In 1999, Italian Eurodance group Eiffel 65 released the album Europop. The album contains two of the outfit’s biggest international hits, “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” and “Move Your Body.” Less well-known is the sixth track, “My Console.” Opening with the line “We’re gonna play the game, the PlayStation all day,” the song is both an homage to turn-of-the-century gaming and a testament to the group’s rejection of the arguably overly-intellectual techno of the 90s, as it proceeds to list a number of PlayStation titles over a solid beat. Let’s take a look at all the games they saw fit to include, in order of appearance.
1. Metal Gear Solid
Starting off strong here. Metal Gear Solid is widely-regarded as a groundbreaking game and remains one of the most iconic PlayStation titles ever made. It made a new case for the PlayStation as a console and brand, popularized the stealth genre, and made players rethink what games were capable of. Still, few expected it to become the hit that it did — even series creator Hideo Kojima doubted it would amount to much at the time.
2. Tekken 3
One of the most-beloved fighting game series of all time, Tekken was first released in arcades in 1994 then ported to the PlayStation in 1995. The third entry in the series was released on the PS1 in 1998 and became the fourth best-selling game on that console. Tekken 3 holds the highest rating of any game in the series on Metacritic, scoring an impressive 96%.
3. Omega Boost
Ok, here’s where things get weird. Omega Boost is a 3D mech shooter running on the Gran Turismo engine released in 1999 by Polyphony Digital. It is seldom found on contemporary best-of lists, making it somewhat out of place among the song’s other titles. But that’s the thing about canons — they’re always retrospective. Back in the 90s, there were no Steam reviews or Metacritic, and games like Omega Boost could sit comfortably on gamers’ shelves alongside Tekken 3 and Metal Gear Solid.
4. Resident Evil
Back to the classics, the first Resident Evil is just as frustrating to play today as it was back then. The game uses the trick of prerendered backgrounds to create settings with higher visual fidelity, but the tradeoff is that the camera is fixed in place. That plus the infamous “tank controls” means that Resident Evil can be a real slog. The thing is, it works — it creates a real atmosphere of terror as the player investigates Umbrella and explores the mansion. It worked so well, in fact, that it created the entire genre of “survival horror.” Weird to think that prior to Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami was best known for directing Goof Troop on the SNES.
5. Gran Turismo
Another certified banger, Gran Turismo is the best-selling PlayStation 1 game of all time. Back in the 90s, I didn’t get it — the realistic setting and premise just didn’t appeal to me. Looking back, though, it’s hard not to be impressed by the level of detail that went into the game. Indisputably classic and an essential PlayStation title.
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6. Bloody Roar
Ok so Bloody Roar is a fighting game where your guys can turn into animal people in the middle of a match. It actually rules and I owned Bloody Roar: Primal Fury on the GameCube. The series’ Japanese name is Beastorizer, which is incredible, and the first entry was released on the PlayStation in 1997, shortly after it appeared in arcades that same year. It’s not on the same level as a Tekken and looking back it seems like kind of an odd choice, but Bloody Roar did pretty well at the time, getting a rerelease under Sony’s “The Best” range in 1999. There hasn’t been a Bloody Roar game since 2004.
7. The X-Files Game
It’s mentioned only as X-Files in “My Console,” but the full title is in fact The X-Files Game. Not just The X-Files, not X-Files: The Game. The X-Files Game. It’s a full-motion video adventure game that got middling reviews, though it achieved commercial success and was nominated for two awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences. The X-Files was into its seventh season and still big in 1999, as evidenced from the much more memorable reference to the franchise in Bloodhound Gang’s “Bad Touch” from the same year.
8. Ridge Racer
In 1999, Ridge Racer had already been out for the PlayStation for five years, making this one of the oldest games Eiffel 65 references on “My Console.” Considered a rival to Sega’s Daytona USA which appeared on the Saturn, Ridge Racer was an early PlayStation hit for Namco, who had to redevelop the arcade title nearly from scratch to get it to run on the system. Of course, it’s possible that the band is referencing later Ridge Racer titles for the PlayStation, such as the most recent release at the time, R4: Ridge Racer Type 4. Personally, though, I like the idea that Eiffel 65 is shouting out one of their cherished classics alongside the hyped newer releases.
9. Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Oddworld is a lot of things, but not the kind of game I would associated with a high-energy, techno-fueled gaming session. The title’s creepy premise and distinct alien character designs really scared me as a kid, but Oddworld was a critical and commercial success, spawning a franchise replete with sequels, prequels, side stories, and remakes. Abe still kind of creeps me out, though.
10. Winning Eleven
Winning Eleven is the Japanese name for the series known as Pro Evolution Soccer — and previously, Goal Storm — in the rest of the world. It’s a well-regarded football series by Konami, who used to make video games.
Speaking of, where’s Symphony of the Night? It came out back in 1997, but maybe Eiffel 65 weren’t big fans of the change it represented to the traditional Castlevania formula. Other conspicuous absences from “My Console” include Final Fantasy VII (1997), Crash Bandicoot (1996), Tomb Raider (1996), Rayman (1995), and Spyro the Dragon (1998). But hey, it’s still a pretty good list, and I give Eiffel 65’s PlayStation collection an 8 out of 10.