Simply put, the PlayStation 2 is the best-selling console of all time (at the time of this writing). And for good reason. The game library was massive, third party support was on-point, and the “next-gen” aspect of the PS2 on launch was mind-blowing for anyone upgrading from the PS1. It was tough to narrow down a list of the best RPGs for PlayStation 2, but we are happy where we landed.
These RPGs for the PlayStation 2 highlight the platform’s strength in offering diverse and compelling role-playing experiences. Whether you’re into magical crossovers, political drama, dark and challenging journeys, or lighthearted humor, the PlayStation 2 has something for every RPG lover.
Read More: The Best PlayStation 2 Games Of All Time
10. Radiata Stories
Radiata Stories is an action RPG that offers a vibrant world filled with a variety of characters and creatures.
You assume the character of Jack, a young hero on a quest. Your goal is to join the Radiata Knights and protect humanity from an imminent threat. The play involves real-time combat, where you’ll recruit various characters. In completing your mission, you’ll explore a world teeming with life.
Gamers appreciate this open-ended world with day/night schedules and supremely kickable furniture and NPCs. What stands out is the freedom to recruit numerous allies (176 of them!). The game will leave you with a sense of immersion that comes from a lively and interconnected world.
9. Okage: Shadow King
Okage: Shadow King is an offbeat RPG that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
You take on the role of Ari, a young boy whose shadow is possessed by an evil king. The play involves turn-based combat and quirky characters. You’ll follow a humorous storyline that parodies RPG conventions.
What makes this game stand out is its irreverent humor. It’s filled with a charming cast of characters. The lighthearted take on traditional RPG tropes makes this one a blast to play.
8. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a dark and challenging RPG that plunges you into a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. It’s actually the third game in a series, and in Japan was called Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne. It was also released as Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer’s Call in PAL regions.
As the Demi-Fiend, you’re on a quest to survive the demon-infested Vortex World. You’ll shape its future by aligning with various factions. The gameplay is rich with turn-based combat. You’ll be involved in demon negotiation. Topping it all off is a narrative laden with moral choices.
Gamers are drawn to this title for its deep and complex storyline. A noteworthy element is the game’s unique demon fusion system. It’s also novel in the way it doesn’t shy away from tackling profound philosophical themes.
7. Suikoden V
Suikoden V is a classic turn-based RPG that tells a tale of political intrigue, war, and the struggle for a kingdom’s throne.
You walk in the footsteps of the prince of Falena, a kingdom on the brink of turmoil. Your task is to navigate a web of complex political relationships. Your goal is to unite the warring factions and secure your rightful place as ruler. The play focuses on turn-based combat. You will recruit an army of 108 Stars of Destiny, which will also make critical decisions that impact the storyline.
What players admire about this game is its rich character development and intricate political plot. What makes it memorable is its expansive world that’s ripe for exploration.
6. Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts II takes you on a follow-up magical adventure that continues to blend the worlds of Disney and Square Enix. It’s actually the third game in the series, following Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories.
You play as Sora, a Keyblade-wielding hero, on a quest to defeat the Heartless and Nobodies. Your quest is to uncover the mysteries of the Organization XIII. The gameplay focuses on real-time combat and interaction with Disney and Final Fantasy characters. Along the way, you’ll explore various Disney-themed worlds.
What gamers love about this title is the captivating storyline and fun, action-packed combat. But of course, the seamless overlap of Disney and Square Enix lore is the biggest draw to this franchise — and what a delight!
Okami is a visually stunning action RPG that takes you on a mythical adventure as Amaterasu, the sun goddess, in the form of a white wolf. Unfortunately for Okami, it was released just before the debut of the PlayStation 3. As a result, sales suffered and Clover Studio shuttered within months. This doesn’t stop us from including in our best RPGs for PlayStation 2 ranking, however. It’s a bona fide gem!
In Okami, our objective is to rid the land of Nippon from a malevolent curse and restore its natural beauty. The gameplay involves action-based combat, puzzle-solving, and the unique ability to wield celestial brush techniques.
Players adore this game for its breathtaking art style and innovative gameplay mechanics. People rave about the way it immerses players in a rich world inspired by Japanese folklore.
Read More: The Best RPGs For Playstation 3
4. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Dragon Quest VIII is a charming and traditional RPG that invites you into a vivid and whimsical world. This legendary franchise has become a cultural milestone in Japan, and for good reason.
You join the hero, a guardian named Yangus, and a diverse cast of characters. They aim to lift a curse placed on a kingdom by the evil jester, Dhoulmagus. The play involves turn-based combat and character progression. You’ll explore a sprawling world filled with quirky characters.
What made this game a hit is its classic RPG gameplay and humorous dialogue and challenging turn-based battles. It’s another chapter filled with the timeless appeal of the Dragon Quest series.
3. Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus is an unconventional RPG that defies traditional genre boundaries.
You play as Wander, a young man on a quest to save a mysterious maiden by defeating colossal, ancient creatures known as colossi. The play is centered on puzzle-solving, exploration, and epic battles against the colossi.
Fans love this game for its minimalist yet emotionally charged storytelling. It’s outstanding for its breathtaking visuals and the sense of solitude and grandeur it conveys.
2. Persona 4
You’re probably not surprised to see this game so high in the list. Persona 4 (also known as Shen Megami Tensei: Personal 4) is a unique blend of social simulation and turn-based RPG set in the rural town of Inaba. It’s also one of the most popular PlayStation RPGs ever released!
You take on the role of a high school student. You must solve a series of mysterious murders while balancing your daily life. The gameplay involves dungeon crawling and forming social links. You’ll also summon personas to battle Shadows.
What players appreciate about this game is its engaging social simulation. With the murder mystery at its core, the way it explores themes of identity and self-acceptance is unforgettable.
1. Final Fantasy X
Here we are at the end of our best RPGs for PlayStation 2 ranking. And guess what? Final Fantasy X takes the gold.
You step into the shoes of Tidus, a young athlete from Zanarkand who gets swept away to the mystical world of Spira. Your objective is to help Yuna, a summoner, on her pilgrimage to save the world from the monstrous threat known as Sin. The play involves turn-based combat and character development. You’ll also have to navigate an expansive and immersive world.
What gamers cherish about this game is its emotionally charged narrative and memorable characters. What earns it top marks is the strategic depth of its combat system.