Sonys PlayStation 2, or PS2 for short, is the best selling video game console of all time, selling over 150 million units. Featuring a built-in DVD player and internet access, the PS2 was an ambitious and full home entertainment package. It released way back in 2000, so these features were pretty cutting edge.
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Having about half the game catalog of the PS1, the PS2 still boasts an impressive library of over 3,800 titles. Some of the best platformers ever made were on this console. There were some games it seemed like literally everyone owned. If you completed one game a day, it would still take you over ten years to beat them all. Since you cant possibly hope to play them all, how about reading about the first ten instead?
Appropriately, A-train 6 was a PS2 launch title, just as its predecessor, A-Train 4, was on the PS1. A-Train 6 featured the same core gameplay as previous iterations, focussing on train simulation and city management.
A-Train 6 took advantage of the PS2s high power by featuring improved graphics and the ability to play the game entirely in a 3D view. A great way to show off the capabilities of the new console.
An arcade title ported to PS2 to be part of the launch lineup, DrumMania is a rhythm game that requires players to coordinate their button presses with the corresponding symbols on the screen. Basically an early drum version of Guitar Hero.
Though console releases of DrumMania have stopped, arcade versions are still coming out, with the latest installment releasing as recently as 2019. If this sounds like your jam, get out into those arcades and start hunting for this game.
In 2000,FromSoftware continued its relationship with Sony by developing yet another launch title for a PlayStation system. Eternal Ring was the first RPG for the system, a first-person affair that has players controlling Cain Morgan, a young magician, off to the Island of No Return.
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The game features mechanics FromSoftware is known for, weird and obtuse weapon systems, and freakish enemies. If you fancy a go at it, an emulated version of Eternal Ring was released for the PS4 back in 2017, so it can still be played without having to dust off your PS2.
Shogi is often referred to as Japanese chess. The game features a 9x9 board and 20 tiles that allow for different kinds of movement.
Kakinoki Shogi IV was released as a launch title for the PS2, presumably to offer something to adult or more traditional game players. Iterations of shogi have been made into video games for decades, with Kakinoki Shogi IV just the latest iteration at the time.
Utilizing cinematic visuals to aid in the telling of the story, Kessen is a mostly historically accurate real-time tactics game set in Japan. As a launch title, this was the first real-time tactics game available for the PS2 and went on to have two sequels.
Criticgenerally signaled out the sound and cinematics as being the best parts of the game, so check it out if youre interested in cinemas influence on video games.
Not to be confused with the new Disney show, WandaVision, FantaVision is a real-time puzzle game with fireworks. Initially planned as a tech demo for the PS2, the game had a full release as a launch title for the console.
Featuring a dark and moody cityscape against which the colorful fireworks are detonated, this game is a visual delight, and, luckily for everyone, has an emulated version available on PS4. If FantaVision sounds like your kind of thing, check out these other weird and wonderful PS2 titles.
Known as Kurushi in Europe, this is a puzzle game that uses, you guessed it, cubes. The gameplay revolves around clearing encroaching cubes before they reach the player. There are normal cubes, advantage cubes, and forbidden cubes. Seems like this game was inspired by the sci-fi horror Cube (1997).
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Honestly, like all puzzles and board games, I.Q. Remix+: Intelligent Qube is easier to understand once youve seen it in action. The game was well-received by critics, who thought it was challenging mentally if not a little graphically underwhelming.
Dead or Alive 2 was an arcade game ported to the PS2 shortly after its initial launch.TheDead or Alive series is still going strong today. The gameplay in this fighting game is based on three types of moves: blows, throws, and holds. They function a bit like rock paper scissors.
Many levels featured multi-tiered stages with hazards such as falls and ice. This entry is considered one of the best games in the series, so give it a go if youre a fan of fighting games.
Driving Emotion Type-S is a racing game with officially licensed cars. Remember those?
The game was criticized quite heavily for its poor handling, so much so that the North American and European releases had the handling tweaked quite a bit. While far from one of the best racers on the PS2,Driving Emotion Type-S served its purpose asan early showcase of the console's processing power. The game was praised for its realistic interiors and drivers view.
Eisei Meijin IV is another shogi video game, though barely any information seems to exist about this game online. Even YouTube only has videos of other console versions or later installments of the series.
Unsurprisingly, Eisei Meijin IV was not released outside of Japan as there just isn't much of a western market for shogi games. Konami would go on to produce a few more of these titles, including 2002's Eisei Meijin VI.
Next:10 PS2 Games That Still Hold Up Today
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Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in Leamington Spa, England. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he's not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.
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