this controller, it vibrates?
August 17, 2010 12:25 PM   Subscribe

What are some neat things I can do with a PlayStation 2?

Are there any cool hacks for a PS2?

A relative just gave me a PlayStation 2 console, and it came with a few games, one controller, and the necessary cables for power and audio/video. I don't have a memory card for it, so playing the one cool game (Call of Duty) means I have to start from the beginning every time.

I played a few hours of PlayStation 3 at her house on an enormous plasma screen, so a PS2 on my 19" CRT is a little underwhelming.

So what cool things, aside from playing the 4 games that came with the thing, can I do?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints to Technology (23 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Buy Shadow of the Colossus and a memory card. Then play it. Also it's fine as a DVD player, there's also an easy way to get Linux on it if you ever wanted to dabble with that sort of thing.
posted by edbles at 12:34 PM on August 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

Yeah, I came in here to say Shadow of the Colossus.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:35 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's a cheap adapter that turns the controllers into a USB joystick.

Also: Godhand, although it'll require a memory card. You can get a used one for like seven dollars.
posted by griphus at 12:38 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

na na, na na na na na na na, katamari damacy...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:42 PM on August 17, 2010 [9 favorites]

Nthing Shadow of the Colossus.

If you have any interest in japanese culture.. or just fabulously awesome and different looking games and story telling..I'd also suggest buying a memory card and Okami.
posted by royalsong at 12:45 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also if you do decide to purchase used old games for it, I've found the most reliable way is the ebay/amazon method with trusted sellers. Anyone with good feedback (100 reviews and a rating sin the 95% and up) will help you out if the game arrives damaged or won't play initially and most of them test it before they send it out.
posted by edbles at 12:46 PM on August 17, 2010

We ♥ Katamari!! Buy it and play it. It is amazing fun even if you don't have a memory card.
posted by bewilderbeast at 12:52 PM on August 17, 2010 [3 favorites]

You could turn it into a guitar amp
posted by I am the Walrus at 12:54 PM on August 17, 2010

Response by poster: I've been interested in Shadow of the Colossus ever since I saw Reign Over Me. Okami looks pretty interesting.

I'll score a cheap memory card somewhere, since playing games without it is fairly impossible.

I have some roller coaster game, Sims 2, Madden (the disc looks flawless but won't play), Call of Duty (WWII, not sure which exact title), and a Pac Man game. The CoD game would be fun, but after play CoD Modern Warfare 2 last weekend, it's a little frustrating. Also, it's incredibly dark (as in it's hard to see bad guys who aren't standing in the sunlight, this is probably due to me playing it on a very old television).

It's good to know that I can install Linux on my PS2, but I don't really have a need for it.

That USB adapter is a great find; if I ever get around to installing that damn power supply in my desktop I'll use it there.

I had a PS1 back in the day, and games I really enjoyed for it were Tenchu, Gran Tourismo, Tomb Raider, and Tony Hawk.

Keep the suggestions coming. I have a kid who's almost five, so any games she might appreciate would be good to know as well.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 12:57 PM on August 17, 2010

Nthing Katamari Damacy, especially with a 5-year old around. She'll pick it up in no time flat, really easy controls, and I'd bet she'll enjoy it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:06 PM on August 17, 2010

You should give us an idea of your interests and disinclinations w/r/t video gaming.
posted by griphus at 1:09 PM on August 17, 2010

Okami and Shadow of the Colossus are in my top five games. Of all time. Play them!
ICO (same developer as Shadow of the Colossus) is equally good.

For a young kid, I'd suggest The Dog Island, which has a PS2 version. She might need some help reading the dialogue, but I think it'd be a fun thing for a kid and adult to play together in a storybook fashion. It's clearly aimed at younger audiences, but doesn't patronize.
posted by vienaragis at 1:11 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you're into toy-guitar games, the PS2 versions are available pretty cheap on the secondhand market.

And I'm a little surprised that nobody has mentioned the Grand Theft Auto games yet.
posted by box at 1:22 PM on August 17, 2010

You know it plays your old ps1 faves too right?
posted by Iteki at 1:23 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I use my PS2 for DDR- it's a good workout, and the catchy techno songs are a guilty pleasure. DDR isn't exactly graphic-driven- in fact, I enjoy the some of the lower quality art. Since you can play PS1 games on the PS2, there's about a billion different DDR games available for cheap.
posted by Secretariat at 1:28 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can also do LAN play with the PS2. But, you'll need more PS2s. And TVs. And a Network Adaptor. And controllers.

Then, see if you can find Crash Bandicoot Tag Team Racing. I think I probably played a few hundred hours of this with my sister. It's multiplayer up to 16 people, over 8 PS2s.
posted by fontophilic at 2:13 PM on August 17, 2010

Run homebrew with Free McBoot
posted by wongcorgi at 2:41 PM on August 17, 2010

nthing Shadow of the Colossus, and Ico. seconding Crash Bandicoot Tag Team Racing.

Gran Turismo 4, Time Splitters, Thrillville, Crazy Taxi. Ratchet and Clank. Sly Cooper Thievious Raccoonus (2 and 3 as well).

We're not huge on sports, but our favorites are the EA NHL Hockey series.

These games all get played in my house, even with a PS3.

Maybe Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy as well.

Memory cards should be $10 used at GameStop, or less than half from relatives or yard sales.
posted by Giggilituffin at 3:02 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've actually been going through a recent-retro period myself, which included finally playing Metal Gear Solid 2. Highly recommended, if you enjoy post-modern gaming.
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 3:09 PM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ditto Okami & Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2.

Judging by wider commentary on the game critic blogosphere, Kingdom Hearts series maybe takes a bit of a peculiar mindset to really like, but I loved 'em.

If you like soccer games at all, any Pro Evolution Soccer / Winning Eleven starting from PES3/WE7 onwards was a stellar soccer experience in its day. May not hold up to present day standards of polish, but a ton of my gaming hours went into that series. You only need one of them though, the successive editions have minor differences but are essentially roster updates.
posted by juv3nal at 4:03 PM on August 17, 2010

Ha! I just started replaying Final Fantasy X...

Nthing both Katamari Damacy games and Okami.

Also, if you like platformer/action-type-games, any Ratchet & Clank (there are three for the PS2, all very fun & funny) and Psychonauts!!! (which you should be able to pick up used for around $15, if not less).
posted by smirkette at 9:23 PM on August 17, 2010

Um Jammer Lammy/Parappa the Rapper is a great PS1 game, so it'll play too. Ditto No One Can Stop Mr. Domino and Incredible Crisis. If you don't mind baby games, I also enjoyed the first Spyro the Dragon.

Rez. Rule of Rose and Chulip (both by the same company); Chulip has incredibly low production value as far as I can tell, but whoo boy is it one bizarro game. Worth it just for the weirdness, and if you have a certain freakish over the top immature sense of humor like my husband you may find you love it. Nthing Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Katamari. Psychonauts. Persona and Devil Summoner. Again, if you don't mind well done but babyish feeling games, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Sly Cooper, and The Adventures of Cookie and Cream come to mind.
posted by ifjuly at 8:13 AM on August 18, 2010

Buy yer used games at a pawn shop - no shipping involved.
posted by jkaczor at 9:40 PM on August 24, 2010

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