The 10 Best PlayStation 2 Games Of All Time

The best games for the best game console for its time.

by JB Cachila
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Image: Capcom

The PlayStation 2, or PS2, is one of the most well-loved game consoles of all time. It has a vast library of games, offering tons of titles in every genre. Everyone is bound to have at least one favorite. That said, here are some of the best PlayStation 2 games of all time.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

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Image: Konami

Snake Eater is considered one of the best entries in the entire Metal Gear franchise, featuring a complex story and challenging tactical espionage gameplay. Unlike its predecessors and other succeeding titles, Snake Eater did away with many things high-tech and introduced new ones like survival elements.

In Snake Eater, you take on the role of a younger Big Boss. You’ll need to master important things like close-quarters combat, the use of camouflage to hide from enemies, and how to survive while injured. This entry sets the gameplay mechanics for succeeding titles like MGS4: Guns of the Patriots.

Devil May Cry 3

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Image: Capcom

Devil May Cry 3 is known as one of the best action games ever. Created as a comeback for the lackluster performance of DMC 2, it took the winning formula of the first Devil May Cry and made it better with an interesting story, more weapons, and even more intense action across different levels. This entry takes a look at Dante’s earlier days and welcomes a new antagonist in the form of his twin, Vergil. Expect to slay more demons in a very stylish way.

Silent Hill 2

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Image: Bloober Team

While the first Silent Hill struck fear among gamers, the franchise was established as one of the best survival horror titles ever with the arrival of Silent Hill 2. This nightmarish psychological game will cause your hands to sweat as you find yourself disoriented while moving around a foggy and terror-filled titular town.

Silent Hill puts you in the shoes of James, a man who visits the town after receiving a letter from his wife who supposedly died three years before the game’s events. Do your best to survive through scary environments and encounters with enemies like the iconic Pyramid Head, among others.

Burnout 3: Takedown

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Image: Criterion Software

Burnout 3: Takedown takes the racing mechanics of its predecessors and dials up the chaos to eleven to create a satisfying and fast-paced driving game filled with mayhem. For those who want to get rewarded for crashing their cars in racing games, this is for you.

Burnout 3 introduced Crash Mode, a game mode where you do everything in your power to win a race against others. This includes ramming competing cars to get them to crash into obstacles, or driving through obstacles yourself if you feel like that’s what you to get to the finish line faster.

Katamari Damacy

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Image: Namco

Katamari Damacy offers a wacky and hilarious take on what it means to save the galaxy from the results of drunkenness. You play as a Prince sent to create new stars after your father, the King of All Cosmos, lost them after drinking too much. How you do that is what’s even more interesting.

In order to create new stars, you roll a super-sticky ball around until it catches a lot of things and grows bigger. Once the ball reaches the required size, it is launched into space to form a new star replacing what your ridiculous dad broke. The game’s odd mechanics and colorful world is something you’d want to come back to over and over.

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

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Image: RedOctane

Guitar Hero III brings out the rock star in everyone, regardless if they actually know how to play a guitar. Just think about it: amateurs and pro musicians get to play riffs from legends in rock music. Of course, this is accomplished using a plastic guitar with a few buttons and a switch to mimic the strumming.

Players get to perform well-known hits from Metallica, Slayer, Pearl Jam, the Rolling Stones, Santana, and even Iron Maiden and DragonForce among others. The game’s soundtrack is so good even those who aren’t playing can simply jam with you in the background.

Resident Evil 4

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Image: Capcom

This is the iconic entry that changed the way Resident Evil games are being played. Unlike earlier titles, Resident Evil 4 focuses more on action instead of horror. It did away with tank controls, fixed camera angles, and even left the Spencer mansion and Raccoon City to go to a Spanish village.

In RE4, you fight against hordes of smarter enemies called Ganados as you make your way to rescue the President’s daughter. There are new monsters to defeat, but you can buy weapons to fight them. This action-packed survival horror game is so good it can even entice those who are afraid of the earlier titles.

Kingdom Hearts

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Image: Square Enix

Kingdom Hearts is a beloved game among fans of action RPGs and JRPGs. Kingdom Hearts made waves when it brought together characters from the world of Final Fantasy and iconic figures from Disney. The result is a lighthearted adventure with an engaging narrative and fun gameplay.

In this game, you play as main protagonist Sora as he journeys with a colorful cast including Donald and Goofy to save interconnected worlds from beings known as the Heartless. You’ll have a goofy time solving puzzles, hitting enemies with your keyblade, and reading one of the best stories written for the console.

Okami

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Image: Capcom

While the game’s plot is quite similar to many games (save the world from a curse so everyone can live) Okami does it in such a way that it deserves to be considered one of the best games to own on the PS2. Its story, combat mechanics, and overall design make it so unique you’d think there’s nothing like it.

In Okami, you play Amaterasu, a sun goddess in wolf form, to save the land from darkness. You enter dungeons, solve puzzles, and fight mandatory bosses in order to do that. While this game has been compared to Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda, it has its own uniqueness—even its art style is a testament to that.

Final Fantasy X

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Image: Square

The first Final Fantasy game released for the PS2, and the tenth in the series, Final Fantasy X is a must-have if you like JRPGs. It took advantage of the technological capabilities of the PS2 to create something that older Final Fantasy titles did not have: breathtaking detail, amazing cinematics, spoken dialogues, and more. FFX is more than these, however.

FFX features a colorful cast of characters, each with different background. You control three of them at a time in your party and can explore more of the game’s world as compared to what you could in games prior. Turn-based battles are exciting, and with the addition of a new mechanic, it’s easier to swap characters on the fly. It might feel familiar, but it’s a totally different Final Fantasy game.

The PS2 has a huge library of games, and each game offers something different. These are but some of the best among them, and we encourage you to try them if you haven’t yet.

- This article was updated on January 25th, 2023

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