Now, why would I bring up the PS2 with the PS5 coming out later this year? Or why bring it up at all? I’m glad you asked.
The PS2 was first released in North America 20 years ago, and to this day, it is the best selling console of all time. I was 3 when it came out, but it has stuck around way past its prime. The PS3 came out in 2006 to replace it, but it didn’t do as well as they thought it would.
If you ask anyone around my age what some of their favorite video games as a kid were growing up, I guarantee you that at least one of them will be on the Playstation 2. Yeah, the Xbox and the Game Cube came out around the same time, but they aren’t the number one selling console of all time. I still think that’s crazy. I would have guessed the Xbox 360 or maybe the Gameboy Advance SP would be on top. It seemed like everyone I knew had one of those, but what do I know?
My favorite PS2 games that people will probably get mad at me for, but who cares? This is my list.
Number 5: Soul Calibur 2
Soul Calibur 2 is one of the first games that got me into fighting games. I suuuuuuuuucked at it big time, but it made me want to get better. Not just better at Soul Calibur but better at fighting games. There was something about a weapon-based fighting game that drew me in as a kid. Plus, they had exclusive characters for the game, depending on what console you had. Link from Legend of Zelda was on Game Cube. Spawn on was on Xbox and Heihachi Mishima from Tekken was on PlayStation, which I thought was super cool because Tekken was one of those games that was a bit too hard for me as a kid, but I always thought it looked epic. To this day, Tekken still scares me.
There was something therapeutic about sitting down and labbing out combos and tech so that when you played against a friend, you could absolutely destroy them. Cause once you get your butt handed to you in a fighting game, you have two options. 1.) give up and never play again or 2.) become a monster and destroy the person who beat you. 10/10 nostalgia factor with this pick, but that’s going to be true for every game on this list.
Number 4: Tony Hawk Pro Skate 3
I mean, what is there to say about this game that everybody doesn’t already know? Quintessentially the best Tony Hawk game ever made? Undeniably yes. The first two were good games, but THPS3 built off of their foundation and ran with it. They introduced reverts, which let you combo tricks together in bigger and better ways. I would sit there as a kid and spend hours figuring out what flowed together and what didn’t. It was fun, which is hard to say about some games today. While this is undeniably the best Tony Hawk game, I would argue that it is the best skateboarding game ever. Fight me.
Number 3: Ratchet and Clank: Deadlocked
Look, I get it. This particular Ratchet and Clank game isn’t the best one. Some people hate it because of how different it is from the other games, but I love it for those reasons.
Instead of playing like a platformer, it felt more like a survival game. And this is not to say that I didn’t love the other games because I did, but I love this one the most.
There were a billion different gun choices, and the armor looked cool. But it was that distinction of not really being a platform game that made me love it. It felt different enough to distinguish itself from the others but still had the characters I had to learn to love. If I could get a remake of any PS2 game, it would be this one. That’s how much I love this game.
Number 2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
Yeah, this is definitely the one that is going to make everyone who reads this mad at me. I love this game. I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I am a dork and I know that, but it does not take away from the gem that is this game.
Did this game have groundbreaking graphics? No. Was the gameplay repetitive? Yes. Did the controls feel a little wonky at times? Absolutely. So why on Earth would I love this game so much to put it at number 2? Because it let you fight in THE Battle Nexus. It let you participate in the tournament arc of the 2003 TMNT cartoon. My favorite arc in the whole show, and they turned it into a video game.
I begged and pleaded with my mom to get it when it came out. I was so excited. Even just thinking about it still gets me excited. I loved that show and then being able to play it made it even better regardless that the game itself wasn’t the best. I was too young to know any better.
Number 1: Star Wars Battlefront 2
First, there was Doom, then came Call of Duty and Halo, but my first ever shooter was Battlefront 2. I had a hard time convincing my mom to let me play COD or Halo because of the blood, but Battlefront 2 was Star Wars. It was kid-friendly, or that was the logic that was used. Battlefront 2 is a perfect game. This is why when EA announced a remake, everyone was excited until it came out. It never stood a chance. It was competing against nostalgia. The guns, the lore, the campaign, the online play, the ability to play as a fricking Jedi. What more could a kid ask for in a video game? Literally nothing. It sparked a love of FPS games in me second only to my love for fighting games.
Anyone who played this game back in the day knows how amazing it was, and of all the games on this list, it is probably the only one that still holds up even a little.
The PS2 was a great console with a great catalog of games to go along with it. While this list may not be the best PS2 games of all time, it definitely was my best PS2 games list.
Ok. Now you can tell me where you think I’ve gone wrong and what I left out. I’ll listen. I don’t have to agree, but I’ll listen.