Recommended Games for a New PS2 Owner

A friend of mine recently bought a PS2 and he’s trying to figure out which games in the enormous backlog to check out. He has access to a couple of good stores selling new and used and he’s never played either PS 1 or PS 2.

His tastes in PC games tends to action and RPGs. For settings he likes dark fantasy and cyberpunk. Some of his all time favorite PC games: Diablo I and II, Syndicate (the original not the crappy sequel), MechWarrior (multiple titles), Baldur’s Gate I and II, FallOut I and II, Planescape Torment.

So far on the PS2 hes got Devil May Cry I, which he really likes and Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance, which he has yet to try.

Since I am also considering getting a PS 2, I am wondering how he should tackle the backlog? Which games are must-plays? Based on his tastes, what are some recommended titles?



Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Ratchet and Crank
Sly Cooper

Can’t go wrong with any of em.

Based on his taste (diablo, bg) I’d have to say Dark Cloud 2.

I’m playing Summoner 2 right now and enjoying it quite a bit. It’s like the whacky RPG lovechild of Jack Kirby and Gene Wolfe.

If he likes DMC and the like, I would say Onimusha I and II as well.

Dark Cloud II is a must.

If he likes Mechwarrior, I’d recommend he check out the Armored Core games. He might like Gungriffon Blaze which he can snag for a measly $10 at EB. He might also dig Zone of the Enders 2: The 2nd Runner. It’ s loaded with great action gameplay and features ultra-fast robot fighting. For action games, Shinobi is great but can be a hard game. It’s got a dark fantasy feel to it with lots of great action. Ty’s Onimusha choices are good ones too. There’s also Metal Gear Solid 2, which has great action gaming surrounded by lots of movies. MGS2 is a Greatest Hits title too and very worth the $20. Contra: Shattered Soldier is old school action and well worth playing if he’s familiar with the series at all.

Dark Cloud 2, Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, Xenosaga, Final Fantasy X…if he likes RPGs, he really should look into all of these. Though it’s short, I highly recommend Gungrave for action gaming. It’s wall to wall blasting done in anime style by the creator of Trigun. Beyond the Grave is the most badass character I’ve seen in a video game in some time.

Finally, some things that are critically acclaimed which don’t fit your criteria but should be played include Rez, ICO, Maximo, Klonoa 2 and Winning Eleven 6.


War of the Monsters – great two-player fun

Gran Turismo 3 – another good one for multiplayer and novice-friendly when non-gaming friends come over. And only $20 new.

Keeping in mind that I love most of the PC games you said your friend likes, although I’ll admit that I greatly enjoyed Syndicate’s sequel. (Because things blow up so nicely in it):

I’d heartily second the choices for GTA:Vice City (but only if he doesn’t get the PC version which has better controls), Rachet & Clank, Final Fantasy X and Dark Cloud 2. They’re all great.

I’d also like to bitterly argue with Tyjenks about Onimusha’s 1 & 2 - basically, they play like Devil May Cry, except that they’re not nearly as fun because of the crappy controls.

On that note, you should avoid Devil May Cry 2. Basically, it plays like Devil May Cry, except that it’s not nearly as fun because 99% of the intangibles that made DMC1 so great were ripped out. None of the main characters or enemies have personality, the auto-targetting system drives me insane, despite that fact it’s so incredibly easy that there’s no point to it… MEH.

Rez is a very nifty game, but it’s really more of a rental than a buy at first. I honestly think you need to rent it first to see if the great art design is enough to overcome the incredibly short length of the thing, because in the few stores where I’ve seen it for sale, it goes for $50. And that’s a huge price for so short a game, even though that short ride is extremely fun.

If you’re at all interested in fighting games, then I’d say get Virtua Fighter 4 if you want something incredibly challenging yet rewarding. If you’d rather keep things more simplistic and party-rocking then go for Guilty Gear X2, Tekken 4 or Mortal Kombat V.

My personal favorite all-time PS2 game (at least in terms of how many hours I’ve put into playing it) that no one else is showing love for here is Dynasty Warriors 3, combined with the Xtreme Legends expansion pack. It’s a game based on the classic novel Romance Of The Three Kingdoms, and it actually plays enough like Diablo on a certain level that I can easily recommend it to your friend, if not to everyone who ever has or will play video games. It’s a combination of: old-school beatemup’s like Final Fight, action RPGs like Diablo, huge levels with tons of enemies a la Serious Sam, and it tosses in rock-techno tunes that’ll inspire you to bang your head and do air-guitar riffs while you’re thrashing hordes of enemies. Seriously, it’s very addictive for many of the reasons I was so hooked by Diablo’s 1 & 2 - simple but fun action, combined with the idea that you can always find better weapons, etc than what you already have if you replay the hardest battles on the hardest difficulty setting. But be sure you get both DW3 & the XL pack - they’re good by themselves, but they’re meant to be played together.

If you can’t find both of those for less than $50, you might be better off with Dynasty Warriors 4. I think DW4 is really cool, but it just doesn’t ROCK as hard. The soundtrack is weaker, the cutscenes are weaker, there’s no Japanese voice acting (DW3’s Japanese VA is awesome, but both games’ English VA is pretty awful), the weapons get ‘levelled up’ instead of being randomly generated and they only have one bonus to them (attack power), unlike DW3 where they could get a variety of bonuses… it’s just not quite as fun. The only things DW4 does better are A: graphics, and B: it tells the RoTK story better than DW3 does.

Don’t listen to this masochist, he likes slow boring games that make you want to chew your fingers off one at a time. At least with Onimusha it would help to distract you from the mental anguish imposed by the worst control scheme of any current generation game. Just because it only moderately doesn’t work for Resident Evil doesn’t mean you should just go throwing that crap into other games, Capcom.

Must we bitterly argue?

I have not played Devil May Cry, so I cannot compare the two. I usually do not play games of that genre, but finished Onimusha in a weekend. Which I never, I repeat, never do. It was not terribly long, but damn it was a great hacking romp. Your complaint about the controls may be valid.

Since I do avoid these games, I have no frame of reference for the control scheme. I got used to it just fine. According to the arguementative curst, your mileage may vary. :wink:

Don’t bother with Dynasty Warriors 3 and XL. Just go straight to Dynasty Warriors 4.

Don’t listen to this Mario fanatic, Onimusha 2 is one of the best games currently available for the PS2. The control scheme works extremely well for this game despite the Resident Evil setup. The first one is basically very good as well but has an evil timed puzzle that might make you throw the PS2 out of the window.

I agree!

Also would add Dark Cloud 2 and Tekken Tag and some of the other cheap 20 dollar games like GT3 and Jak and Dakster.

Personally I was dissapointed with FFX… it was so boring… I liked FFVII and FFVIII much better than FFIX and FFX. And FFX blitzball, oye vey that was dumb!


Don’t listen to the…um…guy who thinks that short games that are really fun shouldn’t be made just because they might not sell well. OK, this is getting ridiculous. Meanwhile, Onimusha 1 and 2 still suck. Dynasty Warriors 4 is much better. At least in that game you only have to fight the bad guys, not the game itself.

Also, if nobody else has mentioned it, Dynasty Tactics is a really cool turn based strategy/puzzle game.

If you have a used place to buy PS2 games, I’d also reccomend you look for Ring of Red… pretty cool strategy game… even for a console game!



I’m just saying, after months and months of playing DW3, DW4 didn’t feel like anything more than a glorified expansion pack. When it comes to actual changes, it screws up as many things as it improves. The Gamespot review of DW4 echoes my sentiments pretty closely, except that since I thought DW3 was worthy of a 9.0, I’d give DW4 something around that area instead of just a 7.1.

DW4 is still grrrrrrreat, make no mistake. But it didn’t lessen my love for DW3 in the slightest, which I think is rather unfortunate.

What on earth is THIS?

psX? 120gb HD? DVDrw? It IS prettier, a little xbox-ish though.

See here…