PlayStation Now, the recently announced Gaikai-based game streaming service, is coming later this year and since a lot of people are speculating what games will be available on it, I decided to make a list with what I believe are some of the games that should definitely be there. By no means is this a definitive list. Instead, these are timeless classics that most people won’t mind playing again and that some people will discover for the first time. Of course, take into account that thousands of titles came out for the PS2, so making this list was a difficult process, so if one of your favorite titles didn’t make it to the list, make sure you mention it in the comment section below. By the way, I recently wrote a list with the original PlayStation games that should be on PlayStation Now, so make sure you read that article as well.
10. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona IV
Persona IV deserves to be on this list because Persona IV is one of the best RPG experiences in recent memory. The best part about this unconventional RPG is that adopts multiple elements from previous games in the series, but also manages to push the genre forward.
9. Silent Hill 2
If Silent Hill was an experiment, then Silent Hill 2 is the full realization of that experiment. Silent Hill 2 no longer follows the footsteps of other survival horror games (like Resident Evil.) Instead, the game adopts psychological horror, metaphors and topics that are considered taboo. The result is a frightening horror game that will remain in your head for years to come.
8. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Gone are the minimaps that try to make you believe that you are actually exploring a mountain. In Dragon Quest VIII, exploration is paramount and this is reflected in every single aspect of the game. The tried-and-true gameplay is still here, but the lush visuals, pristine vistas and hundreds of hours of content make Dragon Quest VIII a terrific JRPG.
As far as action-adventure open-world games go, few can rival Bully. Although the Grand Theft Auto series is usually regarded as the best, Bully is an outstanding open-world game in its own right and everything about the game feels fresh and original. Bully might give the impression of being GTA in high-school, but its storyline, minigames, meticulously constructed world, compelling characters and great music, make Bully a game that everyone should play.
6. Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance
A lot of people think that Metal Gear Solid 2 is a ridiculous title that makes fun of the loyal fans of the series. That this is a game that tried to defy everyone’s expectations and you know what? They are absolutely right and that’s what makes MGS 2 such a terrific title. Suddenly, you don’t assume the role of Snake. Instead, you are put in the shoes of an androgynous man whose girlfriend is so annoying that you’ll mute the game so that you won’t have to listen to her bickering anymore. The story is overly convoluted, the characters are annoying and what…? The president is involved in a worldwide conspiracy? Go play MGS 2.
5. God of War
Arguably, God of War 2 is a better game, but God of War is the title that started the series. It’s a shame that a lot of people payed more attention to the controversial aspects of the game than to the game itself, because they might have missed the part where this is one of the best action-adventure titles ever made. The graphics are outstanding, the story compelling, the gameplay absolutely engaging and the puzzles offers a nice change of pace.
4. Final Fantasy X
As soon as Final Fantasy IX came out, there was a lot of excitement about the next title in the Final Fantasy series and luckily, Final Fantasy X didn’t disappoint. The first aspect that most people probably noticed back in the day were the amazing visuals, but its solid gameplay, emotionally affecting storyline and compelling characters are what make this title one of the best in the Final Fantasy series.
3. Resident Evil 4
Technically, Resident Evil 4 is a GameCube game and that version is arguably better. Nevertheless, Resident Evil 4 on the PS2 was still a magnificent version of one of the best survival horror games ever made. Gone are the convoluted puzzles, the incomprehensible script and bad voice acting. This is survival horror at its best.
2. Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus was one of those titles that made people see at the medium from a completely different perspective. The story starts simple enough, but by the end of the game, the minimalist design, the soundtrack and the emotionally affecting tale are elements that will remain with you for years to come.
1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
I think it’s fair to assume that the Grand Theft Auto trilogy on the PS2 was an important part of what made the console what it was. And even though the other titles hold a very special place in my heart, San Andreas took the best aspects of III and Vice City and did something absurd with them. Suddenly the map was ridiculously big, you could visit iconic places from Las Vegas, San Francisco and LA, there were RPG elements, customization options, hundreds of sidequests, new mechanics and dozens of tiny improvements.
Honorable Mention: Guitar Hero, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, Okami, God of War II, Viewtiful Joe, Final Fantasy XII, Beyond Good & Evil, Burnout 3: Takedown and Devil May Cry.