Sony's PlayStation 2 has fought its last boss battle after 12 years and a lazy 150 million consoles sold.
Launched in 2000, the PS2 was home to a library of over 2,000 games, with over 1.52 billion games sold worldwide. I managed to buy over 100 games throughout the console's lifetime, but 10 stand out above the rest.
GTA: San Andreas
I still remember to this day rushing out of class (I was in my first year of university at the time) to get to EB Games before 5pm closing time, just so I could get my hands on a copy of San Andreas.
This was also a time in my life when I was quite the sucker: the EB Games staffer managed to trick me into buying a $30 game guide, of which I never even used, but still have. Admittedly, it's a great collectible...but boy was I gullible!
The game was just as amazing as everyone expected it to be. With the iconic lead character CJ leading the way, GTA: San Andreas is an engrossing, explosive and wildly entertaining open-world game, with a world still amazing even by today's standards.
Shadow of the Colossus
I am grateful to have been able to experience Shadow of the Colossus in glorious high definition. It offers an aesthetic presentation that is in my opinion unmatched by today's glossy blockbuster games. A visually arresting and innovative experience. One of my all-time favourites.
Like the aforementioned, Ico is a beautiful classic of a game. Its beauty is near-indescribable, with stunning visuals and a brilliant soundtrack that compliment its intriguing tale. I not only love this game as a PS2 classic, but also as one of the best games of all time.
God of War
This is the game that started it all, and it's still my favourite in the series. The game is just as smooth and refined as it was back in the day (well, it was only released in 2005...), and it still stands up quite well next to the games the proceded it.
God of War has gone on to become one of Sony's most prized franchises, bringing with it relentless action and smooth gameplay that has gone on to create a juggernaut franchise.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
I'm not quite the Metal Gear Solid fan I used to be - I'm still recovering from the incoherence that was MGS 4's plot - but Subsistence gave me the best MGS experience of the PS2 era.
Including the acclaimed Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, as well as a remake of the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Subsistence offers fans of stealth games a memorable and engrossing experience, alongside a surprisingly engaging multiplayer feature.
Devil May Cry
Today's version of Devil May Cry, while admittedly very solid, is basically a manifesto for anarchy. The series's roots lie in stunning gothic mansions and fantastical environments, and the original Devil May Cry is still the best: undeniably cool, devilishly hard, and relentlessly fun. Dante just isn't the same anymore. It makes me crying thinking about it sometimes.
GTA: Vice City
Sure, we got an "official" Scarface game, but everyone knows GTA: Vice City is the real Tony Montana game. Ray Liotta (that guy from Goodfellas that breaks a guy's nose with a gun handle) voices iconic character Ray Liotta in immaculate fashion.
Not quite as groundbreaking as GTA 3, but in my opinion, a more exciting, memorable and enjoyable game and world.
It's any wonder why the movie The Warriors took so long to be turned into a game. Thankfully the people that did were Rockstar Games, and they did so in such a way that The Warriors went on to be one of the PS2's best games.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I'm ending this list with two first-person shooters. I haven't included Final Fantasy. I don't enjoy that series. I'm telling you so you don't post, "Where is Final Fantasy Whatever-2, etc., etc.,".
Can someone please bring back Timesplitters? How can a series with three AMAZING games last generation just disappear and apparently have no market to justify a fourth game?
Timesplitters 2 has aged a bit, sure, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun, and quirky in such a way that it always puts a smile on my face whenever I think about it. Future Perfect was also good, but in a "Terminator 3 was a good action flick but Terminator 2 is far better" kind of way.
This game went under the radar a bit. It's pretty much the start of what would become EA's venture into FPS territory with Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor this generation. Black is Criterion's no-holds-barred shooter that tells a shallow story but with enough conviction to give it worth in a Jean Claude Van Dam action flick sort of way.
There isn't any multiplayer, but you can blow stuff up. It's also pretty hard for a shooter of that era. You can download it on PS3 and Xbox 360, so I highly recommend downloading it and giving it a bash.
This brawler packed as much punch and aggressive as the movie it's based on. I played this game for hours on end, loving absolutely every last minute of it.
What were your favourite PS2 games? Sound off below, or write a blog (and I'll feature it for you!)
By Gaetano Prestia