The Playstation 2 had a ton of amazing games. In fact, many were so great that they got remade and remastered for later consoles. Some fans are still waiting for their favorite PS2 games to be re-released.
One of the most popular genres of video games is role-playing games, and the PS2 definitely delivered some memorable RPG titles. Most notably, Japanese RPG games really skyrocketed in popularity.
Here are ten of the most highly rated RPG games on Metacritic for the PS2.
10 Final Fantasy X (Score: 92)
Released in 2001, Final Fantasy X become one of the most popular titles of its franchise. Due to its critical success, it even got a sequel. Awards it won include seventh place GameSpot's "Top 10 Video Games of the Year" and fifth on IGN's "Top 25 PS2 Games of All Time" list in 2007 and sixth in "The Top 10 Best Looking PS2 Games of All Time." That is only the tip of the iceberg too, in terms of recognition in gaming publications.
To this day, people still cosplay characters from this game and later games use this title as inspiration.
9 Final Fantasy XII (Score: 92)
As most gamers already know, the Final Fantasy series did not lose its critical acclaim after Final Fantasy X. In fact, they made another game that matches Final Fantasy X's Metacritic rating. Final Fantasy XII garnered just as many, if not more, awards than its predecessor. It was named best Ps2 and RPG game by GameSpot, GameSpy, and IGN. It also got numerous sequels and re-releases such as International Zodiac Job System, Revenant Wings, Fortress, and The Zodiac Age.
8 Dragon Quest VIII (Score: 89)
Released in 2005, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King became yet another critically acclaimed title that Square Enix published. It was the biggest selling game ever for the PS2 in Japan.
Fans will tell you this game is a masterpiece, from its characters to its music and its gameplay. While the game has had numerous remasters for different consoles, it is the PS2 version that remains at the top of the Metacritic scores.
7 Persona 4 (Score: 90)
Not only was this game ranked highly, it was also Metacritic's 2008 PS2 Game of the Year. Like the more recent Persona 5, it was widely recognized as one of the best Japanese RPGs. Like the other games of the series, the characters all are well-written with relatable problems in life. You also get the bang for your buck, with playthroughs taking up to 70 hours to beat the game.
6 Kingdom Hearts II (Score: 87)
If you ever ask a Kingdom Hearts fan which game was their favorite, they are most likely to pick Kingdom Hearts II. Kingdom Hearts II was ranked two points higher than its original game due to its better graphics, additional worlds, and more complex storyline.
The combination of Final Fantasy and Disney may seem odd at first, but fans quickly warmed up to it with its memorable characters and lore. Also, who doesn't want to visit the worlds of their favorite Disney films?
5 Dark Cloud 2 (Score: 87)
Rated higher than the original Dark Cloud, Dark Cloud 2 (also known as Dark Chronicle) came out in 2003 and won "Best PlayStation 2 Game" on GameSpot that same year. It almost won "Best Adventure Game" at the 1st British Academy Games Awards but lost to Legend of Zelda: Windwaker.
The gameplay takes players through randomly-generated dungeons. Instead of the characters leveling up, their weapons do. You also collect pieces of towns and cities to help rebuild them outside the dungeon. It is not too easy though, as some villagers have certain conditions about which building goes where.
4 Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan (Score: 87)
Final Fantasy XI is not just a Japanese RPG, it's a massive multiplayer online game. That's right, Final Fantasy XIV was not their first MMO. It is interesting to look at if you are a player of Final Fantasy XIV, because its races were obviously inspired by the races of Final Fantasy XI. For example, tarutaru are obviously lalafell and mirthra are the beginning of the design for XIV's miqo'te.
The game had many add-ons, but it was Treasures of Aht Urhgan that was the most highly ranked on Metacritic.
3 Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Score: 87)
Released in 2001, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance takes place in the Forgotten Realms campaign of Dungeons and Dragons. It was a game with many firsts, such as being the first Baldur's Gate to be released on a console. It was also the first video game to implement real-time to the games' rules.
In the year it was released, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance won Academy of Interactive Arts and Science Award for "Role-Playing Game of the Year." In receiving that award, it actually beat one of Metacritics top scoring games on this list, Final Fantasy X.
2 Shadow Hearts: Covenant (Score: 85)
Known in Japan as Shadow Hearts II, this Japanese RPG sequel to Shadow Hearts came out in 2004. It takes place six months after the original title and continues its trend of alternate history and Lovecraftian horror. Fans fell in love with the dark themes, comedic moments, mystical themes, and serious narrative when this game came out in 2004.
It has won awards, such as RPGamer's 2004 staff awards where it won in the "Best PlayStation 2" and "Best Overall" categories. It was also IGN's RPG Vault PS2 Game of the Year. A third game was planned to be made, but it sadly never saw fruition.
1 Final Fantasy X-2 (Score: 85)
Despite having a lower score than Final Fantasy X, the sequel still managed to be a critical success. It was not just because it was a sequel to a good game either, as it was very different from X. The game actually did have some backlash from fans who deemed it too different from X, but that did not stop it from getting great reviews by critics and other players. Despite being a sequel, some gamers have claimed this to be their first Final Fantasy game!