A New Renaissance

Even though the title is redundant, some of us hereónamely oneóis taking a trip down a little overlooked road that 136 million other people may have travelled.

The PlayStation 2 library is massive.

I owned a PS2 for almost a year before trading it in. I had done some IT training and as a result received five Xboxís. Sadly, looking back, the Xbox became my main console. I did experience some titles such as Gran Turismo 3, Ico, and Maximo. Metal Gear Solid 2 was in that mix and a few other titles I honestly cannot remember. The PS2 was a DVD player that played games in our house.

A month ago as I was hyping myself up over Infamous, (oh, yeah, we are going to chat that dude up) Brock had mentioned to me that it was being developed by Sucker Punch, who according to him, had, ďcreated the best PS2 game of all time, Sly Cooper 2: Band of Thieves.Ē He mentioned I should give it a try because, well, my PS3 is backwards compatible

Alright. I couldnít play the second title without the first, so why not? The following day I walked in to the sweaty, greasy place that is my local Gamestop (first time this year) and picked up both titles for a total of $10.

In short, it was the best gaming deal of my life.

The PS2 library had opened up to me. Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was a wonderful title and even though Iím only half way through the sequel I am thoroughly enjoying it. You can actually see a lot of Slyís mannerisms in Cole McGrathís motions in Infamous.

I eventually went back to Brock and hit him up for some more titles. At over 2,400 games, thereís got to be some other great games waiting to be played and easy to find. It looks like there is. My only criteria to Brock is that I wanted to overlook JRPGs at the moment. Of course, that cut out a chunk of the titles, but I can wait on those.

Today, for the second time this year, I walked in to Gamestop, ignored the up-saler-salesman and started to go through the PS2 bins.

  • Maximo: $3
  • The Mark of Kri: $4
  • The Thing: $5
  • Freedom Fighters: $5
  • Gladius: $8
  • Red Dead Revolver: $10

Adding the Sly games, Shadow of the Colossus (which I got with the Sly titles for $10), Rogue Trooper (I donít remember where I got that one), and Kingdom Hearts II (a weird Target impulse buy at $20) that brings my PS2 library at eleven titles for $75.

In some ways Iím glad I waited. I know that many of those titles were on other systems, but from what Iíve read they are definitive on the PS2.

Iím all ears as to what other titles you guys may recommend I try. In the mean time, Iím set for summer. Seventy-five dollars for ten AAA games or $60 for one new one that Iíll probably play 5 hours at the most? No brainer.


  1. War of the Monsters (May be hard to find)
    Steambot Chronicles (NOT a JRPG)
    Katamari Damacy
    Destruction Derby Arenas

  2. I have Katamari coming from Amazon new for $10.

    The other three I’ve never even heard of other than the original Destruction Derby. My wife was a natural at that one.

  3. Ah, War Of The Monsters. It’s not perfect, but it’s good!

    And while Steambot Chronicles might not TECHNICALLY be a JRPG, it comes pretty darn close in many, many respects.

    If you want a purely silly game, try God Hand.

    I love the PS2 library and still find myself going back to it over much of the newer stuff if only because it was so good. As long as you can overlook some of the admittedly dated visuals, you’re in for loads of gaming goodness.

  4. Agreed. Sly 2 is one of my all-time favorite games.

  5. Oh and for recs, I’d give Culdcept and NFL Street 2 (although I am highly biased for the latter). Oh! And Devil May Cry. And Beyond Good and Evil. And Burnout 3. And Psychonauts. And Gitaroo Man if you can find it (probably not).

  6. One more that the critics hated, but I loved: Rule of Rose.

  7. Ah, Rule Of Rose. I have really enjoyed what I’ve played of that but haven’t gotten very far because every time I try to play it, some hot new 360/PS3/Wii game comes out and pulls my attention away.

  8. There’s quite a few Devil May Cry releases. Go for the “director’s” edition?

    I’ve played the tar out of Psychonauts…on other systems.

  9. I still feel like a large hole exists due to the fact I never owned a PS2. If (and that’s a mighty big IF) I ever grab a backwards-compatible PS3, I’m definitely checking some of these games out. Great list.

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