PlayStation (PS1) game prices are beginning to get a little weird. The pandemic, renewed interest from collectors, and growing scarcity have all impacted PS1 game prices. CIB and New games can cost thousands of dollars for one title.
We’ve shown you how wacky prices have gotten for PS2 games and PS3 games in recent years, even though those prices have leveled out for the time being.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a good deal on some really good games. In fact, I’ve created a list of some of the best games on PS1 that you can get for under $20.
Using Pricecharting.com, I found loose games (sorry, few CIBs are under $20) that are very cheap. However, those prices don’t account for shipping. That’s why it’s always good to know about your local used game store.
Anyway, use this list to snag some amazing old games to play or improve your collection without spending a fortune.
1. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 did something rare by improving on just about every aspect of the first game. The levels were better, you could perform more tricks, and the soundtrack was incredible.
The character customization lets you make a character that suits your play style, and playing alongside friends is always an amazing experience.
This game has so much to love and I believe that it is one of the best PS1 games that holds up today. And you can get this game for cheap.
2. Syphon Filter
Although PS1 has a superior library to N64 in just about all respects, especially RPGs, the PS1 lagged behind in great shooters. However, Syphon Filter was a very fun game with a great story and plenty of baddies to shoot along the way.
This third-person shooter was dark and atmospheric, and it made me feel like Jack Bauer in 24, so that was cool, too. The weapon selection and the targeting system were a little “meh” but this game was still very good.
You can get this game nice and cheap if you want!
3. Spyro the Dragon
Spyro the Dragon was a great platformer game on the PlayStation. Not only was it fun to play as a little dragon with a big attitude, but the game was fun without being too challenging or having a crazy story.
If you want some carefree fun, nice worlds to explore, and to see the beginning of a great series, this is the game for you. Interestingly, Spyro the Dragon and its PS1-era sequels can all be found for under $20 as loose games.
4. Final Fantasy Tactics
When you think of the most iconic PS1 RPGs, Final Fantasy Tactics is probably in the top 5 games. The story was fantastic, the gameplay was incredible, and that soundtrack might just be one of the best in the series.
Since the game was so popular, it received a Greatest Hits release, and that means many copies of this incredible game exist. Whether you want to play it for the first time or keep it in your collection, the game is cheap and widely available.
5. Gran Turismo 2
Instead of the cartoony Mario Kart or Diddy Kong Racing games, the Gran Turismo series took a realistic approach to racing. Gran Turismo 2 lets you buy realistic cars that you can customize and upgrade until you have a high-end racing machine.
The game had a bunch of different tracks, a career model, good graphics, and a solid soundtrack to round it all out.
I would definitely consider this game worth playing today. Fortunately, you can get a loose copy of this game and its predecessor for a low price.
6. Chrono Cross
Chrono Cross was a little bit of departure from the standard JRPG formula, but it was still very good. A lot of people wanted a sequel to Chrono Trigger, one of the best SNES RPGs. Yet, this game went in a different direction and ended up being a great game.
The vast number of characters you could recruit was a high point of the game as was the story, graphics, and music.
The game did get a little weird in the end, and not really in a good way. I still believe that this series needs another entry and an overall revival, but I’m not sure that is in the cards.
Either way, you can get your hands on this game and see what you’ve been missing.
7. Final Fantasy 7
Final Fantasy VII is one of the best RPGs ever made. You can call it overrated and it might just be, but it’s great nonetheless. Aside from the graphics (which aren’t that important to RPGs in my opinion), the game holds up very well these days.
A loose copy of this game isn’t going to break your bank, and you will get 100+ hours of fun gameplay and distracting sidequests. As for Final Fantasy VII Remake, I can’t speak for that one.
8. Twisted Metal 2
Twisted Metal 2 was probably the best game in the series. At the very least, it was far better than Twisted Metal 3. This game belongs to a beautiful genre called vehicular combat, titles that have since fallen out of style.
In Twisted Metal 2, it was your job to hunt down and destroy your enemies while completing various objectives. The game had singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay and a lot of fun waiting to be had as you selected from a variety of unique cars to operate.
This game is a classic, so it’s just as good for your collection as it is to play.
9. Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider was a great action-adventure game that introduced us to Lara Croft. We got to go on adventures, uncover evil plots, and shoot enemies while being a badass character and doing acrobatics.
Sure, we had to look past the weirdness of finding modern weapons in far-flung places, but if you can look past little things like that, this game was simply iconic.
Personally, this would be more of a collector’s item than something to play for me, but it’s still worth picking up.
10. Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor was one of the few great shooters that was released on the PS1. The game puts you in the boots of an allied soldier in the waning days of the European Theater of war in World War II. It was up to you to hunt down some Nazis and sabotage their war efforts.
Sure, the graphics weren’t beautiful, but the level design was well-thought-out, the music was beautiful, and the sound effects were iconic. The game was fantastic and it would be a great one to sit back and play.
11. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
“Become my soul reaver, my angel of death.” Any game that has that in the opening is worth playing. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver continued the series but put you in the role of a new character: Raziel. This discarded vampire lieutenant is set on revenge in a world that’s crumbling.
The game makes you think. First, the dang puzzles might drive you nuts, but you also have to think about the absolutely bonkers world in which you play. This is a world that is falling apart, and you can’t do much to fix it.
Instead, you have to work on behalf of The Elder God to hunt down your former vampire brothers by traversing the physical and spectral realism, channeling the ghostly soul reaver to cut down your enemies. It’s good and dark. If that’s your style, add this game to your collection.
12. Final Fantasy 9
I’m not going to say that Final Fantasy 9 is underrated because it’s not, but people should appreciate Final Fantasy IX a little more. This game attempted to take the series back to its roots in a meta-play format. I don’t think any game in this series can match this game in terms of narrative structure.
The graphics were good and kinda weird in only a way that Final Fantasy could be. I liked that the game made class matter again instead of allowing everyone to be everything. Sure, it’s possible to grate against the sappy romance if you’re too cool for that stuff, but the story was crazy in a good way.
When I checked Pricecharting’s links, I saw this game selling for less than a good Chinese food lunch special. It’s definitely worth that price.
Based on what I saw, you can get your hands on just about any Tekken title on PS1 for under $20, and that is something. The Tekken games helped raise the standard of fighting games in an era of transition to 3D graphics.
The game’s story is interesting enough, but the unique characters and combat are what drew us to this title. The controls in the first game were very good, the style was solid, and the gameplay kept you coming back for more. Sure, you weren’t ripping out hearts like in Mortal Kombat, but this game’s fighting was a lot of fun.
14. Bushido Blade
I’ve already mentioned how Bushido Blade is one of the most underrated PS1 games. This game provided us with a little more realism in combat. You used weapons to cut down your enemies instead of your fists, and you could just as easily incapacitate your enemies as kill them.
Although it is kind of messed up to make someone fight while only using one leg, it was also cool to do that kind of targeted damage. Hacking and slashing in a fighting game was never so much fun.
15. Final Fantasy 8
People wanted Final Fantasy VII Part 2 instead of Final Fantasy VIII, and they got something completely different instead. Needless to say, it’s been 20 years, and people still hate on Final Fantasy VIII.
They hate the story, the characters, the junction, and the presence of love in a video game. I’ve heard it all and while I understand some of the criticism, this game was still very good.
This JRPG kinda plays out like an anime. You start at school and get thrust into a battle against a time-traveling sorceress that likes to possess people. It’s crazy, and you should own it. In fact, you can own it and it won’t cost much. How about that?
Just watch the opening and see what you think of this game.
Final Thoughts on the Best PS1 Games Under $20
Retro video game prices are downright weird right now. You can find great collector’s pieces that happen to be great games for very cheap. You can also find some random games that nobody you know played that also cost thousands of dollars.
We’ve tried to keep you all aware of the shifting prices in recent years, and we’ve updated some articles about the SNES games and NES games that are still cheap. We don’t know what the future will bring, but most retro games or collectibles don’t really get cheaper as time goes on.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you find any other great and cheap games out there!