The Best Video Game Series That Never Left The PlayStation 2

Sony’s Playstation 2 was the Japanese company’s second home console and the best-selling console of all time. After the wild success of the original Playstation, Sony’s follow-up was highly anticipated and gamers couldn’t wait to enter the sixth generation of gaming. Sony had made a name for itself with numerous high-quality first-party titles on its original console. This trend continued, but not every beloved franchise would leave the PS2 era.

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With the PS2’s robust catalog of games, there were bound to be some series that didn’t make it out of the sixth generation, despite being fun unique experiences. The PS2 launched some brilliant series that continues to this day. While many of the PS2 titles are better left in the past, there are a few series we would have loved to see continue. Some of these games have seen remastered on later consoles while some are relegated to the graveyard of bargain bins.


5/5 Dark Cloud: A Cult-Classic Franchise

Dark Cloud, and its sequel Dark Cloud 2, we’re cult favorites on the PS2. The original Dark Cloud was intended to be a launch title for the PS2, but due to development issues didn’t see a release until almost a year after the PS2’s launch. It seemed like Sony was attempting to launch their own Legend of Zelda-type series with Dark Cloud, and while the combat in these games could turn repetitive, the story and fantasy elements kept gamers curious for more outings.

The second game in the series wasn’t a direct continuation, but more of a spiritual successor featuring new characters and plot lines. The first game was well received, but Dark Cloud 2 (Dark Chronicle in Japan) solidified this PS2 franchise as a full-on cult classic. It’s a shame this title never left the PS2, as the procedurally generated dungeons and rich lore could have really shined on seventh-generation hardware and beyond.

4/5 The Getaway: A GTA Clone With Cinematic Flair

Team Soho developed The Getaway as a British open-world crime game similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. The idea on paper sounds like a home run with the success of Grand Theft Auto 3 and Guy Ritchie crime films becoming mainstays in western culture. If the execution had been a bit better, we might be seeing sequels to The Getaway series being made today. The first game in the series is impressive if not a little derivative of GTA III. The Getaway has you playing through the events of a single day as both a criminal and a detective trying to hunt him down on the streets of London.

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The game plays out like a movie, eliminating any sort of HUD for the player and putting a large emphasis on cinematic elements. This was a strength and a detriment as many were entering looking for a straight GTA clone and finding something more akin to a story-based game with open-world elements. The final nail in the series was its underwhelming sequel, Black Monday. Black Monday wasn’t a bad game, it just failed to leave any lasting impression. The game featured all new characters and storylines, feeling even more like a GTA ripoff than the first. At least the GTA sequels put you in different locations. Black Monday keeps you in London barreling through the same type of missions with different characters. Ultimately, it was a lack of polish and innovation that kept The Getaway from leaving the PS2.

3/5 Zone Of The Enders: Mech Fighting At Its Best

Konami’s classic Zone of The Enders series proved popular on the PS2, but not popular enough to keep the series alive after the sixth console generation. Zone of the Enders is a third-person mech-led hack and slash game with addicting combat and a serious anime-style tone. The game launched in 2001 and a sequel followed in 2003. Outside of an HD re-release for the PS3, the ZoE franchise died on the Playstation 2.

Mech battling games surged in popularity during the PS2 era and Zone of the Enders was one of the best series in the genre. The major complaints gamers and critics had with the two entries we received were its length and poor localization in the west. Unfortunately with Konami taking a step back from console game development, we may never see more Zone of the Enders titles in the future.

2/5 TimeSplitters: Time Hopping Shooters Oozing With Charm

TimeSplitters is a series of first-person shooters for the PS2 that allows the player to time travel through different eras. The games were well received by fans and critics, often compared to the N64’s Golden Eye and Perfect Dark games. It’s a shame this franchise never left the PS2, as each sequel built meaningfully off its last entry.

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The ultimate downfall of this genre seemed to be the over-saturation of first-person shooters and the genre taking on a grittier darker tone. The TimeSplitters franchise kept a lighter feel than many of its contemporaries, but that is the exact reason it is beloved by so many still to this day. As of 2022, there have been some talks of a TimeSplitters 4 coming to current-gen consoles, so there is hope for this dead franchise to once again breathe new life.

1/5 Jak and Daxter: A Near-Flawless Trilogy

Jak and Daxter is the Naughty Dog developed action-adventure series featuring anthropomorphized characters in a fictional steampunk world. The trilogy of Jak and Daxter games got better with each entry and made Naughty Dog a household name when it came to game development. The series died on the Playstation 2 as Naughty Dog shifted their focus to the Uncharted series in the PS3 era.

The Jak and Daxter games are just as beloved now as they were when they were first released. The platforming and combat are solid, the story blends well with its setting, and each game improved gameplay in meaningful ways over the previous entry. Even today, you would be hard-pressed to find a better trilogy of video games. With Naughty Dog deep into its other franchises, it is unlikely we will ever see another Jak and Daxter game.

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