If you’ve been much of a console gamer over the last 10 years, odds are you probably owned a PlayStation 2 at some point. Initially regarded as a too-expensive curiosity (and later as underpowered next to its Nintendo- and Microsoft-created competition), the PS2 quickly became the gold standard of console gaming, as well as the best-selling console of all time. Nearly all of the last generation’s best games appeared on PS2 first, if not exclusively, and it introduced millions of us to the exciting world of DVDs.
Next week, as many of you may already be aware, marks the 10-year anniversary of the PS2’s North American release on Oct. 26, 2000. So to celebrate a bit before the event, we’re recognizing the 10 greatest games of each year in a weeklong series of list articles, beginning today with the PS2’s release in 2000, and ending with the PS3’s rise to prominence in 2007.
(And because the PS2’s 2000 run lasted just over two months, we’re rolling today’s entry together with 2001so as not to have to write about its entire launch-window library.)