5 Reasons Why the PS2 is the Last Great Console

The Playstation 2 kicked off the new millennium 20 years ago today, October 26th, 2000. Maybe you were one of the lucky few who managed to snag a console on Day One. Maybe you purchased a unit on eBay for an unholy amount of money. Or perhaps you never got one at all. Maybe for you the PS2 is some ancient relic of pre-HD gaming, that console your uncle waxes nostalgic about.


Whatever your experience (or lack thereof) with the Playstation 2, it is one of the most important consoles to grace our blessed world. And, dare we write, no console has managed to top it since.


Here are 5 reasons why the PS2 is the last Great Gaming Console.


Nearly 4,000 games released over its decade-plus lifespan, from every genre imaginable.

What genre do you fancy? Platforming? Sports? RPG? Super niche strategy titles that only five people will buy? The PS2 has ’em all, baby. From the Ratchet and Clank series, to all the football and basketball you could possibly stomach, to Atlus’ massive back catalog of Shin Megami Tensei titles, and that’s just a start. Unless you’re a jaded so-and-so who refuses to play older games, you will never be bored exploring the Playstation 2’s massive back catalog.


Just a sample of what the PS2 has to offer.


PS1 backwards compatibility that also makes the games look slightly better.

Do Playstation 2 games have graphics that are just a little too real for you? Well, dial that pesky reality back a bit and play some extra chunky PS1 games, courtesy of the PS2’s backwards compatibility. With the PS1 library available to play, this mean the PS2 is capable of playing about 7,000 games, give or take a few PS1 titles that just don’t run on the PS2 (looking at you, Destruction Derby). The PS2 also offers options for smoother textures to reduce some of the pixelated noise found in most PS1 games. And if you’re feeling dangerous, you can also bump up the speed of PS1 games to ‘Fast.’ Fast speed will reduce load times, but it will also bugger up any voice acting/commentary that the game uses.


Ridge Racer‘s looking oh so fresh.


No Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Youtube to take away from the games.

DVD-playing capabilities aside, the Playstation 2 was the last Sony console to focus exclusively on games. No streaming apps. No random Sony misfires, like Playstation Home. You plug in a game (or movie) and off you go.


Finally, I’m bowling online with all my friends, like God intended.


No DLC. No microtransactions. No loot boxes.

When you bought Silent Hill 3 or Madden NFL 2002 or whatever your favorite PS2 game is, you received the full experience the day you purchased the game. No “Origin of the Bloody Bunny Suit” DLC. No purchasing EA money to buy cosmetic crap that only slightly affects your player’s performance. No nickel-and-diming the consumer to line the executives’ pockets. A new PS2 game cost $50 or less, and you could play it without worrying about the pub/dev exploiting you for more money at some later date.


The future is sad.


Games were finished or they weren’t.

When a game shipped on a PS2 disc, it was either a complete product, a buggy mess, or somewhere in between. Programmers couldn’t go back and fix any lingering issues. Enormous day-one patches didn’t exist. You bought a game, you put it in your PS2, you played it. End of story.


Worth every penny.


So what do you think? Why is the PS2 the Last Great Gaming Console, or are we completely off base? What gaming console is your favorite? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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For what reasons are you excluding the Gamecube plus Gameboy library?

Because that rabbit hole goes far deeper than you’d think. And many of the Gamecube’s games perform better than their PS2 counterparts. Plus, you win a ton of polished 2d games – Metroid: Prime plus Metroid: Zero Mission plus Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow?

Gaming heaven.

Also, I never once had my XBox hooked up to the internet, but every single multiplatform game performed better than the other three consoles from that generation…minus Metal Gear Solid 2, anyways. (The PS2 had a clear advantage in particle effects, and the opening stage is built around their use for simulating the rain and water.)

I’d argue, instead, that this was the last great console gaming generation.

After that, everything just turned into a glorified PC. There were a lot of great games still on their way – my Switch is filled with them… but it wasn’t the same. Not a single console had it’s own personality, anymore, except for Nintendo’s. And even then, that seemed entirely optional.