Let’s start off by saying that getting a PS2 Classic Edition, in a similar vein to the NES and SNES Classic Mini, is almost certainly never going to happen. Sure, we’ve got the MegaDrive Flashback but the idea of Classic Editions is largely a Nintendo thing. That said, it doesn’t hurt to dream and since the PlayStation 2 is my favourite console ever, the idea of a PS2 Classic Edition would be amazing!
During a recent Twitter chat with Mohammed Fi, we started talking about the idea of a PS2 Mini. That, of course, led to the question of what games could be featured on such a re-release, especially as the PlayStation 2 has thousands of games in its library. So I decided to put together a list of the games that I would include.
This is based entirely on personal preference though, so I would also love to know what games you would put on a PS2 Classic Edition if there were ever to be one.
I chose to do 21 simply because that is the amount of games that the SNES Classic Mini featured.
We’ll start off with a game that was a very different take on the Grand Theft Auto style of gameplay; Bully. In this game, you take the role of a new transfer student to a very posh school. You have to take on bullies, complete missions and cause havoc whilst also going to lessons and avoiding detention. The game got a lot of bad press at the time, even getting renamed in Europe, but it’s a really good game with a strong anti-bullying message.
20. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Next up we have the first in a trilogy of great action games; Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The combat is extremely fun and the time control mechanic is both extremely useful and embedded into the plot and events of the game. The world is extremely well realised with great graphics for the PS2. The voice acting could have been better, but it doesn’t detract from an otherwise awesome game!
19. Soulcalibur 2
On to one of the best fighting games on the PlayStation 2 now. Soulcalibur 2 featured a great roster of characters, each with distinct fighting styles and weaponry to use. My character of choice was always Tali (pictured above on the right) due to her speed and attack style. However, there is certainly a character and fighting style to suit you, no matter how you want to play. That makes for a brilliant fighting game that anyone can pick up.
18. Shadow Hearts
Shadow Hearts is a game I’ve covered quite a lot, most recently in my PS2 games you probably haven’t played post (here), and now I’m going to include it here as well. Why? Because it is a very unique and different type of RPG that really needs to get more attention and awareness than it did. The storyline is so dark and mature, completely going against the idea of happy fantasy storylines full of bright colours.
17. TimeSplitters 2
I’ve not been a fan of shooters in recent years. They just haven’t felt as much fun as classic shooters, such as TimeSplitters 2. If you haven’t played the games, then just imagine a shooter where you get to visit a bunch of different time periods through the past and future. Weapons, enemies and level designs change massively, creating a wonderful mix of gameplay that you don’t often get with modern shooters.
16. Burnout 3: Takedown
If you ever wanted to play an incredible racing game full of high octane action and completely insane crash mechanics, you can’t go wrong with the Burnout series. Of that series, my personal favourite is Burnout 3: Takedown. The feeling of sheer speed was addictive, and the cars control and handle beautifully. On top of that, there is just something inherently fun to crash and smash into just about everything to see the damage mechanics.
15. Rule of Rose
I had to include Rule of Rose on this list. The game is so hard to come by now, which is a real shame because it is a truly outstanding Survival Horror game that is both creepy and downright sadistic at the same time. If you enjoy the Clocktower series of games, then Rule of Rose is effectively a spiritual successor to it. I can’t really say too much about the game without spoiling parts of it, but if a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition was ever to be made, it would be the perfect time to let people experience this amazing game.
14. Beyond Good and Evil
Another game that would be great on a PS2 Classic Edition would be Beyond Good and Evil. The game became a cult classic after its release and now it is even getting a PS4 sequel (finally). With that in mind, apart from a remaster of the game, a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition featuring Beyond Good and Evil would be a great way to let people play this game in all of its glory. It certainly would be worth it.
13. Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening
Going back to the action game side of the PlayStation 2, Devil May Cry 3 would be a must for any PlayStation 2 Classic Edition. It is the most popular in the original trilogy, and for good reason. The combat was stylish and very fast paced, whilst the game could offer difficulty and challenge if you wanted it or be set to just allow you to experience the storyline and game quickly if you don’t have the option for long gaming sessions.
12. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Trying to choose between Persona 3 and Persona 4 was actually really hard. However, the reason why I have put Persona 4 on this list is that it improved on the already excellent Persona 3 when it came to dungeon design (multiple dungeons rather than one huge one) and storyline. The general design and visual presentation of Persona 4 is wonderful as well, so it would make perfect sense to put it on a PS2 Classic Edition, if there ever was one.
11. Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Do you like Platformers? If so, then I am sure you would agree that including Ratchet and Clank in general on a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition would be the right choice. Out of the games in the series from the PS2, my personal favourite is Up Your Arsenal. It just took the formula that the other games had worked on and made it into a near-perfect 3D platformer. I spent hours on this game and would happily do it again
10. Fatal Frame 2: Crimson Butterfly
Going back to Survival Horror, I had to include my favourite game in the genre in a list of games to put on a PS2 Classic Edition, didn’t I? Fatal Frame 2 (also called Project Zero 2 in Europe) is one of the creepiest and scariest games I have ever played. It shows just what a horror game can be if it doesn’t rely on jump scares but focuses on atmosphere instead. If you’re a fan of being scared out of your mind, this would be perfect for you. And a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition would allow so many more people to play it.
9. Silent Hill 2
Continuing on with the Survival Horror games (as we will for the next entry as well), we have Silent Hill 2, a game that really needs no introduction whatsoever. It is the most popular in the Silent Hill series, which is why I put it on this list (even though it isn’t my favourite) and Pyramid Head has pretty much become a mascot of the PS2. Because of this, and the fact that it’s just a really great game, I would definitely put it on a PS2 Classic Edition.
8. Resident Evil 4
Moving on to the franchise that basically started the Survival Horror genre, we have the game that also redefined the genre (for better or worse). Resident Evil 4 was an awesome game that was so exciting to play. Whilst it may have paved the way for some of the worst games in the Resident Evil franchise, RE4 itself is a true gem for the console (even though the Gamecube version looked better). So it would have to be included on this list, wouldn’t it?
Team Ico hit the ground running with this work of art for the PlayStation 2. Despite effectively being one giant escort mission, Ico never felt annoying or stale to me. I was hooked through the entire playthrough of the game, which for an escort mission, is an achievement and a half for the developers. Of course, their more famous and popular game will feature on this list too, but Ico more than deserves a spot as well.
6. God of War 2
What is a PlayStation these days without a God of War game? Seriously… Kratos is one of the most recognised video game characters ever, sitting up there with Mario and Sonic. I don’t think I even need to explain what the God of War games are or why I included one of this list, do I? As for why I chose God of Wars 2; the first game was extraordinary, but the sequel just ramped everything up by 100!
5. Kingdom Hearts
As a child, if you had told me that mixing Disney with Final Fantasy would actually work out well and we would get a good game from it, I would have thought you were crazy. Yet, that’s exactly what happened with Kingdom Hearts. Only, we didn’t get a “good” game… We got an excellent one! The sheer hype surrounding the coming release (finally) of Kingdom Hearts 3, as well as the constant remasters of the Final MIX versions of this and Kingdom Hearts 2 should tell you just why it is on this list.
4. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Come on, you knew there was going to be a Grand Theft Auto game on this list. What kind of PlayStation 2 Classic Edition wouldn’t feature one of these games? I chose GTA: San Andreas because of its scale, scope and gameplay, as well as the sheer amount of memorable moments that I have with the game. Although, if this ever did happen, I would have they sort out that damn train mission!
3. Shadow of the Colossus
Coming in next is Team Ico’s second work of art, which just happens to be their masterpiece; Shadow of the Colossus. The game is pretty simple in premise; hunt down towering behemoths known as Colossus and slay them. However, the fact that you have to climb on them, each one acting as a puzzle as well, was genius. The ending is also outstanding, with Shadow of the Colossus being the true start of the “video games as an art form” debate.
2. Final Fantasy X
We have another obvious inclusion next, since I tried to save the obvious ones for last; Final Fantasy X. One of the Final Fantasy games was always going to be on this list, but no matter how much I love FF11 and FF12, Final Fantasy X was groundbreaking when it was released. Everything about the game, from the storyline to the battle system felt fresh and exciting (and still does today if you play the HD Remaster). So, naturally, it would be on a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition.
1. Metal Gear Solid 3
The final game in the list should come as no surprise. If we were doing this list for the original PlayStation, then Metal Gear Solid would be on that list immediately. So that also means that Metal Gear Solid is on this list too… However, we’re specifically looking at Metal Gear Solid 3, which added so much to the gameplay, such as a camo system, a beautiful game world and some of the best mechanics in a Metal Gear game to date.
And That’s All Folks
That was my list of the 21 games I would add to a PlayStation 2 Classic Edition, if Sony ever decided to make one. However, there are literally thousands of games for the PS2, so I’m sure you would choose different.
So let me know in the comments what 21 games you would put on a PS2 Classic Edition!