The Playstation 2 is not only the best selling home console of all time, but it is also my FAVORITE, most-played console of all time. I poured endless hours into Silent Hill 2, Guitar Hero, and X-Men Legends in college...it even set me back a semester or two at the beginning there....heh heh... Anyway, for the average guy or gal starting up a PS2 collection from scratch, you're gonna want to add some good games quickly without a hefty price tag. That's where this list comes in. Let's drill down the “gotta have it” games with prices that are easy on the eyes.
Let's start with the obvious: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The frequently debated battleground of the PS2: WHICH GTA GAME WAS BETTER? The cool part of this debate is you can easily find out on your own for under $10! But seriously, Vice City lovers appreciate the soundtrack, the high quality of each mission and the detail of the world – maps and all. San Andreas fans love exploring the massive open world and trying to conquer the seemingly endless amount of missions. Needless to say, you MUST add these two games to your collection if you haven't already.
Playstation 2, without a doubt, brought groundbreaking and memorable games to every genre. Jak II is both of those, and much more. Naughty Dog, (the publisher that has rocked the world with Crash Bandicoot on PS1) dominated on the PS2, and Jak II was one of their many exceptional releases. Jak and his squirrely companion Daxter tear through level after level with killer platforming and big guns. It may look like a cartoony kids game, but it carries that “T” rating for a reason folks – lots of cartoon violence and a few bad words, just like we like it. Overall, Jak II has excellent gameplay, great graphics for the era, and is an excellent addition to the collection STILL with a price tag less than $10.
I may be biased because I skated relentlessly from age 12 – 18, but Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was pivotal for me in skateboarding, music, and gaming. This is the game that had me staying up until 3 AM crushing combos and getting inspired to go skate. It was an endless cycle: playing the game made me want to skate and skating made me want to play the game. What it came down to was this: addictive gameplay with goals that are the perfect difficulty at every level, excellent graphics, and an INSANELY catchy soundtrack! THPS 3 was the pinnacle of the series for me, and I'm sure others feel the same.
And if you mention Jak and Daxter, you can't simply skip over Ratchet and Clank. While Jak and Daxter excelled in attitude, Ratchet and Clank excelled in extreme weapons. With your floating death robots, black hole guns, plasma whips and more, you can do some serious damage to whacky list of enemies that await you. Again – perfect gameplay, killer graphics, and all around fun make this one a must have in your PS2 collection. For the fighting fanatics: we haven't forgotten you!
Soul Calibur II was an outstanding fighting game that began its reign on the Dreamcast and really honed its craft in its second iteration, with many people opting for the Playstation 2 version as the best of its generation. Battle your opponents swiftly with slicing sword combos. As a fan favorite of one of the greatest fighting series ever, this is a game you can't pass over.
Between the Super Nintendo and the Playstation 1, you just don't hear a lot of talk about great beat-em-ups. Well, Capcom came to the PS2 wanting to make up for lost time. In walks Dante in DEVIL MAY CRY – an intense hack and slash beat-em-up with revolutionary game play that changed the action genre for years to come. You won't want to put your controller down from this one. This is a game that holds up against its best modern contemporaries.
Resident Evil 4 gently pulled away from the survival horror origins of the series and went more in the direction of over-the-shoulder shooter. This turned some fans of the Playstation 1 games off, but it also brought in an entirely new generation of games. It is an all-out battle again zombies with trigger happy action, but the same great challenges and archetypes you remember from the early Resident Evil games. It is a no holds barred, often unforgiving, rage-fueled quest to end the Umbrella Corporation's reign of terror.
And yes, there are still plenty more to add. In fact, without a doubt I will be publishing a follow-up to this blog with more incredible PS2 games that pack a huge bang for your buck. Be sure to follow up with us and let us know your favorite PS2 games in the comments below!
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