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
A comprehensive look at 36 of the greatest video games available on the PlayStation 2, including Metal Gear Solid, Shadow of the Colossus, GTA, and more.
Be sure to also read: The 24 Best PS3 games, The Best PC games, The 10 Best PSP games, The 28 Best Wii games, The 31 Best DS games, The 32 Best Xbox 360 games, The 36 Best iPhone games, and The 25 Best iPad games.
- Fight Night Round 3
The third title in EA's stellar Fight Night franchise introduced an innovative new way to experience the thrill of boxing by making use of the dual analog sticks to punch, jab, and block. Fight Night Round 3 also introduced stunning new visuals, and real-time battle damage with swollen eyes, cuts, bruises, and streaming blood. Fight Night Round 3 also allowed the player to generate rivalries with other boxers, creating cinematic experiences during press conferences and weigh-ins, allowing you to believe that you were truly part of the action. Simply put, boxing doesn't get any better than this deep, sophisticated fighter.
- SSX 3
SSX introduced us to the world of extreme arcade snowboarding, SSX Tricky upped the ante with insane new tricks and death-defying tracks, but SSX 3 was the first in the series that truly immersed us in the experience, with an unprecedented amount of character customization and one giant mountain that was ripe for the shredding. It was SSX 3's attention to detail, such as courses affected by weather in real time, that made the third title in the stellar snowboarding series one to remember.
- Escape from Monkey Island
You could hear the jaws of adventure fanatics drop all across the country when LucasArt's Escape from Monkey Island was announced for the PS2. The fourth installment of the Monkey Island franchise was also the first title to take our goofy, but lovable protagonist Guybrush Threepwood into the realm of 3D. With original puzzles, clever writing, and all-around fantastic voice acting, Escape from Monkey Island was an achievement in adventure games, and a nostalgia trip to the days of point-and-click.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Surprisingly, one of the PS1's biggest weaknesses was 2D games, particularly memory-intensive fighting games. Any fan of the genre who played Capcom's popular "Vs." series had to endure horrific load times and the removal of the series' signature feature--the ability to switch between characters in the middle of a match. Thankfully, the feature was restored in time for the best game in the series to get a picture-perfect port. While we wish the game could have included some sweet online play, the rest of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is amazing enough to make up for it.
- SOCOM 2: U.S. Navy SEALs
The sequel to the groundbreaking SOCOM was a revolutionary step in team-based strategic shooting, not to mention online console gaming as a whole. Compatible with the PlayStation 2's USB headset, SOCOM II reinvented what it meant to play as a team when a member of your squad would call for back-up in real time, or sneaking through the jungle with 15 other players all looking for a headshot. While cheaters eventually ruined the online experience for many, players everywhere still carry fond memories from SOCOM II - and we haven't even mentioned the stellar single-player mode!
Black was like playing a Michael Bay movie on steroids. With completely destructible environments, an amazing arsenal of weapons, and "Style Kills" rewarded for suave decapitations, there was no way you couldn't play this game without feeling like an absolute badass. The revolutionary physics also blew away the competition with real-time debris flying from destroyed buildings and vehicles, plus unmatched explosions that flattened foe and environment alike. The prettiest shooter on the PS2 is also one of the best.
- We Love Katamari
The surprise hit Katamari Damacy featured one other sequel helmed by series creator Keita Takahashi. While the concept of creating a sequel to one of the most original games of all-time seemed counter-intuitive, Takahashi made it work by creating an engrossing story mode that was a love letter to fans of the first game. Not much of what worked in the original was changed, but the addition of crazy new stages, songs, and characters made We Love Katamari the best game in the series.