PlayStation 2 was not such a groundbreaking console for many gamers as the PlayStation 1, but nevertheless it’s a memorable piece of hardware that many of us enjoyed spending a ton of time with, just like many of you. In fact, some of the best games in the history of the gaming industry just appeared on Sony’s 2000 console. In the following, we have chosen the 15 best PS2 games that were so good that they are worth a remake on PlayStation 5.
PlayStation 2 Was One of the Best Sony Gaming Consoles
The PlayStation 2, or PS2, was a popular and successful video game console that was released in 2000 by Sony. It was the successor to the original PlayStation console and was the first video game console to be fully compatible with DVDs in addition to offering backwards compatibility for its predecessor’s hardware and games.
The PS2 had a large library of games and was popular for its strong lineup of exclusive titles, including the “Grand Theft Auto” series, “Final Fantasy,” and “God of War.” It was also the first console to offer online gaming for a selection of its games through its network adapter, which was sold separately.
Overall, the PS2 was well-received by critics and players alike and is considered one of the greatest video game consoles of all time. It sold over 155 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling console of all time until it was surpassed by the Nintendo DS in 2011.
Best PS2 Games Ever
The PlayStation 2, or PS2, had a large library of games, many of which have been highly praised and are considered some of the best games ever made. These are just a few examples of the many great games that were released for the PS2. The console had a strong lineup of exclusive titles, as well as many popular third-party games, making it a popular choice for players of all types. The following is a list of some of the best PS2 games.
17- True Crime: New York City
True Crime: New York City was an open world action-adventure game developed by Luxoflux and published by Activision for PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005. Set in a detailed recreation of New York City, the game puts players in the shoes of Marcus Reed, a former gang member turned NYPD detective. The huge open world city and mixture of crime drama storyline with Grand Theft Auto-style gameplay earned True Crime: New York City positive reviews upon release.
Players explore five boroughs of New York as Marcus, solving cases and taking down local crime syndicates. Driving, shooting, hand-to-hand combat, and detective mechanics give players lots of variety in the gameplay. Marcus has a “bad cop” meter that increases when innocent people are harmed, giving consequences to chaotic play. The game featured notable voice acting from celebrities like Laurence Fishburne, Mickey Rourke, Traci Lords, Avery Brooks, and Christopher Walken.
True Crime: New York City was praised for its map recreation of the Big Apple, fun combat, and cop narrative. However, aspects like graphics, controls, and mechanics feel dated nearly 20 years later. A full remake on PS5 could bring this classic open world crime game into the modern era. Improved gameplay and visuals taking advantage of new hardware could realize the full potential of exploring a bustling New York and living the cop fantasy. The setting and characters still hold strong appeal, and a remake could reintroduce this forgotten True Crime entry to new audiences.
16 – Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy)
Fahrenheit (known as Indigo Prophecy in North America) is a cinematic interactive drama video game developed by Quantic Dream and published by Atari for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox in 2005. Set in New York City in 2009, the game follows Lucas Kane, a man who becomes a killer after being controlled by a voodoo curse. The player controls Lucas and later NYPD detectives Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles as they investigate the gruesome murder Lucas committed.
Fahrenheit utilizes a unique control scheme where player choices and actions affect the narrative in meaningful ways. Conversation trees, quick time events during action sequences, and mundane activities like brushing your teeth or playing guitar all have consequences on the story. The unprecedented amount of control and branching story paths make each playthrough feel personalized.
The game received critical acclaim upon release for its mature, gritty narrative and innovative gameplay. With its cinematic presentation, strong writing and voice acting, and emphasis on player choice, Fahrenheit was ahead of its time. Though some aspects like controls and graphics feel dated now, a full remake on PS5 could realize the game’s full potential. Updated visuals, improved mechanics, and taking advantage of modern console features could introduce this unique, genre-blending experience to a new generation. Fahrenheit helped pioneer the narrative adventure genre, and a remake could build upon that legacy while giving new players a chance to shape this reactive, noir thriller themselves.
15- Burnout 3: Takedown
Burnout 3: Takedown is a racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. It was released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, and has since been re-released on various platforms. In Burnout 3: Takedown, players race against other drivers in high-speed events and compete to be the first to cross the finish line.
The game is known for its fast-paced and intense gameplay, which allows players to earn boost by driving aggressively and performing stunts. Players can also earn points by causing their opponents to crash, a mechanic known as “takedowns.” The game features a variety of cars and tracks, and allows players to unlock new vehicles and events as they progress through the game.
Burnout 3: Takedown is also praised for its graphics and sound design, which help to create a sense of speed and immersion. The game’s soundtrack features a variety of licensed tracks, and the sound effects are realistic and well-done. Many critics and players consider it to be one of the best games released for the PlayStation 2. This game is definitely one of the best PS3 games ever.
14- Katamari Damacy
A Japanese no-holds-barred frenzy. An intergalactic craze! With Katamari Damacy, we are helping a small creature roll a very sticky ball to which quite literally everything sticks. We expand our “glut” from micro-size, by attaching school supplies or treats scattered on the table, going through cars parked on the streets and trees from the park and finishing with elephants, skyscrapers and airplanes, forming a gargantuan-sized sphere.
This game’s rules are childishly simple, but its execution, music, humor and controls are all top-notch. Katamari Damacy is a title so charming, which has hardly aged at all, that you could return to it periodically for years to come. Thanks to all these, this game deserves a place in this list of best PS2 games.
13- Gitaroo Man
During the PS2 era, the trend for rhythm and music games had already developed. This trend was crowned by Gitaroo Man, which unfortunately sold at a low volume. Which is a shame, since the game is, in some ways, is cooler than any PaRapper, Rock Band, Guitar Heros, DDR or even Rez. This is an absolutely charming, typically Japanese proposition, featuring some of the craziest ideas in the history of the genre.
Additionally, it features a very wide cross-section of musical genres. Some other titles have more complex mechanics, more songs, better graphics, but Gitaroo Man is still a honeypot, a wacky, story-driven musical that even today has lost none of its appeal. Should you not have access to a PS2, all is not lost. Titled “Gitaroo Man Lives!”, the PSP version is just as good as the console release. This game is definitely one of the best PS2 games ever.
12- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey Of The Cursed King
For the PlayStation 2, this was a real milestone. Dragon Quest VIII brought to Sony’s console an unprecedented momentum in roleplays – a huge 3D environment to explore. But that wasn’t the only thing. DQVIII also offered a perfectly realized storyline, perhaps the best in Yuji Horii’s works. The storyline, in which there is no lack of humor and jokes, which regularly evoke salvos of laughter.
In addition, we received an excellent combat system, featuring many bosses so well designed (susceptible to various status changes) that it is hard to name a better representative of the jRPG genre in this regard. We also shouldn’t forget – given the grand scale of the project – the wonderful graphics and music of Journey of the Cursed King. The audio-visual setting in this title has not aged much and is attractive even today. This game is definitely one of the best PS2 games ever.
11- Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 2 was not bad (it finally got the famous “8-” in PSX Extreme ;), and offered a thought-provoking storyline. What left to be desired, however, was quite a lot of corridor-like, not very interesting locations. Konami put a bit of a stop to Hideo Kojima’s wacky ideas and developed the locations in Metal Gear Solid 3 and…. it proved to be a hit.
Snake Eater captures your heart with a beautiful, very humanistic storyline, at the same time providing great, well-thought-out gameplay and dense vegetation that was rarely seen on the PS2 (and it’s worth remembering that the developers were having a lot of trouble generating a forest back in the day). Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that fans of the series frequently mention just MGS 3 as Hideo Kojima’s best work. Many consider this games to be one of the best PS2 games ever released.
10- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Taking inspiration from the atmosphere of “Miami Viace” and “Scarface”, Vice City is to this day considered by many fans to be the best installment of the GTA series. No wonder, because this 2002 title was produced with great charisma, with fantastic energy and with a mass of excellent ideas, which is mainly due to Dan Houser, who drafted the script for this breakthrough production.
GTA: Vice City is also a tremendous technical achievement, with some impressive graphics, the generation of which pressed the seventh sweat out of the PlayStation 2. This game is definitely one of the best PS2 games ever.
9- Dark Chronicle (aka Dark Cloud 2)
Dark Chronicle is, in my opinion, is the most underrated game in the vast library of titles that have been released on the PS2. This game with an incredible momentum, taking well over 70 hours to complete, with extremely rich locations depicted in full 3D, with many great mini-games (excellent golfing in Spheda and building your own settlement) and exquisitely flavored battles went through the market without much echo.
This is a pity, because this production was so developed and mechanically strong that it was practically a new quality on PS2. Definitely give this title a chance – if not on PS2, then as a remaster available on PS4. We can definitely consider this game as one of the best PS2 games ever released for this Sony console.
8- Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
Valkyrie Profile 2 perhaps does not offer the best storyline in the history of the jRPG genre. Locations in this production are also highly linear. But the game makes up for these elements by having a phenomenal, very tactical battle system, which perfectly combines the dynamics of clashes from the first installment of the brand, along with the requirement of well-thought-out maneuvering of the team on the battlefield.
It would be hard to find in the history of the genre a more thoughtfully designed and implemented mechanism of clashes than in Valkyrie Profile 2. The game stands out on top of this with great, very stylish visuals and strong music. It is a shame that the title was never fully acknowledged and did not sell well. Many gamers consider this title to be amongst the best PS2 games ever.
7- Shadow of the Colossus
Already 2001’s ICO was excellent, but Fumito Ueda’s true genius was not manifested until Shadow of the Colossus, which was released 4 years later. In an excellent way, the Japanese creator blended visual beauty with exciting, dynamic gameplay, and served up some of the best boss battles in the history of video games.
Here, minimalism was coupled with a high artistic flair, a mysterious storyline and superb clash mechanics, delivering one of the finest, most unforgettable experiences available on the PS2. We can definitely consider this game as one of the best PS2 games ever released for this Sony console.
6- Devil May Cry 3
Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening is an action-adventure game developed and published by Capcom. It is the third game in the Devil May Cry series, and was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005. In the game, players control Dante, a demon hunter who must confront his brother, Vergil, and the demon king, Mundus. The game is known for its fast-paced and challenging gameplay, which combines elements of hack and slash combat with platforming and puzzle-solving.
Players can choose from a variety of weapons and abilities, and can use combos and special moves to defeat enemies. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening is also praised for its story, which is told through cutscenes and dialogue. The game’s characters and setting are well-developed, and the plot is engaging and full of twists and turns.
In Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, players control Dante, a demon hunter who is trying to stop his brother, Vergil, and the demon king, Mundus, from taking over the world. As we already mentioned, the game’s story is told through cutscenes and dialogue, and follows Dante as he fights his way through a variety of enemies and bosses, using a variety of weapons and abilities.
The story begins with Dante and Vergil, who are both demon hunters, having a confrontation at their family’s business, the Devil May Cry devil hunting agency. Vergil reveals that he wants to open the portal to the demon world and become the new demon king, and attacks Dante. Dante defeats Vergil, but he escapes and goes to the demon world. Dante follows Vergil to the demon world, where he meets a variety of characters, including a demon hunter named Lady, and fights a variety of enemies and bosses.
As the story progresses, Dante learns more about his past and his connection to the demon world, and confronts Vergil and Mundus in a final showdown. Through the course of the game, Dante must use all of his skills and abilities to defeat his enemies and save the world from the demons. Many consider this games to be one of the best PS2 games ever released.
5- God of War
God of War is a third-person action-adventure game that is often considered one of the best games for the PlayStation 2. It was developed by SCE Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released in 2005 and has since spawned a series of sequels and spin-offs.
In God of War, players control Kratos, a Spartan warrior who is on a quest for revenge against the Greek gods. The story begins with Kratos being imprisoned and sentenced to death for killing his family in a fit of rage. However, Kratos is saved by the god of war, Ares, who offers to free him in exchange for his servitude. Kratos agrees, and becomes a powerful warrior, serving Ares and wreaking havoc on the battlefield.
As the game progresses, Kratos discovers that Ares is planning to destroy Athens, and decides to turn against him. Kratos sets out on a quest to find the Blades of Chaos, a pair of chained blades that he can use to defeat Ares. Along the way, he encounters a variety of monsters and gods, and must use his combat skills and puzzle-solving abilities to defeat them.
God of War is praised for its fast-paced and intense gameplay, which combines elements of hack and slash combat with puzzle-solving. The game’s storyline, which is based on Greek mythology, is well-written and engaging, and the character development of the main character, Kratos, is particularly well-done. Thanks to all these, this game deserves a place in this list of best PS2 games.
4- Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X had a well thought-out battle system and nice graphics for the PS2’s capabilities (the close-ups of the characters’ faces in cutscenes were dazzling at the time of its release). That said, I wouldn’t say it’s the best PS2 jRPG. The storyline from “Ten”, which is a setback from FFVIII and FFIX, never fully convinced me, and neither did the quite simply constructed locations.
However, it’s still a very skillfully executed and gorgeously soundtracked roleplay. Featuring some of the best and most interesting boss battles in the history of the Final Fantasy series and a ton of optional content. We can definitely consider this game as one of the best PS2 games ever released for this Sony console.
3- Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 is a survival horror game that is often considered one of the best games released for the PlayStation 2. It was developed and published by Capcom, and was released in 2005. There are a number of reasons why Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the best games for the PlayStation 2. One reason is its gameplay, which combines elements of action and horror to create a tense and immersive gaming experience. The game’s controls are also praised for being smooth and responsive, which is important in a fast-paced action game.
Another reason why Resident Evil 4 is highly regarded is its story, which is set six years after the events of the original Resident Evil game. Players control Leon S. Kennedy, a special agent who is sent to a remote village in Europe to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult. The story is well-written and engaging, and features a variety of interesting characters and locations.
Finally, Resident Evil 4 is known for its high-quality graphics and sound design, which help to create a atmospheric and immersive gaming experience. On the whole, putting these elements together is what makes Resident Evil 4 a highly enjoyable and unforgettable gaming experience. This game is definitely one of the best PS2 games ever.
2- Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill’s first two installments are curious cases of horror films. Their simple graphics, which are primitive from today’s point of view, paradoxically work in favor of these productions, accentuating the feeling of surrealism and disorientation. In this form, these games scare you better than most modern horror films.
Published for the PS2, Silent Hill 2 certainly looked much better than the first installment of the series, but the general graphical level certainly didn’t push Sony’s console to its limits. This didn’t particularly matter, as we got such an interesting storyline, ingenious sound design and great gameplay that it was almost impossible to put down the controller in 2001.
Even today Silent Hill 2 is recognized by many people not only as the best horror game ever, but in general as the greatest game in the history of digital entertainment. Unfortunately, in the following years the Konami series no longer soared to such a high level of story and concept. This game is definitely one of the best PS2 games ever.
1- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an open-world action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, and has since been re-released on various platforms. In the game, players control Carl “CJ” Johnson, a former gang member who returns home to Los Santos, San Andreas after the death of his mother.
CJ must navigate the city’s criminal underworld, complete various missions, and gain respect in order to rise through the ranks of the criminal hierarchy. The game is known for its vast open world, which players can explore on foot or by vehicle, and its wide range of activities, which include driving, shooting, and completing missions.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is considered one of the best games for the PlayStation 2 for a number of reasons. The game has an open world setting, allowing players to roam freely and engage in various activities. It also has a compelling story, with well-developed characters and a wide range of missions and challenges to complete.
Additionally, the game features a variety of vehicles and weapons, and allows players to customize their character’s appearance and abilities. The graphics and soundtrack are also highly praised. Overall, the combination of these elements make Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas a highly enjoyable and immersive gaming experience. Many gamers consider this title to be amongst the best PS2 games ever.
So what do you think about all these PlayStation 2 games? How many of them have you played? Do you think there are other titles that deserve a place in Gazettely’s list of best PS2 games ever? If so, let us know about them in the comments section below.