PlayStation 2 tribute - Our fondest memories and favourite games

With news this week that Sony has stopped manufacturing the PlayStation 2 in Japan, it’s an ideal time to reflect on our most memorable moments with the world’s best-selling console.

All the staff at PSU and many of our community members have fond memories of PS2, so over the past few days we’ve gathered our thoughts and combined them to pay tribute to this magnificent gaming machine. Without further ado, here are some of the memories that we hold close to our hearts. We have to admit that some staff actually got a little teary.

                        

Kyle Prahl – Staff Writer and Editor

Words can be fickle things, for the memories I hold of my time with the PlayStation 2 are too profound to adequately express. Despite the undeniable quality of current-gen titles, the years during which my PS2 was constantly running are still the best gaming years of my life. Playing hours upon hours of Star Wars: Battlefront with a dear friend; being brought to tears by a video game for the first time midway through Final Fantasy X; perfecting insane combos on long Sunday afternoons in Tony Hawk's Underground; that time a friend and I came THIS close to winning a CTF match against Godlike bots in Unreal Tournament. The list goes on and on and on, as it does for many of you, but one singular memory resonates with me above all others.

On Christmas morning in 2002, I ripped open wrapping to reveal a brand-new PS2, and (moments later) a game that would change my life. Kingdom Hearts was the first game disc to ever enter my PS2, and on that fateful Christmas morning, my eyes were opened to what the new generation of consoles would really mean. Vivid colors and crisp animation brought characters and settings to life that looked right out of a movie, and there was nary a technical limitation to be found. The touching journey of Kingdom Hearts not only forever changed the way I think about friendships, success, and failure, but perhaps to an even greater degree, it set the stage - through gameplay, storytelling, and the very best kind of RPG ambition - for me to become the gamer I am today. To this day, I value most of all the profound emotion, introspection, and growth that only the greatest single-player experience can elicit, and I don't need to tell any of you that the PS2 was (and is) the greatest console ever made for fans of such adventures.

             

Kingdom Hearts - the game that spawned the popular series is one of the best RPGs on PS2

Mike Harradence – Managing Editor

I have vivid memories of the PlayStation 2, as it was one of the only consoles that I didn’t get on launch and needed some convincing to actually invest in one – after all, I was a massive Dreamcast fan in the early 2000s. I eventually took the plunge in summer 2001 and purchased one alongside Final Fantasy X, but my first experience with the PS2 was via a friend, who bought it on launch. I can recall going down to our local EB (R.I.P) and picking up the machine with a copy of Tekken Tag Tournament and TimeSplitters, and playing the hell out of both; more than anything, I was impressed at the sumptuously smooth visuals of Tekken, and the flawless multiplayer of Free Radical’s FPS.

Truth be told however, it wasn’t until late 2001 – after a few months of owning the console for myself – that I really got stuck in. At this point, Devil May Cry and Silent Hill 2 showed up, which easily rank among my favourite games of all time, let alone on PS2. I can remember being totally engrossed in DMC’s intuitive, visceral combat and addictive gameplay, and utterly terrified and compelled by the psychological tapestry weaved by Silent Hill 2’s twisted narrative. Then Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty showed up. At that point, I never thought I could be blown away by something as innocuous as rain fall and exploding bottles, but the realism afforded by PS2’s extra technical muscle really was a sight to behold.

Of all the games however, ... (continued on next page) ----

A gamer since the days of the ZX Spectrum, Steven Williamson now works as General Manager for PSU. He's supposed to be managing, but if you're reading this, it means he's dipped into editorial again.
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