The PlayStation 2 celebrates its 20th anniversary today, and while Sony's commitment to its PS2 Classics program has been terrible, we've been thinking about which last-gen titles deserve the premium treatment and trophies on the current console of the society. While we had planned to put together a short list, the legendary Japanese giant's system was so successful that it's nigh on impossible to condense things, so we've gone all out instead. We've tried to focus on games that haven't already received the remaster treatment (like Final Fantasy XII, for example). So without further ado, let's get started.
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies
As part of Sony's famous Fall 2001 rollover, which included various legendary exclusives such as Grand Theft Auto III and ICO, Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies was an arcade dogfighting title that was sure to sharpen the appetite ahead of the next PS4 entry, Ace Combat 7.
Auto Model list
Perhaps best known for its art style rather than its racing, Auto Modellista's cel-shaded look deserves to be seen by a new generation.
Beyond Good and Evil
It got a high definition remaster on the PlayStation 3, but seeing as that version is unlikely to make the jump, Jade's cult classic platformer Beyond Good & Evil deserves to find a home on the PS4 - especially if the rumors regarding a suite are accurate.
It's showing its age now, but Criterion's first-person shooter Black was a technical tour de force at the time of release.
Burnout 3: Takedown
Arguably the best entry in the series, Burnout 3: Takedown is for many the ultimate arcade racer. It may lack the open world of Burnout Paradise, but it makes up for it with some of the tightest rides you'll find on any console.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
Widely considered the best Dragon Ball Z game to ever hit a home console, Budokai 3 had it all: an incredible character roster, tons of content to wade through, and a fantastic combat system with some truly spectacular special moves.
Dragon Quest VIII: Voyage of the Cursed King
It has just been re-released on the Nintendo 3DS, where it is earning rave reviews. And it's no surprise: Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is the cutting edge JRPG, and remains one of the best examples of the genre on PS2 among intense competition.
Amid an onslaught of Hitman games, Danish developer IO Interactive has quietly rolled out Freedom Fighters, a third-person shooter with a high team focus.
Talked about more for its infamous IGN review, God Hand is a third-person beat-'em-up that divides opinion like no other - and we'd love to see the conversation revisited.
God of War (and God of War II)
The PS3 remasters were great, but with no way to play them on PS4, we'd love to see God of War and its technically impressive successor using Blades of Chaos through PS2 emulation, if nothing else.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (et Vice City Stories)
Rockstar brought these PlayStation Portable titles to the PS2 fairly quickly, and while they don't quite compare to the main trilogy, it would still be nice to get them on the PS4 - for the sake of completion first and foremost.
Before Red Dead Redemption, there was another open-world sheriff in town. GUN can't quite compare to Rockstar's legendary Spaghetti Western, but it's still a fun third-person shooter that ages better than you might imagine.
One of the most influential games of all time, the PS2 port of Half-Life is showing its age these days, but would still offer an important history lesson for young PS4 gamers.
Hot Shots Golf Fore!
Irritating puns aside, the PS4 is crying out for Hot Shots Golf goodness, and with Clap Hanz taking forever to bring the latest entry to Sony's next-gen system, why not bring back this classic?
We weren't sure whether to include this one. Bluepoint's brilliant PS3 remaster solved many issues with ICO, but even if we have to deal with the technical issues that plagued the original PS2, we believe that any PlayStation console is better when it comes with so many titles. Fumito Ueda as possible.
James Bond 007: All or Nothing
Licensing issues mean this one's unlikely, but there was a period when EA Games was churning out some pretty cool original spy stories, and James Bond 007: All or Nothing was our favourite.
Absolutely quirky but still unmissable, you'd be surprised how well Katamari Damacy holds up these days.
A bizarre mix of first-person shooting and on-rails exploration, Killer7 was Suda51's peak - and with games like The Silver Case making a return, we'd love an excuse to revisit this cel-shaded oddity.
The so-called Halo killer was anything but, but Guerrilla Games' first foray into Helghast history holds an important place in PlayStation history.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (et Snake Eater)
Two of the best games ever made for the PS2, there have been many ports and remasters of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and its successor, but you're not going to turn down one more, are you? ?
MotorStorm: Arctic Edge
A very late PS2 game that launched simultaneously with a PSP version, many missed the hugely enjoyable snowy arcade race of MotorStorm: Arctic Edge.
Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast
Another title likely to be affected by licensing issues, Outrun 2006: Coast 2 Coast reinvented Yu Suzuki's legendary arcade racing game for a new generation, and is still enjoyable today.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The mechanics introduced in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time can still be found in many games today, and while it's undoubtedly aged as a platformer, it's still an amazing game.
Trilogie Ratchet & Clank
The original was recently remade for the PS4, which makes the Ratchet & Clank trilogy a troublesome candidate for PS2 emulation. We still think these legendary action platformers have enough to offer to make a port worthwhile.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
It may be less well-known than its successor, but Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is an essential slice of JRPG action - and a must-have for fans of the newer games.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
It's at its best in the PlayStation Vita Persona 4 Golden port, but with so many jumps on Sony's handheld, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 deserves to be played by as many people as possible - especially with Persona. 5 which is proving so popular on the PS4.
Silent Hill 2 (and Shattered Memories)
It may be the greatest survival horror game ever made: Silent Hill 2 may seem clunky by modern standards, but its twisted story is still heartbreaking today. We'd love to see the classic joined by Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, an extremely late PS2 port that has some interesting psychological insights worth seeing.
Trilogy Sly Cooper
For our money, Sly Cooper is the best of Sony's platform protagonists, and Sucker Punch's trilogy of PS2 titles is arguably more cohesive than what Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games offered at the time.
It might not have featured a particular pointy-haired elf, but the PS2 version of SoulCalibur II is still a classic thanks to its solid combat and sprawling campaign.
At a time when extreme sports games were all the rage, SSX Tricky brought fiery colors and unforgettable gameplay. Given the lack of similar titles, this will prove a breath of fresh air on the PS4.
Star Wars: Battlefront II
Licensing issues mean that will never happen, but for many Star Wars: Battlefront II is the best adaptation of George Lucas' sci-fi cinematic universe.
The baby box art may have been a little confusing, but Super Bust-a-Move is still one of the most entertaining puzzles money can buy. Fire it up on the PS4 so we can pop those bubbles again.
Super Monkey Ball Deluxe
A compilation of two of GameCube's most enjoyable games, Super Monkey Ball Deluxe is a meaty arcade puzzler packed with minigames and monkeys.
Siphon filter: Dark Mirror (and Logan's Shadow)
Two PSP games that finally found their way to the PS2, Sony Bend's stealth shooters plot super spy Gabe Logan against nefarious organizations and are certainly worth sneaking onto the PS4.
Tales of Symphonia
For many PS2 gamers, Tales of Symphonia was their first look at Namco's action RPG series, and it still stands as one of its best installments. A memorable cast of characters and a huge world made it a cel-shaded gem.
Tekken Tag Tournament
Tekken Tag Tournament Famous for its tight team action and stunning visuals at the time, Tekken Tag Tournament is still a fighting game to play in an era when Bandai Namco's brawler was the undisputed king of the genre.
The Getaway (et Black Monday)
We'd say that without The Getaway and its Black Monday sequel, there simply wouldn't be Uncharted. With a heavy cinematic focus, these cover-based shooters were tough to play, but they set a new bar for visual presentation on the PS2, and their gangland vibe is still unlike anything else on consoles. today.
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
There was a time when every popular genre – from wrestling to skateboarding – was parodied by The Simpsons license, and that made for some really great games. The Simpsons: Hit & Run was Grand Theft Auto in Springfield, and it remains a fan favorite.
Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge
Did you know that Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge was created by many of the same people behind Devil May Cry? It may be a licensed title, but this one plays surprisingly well.
A mandatory inclusion, we suppose. TimeSplitters 2 is, for many, the GoldenEye of its time – a split-screen first-person shooter with great maps and gunplay. Bring it back.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tony Hawk was truly the Call of Duty of his day - a complete Activision cash cow who crushed ridiculous review scores and sales numbers. Everyone has their own favorite, but Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was the pinnacle as far as we were concerned.
Tomb raider anniversary
Lara Croft hasn't really had the best time on the PS2, but Tomb Raider Anniversary was a pretty decent remake of Crystal Dynamics' original game, and while the series' gameplay has evolved more recently, it would be great to come back in back to the roots of the series' puzzle platformer.
Hideki Kamiya's beautiful side-scrolling beat-'em-up was originally part of the Capcom Five, meaning it inevitably ended up on the PS2 shortly after its GameCube launch. Its art style still holds up, even if its gameplay is tough as nails.
WipEout Fusion is widely considered the black sheep of the series, so we'd rather see the PSP WipEout Pulse port get the emulation treatment. This one was only released in Europe originally, but it's a great runner and paved the way for WipEout HD.
Yakuza (et Yakuza 2)
The two original entries in the Yakuza series may have received the remake treatment with the Kiwami sub-series, but we'd love to see both original PS2 titles ported to the PS4 - especially given how successful the series has been recently. .
An impressive list that could easily be twice as long! What games do we miss? Are there any titles you desperately want to play again on PS4? Reveal your retro side in the comments section below.