By Adam Reese / March 4th, 2015
My name is Adam Reese, and I want to share with all of you my top 5 games of the Sony PlayStation 2, to both get an idea of how my tastes are and how my feelings are on the PS2 itself. It should come as no surprise to anyone that it is exclusively RPGs. With that said, allow me to present to you my list.
5. .hack//G.U. Vol. 1//Rebirth
The first in the G.U. series, and the second such series on the PS2, Rebirth is, in my opinion, one of the best RPGs on the PS2. Not only do you have a great story and great gameplay, but you also get to experience what it would feel like to play a near-future VR MMORPG (named “The World”).
Haseo is one of my favorite protagonists, and there are so many gameplay elements that I enjoyed in Rebirth that it would take a whole article to list them out. As it stands, I can only hope that one of those VR headsets being developed takes inspiration from the .hack series and they create a game just as memorable as it is.
4. Radiata Stories
One of the lesser known RPGs released for the system, but a hidden gem, Radiata Stories is a game that takes a lot of things that I like in RPGs and combines them into a package that makes it one of my top games for the PlayStation 2.
One of the features that most people that do know about it is the ability to kick almost everything. You can kick walls, chairs, beds, tables, and even NPCs. Of course, if you kick an NPC enough times, you get into a fight either with them or the summoned guards. Speaking of the NPCs, each of them have their own lives. They have jobs they go to, restaurants they eat at, and places to go home and sleep at, all of it controlled by the game’s day/night system.
Featuring an open world, real-time combat, a divergent storyline, and memorable characters, Radiata Stories is a great game, and deserves to be played.
3. Suikoden V
The fifth main entry in the Suikoden series (not the last, hopefully) was a return to form after the oft-panned fourth entry changed many of the mechanics that had made the series as great as it was.
Featuring awesome visuals using a form of cel-shading that makes all of the color stand out and an amazing story that gives you a real feeling of having built an army from the ground up, this is a must-play game and a testament to how great a series Suikoden is.
2. Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Those of you that have read my retro review of Shadow Hearts (see here if you haven’t) might be wondering why I chose the sequel of the game rather than the game itself. Well, I felt that the original was a more important game to cover, since it established a lot of the elements and characters that Covenant both took to the next level and made more enjoyable.
With Covenant, not only did you get a bevy of new characters to play as, it introduced a more sinister villain in the oft-used Rasputin, and upgraded both the combat system and the visuals. Overall, I consider it one of the best games on the PS2, and the best in the series.
1. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
The game that brought the name “Dragon Quest” to the West for the first time since the series’ inception, and the first game in the series to have fully 3D models and environments, this game is an amazing entry into the long-running franchise.
Not only was the music excellent, but the story was deep and engaging, and the sheer level of things you could do and characters you could meet makes this both my favorite in the series and my number one pick for my top PS2 games.
So, do you agree with my choices? Disagree? Have any questions or comments? Let me know in the comments below! No list is perfect, but I hope you all get a good idea of the kind of tastes I bring to my reviews, and I look forward to hearing from all of you!
Want to check out what other contributors think? Click here for the rest of the lists.