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Top 10 PlayStation 2 (PS2) Games of All Time

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It is nearly impossible to pick the ten best PlayStation 2 games, as there are too many amazing games to choose from. I know some of your favorite PS2 games are not on this list; some of mine are missing too, but sacrifices were made in an attempt to cull the list down to 10. In an effort to be fair, I have tried to include a game from each genre.

Note:The runners-up I list represent the runner up for the genre, not for the place on the list.

1. Final Fantasy X

Final Fantasy X
When I think of a game that defines a system, I think of Final Fantasy X. Not only did it elevate one of the most loved RPG franchises to a whole new level, it sold the world on the PlayStation 2. Final Fantasy X gave us better CG animation than the theaters at that time had, and an unforgettable gaming experience. Final Fantasy X is the one game all PS2 owners must have. RPG Runner-up: Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance
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2. Gran Turismo 3: A-spec

Gran Turismo 3: A-spec
There have been jaw dropping PS2 games, but Gran Turismo 3: A-spec left your chin on the floor. No-one thought that graphics of that caliber were possible outside of a pre-rendered cut scene. GT 3 introduced a level of detail that set the bar for other racers of the future. From the recording of actual engine and tire sounds to the measuring of the real courses, it was the most realistic racing game to date. Racing Runner-up: Gran Turismo 4
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3. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto 3 created the free roaming crime spree genre. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City proved that it could be made into one of the most addictive games of all time. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas proved that Rockstar could make one of the biggest videogames of all time into one of the best. GTA San Andreas is easily the biggest game universe ever. The game captured the 90's like no other media experience has. Free-Roaming Runner-up: Mercenaries

4. SSX 3

Who would've believed that anyone would have thought that making an extreme-sports game less 'extreme' would make it a better game? A tip of the hat to EA Big for toning down the zany-ness of SSX and delivering the best winter sports game ever. Exploring the entire mountain in SSX 3 took hours of pure bliss. Extreme Sports Runner-up: Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG)
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5. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

The Metal Gear Solid franchise turned gaming on its head by creating the stealth-action genre. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty provided a cinematic style of play, unforgettable characters, and a welcomed emphasis on non-violent solutions to problems. All of the SOCOM and Splinter Cell games owe their existence to MGS 2. Stealth Action Runner-up: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
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6. Madden NFL 2005 (Collector's Edition)

Madden NFL is the granddaddy of all gaming franchises. To celebrate 15 years of amazing Madden NFL action EA released a collector's edition, which included versions of Madden from years past. The game itself could support its own platform, it has its own tournaments and a fan following like none other. If someone owns a sports game, 9 of 10 times it's Madden. Sports Game Runner-up: Winning Eleven 8

7. Dance Dance Revolution: DDRMAX2

When I first saw Japanese high-school students 'dancing' on a machine in Shinjuku, I though to myself, "only in Japan". When I returned to the states and saw American students 'dancing' on a machine in an arcade I knew I'd have no career as futurist. DDR is the twister of our era. I know people who have used the workout mode to lose weight, and have had more fun busting out my DDR pads at parties than I can describe. Rhythm Game Runner-up: EyeToy Groove

8. Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution

Talk about a resurrection. Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution not only proved that SEGA could make amazing games, it surprised everyone with its $20 price tag. More than a budget title, this is one of the most complex fighting games made for any console. VF 4: Evolution also introduced customization features never seen before in a fighting game. Fighting Game Runner-up: Tekken 5
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9. God of War

More than any other genre, action combat gamers are blessed with a bevy of beautifully violent games for the PS2. God of War is a showstopper. We all expected a strong showing, but God of War stunned everyone with a sublimely stylish combat system and a level of brutality that we hadn't seen since the introduction of Mortal Kombat. Action Combat Runners-up, tie: Devil May Cry & Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
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10. Jak II

Jak grew up a little, and the gameplay matured a lot. Jak II is truly a story-driven action platformer. Taking a hint from Grand Theft Auto Jak II allowed you to freely roam the city, stealing cars and causing chaos. Where Jak II departed, however was in the mature storyline that drew in older games, and reminded us that platformers need not always be about princesses and mushrooms. Platformer Runner-up: Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando
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