The 10 Greatest Action Adventure Games From The PS1 Era

Time for ‘nother trip down memory lane, pardners~ ‘cause we’re ‘bout to take the nostalgia express all the way back to the PS1 era for today’s list of action adventure games. Don’t worry; we’ll cover the latest ones soon enough. But for today, we’re feelin’ the retro mood today, so saddle up. If y’all didn’t know, we’re big on this genre, so much so we’ve ranked the greatest action games of all time.

Hell, we’re so high on this supply that we’ve even pitched the idea of underrated retro action games that deserve remasters. Did we mention we’re religiously followin’ news on anything tying into action gamin’? So, now that y’all know where we’re comin’ from, let’s get into this one.

Which Action Adventure Games From The PS1 Era Are The Greatest?

So, there’re some pretty strong contenders for this one, folks. The action adventure games from the days of PS1 have somethin’ really unique. They’re not just cookie-cutter copies of each other, no. In fact, we’re quite confident in our selection today. You’ll find some good popular choices but also some obscure titles there, too. It’s this mix that truly helps our picks stand out.

The point we’re makin’ here is that there ain’t gonna be no stinkers. The only problem anyone’ll have is that the gameplay won’t hold your hand. Ya’ know, when gamin’ wasn’t a watered down or panderin’ to everybody. Anyway, let’s get goin’.

[10/10]

The Lion King: Simba’s Mighty Adventure Is One Of Incredibly Underrated PS1 Action Adventure Games

The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure is one of the best PS1 action adventure games.

So, we’re kickin’ off the list of top-tier PS1 action adventure games with one of the relatively challengin’ titles. The Lion King: Simba’s Mighty Adventure offers some really awesome platforming, which is both fun and infuriatin’. When you get the timin’ and rhythm down, it’s a blast. But lose focus for a second, and well, you’re gonna be goin’ bald from the hair-pullin’ frustration and short on controllers from chucking’em out the window. The camera’s gonna be your big enemy, especially when you’re in levels that require precision to not die.

Collectibles in The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure.

You’ll find out the game’s narrative is the same as the classic Disney animated film. But the story structure is really well spread out to make room for the gameplay. You see Simba’s days as a wee lil’ cub, cutesy and wholesome-like. The game mechanics are explained in the introductory levels, after that, well, you’re left to make use of what you’ve learned. Whether it’s judging the right move and angle to cross gaps or alternatin’ between Simba’s roar, leap, and pounce attack. There’s a right balance of simplicity with complexity in the combat and adventurin’ segments.

The Stampede levels are a nightmare of this otherwise one of the incredibly underrated PS1 action adventure games.

The really fun bug-catching mini-games are surprisingly fun in The Lion King: Simba’s Mighty Adventure. Sure, graphically, this game’s not gonna hold up by any stretch, but gameplay-wise? It’s a whole ‘nother story. The dread-inducing stampede level and the jungle soundtracks make the whole experience a nostalgia run worth revisitin’. Just remember: You’re not playin’ a 2024 game, and you’ll be good. Otherwise… if ya’ can’t handle the difficulty, best to skip this one for other more accessible PS1 action adventure games on this list.

[9/10]

Mega Man Legends 2 – Simply Put, Capcom’s Best And Brightest For Their Classic Mascot In 3D

Mega Man Legends 2 is one of the best action adventure games from the PS1 days.

Given the lack of quality Mega Man games in the 3D realm in recent years, we feel it fittin’ to talk ‘bout Mega Man Legends 2. This one is, without question, the all-time greatest 3D iteration of game design for the Mega Man franchise. Which, considerin’ it’s also part of the PS1 era greatest action adventure games, suddenly makes sense, now, eh? Anyway, In Mega Man Legends 2, players are in for a plot-heavy and exposition-centric game. The stakes are high and they’re personal, too. The story is surprisingly darker, too, which is refreshin’ and kinda unique.

Story of Mega Man Legends 2.

Players will see that the world they’re a part of doesn’t exist in a vacuum; there’re consequences to the player’s actions. The world is much more expansive, and the ability to use Mega Man’s ship to land and explore new areas is a really well throughout mechanic. Every new location is full of treasure, dangers, enemies, and scraps. It all feels wonderful and livelier than its predecessor. The controls are also really modernistic even by today’s standards, despite it bein’ from the PS1 era. You get smooth movement and traversal, which is a real highlight during boss fights.

Mega Man Legends 2 exploration is one of the most incredible features rivaling the best action adventure games from the PS1.

Once more, we gotta emphasize that Capcom’s been on such a roll lately, winnin’ the 2023 Metacritic Publisher Of the Year crown. It is mind-bafflin’ that we have yet to see a sequel to Mega Man Legends 2. Like, what the hell, Capcom? It’s like leavin’ money on the table. Seriously, if there’s no sequel, it’s a travesty. If there’s any classic video game series that should get a remake, Mega Man Legends is rightfully deservin’. Its combat and RPG-style presentation, with a touch of maturity in the story beats, make it stand out among other great PS1 action adventure games.

[8/10]

Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! Exemplifies The Awesomeness Of The PS1 Action Adventure Games

Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! Is one of the most fun PS1 action adventure games.

Another one of the awesometacular video games from the PS1 days is Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! If you’re unsure of why games based on licensed properties from back in the day were so much better than these days, well, it’s simple. It’s ‘cause devs had heart and passion that wasn’t stifled by corporate greed. Like, there was something so charmin’ ‘bout these kinds of titles.

Traversal in Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue!

In Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! You got to explore the world shown briefly in the movies. You got to play as a toy version of Buzz Lightyear and all the difficulties and challenges of navigating the ginormous world. From platformin’ to complex traversal just to talk to a randomly placed NPC character from the Toy Story series. There were several obstacles, too. Like hostile toys, which you could defeat using Buzz’s laser and his jet wing’s spin animation. The sense of adventure was really immersive, and the levels were full of cool details, too.

Combat in Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Resuce makes it one of the most dope action adventure games on PS1.

Every level was from the movies, well, almost; there were a few odd choices and logical leaps, as well. But for the most part, the story, pacing, and gameplay gave off that fulfilling adventure and wholesomeness. Ya’ needed the Pizza Planet tokens to skip a level, and there were requirements for a specific number of those to unlock newer levels. Meanin’ there was a slight tweak on the Metroidvania formula in Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear To The Rescue! These little additions make the experience such a blast to finish from start to finish.

[7/10]

Duke Nukem: Time To Kill Is One Of The Guilty Pleasure Action Adventure Games We Still Revisit

Duke Nukem: Time To Kill is one of the most fun action adventure games on PS1.

Welp, now we’re gonna cross over to the risque territory of action adventure games on the PS1. With Duke Nukem: Time To Kill, you’re gettin’ unapologetic, loud, immaturely mature, and laugh-out-loud cringe. But you’re also gonna be having a great time with shootin’ pig cops with all sorts of weaponry. The time-traveling theme of the story also ties into the gameplay in a very meaningful way. You see things from different time period, includin’ our personal favorite, the Wild West frontier.

Duke Nukem: Time To Kill has risque elements.

In Duke Nukem: Time To Kill you fully take the time to explore your surroundings. Even chuckle at the not-so-subtle and on-the-nose jabs Duke takes on the inspiration behind the adventure and puzzle-solving elements. The real fun, though, is when the game just hands you a powerful firearm and lets you go ham on the aliens. There’re some truly awesome secrets and easter eggs to discover if you’re a completionist like us. The game doesn’t shy away from the blood and outlandishly overt nature of its sellin’ point, aka the scantily clad babes.

Related: 6 Steamiest Dating Simulator Romance Games With Great Stories.

Eat lead!

Hey, if it works, it works, we’re not gonna knock it for goin’ the extra mile to please gamers back in the day. The enemy variety is so well done in Duke Nukem: Time To Kill that sometimes the designs lead into survival horror territory. Case in point: The Necrobrains look like nightmare fuel, and the sound they make when they spew their goo is both disgustin’ and horrific, too. Things like these make Duke Nukem: Time To Kill one of the most enjoyable PS1 action adventure games. We don’t care if some snowflakes find his character offensive.

[6/10]

Tomb Raider II – Arguably The Most Popular Entry Of The Action Adventure Series Of Tomb Raider Games

Tomb Raider II is one of the most incredible action adventure games of all time, not just from the PS1 era.

Tomb Raider II is a timeless masterpiece that we’re forever thankful for, wanna know why? It’sc cause Tomb Raider II provided the blueprint for how to make successful action adventure games on the PS1. Even though the Tomb Raider Remastered trilogy didn’t exactly please everybody, we’re still just glad we can play these classics. Tomb Raider II, in particular, just knows how to grab our attention and hold it all the way to the finish line. How? Well, let’s see here, it’s gameplay doesn’t tell you how to do things down to the letter, yo gotta figure it out for yourself.

You'll have lots of options in Tomb Raider II exploration.

The platformin’ is tricky and challengin’, but there’s great versatility and fluidity of movement, too. You gotta master the traversal early on, otherwise, it’s gonna be a pain to deal with when you see the sudden deathtraps. There’re time sensitive zones and mechanics with an invisible counter that you gotta be mindful of. Learnin’ the layout of every section is super important, too. You gotta think outside the box if you’re strugglin’ to find a way to clear a puzzle or a platforming segment. Tomb Raider II also features distinct and breathtakin’ locales, well… for it’s time anyway, you’ll never feel like it’s a cheap reskin of older levels.

That's it, no contest, Tomb Raider just wins it with the dragon boss fight.

Tomb Raider II is a master class in action heroines done right. Ya’ won’t see anything remotely touching this version of Lara Croft in terms of badassery, gorgeous character design, and quirky personality. Its miles above the worst female characters in video games (2024). Like really, the way Lara handles business is such a spectaculalr feelin’ that its without equal in epicness. We really love playing unique action adventure games with cool and hot female heroines like Tomb Raider II. You can’t go wrong with this one, folks, so give it a try in the new remastered version.

[5/10]

Dalmatians 102: Puppies To The Rescue Is Charmingly Delightful, And Super In-Depth Than It Appears

102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue is one of the most fun action adventure games from the PS1 time.

Next up on our list of fantastic action adventure games from the heyday of the PS1 , we’re goin’ with a personal favorite of ours. Disney’s 102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue! Might not seem like much initially, but trust us, it’s worth checkin’ out. The task of resucin’ your brothers and sisters who’re the titular dalmatians is made so much more enthralling with the addition of sets of puzzles, fully explorable levels, and other cutsie talkin’ critter’s who serve as narrative guides for our two playable pups.

Every level has a unique thematic gameplay design.

The great feat that Dalmatians 102: Puppies To The Rescue manages to achieve and makes it look so simple is through it’s engaging level design. Seriously, if y’all closely look at the different stages, yes, they’re self-contained, but each one’s got fasicnatin’ challenges for players. The aesthetic is vastly different, too. Like y’all go from theme parks and an urban street level to a far, a toy museum, to a death-trap medieval castle. The imagination of the devs is really commendable in this one, and we always have a blast playin’ this game.

Bark, sniff and digg, roll around, and collect. It's all fun.

Another way 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to The Rescue is such a joyful experience compared to other PS1 action adventure games is its gameplay. Everything feels intuitive and rewarding. You gotta be mindful of hostile toys, and the one human enemy in almost every level. Having them fall into silly little traps is part of the fun in the game. There’re stickers to collect, and bones that you gotta find, and special thematic artifacts that scratch the complestionist itch. Seriously, we can sing praises for this game all day, every day. It’s the true puppy simulator experience, well… maybe without the poop and drinkin’ outta the toilet bits.

[4/10]

Spyro The Dragon – The OG PS1 Era Mascot’s Debut Title Is Gaming Greatness

Spyro The Dragon is one of the best video games from the PS1 days and a huge part of our childhoods.

Before it went the multi-platform route, Sony’s PS1 had an awesome series of action adventure video games on its hands with Spyro The Dragon. Funny how that works, huh? The series lost its original appeal and identity, but thankfully, we still have the classic titles to relive the magical glory days. So, what’s got us fanboyin’ hard over Spyro The Dragon? Well, its the utterly picturesque fantasy world of dragons. Playin’ as the purple little baby dragon as you go ’bout resucin’ the adults and earnin’ their respect? What’s not to love ’bout this title?

The gameplay is super fun.

As soon as the main menu theme music kicks in, y’all know why Spyro The Dragon has got such a high. Little bit ’bout us; we just love video game soundtracks. The musical beats and the main theme of Spyro The Dragon just melt away your worries and take y’all to the promise land. Nothin’ here but rams to butt horns with, thieves to breathe down fire on, and diamonds to collect. The lusciously colorful aesthetic of the game world captivates the mind so effortlessly. Players will learn ’bout the different puzzles and strategies that they’ll need to master to complete levels. Every stage has new types of platforming designs that’ll test your reflexes; especially early on ’cause Spyro’s abilities are tame.

Spyro The Dragon gameplay.

If you’re plannin’ on committin’ the time to playin’ Spyro: The Dragon, let us give y’all a word of advice. Don’t give up~ now, y’all might be wonderin’ WTF, right? Well, that’s super important here ’cause this game doesn’t tell you where to go. It just gives general objectives and then sets you off into the world. Now, it’s up to you how much you use that big brain power of yours to fully discover all its mysteries. The game simply pushes you to see how craftily y’all can be to survive against newer, more powerful enemy types. Spyro: The Dragon is Insomniac’s early signs of their greatness with PS1 action adventure games.

[3/10]

MediEvil – Sir Daniel Fortesque Gallantly Braves The Competition To Nab The Number 3 Spot

MediEvil is one of the most iconic action adventure games from the PS1 days.

We’re officially in the upper class of the PS1 era action adventure games, so get ready to listen to push gush ’bout it. The game in question is none other than MediEvil. Now, y’all might be aware of the Remake of this title, and while it looks great and plays well, too, there’s just somethin’ missin’. The original MediEvil just had this mix of horror with adventure and a dash of goofiness, on top. The mix, on paper, sounds like it should fail, but not only does it works, it shows the doubters the more important lesson of not judgin’ a game by its cover. MediEvil just rocks in every department, folks.

The gameplay is super fun but also hard, too.

The gameplay of MediEvil is designed in a way to keep y’all engaged from the get go. Like our character was a knight who took an arrow to the eye and was dead in the prologue. Embrassing, right? Well, wait till ya’ hear this: The guy gets a second chance, only he’s resurrected without a jaw and one eye missin’. Basically, Sir Daniel Fortesque is a zombie and has been tasked with stoppin’ the evil sorcerer Zarok. He’s got his trusty sword, shield and armor, throwin’ daggers, spells, crossbow, and, his boomerang arm that he can throw to twack enemies with. The spooky medieval vibes really add a layer of atmospheric charm to the game that we’ve rarely seen replicated.

Get'em!

Another area where MediEvil excels at subertin’ expectations is in its strong and hilarious writing. The gameplay is the primary reason, but the story is the seasonin’ that y’all won’t be gettin’ enough of, too. The way the twin gargoyles who’re narrators of the story and serve as really douche mentors for Ser Daniel have some sick burns. Our guy’s got some seriously uphill underdog style missions ahead of him. Yet, instead of backin’ down, he’s up to the challenge and is willin’ to not let his second chance go to waste. His grunts and hilarious speech pattern due to a lack of jaw is pretty funny, too.

[2/10]

NeverSoft’s Spiderman, & Activision’s Spiderman 2: Enter Electro: Spidey Games For And By The Fans

NeverSoft's Spiderman on the PS1 is one of the prime examples of action adventure games done right.

We’re at the runner-up spot on the list of dope as hell PS1 action adventure games, and we’re ecstatic to talk ’bout this one. NeverSoft’s Spiderman 1 game is the epitome of Spidey fan-service, and you feel the love and dedication of the creatives behind it. Every inch of the game is brimmin’ with Spidey’s mythos and lore, and even a few clever nods to other Marvel heroes. This game does a brilliant job of givin’ you the Spidey experience and its story, for us, exceeds anythin’ other Spidey games have put out. Yes, that includes the Insomniac’s Spiderman games’ story, too. Shots fired~

NeverSoft's Spiderman 1 is perfect.

From the colorful character design and their personality, NeverSoft’s Spiderman 1 is perfect in every way. Y’all see the different character interactions and you’ll immediately just know it’s legit, nothing’s forced. The writing of this game is a treat if you’re a comic book geek like the rest of us here. Every time there’s a quip by Spidey it feels so authentic as if, yeah~ Spidey would definitely say that in such a situation. Then there’s the gameplay, like the web-swingin’, the traversal through web-zippin’, and crawlin’ through ducts and on walls, while you hear the dialogue of those unaware of Spidey, it just gives a sublime sense of immersion.

Spiderman 2: Enter Electro.

Of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate if we overlooked the sequel to NeverSoft’s Spiderman 1, the equally as fun and entertaining, Spiderman 2: Enter Electro. The game’s a direct continuation of the first one, and brings even more Spidey’s villains and game mechanics front and center. There’s even the punishin’ and downright terrifyin’ Lizard boss fight that’ll give you nightmares. There’re some creative and unique levels where you use Spidey’s abilities. Like the plane-stopping using webbing, or gettin’ Sandman to lose his molecular advantage by drizzlin’ him with water pumps at the construction site. These little touches make you feel like you’re part of the action adventure when you’re playing these kind kinds of games.

[1/10]

Legacy Of Kain: Blood Omen, And Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver, The Epitome Of Action Adventure Games On PS1

Legacy Of Kain: Blood Omen.

Finally~ we’re cappin’ off our list of top-notch action adventure games from the bygone era of PS1 with another two-for. Yep~ craaazy and wild times we’re livin’ in, right? Anyway, the two games we’re gonna fanboy over are Legacy Of Kain: Blood Omen and the other is the first Soul Reaver title. The narrative eloquence, the Shakespearian dialogue, the nuance of plot and twists that leave you with chills, it’s all there. If y’all don’t know, Blood Omen 1 is really retro and is describable as a gothic Zelda-esque hack-and-slash dark fantasy game. But that doesn’t begin to do justice to its rich lore and awe-inspiring depth of its ambiance.

Legacy Of Kain: Soul Reaver.

Fast forward to the Soul Reaver 1 from the Legacy Of Kain series, and what you’re gettin’ is a full fledge 3D realm-hoppin’ adventure. The first game’s protagonist is seemingly the antagonist, and players take on the role of his former general vampire turned wraith on a path of vengeance. The journey is rife with political intrigue, mind-bending revealations, intuitive puzzles and satisfying combat. Nothin’ is without purpose in these games, and Soul Reaver exceeds as a true successor to Blood Omen in every notion. Hell, its so popular that many still consider it superior to the original.

Legacy Of Kain.

The point we’re tryin’ to make here, is that despite the technical limitations and dated visuals of the two action adventure games on the PS1, Legacy Of Kain: Blood Omen, and Soul Reaver have no equal when it comes to cinematic presentation and storytelling. The dialogue and narration, the voice-acting and delivery of lines is perfection, and the gameplay is the icing on top. The sole purpose of this high praise is to highlight the brains behind this now obscure gem, Miss Amy Hennig. If y’all remember she’s famous for her work On Uncharted and most recently, Amy Hennig’s leadin’ the charge in Marvel 1943: Rise Of Hydra.

Final Thoughts

Welp, that’s gonna cover the top 10 for us which we hold as the greatest PS1 games in the action adventure genre. It’s not just mindless non-stop button-mashin’ but rather a more eloquent and absorbing experience where you soak in the details. Every little detail matters here as you take your time to explore the world, solve puzzles to progress, and fawn over the story bits. It’s ideally the fine line between a movie and a game, and why video games are the most engaging medium of entertainment. Anyway, that’s our list, so, what’s the verdict, folks? How would you rate our today’s selection? Tell us ’bout it in the comments below; we look forward to your responses.

If you’re still hankerin’ for somethin’ more in the realm of action adventure titles, not to worry. We’vr got just the thing, actually. Take a gander at our latest scoop on a beloved remake of R-rated classic action titles; the Lollipop Chain Remake is gonna sizzle the summer of 2024 with its reveal. We honestly can’t wait for any juicy details to drop about it. Welp, that’s gonna do it for now, so until next time, take care, people, stay safe, and happy gaming!

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Rafi Ahmed
Rafi Ahmed
Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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