The 36 Best PS2 Games
A comprehensive look at 36 of the greatest video games available on Sony Playstation 2.
- October 26, 2010 11:25 AM PT
- Lego Star Wars: The Video Game / Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
When Lego Star Wars was first announced, we wrote it off almost instantly. Big mistake. By marrying the greatest space story ever told with the cutesy style of Lego, we were able to enjoy all six of the chapters of George Lucas' epic without a single line of dialogue being uttered. Considering how Episodes I through III turned out, this is probably a good thing. Lego Star Wars is a real treat, combining item collection, platform jumping, and some surprisingly intense destruction. It's a must-have for any PS2 owner.
- Onimusha: Warlords
Onimusha was very much like playing an Akira Kurosawa film. In the role of lone swordsman Samanosuke, you must protect a young princess against the forces of evil. The Kurosawa similarities end there, as the forces of evil are represented by breathtaking, demonic beasts. Onimusha's fast-paced action set against its feudal Japanese backdrop make for an unforgettable experience from the first moment you unsheathe your katana. Think of it as Resident Evil for the sword-loving crowd.
- TimeSplitters: Future Perfect
What other game allows you to engage in co-op play with a future version of yourself? TimeSplitters: Future Perfect paved new ground for first-person shooters everywhere with its unique time-traveling story and innovative gameplay. One second you'd find yourself wielding a Kruger against a World War II backdrop, and the next you'd be stealthily sneaking around a city of the future, plasma pistol in hand. With downright addictive multiplayer, including a built-in Map Maker, TimeSplitters: Future Perfect was simply revolutionary for its... well, time.
- Silent Hill 2
Pyramid Head. Those two words are reason enough for Silent Hill 2 to make this list. Luckily, the rest of the game was damned fine, too. As recent widower James Sunderland, you find yourself in the mysterious village Silent Hill after receiving a strange letter from your late wife. Attacked by vicious, faceless monsters, James' search for the past turns into a battle for his own future as he must survive against the heart-stopping sights and creatures that roam the streets of Silent Hill-but sometimes, the truth is better left untold...
- Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening
Devil May Cry 3 was not for casual gamers. After the disappointing sophomore entry in the series, DMC3 was leaner, meaner, and packing more whoop-ass than a bar full of rowdy prison inmates on crack. Dante's Awakening was probably Capcom's most over-the-top action game of the era, and just being brutally hard was only the tip of the iceberg. With handguns, sick sword combat, and Dante's always-exciting demon powers, half the fun was just deciding how to kill your enemies. Long live the night.
"Jimmy Hopkins-you're quite the nastiest little boy I've ever seen!" These words lead you into the shoes of Bully's red-headed, trouble-making protagonist, as well as life at Bulworth Academy. Rockstar took its spectacular open-world engine from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and applied it to a private school run by cliques and bullies. As Hopkins, you had the freedom to skateboard around town, play pranks on the faculty, and even participate in mini-games that acted as Jimmy's school "classes". With a stellar storyline and Rockstar's trademark voice acting, Bully was a fantastic sandbox experience with a lot of heart.
- Burnout 3: Takedown
Burnout is still driving strong, but the series really hit top speed with its third PS2 iteration. In addition to the great racing and crash modes showcased in earlier titles, Burnout 3 added a much deeper championship mode and a cool little feature called the "Aftertouch," which allows you to control your car, post-crash, in order to take out other racers. Burnout 3 was also the last game in the series based in some semblance of reality, as future titles allowed you to ram into the back of cars going the same direction as you without punishment, which took a lot of the intensity out of the race.