Did you know that the PlayStation 2, fondly known as the PS2, took the gaming world by storm, selling over 150 million units worldwide? As one of the most iconic gaming consoles in history, it’s no surprise that it boasted an incredible library of games that captured the hearts of millions.
In this article, we delve into the realm of nostalgia and celebrate the best-selling PlayStation 2 games of all time. From immersive adventures to pulse-pounding action, these games not only pushed the boundaries of technology but also left an indelible mark on the gaming industry.
Whether you’re a veteran PS2 enthusiast or a newcomer curious about the console’s legacy, this list is sure to bring back memories and showcase the ingenuity that defined the PlayStation 2 era.
Final Fantasy XII
Final Fantasy XII just couldn’t be missed as one of the leading releases in the franchise. The action will take you to Ivalice. Two different empires are stuck in a war, with a small kingdom struggling to survive in the fight.
The small kingdom gets swallowed in at some point and that’s when the action begins. Princess Ashe, Vaan the adventurer, and their unique crew will need to battle the occupying empire. The storyline is amazing and well-detailed, but the actual gameplay is what makes the difference.
Kingdom Hearts is a beloved video game series that combines the enchanting worlds of Disney with the epic storytelling of Final Fantasy. Developed by Square Enix, this innovative franchise has captured the hearts of millions of players worldwide. Since its debut, the series has achieved remarkable success, selling over 5.9 million units globally.
With its iconic characters like Sora, Donald Duck, and Goofy, players embark on a captivating journey filled with friendship, adventure, and the battle between light and darkness. The series boasts stunning visuals, immersive gameplay, and a deep and complex storyline that keeps players hooked.
When you think about it, such a fighting game wouldn’t really impress with a story or top-notch gameplay, but Tekken 5 has done a fairly good job. Released in 2005, it’s no surprise how it managed to sell more than six million copies. However, improvements from previous releases will tell you why.
Some features from Tekken 4 were removed, but that didn’t hurt the franchise. In fact, it made the game even smoother and faster. Furthermore, this was the first release in the series where players were allowed to customize their characters with extras. Plus, don’t forget about the seven new fighters.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Every Metal Gear Solid game out there has something unique and this release makes no exception either. The story goes around the Big Shell, a facility that was taken over by a squad that’s turned against the government. The president’s life is at risk, as well as the humanity’s safety.
As you try to fight this squad, you’ll be impressed by the graphics and the gameplay. Moreover, the deep attention to detail makes this game a standalone masterpiece. And then, get ready for countless plot twists, as allies and enemies keep changing throughout the game.
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III is the first game in the franchise showing everything from behind the character, rather than from above. It’s an excellent game allowing you to roam freely over Liberty City, which is split into three main areas. And just like you’ve imagined, there are lots of missions to complete too.
The action follows the main character after his girlfriend betrays him. He has to find revenge now and join a world of crime with countless opportunities. From drugs and crime to gang affiliations and corruption, you’ll be able to have a taste of everything in this world.
Final Fantasy X
Released in 2001, Final Fantasy X sold more than 8.5 million copies and still has an impressive fan base out there. It’s no surprise why. Although it’s shown in a third person point of view, like previous games, it also has a unique gameplay, mainly because of the top map perspective that’s missing.
You’re Tidus and you need to interact with numerous characters and objects to complete your missions. Everything is integrated there, meaning scaling is perfect. Battles kick in when you interact with a potential enemy and that’s when it all goes to a turn based fight.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
You can’t go wrong with this release. You navigate an open world, whether you choose to walk around or rob a vehicle. Vice City has two main islands and the best part about it is everything is incredibly realistic, as communities are based on real life characters.
For example, you’ll have biker gangs, but you’ll also interact with Haitians or perhaps Cubans. You’ll also notice a heavy influence from movies of those times, but especially Miami Vice and Scarface. The team took years to research the local areas for a realistic approach and did an impressive job.
Gran Turismo 4
Gran Turismo 4 was delayed for more than a year, so its official release was a hit and miss. It was going to be a hit or a massive disappointment. Luckily for the developer, it sold over 11.7 million copies, becoming one of the most successful PlayStation 2 games ever.
There are more than 720 cars to choose from, 80 different manufacturers, modern concepts, and classic cars. Also, you get to race over 51 different tracks, some of them being updated versions of tracks from previous releases. Asian releases came with extensive guides on the physics of racing too.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
The third release in the series quickly became a top seller. It’s not just one of the best PlayStation 2 games out there, but also one of the greatest video games ever. The concept is fairly simple, you need to complete all the races and championships, not to mention grabbing all the rewards.
Whenever you complete 25% of the game, you’ll get a new car that you wouldn’t be able to find otherwise. There are 19 tracks, some of them inspired from real life courses. The release also came with a few unlicensed Formula One vehicles.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
This release sold more than 17.3 million copies and it’s the best-selling PlayStation 2 game ever, way ahead of its competition. Despite being released about two decades ago, it’s still heavily played today and has a massive community for support, guides, and ideas.
The game is extremely realistic. Sure, you have the open world scenario, but much of the action is inspired by real life events from those times, not to mention people, landmarks, and gang wars that were constantly in the news. Sexual content and violence don’t miss either.
The PlayStation 2 has seen a remarkable lineup of games that have captured the hearts and minds of gamers worldwide. These top 10 best-selling titles have left an indelible mark on the gaming industry, showcasing the diverse range of genres and experiences available on the platform. With their enduring popularity and impressive sales figures, these titles continue to stand as classics in the gaming world, forever etched into the memories of PlayStation 2 enthusiasts.