In 2000, at the turn of the millennium, Sony released the PlayStation 2 home console, and gaming changed forever. By 2023, nearly 160 million PlayStation 2 units had been sold, making the console the most popular gaming device of all time. More than 4,000 titles were released on the platform, and today we’re asking what was the best PlayStation 2 game ever?
Was the PS2 the best console ever?
Back in 2011, it was estimated that over 1.5 billion games sold during the PlayStation 2’s lifetime – until then. This was the platform that served as the foundation for many of the best-selling, beloved franchises in history and, for the most part, expansions of existing franchises that used the PlayStation 2’s processing power to grow.
2013 saw the debut of the last game released on the PlayStation 2 platform – Pro Evolution Soccer 2014. It marked the closing point for the console, but to this day it is still in the homes of millions of players around the world. For some, it collects dust, but for others, it’s a daily device, and the retro potential of the console is almost unmatched.
With all these sales – both console and software – comes a central question – what was the best PlayStation 2 game of all time?
Metacritic is arguably one of the best platforms for video game reviews. It’s an aggregator, which means it aggregates facts and figures from a variety of online sources — or rates a game by “user score” — and produces an average score for more or less every game ever.
So what is the best PlayStation 2 game of all time according to Metacritic
In use Metacritic rating page for all PlayStation 2 games, first place is tied. According to all reviews compiled by Metacritic, the best PlayStation 2 games of all time are Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 and Grand Theft Auto III. They say three is the magic number, and it’s true in these rankings.
Together, both GTA 3 and THPS3 landed meta points 97but of course Grand Theft Auto III overtakes THPS3 in user points, landing 8.4 compared to THPS3’s score of 7.5.
So we think this is enough to confirm that Grand Theft Auto III is statistically The best PlayStation 2 game ever.
But what games are coming next?
Here is a list of games that are close to Grand Theft Auto III and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3.
3. Resident Evil 4 (96) – Absolutely renewed in 2023Resident Evil 4 was one of the most enjoyed zombie games released on the PlayStation 2, expanding the iconic cult series of the same name.
4. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (96) – MGS2 was a monumental title that was released just a year after it debuted on the PlayStation 2 platform. It opened the door for further expansions of the beloved franchise that had been around since 1987.
5. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (95) – San Andreas is widely regarded as one of the best games in the history of the GTA franchise. It has been republished several times, including as a part The final trilogy which dropped in 2021.
6. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (95) – Another GTA game to make the top ten, Vice City was considered a PS2 classic almost immediately upon release. It is speculated that GTA 6 – which currently it has an unknown release date – takes place in the current form of Vice City.
7. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (95) – This was the first Gran Turismo game released for the PlayStation 2, serving as an expansion to Sony’s flagship racing game. To date, it is the second best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time.
8. Madden NFL 2003 (95) – In 2002 IGN describesd Madden NFL 2003 as a “can’t miss” title, stating that it was “what football players are looking for.” In a long breakdown, CBR explained why Madden NFL series mainly peaked in 2003.
9. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 (94) – Like the Grand Theft Auto series, THPS has more than one title that makes it into the top ten PlayStation 2 games of all time. After the release of THPS4, it took thirteen years for a sequel title to be developed, and THPS5 drops in 2015.
10. devil may cry (94) – Devil May Cry was the birth of a beloved franchise that took place in 2001 and brought hard and intense hack-n-slash action to the PlayStation 2 platform. Five more games would be released over the next twenty years, all aiming to establish Devil May Cry as the legendary series that began on the PlayStation 2.
Do you agree with the ranking?
So that answers the question “what was the best PlayStation 2 game of all time.” For the most part, the final rating can be considered subjective. Out of 4,000 games, everyone has their own favorite game, and for some, it may not even make it to the top 1,000 games.
Tell us what you think was the best PlayStation 2 game ever.