Remember those blue discs? Who doesn’t! Ever wondered what the best PS2 games to be put onto them were? Sure, we all have a favourite… Mine’s Star Wars Battlefront II, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best one out there. In fact, it ranks 52 in the best-selling list! Not bad right? Let’s find out what are the best PS2 games out there…
It’s hard to believe that the PlayStation 2 has been out around twenty years, now. What’s even harder to believe is the PlayStation 2 is still the best-selling console of all time! It sold a little over 155,000,000 units! To put that into a little bit of perspective, that’s nearly three times as much as the Xbox One and over ten times the amount of Wii U consoles that were sold! Sorry Nintendo.
The PlayStation 2 era was where things really started to heat up in the gaming industry, if the console sales weren’t enough of a sign. It had backwards compatibility, something which consoles now barely seem to have. There’s also it’s incredible graphical capabilities. Sure, it had a bit of a struggle sorting out online play compared to the Xbox, but nobody’s perfect… Right?
Anyway, we’re not here to talk about the PlayStation 2 itself. We’re here to talk about it’s games. Specifically, the best fifteen titles to come out on the PlayStation 2. Which games were bought the most with those 155 million consoles… Which were the highest rated… It’s a tough one to guess, that’s for sure.
The listing below is being completed based on two factors: the number of units sold and the Metacritic scores, both critic’s views and user’s scores. By combining both, we should have a pretty definitive list…
Best PS2 Games Rankings
15. Madden NFL 2005
It might not be the first or the last Madden title to be released on the PlayStation 2, but it’s one of the highest selling. EA Sports’ 2005 entry into the Madden series racked up 4,350,000 units sold. It’s popularity also appears to be justified with a Metascore of 91 and a User Score of 8.0!
14. Kingdom Hearts II
The strange marriage between Final Fantasy and Disney’s cast of characters somehow works excellently! The second entry into the Kingdom Hearts series managed to surpass God of War on sales, hitting 4,757,000 units sold. However, it is just placed behind God of War due to slightly lower Metacritic scores. A Metascore of 97 and a User Score of 9.0 is nothing to be ashamed of though!
13. God of War
We may be looking forward to another God of War on the PlayStation 5, but the original God of War was a big hit too! Kratos’ first outing managed to ship 4,610,000 units on the PlayStation 2. It’s also another high-scoring PS2 title on Metacritic. It comfortably beats Madden 2005 and scrapes ahead of Kingdom Hearts II with a 94 Metascore and a User Score of 8.9.
12. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
The King in Dragon Quest VIII might have been cursed, but the game itself wasn’t! It managed to ship a comfortable 4,880,000 units on the PlayStation 2. It’s not a massive jump between this and Kingdom Hearts II, but a couple hundred thousand units sold is nothing to ignore. It sits ahead of God of War, just about, despite it’s Metascore of 89 and User Score of 8.6.
11. Final Fantasy X-2
Final Fantasy X-2 marks the first real jump in sales figures for the list. It beats Dragon Quest VIII by almost half a million, racking up 5,400,000 units sold in it’s lifetime on the PlayStation 2. It’s User Score sits at 7.6 and the Metascore is 85. Both are respectable, but less than Dragon Quest VIII. However… Half a million more units? That’s worth talking about.
10. Kingdom Hearts
Well-over a million people more bought Kingdom Hearts and not Kingdom Hearts II. Was the first game that bad? Or perhaps, that was all the Sora they could handle! Either way, it sold just under six million units, hitting 5,900,000 units sold. It also comfortably beats FFX-2‘s User Score by hitting 8.9. The Metascore is the same, though, with critics giving it an 85.
9. Tekken 5
Tekken games are popular. If there’s anything I’ve learnt making these lists, it’s that. Tekken 5 managed to ship an impressive 6,000,000 units on the PlayStation 2. It’s also one of the higher-rated games in the series, landing an 88 Metascore and an 8.6 User Score. It may not have sold a whole lot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best PS2 games out there!
8. Final Fantasy XII
The twelfth entry into the Final Fantasy series may not be the highest rated one, but that doesn’t stop it from selling copies! FFXII shipped around 6,000,000 units throughout the PlayStation 2’s lifespan. Although this is the same as Tekken 5, Final Fantasy XII‘s Metascore is a huge 92. The User Score is only 7.6, though… Some people criticised the newer battle systems, saying it was too easy, while others found that it was just a little boring. Either way, it still sits in eight place.
7. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
The sequel to Metal Gear Solid has a lot to live up to. In terms of sales, at least, it definitely achieves this. It is the seventh best-selling game on the PlayStation 2, shipping an impressive 7,000,000 units. What’s even more impressive is its’ Metascore of 96! It’s one of the highest rated PlayStation 2 titles out there and the high User Score of 8.8 reinforces this.
6. Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III truly changed the game. It was the first game in the series that was fully 3D, something that seems so natural nowadays. As every Grand Theft Auto title since, it released to controversy and some criticisms. However, this didn’t stop it from selling. It shipped 8,105,000 units on the PlayStation 2. If you thought MGS 2 scored highly, though… Grand Theft Auto III has a Metascore of 97! It’s User Score is a little lower, at 8.4, but there’s over a million units sold in difference between the two titles.
5. Final Fantasy X
Another top five place, another Final Fantasy game. The series truly is a dominant force in the gaming world, and for good reason. Final Fantasy X comfortably outsold Grand Theft Auto III, shipping 8,500,000 units on the PlayStation 2. It is also another Metacritic Must-Play title with a huge Metascore of 92. The User Score of 8.9 also suggests that it is more-than deserving of it’s place above Final Fantasy X-2 and fifth on the list.
4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was Rockstar’s attempt to replicate the wonders, and horrors, of Miami in the 80’s. Tommy Vercetti replaced Grand Theft Auto III‘s Claude as the protagonist and the rest is history. It shipped 9,801,000 units on the PlayStation 2, making it the fourth-highest seller on the console. It’s also one of the highest rated games, too! It sits just below Grand Theft Auto III‘s Metascore on 95, but has a higher User Score of 8.8. People love Grand Theft Auto, what else is there to say?
3. Gran Turismo 4
The popularity of the original Gran Turismo crossed generations, with Gran Turismo 4 being the third best-selling PlayStation 2 game ever! It smashed through Grand Theft Auto: Vice City‘s numbers, amassing 11,760,000 copies sold on the console. It also hit high with the critics with a Metascore of 89! Users gave it an 8.7, sitting it comfortably in third place.
2. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
You might not be surprised by this, but wait till you read the sales figures… Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec sold just under fifteen million copies on the PlayStation 2. The final figure is around 14,890,000 units which is honestly just a crazy amount. The extra three million-odd units sold were justified too as it hits a huge 95 on the Metacritic Metascore rating. The User Score is also a generally favourable 8.4! It’s hard to disagree that this is one of the best PS2 games of all time with those statistics.
1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Ah, shit. Here we go again.
Of course it’s San Andreas. Why did I even think Simpsons: Hit and Run would be anywhere near as popular. Grand Theft Auto’s seventh entry is arguably the best to-date. This entry in the series tackles California in the 90s and is regarded as one of the most influential, and controversial, games in history. It sold a massive 17,330,000 copies on the PlayStation 2 and comfortably dominates the list. I don’t even need to tell you the Metascore and User Score, right? We all know they’re high. Critics gave it a 95 and it has a User Score of 9.1. That’s the highest one on the list!
So, there you have it. These are the fifteen best PS2 games of all time. We all knew San Andreas was good, but did you know it was THAT good? What games surprised you on the list?