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The Best Playstation 2 Game

Last updated on August 12, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Playstation 2 Games and dug through the reviews from 65 of the most popular review sites including Thunderbolt Games, IGN, Game Zone, Euro Gamer, GameSpot, Nintendo Life and more. The result is a ranking of the best Playstation 2 Games.

Best Playstation 2 Game

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Our Picks For The Top Playstation 2 Games

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

PS2

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy

Overall Take

"Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy" is a three-pack of the best selling open-world games in history, and that's a lot of playing time. Players can delight in following the story or roam around the mean streets and cause their own mayhem. Heads up for parents, though: The R-rated content is... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus GameSpot, Game FAQs. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The biggest selling point to most people is that there is just so much to -do- in the game besides play the normal story path. You can steal Taxis and make money dropping people off, you can steal pizza vans,..."

PS2

Resident Evil 4

Overall Take

Slow-paced but tense action is the hallmark of this installment in the storied "Resident Evil" series. "Resident Evil 4" complements that meticulous pacing with a great audiovisual presentation that highlights the richly rendered environments. Managing inventory is a valuable skill for players to learn as they fight to survive. Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus Metacritic, GameSpot, IGN, Trusted Reviews, CNET, Euro Gamer and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Incredibly amazing audiovisual presentation."
Cons
"The lack of additional content for this go 'round feels like a miss."

PS2

Square Enix Kingdom Hearts

Overall Take

"Kingdom Hearts" appeals to lovers of both Disney films and "Final Fantasy" games, allowing gamers to play and interact with characters from both franchises. With superb voice acting and a compelling soundtrack, the story does justice to the source material. While aspects of the game may better suit younger players,... Read More

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus GameSpot, Kidz World, Metacritic, Retro Headz, Christ Centered Gamer, VG Chartz and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Kingdom Hearts is great, largely because it successfully captures the spirit of both Square and Disney in a single game. The way it pulls this off can't be described as easily as it can be experienced."
Cons
"I don't like how they blended in the Final Fantasy 7 characters into it, some of it doesn't flow."
  The Best Value

PS2

Kingdom Hearts II

Overall Take

"Kingdom Hearts II" satisfies fans of the first game and more. While the story is huge in scale, it's still easy enough for casual gamers to pick up. The combat system is also much improved over the first "Kingdom Hearts," with a camera perspective that lets you see all the action.

Experts Included
DWYM Entertainment Experts plus GameSpot, IGN, Game Zone, Thunderbolt Games, Kidz World, Game Critics and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy.
Pros
" Excellent voice acting and music"
Cons
"The story is definitely a great one, but the lack of difficulty and the hack and slash will probably keep everyone except the hardcore from returning to this adventure."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the playstation 2 games available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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65

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Thunderbolt Games, IGN, Game Zone, Euro Gamer, GameSpot.

11,574

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Playstation 2 Games and also dug through the reviews from 65 of the most popular review sites including Thunderbolt Games, IGN, Game Zone, Euro Gamer, GameSpot, Nintendo Life and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Playstation 2 Games.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

PS2 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy

Our Expert Score
9.1
2 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
361 user reviews
Our Take

"Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy" is a three-pack of the best selling open-world games in history, and that's a lot of playing time. Players can delight in following the story or roam around the mean streets and cause their own mayhem. Heads up for parents, though: The R-rated content is most definitely not for kids.

What other experts liked
The biggest selling point to most people is that there is just so much to -do- in the game besides play the normal story path. You can steal Taxis and make money dropping people off, you can steal pizza vans,...
- Game FAQs
What other experts didn't like
Grand Theft Auto is one of the most violence and R-rated series in gaming. There is a ton of blood, lots of sexual themes, swearing up the wazoo, etc. Simply put, if you are squeamish or easily offended, don't even...
- Game FAQs

The Best Bang For Your Buck

PS2 Kingdom Hearts II

Our Expert Score
8.1
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.4
1,232 user reviews
Our Take

"Kingdom Hearts II" satisfies fans of the first game and more. While the story is huge in scale, it's still easy enough for casual gamers to pick up. The combat system is also much improved over the first "Kingdom Hearts," with a camera perspective that lets you see all the action.

What other experts liked
Excellent voice acting and music
- GameSpot
March 28, 2006 | Full review
The scale of the game is impressive, and the handling of both Square and Disney franchises continues nicely -- It'd be great if the worlds weren't so linear and short.
- IGN
March 28, 2006 | Full review
Kingdom Hearts II is an intelligent, humorous, and highly captivating sequel that sucks you into its world and won’t let go till the end. Letting go is the hardest part, because when the credits roll you know that for the time being, this is it
- Game Zone
May 4, 2012 | Full review
Kingdom Hearts II is a production of the highest level, and carries the infallible layer of polish we have come to expect from Squaresoft and subsequently Square Enix.
- Thunderbolt Games
May 25, 2008 | Full review
Not only is Kingdom Hearts II a huge game with an incredible story that's packed full of cool characters, it's also easy enough for anyone to play.
- Kidz World
December 27, 2006 | Full review
Technically, the combat is vastly improved. One of my main issues with the first Kingdom Hearts was that the camera was so low and close to the action that it was virtually impossible to understand what was going on. I'm extremely glad to report that this is no longer an...
- Game Critics
July 11, 2006 | Full review
Squaresoft have done a truly remarkable job at the presentation of this title with players being greeted to an almost three hour long prologue that reestablishes the characters and give a great snippet of the previous storyline.
- Impulse Gamer
Also quite enjoyable is the fact that while the first problem I addressed was solved, the first praise I handed out is also still present. The fighting in Kingdom Hearts 2 is simply fantastic, it's fluent, fast and just a lot of fun.
- Moby Games
March 16, 2012 | Full review
What other experts didn't like
Some of the Square characters are given horrible dialogue
- GameSpot
March 28, 2006 | Full review
The story is definitely a great one, but the lack of difficulty and the hack and slash will probably keep everyone except the hardcore from returning to this adventure.
- IGN
March 28, 2006 | Full review
There is one audio flaw – Captain Jack Sparrow and company are not voiced by the actors who played them in the film.
- Game Zone
May 4, 2012 | Full review
However, the game suffers from questionable balancing almost throughout.
- Thunderbolt Games
May 25, 2008 | Full review
The biggest problem is the Kingdom Hearts II intro. It takes forever to get going! It's super-frustrating
- Kidz World
December 27, 2006 | Full review
My hat is off to the people behind Kingdom Hearts II—it's extremely rare that a sequel manages to address every issue that needs attention while not sacrificing quality in another area.
- Game Critics
July 11, 2006 | Full review
Let's start off where the game does to, the opening cut-scene. Seriously Square Enix (and Disney), these opening songs are starting to get booooooooooooooooooooring.
- Moby Games
March 16, 2012 | Full review

Overall Product Rankings

1. PS2 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 4

2. PS2 Resident Evil 4

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 12

3. PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 8

4. Capcom Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 7

5. PS2 Kingdom Hearts II

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 12

6. Capcom Mega Man Anniversary Collection

Overall Score: 8.3
Reviews Included: 12

7. SEGA Sonic Mega Collection Plus

Overall Score: 8.2
Reviews Included: 11

8. Midway Mortal Kombat Armageddon

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 12

9. Disney Toy Story 3 The Video Game

Overall Score: 7.8
Reviews Included: 6

10. WB Games LEGO Batman

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 8

Our Playstation 2 Game Buying Guide

The PlayStation has long been a favorite home gaming console with players of all ages. Every iteration of the platform has brought increasingly more elaborate and realistic games, and the current incarnation — the PlayStation 4 — is no exception. But it’s quite possible that the release of the PlayStation 2 in the year 2000 was a perfect illustration of that old capitalist mantra: Competition drives innovation.

When the PlayStation 2 first entered the console wars, there was no shortage of enemies. Sega’s Dreamcast was already in stores. Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s GameCube would be jockeying for toy store shelf space by the following Christmas. The PS2 offered a relatively low price point and the ability to play games from the first generation PlayStation. Would those perks be enough? In short: Yes.

As of 2012, the console has moved over 155 million units, making it the top-selling video game console of all time. And while Xbox is still a worthy competitor to the PlayStation brand, there’s a reason why you might not remember playing a GameCube. As for the Dreamcast, it would prove to be Sega’s last entry into the video game console market, due in no small part to the market dominance of the PS2. Sony discontinued the PS2 in 2013. But the item had enjoyed a great production run, especially considering the PS3 had already been out for 7 years by that time. Small wonder.

Aside from that affordable price and ability to play older games, the PS2 was an exclusive platform for some of the most iconic titles in video game history. That list includes the original “Kingdom Hearts” and “Guitar Hero,” plus “Final Fantasy X”. You can also play worldwide hits like “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,” “Gran Turismo 4,” “God of War II” and hundreds of others. The PlayStation 2 may have been affordable at its launch, but you can get them for a steal these days, and that goes double for the PS2 and original PlayStation games you can play on it.

Arguably, the Playstation 2 is also the last relic of a more social time in gaming. While there was online support from individual titles, multiplayer games, for the most part, were meant to be played with friends who were physically present in the same room, trash-talking and jostling each other on the couch. Certainly, it was the golden age for sports games, such as Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL and NBA Live series. Even today, gamers with ultra-modern video game consoles and 4K Ultra televisions will still break out their PS2 controllers for a dose of nostalgia.

DWYM Fun Fact

The early-to-mid 2000s were a time of experimentation in the gaming industry, when tons of new accessories and peripherals were tested on the gaming public. PlayStation 2 gamers were the beneficiaries of a lot of this new tech — or the guinea pigs, depending on how well the gadgets worked.  The “Guitar Hero” series sparked a minor craze with plastic instruments that simulated rock stardom, but there’s a reason you probably don’t remember “Tony Hawk: Ride.” This game came with a motion-sensing skateboard that, in theory, tracked your movements so you could shred along with your skater avatar. In practice, it was a clunky and awkward device that got the game almost universally panned by critics.

The Playstation 2 Game Tips and Advice

  • The first thing to consider when buying a PlayStation 2 game, especially if you’re not a frequent gamer … is to make sure it’s a PlayStation 2 game. This may seem obvious, but bear in mind that Sony’s current iteration of the console is the PlayStation 4. Search for “PlayStation games” online, and the bulk of the results will be games compatible with that system. Not that there aren’t tons of PS2 games out there, and they’re all much more affordable. One great feature of the PS2 was backward compatibility, which means you can also play most games that were released for the original, first-generation PlayStation. There are a few early PlayStation games you won’t be able to play this way, so it’s best to double-check before buying.
  • If you’ve got an Ultra 4K or other high-definition television, do not adjust your set. The PlayStation 2 was released before this latest generation of HDTVs, and while it should work just fine on them, the games won’t look as sharp as the ones on more recent consoles. The resolution on standard PS2 titles is going to be around 480p. But this certainly doesn’t mean they’ll look bad. The graphics on cinematic titles like “God of War II” and “Kingdom Hearts” still hold up well more than a decade after they were released.
  • For the most part, PS2 games will work just fine without an internet connection, and online access will probably be superfluous for the majority of titles. For a lot of retro gamers who just want to power on and play, this can be a plus. If you get one of the rare titles that does require online access to unlock certain features, you’ll need Wi-Fi access and a network adaptor if you don’t already have one.
  • A word on multiplayer: The PS2 had some of the greatest multiplayer titles around, from sports games (the Madden NFL series) to racing (“Need for Speed,” “Gran Turismo 4”). Some of these games support more than two players at a time, but if you’re going to bring a crowd, make sure you have enough controllers and a multitap adapter that will allow up to eight players to join in the fun.
  • When it comes to gaming, accessorizing isn’t just about looks. The PS2 introduced several peripherals that replaced or augmented the functionality of traditional controllers, and some games won’t work without them. Some prominent examples are games in the “Guitar Hero” series (which need a guitar-shaped controller), or titles released specifically for the EyeToy — one of the first motion-sensing peripherals.
  • Finally, keep your audience in mind. If you’re buying for a younger gamer, check the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) box prominently displayed on the box. It’ll give you quick info on what age range the game is appropriate for, along with any red flags about the content (violence, language, etc.).