By Jeff Neuenschwander / March 4th, 2015
Back in 2002, my family went up north on vacation, except for my brother and dad who had to work at their respective jobs. When we came back, we found out that my brother purchased a PlayStation 2. Obviously, my mom was upset about it since he was having money trouble during that time and didn’t need to purchase a gaming console at that time. But it was there, and I got to play a number of games I never had a chance to play before, like Grand Theft Auto III and Kingdom Hearts.
Moving to the present, I have my own PS2 with a bit of a library. It’s not the biggest of any system I have but it is a quality line-up. It’s also one I haven’t completed a lot of. So, before I get to my celebratory list of Top 5 PlayStation 2 games on the system’s 15 birthday, here are some games that could make it one day but I haven’t had the time to complete yet.
- Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
- Final Fantasy X
- Final Fantasy XII
- Persona 4 (although this could be switched in soon as I’m working through this game at the moment)
- SMT: Digital Devil Saga
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
And now, for my Top 5 PS2 Games
5. Kingdom Hearts II
Fun fact, the first time I played a Kingdom Hearts game… and didn’t feel the wrath of my older brother… was when I played Kingdom Hearts II with my cousin Matt. We played a good portion of it together, but man, that was a long intro we had to get through. But after that, KH2 became a very enjoyable game, one that I’ve played through a couple of time on my own and will come back to at some point.
4. Gran Turismo 4
I liked Gran Turismo 3. But I couldn’t quite fall in love with it because it was difficult to stay focused long enough for those long races. Gran Turismo 4, on the other hand, allowed me to sit back and strategize while watching in B-Spec — which is basically the mode you choose when you don’t feel like racing and just want to watch. I also like the career hub better than in GT3. Plus, I can’t help but get hyped watching the intro, starting with a grand choir singing this majestic opening, leading into Van Halen’s Panama.
3. Katamari Damacy
Laaaalalalalalalalala Colorful and Crazy.
Laaaalalalalalalala I’m bad at this but I don’t care.
Lalaaaalalalalalalalala Roll the world into a ball.
Laaaalalalalalalalala Something something something something something D’awww.
2. Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
This is the first Dungeon & Dragons related thing I ever got into… and I’m glad I took a chance on it. This game quickly rose up through the ranks not only for my favorite RPGs but games in general. What I think I most enjoy about it is how it reminds of games like Diablo (which isn’t hard because it’s a dungeon crawler of similar art style and gameplay).
Alas, it did not rise up enough to claim the top spot. That would be this masterful piece of grit.
1. Grand Theft Auto III
There was no way this would not take my number 1 spot. Grand Theft Auto III is one of those games where you remember the first time you experienced it — which would be in the basement with my brother.
This was also the first mature game I played since Doom. But while the sexual themes and violence brought my teenaged-self in, it was the humor and story that keeps me coming back. Heck, I can just spend a playing session just driving around and listening to the radio stations, which they put so much humorous detail into, such as jokes about pop stations having more commercials than music, over-the-top DJs, slogans that say the truth about how stations feel about listeners, and the country of Australia. Plus, Chatterbox, the talk station, was just so cleverly written with all kinds of crazy calls coming in. The story was pretty good, too, as you worked your way through the Liberty City underground to wage war with the Cartel and get revenge on your ex-girlfriend.
Bless you, Rockstar Games. You guys are awesome.
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