Twenty years ago today, perhaps one of the most important games consoles of all time was released. Sony’s PlayStation 2 was an absolute game changer, if you pardon the pun.
Upon launch, not only was the console impressive for its gaming abilities, but also for its ability to play DVD’s, which made it one of the most affordable DVD players at the time.
The PS2 was that good that it continued to sell for some time still after the launch of the PS3. During its tenure as the world's top console, it saw off competition from the Nintendo GameCube and the Sega Dreamcast, with Microsoft’s Xbox being the iconic console’s only worthy competitor, a rivalry which is still as strong as ever today.
The PlayStation 2 was also very important in shaping the future of Sony’s gaming experience, with the very early foundations of the PlayStation Network that we know today originating from the PS2.
The PS4 controller, which is an evolution of the PS2 ‘DualShock’ controller, also still holds a very similar design to its predecessor.
However, with such an iconic console, there must be some iconic games.
Take the Nintendo 64 and adaptation of the James Bond film ‘GoldenEye’ for example. The Nintendo 64 and 'GoldenEye' are still seen as a revolutionary partnership, as it paved the way for first person shooters for years to come.
The PS2 withholds a massive catalogue of games, so to narrow them down to just 25 is a hard job, from console exclusives like 'God of War', to mega franchise instalments like 'SSX Tricky' and cult classics such as 'Shadow of the Colossus'.
25. Dark Cloud 2
24. Soulcalibur 2
23. Kingdom Hearts 2
22. SSX Tricky
21.SOCOM 2: US Navy Seals
19. Katamari Damacy
18. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4
16. Burnout 3: Takedown
We did say making a top 25 would be hard work…
'SSX Tricky' was one of publisher's top releases, alongside 'FIFA Street', but unlike the latter, we haven’t seen an instalment of the SSX franchise on the newest generation of console, with the last instalment coming in 2012.
With EA creating an evolved version of 'FIFA Street' for its latest title in the FIFA series, under its new alias of ‘Volta Football’, will we see a new addition to the SSX series anytime soon?
Rockstar have also had fans clambering at them for a new ‘Bully’ game for quite some time now, but with the publisher seemingly concentrating on new content for the online modes for 'GTA 5' and 'Red Dead Redemption 2', this looks increasingly unlikely.
15. Jax & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
14. Gran Turismo 4
13. Dragon Quest 8: Journey of the Cursed King
12. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
11. Beyond Good & Evil
10. Final Fantasy X
9. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
8. God of War 2
As we break in the top 10 of the list, the competition for the top spot really hots up, featuring games from series which are still going strong to this current date.
Console exclusives 'Gran Turismo' and 'God of War' both have titles released on the current gen of PlayStation console and are still as popular as ever, which provides further evidence towards the argument of PlayStation having the best console exclusive games out of any console developers.
5. Silent Hill 2
4. Shadow of the Colossus
3. Resident Evil 4
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
1. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
There it is, the top five PS2 games of all time. 'Metal Gear Solid' just beats 'GTA' to the top spot.
By now we are more familiar with the evolved presentation of San Andreas in 'GTA 5' and what a presentation it is. However, you can’t take away the fact that 'GTA: San Andreas' was a game changer at the time, giving the player an entire state to explore which provided hours upon hours of entertainment.
'Metal Gear Solid 3' rightly takes the top spot, though, with the game forcing the player to be aware of your camouflage, killing animals for food, and to be able to heal your wounds through field surgery.
It seemed everything was great in this game with its stealthy gameplay being unmatched by any other PS2 titles along with its emotionally wrenching story. It makes it not just one of PS2’s greatest games, but one of the greatest games of all time.
Happy 20th birthday, PlayStation 2.
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