Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the Playstation 2 in Japan. It pains me to say that today's kids may not even know what a PS2 is. They may never have a chance to sit down and enjoy the games that built my childhood. Sony has sold over 155 million consoles and over 3,800 games have been released for the PS2. There were a few things I always remembered about the PS2; there were a fuck ton of games to play from, the iconic start screen that would blow your TV speakers out, and always losing my memory cards. I could've sworn at one point I had over 100 games on a shelf in my basement. There were a bunch of genres to pick from such as: NCAA, Madden, Tony Hawk, Simpson's, GTA, Star Wars, and a bunch more.
Today I decided to list my favorite games that were released from the PS2. (This list is in no particular order)
1. NCAA Football 07
Quite possibly my favorite sports game I've ever played (right behind NFL Blitz on the N64). This is the GOAT NCAA game for the PS2 just by having Reggie Bush as the cover player. There was no better feeling than coming home from school and hearing the iconic line "EA Sports, it's in the game." My personal favorite part of the game was the Campus Legend mode. You create your player and go through recruitment drills based on your position and depending on how you did you pick where you want to go to school. I usually create a QB and fly through all the drills raking up my recruitment points and choose to play at Texas or Florida back when they were powerhouses. Campus Legend gave you the full student-athlete experience by choosing your major, taking exams, and maintaining a passing GPA. I've spent countless hours balling on this game and still continue to play today.
2. Star Wars Battlefront 1 and 2
You ask anyone who has ever owned a PS2 and 9/10 of them would say they played one of these games. These two games were best third-person shooter games released on the PS2. SB2 is by far the better game than the SB1 but both have incredible gameplay for being PS2 games. I remember playing on classic maps like Cloud City, Jabba's Palace, and Mos Eisley Cantina. The best part about SB2 is when they brought dog fighting into Space. Those were my favorite maps to play on cause I would do is fly around and shoot down enemy fighters. Another great edition in SB2 was that you were finally able to play as a Jedi with a lightsaber. it was so satisfying to run around with Obi-Wan, Mace Windu, Luke Skywalker and even Darth Vader; and slice through droids and storm troopers and barely take damage. Two iconic games that built my childhood.
3. The Tony Hawk Franchise
Another game franchise that every kid in the 2000s played. I didn't know a damn thing about skateboarding but I still played these games daily as a kid. Pro Skater, American Wasteland, and Underground were the games I owned back in the day. My favorite part of these games was the create-a-park mode, I would make a bunch of half pipe ramps and skate around until I got board. Still a favorite game franchise of mine just for how popular it was growing up.
4. Spongebob Battle For Bikini Bottom
Without a doubt my favorite game I've played of all time. I was a huge Spongebob fan growing up so naturally I fell in love with this game as a kid. I remember pulling all nighters trying to destroy robots and save the Bikini Bottom. It took me so long to beat the game that eventually the disc was so scratched up that the console couldn't read it. I was never able to beat the game until I bought another copy when I was in high school. I still occasionally toss this game into the PS2 and play for an hour or two.