The PlayStation 2 had really flipped the gaming industry on its head when it came down to memorable games. There were so many games released on it that latched onto gamers like leeches. These games stand out in many gamers’ minds as some of the best games to ever grace their console. With that out of the way, sit back and enjoy our picks for the 15 Best PS2 Games of All Time.
Before we move ahead, we like to point out that the PS2 had an insane library of games. So, your favorite games may not be on this list. After all this is our opinion, so please keep this in mind.
Final Fantasy X
You would be hard pressed to find a gamer who hasn’t heard of this franchise, and for good reason. Final Fantasy is a fantasy-based RPG series with a lot of bizarre monsters within its games. 2001’s Final Fantasy X was the first game in the series to make the jump to the PlayStation 2 and it was successful, garnering praise for its voice acting, character development and graphics, which was altered to be more to-scale and less of a top-down view. The combat was also subject to praise as the developers revised the battle and summon system and allowed the player to swap character mid-fight.
Virtua Fighter 4
Virtua Fighter 4 was originally released for arcade machines, but made its way to the PS2 a year later. The fourth installment was different than the others as it boasted a more user-friendly UI and new and revamped techniques. It also went through various versions including Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution which included the ability to customize your character, improved graphics, a currency system in the Quest Mode, and more.
One massive improvement that the PS2 had over its precursor was just how beautiful you could make a game. ICO didn’t try to tell the story through dialogue, rather letting the player enjoy the gameplay and make your way through a castle, solving puzzles and trying to find a way out with a spectral being named Yorda. The game that was praised for the graphics and sound design. The game from Team Ico set in stone the quality they strive for with each release.
Twisted Metal: Black
When you think of vehicular combat games, a stand-out franchise will probably be the Twisted Metal series. Twisted Metal: Black was the fifth game in the franchise and the first game on the PS2 of the series, and it really made its mark and utilized the better graphics capability on the console. The player chooses from a total of ten characters from the get-go, they then play through their own different stories and use their own unique vehicles and later you can unlock extra characters. The game received critical acclaim for the unlockable content and the varying storylines of all the characters.
Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus was one of the greats when it came down to talking about visually stunning PS2 games. For Team Ico, this was debatably a step up in quality compared to their debut game, Ico. Shadow of the Colossus had the player take control of “Wander”, a boy who found himself doing whatever it takes to bring back a girl named Mono. This led the player having to slay sixteen different colossi as part of a deal with a mysterious being known as Dormin. The game was beloved by many because of its stunning visuals, soundtrack and immersion. (I recommend you rearrange this list so Shadow of the Colossus isn’t RIGHT after another Team Ico game, but that’s just me).
SoulCalibur II improved on its precursor while retaining its weapon-based combat, the game was also jaw-dropping for the era. It had a high production value, in turn, it was way more polished than most other PlayStation 2 games. It wasn’t just the graphics that people loved, though, the game also introduced arenas having walls meaning that some areas you couldn’t win by knocking your opponent out of the arena, it was also beloved because of the beautiful music featured in the game.SSX 3 SSX 3 was critically acclaimed with praises for its better graphics from its precursors, the tricks you could pull off, the amazing soundtrack, and the openness of the world. It was also a big seller, selling around a million copies, which was a first for the franchise. There was also local and online multiplayer where you could compete against your friends, this was a first for the series as well.
Okami If you enjoy games that are visually stunning you may have heard of Okami. This game was made in a style reminiscent of an oil painting, making it stand-out compared to other games of the era. The game follows Okami Amaterasu, the sun goddess who picked a white wolf as her form. After being locked up for a hundred years, an ancient evil was released to corrupt the world and it’s up to you to protect everyone. The game’s story, though, is fairly linear, but it holds a lot of side quests and events to complete. People praised the game for its wonderful design, immersion and soundtrack.
Burnout 3: Takedown
The PS2 really improved on the concept of racing games, mostly due to the improved graphics and larger game capacity, allowing for more detail, longer races and more content as a whole. Burnout 3: Takedown was one such game that received critical acclaim. The game was fast-paced and dangerous, leaving a lot of other racing games – for a lack of better words – (<— a phrase that is said as a slight mumble) in the dust. It was praised by critics and fans for its aggressive racing style, its gameplay which makes the players come back for more, and its visuals. This game garnered enough of a reputation to become known as one of the best games to come out on the PS2.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3Anyone who had even a veague interest in the act of skateboarding but not the drive to learn how, probably played at least one of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater games in their lives. This game was the epitome of epic at the time, allowing the player to grind, ollie and produce hidden combos for an amazing score. It was also the first game to utilize online multiplayer in the franchise, allowing the player to complete with others to see who gets the best scores.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec When it comes to racing games a commonly talked about franchise would be the Gran Turismo series. With its third installment, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec it made the leap to the PS2 and successfully brought this classic, genre-defining franchise onto the next generation of consoles. The game had no story, the game was just about you racing, completing championships, finishing license tests, and collecting the vast number of cars you can aquire. The game had even become one of the highest-rated racing games of all time.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was considered to be one of the best games in the franchise. The game has a variety of enemies, immersive gameplay and some of the best music in the series. The game had the player take control of Leon Kennedy; a former police officer-turned special agent who was tasked to rescue the President’s daughter. Resident evil 4 managed to combine action-shooters and horror all into one package. It was critically acclaimed for a number of reasons such as its immersive gameplay, good voice acting, and the well-done cutscenes.