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The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time

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Ian Dransfield
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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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 1

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 2

    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).

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 3

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 4

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 5

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 6

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 7

    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 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 8

    PES 6

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 9

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 10

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 11

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 12

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 13

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 14

    SSX 3

    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...

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 15

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 16

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 17

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 18

    Okami

    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.

  • The 20 greatest PlayStation 2 games of all time 19

    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

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Ian Dransfield

Ian is a man with a face, a beard that doesn't qualify as 'a beard' and a brain that knows way too much about video games. He uses it poorly.

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