PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts

Last updated date: July 25, 2019

DWYM Score
8.9

PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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

We looked at the top Playstation 2 Games and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Playstation 2 Game you should buy.

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, the plot and action will reel in any adventure fan. In our analysis of 72 expert reviews, the PS2 PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Playstation 2 Game for a detailed review of all the top playstation 2 games.

Expert Summarized Score
8.8
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
1,435 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
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.
- GameSpot
Cool mix of Final Fantasy and Disney.
- Kidz World
The use of Disney characters made the game so much more exciting as you would always be trying to work out what world and what characters Sora was going to meet next!
- Retro Headz
The music score is, on the whole, good, and most of the pieces feel appropriate to the Disney universe they are set in. The voiceovers, though, are simply brilliant. Nearly all of the Disney characters are voiced by their actual voice artists, lending an authenticity and believability to the game, and their voice work is impassioned and well-directed.
- Christ Centered Gamer
What experts didn't like
The shooter stages are just pale imitations of Nintendo's Star Fox games, and they'll leave you stuck on rails for several minutes at a time as you blast away at a bunch of indistinguishable opponents. The psychedelic backgrounds and abstract shapes almost make these sequences seem even more boring than they are.
- GameSpot
I don't like how they blended in the Final Fantasy 7 characters into it, some of it doesn't flow.
- Kidz World
A.I teams take some getting used to.
- Retro Headz
The premise is too weird, the game too complex given the characters, and to top it all off your primary weapon is a giant key.
- Christ Centered Gamer

From The Manufacturer

Guide a young boy named Sora, and his friends Riku and Kairi, as he saves the world from destruction at the hands of an evil group known as the Heartless. Set off from Sora's island paradise home with the help of Disney characters such as Donald Duck and Goofy, who are on their way to find their missing king, the one and only Mickey Mouse. Use Sora's secret weapon, the keyblade, in an adventure that takes you through familiar Disney worlds. You will also run into many of Squaresoft's favorite characters as they join the struggle. Ever wondered what would happen if the worlds of Final Fantasy and Disney collided? It’s an odd concept to be sure, but from the most schizophrenic of acorns the mighty gaming oak of Kingdom Hearts has grown. Legendary role-playing game makers Square have been given unprecedented liberties with the entire Disney universe and have created a game featuring everything from The Nightmare Before Christmas to The Little Mermaid. This is odd enough in itself when you have characters as disparate as Tarzan and Donald Duck teaming up, but becomes majorly freaky when Square thrown in a variety of their own characters such as Cloud, Squall, and Aeris from the various Final Fantasy games. But this incongruity has one side benefit in that the storyline behind the game is by necessity rather vague, which seems to have stopped Square from filling three CDs full of their usual New Age whining about Mother Earth. Instead they’ve spent even more time on the graphics, and the end result is a quite stunning 3-D cartoon. As for the gameplay, it may come as a surprise to learn that it doesn’t actually feature, as all the Final Fantasy games do, turn-based combat. Instead it's essentially a scrolling beat-'em-up-cum-platformer with exactly the kind of complicated Square-style knobs you’d expect. The game may be a little shallow, but it’s an impressive artistic achievement and to be quite frank any title that allows you to magically summon Bambi out of thin air to attack evil demons of the underworld has got to be worth some sort of recommendation. --David Jenkins

Overall Product Rankings

PS2 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy
1. PS2 Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 2
PS2 Resident Evil 4
2. PS2 Resident Evil 4
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9
PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts
3. PS2 Square Enix Kingdom Hearts
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 7
Capcom Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
4. Capcom Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
PS2 Kingdom Hearts II
5. PS2 Kingdom Hearts II
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 8
Capcom Mega Man Anniversary Collection
6. Capcom Mega Man Anniversary Collection
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
SEGA Sonic Mega Collection Plus
7. SEGA Sonic Mega Collection Plus
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 9
Midway Mortal Kombat Armageddon
8. Midway Mortal Kombat Armageddon
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 9
Disney Toy Story 3 The Video Game
9. Disney Toy Story 3 The Video Game
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 2
WB Games LEGO Batman
10. WB Games LEGO Batman
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 5

An Overview On Playstation 2 Games

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 Buying Guide

  • 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.).