Nintendo recently announced the death of their Wii U handheld, with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as its final title to be released. Sure VR and Augmented reality along with open-world environments have shown immense promise to revitalize video games. But there’s always need for some old fashion console gaming to satiate your quest for challenge.
Sony PlayStation 2 might look like a relic as compared to the next-gen machines today. But with more than 150 million consoles sold across the globe, you know it has to be something special. Despite of competition by a graphically superior Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox, the PS2 maintained stable sales for 13 years even after PlayStation 3 was already released. Therefore, it might be nice to get yourself acquainted with some of the best game titles that were released for this legendary gaming machine. Listed below are some of the best PlayStation 2 games, you can play.
12 Best PS2 Games
MGS 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 3 wasn’t the first of the series to be released on the PS2 but it soon became one of the greatest games to have ever graced the gaming industry. Unlike the predecessor Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake Eater is a prequel to the MGS franchise, with Big Boss serving as the main protagonist. The gameplay is quite identical to the previous series, with some major changes in the player’s moves and environments. Snake Eater lays even more emphasis on a stealthy approach with a camouflage meter and CQC moves that could be used to neutralize enemies in various fashion. This is one of the best ps2 games of all time.
Devil May Cry 3
New gamers might have heard of this series from the much hated DMC reboot from 2013. But before Ninja Theory literally took a dump on the stylish combat series there was Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening that took gamers by storm. The original Devil May Cry was a rejected attempt at creating Resident Evil 4, but became extremely popular among gamers due to its fresh yet challenging gameplay. The 2nd game was a dud that was criticized for various reasons. Dante’s Awakening however, poured new life in the series and became a phenomenon for action game lovers.
God of War 1 and 2
This is where it all began. God of War was released for the PS2 in 2005 and soon became a Sony exclusive that pushed the capabilities of the console to the max. The first game centers on how a Spartan commander (Kratos) becomes the champion of the Gods and kills the Greek god of war, Ares to avenge the death of his family. The second game continues Kratos’ journey as he must now exact his revenge on Zeus and bring down Mount Olympus. Fluid gameplay, superb narrative, challenging boss fights and puzzles along with one of the best storylines makes these the best PS2 games of that era.
Do not let the title fool you as Bully is one of the best sandbox game you can play on PS2. It was notable for having an open world style gameplay that revolves around Jimmy Hopkins as he must survive and prevail in a school plagued by bullies. Although the game was frown upon by critics at first, their perception changed once the game was released as they misinterpret the title as a game that encourages violent behavior and bullying. It was also remastered and re-released for next gen consoles such as Wii and Xbox 360 due to the sheer depth in gameplay and creative characters.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
The best game in the series, Prince of Persia Sands of Time was one of Ubisoft’s gems during the PS2 era. While it was followed by 2 more, graphically superior but boring sequels, Sands of Time remains the masterpiece that the developers haven’t been able to recreate. The ability to walk on walls inspired by Chinese Wuxia cinema and amazing stealth based hack and slash was considered as revolutionary upon its release. Considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is a must have for your PS2 collection.
Silent Hill 2
The original Silent Hill from the PS1 was considered a psychological horror classic as it portrayed the struggle of a single Father, searching for his lost daughter in a ghost town with a shady past. The 2nd installment in the franchise however, tortured the gamer’s soul while maintaining a feeling of despair and horror. Silent Hill 2, features a new protagonist James Sunderland who is drawn to Silent Hill after receiving a letter from his long dead wife. The story later reveals some shocking secrets from James’ own past, making this a far more emotional journey than ever experienced in any video game. Silent Hill 2 is also notable for introducing the iconic villain/monster Pyramid Head. Not only this was the best PS2 game for the series, but is also noted to be one of the most emotionally punishing horror games of all time.
Resident Evil 4
Ever since its debut on PS1, the Resident Evil series had become a poster boy for Survival Horror games. The 4th installment however, changed everything we ever knew about survival action games. Resident Evil 4 was first released in all its glory on Nintendo GameCube, but was soon ported to the PS2 due to its high demand in the market. RE4 changed the game in ways not even Devil May Cry had done. The fixed camera angles were changed to a traditional 3rd person camera. Whenever the player aims, this moves the camera in an over-the-shoulder perspective. The enemies were now faster and able to attack with melee weapons, crossbows and can run up to you. The game also added a knife attack along with various contextual attacks that helped the player preserve ammo and maintain a safe distance from the enemy.
GTA: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto had already left a huge mark on PS2 with the success of GTA 3 and GTA Vice City. San Andreas provided a graphically improved take with several new elements and a new protagonist. It also includes personalization options that allows players to improve their character stats, clothing and reputation. They story follows around Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson who returns to Los Santos after 5 years only to find himself targeted by a corrupt police officer.
Shadow of the Colossus
Making its debut in 2005, Shadow of the Colossus can be called as the game version of ‘Attack on Titan’ and is also considered a classic. It involves a young man named Wander who must seek and slay 7 colossal beings in a highly cinematic gameplay reminiscent of Skyrim. The gameplay is fast paced and will require a lot of interaction with the in-game environment.
If Silent Hill 2 left you emotionally scarred at the end, Manhunt 2 will attempt to question your own sanity. The player is left in charge of Daniel Lamb, who is locked in a mental asylum with little to no memory of how he got there. The gameplay is heavily based on stealth and involves heavy violence and a shockingly twisted story. The game also drew a lot of controversy due to its heavy violence and gore that the player is forced to commit and witness. Nevertheless, this will test your patience and sanity in ways you’ve never imagined.
NBA Street Vol 2
Good basketball games are hard to come by and especially when we’re talking about Electronic Arts. However, this is from the time before EA became a cesspool of sorts. NBA Street Vol 2 involved a 3 on 3 basketball match with street rules such as kick pass and trick dribbles along with powered up shots that result in a cinematic style special shot. This also featured a long list of basketball legends that can be unlocked as playable characters. You can also create your own custom character and learn new moves and tricks, while working your way up to become a Street Legend. It certainly deserves a spot in our list of the best PS2 games.
If you want to engage yourself in a satisfying beat down with villainous men and demons, God Hand is the game of choice for you. It was a brainchild of Shinji Mikami, the man behind Resident Evil and is explained as a stylish combat games without the weapons. It follows the adventures of a younger fighter named Gene, who is in possession of an ancient artifact known as God Hand. What makes it more fun other than the obvious goofy and campy humor is the endless amount of ways how you can beat your enemies. But do not be fooled by its cheesiness as this is one of the most adept fighting/beat-em up games to grace the console and certainly in the list of best PS2 games.
The open-world concept has sure given us some amazing looking games with countless missions and extensive gameplay. But something that even these high-detail, life-like games are lacking today and that is replay value. The above best PlayStation 2 games not only boast of their highly fluid gameplay with a gripping storyline, but are fun no matter how many times you play them.