The PS2 is the best selling console in the history of video games and has over 500 games developed for it. With such an immense library, the PS2 has a large number of truly great games. The best selling game for the PS2 was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sold 17.33 million units worldwide. Sales are just one indication of quality and it is nearly impossible to judge games of different genres. Listed here are some of the best games for the PS2 based on game category.
Role Playing Games – Released in 2001, Final Fantasy X is generally agreed to be the best role playing game ever produced for the PS2. It had exceptional graphics, a powerful storyline, engaging characters and significantly better game play than the two previous games in the series. It is also the only Final Fantasy game to ever have a direct sequel and is usually on the short list of best games in the series. While not as popular, Suikoden 3, Kingdom Hearts, Dragon Quest 8, Disgaea, Dark Cloud 2, Shin Megami Tensai: Nocturne, and Rogue Galaxy are all great role playing games released for the PS2.
Action Games – There are so many excellent action games for the PS2 that this is nearly impossible to decide. In the end, sales figures have to be the tie breaker and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas wins that prize. Built using the same game engine that made both Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City best selling games, San Andreas was about three times the size of the previous game and included amazing voice acting and hundreds of small details and side quests. And, of course, it continued to sport great plot and game play like its predecessors. A very close second would be both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. The first continued and expanded upon the amazing stealth action of Metal Gear Solid and the second revived the Prince of Persia series with unique acrobatic game play. Other great games in this category include Devil May Cry, God of War, Onimusha 2, Ratchet & Clank, Resident Evil 4, Silent Hill 2, and Spider-Man.
Sports Games – Between football, baseball, basketball, fishing, car racing, and a dozen other sports, the PS2 has sports games of nearly every type. Released in 2001, SSX Tricky blended popular music, exotic characters and explosive game play into a snowboarding game that appealed to a wider audience than the average sports game. In addition to simple snowboarding, players could participate in races, try to maximize trick points and discover numerous secrets throughout the game. The title song “It’s Tricky” by Run-D.M.C. was a nearly perfect selection of a rock anthem to support the exciting game play. Additionally, Gran Turismo 3, FIFA 07, Madden NFL 07, MLB ’06: The Show, NBA Live 06, and NHL 2K6 were all excellent sports games for the PS2.
Fighting Games – Sometimes the best game is really just the most popular game, whether or not it is the best quality. Dead or Alive 2 earns this award in the fighting games category. The game play is actually quite innovative, rewarding well timed counters and good use of combos. But, the true selling point of the game was the scantily clad females and the focus on their jiggling breasts. The game was sold as eye candy and subsequently sold very well. In fact, one of the sequels to the game is a beach volleyball game featuring the female characters in bikinis. Few games are as blatant or have as brilliant a marketing scheme as this one. Other great PS2 fighting games include Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja 5, Guilty Gear X, Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Soul Calibur III, Tekken 4, and Virtua Fighter 4.
With such a wide variety of amazing games, it is nearly impossible to pick a best game for the PS2. Even video game review sites can’t agree on a best PS2. For example, just looking at gamefaqs.com, IGN.com, and gamepro.com, the best PS2 game would be either Final Fantasy XII, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, or God of War II, respectively. And, still great games like Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Resident Evil 4 consistently place in the top ten. It is for games like this and many more that the PS2 is oft considered the best video game console ever made.