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The Best PlayStation 2 Games of All Time

PlayStation 2 logo over a GTA looking scene

What are the best PlayStation 2 games ever? Most fans surprisingly agree. The PlayStation 2 was released in Japan, North America, Europe, and Australia in 2000. Much more powerful than the PlayStation 1, the PS2 claimed that its “emotion engine” was more powerful than personal computers of the time.

One of the best things about the PS2 was its ability to play PlayStation 1 games, making it fully backward compatible. This would initially continue with the PS3, but eventually cut back when the PS3 Slim arrived. Read our list of best PlayStation 3 games here! While the PS2’s game library was immense and stacked to the gills with great games, these 10 best PlayStation 2 games pushed gaming into the next generation.

Let’s get into it! Afterwards, check out our best games rankings for the PlayStation 1, the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation Portable, and the PlayStation Vita!

10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

Cover of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for PlayStation 2

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 is a skateboarding game that allows players to perform tricks and complete objectives in various iconic locations. With an expanded roster of professional skateboarders and a robust level editor, the game offered endless possibilities for creativity and competition.

With its addictive gameplay, satisfying controls, and memorable soundtrack, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 became a favorite among skateboarding enthusiasts and gamers.

9. Okami

Cover of Okami for PlayStation 2

Okami is an action-adventure game set in ancient Japan, where players control Amaterasu, the sun goddess, in the form of a white wolf. Players must restore color and life to a world of darkness, utilizing Amaterasu’s celestial brush to solve puzzles and combat enemies.

With its stunning hand-drawn visuals, unique gameplay mechanics, and rich Japanese mythology, Okami is a masterpiece that deserves recognition.

8. Kingdom Hearts II

Cover of Kingdom Hearts 2 for PlayStation 2

Kingdom Hearts II is an action role-playing game that combines characters from Disney and Final Fantasy franchises. Players join Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy on a quest to save various Disney worlds from the Heartless.

With its blend of engaging storytelling, real-time combat, and nostalgic charm, Kingdom Hearts II captured the hearts of fans and delivered a memorable gaming experience.

7. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal

Cover of Ratchet & Clank Up Your Arsenal for PlayStation 2

Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is a platformer and third-person shooter hybrid that follows the adventures of Ratchet, a Lombax mechanic, and his robotic companion, Clank. Players explore vibrant worlds, engage in thrilling combat, and use tons of unique weapons.

With its charismatic characters, humorous writing, and satisfying gameplay, Up Your Arsenal is among the best entries in the Ratchet & Clank series.

6. Resident Evil 4

Cover of Resident Evil 4 for PlayStation 2

Resident Evil 4 is a survival horror game that reinvented the Resident Evil series. Players control Leon S. Kennedy as he investigates a sinister cult and battles hordes of infected villagers.

With its intense gameplay, over-the-shoulder perspective, and strategic combat, Resident Evil 4 revitalized the survival horror genre and set a new standard for action-packed horror experiences.

5. Final Fantasy X

Cover of Final Fantasy X for PlayStation 2

Final Fantasy X is a role-playing game that follows the journey of Tidus, a young athlete transported to the world of Spira. Players embark on a quest with a diverse group of characters, engage in turn-based battles, and unravel a compelling narrative.

With its stunning visuals, immersive world, and emotional storytelling, Final Fantasy X became a hallmark of the franchise and a fan favorite.

4. God of War II

Cover of God of War 2 for PlayStation 2

God of War II is an action-adventure game that continues the story of Kratos, the Spartan warrior seeking revenge against the gods of Olympus. Players engage in brutal combat, solve puzzles, and traverse fantastical environments inspired by Greek mythology.

God of War II solidified Kratos as one of gaming’s most iconic anti-heroes with its epic scale, visceral gameplay, and jaw-dropping set pieces.

3. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Cover of Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater for PlayStation 2

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a stealth-action game set during the Cold War era. Players control Naked Snake (later known as Big Boss) as he infiltrates enemy territory, engages in intense combat, and unravels a complex conspiracy.

With its intricate gameplay mechanics, cinematic storytelling, and memorable characters, Snake Eater is considered one of the best entries in the Metal Gear Solid series.

2. Shadow of the Colossus

Cover of Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 2

Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure game that follows the story of Wander, a young warrior on a quest to defeat 16 colossal beings. Players must explore the vast Forbidden Land, solve puzzles, and engage in epic battles against the towering colossi.

With its breathtaking visuals, emotional storytelling, and immersive atmosphere, Shadow of the Colossus is hailed as a masterpiece that pushed the boundaries of interactive storytelling.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

The Best PlayStation 2 Game of All Time

Cover of GTA San Andreas for PlayStation 2

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an open-world action-adventure game in a fictionalized version of California. Players assume the role of Carl “CJ” Johnson as he navigates the sprawling cities, engages in various missions, and builds his criminal empire.

San Andreas’s vast open world, engaging storyline, and unparalleled freedom revolutionized the gaming industry and became a beloved classic.

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