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Top 10 PlayStation 2 Games of 2006

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It was a grand year for PlayStation fans. We saw some of the greatest PS2 games to date, and a little thing called the PS3.

Here we have the creme de la creme of PS2 games. Each game represents the best of its genre, and then they are ranked against each other.

The toughest part about this year's list? Picking the best PS2 game of the year. It was tight between the top three, but in the end, I think I made the right call.

Whether or not you agree with my ranking, all ten of these PS2 games are must have titles, and you could do worse than playing any of them.

1. Okami - Game of the Year

Okami is not only my pick for game of the year, but I'm going to have to re-rank my top 10 PS2 games of all time list, as this game deserves a top spot in any one's collection. It is one of the most original, beautiful games ever created on any system. The unique art style, the calligraphy, the characters... this videogame made me want to move back to Japan. Okami is simply stunning, both to watch and play. Rated: Teen

2. Guitar Hero II - Music Game of the Year

It was a tough call. I'm going to have some very upset friends over my not picking Guitar Hero II as my game of the year. To be fair, if I chose a multiplayer or party game of the year, this would be it. Guitar Hero was superb, and Guitar Hero II is better. Now you can play lead, rhythm, and bass, as well as unlock a slew of new items. And you can play the Trogdor song, for real. Rock on! Rated: Everyone

3. Final Fantasy XII - Role Playing Game of the Year

Final Fantasy XII is a the epitome of excellence. From the totally overhauled combat system (no more turn-based random encounters) to the jaw dropping visuals and intriguing story, Final Fantasy XII shines in every area. The game is long, as a FF game should be, and it can be tough, but this is the standard that all RPG games should be held up against. There were some Final Fantasy XII haters out there. But I think time will silence their criticism, as this will be remembered as one of the great PS2 games. Rated: Teen

4. Bully - Sandbox Game of the Year

Bully was nowhere near as offensive as the Jack Thompson and other game haters of the world would have you believe. But it was more entertaining than any of us expected. This Grand Theft Auto meets Private School was more tongue in cheek than Glock in hand. While it was irreverent, it was goon natured about it, and provided one of the most fun gameplay experiences of the year. Rated: Teen

5. Black - Shooter of the Year

Black is what Killzone was supposed to be, the great PS2 shooter. While not an exclusive, Black did prove that you can do high end, fast, 3D animation on the PS2. This shooter looked amazing. It was a touch short, and relied heavily on the single player experience. Yet Black seemed to come from nowhere and provide an amazing action packed gun-fest. Rated: Mature

6. Tourist Trophy - Racing Game of the Year

It's Gran Turismo on two wheels. Polyphony did an amazing job at providing the ultimate motorcycle simulation. From correct physics to realistic sounds, this is as close as you or I will ever get to a professional motorbike racing experience. Rated: Everyone

7. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 - Fighting Game of the Year

Yeah, I hear you. A Dragon Ball Z Game? I know there have been a million mediocre ones out there, but this one is different, I promise. Not only is this the best looking DBZ game, with well over 100 playable characters to boot!, it actually plays well. From toppling buildings, to fighting in true 3D. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 raises the games to the level of the anime: wacky and fun. Rated: Teen

8. Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams - Action Game of the Year

Capcom took their popular Samurai action adventure game in a new direction with a more stylistic, and possibly gory, version of medieval Japan. The game takes place 15 years after Onimusha 3, and provides us with new villains and heroes. If you didn't play the other three, this is the perfect place to jump into the Onimusha world, if you dare. Rated: Mature

9. Sega Genesis Collection - Retro Videogame Compilation of the Year

This is the first time I've ever put a collection of retro games on a top ten list, but there has never been a collection like this before. Yes, the production values are high, with killer menus, museum artifacts, unlock-ables (games!), and interviews, but what makes this one so special? The games are really, really, good. Finally some 2D Sonic the Hedgehog action, a little Altered Beast, some Gain Ground (my favorite Genesis game, ever), and 25 other amazing titles. The Sega Genesis Collection was a bit like getting every Christmas present I ever wanted as a kid, on one DVD. Rated: Teen (but appropriate for Everyone)

10. NFL Head Coach - Sports Game of the Year

Being a geek, I enjoy coaching in Madden even more than playing the game. I love calling the plays, and watching them go. So NFL Head Coach was a dream come true for me. It is the deepest football game ever created, and the perfect title for stats junkies and fantasy football addicts. It's not about skill, this time it's about strategy. This was a surprisingly deep game that I pray makes a return next year. Rated: Everyone
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