With one of the most jam-packed libraries of any video game console, it would be almost impossible to narrow the PlayStation 2 down to say, a couple dozen standouts. But you crazy bastards did it! After millions of votes, Dorkly readers have selected the 25 greatest games to ever grace the PS2. Mad that ICO didn't make the cut? Absolutely baffled at the amount of heartless trolls that didn't vote for Katamari Damacy? Well, you probably hate democracy. But hey, free speech means you are welcome to degrade others for their terrible choices in the comments below.
Part of the PS2's platforming trifecta, Ratchet and Clank focused on weaponry over Sly Cooper's stealth and Jak's surly soul patch. And boy, those weapons. The series has featured stuff like magnet shooters, tornado launchers, plasma whips, black hole guns, duck transmogrifiers, floating death robots, nine-barrel murder machines and most importantly, a disco ball that makes all of your enemies boogie down. In that way, playing Ratchet and Clank is like being the evil mayor in a dark mirror of Footloose, where your ironclad laws command every citizen to dance for your pleasure. And that's all you can really ask of any game.
There have been a half-dozen Soul Calibur games, but somehow the second game (third if you count Soul Edge) remains the clear fan favorite. Maybe it hit just at the right time, across the PS2, Xbox and GameCube. Maybe it was the last game to truly improve on the series before it started to get stale. Maybe it was because you were the dude that refused to play anyone but Kilik and would just spam those stupid stick moves over and over again you can't even get in close how does that even work this game is bullshit I'm never playing another one.
The PS2 version in particular featured a time-traveling Heihachi from the Tekken series, whose bold choice of using his fists in a weapon-based fighter either made him the ballsiest or the dumbest fighter in the game. We're going with the former, since Spawn on the Xbox had the latter locked down pretty hard.
Most of the Ratchet games have some sort of naughty wordplay going on in their titles that clashes with their E-rated gameplay. It's tough to choose between them. Up Your Arsenal had the arse pun in its favor, but Going Commando is really solid and Football in the Groin had a football in the groin. The later titles like Full Frontal Assault and A Crack in Time had their charm, but much like the games themselves, something was lost in the jump to the next generation. Are we... growing out of dick jokes? If that's the case, Insomniac Games is seriously boned.
Remember the panic that set in when this game came out? Parents, teachers and clueless local news anchors all looked at the title, saw that it was from the makers of Grand Theft Auto and promptly lost their shit. As it turns out, Bully was less about being a violent asshole with low self-esteem and more about fighting those kinds of pricks -- it was almost sweet, and definitely the most good-natured game Rockstar has ever made. That, and its detailed open world, cheeky sense of humor and stellar soundtrack make you wonder why they haven't made another one yet. Bully: The College Years, anyone?
In more than one way, Final Fantasy XII lives between the shadows of the beloved FFX and the maligned FFXIII. Though it still has the same kind of sweeping story the series is known for XII's seamless battle system actually puts it in line with FFXI, the first Final Fantasy MMORPG. You could still swap out characters on the fly, FFX-style, but there were no random encounters. It came at an odd time in the PS2's lifecycle (after the Xbox 360 had released but before the PlayStation 3 and Wii), so maybe that's partly why it doesn't hold up in conversation as long as its double-digit counterparts. If you take some time with it though, you'll find an interesting "sleeper" Final Fantasy that's only slightly worse than Jak 3.