[Editorial] 20 years and 20 games for PS2

Hello guys,

Following up the celebrations for the 20 years of the PS2 it seems right to me fo further honour one of the most influential consoles of all time and the BEST selling consoles of all time with nearly 155 millions units sold. Since the PS2 was the teenage console for the ones born in the mid-80s, one of the earliest consoles for those born in the early 90s and the adulthood consoles for those born in the early 80s I can fairly say that it represented a key moment in the life of a whole generation of gamers, those born betwen the late 70s and the early 90s. It was also a console that hosted a sheer amount of games that represent every possible genre existing. Hence it’s also a console that everyone have a special game for and that’s the reason why I wanted to celebrate it with a short (very short) list of 20 games for PS2: they can be mandatory games, hidden gems, even bad games (who knows) but they’re for me the games I associate with this marvellous console. It’s a list but it has no particular order, it’s not a list of “best of” and #20 isn’t necessarily better or worse than #1: more than a list it’s a stream of consciusness listing 20 games in the order they come to my mind when I think about the PS2. So let’s dig right in.

Buongiorno a tutti,

Dopo le celebrazioni per i 20 anni della PS2 mi sembrava giusto onorare ulteriormente questa meravigliosa console campione di vendite con oltre 155 milioni di unità vendute. Dal momento che la PS2 è stata la console dell’adolescenza di quelli nati a metà degli anni ’80, una delle prime console per quelli nati negli anni ’90 e la console della maturità per quelli nati a fine ’70-primi ’80, possiamo dire che, a livello videoludico, è stato un momento fondamentale della vita di coloro nati tra la fine degli anni ’70 e i primi anni ’90. E’ stata anche una console che ha ospitato un numero impressionante di giochi di ogni possibile genere esistente. Pertanto è una console per la quale ognuno ha il proprio gioco del cuore ed è anche questo il motivo per il quale ho deciso di celebrarla con una breve lista dei 20 giochi definitivi per la PS2: possono essere giochi imprescindibili, tesori nascosti, anche giochi brutti, chi lo sa, ma per me sono i giochi che definiscono questa splendida console. E’ una lista, è vero, ma non ha un particolare ordine, non è una lista dei “migliori” e non è detto che il numero 20 sia migliore o peggiore del numero 1: più che una lista è un flusso di coscienza che elenca 20 giochi nell’ordine in cui mi vengono in mente pensando alla PS2. Via con le danze:

#1 The Sims


The Sims has been a huge game on PC and I surely did enjoyed it on my humble laptop back then, but going back to it in its PS2 outing is as satisfying as it were on PC almost 20 years ago. Plus it’s one of those games you can easily play with your gf and where she can throw all of her ideas about the color of the curtains and the kind of what to put in the backyard.

#2 Project Zero


Survival horror games scares me as fuck but I can’t help but playing them. Of course evrything started with the first Resident Evil, but Project Zero on the PS2 is surely of oh the games I’ve discovered in my adulthood that really got me. It laso spawned two sequels (which I have) but the first is always the best.

#3 Beyond Good and Evil


A game I first played on computer and only in the adulthood on the PS2. It’s a game I loved for its great story, great characters and a good mix of action, puzzle and open world. A game that is incredibly underrated for the platform and that deserved way more recognition.

#4 Shadow of the Colossus


What I really loved about this game was its huge open world. Sometimes you can just wander around doing nothing but explore with no interactions. It’s like going out for a walk in spring. Of course with some more colossus on your way…

#5 Intellivision Lives!


PS2 was the first console in which retro games becae truly popular. While we frequently assosciate the “retro games” with everything from the 8-bit era, there are surely tons of games before that era that deserves to be rediscovered, and intellivision ones are some of them. This compilation features 62 of the best games on the loved Mattel console and they all play just like the originals.

#6 Alien Hominid


Ather completing Cuphead with mi gf I started to look after co-op run ‘n gun games and I stumbled upon Alien hominid. It features the same cartoonish graphics of the Studio MDHR game and it’s really funny to play together. A great discovery.

#7 God of War


I’ve always loved mythology and when I first played God of War, although this is not a treaty about greek mithology, I’ve found really interesting the idea of an action game with hydras, medusas and centaurs.

#9 Resident Evil – Code Veronica X


A Resident Evil game could not be missing: but instead of Resident Evil 4, a great game and surely one that pushed the PS2 to the limit I prefer the good old Code Veronica. This is surely a step back in the franchise but I’m very fond of the old tank controls of the first Resi games and Code Veronica perfectly suits to my tastes.

#10 Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes


All of the Marvel heroes and all of the Capcom thugs all in ope place? Sign me in! Who’s gonna win in a fight between Wolverine and Jill Valentine? And what about a supersexy fight between Psylocke and Cammy? I don’t think I have to say anything more…

#11 Gradius V


Gradius was a smash hit in the arcades, a great game on the NES, as well as its second installment and once it came on PS2, first with Gradius III+IV and then with this one it really reached the top. The fifth sequel of Gradius is exactly what you can ask from a modern space shooter and it features impressive graphics. A true gem.

#12 Taito Legends 1 & 2


Same reason as for the Intellivision Lives! anthology. Taito made a sheer amount of great games and having all of them in two discs it’s enough to entertain you for a whole month no-stop. The japanese version has a biggest list of games but the wester version is great as well with the likes of games such as Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, The Legend of Kage and Darius Gaiden.

#13 PES 2011


Probably the game I’ve played the most since I left my teen years. When I was studying at the university every evening, EVERY SINGLE EVENING we popped in this beast and played it until our thumbs were belleding. It did also cost me an half dozens of controllers because frequently the matches tended to become too intense…

#14 Zone of the Enders


I usually hate mecha games as much as I like TPS. Putting the two together the result it’s a playable game that has sometimes some spikes that really make it a great experience. I’ve trained myself with Battle Clash on SNES so my knowledge of mechas is pretty biased but I can’t see why a fan of the genre wouldn’t love Zone of the Enders.

#15 Silent Hill 2


Silent Hill was a super hit back then on PS1 although at my eyes it was overshadowed by Resident Evil. However the tension in the setting of the game and and constant felling that something huge could happen. The second installment is widely conisedered one of the best games on PS2 and it quickly reached a millions of copies sold.

#16 Deus Ex


A mind blowing game when it arrived on my PC, at a time when FPS were truly great and one of the few FPS I’ve completed (along with the divine Half-Life). I got so accustomed playing it with keyboard that when I first tried it on console I died like 453 times in five minutes, almost to the point to smash another controller. This is for sure one of the best FPS of all time, but frequently left behind in the list of the great games on PS2.

#17 Gran Turismo 4


When I though GT2 were the best GT game I simply didn’t know GT4. A huge amount of cars, perfectly rendered tracks, really tough challenges, like Le Mans 24 hours (I still don’t know how I managed to do it…) makes this game mandatory in every collection. The fact that it sold 11,76 million copies should give you the idea how good it was…and still is.

#18 Metal Slug Anthology


All Metal Slug games all in one place? That’s something that should be a best selling game! I concede that the feeling of playing in the arcedes smashing buttons and breathing a dense cigarettes smoke is something that can’t be matched at home but you can buy yourself an arcade stick and try to emulate, it will be fun as well!

#19 Rez


Ton on LSD. That’s what can resume the gaming experience playing Rez. It’s too strange to be true and I recognize it’s a game not suitable for all tastes but if you like weird shooters you should jump on board and have a try…

#20 Grand Theft Auto III

I cheated a bit with this one because I first played it along with all of my friends during a cold winter on a PC. We managed to complete it, but going basck to it alone and on PS2 felt as good as it was on PC. This is the older brother of the “killer app” of the PS2 slim, but it went on to sell 8 millions copies. Not bad at all…

Do you agree with this list? Do you have a particular game you think I forgot and that deserves more? Let me know in the comments section below!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. drjohngalt says:

    Nice list! It’s fun to see the alternate cover art. I don’t go out of my way for variants but I like a lot of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of great games on this list! I’m happy you included Intellivison Lives! I have that game and it really is a great little compilation 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      It surely is! I was hesitant because I couldn’t decide between Intellivision Lives and Activision Anthology…

      Liked by 1 person

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