The 15 Best PlayStation 2 Games
I recently decided to revisit the days of the PlayStation 2, the best games console of all time! Yes, graphics and game mechanics are light years ahead of where they used to be, but this was for me the defining console of my lifetime, these were my glory days of gaming and I still think the PlayStation 2 had the best line up of games for any console yet! Here's my 15 favourites, be prepared, this will be nostalgic!
First things first, before I go into this list, let's get the elephant in the room out of the way.
The Grand Theft Auto series dominated all of our childhoods, everyone has their favourite title and a justified argument could be made for picking any of them, Rockstar Games changed the playing fields of the gaming world and they've dominated ever since! I loved GTA III, I loved GTA Vice City, but without a doubt San Andreas was my favourite, and it could have been no. 1 but I've chosen to leave the GTA series out of this list completely, it's too obvious! San Andreas is arguably the best game of all time and I'm confident most people would agree, think of it as beyond the list! This is for the less talked about and fairly forgotten titles that I loved. and now with that out of the way, here comes the nostalgia!
15. When The Lord of the Rings films were released, EA Games got a hold of the rights and released The Two Towers and The Return of the King, and although they were fun, they were nothing more than button bashing mayhem! The release that seemingly slipped through the cracks was the lesser known, The Fellowship of the Ring, published by Black Label Games, not EA, and this game was by far the best of the trilogy. If I'm remembering correctly, the characters weren't voiced by any of the actors, and apparently it pissed a lot of people off as it wasn't faithful to the book but my memories of the game are fond, I remember having lots of fun sneaking around trying to avoid the Ring Wraiths in particular! The gameplay trumps that of the EA releases, and being a big fan of the films I had fun playing as Frodo, Aragon and Gandalf!
14. The X Files: Resist or Serve is a survival horror game based on the TV show and set somewhere in its seventh season, following FBI Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they travel to a small town to investigate a series of unexplained murders. This wasn't a ground breaking game by any stretch, but being a big fan of the show, I really enjoyed it! They captured the mysterious and creepy atmosphere created in the show and put you right into Mulder and Scully's shoes, it was a great experience full of ghosts, zombies, and of course, aliens! They used a similar mechanic to the Resident Evil games but you get to play as Mulder and Scully! Voiced by Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny themselves. If you're a fan of the show, you'll love the game!
13. Before Red Dead Redemption, there was Red Dead Revolver, Rockstar's lesser known first entry into the Red Dead series. I'm a big fan of Western films, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly etc, and this was the first time I was able to step into that world, Rockstar Games never fail, and this was no exception! The story was engaging, the world was immersive, the characters were great, and the gameplay was extremely fun! Cowboys and Indians, outlaws, bounty hunters, good old fashioned Western shoot-outs, I had so much fun playing this! This is the game that actually features the character Red, as well as three other playable characters, this was a great game!
12. Shellshock Nam '67 is a game I've never heard anyone talk about, ever! I don't understand why, this was a fantastic game, it's a third person shooter set in the Vietnam War, it's one of the most brutal games I've ever played and I enjoyed every second of it! Never has the terror of the Vietnam War been captured so beautifully as it was here. The gameplay is fantastic, from creeping through the jungle trying to avoid deadly traps, to full out bloody fire fights against the Vietcong, it's an intense game! The dark and depressing atmosphere they created here is straight out of films like Platoon and Apocalypse Now, it was an amazing experience. It's not pretty, this is a gritty game with very dark themes and a razor sharp edge, I loved it!
11. Those who know me know I'm a massive fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it's one of my favourite shows of all time so it shouldn't be a surprise to see this on the list! Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds. Set somewhere in the fifth season, the game follows the shows mythology and all of the characters except Buffy and Willow were voiced by the actors from the show! Not only are you able to play as Buffy herself, Spike, Willow, Faith and Xander are all playable characters throughout the game as well! The story is immersive, the gameplay is engaging, I loved this game, there's nothing better than staking a vampire in the heart and watching it turn to dust! This is a must have for fans of the show.
10. I never got into the Tekken series, I played Street Fighter on the Sega console when I was but a pup, but that was about it, I also played Fight Night Round 3 a bit, but it didn't really capture me, no 'side-view' fighting game did, then there was Def Jam Fight for NY, a game about rappers fighting! I had so much fun playing against my friends, all the crazy fight moves, the crowd getting involved either pushing you back into the fight or even straight up smashing you with a bottle themselves, the weapons, the music, the comedy! This was the best fighting game I've ever played, I miss these days. Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Redman, Lil Kim, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit, Fat Joe, Ice T, Sean Paul, fucking Flavor Flav, they were all in it!
9. This is another game I never hear mentioned by anyone, the very underrated XIII, a first person shooter set in a comic book world. After waking up on a beach with severe memory loss you must proceed to find out who you are and why you're known as XIII, dragging you into a global conspiracy. The story was exciting, the graphics were a lot of fun with the comic book feel captured right down to the bang, bang! Pop up bubbles that appear when you shoot your gun. The gameplay was fantastic, the world was captivating, and with it ending on the cliffhanger it does, sadly, I'm forever in suspense! But that's a good thing, it means I wanted more, I still do!
8. Another very underrated Rockstar release, The Warriors. Based on the film that no-one saw the game follows the same story with one gang, 'The Warriors' having to fight their way from one side of the city to the other. This game was fucking awesome, the fighting was brutal, the story was exciting, you cared somewhat about the characters, I absolutely loved this game, and the gameplay although fairly button-basher-esque, was so much fucking fun! Whether you're squaring off against a rival gang, running from them for your life, or strategically decimating them one by one, it was an incredible experience, they captured the feeling of the late 70's perfectly and the fighting mechanics were awesome, Rockstar rarely disappoints!
7. The first Matrix game 'Enter the Matrix' disappointed fans everywhere when they found out they wouldn't be able to play as Neo, and instead would assume the roles of Niobe and Ghost? Two characters that no one gave a shit about, if you even remembered them! Then, two years later, we were blessed with The Matrix: Path of Neo. Not only did you get to play as Neo, which was amazing, you pretty much get to experience every iconic moment from the entire trilogy, and a weird dream sequence with spiders? The Matrix is one of my all time favourite films, and I thought this game lived up to it completely! The gameplay was so much fun, you're able to perform all the famous moves and re-live all your favourite scenes first hand, The Matrix: Path of Neo is a must have for all fans of the films!
6. In sixth place we have the extremely cinematic, Fahrenheit, an interactive action/adventure game with very dramatic storytelling. Fahrenheit is such an original take on gameplay and I haven't come across anything quite like it since! The story is extremely engaging and the gameplay suspenseful, the first mission starts with the protagonist waking up in the bathroom of a diner with blood on his hands and a dead body beside him, your objective is to hide the body and clean the evidence before a sheriff walks in, it's very exciting stuff and as the story unravels the game becomes more and more intense! I enjoyed it all the way through, Fahrenheit is one of a kind and deserves a lot more recognition, it was masterfully done!
5. One of the darkest and most immersive games I've ever played is The Suffering, a psychological third person horror game with some of the darkest themes I had ever seen in a game. You play as Torque, a man convicted of killing his wife and children, although he claims to be innocent. He's sent to a prison on a remote island, and when he gets there the prison is overrun with a dark supernatural force. Struggling to remember what happened to his family Torque must fight his way to freedom and figure out the truth while battling his own demons. They really captured an amazingly dark atmosphere in The Suffering, it's very gritty. This was a fantastic game with a brilliant story, intriguing mythology and entertaining gameplay, I also loved the sequel, Ties that Bind.
4. Another very underrated title is the third person survival horror shooter, The Thing. Following the events of the film, you play as Blake, a member of a U.S. Special Forces team sent to the Antarctic to investigate what happened to the research team (from the film) based there. I actually hadn't seen the film before I played the game, it's the game that put me onto the film, and honestly the film was a let down. The game however, is one of the best I've ever played, it had great characters, a fantastic story and an immersive world, you really feel the cold isolation of the Antarctic, they captured it perfectly and the gameplay was incredible! Something I remember really loving about this game is that when your AI team mates die, they're dead, forever, making keeping them alive all the more exciting!
3. I always loved tactical third person shooters, and I always loved games about war, Conflict: Desert Storm is the best of both worlds! Set during the Persian Gulf War, you take control of a four man squad, each soldier possessing different skills, the demolitions man, the sniper, the machine gunner and the assault rifle-er, and with these four men you're given a series of objectives with many different ways to complete them. Much like The Thing, when someone in the squad dies, they're dead, and I like that! It adds more suspense and gives everything more depth. I had so much fun playing this, and the option to play the campaign in co-op made it all the more fun, my friend and I spent hours strategically completing missions together, it was a great time and this will always be my favourite war game!
2. Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Killzone, Halo, and any other first person shooter has NOTHING on TimeSplitters, nothing! This was by far the best first person shooter I've ever had the pleasure to play. It's wacky, it's original, the characters are brilliant, the story is amazing, it was an all round fantastic game! I thoroughly enjoyed the campaign and all of the little extra missions and challenges, it was so much fucking fun, but it's the multi-player that gave it longevity, and I'm not even talking about online gameplay I'm just talking about me and my mate fighting against each other in split screen with a whole host of AI players thrown into the mix! The maps were amazing, the weaponry was incredible and the characters were memorable! The story takes you through the past, the present and the future, giving the game a diverse atmosphere and a very original feeling, this is one of my favourite games ever, across any console!
1. Even though I wrote that whole introduction about leaving the Grand Theft Auto series out of this list, Rockstar has still dominated it, and this is no exception, in first place is Bully! This was basically GTA in school, you play as Jimmy Hopkins, a rebel student sent against his will to attend the boarding school Bullsworth Academy. When he arrives, he is greeted with anything but a warm welcome and quickly adapts to his surroundings. As usual, with this being a Rockstar game, the writing is fantastic, it's filled with satirical humour, the characters are brilliant and the gameplay is oh so much fun! They created such an immersive and beautiful environment to explore, and there was so much to do! I'd say beside Red Dead Redemption and GTA San Andreas, Bully is Rockstar's best offering yet! I spent endless hours exploring this world, and I regret not one moment of it, I loved playing this game, it was a great experience, thank you Rockstar! For the wonderful childhood.
This was an extremely nostalgic experience, it's been emotional! If you made it this far, thank you for reading and I hope it brought back some memories for you too. I'm going to leave you with some honourable mentions, Hitman and Max Payne should be in this list really, but it's done now, fuck it!
Click the link here to find out my Honourable Mentions
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