Being there, as a games journalist at the launch of the machine - at seeing a brand new epoch unfurling before my eyes - was a weird experience, not least because I never got the fuss.
The PlayStation always felt like a triumph of marketing and PR more than anything. It succeeded in branding, at making a games console a must-have lifestyle item, at ushering in the future of gaming - and it was 3D. Sony's messaging crushed everything in its path, like a corporate behemoth wearing a couple of steam engines for shoes.
There were lots of good games on the PS1 to be sure, but many of the system's alleged "classics" sailed through on a wave of euphoric hype. Furthermore, they have aged poorly - far worse than most Mega Drive and Super NES games.
It was a time when everything became polygons, and the technology simply wasn't advanced enough to do justice to the vision of its creators. Throw into that a godawful joypad, and you had a lot of games that were, frankly, difficult to play, and even more horrible to look at it.
In the interests of casting a revealing light onto history, here are ten overrated PS1 titles.
I mean, if you intend to alienate your players with anything remotely resembling the world they live in, or wish to ensure there's absolutely nothing endearing or appealing for them to latch onto, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver is the perfect template.
Raziel, the protagonist of Soul Reaver, is some sort of vampire/wraith guy, and one of - if not the - most poorly designed video game characters of all time. From his horrific snood, to his physical proportions - a size-zero waist coupled to Popeye-style arm-and-leg tumours - he's a bewildering design, the sort of thing a 14 year-old would scrawl in the back of a geography copy book.
Furthermore, the overwrought story and dialogue was the video game equivalent of that same teenager painting their bedroom walls black, and filling a journal with self-indulgent poetry.
Of course, everyone overlooked the game's many, many failings because, y'know, it was a 3D platformer-hack-'em-up... and that was exciting, apparently.
What did people like about Final Fantasy VII? Frankly, I've no idea, and I loathe the fact that I bought into everyone else's excitement, and contributed a favourable review on Digitiser, despite my subconscious whispering... "But the Emperor... he wears no clothes!".
I forced myself through this scarcely-interactive experience, occasionally pressing X to make something happen, suffering its obscure and unfathomable storyline, trying so hard to discover what it was that people were liking... While simultaneously convincing myself that I was enjoying it. Once again, it seems as if everyone was blinded by the "3D" - mostly pre-rendered - visuals.
Ohhh... it was all grown-up and emotional, they said. Yeah, if overwrought, daytime soap opera-levels of melodrama are your high watermark of dramatic writing.
"It's a weapon. It's really powerful, especially against living things."
"I'm going to find out what caused Forest's death. It looks like he was killed by a crow or something!"
"Where’s everyone going? Bingo?"
But c'mon... the Nintendo 64 gave us Mario, and the PlayStation gave us... this? It was fine, in the most mediocre way imaginable, but also incredibly easy, and incredibly repetitive. Admittedly, those are two things that kids like, but Nintendo somehow managed to appeal to kids while also offering a challenge. Spyro was dumbed down to the point of being a vegetable.
Insanely, the soundtrack was written by Stewart Copeland from The Police. Who is, of course, most six year-old's favourite musician.
I can't deny those two truths, but once you've been round that track forwards and backwards a couple of times... then what? Then what do you do, hmm? I mean, apart from show it to your friends and family, and drone on about how arcade-perfect it was? Newsflash: everyone normal thought you were boring!
To be fair, the FMV-mixed-with-live-actors was a pretty reasonable facsimile of the movies... but like so many FMV games it fell apart when it came to the actual gameplay. Aiming with the horrible PlayStation controller was more trial and error than anything.
VIII is somewhat less fondly-remembered than VII, presumably for the fact that by the time it came out everyone was starting to question what they ever liked about its predecessor.
Like Soul Reaver, I just couldn't get past the aesthetics here, and was rendered bewildered by how popular it was. It didn't help that the title itself even grated. Oddysee? ODDYSEE?!? What does that even mean?
What really killed the game was its difficulty, and a save system which forced you to repeat the same teeth-grindingly tough sections over and over and over.