Top 12 Best Puzzle Games For PS1: Listing Our FavoritesThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Puzzle games used to be among the most popular video games back in the day, but their popularity kinda faded away over time.
And some of the best titles really are on the old consoles, from the glory days of the genre.
The PlayStation 1 era saw the release of great puzzle games. Younger gamers may not care much, but classic gamers my consider PS1 puzzlers as some of the best in the entire genre. A bold statement, I know.
But let’s dive in and see what there is to offer!
12. Tecmo Stackers
Release Date: December 29, 1995
Whatever Tecmo Stackers is, it isn’t a particularly original game.
What it definitely is, it is a very fun game.
Heavily inspired by Puyo Puyo, Tecmo Stackers is a straightforward puzzle game. Players match blocks of the same colors to clear them from their screen, andd send them over to their opponent’s.
So there’s a big emphasis on chains, as sending a higher number of blocks to the opponent at the same time will make it more difficult to clear them.
Even with a few tweaks to the formula, Tecmo Stackers is basically the classic Puyo Puyo experience. So the game could be the most fun puzzle game ever or the worst, depending on your personal preference.
11. Magical Drop III
Release Date: 1997 (unknown month)
Don’t you love it when puzzle games are so easy to understand that gratification is almost immediate? I definitely do.
Magical Drop III is a pretty much perfect port of the arcade game.
Controlling a jester located at the bottom of the screen, you reposition balloons in the upper portion of the screen to match those of the same color. Again this would remove them from your screen and send them over to your opponent, Puyo Puyo style (similar to Tecmo Stackers).
The ability to spawn an additional line adds a risk-reward system that elevates the experience beyond that of a mere Puzzle Bobble meets Puyo Puyo clone. And the colorful graphics provide the eye candy you need to return to the game over and over, even after failing many times.
10. 3D Lemmings
Release Date: July 31, 1995
More ways to die, thanks to a new dimension. Hurray for technological advancement!
3D Lemmings brings the excellent 2D gameplay experience of the series to the third dimension.
Everything you have seen in the original game is here: 80 different stages of increasing difficulty, a complex level design that forces players to learn all of the skills assigned to the Lemmings, and all the tools needed to help them reach the exit of each stage unscathed.
It’s a lot more fun than it sounds, trust me!
And if they’re headed towards an untimely death, you can use a replay function to rewind time and change your strategy: no matter how many times they die, Lemmings always come back. Now that’s resilience!
9. Puzzle Bobble
Release Date: March 29, 1996
Shooting bubbles from the mouth gets tiring after a while. So why not let something else do the job for you?
Puzzle Bobble is a very simple puzzle game where players have to clear a lot of stages of increasing difficulty by matching three or more bubbles of the same color to pop them.
Bubbles are shot from the bottom of the screen, and players can also use the side walls to perform some tricky bouncing shots. These can be the difference between victory and defeat.
Not the deepest puzzle game experience out there, that’s for sure. But one that is among the most enjoyable, especially in the PSX library.
8. The Next Tetris
Release Date: January 7, 1999
Think you know Tetris? Think again!
On the surface, The Next Tetris is like the Tetris we have known since the GameBoy days.
Blocks of different shapes fall down from the upper side of the screen and you place them properly to clear out each line.
However, the devil is in the details.
The Next Tetris introduces the Multimino, colored blocks that can make it easier to clear multiple lines. Plus the ability to make blocks fall into gaps, opening up massive chaining possibilities not seen in any iteration of Tetris.
With so many twists to this rendition, you’ll have to learn Tetris all over again. And you’ll love every second of it.
7. Mr. Driller
Release Date: November 1999
Mr. Driller takes a well-oiled concept only to twist it and create an experience that’s fresh and familiar at the same time.
Unlike most puzzles games, Mr. Driller isn’t about matching elements that fall from the top of the screen. Rather it’s about digging through to the bottom by drilling blocks and matching them up.
Making the experience extremely strategic is the air limit, which forces players to think hard about every move and optimize as much as possible.
The interplay between these mechanics, and their incredibly easy to understand nature, make Mr. Driller a tight experience that’s suited for players of all skill levels.
6. Kula World
Release Date: July 10, 1998
Puzzle games often defy any logic offering some surreal experiences.
Kula World takes this a step further.
In Kula World, you have control over a beach ball and explore a variety of stages, collecting coins to increase the score and keys to unlock the exit.
Each stage comes with a variety of different blocks where the ball must pass, and switches that alter gravity, allowing you to explore every nook and cranny of the stage.
Assuming you know how to deal with spikes, lava, and other hazards dangerous to every beach ball under the sun. But even if you get deflated you’ll still have a bloody good time.
5. No One Can Stop Mr. Domino!
Release Date: January 8, 1998
No one can stop Mr. Domino.
And we’re grateful for it.
Controlling either Mr. or Mrs. Domino, players must complete a variety of events that are all triggered by dropping dominoes on specific parts of the map.
While the formula is extremely simple, it hides a surprising amount of depth. This allows players to come up with combos that can trigger multiple events, one wackier than the next, and score a tremendous amount of points.
Now, do you think you’ll be the one to stop Mr. Domino?
4. One Piece Mansion
Release Date: June 21, 2001
Fun twist: One Piece Mansion has got nothing to do with the popular manga/anime series.
But it has a lot to do with fun!
Instead of clearing out the screen by matching blocks, in One Piece Mansion you’ll actually have to fill the screen with apartments. And assign tenants properly so that they’ll be happy with your arrangement.
A morale indicator will help you understand how each of the wacky tenants reacts to one another. And the arrival of trouble tenants will force you to rethink your entire strategy as the only way to get rid of them is to stress them out to the max.
With such a dynamic experience and great personality, One Piece Mansion is rightfully one of the best puzzles games ever released on PlayStation 1. Absolutely recommend giving this a try.
3. Devil Dice
Release Date: June 18, 1998
Don’t summon the devil. Don’t call the priest. Play Devil Dice and become the devil yourself!
Controlling a small devil who’s standing on a die, you navigate a variety of stages which feature a bunch of dice. Noticing a pattern here?
The main goal is to clear all of them from the field by matching up their numbers, which requires knowledge of dice and a quick analytical mind.
The game is very fast-paced and defeat is always right around the corner.
Thankfully, the inclusion of a turn-based Puzzle Game mode makes it possible to learn the game without resorting to true demon summoning. Which you will be doing anyway to condemn your friends to eternal suffering in the game’s hectic and hilarious multiplayer mode. You have been warned.
2. Intelligent Qube
Release Date: January 31, 1997
Nothing in Intelligent Qube makes sense…Until it does!
Controlling a stylized human character, in Intelligent Qube you must clear a rectangular platform which roll cubes of different colors before they all fall off.
Black blocks should not be destroyed, while green ones can be used to start chain reactions that can take out multiple grey blocks.
Not making any sense?
No worries. Intelligent Qube is a game that must be played to be understood. And its carefully balanced difficulty curve will make sure you’ll be playing it for a long time (for fun other just to prove you can win!)
This puzzler is so addicting that you may end up playing it so much, you’ll start seeing rolling blocks in your dreams. I wish I was kidding.
1. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Release Date: May 31, 1996
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is the perfect puzzle-game rendition of the Street Fighter experience.
And IMO the best puzzle game ever released on PS1.
Controlling super-deformed versions of classic Street Fighter and Darkstalkers series characters, you and another player(human or AI) battle it out by matching gems of the same color and a detonator.
The detonator will remove the gems from your screen and send them over to the opponent, who will not be able to destroy them until a few turns have passed. This makes more sense as you play, but take a peek at some gameplay footage to see what I mean.