5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

Ads by Google

ps2 controller baby   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]The PS2 is officially dead, with Sony ceasing production of the last-gen console on December 31, 2012. In Japan at least, when the existing stock of hardware runs out, Sony will not be offering any more consoles to retailers. Not that the PS2 has done badly, with a lifespan of 12 years, six as Sony’s flagship console, six as the budget machine playing second fiddle to its successor, the PS3.

The PS2 hardware may be dead, but the games are not. In total there are reported to have been more than 11,000 titles released on the PlayStation 2 to date, with several more still to come. This makes it a mammoth task trying to pare the games down to the very best of the best, but I’m here to serve, and serve I will.

What follows are five+ PS2 games that are still worth playing today despite their age and the fact they are far from cutting edge. Some may be available on other platforms, or have enjoyed an HD remake on the PS3, but they really should be enjoyed on the console they were originally made for. Especially as they’ll be available for just a few dollars each.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty

metal gear solid 2 screenshot   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

Ads by Google

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty may just be the best Metal Gear game to date. The first title suffered from being on the original PlayStation, and Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3 was, though technically unrivaled, too difficult and complex for most people to even bother with. This game, on the other hand, was, and still is, accessible to all.

The storyline is a little convoluted, but it’s still easy enough to follow if you concentrate and take in the full glory of the (often-epic) cutscenes. The gameplay is intense but enjoyable, and the difficulty level is nicely pitched to challenge most gamers. Despite the last-gen visuals Metal Gear Solid 2 is still eminently playable.

Don’t Forget: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

God Of War II

god of war 2 screenshot   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

God Of War II is one of two games from the series to appear on the PS2, and it’s insanely playable despite its age. As in all of the God Of War games you play Kratos, the God Of War of the title. The game is played from a third-person, fixed-camera perspective, with brutal slaying, awesome boss fights, puzzles, and QTEs (Quick Time Events) the order of the day.

Those who joined the series late, perhaps only playing from God Of War III onwards, would do well to seek out this older title. All of the games in the series are connected in terms of both storyline and characters, so it’s really only the visuals that risk spoiling your enjoyment of this game. Thankfully even they are up to scratch, with this title making full use of the capabilities of the PS2.

Don’t Forget: God Of War

Ico

ico screenshot   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

Ico can be described in many different ways, all of which are accurate. It’s beautiful, simple, minimalist, immersive, emotional, and tough. In an industry famed for endless sequels and formulaic releases, Ico offered something new, fresh, bold, and exciting. And time has been kind to the game, as it’s still immensely playable.

You control the titular Ico, who, after being shunned by society, finds a purpose when he encounters Yorda, a girl of about the same age. Together they seek to escape from the castle they are both captive in, but various puzzles and shadowy foes await on their path to freedom. This is a game created to move as much as entertain, and it still does both over a decade after its original release.

Don’t Forget: Shadow Of The Colossus

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

grand theft auto san andreas screenshot   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the last of the GTA games to be released on the PS2, and it was also the best. By quite a margin. It holds the distinction of being the best-selling game on the console, and with good reason. With so many copies out in the wild there’s a high probability of picking up the game for pennies.

Like every GTA game, including the new Grand Theft Auto V, San Andreas is an open-world sandbox adventure with crime as its main focus. There’s an engrossing storyline that will take a while to complete, but it’s the sheer freedom, variety of missions, and things to see and do that mark this game out as one of the all-time greats. Absolutely unmissable, no matter how old and outdated it may appear to be.

Don’t Forget: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Final Fantasy XII

final fantasy xii screenshot   5+ PS2 Games Still Worth Playing [MUO Gaming]

Final Fantasy XII is one of the best games in the series, sitting comfortably alongside Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X as one that stood out in the genre. The PS2 was actually blessed with a lot of great Japanese RPGs, but this is arguably the pinnacle on the Sony console. Unless you have a particular dislike of JRPGs or the Final Fantasy series then Final Fantasy XII is a must-play game.

It features a strong mix of series regulars and innovations. So while the chocobos and summons remain intact for the long-time fans, random encounters and a controllable camera help make this a good RPG for newbies to grapple with. The visuals have aged as well as could be expected, and if picked up on the cheap this should provide several weeks’ worth of entertainment.

Don’t Forget: Final Fantasy X

Conclusions

It’s often forgotten by hardcore gamers that not everybody owns the latest console on the market, and there are still millions of people playing what we’d classify as retro machines. Sometimes by choice, often by necessity. Whatever your reason for being a PlayStation 2 gamer, these titles should be in your collection no matter what. Hunt them down, whether it be in retail stores, in flea markets, or on eBay.

With only five games featured there’s a high probability that many of you will be wondering where Title X or Title Y is. Below is the comments section where you’re invited to add to the list. Other readers can then look past my five choices and add yours to their collection as well. Otherwise feel free to air your views on the PS2, its imminent death, or the state of the games industry as a whole.

Image Credit: Phyllis Buchanan

Ads by Google

46 Comments - Write a Comment

Reply

Rani Karana

God of War 1 and 2 are playable on PS3 by either buying the God of War Sagas, the collection, or simply buying them off the playstation store.

Dave Parrack

Indeed. As I stated in the article, “Some may be available on other platforms, or have enjoyed an HD remake on the PS3, but they really should be enjoyed on the console they were originally made for.” :)

Rani Karana

Yeah, I see your point and it is very well true. I just enjoy playing them in HD and having trophies to get while playing. Makes the game a little more enjoyable for me.

Dave Parrack

The addition of trophies IS a strong reason to buy on PS3 instead of PS2. This article was more meant for those who only have a PS2 and would like to know which games have aged well.

Rani Karana

Ah, I see your reason now.

Reply

AriesWarlock

I don’t know about FFXII being the pinnacle of Japanese RPG’s on PS2, especially being so disliked by many for its MMORPG feel.

A Japanese RPG series worth playing is the Shadow Hearts series:
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/12/14/remembering-shadow-hearts.aspx

The series actually spawned as some loosely-based sequel of a PS1 game called Koudelka:
http://youtu.be/ednGoMf7uZY

Shadow Heart has got many things worth playing for: the peculiar and wacky characters, the dark setting, the edgy and adult dialogue, the battle system. I suggest people to get on eBay or Amazon and hunt down the first two games. It truly is a gem overshadowed by FF.

Dave Parrack

I wouldn’t say it’s the pinnacle either, just a mainstream option that still stands up to scrutiny. Thanks for the recommendation, will definitely check it out. Sadly we weren’t blessed with as many JRPGs in Europe as in North America.

AriesWarlock

Fortunately, Shadow Heart games were released in Europe! Hope you like them.

Reply

Robert Howitt

Final Fantasy 12 is sitting comfortably alongside to FF7 and FF10? How dare you sir. FF10 maybe, but not 7. I respect that they tried something different but that doesn’t make it good. Plus the story was horrid. Who is Vaan and why is he the main character or even in this story at all?
Looking back I can’t really think of any stand out, must own, titles on PS2.

Dave Parrack

I was torn between 10 and 12 but 12 has aged better in my opinion. I struggle to play 7 now because of the visuals. These kinds of lists never please everybody :)

I think you’re mistaken on the lack of quality PS2 titles though. I could have quite easily highlighted 10, 20, or possibly 50 that I’d recommend to anyone.

Kirby

FF10 is better than FF12 in my opinion. I think the story line is much deeper FF10 although it was nice for Squaresoft to try to change the battles from previous FF series in 12.

Robert Howitt

I guess people play RPGs for different reasons. The visuals are the least important thing to me when I play them. All my favorites are 32 or 16 bit. Graphics will always get better, story and gameplay are what give an RPG staying power.

I wasn’t even saying there is a lack of quality really. Just from my personal library of PS2 games, their aren’t any that I’d recommend to anyone. Not that they are bad games, just not great.

Reply

Jeevan Sukumaran

Agreed in terms of your comment of games that have aged well. Given the continuous graphical improvement in console-based games, its becoming harder to actually play older games. I guess in the end, the appeal in PS2 games is gradually moving to nostalgic value. One which older games will not readily lose.

Reply

Kirby

Definitely agree with you on MGS, GoW and GTA. Would also like to add Kingdom Hearts to your list.

Dave Parrack

I enjoyed those games. Have they aged well, I wonder?

Kirby

Well Kingdom Hearts is at its 3rd game already. Haven’t played it though since I don’t have a PS3.

Reply

AriesWarlock

my comment got deleted?

Dave Parrack

Not by me. Is there any reason it would have been caught by the spam filter or marked as inappropriate?

Reply

Junil Maharjan

Metal gear solid and god of war are great games and will be playing a lot even when newer systems take over the older ones.

Reply

Lisa Santika Onggrid

Since I mostly play JRPGs, my list will consist of them. I agree that newer and better might not always be the best. Heck, even Vita users are downloading PSX titles. As for Final Fantasy, I’ll admit: I never actually liked 7 that much. I think it’s overrated. My favorites are FFIX (plus nostalgia reason) and FFX. My list of PS2’s best JRPGs in no particular order: Suikoden V (the best after II), Tales of the Abyss (surprisingly deep story), Tales of Legendia (not for everyone, but the music is fantastic), Persona 3, and Gust’s alchemist series (They mostly stood at the same level).

Dave Parrack

FF VII is overrated in the sense of as a game on its own merit. But I think it’s held in such high regard because it was the first JRPG many people in the west played. I loved VIII too.

I must admit I haven’t played any of the others you list, which is shameful seeing as RPGs were my favorite genre back in the day.

Lisa Santika Onggrid

I see. It’s understandable. My first JRPG isn’t a Final Fantasy and my first FF is IX (hence why I mentioned nostalgia). I agree that the first games we played hold some kind of unexplainable charm even years after. I liked VIII but never got to finish it due to scratched disc, and buying the whole set everytime disc 1 crashes isn’t the most economical solution.

We tend to outgrow what we like. I’ve read somewhere that JRPGs aren’t selling that well anymore in the States. Maybe because the genre is stagnant in a sense.
I don’t think everything I list would be up to everyone’s liking (almost all is ‘love it or hate it’ type), but if you have time, I urge you to play some. There are so many good JRPGs in PS2.

Dave Parrack

There’s definitely a huge dose of nostalgia wrapped up in our appreciation of retro games. I’m not sure I’d be at all interested in titles released before I was a gamer, but thankfully I’m so old I remember Pong and Pacman being the height of sophistication.

JRPGs do seem to be in a lull at the moment. They’ll be back though, I’m sure. All lists of this kind are opinion-based, so yours is just as worthy as mine :)

Simeon Prince

everyone has their own opinion but ff7 is not overrated. I started it some years ago and to this day, I must make some time to finish it. The story alone is worth playing. don’t even speak of the gameplay… it was top notch, still is. I prefer these games anyway, from psx. if only they updated them with the current-gen graphics and tweaked the combat system (which was great anyway) , they’d make more money. But I think square just don’t want to harm the legacy that ff7 brought. to prove that if they remade it, that it would sell, look at how much times nintendo remade/re-released zelda ocarina of time and continued to sell, because it’s the greatest game ever made! the same can be applied to ff7 which is not overrated. plus, ff7 was the very first game to appear in 3d on the psx.

Dave Parrack

I love FF7, but in terms of pure gameplay it’s probably held in slightly too high a regard.

I want to see Square remake it for the next-gen, but sadly I can’t see it happening.

Reply

Gravity Dead

i do agree with the san andreas part
best game of the GTA series in my opinion :)

Reply

Ashwin Divakaran

God of War and GTA San Andreas ..Wow Brings so much good memories!

Reply

Mário Malheiros

“and Metal Gear Solid 4 on the PS3 was, though technically unrivaled, too difficult and complex for most people to even bother with. ”

too difficult and complex?? Are you being serious? :O

Dave Parrack

I’m deadly serious. Show me someone who played MGS4 who wasn’t already a fan of the series. Anyone who entered the MGS series at that point would have struggled to comprehend anything that was happening. MGS2 on the other hand.

Reply

Anonymous

Niceee..

Reply

Doc

Add to the list:

Any Ratchet & Clank game. Normally I hate 3D shooters, but the inventive (and sometimes humorous) weapons, quirky (but sometimes frustrating) mini-games have all meant that I keep going back (and the game series has continued to the PS3!)

The Sly Cooper series – Stealth instead of outright combat brings a new twist to gaming. Once again, the mini-games can be frustrating (like firing a cannon to protect your buddy who’s going after the prize), but the fact that your love interest is also the one trying to put you in jail is awesome!

Burnout 3 – best of the series. The mini-game where you cause as much destruction as possible is addictive!

Dave Parrack

All of those crossed my mind, but it was the series aspect that put me off in the end. Perhaps another article is in order, with full series of games mentioned. Ratchet and Clank would most certainly be on there.

The Burnout games were more fun than they should have been.

Reply

Kyle MacDonald

I remember playing Blitz on my N64 and playstation. That was one fun football game.

Reply

Daniel Gonzalez

Thanks for this good sir, I’ve been getting tired of my PS3 lately and have been looking to buy some PS2 classics!

Dave Parrack

Have you got an old PS3 that can play PS2 games? Otherwise it’s likely to be an eBay job for you. Thankfully there’s some cracking deals to be had these days.

Reply

Simeon Prince

I’ve never owned a ps2. I know there were a lot of great games, so It looks like I’ll have to hunt one down soon.

Reply

Anonymous

I would add the Jak series to this list, absolutely classic games

Reply

Ryszard Grodzicki

To the already mentioned Jak, Ratchet & Clank and Kingdom Hearts series I’d add Dead or Alive [2] as the best fighting game I ever played, and definitely the best one for parties, where you can learn how to make some good-looking combos in few minutes. And there is also Gran Turismo series, I don’t know why it hasn’t been mentioned yet.

Dave Parrack

Another article is definitely in order. I’m not sure about Dead Or Alive though, I remember it being more about the jiggling boobs than anything else.

Ryszard Grodzicki

Yeah, most people recognize this series by boobs, but it really is worth checking out. It’s combat system is the most… ‘fluid’ and dynamic I ever experienced. In Tekken eg. you have to learn certain combos, otherwise the fight looks very ‘static’ and in DoA if you think ‘hmm, that punch would connect nicely with this kick’ it probably will, creating nice-looking combo. At least that’s my impression after playing Tekken, DoA, Street Fighter and few others.

Reply

Aaron Clifford

Frequency and Amplitude are music-rhythm games that many people missed because they landed before Harmonix struck gold with Guitar Hero. Both titles are filled with fun music, awesome visuals, and great gameplay.

Reply

Karl Couvillon

I would add the two Katamari Damacy, the Fatal Frame series and XENOGEARS. I still play those pretty often when I want a console game. I’ve never felt the need to upgrade to a PS3.

Reply

Andrei Bogdan

You forgot Shadow of the Colossus

Reply

mus0r

My votes go for the Silent Hill series and Legacy of Kain series. I still fire up my old PS2 for those.

Am I the only one who misses games with good story lines? LoK series in particular had a great story. Shame the devs abandoned it.

Reply

Luis Gorospe

still playing god of war 2 at my ps2

Reply

Scottish teen

I definitely have to agree with adding the Jak series to the list with my personal favourite being Jak II:renegade as it was the first one i played and i preferred the slightly darker nature of it when compared to Jak and daxter. I also spent much of my formative years playing prince of Persia:SOT and need for speed underground 2. I did also enjoy burnout 3 and still feel it is the best game from that series. I also remember playing a fantasy RPG type thing called dragon valour on ps1 and have never met anyone else who remembers it. Nfs most wanted was also played alot just for the police chases. :)

Your comment