The Most Graphic Intensive PS2 Games

The Most Graphic Intensive PS2 Games

The year was 2000 After its crushing success over its competitors with the PS1, Sony had all the gaming world’s attention, waiting for its next console. In March, the Playstation 2 was on the shelves, and soon it became what would be known as the best-selling console of all time, features exceptional PS2 games. Elaborating on reasons why the PS2 was the best of the best is enough to make it deserve a separate article. In this contribution, though, I will focus on one aspect of its design: its graphic capabilities. The PS2 was very developer-friendly. You see, creating a videogame can be very expensive when you want to excel on the graphic part. The PS2 allowed game creators to lower the looks and save a bit of money. This flexibility led to some of its games looking not so flashy as their counterparts. But this doesn’t mean the PS2 was not capable of blowing our minds, provided the game developers wanted to make the proper investment.

Top 10 PS2 Games That Will Make Your PS2 Sweat

At Retrolio Games, we like to help our customers to make informed decisions. So now we present to you a curated list of games we have seen to make our PS2 consoles work at their top capacity.

1. Killzone

Our first entry is a first-person shooting game (or FPS) developed by Guerrilla Games, the same guys behind Horizon Zero Dawn. Little did they know that Kill Zone would become such an established series of games, so their graphic realm efforts are praiseworthy. The game itself packs lots of action, and the multiplayer modes are a blast to play.

2. Gran Turismo 4

A Sony exclusive Saga, Gran Turismo is an icon of racing games. This installment of the series follows the tradition of being highly demanding of PS2 capabilities.  The level of detail in the vehicles, scenarios, and even spectators looking at the race was superb and way ahead of its time. The replay mode allowed me to see even more details. The textures and lighting effects, all of them without compromising the framerate, make this game a pleasing visual experience.

3. God of War 2

We all know Kratos and his bad temper, especially towards godly figures. After getting revenge against Ares and becoming the God of War, Kratos is again betrayed by Zeus and killed. Or does he? Well, as it turns out, he is saved from death and travels in time to get revenge from the king of the gods. Such an epic story filled with anger and violence could not be represented better at that time, as Santa Monica Studio pushed squeezed the PS2 graphic raw power.  A very fast-paced game, useful to blow off some steam!

4. Final Fantasy XII

I am not gonna lie, I did not follow the Final Fantasy series until pretty recently. When I saw this game being released, I remember thinking, “twelve already? that game idea must be amazing.” Now? I am so sad that I was not immersed in it earlier, especially with this episode being outstanding and groundbreaking in the graphic part. FFXII is a turn-based RPG, but this does not mean there is no room to show spectacular sequences and in-game visual luxuries. And I am so thankful because otherwise, the excessive running all over the place would not be as enjoyable.

5. Tekken 5

Fighting games are always a must on our lists, and yes, the fifth edition of the legendary Tekken series is another graphic masterpiece. Namco is well known for being utterly unforgiving to the consoles they make games for. They made sure to utilize every resource the PS2 had to offer with this game. The characters’ modeling and the incredible detail in their facial expressions, hair, and clothing were mindblowing and way ahead of the competition. The scenarios are equally well crafted, and they can be interacted with in many ways.  A high-quality fighting game featured in the world’s most important gaming tournaments, including the EVO!

6. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

This is a painfully underrated game that should be revisited and adequately valued. Valkyrie Profile for the PS1 was excellent, mostly because of the its moving storytelling. And now, the game jumps completely to the 3D in the PS2 version. Developed by tri-Ace, and published by Square-Enix (Final Fantasy anyone?), it is a very Japanese style RPG with a breathtaking art direction. The graphical aspects are so well attained that the game acquires replayability value by looking at the details in some of the scenarios’ paintings, doors, and general architecture. Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria is a beautiful game, worthy of your attention and love.

7. Okami

Okami is perhaps the most beautiful game made for the PS2. The style of the art and its fluidity makes it look like an actual animated movie. The game is fast-paced, and the graphics engine was designed to make us feel we see a watercolor painting in movement. Okami allowed playing at 60 Hz in some regions, which in many aspects elevated the gaming experience to match current games. Some people believe games are not art. Please, get this game and show it to them when they say that. A jewel of the PS2 at your reach!

8. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

It is hard for me to accept this game is already a classic. But time is unforgiving, and the third installment of the Metal Gear series is already more than 15 years old. I am sure that most consoles hate Hideo Kojima. That guy makes them sweat and scream in agony with his graphic demands. The PS2 was up to the challenge and gave us unprecedented facial expressions, weather effects, realistic lighting at different times of the day, and that sensation of life in natural ambiances. If you look closely, you will notice that animals interact among themselves. Even insects were modeled, similarly affected by wind, and by you!

9. Black

I like to trick people with this game. I would hide the console and give them the dual shock for them to play. Then, after a while, I would ask, “what console do you think you are playing right now?”.  Many of them would say, “this is a PS3 game,” and then open their eyes wide in disbelief when they realize it is the fantastic Playstation 2 pulling off some visual gymnastics. Black was developed by Criterion Games, which created a graphic engine solely for this game.  The RenderWare game engine gave us many features before they were mainstream, like high-quality explosions, smoke, particles on the screen, and real-time modification of the scenarios. Add some exceptional multiplayer modes, online support, and you have a time traveler from the future!

10. Shadow of the Colossus

I left this one last on purpose. I don’t think there is a game that makes the PS2 cry as this one does.  This game is about killing enormous beings. No, wait, this is an understatement. In this game, you need to pursue, stalk, and strategize a way to slay giants so big that they can’t fit on the screen without the game slowing a bit. Yes, this game is so graphically demanding that the PS2 will often slow down a bit to catch air! The giants are so demanding for graphic power that the world is almost devoid of any details. It is only you, them, and your horse because there is no way you are going out there chasing monsters on foot. But don’t get me wrong, this issue is not enough to rob you of the marvelous experience the game entails, so make sure you get your copy and go monster hunting! 

Wrap Up — Top 10 PS2 Games

The Playstation 2 will always hold a special place among consoles. There is so much more to be said about its capabilities and significance for the gaming world, so stay tuned! Thank you for making it until the end of the top 10 PS2 games list. Send our apologies to your PS2, though. 

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