The PlayStation 2 has arguably one of the best and most diverse libraries in all of gaming’s history. With such a huge roster of games, it’s surprising that many of them haven’t received remasterings let alone fully flushed out remakes. Given that developers have produced some truly astounding remakes, the market is certainly big enough for more to enter the fray. With titles like Ratchet and Clank, Halo 2, and Final Fantasy 7 showing us what next-gen iterations of our favorite PlayStation 2 classics can look like , there’s no doubt more are on their way.
The question is which titles deserve to get a full overall? When going through the massive roster of PlayStation 2 titles we tried to find ones that were truly iconic and could still feel fresh today. Sure Call of Duty 2 is a fantastic shooter, but in the sea of FPS games such a remake could get lost. These are titles that will live on and still hold up to the modern day titles of today. If we could only bring a few games back, these are the titles we’d love to see get a facelift.
Before we begin, it’s important we define what exactly we mean when we say a video game “remake.” We aren’t saying the gameplay or core mechanics need to be changed at all, as for many of these games, that helps define who they are. This is also not a simple update to the framerate, but a complete top to bottom overall. Ratchet & Clank is an example of this, as the core mechanics and gameplay have not been touched, but the entire title was redesigned for next-generation consoles. Remasters are just light adjustments to the look of a game, which we see constantly in many HD collections. Halo 2 is a remake given the game has redesigned cutscenes and is beyond just texture updates. These are games that should be updated for our current systems, beyond just small tweaks.
Shadow of the Colossus
This hauntingly beautiful game has been a cult classic since its release in 2005.While there has never been another game like it, taking on the massive monstrosities in true next-gen could be awe-inspiring. This is a game that should be experienced by everybody at least once, especially with The Last Guardian set to release within the coming months.
19) Ape Escape 2
The Ape Escape series has nearly not gotten enough credit for their quirky and fun games. While a full series update would be fantastic, seeing the best game in the franchise get a full remake would certainly sate our monkey capture needs. Given that no other game has quite had the sheer weirdness of Ape Escape 2, it certainly would make an impression in today’s gaming market.
Yes, the PlayStation 2 version was added to the PS4, but that only makes us want a full remake of the game. Rockstar has never really come back to this series, which is disappointing given how enjoyable it is. GTA is always a treat to play, but sometimes you need something different.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
There’s a healthy argument to be made that Chaos Theory is the best in the Splinter Cell franchise, so who wouldn’t want to play it again? With updated engines, lighting, and textures alone would help solidify this PlayStation 2 game’s legacy.
Max Payne is another title that may be unfamiliar to younger gamers, but one that should be experienced regardless. Even though the other two entries in this franchise have tried to capture the noir-esc violence, they’ve never come truly captured what made the original so damn fun. Plus, who wouldn’t want next-gen bullet time?
Star Wars Battlefront 2
When the newest entry in this series was announced, who didn’t hope for a remake of the classic games? It’s rare a game can capture the fury and power of a Star Wars scene, but Star Wars Battlefront 2 managed to achieve such a feat. With great level design, solid combat, and a plethora of different heroes, this is a game that deserves a full remake.
Rez is an absolutely gorgeous looking rail shooter that could certainly benefit from a top to bottom remake. This genre hasn’t seen a ton of love lately, so bringing this techno-based shooter back could certainly give rail shooters the shot in the arm they need. Also , have you even heard Rez’s soundtrack? Seriously, that’s reason enough alone.
Beyond Good and Evil
While we sit around waiting for a sequel that will probably never happen, a full remake could certainly hold us over. Especially since Beyond Good and Evil feels like a title that a fair amount of gamers are unfamiliar with. This PlayStation 2 game certainly deserves all the praise it’s getting today, even if it was basically ignored back in 2003.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
For some reason, Rockstar has never given us a proper follow up to 2002’s Vice City. Given the colorful backdrop and underused Miami setting, a full remake of Vice City could certainly breath new life into the GTA series. It’s not like people wouldn’t play it, especially if they added the online features we see in Grand Theft Auto V.
The first title from developer Team Ico, this is another title that could seriously benefit from a next-gen upgrade. Unlike Shadow of the Colossus, Ico is a softer and calmer type of video game. That, however, doesn’t detract by the fantastic storytelling and puzzles laced throughout Ico. Truly a gorgeous, enthralling title that should be experienced by everyone at least once.
Jak II was a hard right turn for Naughty Dog’s colorful platformer, as it took the series in a darker more mature direction. Even though it’s different from the original, Jak II is definitely the most refined and best in the series. We sadly haven’t returned to their world in some time, so a full remake would certainly be welcomed.
Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
One of the scariest games ever made, it’s a damn shame we haven’t seen more Fatal Frame games lately. The ingenious camera mechanic made every room a tense and terrifying experience. While the PlayStation 2 game still holds up today, one can only image what a full remake of this game would look like. Especially with updated character models and sound to really sell the scares.
Tony Hawk’s Underground
Considering that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 probably just killed this franchise, having an updated version of one of the best skating games made may this series get back on its feet. With an awesome soundtrack and great level design, a remake of the original Underground could make us all forget about Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5.
Maximo: Ghosts to Glory
This update to Ghosts and Goblins is everything you’d ever want from a 3D iteration of the brutal 2D platformer. We haven’t heard anything from this franchise in years, but to revisit this fantastic reimagining would be delightful. Maximo: Ghosts to Glory kept to the series roots and was far more difficult than one would assume. It’d be great to see how such a game would do in today’s market, especially with games like Dark Souls III shepherding the uber difficulty concept.
Sly Cooper and the Thevius Racoonus
Yes, Sly Cooper got an HD release back in 2010, but the original should certainly get the Ratchet & Clank treatment. The original was a landmark title and a staple in PlayStation’s history, so it more than deserves a full makeover. Not to mention the cell shaded design wouldn’t even make it that difficult to both translate and sell in the modern age.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has had a rough go lately, as both the HD updated versions really didn’t add anything special to this amazing game. Not to mention we all got a glimpse of what a true next-gen version of this game could look like through a pachinko machine… MGS3 is the pinnacle of the franchise and it would be great for a full remake to send off the series for good.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time
Another one of those franchises that faded away, Prince of Persia was a fantastic action/adventure game with genuinely interesting mechanics. The ability to rewind time added some truly fun moments and the look of the game alone would greatly benefit from a next-gen remake.
Burn Out 3: Takedown
It’s hard to say if the Burnout series has gotten better or worse over time, but there’s little doubting that the third installment was one of the franchises’ highpoints. From the solid controls, amazing crashes, and fun online modes, Burn Out 3 is arguably the best PlayStation 2 racing game. That alone should be cause enough for a full remake, especially since we’d get to see beautifully rendered pile ups.
While we wait anxiously for the newest Spider-Man title, why not get a remake of the best one in the entire franchise? Spider-Man 2 is the pinnacle of this heroes gaming career, so revisiting it would be a fun concept. However, it might be better to couple a remake with the release of the new title, to show just how far we’ve come with these games.
Devil May Cry 3
Hailed as the best in the franchise, having a next-gen Dante would be a fantastic game to see fully remade from the ground up. While we may never get a follow up to DmC, this could certainly give us our demon slaying fix until they eventually release a new one in the series.
Before we begin, it's important we define what exactly we mean when we say a video game "remake." We aren't saying the gameplay or core mechanics need to be changed at all, as for many of these games, that helps define who they are. This is also not a simple update to the framerate, but a complete top to bottom overall. Ratchet & Clank is an example of this, as the core mechanics and gameplay have not been touched, but the entire title was redesigned for next-generation consoles. Remasters are just light adjustments to the look of a game, which we see constantly in many HD collections.