10 PlayStation 2 games you MUST own (Happy birthday, PS2!)

Didja hear? The PlayStation 2 just blew out the candles on its tenth birthday cake. Yeah, that old guy above was launched in Japan on March 5th, 2000. Not that you’d term the PS2 “retro” – after all, people are still making games for Sony’s venerable second home console. In fact, if you’re a gamer or live with one, you’ve probably got one in your house.

To mark this very special occasion, and as a dedicated PS2 fan myself (even if it did finish off my beloved Dreamcast, *sniff*), I decided to choose ten PlayStation 2 games (out of 4,500 that were ever released) that every PS2 owner with a shred of self-respect should own. Get scrolling, and sound off in the comments if you disagree!

1. Okami

Clover’s marvelous masterpiece is still gorgeously distinctive, and an absolutely rollicking adventure that can truly hold its own against Nintendo’s Zelda series. Unique, epic, and memorable.

2. Resident Evil 4

The first time you popped off an infected villager during the game’s opening chapter, it was clear this was something special. Yeah, it was originally a GameCube game, but this is a hell of a port. Has any series ever been refreshed in such dramatic fashion as the Resident Evil franchise was with Resi 4? That’s a rhetorical question.

3. Katamari Damacy

Two sticks, two buttons, one simple rule: roll up as much as you can, and get your sticky katamari as big as possible. Katamari Damacy was created as a statement about rampant consumerism. As it turns out, it was also a crapload of fun.

4. Ico

One of my favorite games of all time, so hell, I admit it: I’m biased. The visuals might be looking rough around the edges nowadays, but Ico‘s style, not to mention its utterly enchanting atmosphere, is still matched by precious few games. A trip back to Ico‘s haunting castle prison is always worth the time.

5. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

A stunning time manipulation mechanic, and twenty hours of brilliant, highly acrobatic 3D adventuring that never dipped in quality.

6. God of War

Kratos will appear in his third game this month, though a trip back to the first God of War reminds you of just how much Sony’s Santa Monica studio squeezed from the PS2’s hardware. Always entertaining, and ludicrously violent.

7. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

You can faff around on a ship as Raiden if you like, but for me the high point of Metal Gear Solid on the PS2 will always be Subsistence, a jungle adventure that saw our hero chowing down on reptiles.

8. Grand Theft Auto III

Subsequent sequels would marginally improve on GTA III, but this was a colossal leap forward at the time, and is still a heap of fun to play. For better or worse, the birth of the sandbox genre.

9. Frequency

Yeah, that’s right, I’m ignoring Guitar Hero and instead choosing the game that was the forerunner to the world’s most famous music game. Frequency might have lacked plastic guitars, but it was as addictive as any PS2 music game out there, and had a better soundtrack than Guitar Hero to boot. For many people, a real hidden gem.

10. Shadow of the Colossus

Essentially a long series of boss fights, but what boss fights these were: clambering up the sides of ogres fifty times your height; taking down a mile-long dragon. It’ll cost you a pretty penny on Ebay now – demand exceeded supply and not many people sell this game (for a good reason) – but it’s worth every cent. Utterly unforgettable.

Share this article: 10 PlayStation 2 games you MUST own (Happy birthday, PS2!)
More from Inquisitr