Its Quantum Leap-style plot facilitating a campaign that changes wonderfully realised play-styles as often as it changes time-zones, TS2 is moody, stealth infiltration one moment, B-movie sci-fi carnage or wild west jailbreaks the next. And with challenge modes bigger and more creative than many entire games, a fully-fledged level editor, and endless unlockable characters and options - long-before the online era that would really have let such things shine - TimeSplitters 2 is a game ironically far ahead of its time, and thus one that really deserves a new platform in the here and now.
Extreme G 3
'Hurtle' is a word that's used too easily these days. Sure, you hurtle down the straight at Doha in MotoGP 15, and you hurtle past the low-hanging trees in Driveclub. But do you break the sound barrier in either game? No, you do not. Extreme G 3 sees you hurtling around suspended raceways so fast, you actually beat the speed of your own soundwaves at which point it goes BOOM and then everything goes quiet.
It's got Wipeout-esque combat between bikes. A superb, thumping soundtrack (Hey, DJ, gimme a phat beeeeat!), Blade Runner-esque cityscapes and so much speed make this a wonderful experience. And as you can see from that emulated pic up there, it looks gorgeous when it's done in HD.
Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy
Honestly, you wait for one brain-bending third-person shooter on PS2, and two turn up at once. Psi-Ops and Second Sight both pursue similar themes - your character has the ability to shoot bad dudes with a gun, and to use his brain to hurl objects at them too. While Second Sight focuses more on stealth, Psi-Ops pushes action harder.
The telekinesis physics in Psi-Ops still hold up, as does the shooting, which is why it's on this list. Sure, Nick Scryers (what a name!) powers will feel stripped-back by modern standards, but the ability to remote view enemies or steal their life-force (brain-power them to death) is still super-satisfying. And while it doesn't deal with themes of the human mind as smartly as the likes of Black Ops 3, the plot provides enough stand-out moments to warrant a replay too.
Dark Cloud 2 / Dark Chronicle
The PS2 was a great console for discovering quirky Japanese RPGs, and few others shined quite like Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicle in Europe and Japan). And while it's easy to find traditional JRPG experiences on newer consoles, nothing quite like Dark Cloud 2's blend on dungeon-diving and town-building has appeared since.
You play as both Max and Monica who are trying to stop the evil Emperor Griffin from destroying the present by altering the past. It mostly involves killing bad things with a wrench, but you also have to restore towns to their former glory by placing shops and houses in different locations to change the outcome of events in the future. It adds a completely unexpected and brilliant layer to an already great game.
God Hand is tough but fair, both aesthetically and mechanically. The toughness: it looks like a vintage tough guy PlayStation 2 game, a Capcom joint mimicking the chunky combat highs of Devil May Cry but with an 80s western anime sheen. Plus every character you meet, whether it's a morbidly obese man in disco clothes or a luchador ape, will beat the ever loving crap out of you in seconds. The fairness: everything you see, do, or hear is absolutely hilarious and main character Gene is one of the most delightful fighters to control in all of gaming.
The greatest pleasure in Clover's misunderstood brawler is how you pull off Gene's absurd moves. Rather than having a series of light and heavy attacks set in stone, all combat moves are customisable. Punches, kicks, and context sensitive attacks (think slamming a foes head in a nearby door jam) can all be assigned to the PS2 controllers buttons, and you can layout attacks based on personal preference in style. All those attacks are augmented by limited use attacks assigned to the God Reel, a spinning menu that pops up mid combo that lets you pick whatever absurd martial arts feat you think is best for punching a dude with a mohawk into space. If all that sounds a little complex, it is. God Hands complexity coupled with its difficulty made it hard to approach despite its surreal humour. Anyone who did soldier through discovered one of director Shinji Mikamis best games.
Vastly overlooked in the stead of the Resident Evils and Silent Hills of the world, the adaptation of John Carpenter's horror masterpiece is a far cleverer game than many give it credit for. With limited resources, an emotionally reactive fire-team sensitive to your actions and choices, paranoia, and everyone liable to burst into a tentacle-thrashing parody of anatomy at any given moment, The Thing is a tense, oppressive experience that will have you second-guessing every move you make.
You're down on fire-power, but your wing-man is on the verge of mutiny. Do you risk giving him the one loaded gun, and hope that that improves his mood at the expense of your own combat abilities? Will he defend you admirably and turn things around, or turn into a monster 30 seconds later and leave you resolutely screwed? These are the kinds of things you need to think about in The Thing. These are the kinds of things you need to think about all the time. Let's get this thing on the PS4 and remind people what real survival is all about.