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The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time

The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time

The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time

Sony's PlayStation 2 - or PS2 as the cool kids called it - is the world's best-selling console, meaning it was pretty popular back in the day.

So it comes as little surprise there were a hell of a lot of great games on the PS2 - we'd wager some of the best ever made for gaming device. Big words.

We've been rooting through the nostalgia banks and have pulled out these 20 titles, to allow us to remember just how wonderful and brilliant and impossibly sexy the PS2 was.

God of War II

Taking all the insane violence and epic action of the first and ramping it up 300 notches, GOWII is the PS2's answer to all those summer blockbuster movies. It's big, dumb fun and one you can enjoy over and over again.

God Hand

Insanity got its own game in the form  of God Hand, but then so did brilliance. Hard, obtuse, utterly silly, it's both unique and excellent.

Final Fantasy XII

RPGs that suck up dozens of hours of your time aren't for everyone, but Final Fantasy XII is one everyone should at least try. Epic, fun and telling a good story, its only real downer  is the awful main character (yep, we said it).

Gran Turismo 4

Driving games are either silly fun (see later in this list) or insanely detailed - GT4 ticked the latter box. Hundreds of cars, dozens of tracks and some of the most intense, detailed racing we'd ever seen. Look at that dust trail. Just look at it.

Grand Theft Auto III/Vice City/San Andreas

It's impossible to mention the PS2 without talking about GTA. While not a series exclusive to the console, it was synonymous with Sony's machine for a long time, and it's where most of us got our first taste of what would become the biggest franchise in the world. Epic, epic and epic again.

Devil May Cry

The third game was, technically, better, but it's the first where it all began and which we recall more fondly. Taking the Resident Evil formula and adding swords and fast-paced combos, DMC spawned a series that's still loved to this day.

Burnout 3: Takedown

Here's that silly fun racer to sit alongside the Gran Turismo titles: Burnout 3. So fast, so crash-y, such a great soundtrack and a phenomenal sense of speed. For us, this is still the high point of the series.

Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy

You can blow people's heads up with your brain before surfing off on a telekenisis-powered chunk of wall. What's not to  love?


The best football game ever made? Quite possibly. When PES 6 came out it was king of virtual soccer, even if Adriano was hugely overpowered. And it's still amazing fun to this day.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The second game was a let-down (be honest with yourself), but the third brought Snake & co. back in spectacular style - those boss battles, eating snakes (ahh, now the title makes sense), sneaking about in your camouflage... MGS3 was the best of the best for a long time.

WWE Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain!

Back in the era when wrestling games were still good, there was one title that almost reached No Mercy-levels of brilliance: Here Comes the Pain. And you know what? It's still great now.

Silent Hill 2

For many, the world of survival horror has never reached a higher point than in Silent Hill 2 - aside from maybe in the PS4 demo PT, which was actually meant to be a Silent Hill sequel. Terrifying - and we're still fuming PT got axed.

Katamari Damacy

Never mind the (excellent) game - rolling a ball around sticking things to it, increasing in size until you roll up the world - Katamari Damacy's soundtrack alone is enough to get it on this list.

Timesplitters 3

The PS2's trademark FPS series, even though it ended up on other formats, hit its peak with the third (and still last) game. Timesplitters 3 had a great, fun single-player mode and some incredible online action to rival the greats of the genre.


Tricky might have made people pay attention to EA's snowboarding series, but SSX 3 was the game that perfected the formula. In fact, it's almost like Burnout on a snowboard...

Shadow of the Colossus

An utter delight in nigh-on every category, Shadow of the Colossus can still be felt resonating through all other games to this day. Buy it, play it, love it.

Guitar Hero II

Back in the day, this was the game to play at a party. It may have been bettered on a technical level, but for us the love for Guitar Hero II will never fade.

Tekken 5

Another series synonymous with PlayStation, even if it's no longer exclusive, Tekken 5 fixed the shoddy Tekken 4 and gave us a nice send off for the then-ageing PS2.


Playing as a wolf-god in the water-painted world of Okami was, is and forever will be one of gaming's truly magical experiences. Like Zelda, but better.

Ratchet and Clank

PS2's very own Mario 64? Not quite, but Ratchet and Clank brought enough of its own brand of shooting-and-jumping to make it a classic in its own right