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The Playstation 2 or PS2 was definitely the defining console of my childhood. Playing Ratchet and Clank with every opportunity I could, sneaking in some Jak and Daxter when I was supposed to be in bed or trying to master my combos in Dragon Ball Z. These are just a sampling of the great memories I have from playing this console growing up.
Since returning to gaming on a more regular basis, I have found that my PS2 collection has grown significantly due to the abundance of excellent games the library has to offer. I even took part in #PS2Vember to showcase my love of this console!
What’s more, these games are relatively cheap to buy now depending on where you live so it’s definitely a great time to get into this console.
With all of this in mind, I decided to continue with the Starter Pack series by focusing this time on the PlayStation 2.
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PlayStation 2 Console Variations
The main 2 categories of the PlayStation 2 were the fat (original) version and the slim version, though within these 2 categories there were different iterations and many colors to choose from.
Original Fat Model
The original fat model of the PlayStation 2 was released in 2000 following the success of the PlayStation 1 console.
This model originally came in matte black and contained a 3.5″ expansion bay which allowed for an internal hard disk drive. This expansion bay slot would also allow for online play via a network adapter.
The slim model of the PlayStation 2 was released in 2004.
This model featured a much smaller form factor and included a built in ethernet port for online play.
Due to the smaller size of this model, there was no support for an internal hard disk drive which was met with some criticism at the time.
Both PlayStation 2 models most commonly came in matte black in color. Since the initial launch of the console until the end of its production, the PlayStation 2 was released in a wide variety of colors.
During my research for this post, I came across a pretty useful website for looking at all console variations. This website is consolevariations and is worth checking out if you’re interested in seeing the different console variations for the PlayStation 2 or basically any other console.
PlayStation 2 Accessories
The PlayStation 2 console, as with all consoles had a variety of accessories to go along with it.
Some accessories are definitely more necessary than others but all of them offer an improved experience when playing the PlayStation 2 .
I was fortunate enough to own a lot of these accessories so I have a good idea which ones would be great to own as part of a PlayStation 2 starter pack.
As I begin to shudder at the thought of people too young to remember what memory cards are.. memory cards were an absolute necessity for gaming on the PlayStation 2.
Before the time of saving to the cloud or saving onto the internal console memory, memory cards were used to save your progress in games. These external storage devices, though puny in size now, were treated with the utmost care by gamers so saves would not be lost.
These memory cards came in a variety of colors and sizes. Additionally, 3rd party memory cards became increasingly popular which offered increased storage space at a smaller cost.
The dual shock 2 was the controller packaged with the PlayStation 2.
As you can probably see with the PlayStation 3 and 4, Sony have not varied from this tried and true design too much since then.
This controller was available in a wide range of colors to match each console color variation.
As with the memory cards, a large number of third party controllers also became available for purchase.
The multi-tap adapter is something else which is also now obsolete in an age of wireless controllers.
This device allowed you to increase the amount of controllers you could use at any one time.
You simply plug this device into the controller slot and then you can add up to 5 more controllers into this device.
This made playing multiplayer games much more enjoyable for everybody that could now get a chance to play, instead of playing the dreaded winner stays on!
What seemed like such a simple idea, turned into one of the greatest PlayStation 2 accessories in my opinion, the Buzz controllers.
This accessory provided up to 4 players with a Buzz pad which had 4 colored buttons and one red buzzer. This device allowed for a style of gameshow gameplay which isn’t too common anymore in this way.
These devices allowed you and your family and friends to play a wide variety of quiz games including Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. There were also specially created Buzz titles which were endless fun.
I remember when this device first came out and how excited we were to play with it!
The idea of being able to control a game with just you, no controller, was a mystical idea at that time.
From washing windows to karate chopping ninjas, we were experts at these mini games in no time at all.
The Eye Toy was a unique accessory at the time and I still have my original one.
Who didn’t want to be a rock star as a kid! With the release of Guitar Hero, that dream was one step closer.
The guitar hero accessory was a controller which allowed you to play rhythm games where you could master your favorite songs.
Whether you played casually or mastered every note to Through the Fire and Flames there were many hours of enjoyment to be had with this accessory.
A Starter List of PlayStation 2 Games
Before we go through the list of games I recommend for the PlayStation 2 it is important to note that this is based on my personal preference only.
You may have different opinions on what you think are the most defining games of this console. If so then leave a comment below, I would love to know which games you enjoyed the most!
Ratchet and Clank – The original game
Let’s face it, you can’t go wrong with any games in this series. Though it might make sense to start from the beginning and work your way through. Many people might be familiar with the remastered version of the original game which is available on the PlayStation 4.
In fact, this was the reason I finally decided to buy a PlayStation 4 at that time. With that said, the PlayStation 2 was where this series first started and for me, that’s where all the nostalgia is.
Jak and Daxter 2
Let’s be honest here, this was Grand Theft Auto for kids.
The second installment in the Jak and Daxter series of games was much darker in tone than the original game making it much more exciting for that generation of gamers at the time, me included.
Again as with Ratchet and Clank, these games have been remastered for PlayStation 3 and 4 but it is definitely a more authentic experience to try them out on the PlayStation 2.
Jak and Daxter is another excellent series of games that you should definitely own if you posses a PlayStation 2.
Spyro Enter the Dragonfly
The Spyro the Dragon series originated on the PlayStation 1 as you may already know.
Luckily for fans, the series continued on the PlayStation 2 and these games are well worth trying out.
There are a few games available for the PlayStation 2 but I would highly recommend Enter the Dragonfly as I found this really enjoyable.
Simpsons Hit and Run
Many consider this to be the pinnacle of Simpsons games and I would highly agree.
It’s unfortunate that we don’t see Simpsons games anymore considering how many there were in this era of gaming.
This game is more difficult than you might think playing it today.
With that said, the in game Easter eggs and references to the show are just a treat to behold.
Destroy All Humans 1
It’s no secret that I really enjoy the Destroy All Humans series of games.
In fact, I recently acquired the remastered version on the PlayStation 4 so I could get the platinum trophy.
You may also have heard that we are getting a remake of the first game in the near future. This is something I am highly looking forward to.
With that said, you can’t beat the authentic experience of playing these games on the PlayStation 2.
TY the Tasmanian Tiger 2
Another series of games that some might consider a hidden gem. The Ty series of games were extremely fun to play over and over again.
I’m actually quite surprised this series of games hasn’t gotten the remaster treatment like most of the other games on this list.
Definitely get your hands on these games if you can. Before long they will be remastered and you’ll be paying a pretty penny to own them!
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I hope you enjoyed this starter pack for the PlayStation 2.
Hopefully now you have some inspiration for starting or continuing your PlayStation 2 collection.
If there is anything you think is missing from this guide please just let me know in the comments below!