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Unseen versions of Crash Bandicoot, God of War, and Final Fantasy feature in huge collection of preserved PS2 games

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run
(Image credit: Activision)

Video game preservation group The Hidden Palace has released more than 700 rarely-seen prototypes and early builds of PS2 games.

As spotted by VGC (opens in new tab), The Hidden Palace recently held a lengthy Twitch stream as part of what it referred to as 'Project Deluge (opens in new tab)'. During the six-hour broadcast, it showed off pre-release builds of a number of games, including Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex, God of War 2, and Final Fantasy X-2.

In its announcement (opens in new tab) of Project Deluge, the preservation team says that "these aging items were miraculously rescued from being destroyed, thrown away, or sold through the herculean efforts of one person." That unnamed collector backed all of the content up "single-handedly," and also allowed The Hidden Palace to preserve and share their collection "with no strings attached."

The current number of games included in the project stands at 752, making for more than 850GB of preserved software that The Hidden Palace says it's spent nearly a year verifying that all of the content differs from that included in each game's final retail build, using both emulators and preserved PS2 consoles. 

Despite all that work, the team says that this release is only the first part of Project Deluge, and that there are even more discs in the collection which haven't been read yet. With that in mind, The Hidden Palace says that it'll be revisiting the collection soon, resulting in an even bigger release than originally expected.

It's an impressive feat, but how does the collection stack up against our list of the best PS2 games?

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.