The Best PS2 Platformers

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The PlayStation 2 is easily one of the best consoles to have ever hit the market. Besides selling more units than any other home console at a whopping 155 million units sold worldwide, it had some of the most memorable games whose ripples can still be felt in the gaming industry today. The UI, the controller, and the library made this console better than the rest at the time. While some may be bigger fans of Microsoft’s flagship console, the Xbox, or Nintendo’s GameCube, they cannot deny how much of an impact the PlayStation 2 had at the time on gaming as a whole which may have contributed to its long life-span.

The PlayStation 2 had some of the best 3D platformers ever. Some of these series still continue to this day, but first hit it big two generations ago. With the advances in technology at the time, platformers saw enormous growth as a genre. Some of the biggest names in gaming are platformers like Mario, Ratchet and Clank, and Rayman. It is one of the most influential genres and can be played by just about anyone. They are easy to learn but hard to master games that keep fans coming back for more generation after generation. The PlayStation 2, of course, is no exception to this trend and capitalized heavily on the platformer genre.

Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil

Klonoa is back with upgraded everything! Fans of the original will be stunned by the updates to the beloved series. There is also some familiarity with awesome combat scenes and stunning cutscenes giving this game an unparalleled atmosphere. Klonoa and friends are tasked with restoring the land from sinister forces by ringing four bells throughout the world, all while being chased by Sky Pilot Leorina.

While being a 3D platformer, the camera will sometimes shift the game to that of a 2D platformer to add another level of fun gameplay. There are plenty of bad guys to beat and challenging puzzles to solve to keep players satisfied for hours upon hours.

Rayman 2 Revolution

Return to the world of Rayman where you can knock enemies out with no arms. In this entry in the series, you are in the Glade of Dreams when Robo-Pirates attack. Rayman has been captured and must escape and stop the evil Robo-Pirates led by Captain Razorbeard.

The PlayStation 2 version of this game is the better iteration because of a large array of mini-games, updated visuals, and upgrades to Rayman’s arsenal of powers. There are also fully voiced characters and gibberish if players prefer one experience over the other. Rayman is an awesome series of games and a definite must-play for fans of quirky platformers.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

From the creators of the acclaimed Crash Bandicoot series comes Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Meet the new dynamic duo, Jak and Daxter, as they go on crazy 3D platforming adventures. There is plenty to explore in the world of Jak and Daxter with a plethora of funny quips to make every player fall in love with these awesome characters.

The game features an open-ended story which allows players to take on their own adventure in which players can accept quests and explore areas as they please, while still having a strong narrative to go along with it. Jak and Daxter is an iconic game and a must play for anyone who has not experienced the fun that this game offers.

Ratchet & Clank

Another duo ready for some action. Ratchet & Clank must face the Blarg, a greedy and resource stealing race of aliens, who have exhausted their planet’s resources and need to find another planet to exploit. Each member of this fantastic duo has their own quirks which will come in handy as the player solves puzzles, completes levels, and defeats the evil Blarg.

The gameplay is similar to that of Jak and Daxter or Banjo Kazooie. As the player progresses, Ratchet can receive upgrades which will help in clearing out the Blarg from your planet. This platformer is one of the top in terms of gameplay and story.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves

If goofy platforming is not enough, then Sly 2 is the perfect game for you. Sly 2 mixes the fun platforming of Ratchet & Clank and adds some raccoon style stealth as you steal valuable items from your enemies. The goal is to fill your safehouse with as much loot as you can swipe. Along with the titular Sly, there are two more characters which have their own styles of play.

Also introduced in this sequel is the pickpocketing feature which allows the player to nab items from unsuspecting enemies. This is an awesome game for fans of Payday but is not nearly as serious.

Jak II

Here comes the sequel to the critically acclaimed Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. There is a large time-gap between this game and the previous, having the player take control of an older and wiser Jak and a pretty similar, and no less quirky, Daxter.

There are plenty of new moves and upgrades to play around with as you traverse a futuristic and mystical world. The story-line is just as open as the previous, although a lot darker. The level design was also designed by the original Sonic’s level designer. This is an awesome sequel to an already amazing game.

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

This is the first game in the Sly Cooper series. The amazing trilogy started here in all of its platforming, stealthy goodness. Besides all of the fun action, the art style is unique and amazing. The game looks reminiscent of a comic book while having the action of an arcade game and the stealth of Splinter Cell.

Sly Cooper is an amalgamation of everything a gamer could ask for. There are plenty of cool and unique mechanics such as the thief sense which guides the player through adrenaline pumping stealthiness. Sly Cooper is the stealthy Rocket Raccoon and this adventure is a gripping and exciting journey.

Ape Escape 2

Ape Escape has been updated for the PlayStation 2 with amazing new visuals. There are twenty fantastic new levels in which there are plenty of monkeys to capture. These levels are accessed within the Travel Station in which players can find new information on targets and unlock cool bonuses.

From the original eight gadgets, there are four new ones that will allow for more strategic capturing and hunting. Each monkey has its own aggressiveness rating which will determine whether they will attack or flee when the player is noticed. This is an awesome pick-up and play game for players of all ages or experience level.

Maximo: Ghosts to Glory

Maximo is a difficult and exciting game which draws heavily from the NES classic, Ghosts ‘n Goblins. The player controls the titular Maximo as he traverses a fantastical medieval world filled to the brim with evil monsters. Maximo’s old apprentice has unleashed evil upon the world and it is up to Maximo to return his world to its original state.

The goal of the game is to save four princesses from their imprisonment along with Maximo’s sweetheart from a forced marriage. While a platformer, there is a heavy emphasis on combat as the player takes down hordes of monsters and the undead. Fans of Ghosts ‘n Goblins will feel right at home with this awesome adventure.

  • Updated September 4, 2020