A reader celebrates the 20th anniversary of the PlayStation 2 by naming some of his favourite games, from TimeSplitters 2 to Deus Ex.
It’s hard to believe that the PlayStation 2 is now 20 years old, but it was indeed released all the way back in the same year that Bob the Builder had the biggest selling single and the Mission: Impossible series was still only on its second movie.
Of course, Sony’s second console had a lot to live up to following the incredible success of the original PlayStation, but while it may not have changed gaming in the same way, it was home to some fantastic titles during its lifespan.
Here are six of the very best…
Beyond Good & Evil
Beyond Good & Evil puts players in the role of a photojournalist named Jade as she sets out to discover the truth behind an alien threat known as the DomZ, as well as the Alpha Section who are supposedly charged with protecting the population.
Comparisons can certainly be made to Zelda titles of the era, with the main game world, which itself offers plenty of entertaining side-quests, providing access to dungeon-like areas containing an inventive mix of combat, exploration, and stealth sections. The story itself is well told and the characters, particularly Jade, remain some of the most well rounded in gaming. All these years later fans are still eagerly anticipating a sequel, and if you’ve ever experienced this game’s charms you’ll know why.
The original TimeSplitters game was a decent launch title for the PlayStation 2, but this sequel improved upon virtually aspect of its predecessor.
The original’s addictive multiplayer of course remained, with modes varying from your standard deathmatches to variants on capture the flag, and every game could be fully customised allowing the player to choose the available weapons, number of kills required, time limits, etc.
Up to four players could take part via split-screen or system link and the excellent selection of maps offered a great level of variety from game to game. The single-player mode was also expanded to include a short but enjoyable story mode, as well as a number of entertaining challenges that could be played co-operatively.
Without doubt the best multiplayer shooter available on the PlayStation 2.
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
15 years after the original, Ubisoft released the revamped Prince of Persia and it managed to maintain the charm of the 2D game whilst simultaneously creating something truly unique.
Having accidentally unleashed the sands of time, an evil force that transforms the population into demons, the prince sets out on an epic quest to set things right. With arguably the most fluid and flawless control scheme on the PlayStation 2, it quickly becomes second nature to throw the prince around the beautiful environments avoiding traps and enemies as you go.
Add to this the clever mechanic that allows players to rewind time, and an entertaining relationship between the two main characters, and you have a truly great game that not even the sequels could live up to.
Shadow Of The Colossus
It’s not easy to explain what makes Shadow Of The Colossus such a fantastic experience, and this really is one of those games that needs to be played to be fully appreciated.
Much like its predecessor (Ico) a minimalist approach has been taken to create an almost overwhelming atmosphere of calm isolation. The only break from this isolation is the colossi themselves, and with only a short introduction hinting at the reason for this undertaking, the game essentially boils down to 16 boss battles. With no enemies in between these battles Shadow Of The Colossus was always going to live or die by the quality of these encounters, and thankfully every one is truly awe inspiring. Not only are the all absolutely epic in scale, but each also provides a unique puzzle to solve and overcome.
Shadow Of The Colossus is a masterpiece, and as close as gaming can come to an art form.
With terrorists openly killing thousands, as well as drugs, disease, and pollution being widespread the world’s economies are on the verge of total collapse (can you even imagine such a thing in real life…?). A shadowy organisation bent on world domination begins to emerge and no one but you believe they exist.
A port from the PC original, Deus Ex is usually labelled as a first person shooter but it is so much more than that. One of the biggest factors that separates it from other first person shooters is the ability to improve and customise your character as the game progresses, and the way in which you upgrade your character has a huge impact on how the game plays.
Depending on your upgrades and the mission at hand you may go in all guns blazing, to take the stealth approach or even talk your way through. And even now, in 2020, few games allow the player such freedom to play exactly how they wish.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Just released from prison, Tommy Vercetti is unfortunately set up during a drug deal, and left with no money or merchandise (and everyone wanting him dead); he realises his only chance is to take over Vice City himself.
Grand Theft Auto 3 may have been the first to take the open world game into 3D and I’m sure many would have plumped for San Andreas as their favourite, but for me Vice City remains the pinnacle of this series. The city itself, based on Miami, is more vibrant and interesting than any other in the GTA series, allowing for hugely diverse missions involving motorbikes, boats, helicopters, and even planes.
Unlike the subsequent outings in the series entertainment, rather than realism, seems to have been the main concern when devising these missions, and as the game progresses your impact on the city can really be felt, leading to a fantastic finale set within your mansion.
On top of this you have the superb 1980s soundtrack, featuring a mix of hilarious talk and music stations that really add to the sense that your inhabiting a living, breathing world.
By reader drlowdon
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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