Like the most stubborn of zombies in a horror movie, the PlayStation 3 online store keeps coming back from the dead and hobbling after us. Here are 5 classic titles you can still buy on its digital storefront ahead of Halloween.
Sony has announced that the PlayStation 3 will no longer support purchases by credit, debit or PayPal on its digital store from Wednesday October 27. This comes after an attempt earlier this year to completely unplug the market. An outcry from fans who wanted to retain access to the 15-year-old service, largely for its back catalog of Psone and PS2 Classics, caused Sony to change its mind. Yet here we are, six months later, with the most convenient means of purchase removed.
After Wednesday, you’ll need a PlayStation Gift Card to buy anything from the PlayStation 3 Store – and, if you’re in the mood for something both spooky and retro, maybe not Conventionally, for the Halloween season, there are plenty of reasons to dust off your old console from its PSone Classic library alone.
5) dinosaur crisis
Take the engine from the Resident Evil games and trade zombies for dinosaurs, and you have the cult classic Dino Crisis. It would have been easy for this one to fall flat on its face, but Capcom managed to tap into a different, more primal type of terror. Instead of slow, stumbling zombies, you must face one of humanity’s oldest and most primal fears. It worked for Spielberg and jurassic park, and it also works here.
Plus, you get all the camp you expect from cheesy horror movies with reaching premises, but with new cliches that keep it fresh. It’s almost criminal that it didn’t become a longer franchise.
4) resident Evil (series)
These may be obvious choices, but the resident Evil games are the reason we have “survival horror” as a genre. In the same way that it’s worth rewatching foundational slasher movies to see where more modern movies come from, it’s always worth booting up your PlayStation 3 to revisit the original Raccoon City. In some ways, these games are almost scarier in their original forms, their technical limitations leaving more to your imagination.
Personally, the series has never been so scary as in Resident Evil Nemesis, where the titular juggernaut could appear virtually at any time to kill you instantly. That fear of pursuit is purer here than in its 2020 remake. But the original Resident Evil remake is also a great choice, with its crimson-headed zombies, or Resident Evil 2, arguably the finest moment in the first age of series.
3) Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Halloween doesn’t have to be all about slashers and pumpkins, because fear comes in a wide array of flavors, as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne proves. You play as a high school student who has the fate of humanity on his shoulders when the apocalypse wipes out the race – you know, typical teenage issues. You must navigate a nightmarish version of Tokyo, wrestle with your new demonic powers, and negotiate with other demons to decide what new shape the land will take.
Riddled with demonic creatures, this post-apocalyptic hell is every bit as unsettling and scary as the scariest movie, which makes Night a great unconventional choice for Halloween games. (Alternatively, you can also play the HD Remaster which released earlier this year, adding voice acting and modernized quality of life updates, but the cheaper price of the PS2 Classic version might still be worth it. )
2) silent Hill
Konami’s 1999 classic does something similar, aiming for psychological horror more than traditional hack-and-slash. silent Hill plays much like Resident Evil, with unwieldy tank-like controls. But the difference in atmosphere is immediately apparent, using a radio to detect monsters by the static they generate, or illuminating the game’s dark environments with only the flashlight strapped to your jacket.
The series fell into unofficial retirement in recent years, following the departure of Hideo Kojima from Konami during development of silent hills. However, the original game and its successors have retained their popularity and relevance through retro gaming and backwards compatibility markets, such as the PlayStation 3 market. Physical copies regularly sell for nearly $100 in bulk, or far more. in full form, but the PSone Classic version is only $6 CDN, a nice discount for a horror classic.
1) parasitic eve
Square Enix’s 1998 action-RPG Parasite Eve is a strong contender for the top spot on this list. An overlooked retro gem easily accessible on the PlayStation 3 Store? To verify. An unconventional horror game? To verify. And for bonus points it straddles the line between the holidays, being a horror game set over Christmas – a plus for A Nightmare Before Christmas or even die hard Fans.
NYPD officer Aya Brea finds herself uniquely equipped to deal with a threat that seeks to eradicate humanity from the cellular level. Combining lighter tank controls with RPG elements, parasitic eve really encapsulates a lot of the best features of the era while telling a story that’s both grounded in real-world science and absolutely bonkers. As a pseudo-sequel to a Japanese novel of the same name, it packs enough body horror to give Junji Ito a run for his money.
There you have it, a handful of titles that might not be the most obvious Halloween games, but are worth checking out on the PlayStation 3 Store while it’s still handy. Who knows how many more times this golden repository of classic games can stave off extinction or be resurrected like the worst enemies on this list, though.