The PlayStation One was the last console that I rented games for. I vaguely remember renting games for the N64, but I don’t remember enough of them to make a list. My town then had two video rental stores; one had a huge selection, and the other was Blockbuster video. I think the first was Family Video or something like that.
These are games that I remember renting on the weekends and when I would stay over at friends’ houses. Some of them we would beat in one night, but most of the time, we would have fun with them.
Renting games was the way I found out about games. Not everything was in the magazine that I was subscribed to, and I wasn’t on the internet enough to know where to go to find them.
Bottom Line up Front: This was the last system I rented games for. Not all of the games were great, but they were memorable in some ways.
Developer: Shiny Entertainment
Review Score: 7.4/10 (Moby Games)
Sometimes you see so many ads for a game that you want to rent it. It creates a desire to play the game, and it doesn’t necessarily match up with your expectations. That was the case with Wild 9.
Wild 9 is an interesting game. I remember seeing a bunch of ads for it in magazines at the time. You can’t gather too much from those ads, but they made me want to play the game for some reason.
This is a side-scrolling 2.5D action game. The big thing with Wild 9 was how you kill your enemies. You can either smash them into the ground or look for some environmental hazards to kill them. There is some puzzle-solving that you have to do, and you need to manipulate the environment in some cases.
Rampage Through Time
Review Score: 49/100 (GameRankings)
Rampage is one of my favorite games. It did here when I rented Rampage Through Time. I had fond memories of the NES version of the game, and sometimes that could influence your decision on renting games.
I hadn’t followed the series in the arcades, let alone know who owned the right to the property. I picked this one up because of the name. After playing it for a while, I rather enjoyed it. There was enough of the NES version in the game, and I liked that they added more monsters. I was also a fan of Godzilla movies, and many of the monsters in Rampage reminded me of those movies.
The game keeps the arcade style of gameplay and improves on it by making it more friendly to the home console. Games like this were a fun distraction from the RPGs I gravitated towards. I didn’t need to follow the story and didn’t care if I could beat the game.
Future Cop L.A.P.D.
Developer: Electronic Arts
Review Score: 8.3/10 (IGN)
Occasionally, you would fall for an advertisement in a magazine when you rent games. That was the case with Future Cop L.A.P.D. I don’t remember what magazine it was, but I had seen it a few times and thought it might be a fun game.
It was fine. Besides renting it for a weekend, I couldn’t remember much about this one from the 90s. There were many games on the PlayStation that I did this with. They weren’t all that memorable. That is where Future Cop L.A.P.D. ends up.
There isn’t anything wrong with the game. It isn’t terrible, and it isn’t great. This is a fun 3D action game that has you taking out criminals with a mech.
Review Score: 8.8/10 (IGN)
This is one of the best wrestling games on the PS1. It came out at a time when I was really into professional wrestling. I was also wrestling in high school at the time.
This is the most user-friendly wrestling game. A friend of mine rented this game a few times before we both bought it. It was easier to get into when I compared it to the other games.
There is a funny story about this game. My friend Drew and I played the game a lot! He would always pick HHH, and I would pick Chris Jericho. This was the only game that I could consistently beat him at. He got so upset that he ended up selling the game after I beat him several times. I didn’t think about it at the time, but when I think back on it, that story told me a lot about Drew.
Resident Evil 2
Genre: Survival Horror
Review Score: 89/100 (Metacritic)
This is the Resident Evil game that I started with. A friend convinced me to rent it, and we spent the night beating the game. We played as Leon, and I think it was around 4 am when we finished it.
Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror game. It improved the first game in many ways, and it was the game that got me into the genre. I knew that video games could be scary, but there was something about this one that I thought was special.
Resident Evil 2 is less of an action game and more of a survival game. In the game, you pick one of two characters, giving the game some replay value. You don’t want to waste all your ammo on enemies, especially since your supplies are limited.
Developer: Acclaim Sports
Review Score: 79/100 (GameRankings)
I get this game confused with WWF Raw for some reason. The two are very different games, but the average ones tend to blend for some reason. I remember my friends renting this version of the game and the N64 version.
It is a bit harder than Smackdown, and I think the other game is better. There is a lot to like with this game. It plays like Smackdown, and it has decent graphics for the time.
Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu
Review Score: 8.1/10 (IGN)
Jade Cocoon is a short but spectacular game. In some ways, it plays like a Pokemon clone, as you have to capture monsters to fight on your behalf. However, your character can also fight in battles, which I’ve always wanted to do in Pokemon. The difference between Jade Cocoon and Pokemon is the combining monsters.
In Jade Cocoon, you can combine your monsters to change their strengths and weaknesses. This system can be abused by creating a monster containing all four elements. I always did this, but the combat isn’t as important as the story.
The story of this game has you trying to restore the balance between nature and a small village in a jungle. It isn’t clear if this is the only village or if there is more beyond the forest. The setting is something that I’ve thought about a bit too much. A series of challenges are presented to you as you explore the different sections of the forest.
This game reminds me of Princess Mononoke. There is a focus on the environment, and the anime cut scenes remind me of that animation style. It made the game more interesting to me at the time because I was a bigger fan of anime back in the 90s.
Kagero: Deception II
Review Score: 8.5/10 (IGN)
This is one of the best games on the PS1! I remember renting it several times before finding it in a store years later. After playing this one, I played the other games and collected the entire series as I came across them.
In Kagero, you play the character Millenia, who was kidnapped and raised by the Timenoids. There is a larger story going on that your character is pulled into. You aren’t a hero; you’re more of a pawn in a grand scheme.
Millenia doesn’t say much about her situation and doesn’t say anything about the story. She doesn’t seem to know what is happening. Her dialogue is limited to a few choices that don’t change much about the story.
You can’t directly attack the enemies. Instead, you have to set traps and lure the enemies into them. It works extremely well with how the game is set up! It makes the game a little scary at times and makes you think about how you can attack some enemies as their movement and attack patterns change as the game goes on.
If I had a favorite game on this list, it would be Kagero. This is one of the games that I was drawn to because I rented it.
Review Score: 4.7/5 (Good Old Games)
This was another game that I stumbled across while I was looking for something to rent for the weekend. I remember a friend explaining the game, and then we spent the night trying to figure out how to play. I rented it a few more times after this and never knew it was a PC game that had been ported to the PlayStation.
In this game, you run a hi-tech hospital treating comedic illnesses. Seeing the patients is part of the humor in this game, and seeing how they’re treated is very funny.
Kartia: The World of Fate
Genre: Tactical RPG
Review Score: 75/100 (GameRankings)
I don’t care what anyone says; Kartia is a wonderful game! This is one of the games that I rented from Blockbuster without knowing anything about it. All I had were the screenshots and a description on the back of the box.
After playing it for a few days, I was getting into the story and the game’s mechanics. It brought something different to the same weapons triangle that many tactical RPGs use. However, Kartia uses a series of monsters that can be summoned to fight on your behalf as the points of its weapons triangle. The monsters, and nearly everything else in the game, are summoned from cards called Kartia.
This is one of my favorite games and was one of the reasons that I fell in love with Atlus. Others might point to the Persona series, but, for me, games like Kartia, Ogre Battle, and Tactics Ogre made me want to collect their games. I could say a lot more about Kartia, but I’ll save that for another time.
The PlayStation was the last console that I rented games for. It was one of the major ways I would learn about video games, especially if they weren’t in a magazine. Back then, it was much harder to do. Nowadays, you can find out about new video games easily.
There were tons of spectacular games on the original PlayStation. It has a library of over 2500 games, and I doubt anyone has played them all.
My friends and I rented other games back in the 90s. Most of them weren’t all that memorable. These are the games that stand out for me. They were either part of a fad, or they were games that I stumbled across. Either way, I have some good memories attached to these games.