As much as we loved the system, our real memories come from the discs spinning in our PS2 DVD drive. And with a library that has ballooned to 2,000 titles since that fateful day on October 26, 2000, we have a lot of memories to share.
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We've all had sleepless nights beating that last boss, called in sick at work to master another level, and "forgot" to study to countless exams to save our favorite virtual worlds.
Here are our memories. We hope to read yours in the comments below.
I think I saw a PlayStation 2, once. Black box, uncomfortable-looking controller, made you yell obscenities at Xbox owners? I've never played one though, to the best of my knowledge.
That said, I did always envy everyone who got to play Shadow of the Colossus and Ico. You lucky dogs.
I remember looking at the PlayStation 2 launch lineup and thinking to myself "this is what's going to seal the fate of the Dreamcast?" (to this day my most beloved system, but that's a whole other story). SSX proved its worth but it wasn't too far into the conversation after that where fans started trying to argue that Fantavision was a solid game--launch or otherwise.
But the PlayStation would go on in the following years to win me over with some of the best gaming memories I have--playing Guitar Hero until early in the morning in the old 1UP offices with Andrew and a 12-pack, finally weathering the fight and conquering Jecht in Final Fantasy X, and pretty much every moment of what continues to be my favorite game ever I think, Ico.
I got the PlayStation 2 primarily for its DVD playing capability, but I did pick it up with Madden NFL 2001, SSX, and Armored Core 2. For gaming, I primarily used it as a way to keep playing my old PlayStation games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Metal Gear Solid. I was a PC gamer at the time the PS2 was released so I never really got that into it save a few standout examples.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
I'm a major Metal Gear Solid fan and these two games are amazing. Everyone hated MGS2 when it came out because of the Raiden bait-and-switch, but go back and play it again. MGS3, of course, is the best game in the franchise provided you play with the enhanced camera that shipped with the Subsistence edition.
Importing Beatmania taught me that rhythm games could be soul-crushingly difficult and helped lay the foundation for my love of games like Rock Band and DJ Hero. If Konami were to release a PS3 version of IIDX with a whole Blu-Ray full of songs--like, every song--I would pay a lot of money for that. I didn't get into Guitar Hero until the Xbox 360 release of GH2, though.
Favorite Games: (Those listed above) Shadow of the Colossus, God of War (1 & 2), Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Xav de Matos: I wasn't able to get a PS2 until a few years after it launched, but one of my fondest--and most heartbreaking--memories came from a weekend I rented the system (places used to do that). The only game I was interested in was Metal Gear Solid 2. Sadly, rentals didn't come with a memory card. So, I proceeded to play the entire game over the course of a weekend without turning off the system. Near the end of my weekend, and of the game, there was a power outage on my block. I lost everything.
What the experience did, however, was show me that the PS2 was an incredible machine with fantastic worlds. I proceeded to pinch my pennies and collect them tightly until I had enough for a system of my own.
From there is was a love affair with your common faves--like the original God of War, which I first played on my PS3--and your more obscure titles (Rule of Rose, anyone?). The PlayStation 2 is a great system with a great history. That's why I still own my PS2 and am glad to have the original PS3--the one that remembers where it came from and didn't have its history ripped out of its chest/chassis.
Favorite Games: Silent Hill 2, Amplitude, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Final Fantasy X, Shadow of the Colossus, Ico, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (Substance), Disaster Report, Ring of Red, Beyond Good & Evil, Rez
Ah, PS2. Our relationship was once on-again off-again affair, but a decade after your release, I think I finally appreciate you as I should. I first purchased you so that I could taste the sweet nectar of Grand Theft Auto III. But when I was done, I sold you back, only to buy one of your brethren several months later to play Vice City, Final Fantasy X, Ratchet and Clank, and Sly Cooper. Lesson apparently still unlearned, I sold system two, only to purchase another system months later, when San Andreas arrived.
I never sold PS2 number three, thanks to things like the God of War series, Shadow of the Colossus, Kingdom Hearts, and Okami. To this day, my current PS2 is getting periodic attention as I slowly slog through Persona 4.
Favorite Games: Grand Theft Auto (series), Final Fantasy X, God of War (1 & 2), Dark Cloud 2, Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Persona 4
I remember being in college and not being able to afford one. One of our "richer" friends got one weeks before any of our other friends and he had people over every night playing and admiring his system.
I also remember spending countless hours playing Final Fantasy X and being blown away by the cut-scenes and graphics.
Favorite Games: Ratchet & Clank (Series), God of War (1 & 2), Grand Theft Auto (Series), Final Fantasy X, SSX (Series), Metal Gear Solid 2, Socom 2, Tekken 5, Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.