When we talk about the best RPG consoles, we usually talk about the SNES and the PS1 most of the time (and with good reason). The PS2, on the other hand, has a strong case to make that not only does it deserve to be in that conversation, but it could very well win.
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Because of all the hard work that went into the PS1 generation, we also got to enjoy the benefits of the PS2 generation, which made true 3D gaming so much easier than it had ever been before. They were able to see their dreams come true in a way that wasn’t possible before.
Take a look at the best PS2 RPGs and you’ll see how many great games this console had. You already know a few of them.
The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
However, I do feel bad about putting this game on the list next to games that are more well-reviewed, more innovative, and even better than what was essentially EA’s Lord of the Rings-themed take on Final Fantasy X.
In other words, The Third Age gave us a real Lord of the Rings RPG adventure when movies were still big. Fans were able to go back to Middle-earth again thanks to this mix of movie scenes and original stories. The game is still one of the best ways to relive your movie memories today.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
Players take on the role of a high school student who has to fight the forces that rule this world. They have to navigate a demon-filled version of Tokyo in order to fight them off. It’s a little…weird.
Nocturne’s combat system and demon-recruitment mechanics are the main things that make this game interesting. The game’s weirdness is a big part of what makes it interesting. With so much depth and creativity, you’ll be able to forgive the game’s punishing difficulty and occasional sluggishness, even though it’s a lot of work.
I’ve heard that some people don’t like Radiata Stories because they take too long to “click” for them or don’t click at all. To be honest, I can understand why people aren’t happy. This game isn’t for everyone because of its more laid-back style and sometimes slow-moving story.
As long as this game uses its NPCs the way it does, I’ll always admire how it does. Over 176 NPCs each with their own stories and abilities are available for you to hire. This game also makes a great effort to make sure that every person in this world feels like they really live in this world. You won’t be able to see everything this game has to offer in one playthrough. People who love it won’t mind playing it again.
Tales Of Symphonia
Tale of Symphonia is often thought of as a GameCube RPG, but its PS2 port means it should be included in any discussion of the best role-playing games on this console.
Tales of Symphonia has a great art style and a good story, but the real star here has to be this game’s great combat system. You can play Tales of Symphonia as both a strategy game and a role-playing game, but the game’s incredible battles fall somewhere in the middle. They’ll almost certainly keep you playing from start to finish in a way that few other games can match.
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse
This X-Men game is a great way to start celebrating the PS2’s impressive collection of ARPGs. It set a standard that even today’s superhero games are still trying to meet, and it’s one of the best.
Definitely, this game has a huge number of playable characters that can be upgraded with gear and XP. But it’s the way this game captures the feeling of putting together the perfect team of characters and then having them fight incredible enemies that makes this surprisingly deep experience better than other games that have tried to do the same thing.
Kingdom Hearts 2
If you think about Kingdom Hears, it can be hard to believe that it’s even a thing. Our dream project, which was also so far out of our reach, may have reached its peak with Kingdom Hearts 2.
A lot of people think this game is one of the best PS2 RPGs, but it’s the way all of its worlds, bosses, and storyline work together that makes it so great.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
In Dragon Quest VIII, if you had to find something to criticise, it would most likely be that this sequel sticks to the same rules and ideas as its previous games. Not the most innovative RPG of this era, but it’s not the worst either.
As for the new game, though, it’s hard to really criticise it when you’re building on a game that helped set the standard for JRPGs. This is a truly epic and well-made JRPG that also happens to be one of the PS2’s best-looking games.
Xenosaga Episode I – Der Wille Zur Macht
Most people say that Xenosaga is “deep.” It’s a better description than “complicated,” but the truth is that there isn’t a great way to sum up this game in just a few words.
A careful look at the human condition, Xenosaga is an RPG that manages to stretch the most intimate ideas across a galaxy-spanning journey that makes it feel as grand as any other RPG of this generation. I like this game’s combat and character systems, but the story of Xenosaga is what keeps me thinking about it.
Back in 2007, things were the same: The action RPG Odin Sphere is one of the most beautiful games we’ve ever seen. It has some of the best hand-drawn 2D art we’ve ever seen in a video game!
But even if you don’t like the game’s amazing graphics, its story, which is told through the eyes of five characters who meet and cross paths over the course of its 30+ hour journey, is what makes it a timeless classic. That, and the fun combat, the wide variety of gameplay, and the great boss fights.
Persona 3 FES
Persona 3: FES is the best version of Person 3 there is (with apologies to Persona 3 Portable).
With dark subject matter, FES lives up to the Shin Megami Tensei legacy. It also has a cheerful soundtrack and a colourful cast of characters to cheer things up, but it’s not always a bad thing to be edgelord-y. In the end, they came up with something that would go on to become a franchise, giving this spin-off series more social power than SMT. Another thing: It also has a very loud sound.