By Joe Sigadel / March 4th, 2015
The Sony PlayStation 2 is now 15 years old, and PlayStation Australia is reminding us on Twitter by posting a series of tweets celebrating the console’s birthday. The PlayStation 2 is remembered as the first home console to act as both a DVD player and gaming machine. It possessed backward compatibility with its predecessor’s games. The graphics dramatically improved over the first PlayStation, and the DVD format allowed games much larger in scope to be stored on the discs. It also remains the best selling console of all time, selling over 155 million units in its lifetime. There was an enormous library of games on the PlayStation 2, encompassing all kinds of genres and included many popular series. Some popular series like Dynasty Warriors and Metal Gear Solid continued on to the PS3 and PS4 consoles.
Here are my personal favorite PlayStation 2 games:
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Persona 4 corrected a lot of what I thought was wrong with Persona 3, namely the lack of total control over your supporting party members, and having a more diverse personality growth system in giving the player more options with their daily tasks. I felt P4 had a terrific story about the importance of finding the truth, fighting against forces who felt that public perception was more important than the cold, hard, ugly truth. It was also great to see each of the characters confront their own inner demons one by one, and expanding upon that in their social links. Persona 4 is still very popular and I end up talking about it a lot as I’m getting hyped for Persona 5 to come out.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
As graphics get closer and closer to photorealism with every console generation, there has been a strong drive from developers to make their games more like movies. No game embodies this in my mind more than MGS3, which strikes a delicate balance between immersive stealth action gameplay and fantastic character-driven cutscenes and codec calls. The Boss may be one of the best written female characters I’ve ever encountered in a game, and she makes for a dangerous opponent who makes Naked Snake constantly question what it is he’s fighting for.
There’s really no game quite like Katamari Damacy and its sequels. Its story is more or less an acid fueled drug trip where you’re responsible for cleaning up the King of All Cosmos’s mess after drinking too much and ruining the constellations and stars in our galaxy. While you’re rolling up lego blocks and working your way up to people, buildings, and eventually entire cities, Katamari Damacy’s hilarious mayhem is accompanied by one of the strongest soundtracks in game history. It’s impossible not to smile with glee as your katamari grows larger and more chaotic.
Samurai Warriors 2
I am an unapologetic fan of the Warriors series, despite the constant criticism the series receives for having repetitive and simplistic combat. While the first Samurai Warriors game began as a spin-off of Dynasty Warriors, it had issues with its mission structure and English voice acting of questionable quality. Samurai Warriors 2 improved on the first game by expanding the game’s story mode all the way to the decisive Battle of Sekigahara, and the final conflict between Yukimura Sanada and Ieyasu Tokugawa at Osaka Castle. The create-an-officer mode from the first title was sadly removed, but to make up for it, a Sugoruku mini-game was added, which was actually pretty fun!
Resident Evil 4
Normally, I don’t enjoy horror games, or even horror movies. This game would be the rare exception to that for me, because RE4 plays more like an action game with some horror elements to it here and there. I didn’t find it overly frightening, aside from the creepy Los Illuminados cult and the occasional Iron Maiden/Regenerator enemy. The game is a ton of fun, and lasts a good bit longer than most other modern shooters I see today. And who can forget the strangely charming Merchant?
So those are the games I liked the most on PlayStation 2. What are some of yours? Let me know in the comments below.
Want to check out what other contributors think? Click here for the rest of the lists.