Many people use video game reviews to determine how to spend their hard-earned dollars. While as an adult I don’t take this as seriously and I now make my own money I am more forgiving of games that aren’t perfect. As kids or teens, we have limited money and are usually picked through gaming magazines to determine if that one game was worth the money because we only got a few a year. For me, it was only during Christmas time that my parents bought games. I mostly rented mine throughout my childhood and teen years. Even for rentals, I was picky as I didn’t want to be stuck on my weekend with a dud of a game. Even a 7/10 or 3.5/5 would be considered a waste of time. Throughout the early 2000s, I had a PS2 exclusively and I was stuck with that system. This was the last generation in which AAA title after AAA title would be considered fantastic and with so many exclusives it was hard to keep up with. The HD era of gaming would see budgets balloon to insane heights and game releases slowed down as a result.
In my eyes, 7/10 or 3.5/5 games are mostly ignored. These aren’t always considered hidden gems either. Some are, but some are just considered forgettable. Not awful or good, but just passes under everyone’s radar. These aren’t the “so bad it’s good” type of games either. A few of these games have cult followings while a few I had only heard of while compiling this list and some I played myself growing up. I compiled this list from Metacritic with games between 74-70. I feel that’s the true blue 7 range. 79 and 78-rated games usually only have about 25% of the critics giving it a 7 to bring an otherwise 8 score down some. These games are at least rated by half the critics as 7/10. While I know a lot of people don’t listen to critics and some might feel this game should be rated higher or lower is subjective. Like it or not, critic reviews drive sales and it may be the reason why you might find a few games on this list you’ve never heard of, thought was talked about worse than you remember, or something along those lines.
Radiata Stories – 2005
This game was liked for its sense of humor and almost parody of the genre, but the weak story and repetitive side quests brought the game down some. The series would see a spiritual successor on the DS.
Most Recent Entry: Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology – 2017 (3DS)
Smash Court Tennis: Pro Tournament – 2002
Smash Court Tennis: Pro Tournament 2 – 2004
The game was liked for its realism and decent visuals but was let down by a lack of content. It had a lot of different shot types and a fun career mode, but that’s about it. It wasn’t as good as Virtua Tennis or Mario Tennis. After three entries Namco scrapped the series.
Most Recent Entry: Smash Court Tennis 3 – 2007 (PSP, X360)
Magic Pengel: The Quest for Color – 2003
The game was praised for its imaginative design and graphics, but it felt like a bit of a chore to play sometimes. All around rough around the edges, but charming enough to keep you engaged.
EverQuest Online Adventures – 2003
This era of console MMOs had growing pains. Consoles finally had broadband access but lacked storage space to store large open worlds and stream them. While Final Fantasy XI saw major success others wanted to cash in on that. EverQuest was a valiant attempt, but felt dumbed down and streamlined with repetitive quests. The servers shut down in 2012, but you can still play with fan servers.
Genji: Dawn of the Samurai – 2005
Being released late in the console’s life meant people expected great things out of the system. Genji looked good but felt rough around the edges and slightly clunky. It didn’t do any one thing particularly well, but it wasn’t bad either. The series would see one final entry to show the power of the PS3 and that would be lights out for the series due to poor sales.
Most Recent Entry: Genji: Days of the Blade – 2006 (PS3)
Steambot Chronicles – 2006
A very late release on the PS2, Steambot was praised for its customization, but it was brought down by the molasses pace of the game and everything is rolled out at a snail’s pace. The sequel would be canceled and only a smaller portable version would be released later.
Most Recent Entry: Steambot Chronicles: Battle Tournament – 2008 (PSP)
Tourist Trophy – 2006
Being released so late on the PS2, Polyphony Digital had mastered the hardware. This was the Gran Turismo of superbikes and was a one-shot project for the team. It was praised for its visuals and insanely good physics but had a really steep learning curve even Gran Turismo enthusiasts scoffed at.
Armored Core 3 – 2002
Armored Core: Nexus – 2004
Armored Core‘s home was on PlayStation. The series would see stumbles along the way. The game was praised for its hardcore mech mechanics, but had a steep learning curve and didn’t have a good sense of scale compared to games like MechWarrior. This continued throughout the series alienating new comers and not adding much outside of customization. It would see its final entry in 2013 and hasn’t been seen in the last decade.
Most Recent Entry: Armored Core: Verdict Day – 2013 (PS3, X360)
Way of the Samurai – 2002
Way of the Samurai was well-liked for its story, but had a very low budget and felt clunky and rough through every release. It would get three more sequels before being shelved for the last decade.
Most Recent Entry: Way of the Samurai 4 – 2012 (PS3, PC)
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner – Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army – 2006
The Devil Summoner sub-series of SMT is considered the most hardcore. This game was praised for its world-building and atmosphere, but of course, the barrier to entry was high thanks to its incredible difficulty. It also had a boring combat system and overall mediocre game mechanics.
Most Recent Entry: Soul Hackers 2 – 2022 (PS4, PS5, PC)
Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana – 2005
The Atelier series has a huge fan base. There have been over a dozen games in the series and are continuing to be released to this day. Eternal Mana was praised for its alchemical mixing gameplay but had repetitive missions and too much backtracking for most people’s liking.
Most Recent Entry: Atelier Sophie 2: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Dream – 2022 (PS4, PC)
Kessen II – 2001
Kessen III – 2005
The Kessen series was the thinker’s Dynasty Warriors. The third and final entry in the series gave you direct control of your troops in battle, but it was criticized for being reduced to silly button-mashing. The second game was praised for its story, but just felt clunky and had too many mistakes. It’s an interesting series to go back to, however, be warned that the game gets repetitive quick and requires some patience.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 – 2007
IN 2007 there were few people still holding on to their PS2s and Ultimate Ninja 2 was late to the party. It felt last-gen, it had a generic feeling of combat, and despite its huge roster, gamers were ready for the next-gen Naruto fighting game. The series would continue for years until its final entry in 2016.
Most Recent Entry: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – 2016 (PS4, XONE, PC, NS)
Pride FC: Fighting Championships – 2003
THQ was kind of cannibalizing its own sales for the UFC series. Pride FC was the only game and was praised for its gritty realism, but lacked content.
Sled Storm – 2002
When you saw that EA Sports BIG logo it meant quality. These were some of the best sports games to ever be released. Sadly, Sled Storm was constantly compared to SSX and felt dated due to kind of being a remaster of the PS1 game. It’s still a lot of fun but feels like an early PS2 title.
Formula One 2001 – 2001
Sony’s hat into the F1 arena was a successful one. It was constantly praised as having the best physics engine out of the genre, but the series took a long time to gain its footing. This was an early PS2 title so the visuals weren’t very impressive since it was a cross-gen title with the PS1. The series would go on for some time and die on the PS3.
Most Recent Entry: Formula 1: Championship Edition – 2007 (PS3)
Lumines Plus – 2007
While no game in the series has been bad, releasing a PSP game two years late on a system that already received a next-gen release is a bad move. Lumines Plus didn’t add any new content and was already two years old at this point. If you had a PSP or Xbox 360 then this wasn’t worth picking up.
Most Recent Entry: Lumines Remastered- 2018 (NS, PS4, PC, XONE)
Super Bust-A-Move 2 – 2002
While not an inherently bad game, the series was growing stale at this point. It didn’t add anything new to the mix as the formula is already perfect. If you owned any previous version you had no reason to buy another unless you wanted more levels.
Most Recent Entry: Bust-A-Move: Journey – 2017 (AND, iOS)
Cold Winter – 2005
This was one of those cult classic types of games. PS2-exclusive shooters were never really amazing due to the limited hardware needed to top the Xbox and PC, but they really tried. At this point, the game felt dated visually and gameplay-wise. It was praised for its spy theme and great voice acting, but the corridor shooter felt dated compared to Halo 2.
Wild Arms Alter Code: F – 2005
Wild Arms 5 – 2007
Remakes aren’t a new phenomenon. Alter Code: F was a remake of the PS1 classic, but didn’t bring anything new, especially for how late it was released in the console’s life. RPGs were evolving fast and this was left in the dust. Wild Arms 5 felt repetitive and tiresome at this point despite the fun characters and story. The series would get one final entry on the PSP in 2007.
Most Recent Entry: Wild Arms XF – 2007 (PSP)
Xenosaga II: Episode II – Jenseits von Gut und Bose – 2005
Xenosaga is considered one of the best RPG series on the system, but the second game was radically different. It was half the length of the first game but felt like an anime movie rather than a game. The combat system was dumbed down and overall felt like a weird experiment that turned a lot of people away and many didn’t pick up the third game because of this.
Most Recent Entry: Xenosaga: Episode III – Also Sprach Zarathrusta – 2006 (PS2)
Dance Dance Revolution: SuperNOVA – 2006
Dance Dance Revolution: SuperNOVA 2 – 2007
The rhythm game plague of the mid-2000s was a nightmare. We had some solid entries, but a lot of cashing in. The DDR franchise was no exception as it found its home on the PS2 for many years until finally dying on the Wii in 2011. SuperNOVA was criticized for focusing on party play over single-player gameplay and fell flat due to this. If you played one game in the series you’ve played them all.
Most Recent Entry: Dance Dance Revolution II – 2011 (Wii)
ESPN Winter X-Games Snowboarding – 2000
A very early title for the system means it didn’t look too impressive. It was praised for its realistic physics, but it lacked content overall. The Xtreme Sports era of the late 90s to early 2000s was beaten to death and peaking at this point. It would go on to receive one more game in the series before being axed.
Most Recent Entry: ESPN Winter X-Games Snowboarding 2002 – 2002 (PS2, Xbox)
SingStar 90s – 2007
SingStar Pop – 2007
SingStar Pop Vol. 2 – 2008
SingStar Queen – 2009
Oh man, I remember this series during the rhythm game plague. I had a girlfriend at the time seriously into these games and I just didn’t get it. I was a shy kid who never sang. A lot of games ranged from great to average. None of them were ever bad, but what else can you do with just a mic? These four games were probably the most mediocre of the bunch and seeing as they came out long after the PS2’s life those who were still hanging on were the type to buy these games on a yearly basis. These games were critiqued for not capturing the era/genre they were inspired by and fell flat in that regard. The series finally died off about five years ago.
Most Recent Entry: SingStar Celebration – 2017 (PS4)
Lethal Skies II – 2003
Not quite up to the quality that was Ace Combat, Lethal Skies switched developers with every entry and fell flat in a lot of aspects. It was liked for its content and visuals but felt just average with basic mission types and nothing very exciting. It also had a slow sense of speed compared to Ace Combat. Due to poor sales, this would be the final game in the series.
Gungriffon Blaze – 2000
Always compared to MechWarrior, Gungriffon saw a small spattering of fans, but this early PS2 title didn’t look too hot. It only had five missions so it was over in a couple of hours. This really hurt the game outside of the overall solid gameplay. It would see one final entry exclusive to the Xbox.
Most Recent Entry: Gungriffon: Allied Strike – 2004 (Xbox)
Shadow Hearts – 2001
A much-beloved series that was home on the PS2. The first game had some interesting gameplay with its Judgement Ring system, but it had a shallow story and uninteresting characters. This would later be improved in the sequels. It received two sequels and hasn’t been seen since.
Most Recent Entry: Shadow Hearts: From the New World – 2005 (PS2)
EyeToy: Groove – 2003
EyeToy: AntiGrav – 2004
The birth of motion control craze was born on the PS2. Sony released the EyeToy which was an average device that required bright lights to work. I had only AntiGrav and was most impressed when it did work. Some games were fun and some weren’t. Groove felt really slow and AntiGrav lacked a combo system. Very average, but playable. The whole series died off long after the PS3 came out.
Most Recent Entry: EyeToy Play: PomPom Party – 2008 (PS2)
God Hand – 2005
This is another cult classic. There are many fans of this game due to the studio behind it. Clover Studio is known for Okami and all of their games oozed charm and originality. God Hand was just clunky and rough around the edges, but the over-the-top action and humor reeled some players in.
Soul Nomad & The World Eaters – 2007
A very late release from NIS, Soul Nomad was considered Disgaea for babies. It also emphasized room strategy over combat and many didn’t like that. It at least had a lot of charm and has a small dedicated following. It was later released in 2021 with an HD upgrade.
Primal – 2003
Primal has a huge following and had a lot of hype behind it. It was a AAA story-driven game that was praised for its characters and story but was a confusing mess of lock and key puzzles and gameplay that was mostly uninteresting. It’s not a bad game but didn’t live up to the hype.
Star Wars: Racer Revenge – 2002
Racer Revenge was a highly anticipated sequel to the above-average pod racer. Sadly, the game felt, sounded, and look dated from the start. It felt fast and controlled well, but that was about it. It was later released for PS4 in 2016.
Tribes: Aerial Assault – 2002
Tribes have a large fan base. The open map FPS multiplayer shooter was a huge success. It tried to achieve the same thing on consoles and Aerial Assault got the job done. It looked great and felt like Tribes, but the lack of online play and voice chat meant couch competitions were needed. The series would see its final entry a decade ago.
Most Recent Entry: Tribes: Ascend – 2012 (PC)
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault – 2006
At this point in time, the PS3 was around the corner and the SOCOM series was exhausted. The first three games were great, and it was still a fun multiplayer shooter. In fact, it was the only shooter that was popular online on PS2 that could match Halo numbers. Combined Assault felt like an expansion to the third game and only included 10 maps. It didn’t do anything really new. The series would finally come to an end in 2011.
Most Recent Entry: SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs – 2011 (PS3)
Bujingai: The Forsaken City – 2004
A one-shot action adventure that star the Japanese musician Gakt. I actually played this one myself and while it oozed style it didn’t match the smooth controls of Devil May Cry. It was a clunky game with poor-level design. It looked good but fell flat everywhere including a nearly non-existent story.
Siren – 2004
I personally love any horror game from the 90s and mid-2000s. There’s a certain charm that lets the clunky gameplay work with the scares. Siren had the scares and interesting story, but the course the clunkfest it was and its slow pace scared gamers away. It would later get a better-received episodic sequel.
Most Recent Entry: Siren: Blood Curse – 2008 (PS3)
The Getaway – 2003
The Getaway was a AAA-hyped-up blockbuster with a cinematic story. While the story wasn’t anything special, the acting was praised and the gameplay was ambitious. It just wasn’t much fun to play. It felt stiff and overly serious in places. It also pushed the PS2 way too hard. It belonged on the Xbox. Surprisingly, the sequel faired a bit better, but the series died after that.
Most Recent Entry: The Getaway: Black Monday – 2004 (PS2)
Ys: The Ark of Napishtim– 2003
Ys is an RPG that needs no introduction. It’s one of the most beloved series out there. The Ark of Napishtim was a highly anticipated sequel but fell flat due to its short length and formulaic gameplay. It’s not bad, but nothing groundbreaking, and didn’t push the series forward. It later got a remaster on PSP.
Most Recent Entry: Ys IX: Monstrum Nox – 2019 (PS4, PC, NS)
Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends– 2004
This was an expansion of the original game and it was never released on Xbox. Asking full price for a game that came out 6 months prior made people turn away. However, the series lives on to this day and is an incredibly popular Musou game.
Most Recent Entry: Samurai Warriors 5 – 2021 (NS, PS4, PC, XONE, XSX)
Tales of Legendia – 2006
Having released late into the PS2’s life, the Tales Of series trucked on. Many games in the series are all over the place, but by this point the series was growing formulaic and stale and fans wanted a refresh of the series. It still lives on to this day.
Most Recent Entry: Tales of Arise – 2021 (PS4, PC, PS5, XONE, XSX)
Silpheed: The Lost Planet – 2000
Silpheed didn’t get too many games, but the PS2 entry was praised for its stunning visuals, but lacked exciting gameplay to follow. Many kept saying it felt better in the arcades than at home. The series got one final entry as a paltry mobile game in 2011.
Most Recent Entry: Silpheed Alternative AM – 2011 (AND)
Super Dragon Ball Z – 2005
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi – 2005
The Dragon Ball Z series was a yearly mega-hit and still is. These two games were PS2 exclusives and offered a great cast and the feeling of the show, but lacked gameplay, variety, and depth.
Most Recent Entry: Dragon Ball: The Breakers – 2022 (PC, NS, XONE, XSX, PS4)
Legend of Kay – 2005
Legend of Kay has a cult following. It was a light-hearted mascot platformer of the day but felt like it was geared toward kids too much and had an awful performance and camera. The Anniversary release is a bit better.
Most Recent Entry: Legend of Kay Anniversary – 2015 (MAC, NS, PS4, PS3, WIIU, PC, X360)
Ar Tonelico: Melody of Elemia – 2007
Ar Tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica – 2009
Yes, it was released very late in the PS2’s life and it might be why it was reviewed so poorly. However, I absolutely loved this game’s soundtrack. The Japanese operas were amazing. I have the limited edition hanging on my wall to this day. Despite the amazing soundtrack and interesting characters, the game dragged on too long and there wasn’t enough exploration. The first game was welcomed thanks to its simple combat and fun item farming but also suffered from a lackluster story. It felt very linear. The series would come to an abrupt end in 2014.
Most Recent Entry: Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star – 2014 (PS3, Vita)
The King of Fighters 2000/2001 – 2003
A lack of overall content is what hurt this compilation. It also didn’t have an online play which was expected on the console at this point. It’s still a solid port of the arcade game just not up to snuff for a console game.
Most Recent Entry: The King of Fighters XV – 2022 (PC, PS5, PS4, XSX)
G1 Jokey 3 – 2003
For some reason, horse racing games had a following. My own sister was one of them and loved Gallop Racer. While I never got into the games they did look interesting. G1 Jokey was the rival to Gallop Racer. This game was much harder to get into and had a steeper learning curve. It looked great, but many kept comparing the two. The series came to an end in 2011.
Most Recent Entry: Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer- 2011 (PS3, Wii, X360)
Fantavision – 2000
As an early PS2 game the particle effects were impressive but all we had was a fireworks sandbox with little gameplay or variety. It looked pretty, but that was about it.
The Red Star – 2007
The Red Star was a sleeper hit that was released late in the PS2’s life. It wasn’t anything special. Just a decent beat ’em-up with multiplayer that was released for only $20. It was later released for PSP, PS3, and iOS.
Dynasty Warriors 3: Xtreme Legends – 2003
Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends – 2003
Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires – 2004
Dynasty Warriors is a game of spotting the difference. An incredibly popular Musou series. In fact, it’s considered the best in the genre. However, these two games came out in the same year. Come on Koei. Despite the sheer amount of content in each game if you’ve played one you have played them all. The series lives on today albeit with much lower quality.
Most Recent Entry: Dynasty Warriors 9: Empires – 2021 (PC, PS4, PS5, NS)
Bombastic – 2003
While praised for its unique take on dice rolling and math. The game was rather one note and lacking in the visuals department. It’s one of those unique PlayStation games that you can only get on these systems.
Sega SuperStars – 2004
Sega SuperStars Tennis – 2008
Yep, you know the drill. A gimmicky set of mini-games for a motion device that’s fun for a couple of hours and gets old quickly. Sadly, this one didn’t even offer multiplayer. The series died off a few years later as a tennis game. It’s fun for kids but that’s about it. It would later spawn a sequel that was cross-gen and fell flat compared to other mascot tennis games.
Arc the Lad; Twilight Spirits – 2003
Arc the Lad is a cult favorite PS1 RPG. The PS2 entry was highly anticipated and while it excels in storytelling it doesn’t offer anything but average gameplay and a lack of memorable dungeons. Overall, it’s still a solid entry but there are better RPGs on the system. Sadly, the series would come to an abrupt end and hasn’t been seen since.
Most Recent Entry: Arc the Lad: End of Darkness – 2004 (PS2)
Disney Golf – 2002
If you like Disney and golf this is your game. While it looked colorful and even sounded the part, the game was very arcade-like and too easy for adult gamers. It’s still charming and relaxing enough to play for adults.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Zeonic Front – 2002
The Gundam license has been used for games since the 8-bit era and continues on to this day. This particular PS2 exclusive just so happened to be almost great. Its strategy elements were praised, but the action was clumsy with terrible AI. It’s worth a look for hardcore fans.
Most Recent Entry: SD Gundam: Battle Alliance – 2022 (NS, PC, PS4, PS5, XONE, XSX)
Graffiti Kingdom – 2005
The game had shallow combat and gameplay, but creating your own creatures and watching them come to life had a lot of charm. If you can look past the average combat then you have one of the most unique games on the system. This game oozes that signature PlayStation charm.
CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution – Country – 2006
Well, take it or leave it with the title. This was Konami’s challenge to Sony’s SingStar and it was quite popular for a while. It relied on the gimmicky motion controls of the time but died out eventually in 2011.
Most Recent Entry: Karaoke Revolution: Glee – Volume 3 – 2011 (Wii, X360)
Shinobi – 2002
The series made a radical reboot on the PS2 and was loved quite well. It looked good, played fast, and had some crazy combos, but the game was insanely hard. I remember renting this as a kid and turning it in the next day. It was brutal after the second stage. A cult classic and well-loved among fans.
Most Recent Entry: Shinobi – 2011 (3DS)
Bloody Roar 3 – 2001
The Bloody Roar series has never been considered great. A fun series for newbie fighters. The third game looked amazing at launch but was too simple compared to other 3D fighters at the time. The series lived on for a couple more years and we haven’t seen it since.
Most Recent Entry: Bloody Roar Extreme – 2003 (Xbox)
MotoGP 4 – 2006
The game came out too late and was overshadowed by the previous game’s impressive Xbox outing. While the Xbox was long dead by 2006, the weaker system tried its best and the physics were great, but the super bike scene was hyper-competitive around this time. Thankfully, the series still lives on with lots of ups and downs.
Most Recent Entry: MotoGP 22 – 2022 (PC, NS, PS5, XSX, PS4, XONE)
Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing – 2001
This game was a surprise when it was released. Being an obvious Mario Kart clone the Star Wars IP was the last anyone would think that could create a good kart racer. The game had a great sense of speed, felt and looked like a Star Wars game, and was a lot of fun. There just isn’t a lot of content.
State of Emergency – 2002
The game was praised for it’s frantic and chaotic action, but had repetitive missions and was very one-note. It has a cult following because of Rockstar’s name attached to it. It saw a late sequel that fell under everyone’s radar.
Most Recent Entry: State of Emergency 2 – 2006 (PS2)
P.T.O. IV: Pacific Theater of Operations – 2003
This marine strategy game is quite bland, but the tactics themselves work well. It’s not an exciting game, and there’s a very small niche group of gamers who like these types of games. This was an attempt at a reboot for the series that failed pretty hard. It should have been on PC or Xbox.
Resident Evil Outbreak – 2004
The Outbreak series was an interesting concept. While it’s better received today as back in 2004 we had just been blessed with Resident Evil 4 so any game that went backward was looked down on. The online component, visuals, and improved controls were appreciated but the story was uninteresting.
Most Recent Entry: Resident Evil Outbreak – File #2 – 2004 (PS2)
Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing – 2005
Suzuki TT was considered a low-budget effort at the superbike craze of the mid-2000s. While you had the end of Tourist Trophy and MotoGP, this was at the lower end. Its authenticity was appreciated, but it had twitchy handling and only a single track. The series went on for a few more years though.
Most Recent Entry: Suzuki TT Superbikes: Real Road Racing Championship – 2009 (PS2, PS3)
Sub Rebellion – 2002
This weird exclusive was well-liked for its challenging gameplay, but low production values plagued the game and it felt quite generic. It’s still a fun shooter and unique to the system.
Gallop Racer 2001 – 2001
Gallop Racer 2004 – 2004
Gallop Racer was the gold standard for horse racing games. Yeah…well…if that’s your thing. My sister was really into this series, and while it was very niche, the series continued on for a few years and was praised for fun betting systems and being able to breed your own horses.
Most Recent Entry: Champion Jockey: G1 Jockey & Gallop Racer – 2011 (PS3, X360, Wii)
.hack//Outbreak: Part 3 – 2002
.hack//Quarantine: Part 4 – 2003
At the halfway mark people were tired of the padded-out nature of the .hack series. While it’s a beloved series today the game was split up into four parts that would take around 20 hours per game to finish. You really had to love the anime or the gameplay here to truck on.
Most Recent Entry: .hack//G.U. Last Recode – 2017 (PS4, PC)
Wizardry: Tales of the Forsaken Land – 2001
An early PS2 game that took the PC games and brought them to consoles. It’s buried under an awful UI and dated gameplay, but fans of the old dungeon crawler will get lost in the world here. Just push past the ugliness and there might be a gem in there somewhere.
Most Recent Entry: Wizardry: The Five Ordeals – 2021 (PC)
Dual Hearts – 2002
This is an Atlus game so you know there’s a cult following. This one-shot PS2 RPG was unique and quirky but was marred by technical problems such as heavy slowdown and other issues. It’s still charming and has that unique PS2 feel to it.
Enthusia: Professional Racing – 2005
This was Konami’s attempt at a Gran Turismo killer. If the game were put on Xbox it might have done better. Everyone praised the game for the effort put into it, and I clearly remember seeing this game hyped up in magazines, but falling flat due to a lack of content. The career mode was over fairly quickly compared to other racing sims at the time.
Hot Shots Tennis – 2007
Releasing very late in the system’s life no one really paid attention to this series anymore. The game was light-hearted and fun, but too easy. The series would get one final game on the PSP a few years later.
Most Recent Entry: Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip – 2010 (PSP)
Killzone – 2004
Oh boy, this game needs no introduction really. This was the infamous Halo killer. One of the most hyped-up games in video game history. I remember getting this game for Christmas of 2004 and was ready for it. Sadly, the game fell flat quite a bit, however not all was lost. The game did look good for the underpowered system despite the low framerate. The weapons were unique, and the Nazi-Esque dystopian world was praised, but the story and character fell flat. The game suffered from long reload animations that were impressive, but unnecessary. It was far from the fast-paced and tight gunplay that was Halo 2. Online play was decent and fun, but this game was very slow. The weapons had weight which was good, but the gray color pallete was also not very appealing. It was also very short on top of all of this. In the end, it was an impressive effort and Guerrilla went on to be one of Sony’s flagship developers and the series did improve.
Most Recent Entry: Killzone: Shadow Fall – 2013 (PS4)
AirBlade – 2002
Namco made an attempt to throw their hat into the Xtreme Sports ring. Everyone wanted that Tony Hawk fame. While the game looked good and had its own style, it just didn’t have the same flawless gameplay as the Tony Hawk series.
Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Volume 2 – 2008
The better of the two volumes, and the final game in the series. Sadly, SNK hasn’t returned to the full Fatal Fury game formula and has focused on The King of Fighters ever since.
Okage: Shadow King – 2001
Considered a dumbed down RPG for kids, Okage oozed charm and had pleasant visuals, but also had a clunky menu system and was seen as too easy. It’s still an early PS2 with that unique PlayStation feeling.
Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy – 2008
This was NIS’ answer to the Atelier series. While better than the first game, it’s a game that’s better than the sum of its parts. Not a single thing is done very well, but if you love your anime JRPGs then this is something that might be worth your time. This would end up being the final game in the series after a port to the PSP.