Ultimate Guide to the Best PS2 Games and Accessories

The PlayStation 2 is an iconic pillar in gaming history. Whether you are eager to rediscover its legendary game library, navigate through its vast array of accessories, or you are curious about adding a PS2 to your collection, this guide delivers the essentials. Let us dive straight into the world of PS2—where nostalgia meets firsthand discovery.

PS2 Key Takeaways

  • The PlayStation 2 enjoyed enormous success, becoming the fastest console to ship 100 million units, largely due to its hardware capabilities, DVD functionality, backward compatibility, and strategic marketing.
  • Sony continually innovated the PS2’s design with the introduction of the slimline model and the multifunctional PSX device, although the PSX device was less successful and limited to the Japanese market.
  • The extensive game library of the PS2, backward compatibility, home movie DVD playback, specialised peripherals, and provisions for online gameplay via a network adapter, contributed immensely to the console’s widespread popularity and enduring legacy.

The Rise of the PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2, launched by Sony in 2000, was an instant success. It managed to rake in a staggering $250 million in sales of the console, games, and accessories on its launch day in North America alone. But the PS2’s success story did not just end there. It went on to achieve the fastest 100 million units shipped globally, a feat accomplished in a mere 5 years and 9 months from its launch. It went on to be the best-selling console of all time with an official sales number of 155 million units.

Despite its popularity, the PS2 was not without its criticisms. Critics were quick to point out its lack of online support, limited controller ports, and a high launch price, especially when compared to the Dreamcast. Yet, the PS2’s exceptional hardware, graphics capabilities, the ability to play DVDs, and its backward compatibility won over the hearts of millions. The PS2’s success can also be attributed to Sony’s strategic marketing efforts that targeted 17-year-olds, effectively capitalising on their nostalgic and aspirational tendencies.

PS2 Hardware and Design

PS2 console models

The PlayStation 2’s hardware design was as innovative as it was efficient. Throughout its lifespan, Sony continually refined the PS2’s internal architecture and external design to appeal to potential buyers. The original model is referred to as the fat or "phat" as it's quite hefty.

Slimline Model

In 2004, Sony introduced a sleek and compact version of the console, the PS2 Slim, which retained the core features of the original model but lacked a 3.5” expansion bay. The Slimline model distinguished itself from its contemporaries with its compact, lightweight design that did not compromise on the core features.

Although the initial response to the PS2 Slim was positive, there were concerns about its robustness and the removal of the 3.5” expansion bay, which limited certain titles that relied on HDD usage. Despite these concerns, the slimline model was perceived as a marked improvement on the original PS2 design.

PS2 Console Model Differences

There are many different models of PS2 console with the many revisions and variants. The best summary we have found of this information is over on Console Mods

PS2 slim console


PSX Device

Sony also ventured beyond traditional gaming consoles with the PSX device, a multifunctional unit that combined gaming, digital video recording, and DVD burning capabilities. The PSX device supplemented the standard PS2 console with extensive multimedia capabilities, including a fully functional digital video recorder with an included Infrared remote control and S-Video, composite video, and RF inputs. Ability to tune analogue VHF and CATV. It could also be linked with a PlayStation Portable PSP to transfer photos, videos and music via USB ports. DVD+R support was to be introduced in a future update. These features supported advanced multimedia features alongside gaming, ensuring a seamless experience on every page. However, despite its innovative features, the PSX device fell short of expectations in the Japanese market and never saw a release in other markets.

PS2 Backwards Compatibility and Game Library

The PlayStation 2’s backwards compatibility was one of its most appealing features, allowing it to seamlessly run most PlayStation 1 games. This feature played a key role in the PlayStation 2 outselling the Xbox by a 4:1 ratio.

Will the PS1 games work on the PS2?

Yes, the PS2 can play 98% of PS1 games. The list of PS1 games that are not compatible for PS2 are:

  • Arcade Party Pak
  • Atari Arcade Greatest Hits
  • Fighter Maker
  • Final Fantasy Anthology
  • International Track and Field
  • Judge Dredd
  • Monkey Hero
  • Mortal Kombat Trilogy
  • Tomba

Top Exclusive PS2 Game Titles

The PlayStation 2 boasted an impressive lineup of exclusive PS2 games, with titles like Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid playing a significant role in the console’s success. The wide appeal of these games drew a large audience, resulting in a significant boost in console sales.

Critics and players alike held these exclusive games in high esteem. Titles like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Final Fantasy X, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance received positive critical acclaim, cementing the PS2’s position as a leader in the gaming industry.

PS2 Game Releases Timeline

The strategic timeline of game releases also played a significant role in the PlayStation 2’s success. It reached its peak in 2004, with popular releases like Gran Turismo 4 and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Developers like Namco, Absolute Studios, and Gamezlab were prolific during this time, producing a variety of games that added depth and diversity to the PS2’s game library.

The PlayStation 2 had a long life, with Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 being the final game to be released for the console.

PS2 Controllers and Peripherals

Along with its games and hardware, the PlayStation 2 offered a variety of controllers and peripherals. These options included:

  • Standard controllers
  • Specialised controllers for specific game genres
  • Memory cards for saving game progress
  • Steering wheels for racing games
  • Dance mats for rhythm games
  • Light guns for shooting games

In addition, the console provided online support through a network adapter. This network adapter can be used to transfer games to the internal hard drive via FTP, but you will need homebrew software running on the console to access this feature.

The DualShock 2 Analog Controller (SCPH-10010) was the standard controller for the PlayStation 2. All the buttons other than L3, R3 and "Analog" feature analog pressure sensitivity for force feedback control in games.

Specialised Controllers

Among the PS2’s extensive range of peripherals were a number of specialised controllers. These included:

  • light guns
  • fishing rod and reel controllers
  • game-specific controllers like the Dragon Quest VIII ‘slime’ controller
  • the Final Fantasy X-2 ‘Tiny Bee’ dual pistol controller.

The purpose of these specialised controllers was to elevate the gaming experience. For instance, the ‘Tiny Bee’ dual pistol controller enabled players to utilise two guns that encompassed all the functionalities of a Dual Shock 2™ controller, creating a more immersive gaming experience.

Network Adapter and Online Support

PS2 network adapter hdd hard drive support

The PlayStation 2 offered online gaming as well, though it came with some limitations. Here are some key points to note:

  • A network adapter was required for internet connectivity and online gaming on original models.
  • Not all games that supported online play required broadband internet access. Some games were able to connect using dial-up connections.
  • Some games could be played with dial-up connections.

Compared to Xbox Live, PS2’s online support was not as refined. It lacked features like set friends lists and dedicated servers, and the online experience differed depending on the game. However, it did enable competition and interaction among players, creating a more engaging gaming experience.

Homebrew Development and Linux OS

The PlayStation 2 also paved the way for homebrew development. This allowed users to:

  • Create custom programs and emulators that enabled the console to play a variety of audio and video file formats
  • Patched backups of original PS2 DVD games
  • Install (copy) retail discs to an installed hard drive.

In addition to homebrew development, Sony released a Linux-based operating system for the PS2, called Linux for PlayStation 2. This package also included:

  • a keyboard
  • a mouse
  • an Ethernet adapter
  • an HDD

These additions offered users the ability to develop their own games tailored for PS2 Linux.

The Legacy of the PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 left a profound impact on the gaming industry. With over 155 million units sold worldwide by March 2012, its popularity and influence were indisputable. It transformed longstanding franchises, enhanced game aesthetics and immersion, and established the PlayStation and Sony as widely recognised household names.

The PlayStation 2’s extensive game library, featuring thousands of titles, coupled with its role in popularising DVD technology, further solidified its legacy. Even the console’s final release, Pro Evolution Soccer 2014, stands testament to its enduring impact and influence in the gaming industry.

Buying a PS2 Console Today

Buy PS2 online

Despite its discontinuation, the PlayStation 2 console continues to be a favoured choice among retro gamers and collectors. Pre-owned PS2s are commonly available at:

  • Local video game stores RetroSales.com.au who provide refurbished PS2 consoles with warranty and peace of mind. After sales customer service and someone to call if you have any issues.
    • Thrift stores – Broken, untested.
    • Online platforms like eBay – If you want to take the risk from dodgy sellers
    • Facebook Marketplace – If you are a gambler and don’t mind the risks of buying something that can’t be returned.
  • We do offer PS2 console repair services if you do by a broken PS2 console and need it repaired by our experienced team.

Average selling prices for a refurbished PS2 are approx. $199 to $249 depending on the model, cosmetic condition and colour.

If you are considering buying a PS2 today that’s from a untrusted source, here are our tips to help ensure its longevity and proper functionality:

  1. Clean the console, removing any dust using a paint brush and canned air.
  2. Lubricate the fans and DVD tray drive bar.
  3. Replace the DVD drive belt.
  4. Place the console in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating.

Following these steps can help keep your PS2 in good condition when not in use or during storage. If you want the peace of mind, then simply buy a refurbished PS2 console from RetroSales.com.au


Reflecting on the PlayStation 2’s journey, it is clear why it holds such an esteemed place in the annals of gaming history. From its impressive sales figures and innovative hardware design to its extensive game library and groundbreaking features, the PS2 truly redefined gaming. Even today, it continues to captivate the hearts of millions, serving as a testament to Sony’s innovative spirit and commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is PS2 worth buying in 2024?

buy ps2 console in 2024

Yes, the PS2 is worth buying in 2024 due to its extensive game library, nostalgic design, and affordability, which cater to both long-time fans and newcomers to the gaming scene. Whether you want to revisit classic games or explore the vast array of titles available, the PS2 continues to provide an enjoyable gaming experience. Many game franchises begun on the PS2 so this is a great way to experience where a game franchise all started.

What franchises started on PS2?

Many of the game titles we know and play today began their life on Sony's second-generation console, the PlayStation 2. While some of these franchises have disappeared, others are still going strong. Have a read of these ten great franchises that started on the PS2.

  1. TimeSplitters
  2. Jak and Daxter
  3. Kingdom Hearts
  4. Sly Cooper
  5. Devil May Cry
  6. Katamari
  7. God of War
  8. Guitar Hero
  9. Ratchet and Clank
  10. Yakuza

PS2 God Of War Game 

Is PS2 discontinued?

Yes, the PlayStation 2 was discontinued in 2013 after over twelve years of production. It was technically in production while the PS3 was already out on shelves.

Does anyone still play PS2 games?

Yes, many people still play PS2 games due to the console's vast library of classic titles and enduring popularity despite its age. The graphics still look good, especially when using an aftermarket HDMI adapter ot the amazing RetroGEM product from PixelFX.

What was the PlayStation 2's sales performance on its launch day?

The PlayStation 2 made an impressive $250 million in sales of the console, games, and accessories on its launch day in North America.

What are some of the top exclusive titles on the PlayStation 2?

Some of the top exclusive titles on the PlayStation 2 are Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear Solid. These games offered unique experiences for players on the platform.


Browse our extensive range of PS2 games online


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