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Our Classic Reviews For The Best PS2 Games You Can Play On PS4

by Kyle Hilliard on Dec 08, 2015 at 11:35 AM

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Sony recently announced, and released, a handful of PlayStation 2 classics on PlayStation 4. These games are upgraded to run at 1080p, feature Trophy support, and take advantage of many PlayStation 4 functions like Share Play, Remote Play, Live Broadcast, and others. In honor of Sony's new commitment to classic PlayStation 2 games, we decided to take a look at the ones that have released, the ones that are coming, and one that is rumored to be on the way, and see where they land on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list. We also looked back our original reviews for these games to offer our scores and excerpts.

Dark Cloud
Review score: 9
“Completists will want to obtain every item and weapon. Action fans will drool over the combat. Sim junkies will admire the town building. A rarity for RPGs, Dark Cloud truly does have a little something for everyone.” – Andrew Reiner

Where the Dark Cloud series landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: 22

Grand Theft Auto III
Review score: 9.5
“Although many will make comparisons with Driver, GTA III shatters the standards set by its predecessors. The only thing that prevents GTA III from winning Game Informer’s highest honors are some moderate pop-up issues, and a slightly cantankerous targeting system. Point blank – you need to buy this game.” – Matt Helgeson

Where the Grand Theft Auto series landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: 1

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Review score: 10
“Vice City rekindles all the amazement I felt from GTA III. Where its precursor blew you away with innovation and size, Vice City heaps on familiarity and kitsch. You’ll rock out to Loverboy and Twisted Sister, talk with Dennis Hopper and Lawrence Taylor – all while wearing penny loafers and headbands. This is far more than GTA III with a makeover. Rockstar North couldn’t be more ambitious, adding an unfathomable list of new features in such a short time. My favorites include smashing into guys on motorcycles, evading cops on four flat tires, buying property, and scanning rooftops in a helicopter – but there is so much more! The targeting problem is fixed, too. Suspect wall collision and minor camera issues can’t stop the fact that Vice City is insanely deep, witty, open-ended, musical, star-studded, violent, addictive, and all-around the most entertaining product money can buy. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to top this.” – Justin Leeper

Where the Grand Theft Auto series landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: 1

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Review score: 10
“San Andreas breaks the video game mold and emerges as something far greater. This is more than a game. This is entertainment at its best.” – Andrew Reiner

Where the Grand Theft Auto series landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: 1

Rogue Galaxy
Review score: 9
“Apart from being a far-reaching story spanning multiple worlds (including one exclusively included for the U.S. release), this game wraps you up in its characters through a variety of development systems that will keep you enthralled. There are Hunter licenses to earn, weapons you can combine for supreme damage, and even a factory where you follow blueprints and create an assembly line to manufacture items. When you consider that you don’t even discover the factory until you’re over 10 hours in, it’s clear that Rogue Galaxy is a deep, well-crafted adventure that will keep you playing until the end. This game offers a wealth of RPG riches and shows a developer exceeding its previous efforts and working at the height of its powers.”  – Matt Kato

Where Rogue Galaxy landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

The Mark of Kri
Review score: 9
“The Mark of Kri is a visceral celebration of action and all that is good about hacking the bejesus out of someone – in style. I suggest you get this game and enjoy it. But whatever you do, don’t surround the man with an axe in his hand.” – Matt Kato

Where Mark of Kri landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

Twisted Metal: Black
Review score: 9.5
“I could go on and on about Twisted Metal: Black, as it is everything I could have wanted on the PS2 and a little bit more. From the expansive, interactive environments to the delightfully evil characters, Black is a car combat lover’s dream and nightmare come true.” – Andy McNamara

Where Twisted Metal: Black landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

War of the Monsters
Review score: 6
“For most gamers, War of the Monsters will come as a bit of a disappointment, hardly worth anything more than a rental. However, if you really love Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters Melee, you’ll probably enjoy this title’s ambition – just don’t expect it to be more enjoyable.” – Chet Barber

Where War of the Monsters landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

Coming soon – The King of Fighters 2000
Review score: 7.75
"King of Fighters has everything we expect.: command menus, lots and lots of characters, silky control, and combos galore. If you've been craving a good old-school fighter, this will scratch that itch. It won't inspire anyone to forsake Virtua Fighter or Tekken, but for fans who don't already own this on Dreamcast, it's a boon." – Adam Biessener

Where The King of Fighters 2000 landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

Coming soon – PaRappa the Rapper 2
Review score: 7.5
"Like the career of Kool Moe Dee, PaRappa's unwillingness to evolve his style may be his downfall. Maybe I'm a little greedy, but as Busta Rhymes said, 'Gimme some more.'" – Justin Leeper

Where PaRappa the Rapper 2 landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

RumoredMax Payne
Review score: 7.75 (PS2) 9 (Xbox)
Max Payne is not officially confirmed for re-release, but all signs seem to point to its inclusion. Upon release, we had differing opinions about the game, highlighting the Xbox version as the better console version of the game. Below you will find a snippet from our PlayStation 2 review.
“If you have no choice but to play Max Payne on PS2, you will never notice or be bothered by any of the things that are troubling me. But if you have a choice, please try to experience Max as it was meant to to be enjoyed – on the PC or, dare I say, the Xbox.” – Andy McNamara

Where Max Payne landed on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games of all time list: n/a

Many of the games on our top 25 PlayStation 2 games list have already received high-definition upgrades and Trophy support on PlayStation 3, making their transition to PlayStation 4 unlikely, but certainly not impossible. Here's that list:

  • Shadow of the Colossus & Ico
  • Okami
  • Prince of Persia series
  • Jak & Daxter series
  • Kingdom Hearts series
  • Devil May Cry 1 & 3
  • Ratchet & Clank series
  • Final Fantasy X
  • God of War series
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Metal Gear Solid series

And finally here is the list from our top 25 that have not received an upgrade or appeared in HD, which we we would like to see brought over to PlayStation 4, with a few caveat notes.

Disgaea series - The series has been consistent with new entries, but it would be nice to revisit the originals.
Fatal Frame series - The last two Fatal Frame entries have been weak. It would be nice for those unfamiliar to see what made the originals so great.
Need for Speed: Underground - Many say its the best in the series, and the new releases have been subpar.
SSX 3 - Same complaints as Need For Speed. The latest was just okay, so we'd appreciate the chance to look back.
Hot Shots Golf series - Similar sentiment to Disgaea. We're excited about a new one, but we'd like to revisit the old ones for nostalgia.
Onimusha series - Seems like this is already going to be part of an HD collection. Putting this out on PlayStation 4 would be nearly as good.
Burnout Revenge - The best Burnout, and it's been too long since we had a chance to rip up the streets.
Madden NFL series - Considering how iterative the series is, it's unlikely that an old Madden game would ever appear on PlayStation 4, but nostalgia would make them fun to revisit.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 - Arguably the greatest Tony Hawk, it would be nice to revisit the classic after a disappointing fifth entry and the HD remake of the original from 2012.
Gran Turismo series - Much like Madden, it's a very iterative series that prides itself on its graphics, so there isn't much reason to revisit the classics, but we wouldn't say no.
Guitar Hero series - Rock Band has always been great about looking backwards and bringing content forward, but Guitar Hero was not, either due to technology or licensing. For that reason, it would be fun to play Freebird while the alien descends again with updated graphics.
Final Fantasy XII - Perhaps not being popular enough to merit a standalone HD remake like Final Fantasy X means it's the perfect for a PlayStation 4 port.

To read our top 25 PlayStation Games of all time list, head here.