• Late-stage PS1 RPGs are often overlooked, but they offer high-quality and unique experiences worth revisiting today.
  • Digimon World 3
    Wild Arms 2
    Threads of Fate
    Legend of Legaia
    , and
    Vagrant Story
    are hidden gems among late PS1 RPGs.
  • Vagrant Story
    Shadow Tower
    stand out for their stunning visuals, combat systems, and dark, challenging gameplay reminiscent of modern titles.

Even late in the PlayStation 1‘s life cycle, with a successor on the way, Sony’s first foray into video game hardware was still firing on all cylinders. Among the numerous genres that the console explored and surefire classics it spawned, the PS1 was also a haven for a very particular type of experience in the form of a role-playing game. But while all-time greats like Final Fantasy and Breath of Fire were lighting up the system early on, PS1 games launching at the end of the system’s life were still of rather high quality and the RPG selection was still top-tier.


Early PS1 RPGs No One Remembers

Some great RPGs made their debut on the PlayStation 1. Others, however, were not as memorable.

These late-stage PS1 RPGs have tended to be glossed over, as the PS2 launch was imminent and people were still playing games like FF7 or titles on rival platforms. A large portion of RPGs launching in the final years of the PlayStation 1 have been left largely forgotten, but they remain some of the most interesting titles on the machine.

6 Digimon World 3

Compelling Monster Taming Comes To The PS1

junio from digimon world 3 standing on a platform

  • Platform: PS1
  • Release Date: July 4, 2002
  • Developers: BEC, Boom Corp.

The PS1 was already more or less phased out in 2002 when Digimon World 3 launched on the system, as the PlayStation 2 had hit the market two years prior. With Digimon World 3, developers BEC opted to fashion the game similarly to JRPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, as opposed to the dungeon crawlers that the first two games were.

In Digimon World 3, players collect the eponymous digital monsters and use them in battle. It features some classic Digimon, such as Agumon and Omnimon, to collect and fight with. Unfortunately, any game on the PS1 in 2002 was in for a pretty steep uphill climb with the amount of amazing titles on the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube.

5 Wild Arms 2

a Fabulous Fusion Of The Wild West & Fantasy

ashley from wild arms 2 standing in a tomb

Wild Arms 2
April 30, 2000


Sony’s highly anticipated next-generation machine was just six months away when Wild Arms 2 was released in 2000, which led to this fascinating JRPG getting lost in the shuffle. It’s unfortunate, as Wild Arms 2 is one of the best JRPGs available on the platform and is still worth checking out today.


Best Wild West RPGs

These RPGs immerse players in Western-themed worlds.

This spectacular turn-based title is set in an old West-style world called Filgaia, where a team known as ARMS attempts to stop a group of terrorists named Odessa. Wild Arms 2 features an entirely different cast of characters for the sequel, something it would continue in future iterations. Its fusion of the Wild West, science fiction, and fantasy is a wonderful mix that is due for a new entry.

4 Threads Of Fate

Outstanding JRPG With Two Playable Characters

mint from threads of fate in a town

  • Platform: PS1
  • Release Date: July 18, 2000
  • Developer: Squaresoft

Threads of Fate launched just three months before the PS2 hit the market, and was unable to overcome the hype. But while so many PS1 games had made use of pre-rendered backgrounds combined with polygonal models, Threads of Fate was doing something rather unique for a JRPG on the machine by creating a 3D game.

It felt rather unique for the PS1, as a fully 3D RPG wasn’t something that was seen very often. But it worked out, as the gorgeous 3D models and world design was an absolute home run. It allowed the world to feel much more vibrant, as the story of grief and letting go of the way things were is such a fabulous experience. Threads of Fate also features two playable characters, the delightful Mint and Rue. It was a revolutionary game for the time and still remains an excellent title.

3 Legend Of Legaia

A Classic Tale Of Good Vs Evil

vahn from legend of legaia in front of a tree

Legend of Legaia
October 16, 1998

Unfortunately for Legend of Legaia, it was released in the same week as EverQuest and Pokemon Snap. There wasn’t much that could be done about this, which resulted in the Legend of Legaia being buried and largely forgotten. But none of that has prevented this wonderfully charming JRPG from being a terrific experience that is worth revisiting today.


12 Most Timeless PS1 RPGs, Ranked

These games have stood the test of time and are still great to replay today, even though they were released for the first PlayStation console.

In this epic adventure, players follow the journey of Vahn and his friends across the land of Legaia as they seek to uncover the secrets of a strange mist that has overtaken the world. Legend of Legaia features a unique battle system with multiple inputs from the d-pad, a remarkable soundtrack, and a charming story that is rooted in classical heroism.

2 Vagrant Story

Gorgeous Visuals & A Terrific Combat System Come Together In This Hidden Gem

ashley riot in a cave in vagrant story

Vagrant Story
May 15, 2000



Vagrant Story was released for the PS1 in May 2000, the same month that stone-cold classics like Paper Mario and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came out. Between a stacked month and an already impressive roster of RPGs on the system, it was difficult for Vagrant Story to compete. Add to that how strange and somewhat different it was, and it’s a game that was ultimately left in the dust.


6 Hardest PS1 Games Published By Square, Ranked

These games from Square helped dominate the RPG genre on the first PlayStation, along with a few other categories.

It’s unfortunate that Vagrant Story never quite reached the heights it could have, as it features a fabulous combat system, some spectacular music, and a unique weapon customization system. It also has a maddeningly huge roster of bosses to conquer, as well as some breathtaking visuals that take advantage of the PS1’s hardware limitations.

1 Shadow Tower

Sinister Dungeon Crawler Is a Precursor To The Soulsborne Genre

the player character from shadow tower facing enemies

  • Platform: PS1
  • Release Date: November 23, 1999
  • Developer: FromSoftware

FromSoftware’s unique blend of challenges mixed with obtuse game design is one of the most popular and successful brands in the industry today, but their early efforts remain largely unapproachable. Most of them lack availability on modern platforms, but perhaps no entry in FromSoft’s initial voyages is as lost to the sands of time as Shadow Tower, which was released on the PS1 in 1999.

While King’s Field often gets its due as the precursor to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Shadow Tower was just as influential on the type of game that FromSoft would come to master. This dark fantasy dungeon crawler is set in the world of Zeptar, which has been consumed by the underworld. It is a harsh and brittle experience, one that is filled with traps and punishing enemies.


8 Highest Rated FromSoftware Games On Steam, Ranked

Be it Dark Souls, Sekiro, or Armored Core, FromSoftware has plenty of great games on Steam, but some are more highly rated than others.


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