that’s where its success lies. Having become an integral part of every
living room, PS2 is responsible for so many treasured memories. For me
it’s the Pro Evolution Soccer 2 tourneys and Burnout 2
Crash Junction high score battles I had with my housemates at uni. Then there’s the 2am single-player sessions on Kingdom Hearts (pictured), the unforgettable weekend I spent completing Ico and the elation
at getting all the Gold awards in GT3’s license tests. Every gamer has a fond memory of something they played on PS2.
With the install base closing in on 100 million, the simple fact was PS2 could not be dismissed despite
technological advances in newer consoles, so it became the base standard for pretty much
every game made outside Nintendo and Microsoft’s first-party studios.
exclusives for rival machines like Resident Evil 4 ended up being ported
to PS2 (surviving almost completely intact, might I add), and even
So what if the graphics were a little less crisp? In standard def it doesn't really matter. And it's tantamount to PS2's capabilities that HD re-releases of its best games still look excellent, namely Okami, God of War and Metal Gear Solid.
Back when PS2 was still Sony's lead platform, if you wanted something a bit more deluxe, you
could buy an Xbox. But there was no need to, not really. Even some of Xbox’s
most visually impressive titles like TOCA Race Driver 2 and Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions were ported to PS2, with TOCA even
retaining its brilliant online play. These ports were graphically
inferior, yes. But PS2 was always there ready to have a go.
by the time the next-gen machines came round, it got a bit embarrassing
as the likes of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames got ported (abysmally), leaving PS2
suddenly staring at its previously devoted userbase disappearing off into the
distance with thier new loves, many with Xbox 360s in the passenger seat.
years of the PS2 may well have seen it become everything it set out
not to be, as it lost its vultures and became a dumping ground for
cheap, licensed kiddy-fodder. But that's understandable. It's a business product, after all. And one that sold one heck of a lot of units. Over 155 million at the last count. I can't even imagine that many PS2s.
The first evolution of PlayStation may not
have delivered on all of Sony's wild promises, but it most certainly delivered on its potential. It's annoying that modern TVs still make PS2 games look dreadful
because it's not fair that so many people will grow up thinking its
games always looked bad.
superb catalog, uncluttered feature set, massive third-party support, flawless controller and the phenomenal cultural
impact it's had, I don't dwell on its current, awkward 'too-old-to-be-current, too-new-to-be-retro' dilemma. It sits there in my mind in a little spotlight, next to a
label I cannot justifiably change, which says, simply: ‘Best video game console’.
Want further proof? Check out our list of the Best PS2 games of all time.