PlayStation 2 at 20: The Emotion Engine endures

Celebrating arguably the best system ever

Surely a front-runner for Best Console Ever, the Sony PlayStation 2 turns 20 today. This was the first console I bought for myself, saving up my pennies from a paper round until I could finally afford that glorious blue box. I got my PS2 with Zone of the Enders (bought because I liked the game, not because of the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo) and PS1 titles Final Fantasy IX and Mega Man Legends 2. I feel as though this fact should award me a decent amount of gamer cred. My next game was Klonoa 2 at its full £39.99 price. I’ve always been like this. Going from Spectrum to Master System to PS2 made me this way. Retro forever. 

But enough about my stupid, boring life. The bloody PS2, eh? What a marvellous thing. It’s so weird to think back on the breadth of experiences it had to offer, the sheer number of truly fantastic, diverse, interesting games. I’m staggered when I consider the fact that the same system I played Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 on also hosted the entire Jak series, five superb Ratchet games, Gitaroo Man and the first two God of War games – the original God of War with a demo so powerful it broke my original model console.

A PlayStation 2 game. Yesterday.

No matter your genre of choice, you were spoiled. Sports? Pro Evo, mate. RPGs? Maybe a little bit of Final Fantasy XII, or maybe Shadow Hearts if you’re nasty. Shooters? Killzone. Black. Time-(“Flipping” -Ed)-Splitters-(“Flaming” -Ed)-2. How about fighting games? Yeah, pretty much every King of Fighters up until XI, as well as Soulcalibur 2 (and 3!), three Mortal Kombats, and Hyper Street Fighter 2. Cult classics? Of course! Take your pick from Steambot Chronicles, Mad Maestro, Gregory Horror Show or a whole host of others. 

I could list amazing PS2 games all day. Not a hint of exaggeration. Regardless of where you stood in the console wars, the PS2 was clearly a standout with an absolutely phenomenal library that delivered, delivered, delivered. Long may it reign. Watch this space for a PS2-themed All Together Then. PlayStation 2 Classic Mini please.