Saturday, April 16, 2016

10 Best PlayStation 2 Games Of All Time

The fan favorite PlayStation 2 console is the highest-selling home console ever. While it didn’t pack the hardware specifications of its closest competitors, it contained a library of amazing games that blows away the catalogs of its peers. A large portion of the most influential modern games of all time appear on the PlayStation 2, a console that contains so many classic games that need to be experienced. The following are the 10 best games to grace the PS2. The impact they made on the industry is weighed equally with how well they hold up today.

10. Resident Evil 4 (2005) Source:

Despite quickly beginning to escape its survival-horror roots, Resident Evil 4 is the best Resident Evil title in the series. As a preview for how strong the PlayStation 2 lineup is, Resident Evil 4 is barely able to crack the list of best PS2 games despite its overall excellence and quality. This gives an idea of how many amazing games had to be omitted in order to narrow down the search for the greatest PS2 game. Resident Evil 4 was originally a GameCube exclusive, but was ported to PS2 less than a year later and arrived with extra content including a brand new added campaign. The game has been remastered several times on various platforms and devices, but if any gamer somehow missed this masterpiece that situation needs to be corrected immediately and can occur on any platform.

9. SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs (2003)

The premier online shooter for the PlayStation 2 during this generation, SOCOM II: U.S. Navy SEALs deserves recognition for its lasting legacy alone. However, not only did SOCOM II have the enormously influential and addictive online mode most gamers remember fondly, it also contains a tense, strategic single-player campaign. This is fortunate because the online servers have been shut down for a long time. Many shooting games of the generation are now hardly playable without online servers, yet SOCOM II’s missions remain a blast to play. Shooting games age arguably quicker than any other genre, making SOCOM II such a remarkable feat for its lasting influence and longevity. SOCOM II will never get old.

8. Gran Turismo 4 (2004)

Throughout the first two generations of Sony consoles, the Gran Turismo series was redefining what a racing game could offer and how appealing the genre could be. The initial Gran Turismo to arrive on the PlayStation 2 was Gran Turismo 3. Offering what was at the time photorealistic graphics and incredible handling, the game is fondly remembered as many gamers’ favorite racing simulation ever. While Gran Turismo 3 may be the more legendary game due to arriving first and during the early stages of the PS2 lifecycle, its sequel, Gran Turismo 4, is the superior offering. With better physics, a larger roster of available vehicles and an endless amount of modifications, Gran Turismo 4 remains far more playable than any of its three predecessors and serves as a reminder to when Gran Turismo was the undisputed racing king.

7. Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

A visual masterpiece, Shadow of the Colossus was developer Team Ico’s second project, following the fabulous Ico. Both games were remastered in HD for the PlayStation 3 in the form of a collection, but Shadow of the Colossus remains an impressive technical feat on the PlayStation 2. While the remaster stabilizes the framerate and adds a fresh coat of paint, it doesn’t detract from the experience of the original version. If given the choice, the nod will likely go for the remaster, but the PS2 version is still well worth your time. Shadow of the Colossus succeeds in creating one of the most immersive worlds in video game history. Team Ico has been working on their latest title The Last Guardian for what seems like an eternity, but it has finally nearly arrived. If it’s half as good as Shadow of the Colossus, it will be considered a major success.

6. Jak 3 (2004)

Developer Naughty Dog successfully created their first fully 3D adventure in the form of Jak & Daxter for the PlayStation 2. The odd thing was that unlike their previous 2.5-dimensional property Crash Bandicoot, which featured three games that were all quite similar, the Jak & Daxter series changed radically in between each offering. Crash Bandicoot evolved in technical and graphical fashion as the developers became more comfortable with the console’s hardware, but Jak & Daxter games changed genres completely. Jak II changed the cute 3D-platformer into an open-world adventure inspired by Grand Theft Auto. Jak 3, which represents the best in the series, features the sandbox hub of its predecessor but adds more guns and more gameplay modes, including dune buggy driving. The Jak & Daxter series features an overarching storyline that spans all three games in the main line and contains a far more compelling plot than the majority of platformers. Gamers who experience all three titles will gain more from the story than those that jump straight into Jak 3, but it’s not required. Missing the first two titles in the series would be a shame though, as the series is best experienced as one.

5. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001)

The story may be a little cheesy, but Metal Gear Solid 2 handled plot themes and storyline development in a fashion that had yet to be developed in video games. More reminiscent of a high-budget film than a video game, Metal Gear Solid 2 was revolutionary and advanced video games tremendously by showing that the storyline could have as large of an impact as the gameplay itself. Fortunately, Metal Gear Solid 2 doesn’t disappoint from a gameplay perspective either, enhancing the groundbreaking stealth mechanics of the original game. The game feels more realistic than the PlayStation 1 title and takes advantage of the superior hardware by adding new moves and a first-person shooting mode that players could easily switch to. The AI in the game is also significantly improved from the original game, making the gameplay more interesting as well as realistic. Metal Gear Solid 2 gracefully cements itself as one of the best games ever made and one of the best titles released on the PlayStation 2.

4. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (2003)

Unlike the Jak & Daxter series, which is a trilogy that features very different gameplay in each title, the Ratchet & Clank series on the PlayStation 2 all play fairly similarly and somewhat blend together. There were four Ratchet & Clank titles to grace the console, and while the final one titled Ratchet: Deadlocked acts as more of a spin-off and lags behind the others, the original three titles are pure gold. The first Ratchet & Clank, which was recently reimagined for the PS4, laid the foundation for a beautiful series. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is the sequel and is one of the best titles on the PS2. The third title in the series, subtitled Up Your Arsenal, is excellent as well. All three titles deserve to be played, and although they are all similar, Going Commando is the best by a very small margin. Proving to be well ahead of its time, Going Commando introduces mainstays for the franchise such as the infamous leveling system for weapons, Ratchet’s health upgrades and the ability to strafe during combat. Unique in style and execution, Ratchet & Clank proves mascot games can be just as good on a Sony machine as they are on Nintendo.

3. Final Fantasy X (2001)

Final Fantasy X is one of the final classic JRPGs to grace consoles. The later Final Fantasy XII is a great title in its own right and one of the more underrated games in the genre, but it doesn’t have the classic Final Fantasy feel that the 10th iteration of the franchise has. Indeed, Final Fantasy X feels like the end of a generation, as the JRPG genre would continue to fade after its release. Final Fantasy X is outrageously good, featuring one of the deepest and longest storylines in video game history. The game is the first in the series to feature voice acting and also the first to spawn a direct sequel, called Final Fantasy X-2. While X-2 is hit-or-miss and may take too long to become engrossing, Final Fantasy X is one of the best RPGs ever created and one of the best games featured in an impressive PlayStation 2 library.

2. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (2004)

The origin story of the series, Metal Gear Solid 3 is a spectacular adventure that moves video games into a cinematic space that had never been attained before. Taking place during the Cold War, Metal Gear Solid 3 is a beautifully-crafted prequel that takes place 30 years prior to the events of the original Metal Gear Solid. There have been numerous entries in the franchise that compete for the title of greatest Metal Gear Solid game. Each game in the series offers fantastic, revolutionary gameplay and a breathtaking cinematic feel, but Metal Gear Solid 3 is the finest example in the franchise. It’s the best-written game in the series, contains the best ending and has the best music. Metal Gear Solid 3 edges out the others and represents the greatest Metal Gear Solid game, and consequently is one of the best games on the PS2.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)

Grand Theft Auto 3 was one of, if not the most influential game of all time, showing what an open-world game could offer. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City improved on the formula of its predecessor and became the most beloved game of its time. While the first two titles on the console may contain a significant amount of nostalgia, it’s incredible how superior Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was at the time of its release in 2004 and today, where that gap has widened even further due to San Andreas aging remarkably well. San Andreas remains arguably the best title in the franchise, a spectacular feat considering the superior hardware its sequels are running on. San Andreas features the deepest, most detailed environment in the series and doesn’t feature any “empty space” which the later titles are notorious for. Instead of artificially inflating the map with open space that is boring to drive through, San Andreas actually has a massive world with an endless list of things to do. San Andreas embraces its plot and presentation by offering an enormous cast of talented celebrity voice actors. It’s the best game on the PlayStation 2 and in contention for the best game ever made.


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