The Best PS2 RPGs
Suikoden is known for extremely fleshed out worlds, awesome characters, and engaging gameplay, with the third entry being no exception. Instead of following one character throughout their story, you follow the narrative through three different characters’ perspectives. This new Trinity Sight System adds a whole new level of world building and exploration to keep players engaged for longer.
As well as turn-based battles, there are also elements of the Fire Emblem games that change up the gameplay nicely. There are also a few additional and optional viewpoints to further develop the world and character building within the Suikoden universe. Suikoden III is a stellar RPG that will keep fans engaged for hours on end.
Final Fantasy X-2
The first direct sequel in the series, Final Fantasy X-2 takes place two years after the amazing Final Fantasy X. After peace was restored to the world in the previous entry, there are two factions fighting for power over Spira. The Active Battle System makes a welcome return, putting much more emphasis on quick decisions and timing.
While having a completely linear story, the player can decide to put those main quests on the backburner and explore other areas earlier than other games in the series. The player is also able to battle characters from Final Fantasy X, including Tidus. X-2 is an amazing sequel and fleshes out this entry into the Final Fantasy series nicely.
Final Fantasy XII
Some say that Final Fantasy XII is the best Final Fantasy title on the PlayStation 2. This entry takes place in Ivalice, a land where machines and magic exist harmoniously. Final Fantasy XII shows off the Active Dimension Battle where battles take a more real-time approach rather than the turn-based combat that the Final Fantasy series is known for.
The player takes control of Vaan, a young thief from a small town, who becomes embroiled in a long-lasting and brutal conflict between the empires of Archadia and Rozaria in the hopes of avenging his dead brother. This is an amazing entry in the Final Fantasy franchise and one of the best RPGs on the PlayStation 2.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
One of the best entries in the amazing Persona series comes to the PlayStation 2 with brand new action and music. Take control of high school students as they control powerful Personas in order to crush their enemies.
Persona 3 features an all new day and night cycle, allowing the player to create new and more engaging relationships around the school. Depending on what time it is, players may encounter a character in the classroom or doing an extracurricular activity. At night the player is able to explore a randomly generated alternate dimension on a time-limit to kill enemies and get loot. This is a depth driven RPG that has dedicated fans all over the world.
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
Square Enix brings the beloved Dragon Quest saga to 3D for an all-new adventure for the PlayStation 2. The player takes control of an unassuming castle guard who is spared by an evil curse that is unleashed by a spiteful jester. The player must explore the world, recruit powerful allies and destroy the forces of evil as they try to reverse this wicked curse.
The combat is much the same as older entries in the series, taking place within completely turn-based sections apart from the overworld. This is one of the best, if not the best, titles in the Dragon Quest series. This game is so great that it is still being remade for newer consoles today! It is a definite must-play for fans of engaging JRPGs.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance
This critically acclaimed story takes place in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. If turn-based action RPGs aren’t quite your thing, then Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance is the game for you. Similar to games like Diablo, all of the combat takes place in the overworld with hack ‘n slash mechanics. Characters are fully customizable and will grow with the player as they venture through this dark and mysterious world.
This title is a much more linear game, but there are plenty of side quests to keep players engaged outside of the main story. This is an awesome game for fans of tabletop gaming or hack ‘n slash RPGs.
Dark Cloud 2
Dark Cloud 2 takes everything that made its predecessor amazing and makes it even better. The game takes place in a 3D world with a visually appealing art-style to set this RPG apart from the rest.
The player takes control of two different characters, Max and Monica, each with their own distinctive traits that will affect how each battle is fought. The player is able to switch freely between these two characters in order to take advantage of each character’s traits in order to have the upper hand in battle. All dungeons are procedurally generated, adding a mysterious and engaging feel to exploration. This is an awesome RPG and one of the best for the platform.
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
The cute and sometimes weird Final Fantasy and Disney crossover title is back for the PlayStation 2 and better than before. This title is a remake of the Gameboy Advance title of the same name which takes place between the events of Kingdom Hearts I and II.
The goal of the game is collecting memory imbued cards which allow the characters to use special abilities, make treasure rooms or spawn powerful enemies. This is undoubtedly the definitive way to play this the Kingdom Hearts series and takes advantage of the PlayStation 2’s greater processing abilities to create a stunning and engaging game.
Shadow Hearts: Covenant
Taking place during World War I, the French village of Domremy has resisted German control through the powers of a protective demon. Yuri, the player-controlled character, must help hold back German invasion forces with his supernatural powers. The Germans however, have their own supernatural super trooper ready to face off against Yuri in order to take control of the village. Yuri must venture throughout the world to gain new allies and new powers in order to save this village and stop the Germans.
The combat is turn-based with the same ring mechanic from the previous title. There are more ring types in this version to change things up a bit. This game is an awesome supernatural take on historical events with an engaging story. Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a definite must-play for fans of Hellboy or history.
Champions of Norrath
From the developers who created Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance comes Champions of Norrath: Realms of EverQuest, based upon the hit 2000’s MMORPG EverQuest. The gameplay is similar to that of Dark Alliance with plenty of hack ‘n slash action to keep players satisfied. Dungeons are randomly generated ensuring that each playthrough is different than the last.
Up to four players can play local or online cooperative mode allowing for awesome character synergies and plenty of fun gameplay. There is complete character customization and five different classes to choose from, each with their own distinct skill-tree. This game is another amazing hack ‘n slash adventure and awesome for fans of Baldur’s gate or Diablo.