This month marks the five year anniversary since the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and so every week we’ll be releasing an article that celebrates the games of previous generations. This week we look back upon the greatest classic PlayStation titles (in our opinion).
25. Spyro 2: Gateway to Glimmer
Otherwise known as Ripto’s Rage in America, Spyro 2 is one of the PlayStation 1’s all time best. Even with Mario 64 stealing most the limelight, Gateway to Glimmer is a 3D platforming classic. If you’ve never played the original trilogy your in for a treat, because we are just days away from the remakes of all three games being released by Activision.
24. Ben 10: Protector of Earth
Ben 10 was one of the most popular shows of the mid 2000’s, and during an area where licensed games were predominantly hot garbage… Ben 10’s first video game adaptation provided a lot of what fans were looking for.
23. Jaws: Unleashed
We’ve played a tonne of games in the last decade, with a focus on hunting animals. However back on the PS2 you had to hunt people… as the legendary great white, Jaws.
22. The Incredibles
Another licensed game, The Incredibles was not only faithful to the pixar film but was cleverly designed to utilize each members unique powers in the most enjoyable way.
21. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto 3 changed how designers look at open worlds, and San Andreas popularized the GTA brand with a global consumer base, but Vice City Stories showed that you could experience all the series has to offer… on a handheld device.
20. Buzz: The Hollywood Quiz
The PS2 wasn’t just about solo experiences. It was about bringing the family together. Buzz: The Hollywood Quiz challenged our knowledge of cinema in mini games that were both accessible and highly competitive.
19. Spongebob Squarepants: Creature From the Krusty Krab
Not all kids games need to be boring. CFTKK featured Plankton, Patrick and the titular sponge racing hot rods, prancing around as super heroes and destroying entire cities, in a strange dream-like version of Bikini Bottom.
18. Disney’s Tarzan
Disney has long looked after their franchises. One of the original PlayStation’s greatest 2D platformers was Tarzan. A charming title that follows the man among apes, from boy to hero.
17. Jak X
The fourth game in the Jak and Daxter series, and Naughty Dog’s second racing spin off, Jak X is one of the best car combat games ever made, giving even Twisted Metal a run for it’s money.
Madagascar was the first game I ever beat. It expanded on the story of the hit Dreamworks film, allowed you to play as 5 distinct characters and even had stealth missions where you try and escape from the zoo.
15. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Everyone is still in awe of 2018’s soft reboot of the series but many forget that the previous best entry in the series was merely a spin off. Ghost of Sparta duplicated the famous combat of the main games for a portable system, and gave Kratos some much needed narrative motivation.
14. Ratchet and Clank: Locked and Loaded
Spyro isn’t the only PlayStation classic produced by Insomniac. They also deserve plenty of credit for their PS2 mascots Ratchet and Clank. The second game in the series solidified the company’s brand of unique gadgets and ostentatious weapons.
13. The Sims 2
The Sims like Stardew Valley are their own type of game. Relaxing, ridiculous and something you can come home to. It was The Sims 2 that finally brought this amazing experience to life on consoles and provided gamers, who didn’t even know they were gamers, an entirely unique experience.
12. Lego Star Wars
There was a time that a silent Lego video game would seem outlandish. In 2018 virtually every kid friendly brand has a Lego equivalent in video game form. However this is where it began, before future titles became convoluted collectathons.
11. Codename Kids Next Door: Operation Video Game
One of Cartoon Networks most successful properties during the early 2000’s was KND. I never believed they could make a game that replicated the humor of the television series. Yet they did, included an abundance of classic characters and made each level distinct from the last.
10. Ultimate Spider-Man
Just cracking the top 10 is Ultimate Spider-Man. When thinking back to classic super hero games, we often reference Spider-Man 2. Yet Ultimate Spider-Man built on the web swinging of two, crafted a far superior comic book inspired narrative and added Venom as an extremely enjoyable playable character.
9. Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer
There are few games that pay tribute to the cultures that inspired them, yet still create massively impressive games. Well Brave did that back on PS2, showcasing mechanics and depth that were rarely seen at the time.
8. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (2005)
In 2018 the name Battlefront 2 is associated with greed and loot box controversies, but in 2005 it was one of the best Star Wars games of all time. It was a title that finally brought forth the scale of the Clone Wars in the perfect way.
7. Rally Championship
A level of realism, speed and polish that few driving games of the time had, but a level of recognition far below what it deserved. Rally Championship is one of the best racing games ever made. I dare you to try it.
6. Monster Lab
Critically and commercially underrated, Monster Lab is a PlayStation 2 gem. A turn based strategy game where you built your own monsters, Frankenstein style. It was the closest any of us at the time were getting to Pokemon without a Nintendo console.
5. The Simpsons: Hit and Run
There have been plenty of GTA clones over the years, but none carved out it’s own audience more than Hit and Run. It took everything Grand Theft Auto 3 created, placed it within the Simpson’s universe, and catered to an audience too young for Rockstar’s Goliath.
4. Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Arguably one of the greatest licensed games and fighting games of all time, BT3 was a love letter to fans of the show. It had a story arc, and over 100 playable characters from Dragonball all the way to GT. Forget Tekken or Mortal Kombat, this is one of the greats.
3. Sly 2: Band of Thieves
For many kids who grew up with a PS2, this was one of the first stealth games they ever played. It gave Metal Gear a run for it’s money at the time and had extremely well crafted heists well before GTA 5 came along.
2. Destroy All Humans 2
THQ became infamous over the years for releasing sub-par AA games. However Destroy All Humans toted one of the most unique premises in gaming, and it’s sequel delivered in scope and quality far beyond anyone’s expectations.
1. Jak 3
That’s right, there isn’t a single Metal Gear Solid game on this list. You’ll also find Shadow of the Colossus and Final Fantasy aren’t here either. People forget that not everyone grew up with an NES and SNES, falling in love with Zelda and Mario as a child. Some of us (myself included) grew up with a PS2, and this is a list that caters to those people. Metal Gear and Final Fantasy weren’t interesting to kids. However games like Jak 3 blew our minds with what gaming had the potential to be.
It’s fine that critics panned it for being ‘too kid focused’ or ‘angsty.’ Those who grew up with a PS2 know how important this game was. For anyone out there who disagrees, believing it to be the bad taste of children, the same argument can be said for those who grew up with a Nintendo in the 80’s. It’s all relative.