20 Best Multiplayer PS1 Games: The Ultimate ListThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Multiplayer has changed a lot over the years.
We’re now used to massive battle royale experiences like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone.
But they cannot compare to classic local multiplayer.
Sure, we can goad someone while playing online through our headsets. But is it as satisfying as watching friends and family turn red with rage, slamming the controller down in frustration?
Definitely not. Unless the controller they’re slamming is their own…
The first PlayStation is arguably the best console for local multiplayer. Or, at least if you grew up with it. Same goes for PlayStation 2 which had a lot of great multiplayer titles in its own right.
But PS1 was just such a different era with so many different games.
Whether you are looking to shoot enemies down, beat them with your fists, or challenge them to an old-fashioned race, you will find a way to do so in style.
And you won’t have to hear about lag, input delay, or any of the modern excuses we like spewing out after a bad defeat.
So let’s take a trip down memory lane and re-live the 90s… with friends.
20. Metal Slug X
Metal Slug is one of the classic multiplayer experiences for PS1.
And home console Metal Slug X is as explosive as its arcade counterpart too.
Two players have to navigate several 2D side-scrolling stages killing bad guys, destroying their mechs and weaponry, saving prisoners to receive new goodies, and generally trying to stay alive while doing so.
The weapons are extremely fun, the action hectic, and the teamwork exciting.
So if you’re in for a game that’s easy to pick-up and play, Metal Slug X is the game for you.
19. Micro Machines V3
Before video games were a thing (shocking, I know) kids had toys to pass those endless afternoons.
Every 90s kid knows about the Micro Machines: miniature vehicles that were so easy to lose, but so fun to play with.
They were so small that Codemasters managed to cram them into a PlayStation 1 disc.
Micro Machines V3 feels like a racing game from another era with its top-down view, very small cars, and 48 tracks set around the household.
The game’s multiplayer, which supports up to 8 players, features the option to pass the controller to another player any time.
So you will be able to enjoy the game’s hectic races even without having to track down the elusive Multitap accessory.
And if you feel your racing skills are not good enough, use one of the many weapons found all over the tracks. If you can’t beat them their way, do it your way.
18. Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
In Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, you beat people up with your fists.
In Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, you beat them up with gems.
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo features no motions to perform or combos to memorize.
Just position the colored gems that drop from the screen properly and use a colored Crush Gem to create Counter Gems that are sent over to mess up everyone’s stacks.
All while super-deformed versions of characters from the Street Fighter and Dark Stalker series have a go at one another.
Despite appearances, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo is a great multiplayer game with a depth that is unrivaled to this day.
These fighters are small, but they pack a punch. Or a gem, in this case.
17. Point Blank
Point Blank brings a true arcade experience to your living room.
Well, given you could afford two Namco Light Guns that do not (sadly) shoot light.
In Point Blank, players compete in a lot of different shooting contests ranging from shooting down colored bullseyes to cardboard criminals.
All while avoiding shooting bombs and human cut-outs and protecting main characters Dr. Don and Dr. Dan. It’s a lot.
All challenges are divided into six different types of stages which focus on different shooting skills like accuracy and speed.
If you’re looking for modern-day gunslinging and triumphant gun twirling then definitely take a peek at this title.
16. Um Jammer Lammy
Before Guitar Hero and its plastic instruments, there was Um Jammer Lammy.
And regular controllers.
Sequel to the better known Parappa the Rapper, Um Jammer Lammy is a simple rhythm game.
Here players must press buttons in time with the music, joining Lammy the guitarist as she hurries to her concert.
You’ll also be helping other anthropomorphic animals on the way.
Co-op mode sees Rammy joining in with her own guitar, and both players need to play extremely well to keep the on-screen rating high enough.
And if you pick the wrong partner you can lose just from poor performance… sound familiar?
But instead of smashing your virtual guitar on their head, settle your dispute in versus mode.
If you lose here, you can only blame yourself. Or your horrible tuned guitar.
15. Vigilante 8
Everyone loves racing games.
Everyone also loves to play them dirty.
In Vigilante 8, playing dirty means playing it right.
Vigilante 8 sees a band of vigilantes trying to take down a band of desperadoes called Coyotes, who are wreaking havoc all over the US.
All of the playable characters come with their own car and wacky special weapon, ranging from your typical laser attacks to a swarm of lethal bees.
With these equipped weapons, playing cooperatively doesn’t really cut it. So you’d better hop onto the game’s versus mode to show your friends that you truly mean business.
14. Bushido Blade 2
How do fighting game characters survive so long after getting hit by iron-clad fists and waves of spiritual energy?
Bushido Blade 2 gives a clear answer to this question: they do not survive.
Bushido Blade 2 does away with any sort of life bar and special attack gauge, providing a more realistic representation of sword fighting.
If you slash at your opponent’s arm, there’s a good chance you will cut it off.
If you strike the opponent’s head, the fight will be over. Fun!
This makes Bushido Blade 2 an extremely technical fighting game that will make your multiplayer sessions so tense, with your honor at stake.
Losing well, after all, is the final step on the way of the warrior.
13. Future Cop L.A.P.D
To defeat super-criminals, you need superweapons.
Like the ones used by the Los Angeles Police Department in Future Cop L.A.P.D.
In Future Cop L.A.P.D, players control a powerful mech that can turn into a hovercraft and stop crime in the ever-dangerous Los Angeles.
The game is played from an isometric perspective and it allows co-op play for the entirety of its challenging main campaign.
The game shines as a multiplayer title in the Precinct Assault mode, a strategic game mode where players will have to build a variety of units and send them to capture the enemy’s base.
If you’re aiming to become the smartest guy in the house you’d better win a lot.
12. Rival Schools
We all got into at least a fight in your school days.
But did we ever end these fights with fireballs?
No, unless we played Rival Schools.
Rival Schools is, in many ways, the perfect fighting game multiplayer experience.
With a big thanks to its easy-to-understand game mechanics that make it simple to unleash spectacular special attacks and team-up attacks.
Not to mention its flashy presentation (especially for a PS1 title).
Fights are relatively straightforward so you can just pop in the game for a few minutes when you have a friend over and show that your school is better than his by beating him with a virtual baseball bat.
11. Legend of Mana
Legend of Mana is not regarded as a classic like its predecessors.
But it is among the most unique PlayStation games with a major focus on co-op multiplayer action.
The fourth entry in the Mana series looks awesome with an art direction that gives the game a fable-like atmosphere.
But it also plays great too, single player and multiplayer.
Co-op allows two players to explore maps together, and it makes the RPG experience even easier than playing solo since the unique progression system makes players face enemies that are much stronger than expected.
Did I say easier? I meant more fun.
While the multiplayer experience isn’t straightforward, Legend of Mana is a game that does not disappoint those looking for something a little more involved.
10. Soul Blade
Transcending history and the world, a tale of souls and swords, eternally retold.
A tale that began in Soul Blade.
Soul Blade is the PS1 weapon-based 3D fighting game for those who are not into the extreme realism of Bushido Blade. So don’t expect to be able to cut off limbs and finish fights in a single strike.
The game is good nonetheless, thanks to the varied cast and the gameplay mechanics centered on offense, defense, and positioning.
While the game only offers a standard one versus one multiplayer mode, the inclusion of weapons with different properties make it more varied than the arcade release.
9. Twisted Metal 2
No other combat racing game on PlayStation is as good as Twisted Metal 2.
And that is no easy feat, giving how many of them there are.
But Twisted Metal 2 features great character and track design and an explosive gameplay experience that pits players against other vehicles armed with all manners of unconventional weapons.
The variety of characters and vehicles also makes sure you will never get board with a friend in the co-op Tournament Mode. Or by just having at each other in the Versus Mode.
Just make sure that no one else is around: controllers will be flying.
8. Gran Turismo 2
While it is fun to play combat racing games, they cannot replicate the thrill of a real race.
And racing doesn’t get more real than in Gran Turismo 2, the Real Driving Simulator.
Now that’s a bold statement!
The Gran Turismo series is the series for those who like racing simulations, and Gran Turismo 2 delivers on all fronts.
It features a huge real-life car line-up, vast customization options, and extremely realistic physics.
This all prevents players from going full-throttle on turns and win races.
The multiplayer mode is a little limited compared to the single-player experience, as it only features 1-on-1 races.
But the excellent car and track selection makes it still really fun, and the horizontal split-screen mode is a godsend for long play sessions.
Worms aren’t always harmless animals.
They are dangerous and armed to the teeth in one of the best multiplayer games released on the original PlayStation.
Worms is, still today, one of the funniest multiplayer experiences of all time.
Controlling a team of worms placed all over a 2D battlefield, players will be taking turns moving them around and unleashing a wide arsenal made of grenades, bombs, and missiles.
All of which have a tendency to fly in a different direction than intended. Hilarity will ensue.
Growing tired of long range warfare?
Prod an enemy worm off a cliff and watch your opponent explode. With laughter.
6. Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
Skateboarding is fun, but also dangerous.
Luckily there are games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 that let us to indulge in our hobby without having to worry about broken limbs.
THPS 2 is rightly considered to be among the best skateboarding games ever released.
Mostly thanks to its great stage design, skater selection, and customization options.
The impressive tricks you can perform become even more satisfying to pull off in the game’s many multiplayer modes.
The best are definitely Graffiti, which tasks players with accumulating the most points by changing elements of the stage to their signature color.
And there’s also Tag, which is a skateboarding take on the traditional game of tag.
If competitive multiplayer is not your thing then you can also choose to build your own level with the editor and have friends make up very nasty setups to break your virtual limbs.
Better than a real visit to the hospital though.
5. Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter is the most traditional multiplayer experience ever.
And its culmination on the original PlayStation is with Street Fighter Alpha 3.
Arcade perfect ports were not a thing back in 1998. But the PlayStation release of Alpha 3 makes up for it with additional characters and some great play modes like World Tour and Dramatic Battle.
Specifically, Dramatic Battle offers a new (at the time) 2-versus-1 experience that feels frenetic and fun.
Although it is limited in character selection due to the console’s technical limitations. Thus was the era of the PS1, my friends.
If you’re up for a traditional 1v1 experience, Street Fighter Alpha 3 more than delivers on this front.
With 35 characters and three play styles, what else can you ask for?
4. ISS Pro Evolution
Soccer is a very serious affair.
And soccer gamers have always been divided between FIFA and Pro Evolution fans.
Back in the early 2000s, Pro Evolution was the winning camp.
ISS Pro Evolution was promoted before release with the corny tagline “This really IS football!” (soccer for my US readers)
But for once, it wasn’t misleading. As this game developed by Konami was indeed the football (soccer) game for those looking for a realistic simulation.
The game had everything you could want: great ball physics, great controls, and smart AI that prevented players from going from one side of the field to the other to score (yes, I’m thinking of you dumb FIFA 98 goalkeepers).
The game did lack official team licensing so it had some… oddities.
But laughing at misspelled players’ names like Zedane, Moldani, and R.Corlos was all part of the experience.
3. Bishi Bashi Special
Bishi Bashi Special is the most charming PlayStation1 multiplayer game, hands down.
It’s the game you were popping in your console during parties, providing immediate fun to players of all skill levels.
And even of different intoxication levels.
Bishi Bashi Special features an impressive collection of over 90 arcade games that are very easy to understand.
Some rather fun ones include “I Am The Law” where you have to shoot down bad guys by pressing the correct buttons, or “Type Your Letter” where you use the shoulder buttons to pick the correct letter.
They are all extremely fun, and the corny voiceovers make everything so hilarious that you’ll end up playing for hours without noticing.
And the more players the merrier, as Bishi Bashi Special really brings the life of the party. Take a peek at some gameplay footage to see what it’s all about.
2. Tekken 3
The King of the Iron First Tournament reached its pinnacle on the original PlayStation with Tekken 3, a landmark for the series and 3D fighting games.
Tekken 3 is made memorable by its amazing character roster, which introduces mainstays to the series like Jin Kazama.
Not to mention its wide variety of play modes, ranging from the classic Arcade Mode to Tekken Force Mode.
Alongside the classic 1 versus 1 setup, the Tekken 3 multiplayer also offers Tekken Ball: a beach volley match mode, complete with different balls and a special stage.
Trust me, it’s fun.
Pick Gon for maximum hilarity and boasting rights. Winning with him will make you the King of the Iron Beach.
1. Crash Team Racing
The true PlayStation multiplayer king is Crash Team Racing, no question.
Bow down to your true liege, kings of arcades, football, and iron fists!
Crash Team Racing is the multiplayer game PlayStation fans really needed to finally make N64 owners shut up about Mario Kart 64. Which, I’ll admit, was a great game (still is).
It has everything a game needs to be fun: great character & weapon selection, excellent track design with lots of secrets, colorful graphics, and simple to understand (but harder to master) mechanics.
If racing is not thrilling enough for you and your friends, Battle Mode allows you to let your destructive nature shine by focusing on the combat gameplay.
Just don’t go overboard, we don’t really need another Dr. Neo Cortex.