MONSTER RANCHER / Tecmo / PS1
Riding the crest of the initial Pokiemans mania wave, Monster Rancher is sort of like Pokemon Stadium (though to be fair this came out first) meets Tamagotchi. Raise a monster through training to compete in various arena battle tournaments, and try to become the Most Awesomest Trainer Of All Time.
The game starts out seeming a little too simple and limited to really grab you. But stick with it, and options that gradually open up as you put more time into it, plus the goofy charm will draw you in. The game initially only lets you raise one of three monsters, none of whom are particularly astounding. Over time, however, you can breed raised monsters with each other to create even better monsters, and you can also unlock hidden monsters by using music and game CDs from your library. Some games and music CDs unlock specific hidden monsters, such as using Tecmo's own Tecmo's Deception to get the enemy Ardebaran from that game as a monster in your stable. CDs that don't give you a specific monster will create one based on data found in the initial tracks of the CD.
The game mostly consists of passive training and arena battles over which you have only limited control, but the game always gives you something to do and can become addictive. Random events come up as you put more time in as well, such as having an explorer come to your ranch to borrow a monster for a ruin-exploring mini-game.
The graphics are pretty good for early-gen Playstation, and while the music is not stellar it is also not offensive and generically pleasant in most cases.
What a little bitch.
* Gameplay Video
* Monster Rancher is kinky