It’s been just over sixteen years since the PlayStation 2 was released, and to this day it remains the top-selling video game console of all time. Not only was the PS2 affordable and dependable, it was home to a whole host of fantastic exclusive games… a few of which are considered to be some of the greatest titles of all time. Whether you’re just now picking up a PS2 for the first time, looking through digital downloads on the PS4 or simply want a trip down memory lane, we’ve compiled a list of the 6 best exclusive PS2 games below…
Shadow of the Colossus
You know how easy it is to compare Uncharted to Tomb Raider or Grand Theft Auto to Saints Row? Well, Shadow of the Colossus is so unique that there is no other game which even comes close to comparison. It’s a work of art, really, and every second spent playing it feels absolutely incredible. The only fights you’ll get in are with bosses, and even then the fights aren’t traditional- every enemy is a massive creature that you must actually climb in order to find and attack their weak spots. Each battle, just like the game as a whole, is both unique and memorable.
God of War
At this year’s E3, we saw God of War tackling creatures from Norse mythology… but that’s not where the franchise got its start. The original God of War was about a Spartan warrior named Kratos, armed with his Blades of Chaos to take on a variety of gods, titans and monsters from Greek mythology. It was brutal, gory and graphic, quickly earning its place as one of those violent video games people loved to complain about… but it’s hard to deny how satisfying it was to rip, tear and slash through waves of enemies in the name of vengeance, though, especially when you started to get new weapons and powers throughout the game. The atmosphere and the story are really the main selling points here, making God of War a must-play experience.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
MGS3: Snake Eater is hands-down the best Metal Gear game of all time and arguably one of the best overall video games, too. It turned the stealth genre on its head and introduced so many groundbreaking mechanics that players were blown away with just how fresh and unique the experience was. Instead of the boring grey military facilities that you were used to sneaking around in through past games in the series, MGS3 threw you into the wilderness and told you to survive. It didn’t hold your hand and it never gave you an easy way out of any predicament, but it did allow you to approach any situation in countless different ways… and unlike the recent MGSV, Snake Eater had an excellent story that was a treat to play through.
Devil May Cry
A lot of games have taken an insane amount of inspiration from Devil May Cry (the aforementioned God of War being one of them), which is a testament to just how great the title’s unique formula is. You play as Dante, an undeniably cool demon hunter armed with a variety of blades and firearms, which you use in conjunction to rack up combos and juggle your enemies to victory. Mastering the combat system is loads of fun, and the gothic castle that the game takes place in is a delight to explore and experience as you fight your way through the demon hordes.
The premise of Kingdom Hearts is just about as ridiculous as anything you could imagine, but it somehow works really well. Basically, it takes characters and themes from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy franchise and mixes them with characters and themes from Disney (yeah, as in Mickey and Minnie). It’s an action RPG where you use a sword that’s also a giant key to fight enemies like Sephiroth through environments like Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Acre Forest… and Donald Duck and Goofy are your backup. The combat is definitely satisfying, though, and seeing this new side of your favorite childhood movies is unbelievably fun.
Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
While Ratchet and Clank has just recently seen a revitalization on the PS4, there’s no denying that Up Your Arsenal (the third entry in the series) is probably the best in the franchise. While it didn’t bring anything majorly new to the series, it refined just about everything that the previous games did so well in order to give us one of the best action-adventure platformers of all time. Up Your Arsenal is all about big, unique guns; fast combat; hilarious characters and fascinating worlds, and it’s a joy to play from start to finish.