The best Playstation 2 games were where gaming was at it’s best in the early 2000s.
The PS2 is probably my second favorite console of all times (Playstation 1 being the first) and I want to share what my top 10 best Playstation 2 games were for this fabled console.
Best Playstation 2 Games #10 – Katamari Damacy/We Love Katamari
Initial release date: March 18 2004 – Publisher : Namco
This one might make people go “what?!”, but let me explain. Katamari Damacy is special. It’s colorful, has quirky music and it was something new that had never been done before. Rolling up an entire town? Brilliant! The first game didn’t have much content, but the second game had a lot more rolling up to do. If you’ve never played a Katamari Damacy game, try the ones on PS2 first, they’re the best.
Best Playstation 2 Games #9 – Namco X Capcom
Initial release date: May 26, 2005 – Publisher : Namco and Capcom
Most people will probably like, eh? What’s this game? It sadly never came out in North America or Europe and that’s probably why people don’t know much about it. It’s a mash up between a fighting game and a strategy RPG. Every favorite character from Capcom and Namco is here. You have Ryu, Mega Man, Heihashi, Valkyrie from the NES days and even Klonoa! Don’t think that this is just a fan game, the combat system is pretty deep, you will love doing juggle combos.
Best Playstation 2 Games #8 – Tekken 5
Initial release date: 2004 – Publisher : Namco
Why Tekken 5 and not Soul Calibur 2/3? Well, I actually prefer Soul Calibur for the Dreamcast, so that’s why I’m not putting any on my PS2 list, I’d rank it very high on a Dreamcast list though. Tekken 5 improved a lot upon Tekken 4 with it’s faster paced combat and beautiful stages and characters. You could even customize your characters this time around. This is one of the only fighting games that my girlfriend loved to play with me, it’s really really good.
Best Playstation 2 Games #7 – Silent Hill 2
Initial release date: September 24 2001 – Publisher : Konami
I was I think 14 or 15 years old when the first Silent Hill came out and I couldn’t play it. It was too much terrifying to me at the time. Couldn’t see well in the fog, that radio always emitting noise, you were on the edge all the time. Then came along Silent Hill 2. One of the best survival horror games of all time, I was actually able to play this one. You could actually see what was happening (yay!), so you were not constantly a nervous wreck. Characters were great, the setting and the damn puzzles! My favorite horror title for sure. Too bad Konami don’t make games anymore.
Best Playstation 2 Games #6 – Final Fantasy XII
Initial release date: March 16 2006 – Publisher : Square-Enix
I know a lot of people prefer Final Fantasy X to XII, but at the time when Final Fantasy XII came out, I was playing a lot of MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Anarchy Online. It’s “Gambit” system made sense to me and the graphics were great. Who can also forget Balthier, the lovable rogue (he’s the real protagonist! screw Vaan). Square-Enix announced recently that they will remaster Final Fantasy XII and I think I was happier about that than Final Fantasy XV coming out soon.
Best Playstation 2 Games #5 – Devil May Cry
Initial release date: August 23 2001 – Publisher : Capcom
Started off as a Resident Evil game, Capcom felt it was too action oriented and went for a new franchise instead (good choice). Devil May Cry introduced us to Dante, the demon hunter son of Sparda on a quest to find the killers of his mother and brother. This new type of fast paced action game ushered in a new age of games like God of War, Chaos Legion and Bayonetta. It was one of the first games I bought for my Playstation 2 and I didn’t regret it, even though it was pretty hard.
Best Playstation 2 Games #4 – Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Initial release date: October 27 2002 – Publisher : Rockstar Games
Disclaimer: I love the 80s. With that said, Grand Theft Auto Vice City is my favorite GTA game. They really need to make a remake or a sequel/prequel, it would be a first day purchase for me and a lot of people I know. The clothes, setting, music, everything made Vice City a blast to play. Tommy Verceti is the man.
Best Playstation 2 Games #3 – Persona 4
Initial release date: July 10 2008 – Publisher : Atlus
This game… this game! I was actually depressed for a couple of days after finishing it. You become so close to these characters that when it ends (yes I did the true ending), it’s like you’re saying goodbye forever to your buddies. Heartbreaking, but what a ride. Highly recommended!
Best Playstation 2 Games #2 – Shadow of the Colossus
Initial release date: 18 October 2005 – Publisher : Sony Computer Entertainment
This is a game which came out later in the PS2 cycle in 2005 and should not need any introduction. Hailed as one of the best games of all time, all consoles considered, it broke perceptions of what an open world game should be about. There were no enemies, world was empty, except for the colossus. A mysterious voice kept the player focused on killing them to save his girlfriend, but what would it cost him to do so?
When the game came out, I remember playing at least half of it in one sitting, something I rarely do anymore with new games. The sheer scale of the colossus made for impressive/tense fights. Also, the soundtrack is amazing. There is a Team Ico collection on the PS3 for those interested.
Best Playstation 2 Games #1 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Initial release date: November 12 2001 – Publisher : Konami
This is what made me buy a Playstation 2. Absolutely loved the first MGS on the Playstation 1 and when I saw what MGS2 looked like, I had to buy the console. Bought Zone of the Enders just for the demo of MGS2 that came with it (ZOE was a pretty good game too). That tanker level was amazing, Snake was back. However, we had to play as Raiden after the tanker level. I had no problems with it, since Raiden’s story was important for the S3 plan (Selection for Societal Sanity/Solid Snake Simulation). Get this amazing game now if you can, it’s really cheap on the PS2 and there’s a remastered collection on PS3, Xbox360 and PS Vita.