1. Crash Bandicoot
Known for: Changing 3D gaming forever. Gorging on wumpa fruit.
All hail the king. On paper, Crash Bandicoots first appearance on PS1 didnt sound like a game that would give others from that golden age much to lose sleep over. Here was Naughty Dog, an almost unheard of developer, with its first game for the PS1 and it was going to be about a bandicoot (whatever that was) in jeans on a quest to rescue its girlfriend from an evil scientist.
But something clicked with Crash. Though the levels were largely linear and gameplay followed the same sorts of tropes players were used to from arcades (vault over obstacles, jump on enemies, avoid blundering into bottomless pits), Crashs adventure was colourful, charming, and punishingly challenging. Its 3D platforming wasnt just novel, but a glossy demonstration of what Sonys first console was capable of. Enemies such as Ripper Roo and Koala Kong provided colourful interludes that broke up the standard obstacle-course gameplay. And as your skills improved and you collected more gems, new areas and secret paths would open through old levels, adding replayability and bragging rights when comparing times with friends.
Looking back on it now, Naughty Dogs inaugural PlayStation effort seems a charmingly simple affair. But for our money at the time, no other games mechanics, world and personality came together as seamlessly as Crash Bandicoots and it seems that you still love him just as much as we do.