Remember the PlayStation 2? Those halcyon days of your youth, flitted away on the streets of San Andreas with CJ? They’re coming back, only this time they will exist on Sony’s PlayStation 4 console.
Sony confirmed as much to Wired on Thursday evening: “We are working on utilising PS2 emulation technology to bring PS2 games forward to the current generation.”
In English, that means you’ll be able to play PlayStation 2 games on your PlayStation 4. Huzzah!
But hey, maybe it’s been a while since you last thought of the PlayStation 2. What games even came out on the PlayStation 2? We’ve put together a refresher of some of the best games from the PlayStation 2 era that we’d love to see on the PlayStation 4.
This is the no-brainer, right? The 'Grand Theft Auto' series came into its own on the PlayStation 2 with the release of 'Grand Theft Auto 3' in October 2001, and it blossomed into a blockbuster behemoth by the time 'San Andreas' arrived in 2004.
Sure, 'Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty' is a divisive entry in the long-running, beloved 'Metal Gear' series, but it's long due for a re-issue. Being able to play it, and its more positively-received sequel, 'Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater,' would be a great complement to this year's magnum opus (and finale), 'Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.'
In 'Kingdom Hearts,' Disney fans finally found a game aimed right at their hearts. With another year (if not more) until the next major entry in the series arrives, pushing the originals to the PlayStation 4 through PlayStation 2 emulation makes a lot of sense.
The glow of perfection and distinction that once surrounded the 'Gran Turismo' series no longer exists, but memories of the series' peak -- 'Gran Turismo 3' -- persist. If nothing else, this would serve as a great reminder of what we all used to love about the series that set a new standard for simulation-style racing.
Even among video games of the late '90s/early 2000s, 'Katamari Damacy' stands out as especially strange and delightful. The game was released for just $US20 -- a rare discount even to this day, but more so when there were no digital storefronts -- because Sony was so unsure of how well it would do in the United States. Turns out that Americans love rolling up cities into balls just as much as people in Japan!
You could buy the HD remakes of 'Final Fantasy X' and 'X-2,' but wouldn't you rather play the original version as it was intended? There's a certain charm to seeing every polygon in the beast you're about to fight, no?
Like several other games on this list, you could re-buy the HD versions of the original 'God of War' games, and play them with fancier graphics, but why not jump in to the original versions and delight in their impressive graphics (for the early 2000's)?
Forgotten by many, the 'Sly Cooper' franchise is a secretly excellent third-person platforming game full of adorable, memorable characters and interesting gameplay. Tech Insider reporter Alex Heath excitedly referred to the series as 'my s---' when he heard the news of PS2 games coming to PS4 this morning. If that doesn't convince you, nothing will!
There was a point there for a few years where Rockstar Games -- developer of the 'Grand Theft Auto' series -- was making games that weren't 'Grand Theft Auto.' Classics like 'Bully,' risks like 'Manhunt,' and bizarre asides like 'Rockstar Table Tennis' were fit in between 'Grand Theft Auto' entries. It's this era that produced 'The Warriors,' a game based on the amazing cult-classic film. It's never been re-released, and it desperately deserves one.
Maybe you played 'Rez' when it was re-released digitall as 'Rez HD?' For those of you who didn't, and who didn't play it originally, 'Rez' is a great fit for adding to the PS4. It's a game that holds up amazingly well in the modern era of games, and it's influences are seen everywhere. If nothing else, the soundtrack is amazing.
Both 'Shadow of the Colossus' and 'Ico' got beautifully re-mastered on the PlayStation 3, but the original game holds up stunningly well. For the many millions of people who still haven't played these two games, the PlayStation 4 is yet another great opportunity.
Though the PlayStation 2 was flooded with great Japanese role-playing games, 'Persona 4' stood out as an especially unique, excellent entry in the waning genre. That it came right at the end of the PlayStation 2's life didn't help -- many played it for the first time on portable Sony handhelds in a re-release. Yet, its graphics hold up incredibly well against modern games and tens of millions of players on the PS4 have yet to check it out, let alone hear of it.
The 'Dark Cloud' series has a small, extremely vocal group of supporters who continue to lament the series being lost to the winds of time. Two great games in the series launched on the PlayStation 2, and that was it. Why not bring them back for even more folks to check out this time?
Yes, unbelievably, the 'Spider-Man 2' game adaptation of the film is regarded by many as one of the best open-world games ever made. You could swing all over a surprisingly life-filled version of New York City using Tobey Maguire's version of Spidey. This would be especially interesting to see brought back considering it's such a product of its time, but it'd certainly please lots of folks.
Never heard of the 'Way of the Samurai' franchise, right? It's set in Feudal Japan, and it involves a ton of swordfighting between samurais. Shockingly, very few games actually enable serious swordfighting, and 'Way of the Samurai' sets unique gameplay in a time in history rarely explored by video games.
'Okami' is another victim of coming out late in the PlayStation 2's life cycle. It had gorgeous graphics, gameplay similar to the 'Legend of Zelda' series, and an adorable dog -- what's not to like? Though it's seen some re-releases before, jumping back into the original game would do wonders for reminding us all how beautiful PlayStation 2 games could look.
The 'Burnout' series once challenged 'Need for Speed' and 'Forza Horizon' for pole position among arcade-style racing games, but that competition has all but dissolved in the past decade. Now all we have to remember 'Burnout' is old discs and
'Odin Sphere' is another quirky Japanese game that only found a small audience on the PlayStation 2 in the waning years of the console's popularity. It's a gorgeous game with hand-drawn artwork and unique game mechanics, and it's only found success in re-releases. Here's another shot!
Both 'Ratchet & Clank' and 'Jak & Daxter' hit their stride on the PlayStation 2. 3D platforming games (think: 'Super Mario 64') largely went the way of the dodo following the PlayStation 2 generation of game consoles, but these were some of the best the genre had to offer before being relegated to the dustbin of history.
Yes, 'Jak & Daxter' is largely a ripoff of 'Ratchet & Clank,' but it's a really good ripoff. It's colourful and interesting and funny and silly -- all the things you want from your late '90s 3D platforming games. The only thing it's missing is a cameo from the lead singer of Smash Mouth.
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