Staff Picks: Top 10 PlayStation 2 Games


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So, as you can probably guess from the Top 10 PSOne Games list, we really liked its JRPGs. What many of you might not know is that most of us haven’t had a lot of exposure to the PS1. What exposure we did have was mostly to JRPGs, hence why the list featured only a handful of franchises. When conducting the poll for the PS2, however, the results were very different.

The sheer number of games submitted in that poll simply blew my mind. Not just JRPGs, either, but a whole mess of genres. So, to make sure this poll a bit more manageable, I’ve added something I call the Franchise Clause: only one representative from a franchise can make it to the Top 10. This made writing the list much easier, and was totally not done as a way to appease angry readers who accused us of being biased…what are you talking about?

I’m sorry, but you didn’t make it.

It seems every time I vote in one of these things, I always end up choosing games that nobody else has ever played. It happened to Viewtiful Joe in the Gamecube list and it happened to PaRappa the Rapper in the PSOne list. Because of the sheer number of entries for this list, it seems that everyone voted for something nobody else has played. So I’m going to make this list a little longer than usual.

  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
  • Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
  • Gitaroo Man
  • Psychonauts
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • God Hand
  • Odin Sphere
  • SSX
  • Viewtiful Joe  (Yeah, I already mentioned it, but this game needs a little more recognition.)

Okay, enough screwing around. On with the show!

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10. God of War

Yeah, I know. This game isn’t even remotely Japanese. Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Japanese games soon enough. God of War was released on the PS2 back in 2005 to glowing critical reception and dozens of Game of the Year awards. This lead to it becoming one of Sony’s most popular franchises, having spawned several sequels to this day.

“God of War is the game that introduced the world to the always angry “Ghost of Sparta” known as Kratos. It provides a story that captivates the audience and will keep you going to make sure you see Kratos’ revenge through.” – Richard Ross

9. Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

So after losing Crash and Spyro, Sony needed to think of a new platformer mascot for the PS2. So Naughty Dog came up with a game called Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy and released it at the end of 2001. While it might not have gotten to the same status as Crash or Spyro, this game was critically well received. Its sequels were also pretty good despite having the franchise being changed drastically, but the staff seemed to agree on which Jak game was the best.

“Jak & Daxter is Naughty Dog’s response to what they were up to after losing Crash. It’s the start of an amazing trilogy.” – Dan Lyons

8. Grand Theft Auto III

I’m honestly just as surprised as you are that this game made it onto this list. I mean, this is about as opposite to a niche JRPG as you can get. But, believe it or not, some of the staff members really liked this game. Despite how controversial the series is, the game was a sales juggernaut and was a critical darling. In fact, it’s one of the highest rated PS2 games of all time, outside of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. But it only made 8th place on our list. Oh well.

“Grand Theft Auto III is gritty, violent, sexualized, masochistic, snarky, sandbox game that had you working and killing the Mafia, Yakuza, Cartel, and pretty much anyone that got in your way. And I loved every minute of it.” – Jeff Neuenschwander

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About Kyle Emch

Kyle has been studying music at college for about three years now. He's played the piano since he was 6 years old and has been recently been learning how to write music. He has followed the Operation Rainfall movement on Facebook since it started and was happy to volunteer for the website. Just don't mention Earthbound or the Mother franchise around him.