PlayStation Nostalgia Swamps Twitter with Thousands of Memories

The Power of PlayStation takes most of us straight back to the '90s.

News by Nadia Oxford, .

As someone with a keen interest in retro video game systems and the sentimentality tied to them, the PlayStation evokes my strongest feelings of nostalgia. The iconic "PlayStation jingle" is a big reason the very sight of the console makes me warm and happy. That digital symphony takes me right back to 1998.

Let your ears take it all in. Neeeeeooooor neeeeeeooooooow. Before I got my PlayStation, my gaming experience travelled from the ColecoVision and Atari 2600 to the NES and SNES, and even the N64—all cartridge-based systems that started up without fanfare. When you turned on a PlayStation and heard that 15-second jingle, every cell in your body tensed up in anticipation of playing something cool. Something cinematic. The PlayStation loading screen isn't a nuisance. It's a gateway.

I therefore wasn't surprised when indie film maker Paul Mackie garnered over 17k responses after he tweeted a picture of a PlayStation and asked, "What's the first game that comes to mind when you look at this picture?" I'm not the only one who feels deeply about Sony's breakout box. The answers to Mackie's question span myriad genres, from the usual suspects (Crash Bandicoot, Final Fantasy VII, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid) to more surprising picks (Pandemonium, Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories, and, uh, Shrek's Treasure Hunt).

As for me, I still associate PlayStation with the almost-immediate segue from the aforementioned PlayStation jingle to the animated intro for Mega Man X4. Final Fantasy VII was the first game I played on the PlayStation, but I think Capcom's 32-bit logo followed by the cheesy guitar riff used for Mega Man X4's English-language intro (unsurprisingly, Japan got something much better) imprinted on me more deeply than Squaresoft's slow, quiet build-up to Final Fantasy VII's silent menu screen.

My PlayStation was also the first game system that was really, truly mine: I didn't have to park it in the living room and share it with everyone. I was old enough that my parents allowed me to keep a TV in my room, which is where I hooked up the ol' grey girl and played classic JRPGs and action games long into the night.

(Actually, the television came later. I initially hooked up my PlayStation to an old monitor my brother used for his Commodore 64. He warned me it had no color or sound. It didn't—until I adjusted the color and volume knobs. That monitor served me well until one day it said, "NO MORE FINAL FANTASY VII, EVER," and offed itself with a tiny tink sound and the grim smell of burning wires.)

Game system nostalgia is a hell of a powerful drug. Feel free to share a bit of your own, whether it's for the PlayStation or another system.

If you are feeling nostalgic about the original PlayStation, you might want to check out the PlayStation Classic or even Pre-Order a PlayStation Classic.

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Comments 18

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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #1 cldmstrsn 2 months ago
    The Playstation and Dreamcast startup sounds will always be my favorite.
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  • Avatar for GreatLordAbsu #2 GreatLordAbsu 2 months ago
    FFVII is what I think of at first, quickly followed by FF Tactics, Resident Evil 2, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Those were my first four PS1 games, bought with my own money from my first job. Needless to say, PS1 made a *hell* of a first impression. Man, such good memories~!
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  • Avatar for Vonlenska #3 Vonlenska 2 months ago
    Final Fantasy VII. I feel like that's not a very interesting answer, but it was my first PlayStation game. I actually owned it before I even had a PlayStation! So while it's not my favorite game for the console, it feels inexorably tied to it.

    I still remember how the game discs and the official strategy guide smelled. Mmmm. The sweet, glossy scent of games' Shiny Bright Future Past.
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #4 SIGGYZtar 2 months ago
    @cldmstrsn I think one of the YMO made the Dreamcast startup.
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  • Avatar for BulkSlash #5 BulkSlash 2 months ago
    It’s interesting, when I saw that Tweet earlier the first game that came to mind was (of course) Riiidge Raaacer.

    Then I saw a different Tweet which asked what game I think of when I see the Dreamcast, and literally about half a dozen games went through my head. I think that’s a sign of how awesome the Dreamcast is when it has so many games I want to play when I think about it.
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  • Avatar for Vodka-Tonic #6 Vodka-Tonic 2 months ago
    Oh, Jumping Flash; where have you gone? xD
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #7 cldmstrsn 2 months ago
    @SIGGYZtar That is cool as hell.
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  • Avatar for docexe #8 docexe 2 months ago
    The first game that comes to mind is Rival Schools, oddly enough. I mean, games like Mega Man X4, Final Fantasy VII and VIII and Castlevania Symphony of the Night were compelling reasons to finally ditch corporative loyalty and embrace multiplatform gaming, but I think Rival Schools was the breaking point. Until I had never seeing a fighting game before with such strong emphasis on the storyline, I suppose it just made me realize “Hey! That extra memory from the CD format is pretty cool after all”.
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  • Avatar for nimzy #9 nimzy 2 months ago
    I only had the chance to play Final Fantasy 7 and Tactics before it was already time to upgrade to the PS2 -- but boy did I get mileage out of the Playstation Underground demo discs. Think of it as the greatest hits of demos: Einhander, Spyro, Medievil, Tekken 3, MGS, Gran Turismo, Tomba -- every disc was a feast.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #10 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 months ago
    Ugh! I missed this; I think I was gonna mentioned this one before:

    Not Final Fantasy VII but Final Fantasy VII's Interactive Demo Disc. The one that had a video of Saga Frontier, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy 7 and a playable demo of Bushido Blade. I loved that demo disc so much years later my neighbour had knocked on my door, and forgot I still had it. (I had to later buy my own off ebay)

    But every time I load that demo up. I get this feeling of like, "if you thought the SNES was cool, the Playstation is gonna be crazy!" and to this day I still wonder which games I haven't played or if I've actually seen everything the Playstation has to offer.

    I dunno.Edited August 2018 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for MetManMas #11 MetManMas 2 months ago
    It's a boring answer, but it's got to be Final Fantasy VII. Specifically, the title sequence and opening of Final Fantasy VII. Still brings back lots of fond memories.

    Final Fantasy VII may not be the best game ever made (despite what praise in 1997 might say), but it was certainly one of the ones that had the biggest impact on the industry. It cemented Square's status as major player,* helped seriously bolster sales and support for the Sony PlayStation, and it led to many more jRPGs actually being localized instead of being left to rot in Japan.

    Only wish Sony cared enough about the PlayStation's legacy to bring PSone Classics to PS4...or at least, PlayStation Now.

    * Though to be fair, Square was already doing great stuff before Final Fantasy VII; it's just that the majority of it didn't get localized. And as awesome as Final Fantasy "III" and Chrono Trigger are, they never had the industry-wide impact that FF7 did. The game was just in the right place at the right time.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #12 Funny_Colour_Blue 2 months ago
    @MetManMas I agree, I remember one time in middle school, a friend came up to me, cause he knew I was a gamer. But he wanted to play more games, so I asked him what kind of games are you looking for?

    And he totally said "I wanna play more games like Final Fantasy 7"Edited August 2018 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for link6616 #13 link6616 2 months ago
    Two things come to mind

    T Rex.

    This was on the first demo disc we had, and it was oddly scary with the T Rex emerging out of the blackness. I was really compelled by this and looked at it many times as a child.

    Kurushi Final

    Also on the same demo disc, this game has such a strong OST that makes everything so tense, it also delved deep into my fearful child self. Even today, Kurushi makes me feel stressed in a way few puzzle games do. (even if the puzzle solving itself is actually not that stressful)
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  • Avatar for sanchoalvarez00 #14 sanchoalvarez00 2 months ago
    Yeah, I used to have this cool extension to filter the posts with retro gaming images in Twitter. It's been working very bad, now I know why. Nintendo nostalgia is stronger than ever now, as the general nostalgia for the 80s and the early 90s.
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  • Avatar for DrinkingWithSkeleton #15 DrinkingWithSkeleton 2 months ago
    My PS1 library was almost entirely Squaresoft games. Wish they would try porting some of the other great games they made for the system instead of just the Final Fantasies. Chrono Cross deserves some love.
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  • Avatar for Dorchadas #16 Dorchadas 2 months ago
    I never owned a PlayStation, so most of what I remember is watching friends play Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Symphony of the Night. They looked neat, but not neat enough to tear me away from Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Jedi Knight, or Age of Empires.

    ...except for Symphony of the Night, which I played through half-a-dozen times at a friend's house. A couple days ago someone posted a magazine screenshot of a review saying how great the (3D) N64 Castlevania game's graphics looks and lambasting SotN's graphics for daring to be 2D. I had one of those "I didn't realize someone could be that wrong" moments when I read it
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #17 Godots17thCup 2 months ago
    Maybe it's because I didn't have a PlayStation of my own, but I found the start-up jingle to be really unsettling as a kid. Not entirely in a bad way, mind you, but man it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up something fierce every time I heard it.

    While I've probably done 95% of my PS1 playing on later Sony consoles, be it through PSOne Classics or the backward compatability of the PS2 & PS3, the games I think of the most when it comes to the PS1 console itself are Squaresoft RPGs.

    A friend and I both fell hard for the Final Fantasy games of that generation, and between very frequent visits to his house and even occasionally borrowing his PS1 when he was between games, I ended up pouring dozens of hours into Chrono Cross and Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX; it was those games and that stretch of time that made me fall in love with what's now one of my favorite genres - and also what made me buy Quest 64 in a foolish, desperate attempt to get my RPG fix on my Nintendo 64.
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  • Avatar for Godots17thCup #18 Godots17thCup 2 months ago
    @Dorchadas Oh man, I saw that tweet too and it really took me back to the gaming culture during that time period. Unfortunately, back then that line of thinking wasn't even remotely limited to the official magazines of console makers, it was ubiquitous.

    As a kid that still loved 2D games and thought pixel graphics often looked lovely, I remember being deeply confused and a little sad at just how quickly and fiercely everyone, from press to developers to players, seemed to turn on the mere idea of them during that generation and well into the next. Despite being just as excited for 3D graphics as anybody, the prevailing "2D is old and therefore bad" attitude in the console space was a big part of why I initially got into handhelds.
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