The Best PS2 Games of All Time - Blast From the Past
Feeling nostalgic? Let’s have a look through the top PS2 games of all time and what made them so iconic. Who says that these games are dated? Get outta here!
What were the best games of your childhood? If you’re a millennial, then it’s likely you played them on a PS2. The PlayStation 2 saw some of the most ambitious games ever made, and it saw them again and again in quick succession, each one building upon what the last had achieved and pushed the boundaries of graphical enhancement, as well as what you could do in a game.
Nowadays, it’s fair to say that many of these games seem a little dated, but back then they really were legendary. Some of these awesome games have been remade for Android and iOS devices and are now increasingly popular once again. This really is a testament to their lasting awesomeness.
In this article we’ll look through five of the very best games that were released on PS2 - this article is our own opinion, and you’re welcome to comment and dispute if you disagree - frankly, some of these don’t usually appear on these lists, but we feel like they deserve a little special attention.
GTA: SAN ANDREAS
This game is an undisputed top pick on every top PS2 games list, and for good reason. Being one of the most widely sold games of all time, Rockstar North’s Grand Theft Auto series pushed the boundaries with GTA: San Andreas. Never before had a game had such an ambitious open world to explore, full of action, adventure, and violence. The game features three cities for players to explore, as well as vast swathes of countryside and a dessert.
You play as Carl Johnson, who is on a mission to avenge the death of his mother and reunite his family and gang. No previous GTA game featured such a well thought out storyline, as well as such realistic characters. Whereas previously the saga had focussed mainly on organized crime with a few jokes thrown in, San Andreas put players into a fully fleshed-out word with multiple layers of emotion and depth. The main character even cries a few times…
GTA San Andreas will stand the test of time as being probably the most ambitious game ever made. It is now increasingly played on Android and iOS devices, and this version of the game features even better graphics than the original, as well as some great new features such as checkpoints in missions.
Probably not one of the most popular titles on PS2 and certainly not one that ever makes it into the top five lists of great PS2 games, Gun remains an underrated masterpiece.
The game is set in the Wild West in the year 1880. Your character is attacked by bandits while on a steamboat in the Missouri river. In the heat of the action, your father (voice acted by Kris Kristofferson) is killed. You are then plunged into a mission to avenge him by killing the preacher that led the ambush on the boat and his boss, a mining tycoon who is on a desperate mission to find Quivira - an ancient city of gold.
The game isn’t overly complex, it’s an open world game similar to Red Dead Redemption - just a little more dated. What makes it so unique is its glorious storyline and missions, which see you joining a rebel group to bring down your enemies, then partnering with native American tribes to attack a massive fort being used by bandits. This is actually really worth replaying and is in our opinion one of the great underrated games.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS
A wide empty expanse, populated by 16 gigantic ‘colossus’ that you must destroy. This game is often considered to be one of the most beautifully crafted games of all time. The only enemies in the game are the giants, and as you confront each of them, you’ll progress further into a story that is wonderfully written, with deep meaning and emotion.
The game is staggering - the open world is empty but it is also incredible to look at. Taking on the Colossus is also an intense undertaking - true gaming genius.
BULLY (CANiS CANEM EDIT)
Another staggering title by Rockstar Games, Bully - or Canis Canem Edit (Latin for Dog Eat Dog) as it was known in countries that wouldn’t allow a game that promotes bullying - is basically Grand Theft Auto in a school setting.
You play as a 15-year-old boy who is sent to a private school and must now fight his way through this drudging year of studying, chasing girls, and making alliances and rivalries with different subcultures in the school.
On your path, you’ll encounter geeks, jocks, bullies, townies and more, as well as an army of strict teachers - and the occasional alcoholic one. The game changed the rules on PS2 games in terms of subject matter and was much loved by hordes of kids who could relate to being thrown into a school and left to fend for yourself.
MEDAL OF HONOR: FRONTLINE
The original WWII first-person shooter game. Medal of Honor: Frontline starts with you on the beaches during D-Day and then takes you across Europe in a bloody fight to defeat Nazi Germany. You’re a special forces agent who at times gets dropped deep into enemy lines to participate in Operation Market Garden and other critical attempts to defeat the Nazi war machine.
This game inspired Call of Duty: Finest Hour - the first COD game that eventually led on to the now legendary Black Ops and Modern Warfare games and their online counterparts.
While this game is now somewhat dated, it has to be said that it was, without a doubt, one of the greatest games of its time. The follow-up, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun took the saga further into Japanese territory in the Pacific to defeat the Imperial Empire of the Rising Sun.
These games provided the blueprint that modern war games now use, and they have to be given the credit they deserve accordingly. The controls aren’t the best anymore, and of course, they’re dated, but these games are still a lot of fun to play.
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