With Sony’s recent, albeit quiet, announcement that the PS4 supports PS2 backwards compatibility, we couldn’t help but imagine the possibilities.
We’re not talking about the remakes and remastered re-releases, we’re talking about those games that have seemingly been forgotten.
These are some of the best PlayStation 2 games that we want to be playable on PS4, even if Sony’s going to force us to buy them again.
If you had to compare Bully to any Grand Theft Auto title, you’d find that there are some stark differences.
It’s not at all the violent, sadomasochistic crime simulator you’ve come to associate GTA with.
Bully, more often than not, will have you wondering about in a reindeer jersey, riding your trusty bicycle or visiting the local town.
In fact, Bully was less about causing havoc in your boarding school, and more about saving it from the bullies themselves.
That said, it had everything you could even want from a game made by Rockstar, like slingshots, stink bombs and a set of some kick-ass melee moves.
Ape Escape 2 & 3
Before that ridiculous PlayStation Move Ape Escape title released on PS3, there was a full-fledged Ape Escape franchise, complete with gripping worlds, exploration and lots of monkey catching.
The series was at its peak by the time Ape Escape 3 came around, with two playable characters, over 150 monkeys and Spectre’s return.
Ape Escape 2 introduced the Freaky Monkey Five, a gang of, you guessed it, five monkeys that joined Spectre to take over the world.
They, along with their unique powers and abilities, formed a monkey army; the result was one of the best experiences on PS2.
Ape Escape 3 took place in a world where the apes had taken over television, airing programming that turned everything, well, bananas – excuse the pun.
Players would visit movie sets that resembled real life Hollywood scenarios, and hilarity ensued.
The game saw the return of the Freaky Monkey Five and, of course, the evil monkey, Spectre.
I would love to play the series again as it is one of Sony’s best franchises. It’s pity they abandoned it after the lacklustre Ape Escape Move.
Every Grand Theft Auto game
There was no doubt that the PS2 era was home to the best in the Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
To play the Grand Theft Auto games on PS4 would be great.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas may have had a re-release to PS3 recently, but we want GTA 3 and Vice City.
Playing as Raz, a psychic, you are sent to the Whispering Rock Psychic Camp where you are confronted with the dreams and nightmares of the residents of the camp.
It’s here that you grow your powers as you face the the many weird, wild challenges and worlds, each unique to the dreams of a particular individual.
The game was developed by Double Fine and had everything we love about their sense of humour and twisted character design.
Created on a measly budget, the game proves that money cannot buy good game design; it’s all about the passion and love for what you do.
Star Ocean: Till the end of Time
Talking about good RPGs, Star Ocean: Till the end of Time was one of the best on the PS2.
It followed the traditional Star Ocean premises of intergalactic space travel, spanned around 80 hours in length and offered some seriously addictive combat.
I remember it being one of the few games on PS2 to feature multiple discs, it had that much content.
It looks a bit dated, granted, but it will still hold its own on PS4 because it plays brilliantly.
Final Fantasy XII
If one Final Fantasy game has gotten the least attention and love since launch, it’s Final Fantasy XII.
We’ve had nearly every Final Fantasy title re-released on Steam, remastered and released on a newer platform or has been made playable on PS Vita; even Final Fantasy X received a remastered release on both PS3 and PS4.
But poor Final Fantasy XII, the loner of the group, was only ever released on one console, the PS2.
I would really love to play Final Fantasy XII again on PS4, and enjoy its unique approach to the franchise once more.
The game was a true entry into the series, with some great characters and a combat system like no other before and since.
It’s got intrigue, sky pirates, betrayal, romance and a lot of interesting mechanics.
It’s also part of a much larger collection of Square Enix titles, the Ivalice Alliance, and well worth your time.
I remember spending countless hours playing split-screen battles on TimeSplitters 2; it was truly a remarkable shooter.
It borrowed elements from the exquisite Golden Eye and introduced drop in/out gameplay to FPS games, a first.
It was just so well executed that it’s hard not to love TimeSplitters 2, as easily one of the best PS2 shooters to ever grace the console.
It’s a pity, then, that the series has been missing for some time now, and the PS4 would be the perfect home for a sequel. For now, however, we’ll settle for TimeSplitters 2.
These are just a few games that I would love to replay on PS4.
The list could go on forever with the addition of Suikoden V, Crash Twinsanity, Persona 4, Onimusha, Silent Hill 2 and more.
What games would you play on PS4 as part of Sony’s PS2 movement? Let us know in the comments and forum.