After its release more than twenty years ago, the PlayStation 2 remains a staunch favorite of many RPG lovers today, and with good reason. Role-playing games were a staple on Sony’s second console, and many of them hold up surprisingly well, with a few garnering HD remasters in the decades since.
These are our picks for the best RPGs on the Playstation 2.
What was true back in 2007 is still true in 2021: Odin Sphere is one of the most beautiful action RPGs of all time, and features some of the best hand-drawn 2D art we’ve seen in a video game.
But even just beyond Odin Sphere’s incredible visuals, it’s its story, told from the perspectives of five characters whose journeys intersect and collide over the course of its 30+ hour adventure, that truly makes it a timeless classic. Well, that and the fun combat, the wide variety of gameplay, and fantastic boss battles.
Kingdom Hearts 2 delivers in every way a Kingdom Hearts sequel should, expanding the lore of Sora’s journey while finding new ways to integrate Disney characters into some classic worlds and simultaneously deepening the series’ thrilling real-time combat.
KH2 is jam-packed with inventive levels, and also offers new spins on worlds from the first game. Couple that with a rework of the Magic system and, significantly, the many Drive Forms Sora can take that switch up combat strategy against the newly introduced Nobody enemies, and you’ve already got an RPG for the ages. 8. Shin Megami Tensei:
Person 3 FES
Persona 3: FES is the definitive version of Person 3 (with apologies to Persona 3 Portable).
P3: FES lives up to Shin Megami Tensei legacy with dark subject matter and tendency towards the edgelord-ey (though that’s not always a bad thing) while still lightening the mood with a cheerful soundtrack and colorful cast of friends. The result is a mixture that would go on to define a franchise, giving this spin-off series more social clout than SMT. Also, its soundtrack slaps.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a cruel reminder that the SMT franchise turns difficulty into a personality trait. This apocalyptic take on Pokemon explores a humanity-void Tokyo stuffed to the brim with horrifically gorgeous depictions of demons and entities inspired by various religions and pop culture. And of course, all the cool atmosphere that fans of the Persona franchise can vibe to.
Nocturne asks a lot of time and patience from the player, demanding you learn its systems and plan your tactics accordingly. The game will leave you ensnared…but at least you’ll be happy about it. Mostly. Also Nocturne features Dante from Devil May Cry, so it’s got to be cool, right?
Dark Cloud 2 takes the elements that made up the original Dark Cloud did and made them grander on every scale. Its crafting enables you to try out all sorts of weapon varieties, and even offers two varied playable characters.
Sure, it can be a bit gritty at times seeing as most of its systems level up separately, but its stellar soundtrack never had us dreading entering one of its varied dungeon-like maps. Also, being able to place objects in its post-apocalyptic hub worlds, just to be teleported to the future to see the settlement come to life, was always joyous.
Final Fantasy X is sweeping, romantic epic following a fish out of water in a greatly changed world, filled with themes of religion and loss, and a pair of star-crossed lovers at its heart.
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