8 PS2 games that need the PS4 upgrade treatment

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Let's step back for a moment and look over the list of downloadable PlayStation 2 games on PlayStation 4. As Sony only just got around to the service last December, it's not a terrible line-up, but we're missing quite a number of classics on the service. Let's be real though, even if the service took too long, updating PS2 games into HD, adding trophy support and including Remote Play isn't as simple as flicking a switch. We may as well deal with waiting, although Japan has yet to receive a single PS2 game on the service.

In the meantime, we can't help but wonder: what are the PS2 games that should be next in line? For this list, I've selected 8 classics that deserve the HD treatment.

 

1. Devil May Cry

The game that launched director Hideki Kamiya into action-game stardom. What started out as a Resident Evil title grew into one of the most innovative, influential games of the sixth generation; with its stylish action and brutal difficulty. Be it the appeal of pulling off combos or its unique spin on Dante's Inferno (not the least of which is the main character himself, a bad boy who alternates between dual pistols and swords), it kept players coming back for more.

While all three Devil May Cry games on PS2 received an HD collection on PS3, the PS4 is, sadly, not backwards compatible. We'd love to see the original return alongside 3: Dante's Awakening for PS4, although perhaps Devil May Cry 2 is better left forgotten.

2. Kingdom Hearts

Square-Enix's bizarre JRPG crossover with Disney has enchanted millions of hearts around the globe, as the anticipation for Kingdom Hearts 3 has been circulating for a decade now. But as amusing as the peppy sugar rush of Kingdom Hearts 2 is, there's just something special about the original title. Before the series dived into a convoluted mess of clones, data worlds and confusing name titles, it was simply a soul-searching journey of anime children interacting with the likes of Donald Duck, Peter Pan and Winnie the Pooh. And Cloud Strife.

Like Devil May Cry, the Kingdom Hearts series received an ample HD uplift on PS3, albeit split into two separate collections: the 1.5 and 2.5 ReMIXes. Director Tetsuya Nomura has repeatedly teased their arrival on PS4, but there's no explicit confirmation. For now, we'll just have to settle for winter's Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (seriously, who comes up with these names?)

3. Dynasty Warriors 2

Warriors games--or Musou, depending on your preferred terminology--are still going strong, so why not reintroduce the one that started it all? Dynasty Warriors 2 wasn't just a PS2 launch title; it forged a new series (perhaps even genre?) featuring 3D crowd combat, hack n' slash combat and capturing bases. Don't be fooled by the "2" numbering: the original Dynasty Warriors was a simple one-on-one fighter.

Dynasty Warriors 2 was released on PS3's PSN back in 2012...but only in Japan. Perhaps that renders a Western rerelease all the more unlikely, but that it launched a popular franchise (which inspired spin-offs based off Zelda, Gundam, Dragon Quest and One Piece) means it deserves an HD uplifting.

4. Tales of the Abyss

Tales of Symphonia may be the Western Tales favorite, but this PS2 classic shouldn't be overlooked. Tales of the Abyss' meaty story is perhaps the series' grimmest, forcing the bratty Luke fon Fabre to engage in a genuinely heartfelt coming-of-age arc. The fact that it builds upon the addictive combo-based battle system ain't half-bad, either.

We'd love to see an HD remaster for PS4, as the game can be difficult to find and hardly matches the graphical prowess of other games on this list. Let's not get ahead of ourselves however, Namco's Symphonia remasters for PS3 and PC were more than a little sloppy. Then there's the matter of how Namco's struggled to transition the series into HD (not to mention their stagnant mediocrity, but that's another topic). We'll keep our fingers crossed for a proper HD port, but you may want to grab the 3DS version if the PS2 used copies are too expensive for you.

5. Katamari Damacy

From the whimsical mind of Keita Takahashi comes PS2's quirkiest game. After the King of all Cosmos destroys the night stars in a drunken frenzy, the Prince is tasked with rolling a katamari, a sticky ball that glues everyone and everything onto its surface. He uses this katamari to roll up the planet Earth, much to the dismay of humans, cows and thunder gods alike while Japanese pop songs play in the background. Meanwhile, a Japanese boy watches this unfold on the news, having absolutely nothing to do with the story until the hilarious twist ending.

Katamari Damacy and its sequel, We Love Katamari, are perhaps the secret masterpieces of PlayStation 2, yet have never been upgraded to HD. Namco, could you please look inside your inner katamari and introduce the Que Sera Sera song to a new generation? We want to wad them up into our lives, you see.

6. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

The mind-bending story of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty may have been too much for someone, but everyone loves Snake Eater. The journey of Naked Snake (who's not really naked) as he sneaks through the jungles and mountains of the Soviet Union is perhaps the PS2's most dynamic, as he forages for food, utilizes camouflage, fights an elderly sniper who's on death's door, and encounters betrayal after betrayal. It also has crotch-grabbing.

Snake Eater was featured on the PS3's Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, and we'd love to see them again on PS4. I mean, who still doesn't tear up after that ending?

7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3

This unexpected sleeper hit took the JRPG world by storm in 2008. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (or just Persona 3 for short) revolves around unlocking the secrets of the Dark Hour, a time period that begins before one day ends and another begins. To prevent its shadows from feasting on human minds, local high-schoolers (including the silent protagonist named by the player) must summon Personas, or manifestations of their spirits, to combat them.  Since this is high school, you can also expect some platonic/romantic hijinks.

There has yet to be any HD updates of Persona 3 or its sequel, Persona 4. Perhaps Atlus would be kind enough to bundle the Persona 3 FES, which was something of a director's cut.

8. Okami

Our last game is Clover Studio's final hurrah for Capcom. In what's perhaps the PS2's stylized title, Okami blends cel-shaded graphics with Japanese mythology, producing a stunning world that still awes today. Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess who takes the form of a wolf, must utilize her Celestial Brush to rejuvenate the world and take on the forces of Orochi.

Okami was rereleased in HD for PS3, but has yet to be ported for PS4. Another HD update could go a long way in rendering this beautiful title even more gorgeous. Also while we're at it, why don't we let Kamiya make Okami 2?

That's our top picks! As the PlayStation 4's PS2 library grows, we hope it will include most, if not all, of these classic titles. With the PlayStation 2 library being so massive, you may be able to forgive Sony for taking so long.

Did we leave out your favorite PS2 game? Let us know in the comments below!

Published Jun. 19th 2016
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Correspondent
    I would love to see the Bungie game Oni get a remaster.

Cached - article_comments_article_41526
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