not have had the realism of today’s platforms, the PlayStation 1 had truly chilling and genuinely scary games.

Gaming in the 90s was fun, but many titles took pride in delivering a challenging experience that would force players to either get better at the game or give up. Even a company like EA that’s generally known for developing accessible video games had their fair share of hard titles on the PlayStation that required a fair bit of effort to get through. Some people may find these games to be a bit too hard for their own good, but the satisfaction attained from overcoming the difficulty curves they offered was a beautiful feeling that many other games find pretty challenging to replicate.

5 Hi-Octane

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.33


  • Developer: Bullfrog Productions
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation, Saturn
  • Genre: Racing, Vehicular Combat
  • Release Date: December 29, 1995

Given the sheer number of arcade racers in the market at the time, it’s easy to see why some people may have missed out on Hi-Octane. This fun racing title incorporated elements of vehicular combat to make for a great time, but the experience was marred on the PS1 by performance issues and finicky controls.

This made the game way harder than it should’ve been, leading to players getting frustrated in regular races because of how unreliable the game’s performance was. It was a genuine achievement to win a race since players weren’t just batting other opponents; they were also fighting against the game’s unintuitive controls.

4 Populous: The Beginning

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.45

Populous The Beginning

  • Developer: Bullfrog Productions
  • Platform(s): PlayStation, PC
  • Genre: Real-time strategy
  • Release Date: November 17, 1998

Populous is a series that is mainly known for letting players take on the role of a god, with Peter Molyneux at the helm of things. While this game was pretty popular, most people aren’t aware of another title in the series that was released on the PlayStation 1 as well. Any RTS game would be challenging to play on a console, and Populous: The Beginning was no exception to this rule.

Controlling settlers was a huge pain, and players had to be concise with their directions if they didn’t want their subjects and followers to be destroyed by enemy forces. It was an uphill battle, but the novelty of this game was so fresh at the time that most people didn’t mind overcoming this difficulty if they got to enjoy an excellent RTS title on consoles.

3 Magic Carpet

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.56

the cover art for Magic Carpet

  • Developer: Bullfrog Productions, Krisalis Software
  • Platform(s): PC, PlayStation, Saturn
  • Genre: Action
  • Release Date: 1996

A hybrid of strategic base-building and magical action-packed gameplay, Magic Carpet is a game that was pretty impressive when it launched. The game’s graphics were considered to be groundbreaking for the time, and players couldn’t help but be transported into the world as they played through a wealth of challenging levels.


Best Romances In PS1 Games

The original PlayStation was known for having some of the best stories in gaming, and a lot of them put a big focus on romance.

The learning curve was steep, and later levels could test a player’s patience. It took a lot of time and skill for gamers to juggle the gameplay elements of this title and come out of every level victorious. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching a player’s castle flourish after struggling early on to maintain any sort of defense in each level.

2 Soviet Strike

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.63

Soviet Strike

  • Developer: Electronic Arts, Tiburon Entertainment
  • Platform(s): PlayStation, Saturn
  • Genre: Shooter
  • Release Date: October 29, 1996

An action-packed shooter by EA that lets players control a military helicopter and lay waste to their enemies, Soviet Strike is a fun title that players can sink a few hours into with ease. However, players who are expecting a laidback experience should look far away since the game is anything but easy.

There are times when the difficulty of Soviet Strike is so grating that some levels seem downright impossible to complete. Players need to learn the level layout in these instances so that they can anticipate enemy attacks and react beforehand since getting caught off-guard too many times in this game is a guaranteed game over.

1 Shockwave Assault

GameFAQs Difficulty Rating: 3.88 For 3DO

Shockwave Assault

  • Developer: Advanced Technology Group, Paradox Development
  • Platform(s): 3DO, PC, PlayStation, Apple Bandai Pippin, Saturn
  • Genre: Combat Flight Simulation
  • Release Date: December 15, 1995

The PlayStation was home to several vehicular combat games that were pretty engaging. One such title is Shockwave Assault, released as Shock Wave on the 3DO, which is pretty obscure and doesn’t even have a difficulty rating on GameFAQs for the PlayStation version. It’s a shame since players who experienced this title know just how devilishly hard it can be at times.

It takes a fair bit of repetition and level recognition to figure out the best way possible to get past every stage, but this effort is worthwhile if players love conquering challenging video games. The action is responsive and engaging, and it helps that Shockwave Assault doesn’t overstay its welcome.

MORE: Best Characters That Debuted On The PS1


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