Happy birthday PlayStation 2!
Today is the PlayStation 2's ten year anniversary, and in honor of the best selling home console at 150,000,000 units to date. That's more than all of the combine customers served by every McDonald's fast food restaurant, maybe. Probably not.
Released before many of you were born, the PlayStation 2 launched a new generation of home console in 2000, bringing gamers worldwide such novelties as DVD movie playback, DualShock 2, impressive visuals, and most importantly, online multiplayer gaming. In honor of this home console gaming pioneer, PMI and it's members have come together to bring you what we think are the top five PS2 video games that every gamer should play at least once. Some are exclusive, some are not, but each game is fantastic on the PS2, a console that can be yours for less than the price of a "DLC season pass" for any given modern AAA title you would play.
1) God of War, The Epitome of Awesome Violent Video Games
Reminding gamers why video games are fun, God of War stars you as Kratos, a very angry guy who kills things to solve his problems and it works. Like an angry version of a Liam Neeson flick, Kratos's various quests of revenge will have you at the edge of your seat through action packed levels, an entertaining story, and some stupidly difficult mini bosses.
Okay so the Hydra fight wasn't so difficult unless on God Mode, but still, in game sequences and boss fights like it are what make the first God of War such an enjoyable experience even today.
2) Dues Ex, For the RPG Lover Inside of You
Tron like cover art aside, Deus Ex's action RPG elements cement it as one of the greatest PC games of all time when released in 2000. There was simply nothing like the amount of choice and customization granted to the player to be seen in any other game at the time, and the intense amount of detail packed into this now 14 year old, cyber-punk title is impressive. Then, in a move that would prove shocking if it were to happen to any PC game in 2014, publisher Edios Interactive ported this ravaging beast of a title to the humble PlayStation 2, as if the home console needed more reasons why you should have bought one 10 years ago... or right now, actually.
That background music, yo.
3) Crazy Taxi, Best Served When Drunk
Simple in premise and presentation, this 40 ounce malt liquor of crazy was the brainchild of SEGA's development team Hitmaker (The team now prefers to go by Sega AM3 thank-you-vey-much). Yes, I know that this game was original an arcade game that has seen numerous ports over it's lifetime, but it is best on the PlayStation 2 and here's why: Between exclusives and ports, the PS2's library includes roughly between one megafuckton and 1850 video games, at least. The more games a console can play, all the better value, right?
Yes, especially when that library includes the pure silliness that is Crazy Taxi. You drive around as an over enthusiastic Taxi service, ferrying your customers about the world at all costs. What's there not to love?
4) Ratchet and Clank, Too Good For a Proper Subtitle
Published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 2002, Insomniac Game's creativity shone so brightly through Ratchet and Clank that it lead on to grow into a five part series. In a world void of Activision's soul-sucking model of yearly sequels, that is an incredible feat, we believe. On top of the creativity juice the development team needed to pump out to create a game with notable weapons such as the Sheepinator, a weapon that transforms your opponents into exploding sheep, here exists a game that is action packed without being too serious about it. Instead of gritty art direction, you actually have an art style to enjoy. Ha, what a concept.
It has plenty of creative weapons, it's silly, it's action packed, its fun, and it's a game you won't mind looking at after hours of gameplay. Oh, and did I mention there's a total of five titles in the series?
5) Red Faction, The GoldenEye 007 of the PS2
Touting great single player and multiplayer gameplay, an interesting story, and plenty of unique weapons, Red Faction is the type of FPS that just doesn't come around often. So in 2001 when THQ dropped this gem on store shelves worldwide, it quickly found critical and commercial success. I am willing to bet that most gamers, though, remember how destructible environments really made multiplayer a hell of a time.
Unfortunately, we were unable to embed the video that actual shows the destructible environments in use but you will just have to trust us on this one; Red Faction is a game that you need to play lest Call of Duty rigidly defines what your idea of a FPS should be.
BONUS) Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Because GTA
If you own a PlayStation 2, buy this game. End of discussion. I could tell you that this 2002 released title packs visuals that shames those of the later Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a game released two years later. I could also tell you that the open world gameplay featured in this game is the same as the previous title, Grand Theft Auto III, but turned to 11. But no, instead, I will present to you some gameplay video that'll do a much better job than anyone could to present Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
So there you have it, five great ways to celebrate the PlayStation 2's tenth birthday. Although the console has been discontinued in 2013, you can still enjoy it's extensive library for years to come. Just be sure you keep the above games on your short list. What would your PS2 video game short list look like? Let us know in the comments below!
(If you've enjoyed this post, please be sure to follow Plus Minus Infinity on Facebook and Twitter to get notifications of the latest PMI content)