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).
What's the first game that comes to mind when you look at this picture? pic.twitter.com/bKlFjK6UCw— Paul Mackie (@paulmac708) August 25, 2018
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.