Image courtesy: Givemesport
Well, it is yet another day to go down the memory lane. This time around, we will make a stop in the 2000s and remember our good old teenage days when we used to play the Sony PlayStation 2 console (famously known as PS2). An old classic that made me skip meals every day!
Where do we start? From the beginning of course, how and when did the PlayStation 2 game console come into existence? When did the mighty Sony PS2 come out? We will answer all these questions. First things first.
The history of the PlayStation 2 and why it matters
Twenty years ago, PS2 came knocking. Being the first console with the ability to play games online, it immediately became the gaming console of the 2000s. Let's take a look at the journey of the PS2.
The Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) was a gaming console developed by Sony. It was first released in March 2000 in Japan, and later in the same year, it did hit the North American, European, and Australian markets. PS2 was the successor of the original PlayStation and was the second Sony gaming consoles line of products.
PS2 was a 6th Gen console that competed on the same level as the SEGA Dreamcast, Microsoft's Xbox, and the Nintendo's GameCube.
Understanding the Background of Sony PlayStation 2Luckily, unlike other consoles, the PS2 offered reverse compatibility of its signature DualShock controller and the games. The classic PlayStation games could easily be played on the PS2.
The Sony PlayStation 2 was the world's best-selling Video game console; it sold more than 155 million units globally with more than 3,800 PS2 game titles. More than 1.5 billion copies of the game titles have been sold over the years.
In 2004, Sony developed a smaller and lighter version of the console called the Slimline models.
image courtesy: catawiki
The Sudden death of Sony PlayStation 2Even after the launch of the Sony PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 2 remained popular until the seventh generation and was sold until 2013, when Sony eventually revealed that It was discontinued after 12 years of development. This marked one of the longest lifetimes of a video console of the millennium.
Besides its announcement, new console games continued until the end of 2013; the games included Final Fantasy XI: Japan's Adoulin Seeker's, North America's FIFA 13, and Europe's Pro Evolution 2014. The console support and repair services in Japan came to an end on 7th September 2018.
PlayStation 2: The Inside Story.
The videogame console immediately became the biggest rival of Sega's Dreamcast, which was released as the 6th generation console. The Dreamcast is remembered for the sale of over 500,000 units in North America at the time of the release of the PS2 game console.
Immediately after Dreamcast was launched in North America, around September 1999, Sony Unveiled the PlayStation 2 at the Tokyo Game Show. Sony showed a full-length demonstration of the then yet to be released games for the PlayStation 2, which included: Gran Turismo 2000 and Tekken Tag Tournament, which exposed the graphics and strength of the console.
The PlayStation 2 was later launched in March of the following year in Japan, Europe, and North America. Over 250-Million-dollar worth of consoles, games and accessories were sold on the first day compared to the 97 million dollars collected at the launch of its counterpart, the Dreamcast.
After its release, it became difficult to find PS2 units in retail shops, which caused a manufacturing time lapse.
Sega was financially and competitively threatened by the success of Sony's PlayStation 2. This led to Sega to discontinue Dreamcast by early 2001 but continued to support the console through 2001. The exit of Sega Dreamcast left PlayStation to dominate as the only 6th generation console before getting new competitors: Nintendo's Cube and Microsoft's Xbox. Gamers found the three consoles to be a close match in the performance and quality of games.
However, the Xbox stood out as having the strongest hardware, Nintendo's GameCube was the cheapest at the time. Around the same time, Nintendo modified its strategy to accommodate third-party developers.
While PlayStation technically had the lowest specs of the three, it was still the leading because of its installed base and a strong developer community built around it. Additionally, the PS2 had an in-built DVD player, whereas the Xbox needed an adapter. The Nintendo GameCube did not have a DVD player completely.
This is why PlayStation 2 (PS2) was the Most Amazing game console in the 2000sNo doubt, PS2 reigned the gaming industry at the turn of the millennium. PlayStation 2 had a lasting impression on both pro and armature gamers. It was a game that gets you addicted to it from the first day you touch the gamepads.
Sony had a way of making remarkable first impressions; the blue light on the PS2 logo is one thing that made me fall in love with the console. Sony invested time and money on the design specifics. Not only did they make the outside look attractive, but the inside was also equally designed for power and resilience. The rugged structure was meant to guarantee the longevity of the console. Sony's PlayStation 2 was undeniably the best gaming console that Sony offered to the gaming society at the turn of the millennium.
The console was clean and easy to use. The aesthetics extended to the device menu; the minimalistic and ambient presentation of the menus made it easy to use as compared to other games that had a stiff learning curve. The Graphic User Interface (GUI) of PS2 was less busy if compared to its PS3 and PS4 successors.
However, the unique design of the PS2 goes beyond the excellent style was not just about the colour or logo of the console. Gamers praised the PS 2 for its slim form factor. Gamers wished to add the device to their home entertainment collection because it could fit in without customizing your gaming environment. You could easily fit the PS2 console on the small space under your TV.
All this smart design would have been for nothing if the PlayStation 2 had no games for it. The console was complete with over 4,500 titles in its library. And since it was backwards compatible with the original classic PlayStation's library, it meant it had a ton more games than an average gaming console at the time.
Some of my favourite games at the time included: Gran Turismo 4, ATV Off-road Fury, Castlevania: Lament of innocence, Final Fantasy, Persona, Zone of Elders, Tekken, Soul Calibur, Madden, FIFA, Rock Band, and Burnout 3, among others. I will list my top 10 games later on in the article.
The fact that the PlayStation 2 could play DVDs was a plus for gamers of the 2000s. The device has stood the test of time. My console is still working perfectly, even though I had to modify the motherboard to allow me to load more games using a USB stick.
Some PS2 moments you just had to Experience Yourself!Have you ever been hit by the Red screen of death? It felt like an orb being pulled into a black hole.
Like many PS2 players, I was surprised when I first noticed the dreaded red screen of death. At the time, I was used to the Microsoft's Windows XP blue screen of death!
My brother used to call it Sony's portrayal of Hell. During the PlayStation 2 introduction, you will be treated to a top-down view of the PlayStation galaxy. This is evident by the all-round dark blue interstellar view. In the intro, you could something being pulled down towards the system. This one to me seemed like the galaxy, which provides the gravitation force that pulls the objects in if it gets close.
One of the orbs in the setting menu is seen being pulled down. This was a whole new universe for me. When the game started, I felt like I was being pulled into a magical world of mystery and fun galore.
It is hard to explain writing, but it was the best feeling as a teenager back in the early to mid-2000s. Simply put, to me, the PS2 intro screen was my entry into our space. But when things don't go so well, you could be hit by the red screen of death once in a while during your mystical journey.
Let's look at the games that defined our youth back in the 2000s. Here are some PS2 games that never missed in my collection:
Countdown: My top 10 best PlayStation 2 games of the 2000s.
The PS2 had an insane library of games. These are a few that I considered my personal best. Your favourite game may be missing on this list; you can post in the comments below the PS2 games you consider the best.
The following games took a bigger chunk of my time as a teenager back in the 2000s:
10. The ATV Off-road Fury
This was an exclusive PS2 game published in 2001. It is the game that led me into the world of ATV racing, such a wonderful experience to explore the world even thought It had limitations. I just loved to ride my ATV up and down hills, trains, and to the edge of the world to see my character blown up and thrust back into the game.
9. Burnout 3: Takedown
Speeding, trading paint, firmly tucking to the contours of the approaching lane, Burnout was even better when the crash mode was combined with the takedowns. It was just great!
8. Guitar Hero
But I quickly got addicted to the game. It had a simple but compelling guitar mechanics coupled with the "Star Power" capabilities that boosted your points and got the people going.
I downloaded the cheat codes at one point in school and memorized the "Unlock Everything" cheat. I guess it was Yellow Orange Blue Orange Yellow. There was something amazing about playing Symphony of Destruction as the Grim Ripper by Megadeth, and I didn't get that feeling when playing Guitar hero Aerosmith.
7. The Star Wars: Battlefront 2
This was by the most loved of all the games by my classmates. Splitscreen mode allowed my brother and I to join hands in Galactic Conquest, a mode in which two opposing groups were in warship throughout the galaxy and were in full control.
Through winning battles, we could gain credits to pay units, field upgrades, and ships while positioning our units strategically close to valuable planets. Another common mode of assault on Mos Eisley gave us control over all the playable hero characters in the game to battle the Jedi or Sith on the planet of the desert.
6. The Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
My console came together with Jak 2, but my father didn't let me play it as the game was rated "T." I was underage at the time. One day, in the video game section of Blockbuster, I stumbled at the first game of the sequence. Since this one was rated "E," my father got if for me, and I was carried on to a world of precursor orbs, power cells, a hoverbike, and various "Eco" powers.
5. Final Fantasy 12
Many Final Fantasy Fans say that FF10 was the best pick for the PS2 era or even a spin-off from 10 to 12. FF12 indeed lacks the flawless design that people were accustomed to in the Final Fantasy stories; it was more of a political plot with a modern battle system that was based on programmable Gambits that marked the beginning of roleplays. Twenty years later, the game still remains unique.
4. Star Wars: The Force unleased
It featured Starkiller, who had unlimited power. I could pick up stormtroopers with the Force, throw them away with my lightsaber, force lightning, and I could strike everyone in my path.
This storyline was unlike anything I have ever played before at the time it was launched. I loved collecting lightsaber crystals and customize the outfit of my characters.
3. Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars 2
Lego Star Wars was a classic game in the 2000s. It was a foundation on which many video game consoles were developed.
The game sports intuitive buttons, break and build mechanism, ability to switch characters. I used to play this game with my young bother. I still do play once in a while. I loved the ability to create custom characters on PS2.
2. Beyond Good and Evil
A dreamy, European take on sci-fi that's more interested in giving you a camera than a gun, Beyond Good & Evil epitomized a new kind of action-adventure game. It was interested in places and people, delivering you to the anthropomorphized animal paradise of Hillys, where canals are your primary means of getting around, and the local mechanics are all rhinos. A soulful classic.
1. God of War
Long before Kratos was a moody dad with a heavy beard, he lived in these spry and witty slash-'em-ups that played brilliantly loose with the classical canon.
Anger powered the hero, but the games themselves were in love with Harryhausen gimickry and scale-bending excess. And they were dazzling
ConclusionThe list above can be endless. Please comment with your best PS2 game(s) of all time.