Recently I did a list of my favorite GameCube games, which you can find here if you missed it:
I absolutely love going down memory lane, so after finishing that article I tossed around the idea of doing another centered around the PlayStation 2. Despite the fact that I grew up with a Super Nintendo and PSOne, I have more memories of the sixth generation in general because I was old enough to understand the things that I was playing, unlike before where I was simply stumbling through games like Super Mario World and MediEvil because they were simple to play in my simple two year old mind. So these are my favorite PS2 games:
1) Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
Yes, the original Jak & Daxter. I love Jak 2 and Jak 3, but to me they can’t beat the original. The humor was just as on point, the Precursors were still a massive mystery, and the game was a platformer to its core compared to its successors that were more RPG’s than platformers. I love both, but I can’t deny how good this game plays and feels. Not to mention trying to get all 100 power cells was a monumental task that actually had some sort of payoff.
2) Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front
Games based on the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise are hit or miss. Sometimes you get a good one, sometimes you get a bad one. Zeonic Front was one of the good ones, if not one of the best. It let you play on the side of the Principality of Zeon, the original series bad guys, the difference was that here you were a grunt soldier that has nothing to do with his governments politics, a side of war that is rarely ever showcased. It was a very tactical game and I loved strategizing before each mission and the game had a ton of replay value. Sadly, the PS3 remake completely scrapped what made the game great and made it a cookie cutter third person shooter.
3) Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelists of the Roses
The vast majority of Yu-Gi-Oh! games are basically the same. You get your side of the field with 10 spaces, 5 for monster cards and 5 for spells and traps, and you get your lifepoints. Duelists of the Roses, a stylized take on the War of the Roses, expanded this to be an actual battlefield. You get a deck leader, you place 5 monster cards and 5 spell/trap cards on the field, and move them around this very large field turn by turn, trying to outsmart your opponent and attack their deck leader who has no defense points. This is a game I will never get tired of because it’s so unique and imaginative when it comes to this particular series.
4) Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Everyone remembers Hideo Kojima for the Metal Gear series, but he did have another series: Zone of the Enders. These games were unmistakably Kojima and that is partly why I love them to death. The man just knows how to make games and the lightning fast gameplay of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is a testament to that. Now, sure, I can beat speed run the game on the lowest difficulty with the most OP version of Jehuty in just over two hours, it’s a short game if you take the challenge out, but it was a masterpiece to me. It’s just a shame that the third Zone of the Enders game, which was planned for at least PS4, got canned because the HD Collection underperformed, and then of course there was the whole Konami shitstorm that followed two years later and we all know the rest. I feel your pain Silent Hills fans.
5) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Out of all the Grand Theft Auto games, there is not one that I have completed, except Vice City. Vice City was just so good that I could not put it down. Grand Theft Auto III came close, but not quite, and San Andreas was a distant third. I played IV, didn’t really care much about it, and I own V, but in all honesty I couldn’t give a hoot about it. Vice City is where it was at, it was stylish and Tommy Vercetti is still to this day one of my favorite characters.
6) Red Dead Revolver
Sure, by todays standards Revolver is a pretty rough game, especially when compared to Red Dead Redemption, but for its time Revolver wasn’t that ugly and it had a great story. Red Harlow may have had less time to shine than John Marston, but I still feel like he was just as good of a character. The ending was a bit too open-ended for my tastes which is why I want a sequel of some kind, but I’ll likely never get that.
7) God of War II
I’ll admit, I’ve never touched the original God of War or God of War III, I own them, but I’ve never played them. Actually I think I sold them recently because I never touched them, but I loved God of War II which was a stunning game on PS2, so it isn’t hard to see how its become one of Sony’s biggest series. It was action-packed, the scale was pretty damn impressive, and it was about as M-rated as you could get.
8) Shadow of the Colossus
God of War had an impressive sense of scale, but nothing comes close to topping Shadow of the Colossus on the PS2. The Colossi were the only enemies in the entire game, and most of them were massive. And as far as the story was concerned, the main character didn’t need to speak a single word in order for the story to be conveyed solely by your actions and how you perceived everything. It was truly a work of art, a masterpiece.