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I've always recalled my love for video games back to the moment I laid my hands on a PS1 controller. Fast forward 22 years later and this love is still as strong as ever... albeit in a world where gaming has taken over as the fastest growing medium across the entire planet, including consoles, PC, Mobile, etc. Boys, girls, men, women, children, parents, even grandparents have finally succumbed to the gaming frenzy, with companies worldwide catering to all ages, genders, races, interests and so many more genres that have made gaming the global phenomenon it is today.
You'd think, with gaming being as big as it ever was, why I'm still so fixated on the past? Think of when you visit your grandparents' place and you start reminiscing the days when you would eat all day, get showered with desserts, spend your entire time laughing, playing and talking to your grandma, and she hands you that pocket change of money when you're leaving, simpler times with no to little worries. I'd say I feel the same about games, and most of you would think "I'm 100% sure he's definitely tried the NES, SEGA Genesis or the Atari, they were still as big in the Middle East in the 90s", but I will go back and say "NO!".
My obsession with the PS1 started back in 1998, when my dad dropped me to stay over at a family friend's place for the day, while my mom and him went shopping. As I was looking for my friend in his own house, I heard him yelling at the top of his lungs in excitment, and to my curiosity, I ran straight to his room. There he was jumping in joy, while a voice from the screen said "YOU WIN!". Seeing the controller in his hand, I remembered playing Mario on one of the knock off gaming consoles that were sold in 10 AED stores in Sharjah, but this looked much fancier, and the graphics? Marvelous for their time! He hands me a 2nd controller and begs me to try the game, so I look at the screen and see 10 faces lined up at the bottom, giving me the choice to select one of them. I see a robot with a Japanese hat appear on the screen, and probably the most difficult name I've had to pronounce in my life... I mean I was 6, give me a break!
What made the PS1 really stand out compared to other consoles in its generations was:
I remember the first summer when I flew back home to Egypt with the PS1, I was traveling with a huge pack of new games such as Crash Team Racing, Syphon Filter, Metal Gear Solid and Digimon World. Days and nights, in the scorching heat of the Egyptian Summer, the PS1 saved me from a boredom of eternity whenever we weren't visiting relatives or going out of Cairo. This was such an extraordinary summer, since I introduced my cousins to the PS1, having just made it into the Egyptian games market, and thankfully, I had already made sure I had the 4 controllers with the 4 Player Multiplayer port with me, and there started our summer gaming nights, spanning almost 3 months until I was back in the UAE.
That was how obsessed I was with the PS1 in a nutshell, and for my next story, I will be talking more about I got more into the world of gaming through another Sony masterpiece that is still lauded as the most successful console of all time: the PlayStation 2!
Here's a list of my favorite PS1 Games below: