When one thinks of the best video game consoles, the PS2 will certainly be found somewhere near (or perhaps at the top) of any list that’s generated. I mean, just in terms of sales (to date) the PS2 and its rather impressive library have made Sony the envy of the industry, so to speak. Naturally, compiling a list of the best PS2 games ever released is no easy task. Moreover, if you look at sales figures alone you’re bound to overlook the overall appeal that certain titles have managed to etch out. We are, after all, talking about a console that more or less helped to usher in many of the cemented genres that we know and love.
Nevertheless, we’ve assembled a collection of what might very well constitute the most “desirable” PlayStation 2 games in existence here, which is perfect for those who have yet to experience them. Herein you’ll find a bit of everything; shooters, RPG’s, strategy, and beyond…something for the whole family, as they say. Alright, without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?
Presented in no particular order…
Simply put, “Black” is perhaps one of the best shooters that’s considered native to the 6th generation of consoles, which includes the PS2. At the time of its release it brought in several new gameplay elements to the fore as well as upped the ante in the graphics department. FPS junkies will definitely want to check it out.
Marking the first time the “Soul” series hit the PlayStation brand, Soulcalibur II is perhaps still one of the most-loved fighting games around. It brought better-looking graphics and more fluid movements to console fighters – something which people found exhilarating at the time.
The first thing you need to know about “Psychonauts” is that it’s a highly underrated game. This title is perhaps one of the more creative on the console and after playing it for a while, you’ll find out why. While it’s essentially a platformer, it weaves a twisted sort of plot which you’ll no doubt find highly entertaining, to say the least.
You might think of “SSX Tricky” as being perhaps the first truly great snowboarding game. Sliding down the slopes on this title is pure bliss, if not a bit hectic. Of course, once you get a handle on things you’ll be eager to run a level over and over again to rack up a higher score pulling off moves and looking for alternate pathways down the mountain(s).
To say that “Katamari Damacy” is a unique game is a bit of an understatement. Quite simply, it’s a game that introduces an entirely new gameplay concept which involves degrees of scale. You might start off rolling your Katamari around and collecting small items such as pens and potted plants, but soon enough you’ll be swapping up entire buildings.
“Spider-Man 2” effectively helped to bring in an entirely new concept with regards to super hero games – the capacity to free-roam. Needless to say, the format was so successful that it continued to influence the development of all games in the genre hence; the story’s pretty good as well.
God of War II
By now most people are intimately familiar with the God of War series. The first revealed a tightly scripted story that seemed to come to life on screen; surprisingly, the second improved upon the model in nearly every way imaginable. It’s just a wonderful game and definitely one of the best on the PS2, hands down.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Simply put, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” is perhaps the greatest truly open-world game on the PS2. Not only did it give gamers on the console a massive world to explore, but it wowed them with its crazy storyline as well. This one is a must-play, a definitive classic for the PlayStation 2, to say the least.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Arguably, of all the older-styled Metal Gear games, “MGS 3: Snake Eater” has to be the best. All of the tropes, pacing and plot-design that have been featured in each title are found here as well, in addition to some of the most satisfying stealth-based gameplay available. It plays out like something of an interactive movie too, and by the end you’ll be fully immersed in its politically-charged story.
Shadow of the Colossus
Still to this day, there really isn’t anything to compare “Shadow of the Colossus” with, it’s really that unique. Of course most gamers might find the rather sparse environment and lack of enemies to be bewildering, but don’t let that prevent you from making your way to do battle with each massive colossus, trust us, it’s worth it.
“Bully” is a wholly satisfying, if not hilarious game that incorporates some of the free-roaming capabilities explored in San Andreas, albeit in a completely different way. You’ll have a blast with one as you seek revenge on all your insane prep-school classmates…guaranteed.
Beyond Good & Evil
Aside from being one of the best 3D platformers available for the PS2, “Beyond Good & Evil” introduces the gamer to a very intriguing conspiracy-driven story that’s both exciting as well as heart-wrenching at times. Everyone who likes platformers really owes it to themselves to play this game.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Possessing a sharp and charming cel-shaded style, “Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King” is definitely one of the best turn-based RPG’s available for the PS2. The entire game can be summed up with one word – “EPIC”.
Silent Hill 2
Simply put, “Silent Hill 2” is a creepy and scary game. It basically helped to increase the fear factor that the Resident Evil series left in its wake. If you can only choose one horror game for the PS2, this has to be it.
Resident Evil 4
Last, but certainly not least, we have “Resident Evil 4”, which is a stunning achievement on more than one level. Aside from its wonderful gameplay, it introduces you to a story that’s part interactive move, part action thrill ride. You’ll want to play this one over and over again.