15 of the Best PS2 RPGs Ranked - The Old School Game Vault
Putting together a list of “the best PS2 RPGs” is both easy and difficult. It’s easy in the sense that there’s no dearth of role-playing games—the system has more RPG titles than some short-lived consoles, like the TurboGrafx-16, has of any kind at all. The difficult part involves separating the wheat from the chaff.
The good news is that it can be done, and the below entries make up our 15 RPGs for PS2 (ranked from 15 to 1). These amazing titles are sure to please any role playing enthusiast. Some of these options, dare we say, rise to the level of modern classics. You can also find lots of PS2 on sale right here on our website!
15. Kingdom Hearts II
The first “Kingdom Hearts” entry initially confused many gamers and reviewers by throwing Disney Characters into a “Final Fantasy” world. Kingdom Hearts II sticks with the same basic premise of the previous game, but improves on almost everything else its predecessor did.
The camera is better, the gameplay mechanics are better, and the gummi-ship sections have been overhauled to deliver high-octane action. But where this game really shines is in the presentation. Even by today’s standards, it’s a great looking game, and the lush coloring and animations in the world all but beg you to enjoy this epic adventure.
14. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
To say that some people love this most notorious entry in the “Star Ocean” series, while others hate it, is an understatement. TTEOT is the third in the series, and it does depart noticeably from the second. In this entry, the onus is more on the sci-fi aspects of the story, which features a protagonist named Fayt Leingod being kidnapped by aliens and dumped on a remote planet.
Whether you like the game depends on your tastes. Will you find the story to be solid or unsound? Will the plot-twist at the halfway point induce you to throw in the towel, or does it enhance the game? Does the inventory system cause you to lose your mind? These are things you’ll only find out by playing the game.
13. Steambot Chronicles
What's not to love about this game, it's a little nugget of gold. It has never been that popular of a title, but that's okay. For those of use who have played the game, I love the Mech Combat Mechanics mixed with RPG elements.
The majority of the game is spent playing side missions, some many find the story a little boring and basic, but for me this was my last PS2 game I thoroughly enjoyed.
12. Suikoden III
One RPG series that enjoys a true cult following is “Suikoden.” Many gamers enjoy the third entry the most because it almost acts as a stand-alone game. What truly broke the mold is that in “Suikoden III,” the story is told through three different protagonists.
That means gamers will play as a mercenary, a knight and the son of a chieftain. So it’s a great game for those with short attention spans.
11. Rogue Galaxy
There isn’t much of a rift when it comes to this title—gamers tend to love it unreservedly. In “Rogue Galaxy” you play as Jaster Rogue, a hunter who finds himself on a space pirate ship going on quests with a few unique sidekicks like a dog-headed warrior and a tribeswoman.
The game is a slow burn, but the plot kicks into gear about the midway point, and the story is off and running. Also, the fighting system does a nice job of managing real-time combat with the more traditionally RPG item menu.
10. Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Best PS2 RPG game ever made for the system? Maybe. Most inviting cover-art for any PS2 game ever? Probably. The game takes place in an alternate WWI-era setting that is rife with fantasy elements, and it has a rich cast of characters including vampires, wolves, military officers and… a puppeteer.
The battle system is unique in that it features a “judgment ring,” which acts as a timer to deliver crucial hits. Overall, a game that will leave a lasting legacy.
9. Radiata Stories
Radiata Stores had a huge anticipation with Japanese gamers, unfortunately that same enthusiasm didn't carry over to the states. Radiata Stories went on to win game of the month after release and was nominated as one of the top PS2 RPGS video game back in 2005.
The game is classified as an action role-playing game, and has all the dragon slaying and dungeon exploring one can handle.
8. Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance
This maybe one of the best RPS's ever made! I'm a huge fan of the hack and slash/ role playing elements in the game. Dark Alliance was awarded Role Playing Game of the Year back in 2001.
And has been released on just about every major consoles since its release. The gameplay is really what set this game apart 20+ years ago. Not to mention the dungeon & dragons elements the game includes, and the slew of famous voice actors.
7. Final Fantasy X
Blitzball, Spyra, Wakka—mention these names to any hardcore RPG fan, and they’ll know exactly what you’re talking about. “Final Fantasy X” is beloved for its solid story, richly layered with some of gamings favorite characters, and ahead-of-its time animation. Those who don’t know it need to know it about this classic style RPG.
6. Grandia II
Grandia II, which was originally released in the Sega DreamCast library, which became an instant turn based RPG classic. So much so that Ubisoft got the rights to release a port of the game to the PlayStation 2 back in 2000.
The game is a solid RPG in the grandia series, even if the depth and story isn't as deep as the original.
5. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
The “Shin Megami Tensei” series earned rave reviews for its willingness to break with RPG convention. This was especially true of the third installment, which features a dark plot and overt sexuality. “Persona 4” improves on the previous entries by delivering better animation and mechanics.
The plot centers on another high-school protagonist who must overcome spirits, murders and killer fog. Persona-3’s “one more” fighting system is back, and gamers who haven’t, yet it, experienced the group brawling would do well to give it a go. And by all means read why we think persona games are so damn good.
4. Final Fantasy XII
Despite the occasional departure, Square always maintained the high standards of for any Final Fantasy Game. Final Fantasy XII was the first entry in a few years, but it lived up to expectations.
This story takes place in the familiar world of Ivalice, and it does a good job of melding a “Star Wars” spirit with an Anime execution. The game has it all, political intrigue and rebellion, aerial dogfighting, sleek spacecraft, and an eclectic cast of characters.
3. Wild Arms 3
Wild arms 3, which is a sequel to the two earlier games Wild Arms & Wild Arms 2 Second Ignition. The game was a vast improvement over the first two titles in the series, as it was really created to use the fully technological power of the PlayStation 2 Console.
Wild Arms 3 is a classic turn base RPG game, which was hugely creative. Especially with the ways you would interact with the in game character traits. Which make this a must-play title in the series
2. Dark Cloud 2
You really got a love when a company looks at a successful first game, in the series. Then they ask themselves, how can we make a sequel better than the first game. Boy did Sony deliver, with a remarkable masterpiece with eye-popping graphics.
Then Sony mixes in some "Zelda ish" mechanics into the gameplay. The gameplay is just as polished as the visual presentation, with super enjoyable characters and environments to experience, which make dark cloud 2 one of the best PlayStation 2 RPGs.
1. Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King
There’s something to be said for packaging. While substance of storytelling and good mechanics are a must for any game, how it looks also plays a crucial role. This is the first “Dragon Quest” iteration that utilizes 3D graphics, which is a great presentation method for Akira Toriyama’s artwork.
As for the gameplay, this story of evil wizards and heroes is a throwback to the days of simpler RPGs—classic battle scenes, solid boss fights, traditional menu screens, etc.
These are the best RPGs on PS2, you need to play now. So find that old PlayStation 2 console and fire it up. Head over to our shop, and browse through hundreds of PS2 for sale at great prices. I promise you, you'll be glad you did.