Twisted Metal (1995)
- Developer: Singletrac
- Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Looking back over the years, one of the most common debates among gamers is not over the superiority of any particular console. Instead, it's the altogether more civilised discussion over which year has been the best year for gaming - and in that particular field, 1995 has a very strong claim to make. Few years have seen the emergence of quite so many games which went on to spawn massive franchises - some of them creating entire genres along the way.
One genre which particularly came to attention in 1995 was vehicular combat, which was finally possible on consoles thanks to the PlayStation's 3D abilities. 1995 brought us Destruction Derby, and then Twisted Metal; but while Destruction Derby may have won a more secure place in the hearts of many gamers, it's Twisted Metal which has, surprisingly, withstood the ravages of time more effectively.
Where Destruction Derby's extremely basic physics now seem grating and amateurish, Twisted Metal's weapons are still interesting and fun - and the presentation of the game remains as overblown as ever. Graphically, Twisted Metal really looks poor to an eye used to the charms of the PS3 and 360 - but the game still has a raw, unrefined charm which turned our revisiting into an hour-long session. Every vehicular combat game since owes a little bit to Twisted Metal, and a little bit to Carmageddon; but as well as enjoying an important place in the gaming family tree, Twisted Metal is still, crucially, fun.