I just got a Playstation 2, and need game recommendations.
June 24, 2005 9:41 PM   Subscribe

I just got a Playstation 2, and need game recommendations.

I'm looking for PS2 exclusives, as I already have an Xbox and Gamecube. I got the PS2 so that I could play Katamari Damancy, but it's pretty silly to have a console just for one game, yes?

I'm not interested in racing or sports games, or any game that requires special equipment beyond the basic controllers.

Here's a list of games from the other consoles that I like:
Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker
Metroid Prime
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time and Warrior Within
Otogi and Otogi 2
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Sphinx and Cursed Mummy
Knights of the Old Republic 1 & 2
Jade Empire.

posted by luneray to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (35 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Katamari Damacy, Ico, any of the Ratchet and Clank games, God Of War, Onimusha, Shinobi, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid 3.

There are a lot of niche games on the PS2 as well.
posted by lucien at 9:53 PM on June 24, 2005

I did the same thing (bought a PS2 solely so I could play Katamari Damacy). I wish I could recommend other games, but it's still the only one I've played!

Right now my boyfriend is big on some Star Wars game, the name of which escapes me. It's mission-based. Perhaps someone else can tell us what it's called.
posted by sanitycheck at 10:03 PM on June 24, 2005

The game that I have kept my PS2 for - best game is Rez. This game has a bit of a cult following.

It is rare, and you can't get it for less than $90. The ones above are great games as well. Grand Theft Auto and Gran Turismo are some of the best games currently for the system as well.
posted by gnash at 10:11 PM on June 24, 2005

All three of the Ratchet and Clank games have eaten weeks of my life. They are the best cartoony explosion filled puzzly games that I've really enjoyed.
posted by tumble at 10:19 PM on June 24, 2005

Since you liked Fable and Zelda, I'd recommend Dark Cloud 2 (not the first one). Sorta a Zelda like game that's got tons of stuff to do like golf, fishing, picture taking and town building, in addition to the main quest. Time travelling too.

There are also tons of PS2 RPGs, Final Fantasy X and Shadow Hearts Covenant are a couple of the best.

Metal Gear Solid 3 is probably my favourite game for the system, but it has a real archaic control scheme, if you didn't care for Splinter Cell you might not care for it.
posted by bobo123 at 10:21 PM on June 24, 2005

If you like offbeat type games like Katamari (its sequel is coming out very soon!), you might like Space Channel 5 (quite fun, campy, great soundtrack) and Mister Mosquito (which places you, as the mosquito, into a sort of Japanese family sitcom where you have to suck their blood)

Also have to second the recommendation for the Grand Theft Auto games. GTA3 and Vice City can be had for cheap now, and San Andreas is just amazing in its size and diversity of gameplay.

The Star Wars title sounds like the new "Revenge of the Sith" game, which is indeed cool.
posted by First Post at 10:22 PM on June 24, 2005

Bear in mind that you can play PS1 games on it, too. You might like stuff like the PaRappa series; it's a rhythm game with catchy music and cute artwork. PaRappa 1 was for the PS1, its spinoff Um Jammer Lammy is also available on the PS1, and PaRappa 2 is a PS2 title (not as good as the first).

I really like Taiko Drum Master, even though it breaks your rule of no special controllers. The controller's included in the price (around $50, which is the price of a brand new game anyway).

I'd second Rez, though it's expensive. I also like Space Channel 5 Special Edition, Amplitude and Frequency. Oh, and Mister Mosquito.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:23 PM on June 24, 2005

The Fatal Frame games. Creeeeeeeepy.
posted by oflinkey at 10:42 PM on June 24, 2005

Speaking as someone who also dislikes racing and sports games, "Wipeout Fusion" is futuristic hover-car racing game, and it's actually my favourite PS2 game. It's not like a racing sim, more arcadey, and well, just really good fun.

More to the point, it's old enough that you can get it for $5-7 bucks on ebay including shipping :-)
posted by -harlequin- at 10:43 PM on June 24, 2005

I like the Syphon Filter series and the Ace Combat series. Both are good, mindless but challenging fun.
posted by 517 at 12:06 AM on June 25, 2005

i've liked jak & daxter; jak II is quite a bit more difficult, but then jak III gets easier

katamari owned me for about a week followed by bilateral tendinitis. i'm going to have some vioxx on hand, heart be damned, for the sequel

ditto on that space channel 5 recommendation as well...the cool thing about the game is that as you build your sense of rhythm and have to repeat sections, it seems that the changes in the number of mistakes you make, and where you make the mistakes, will change the dance routines the characters do...sometimes i just want to watch it...and i dream one day of walking into a club doing that one-arm-swing thing they do...
posted by troybob at 12:12 AM on June 25, 2005

Ha. We also got the PS2 for Katamari Damacy.

If you like slightly different games, you might just also get hooked on Amplitude, and perhaps it's (not quite as good) precursor, Frequency. If you do get hooked, god help you. Oh look it's already been mentioned. (those three games take up 95% of our PS2 time, which is limited these days, but still)
posted by dreamsign at 12:44 AM on June 25, 2005

I'll second lucien's recommendation of Ico. It's one of the most artfully done, thoroughly well-conceived games I've ever played. It's not terribly long, but it is an exhilirating experience. Despite being well-reviewed, you might not have heard of it because it wasn't a huge hit (nor was it intended as such, I don't think). I bet you can easily find it used -- in fact, a quick search turns it up for $17 at GameStop, but I have a feeling you could find it for cheaper at your local place.

It's worth every penny. Buy it, play it. You'll thank me.
posted by TPIRman at 1:08 AM on June 25, 2005

Dynasty Warriors. It is shit-hot.

Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, or San Andreas. Especially Vice City and San Andreas. OK, so it's not like the stuff on your list, but I've found it appeals to even the last people in the world who I would've thought would like it. So rent it, give it a shot.
posted by schroedinger at 1:21 AM on June 25, 2005

Ico, Tekken 5.
posted by knave at 1:58 AM on June 25, 2005

Oh, and Rygar!! Awesome game.
posted by knave at 1:59 AM on June 25, 2005

I second (actually quadruplicate) Ico. Short but sweet.

Final Fantasy X, X-2, XII. But, that is advice from a fan, so hedge your bets.

Kill Zone. If you enjoy FPSes and horrible glitches, this one's for you.
posted by Colloquial Collision at 4:23 AM on June 25, 2005

You might like to look into Disgaea. Be warned: it eats time.

We've only just got Haunting Ground, but so far it's fun and creepy. It feels like a scary Ico.

Psychonauts [link to Xbox review] is a fun platformer, but the Xbox version is probably smoother. Similarly, Resident Evil 4 is one of my favourite games of this console generation, but if you have a Gamecube, get it on that (assuming you haven't already); the Cube version has been out for months so is probably cheap, and the PS2 version is likely to be rather graphically cut down when it's finally released.

The Silent Hill series is excellent, but, like Fatal Frame, scares the crap out of me.

Viewtiful Joe is a hardcore scrolling fighter that I can only play on easy (although my girlfriend plays it on ultra-hard and is leet).

I second (or third, or whatever) Amplitude and Frequency.

Also, Super Monkey Ball's out, the Metal Slug games are awesome 2D shooters (avoid MS4), and although Space Channel Five Part Two is utterly awesome, it's missing a ton of graphical effects from the Dreamcast original. Beyond Good and Evil is excellent, but the Xbox and Gamecube versions run more smoothly.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:04 AM on June 25, 2005

Air Blade. My #1 favorite. Its essentialy the hover-board from Back to the Future.

Sadly, the only PS2 I really like a lot. You can do the whole thing, eventually. Meanwhile, its a blast.
posted by Goofyy at 5:58 AM on June 25, 2005

Ico, definitely.

God of War is amazing good as well.

Check out metacritic for reviews, as well.
posted by papercake at 6:10 AM on June 25, 2005

Strategy RPGs--try the Nippon Ichi games (La Pucelle Tactics; Disgaea; Phantom Brave). Lots and lots of level-grinding; lots of stat-tweaking and upgrading weapons. Out of the three, Disgaea is best (and the most addictive game I've played since Diablo II). Expect to spend 60 hours minimum on each one.

RPGs--the best RPG I've played on the PS2 is Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. If you ignore all of my other advice, listen to this. Even if you hate RPGs, you'll like this one (I think). SMT:N took me about 70 hours to finish, and except for an hour that I spent acquiring an extremely difficult to find but optional item, every minute of that 70 hours was bliss.

Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a close second for me, but I wouldn't play it without playing the original Shadow Hearts first (as there are a number of plot elements in SH:C that won't make much sense otherwise). Say 20-30 hours for Shadow Hearts, and 40-50 for Covenant.

Final Fantasy X is easy, but it's good fun (I remember that taking about 40-50 hours). I suggest staying away from X-2, though (on the other hand, it can easily be beaten in about 20-25 hours).

Puzzle games: check out Bombastic--it's the only PS2 puzzle game I've played that induces the trance-like state that's something like playing Tetris at very high levels.

Shooters: Gradius V is a must-own (if you can find it--it went out of print sometime back, but new copies can still be had). It comes the closest I've seen this generation to capturing the feeling of classic 2D arcade shooting. R-Type Final is okay, but it's not as pure and perfect as Gradius V--if you're into the R-Type series, you're better off playing the PS1 version of R-Type Delta. (Note: if you are playing a PS1 game, you have to buy a PS1 memory card to save your file.)

Flight: Ace Combat 4. It's easy, but difficulty isn't the point--the point is to make you feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

Dancing: you don't want to buy a special controller, I know, but I got a PS2 so that I could play Dance Dance Revolution. I recommend DDR Max 2 out of the three games that are readily available for PS2--after you get tired of that, go to DDR Extreme, then DDR Max. A starter dance pad can be had for $20, and the DDR games run about $30 each--go the extra mile, I say.
posted by Prospero at 6:34 AM on June 25, 2005

I second the God of War game. My boyfriend was hooked on that game until he beat it. It is pretty violent, though.
posted by geeky at 7:20 AM on June 25, 2005

posted by graventy at 7:32 AM on June 25, 2005

I asked the almost the same question a year ago and got this advice.
posted by TedW at 8:28 AM on June 25, 2005

I bought a PS2 soley so that I could play Metal Gear Solid 3. However, I suggest that you buy all three, and play them in release order.

These are, by far, the most artistic and beautifully-designed games I've ever played. Hideo Kojima is my lord and master.

I was going to recommend Katamari Damacy, but you're already on that one.

Kingdom Hearts is pretty good, if you can get around the Disney-themed game world. It was some sort of weird collaboration between Squaresoft and Disney Interactive. And while it's a lot of fun to play, if you hate Disney it's awfully hard to get into it.

I like the Devil May Cry series, although 3 is so fucking hard that I can't get past the fourth or fifth mission. But, it's a lot of fun to watch Dante flip around and shoot stuff.

Grand Theft Auto 3 (all "locations") is pretty fun. I haven't ever really played it through, so I have no idea what the story is like past the 20th-or-so mission. But, it's a lot of fun to blow shit up, slap hookers, and kill random citizens. I suggest the later ones (Vice City and San Andreas), since there're more features and classes of vehicle.

The various Tom Clancy games are often pretty good. I liked Ghost Recon a lot. The Splinter Cells are pretty decent, although they pale in comparison to their X-Box precursors. If you have an X-Box, get them on that instead. I only have a PS2, though, so...

Spiderman 2 is a lot of fun. It's the first game to ever actually capture the feeling of BEING Spiderman. It's awesome!

But, it's also really, really, really short and not very hard at all. I think I beat it in two afternoons. And, after beating it, there's nothing really left to do other than explore Manhattan and hunt for the zillion or so little tokens spread throughout. Since it's only a feels-like-with-major-landmarks copy of Manhattan, and not a one-for-one virtual copy, exploring stops being fun after a few hours. Basically, if you can find it for a few bucks in the Used Bin (under $20), go for it, but don't pay retail.
posted by Netzapper at 9:04 AM on June 25, 2005

Thanks for your tips, everyone.

Glad to know I'm not the only one who got a PS2 just for Katamari Damancy.
posted by luneray at 9:33 AM on June 25, 2005

I don't have any suggestions, but now I'm inspired to go out and buy a system and armload of games TODAY. I must experience this Katamari Damancy. My boyfriend is telling me about some game we simply must get that involves being a drunk beaver or muskrat that wakes up in the woods and has to get home. If I can piggyback and ask if this sounds familiar to anyone and they could give me a title to look for, that would be swell. It could be he's just messing with me.
posted by krix at 10:19 AM on June 25, 2005

God of War (bloooody but great)
Prince of Persia Sandsof Time
Prince of P. Warrior Within
Destroy All Humans (just came out, is hysterical)
Bards Tale (excellent RPG farce)
GTA III/Vice City (but, I hated GTA:SA to obscene)
Baldurs Gate (different than the PC version...)
posted by jaded at 11:07 AM on June 25, 2005

Definitely Sly I and II (especially Sly II). I can't believe no one has recommended it. I would have never touched it at my local Blockbuster had I not been tipped off, as it looks like it is aimed for a 10 year old or so audience.

But it is beautifully made, in terms of playability, fun factor, and graphics. Highly addictive - I'm real picky and this has been my favorite all time game for the PS2 (After Winning Eleven 8, because I am a soccer fan.) Sly III is set to come out in Nov. of this year.
posted by parma at 11:13 AM on June 25, 2005

krix: That would be the Conker series, but I don't think there's a PS2 version. The new one's for Xbox.
posted by squidlarkin at 11:14 AM on June 25, 2005

The entire Silent Hill series, except SH4. Good, creepy fun. SH4 has gameplay flaws that take away the fun of it. Not enough of anything you need like ammo, clunky inventory system where you have to keep returning to a chest in your apartment to unload some of it, ghosts you can't kill permanently…it just sucks.
posted by evariste at 11:29 AM on June 25, 2005

thank you, squidlarkin
posted by krix at 11:44 AM on June 25, 2005

The best game I've played, ever:
Red Faction

Other good ones:
Deus Ex: The Conspiracy
XIII (13)
posted by vjz at 12:08 PM on June 25, 2005

MegoSteve's comment reminds me to point out that a certain mutual friend of mine and luneray's (she knows who I mean) possesses PaRappa the Rapper, Um Jammer Lammy, and probably any other similar games of that ilk, and would probably be happy to lend them. I have watched him play them and I think they are the kind of thing luneray would enjoy. There was another one around the same time called VibRibbon that was released only in Japan, never USA, which was really non-traditional and looked really awesome.
posted by matildaben at 12:46 PM on June 25, 2005

Ico and Burnout 3, two very different games worth owning.
posted by waxpancake at 11:04 PM on June 25, 2005

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