PS2 game recommendation needed for a PS2 virgin
June 7, 2009 7:03 AM   Subscribe

I've just purchased a Playstation2 [yes *2*, I'm relapsing into gaming at this age and never owned one] and I'm looking for some recommendations of any genre for mindless, quick, fun that doesn't involve long spells of extended gaming.
posted by n3rt to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (41 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What comes to mind is Katamari Damacy.
posted by FarOutFreak at 7:09 AM on June 7, 2009 [3 favorites]

I was coming in to say the same thing.
posted by theredpen at 7:10 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Has anyone said Katamari Damacy yet? Get that.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:11 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I am a fan of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series.
posted by jack.tinker at 7:14 AM on June 7, 2009

If you want a bit of challenge with the mindlessness...

God Hand.
posted by FarOutFreak at 7:15 AM on June 7, 2009

I came in hear to say Katamari Damacy, but since that's already been taken care of... It's hard to find, but Rez is very fun and quick to pick up.
posted by whiskeyspider at 7:18 AM on June 7, 2009

Ape Escape.
posted by emmling at 7:23 AM on June 7, 2009

Grand Turismo
posted by CodeMonkey at 7:29 AM on June 7, 2009

God of War I or II, very straightforward hack and slash, very pretty.

The GTA III games (III, Vice City, San Andreas) have a great "pick up and play mindlessly for 20 mins" appeal to me, from the way they start up and just load your last save without any input to the way you can just run around freeform and do pretty much anything without regard to the story or main plot.

SOCOM, the first one, was a great intelligent shooter. After it went multiplayer online, I think it became more generic and disposable.

And yeah, Katamari Damacy too.
posted by rokusan at 7:36 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Super Monkey Ball
Guitar Hero
Mortal Kombat

Any in the series of the above games usually invovles mindless, quick fun for me.
posted by AloneOssifer at 7:38 AM on June 7, 2009

The Arcade collections, Pinball simulators and Racing simulators (I really dig Gran Turismo 3 and Wipeout Fusion) would be good places to start. A few of the earlier First Person Shooters and RPG's would allow you to save your game at any point, allowing you to put the controller down at any time while you muddle through twenty to 40 hours (sometimes hundreds) of gameplay while others in these genres require you complete a level or find a "Save Point", but you will have to dig through the reviews to find which games support this feature. Tons of information available on IGN and at Gamepspot.
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 7:44 AM on June 7, 2009

twisted metal black!
posted by swbarrett at 7:45 AM on June 7, 2009

Rez. Can't recommend it highly enough, particularly for a casual gamer who just wants to zone out for a while.
posted by channel-1- at 7:53 AM on June 7, 2009

Ace Combat 4 or 5
Any of the Dance Dance Revolution games (but I specifically recommend DDR Max 2)
Gradius V (rare, but worth the premium price)
Mister Mosquito
R-Type Final (rare, but maybe not worth the premium price)

Because of your criteria I'm leaving out RPGs here, which is the genre that the PS2 does best. However, if you're willing to play RPGs as long as they have reasonably frequent save points, consider Shadow Hearts and especially its sequel, Shadow Hearts: Covenant.
posted by Prospero at 8:06 AM on June 7, 2009

SSX or SSX Tricky. 2nding Tony Hawk.
posted by gc at 8:10 AM on June 7, 2009

Nthing the GTA games, Rez and the Guitar Hero games. Ooh, and Burnout--especially Revenge. PS2 does fighting games pretty well, too, at least compared to the other consoles of its generation. Tekken is the heavy hitter, but Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter, among others, are worth looking at. The PS2 is also a decent system for shmups--Gradius V, Silpheed, etc. And, last but not least, the PS2 was big during the heyday of extreme-sports games, and it can be fun to fire up Tony Hawk and try to beat your high-score run or something.
posted by box at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2009

Nthing Katamari, Ape Escape and SSX...though I think SSX Tricky was the best of the series.

PaRappa the Rapper, it's spinoff UmJammer Lammy, and the Bust A Groove series are fun rhythm/music games.

Klonoa 2 Lunatea's Veil is a fun platformer that's not too hard. And the Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones games are fun and really funny.
posted by Caravantea at 8:15 AM on June 7, 2009

Both Katamari games.

Alien Hominid.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 8:40 AM on June 7, 2009

Second and third the Lego Star Wars, especially The Original Trilogy. Burnout Revenge is addictive "pick up and play" fun - the sensation of speed is phenomenal. The SSX series give me the most "whoah! I'm flying" vertigo.
posted by dylanjames at 8:43 AM on June 7, 2009

Crazy Taxi! The gameplay is fast-paced and fun, the fantasy physics are delightful, and the soundtrack is great. And, in addition to being able to play in increments of three, five, and ten minutes (or an extensible time that depends on your skill), there's a whole slate of unlockable minigames that really test your sanity and extend the life of the product. Hell, I've owned it for years and still pick it up every once in awhile and have just as much fun as I did the first week.

N-thing Katamari Damacy and its first sequel. Avoid Shadow of the Colossus -- it's a fantastic game, one of the best on the PS2, but it's pretty heavy and plodding material for casual gaming.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:49 AM on June 7, 2009

go retro and get the Sega Collection. It's cot all the best gaqmeplay with things like; all 3 Golden Axe games, a heap of Sonic the Hedgehog, just everything cool and mindless!
posted by Redhush at 8:55 AM on June 7, 2009

Most of Ratchet and Clank is good fun. I like the Sly series as well.
posted by chairface at 9:08 AM on June 7, 2009

Amplitude is the precursor to Guitar Hero but it uses the PS2 controller. Super fun and gameplay only lasts as long as the song you are playing.
posted by schyler523 at 9:18 AM on June 7, 2009

There's what I like to call the trilogy of trilogies, a set of three vaguely similar but high-quality 3D platforming games made by Sony (and all of which are well received) - Jak & Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet & Clank. All three of each trilogy have graduated to "greatest hits" status, which means they're cheap, too. Little to no load times and autosaves. Drop in, do a level or two, take off. Good times!
posted by Monster_Zero at 9:20 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also checkout the Metacritic top PS2 games
posted by Mwongozi at 9:21 AM on June 7, 2009

I really like Space Channel 5.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:26 AM on June 7, 2009

Puzzle Fighter II has been a force for good in my life.
posted by No New Diamonds Please at 9:44 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. awesome game
posted by ye#ara at 9:49 AM on June 7, 2009

For "mindless fun that doesn't involve long spells of extended gaming", I'll have to recommend Earth Defence Force 2 (Global Defence Force if you're in Europe).
For details please read this previous post of mine in another AskMe thread and this recent Eurogamer article; both are about the Xbox 360 sequel (which I own), but supposedly the PS2 version (which I've never played, unfortunately) is even better.

Also, God Hand.
posted by Bangaioh at 9:58 AM on June 7, 2009

Soul Caliber III has lots of good fighters to choose from, but also lets you build your own fighter from an incredibly detailed template, from garments to eye color to you name it.

I can't tell you how much fun we've had building fighters based on, say, all the characters from The Wizard of Oz, and then making them duke it out.
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 AM on June 7, 2009

I had a lot of fun with Destroy All Humans! You play a Little Green Man with the voice much like Jack Nicholson's, sent to Earth in the late fifties to mess things up. You blow things up with your saucer, impersonate humans, kidnap cows, and, yes, use an anal probe. It's a lot of fun in a petty, nasty way, and not too involving. "See the humans, zap the humans" covers it. Plus, lots of jokes. You can read people's minds, and the contents can be a hoot.

An old game I enjoy for silly fun is The Simpsons: Road Rage. It's basically just Crazy Taxi, set in the world of the Simpsons. Fun, dumb, simple. Plus, you get to drive as Homer Simpson and run people over. Which is awesome.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 11:18 AM on June 7, 2009

Echoing some suggestions, making some others:

-Devil May Cry (the first one, the sequels aren't as good)
-God of War
-Guitar Hero (any of them, though 1&2 are personal favorites)
-Katamari Damacy (again, the first one is the best)
-Mega Man X Collection
-Shadow of the Colossus
-Soulcalibur II--hermitosis suggested III, but I always found II to be a better pick-up-and-play game, particularly the single-player modes. The AI in III was a little insane. (Fun fact: Soulcalibur III is, to this day, the only game that's made me throw my controller in frustration, say "fuck this," and never play it again.)
-Any of the Tony Hawk titles
posted by andrewcilento at 12:41 PM on June 7, 2009

Since no one has mentioned it, I'll throw out Kingdom Hearts I and II. Very silly (if you're a grown up) and fun.
posted by peep at 12:45 PM on June 7, 2009

Heh, I've been pondering doing the same thing! Katamari is the obvious answer (which is why everyone above has recommended it..). Also, GTA Vice City, but only to put in the cheat codes to open it all up and then play around in the city (not to actually play the game).
posted by losvedir at 1:27 PM on June 7, 2009

I recommend Spider-Man 2.

Not Spider-Man 1, not 3, not Nemesis or Darkness or whatever the last one was. They're okay, but 2 is a literal masterpiece.

Spider-Man 2's web-swinging mechanic is so fun, so immersive, so perfect that I occasionally pull out the PS2 and fire it up just so that I can swing around the city for half an hour pulling stunts.
posted by Netzapper at 2:44 PM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'll add my vote for the Lego StarWars/Lego Indian Jones games, as they are fun, and you can play 1 level, and leave off for next time without problem.

If you want just instant shooting, I also like Star Wars: Battlefront and Battlefront II. Playing a sniper and picking off a load of Storm Troopers can be a fun way to blow off steam.
posted by fings at 6:56 PM on June 7, 2009

(Seconding Spiderman 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront II)
posted by Rhaomi at 7:41 PM on June 7, 2009

Mark of Kri

Two outstanding, lesser-known action games you can pick up on the cheap. Both feature innovative gameplay but retain that mindless quality.
posted by martens at 10:55 AM on June 8, 2009

I agree with Harvey Jerkwater that The Simpsons: Road Rage is a much better game than Crazy Taxi. The former has voice work from the actors, while the latter has a bunch of heavy-handed product placement ('Drop me off at the Pizza Hut!') and a soundtrack made up entirely of The Offspring and late-period Bad Religion.
posted by box at 1:58 PM on June 8, 2009

Response by poster: Hi all,

Just saying a big thank you to all you posters for ideas - here's an update:

wip3out was a no brainer - I played it on the PSX, I now feel like I'm 19[ish] again;
Spiderman2 was on sale pre-rental at £2 in a place next to my office - utterly awesome!
Katamari - quite difficult to get hold of relatively cheaply in the UK, so this is so far my only "proper" purchase [I was hoping on cheap on ebay and PlayTrade, etc];
Jak & Daxter is incoming...

Thanks again all, good to see so many PS2 fans still about - I had these notions of being sneered at for not going the PS3 route for cutting edge gaming. But if truth be told, I'm easily pleased and the PS2 has been one fantastic purchase. I used Fatfingers to pick one up for £20.

Thanks again!

posted by n3rt at 10:20 PM on June 8, 2009

I had these notions of being sneered at for not going the PS3 route for cutting edge gaming

This generation is nothing to write home about.

If you haven't become accustomed to playing on this gen, then the graphics on the later PS2 games are quite excellent. Furthermore, the number of high quality games is much higher. Most of what they're selling for the PS3 and 360 are just absolute shite.

The production costs for high def gaming are so high that the studios shitcan any creative ideas in preference of formulaic pap. And especially on the PS3, since it's really a beast to program, the level of polish and professionalism is way down from the previous generation.

You've done well with your PS2. And your purchase of Spider-Man 2.
posted by Netzapper at 12:01 AM on June 9, 2009

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