Balancing your work, school, social life, and gaming can be rough, especially with so many of the big-budget time sinks from AAA publishers. There are far too many games to count that feel like a second job, meaning players are unlikely to see the end credits.
However, in the quaint days of the PlayStation 2, technological limitations forced vision and practicality to meet each other halfway, while budgets were less ballooned and led to more focused titles. While they may be short, the following games are some of the best ways to spend an entire day devoted to PlayStation 2 fun.
10 Parappa The Rapper 2 Retains The Humor And Charm Of Its Predecessors
While the first Parappa the Rapper’s short length was overlooked due to the games’ sheer originality, other rhythm titles would make their way onto the gaming scene. This meant that later entries such as Um Jammer Lammy wouldn’t be able to coast on that novelty. The final title in Masaya Matsuura’s series, Parappa the Rapper 2, tried valiantly to address complaints of previous titles regarding their short length with extra content. Even with the many bonus games and unlockable modes that the game sports, its meager eight stages can be beaten in 2 hours. Nonetheless, the charm and humor of the series remain strong in this outing.
9 Timesplitters Had A Large Variety Of Characters, Settings, And Weaponry
A launch title for the PlayStation 2, the original Timespltters didn’t really offer much of a fleshed-out single-player campaign. It was the debut title from British studio Free Radical, which was comprised of former members of Rare. There are no cinematics, secondary objectives, or any of the trimmings found in their former titles such as GoldenEye or Perfect Dark. Each stage is basically a game of ‘capture the flag’ with the MacGuffin changing every time. However, there are a wide variety of characters, time periods, and weaponry to fool around with, and it sports the same tongue-in-cheek humor found in the developer’s former games.
8 Maximo Vs. The Army Of Zin Improved The Combat And Controls
Evoking the feeling of Capcom’s tough-as-nails platformers on the NES, Maximo Ghosts to Glory rekindled the challenge that had been absent from the gaming scene for far too long. With the sequel, Army of Zin, Capcom Production Studio 8 made some smart adjustments to the formula. The combat system was refined to incorporate combos and new moves, Maximo gained the ability to hang from ledges with his sword, and the game added non-hostile characters who could be rescued in exchange for some nice rewards. Like the games it pays homage to, Army of Zin is tough but short – clocking in at about 9 hours.
7 Sly Cooper And The Thievius Raccoonus Was More Focused And Linear
The original Sly Copper was a much more linear and focused stealth platformer than the later more open and multi-genre entries. Some players might appreciate the lack of much filler to distract from the immediately satisfying sneaking and parkour gameplay. Others might find the adventure a little lacking in content when compared to the heists that would follow.
Though well-received, The Thievius Raccoonus received some flak from critics for its short campaign which spanned less than 7 hours. Sucker Punch countered that the optional challenges such as the hidden vaults and the time trials added a lot of replay value to the game.
6 Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil Was A Cutesy 2.5 Platformer
The Klonoa titles from Namco were platformers that were played in a 2.5 perspective where players could capture enemies and toss them at other enemies or switches to solve puzzles. Sadly, while the original title has been re-released as a digital download on PlayStation Network, a version of Klonoa 2 that could be enjoyed on modern platforms has previously just been a wistful dream. Gamers who missed out on this title and the entry that preceded it can rejoice as Namco Bandai has just announced a remaster of both titles called Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series.
5 Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 Made Some Smart Additions
Before Activision killed the Tony Hawk series by pumping out titles every year, the Pro Skater series was still going strong with developer Neversoft, making substantial gameplay additions with each installment. Pro Skater 2 introduced the manuals, which made larger combos possible, and 3 added reverts which allowed players to chain vertical combos with manuals. Like the first two entries, Pro Skater 3 was met with critical acclaim, being one of the only 20 titles to earn the coveted 10/10 score from Gamespot. While the main campaign is only 9 hours long, there’s so much more content to unlock and enjoy.
4 Katamari Damacy Was A Title That Flouted Convention
The brainchild of Keita Takahashi, Katamari Damacy was a game that showed what’s possible in gaming when convention is thrown out the window. The game spawned many imitators and served as an influence to other auteurs such as Jenova Chen of Flower and Journey fame. Adding to the game’s quirky atmosphere was the lively and diverse soundtrack which sported techno, jazz, and orchestral tunes. The main campaign takes less than 6 hours to beat, but players will be popping this title in for years to come, especially since it’s been remastered for modern platforms as Katamari Damacy Reroll.
3 Silent Hill 2 Is Regarded As One Of The Scariest Games Of All Time
Regarded as one of the scariest games of all time and one of the best video game stories, Silent Hill 2 is a great way to spend a rainy day or Halloween. The fog that permeated the town not only added to the town’s atmosphere, it also served as a clever means to mask the game’s low draw distance, making more detailed models possible. Creatures such as the infamous Pyramid Head would benefit from these additional polygons. While the game can be beaten in a little under 8 hours, the game rewards multiple playthroughs with unlockable endings, additional weapons, and hidden side content.
2 God Of War Mixed The Hack And Slash Genre With Big Production Values
With God of War Ragnarok making its way onto Playstation 4 and 5, it’s worth remembering the original hack and slash title from David Jaffe. From the opening fight with the hydra on the ship to the climactic fight with Ares, God of War boasts a lot of exciting set pieces and satisfying combat. Though it’s showing its age a bit with its overreliance on quick-time events and the numerous plank crossing sections, Kratos’ first quest for vengeance is one that shouldn’t be skipped. The only common critique leveled at the game was how the main campaign could be conquered in 9 hours.
1 Shadow Of The Colossus Is An Unforgettable Experience
Shadow of the Colossus may be a game that players can beat in 5 hours, but it’s not one they’ll ever forget. Of the two titles Team Ico released on Sony’s sophomore console, their second effort was one of the most majestic and melancholic experiences to ever grace the medium. The game’s art direction stood out from other titles with a moody cold palette that accentuated certain colors in various areas and an emphasis on bloom. The live orchestral score perfectly accompanies the game by swelling triumphantly when players successfully scale a beast, and then becoming somber once they fall to the player’s blade.
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