Video games have become an addictive drug, and an expensive one at that. I love playing video games when I have the time, but I hate shelling out $60+ for new releases every couple of weeks. So instead, I’ve decided to wait out the new releases, dust off my old PS2, and start playing some of the games I missed out on! Here are some of the best hidden gems on the PS2:
#5: Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits
“Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits” was released in the US on June 25th, 2003. Arc the Lad is a series that wasn’t really supposed to happen. When the creators came up with the idea, SCEA said “Nah, RPGs aren’t very popular. We need more platformers!” Then the golden age of RPGs happened. “Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9” were released, and people were going nuts! They wanted more of this strange, turn-based, story-driven series! To compete with “Final Fantasy”, SCEA decided to go with the idea and created the “Arc the Lad Collection” on the PS1, which got phenomenal reviews. “Arc the Lad: TotS” is the spiritual successor to the collection, being the first title in the series to be released on the PS2. This game is absolutely fantastic. The characters are loveable, the plot is interesting (though a bit cliché), and the gameplay is pretty great. The Humans and the Deimos hate each other and want to wipe each other out. You play as Kharg, a Human, and Darc, a Deimos, and go through both of their stories of finding “the Truth”. This turn-based SRPG will keep you occupied for a few days. The game is pretty short and doesn’t really live up to its potential, but it’s still a great game to play and try out. Plus, you can find it used on Amazon for about $5 used here. What do you have to lose? Warning: This game features mature content.
#4: Dark Cloud 2
“Dark Cloud 2” is one of those rare games that’s infinitely better than its predecessor. The sequel got rid of some of the things that plagued “Dark Cloud“,like the thirst system, and added a customization system that is to die for. There are so many different weapons and armor pieces you can build, just by taking snapshots! It’s got a really interesting plot that has to deal with time travel and rebuilding the world in the past to save the future. It’s a really quirky game with a fantastic hack-and-slash type combat system. Warning: The game does get difficult. It’s definitely worth a shot if you can pick it up, perhaps here on Amazon.
#3: Disgaea/Disgaea 2
This series is well-known amongst RPG-fanatics; but strangely, a lot of people still haven’t played them. “Disgaea” is a turn-based SRPG that prides itself in its characters and light-hearted plot. This game is centered around demons and fighting your way to the top of the food chain. Either game is a great pick up on the PS2 or PSP. You’ll laugh your butt off at all of the corny jokes and the great chemistry between all of the characters. The games do have pretty difficult leveling curves, but with a small amount of grinding, you should be able to tackle it. You can buy “Disgaea” here and “Disgaea 2” here on Amazon. Warning: These games feature mature content.
#2: Final Fantasy X/X-2/XII
The renowned “Final Fantasy” series hits the PS2. Boy, are these games great. “Final Fantasy X” features a great cast of characters and the traditional FF style combat system. The plot will leave you in tears and wanting more. Oh, but there’s more! The sequel, “Final Fantasy X-2“, features a job-based combat system with only 3 playable characters (Yuna, Rikku, and Paine), but is still a lot of fun to play and answers a lot of the questions that its predecessor left (though not very well). “Final Fantasy XII” is the final game on the PS2, creating a completely different pseudo turn-based combat system. It’s kind of hard to get used to, but it does get pretty comfortable after a while. The game has a huge spike in difficulty after a while, and there’s no definitive way to grind. The game has been sitting on my shelf for years, and I have still yet to finish it because of this. But hey, if you can make it through all of that, it’s a really great game with loveable characters and an interesting plot about politics. Also, “Final Fantasy X/X-2” got remade on the Ps3 recently (you can buy it here), so that’s a great excuse to try it out! You can buy “Final Fantasy X” here, “Final Fantasy X-2” here, and “Final Fantasy XII” here.
#1: Shadow of the Colossus
This game. Just play it. I promise you, you will not regret it. “Shadow of the Colossus” single-handedly changed my entire perspective on video games. You play as Wander as him and his horse, Agro, search the land to defeat the Colossi and save Mono from her eternal slumber. The plot is a bit cliché, but the twist at the end is definitely one of the best in all of video game history. People to this day still analyze what actually happens at the end. There’s barely any dialogue and little direction, no enemies around the world map, and no one else to talk to. So what makes this game so great? The Colossi. You climb up gigantic bosses made of stone, moss, and magic and find their weak points to kill them. Every Colossi is different, and it’s a puzzle in itself on how to defeat it. Honestly, this is one of the best games ever created. If you haven’t picked it up, you definitely should. You can get it on the PS2 (here) or the PS3 (here); whichever you prefer. This game is the perfect example of having a great plot without flooding the player with long, drawn-out cutscenes or long dialogues of text (cough “Final Fantasy XIII“). Once you finish this game, you will never look at a video game the same way ever again.
And that’s my list for the Top 5 Forgotten Games on the PS2. Don’t agree with something on the list, or did I miss something you think should have been on there? Create your own Top 5 list in the comment section below!
Featured image courtesy of nextgenupdate.com.