The PlayStation 2 is one of the best-selling videogame consoles of all time. The console sold an estimated 158 million units during its lifespan, considered active from, 2000-2013. The console had over 3,800 games released during that time. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best selling PlayStation 2 games of all time. Read on to see if there’s any surprises!
As might be expected, the likes of Grand Theft Auto and Gran Turismo played a big part in the PlayStation 2’s success. It’s no surprise to also see Final Fantasy ranking highly, as well as Metal Gear Sold 2: Sons of Liberty. However, seeing Tekken 5 ranking so highly – as successful as the series – might come as a shock. Additionally, the then-new franchise of Kingdom Hearts breaking the top 10 may be unexpected by many.
10 Best Selling PlayStation 2 Games of All Time
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
- Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
- Gran Turismo 4
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- Final Fantasy X
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Tekken 5
- Final Fantasy XII
- Kingdom Hearts
10 Best Selling PlayStation 2 Games: What Do they Mean to You?
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – 17.33 Million Units Sold
It should come as no surprise to see Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas take the top spot. The game offered three cities to explore, with a total for a gaming area five times larger than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The popularity of the series had grown exponentially after the success of Grand Theft Auto III in the early days of the PlayStation 2, and so this final outing was highly anticipated at launch. The game was also released the original Xbox. It sold 1.46 million units on Xbox. A far cry from the success of the PlayStation 2 version, yet still managing to rank 10th in the all-time Xbox game sales.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec – 14.89 Million Units Sold
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec built on the success of the original PlayStation’s Gran Turismo 2. The game featured more than 100 distinct cars, each with different statistics, which was a phenomenal achievement for the time. Computer-controlled opponents benefitted from enhanced artificial intelligence; they don’t act like baby ducks following their mother, but instead respond to other cars, the course, and the conditions in much the same way that real drivers would. Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec was unquestionably the most realistic racing game on the PlayStation 2. At least, until the launch of…
Gran Turismo 4 – 11.76 Million Units Sold
The critical and commercial success of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec helped propel the series to the forefront of the racing genre. Gran Turismo 4, following three years later, sold over 11 million copies. The sequel added the B-spec mode which allowed gamers to control the car from the perspective of a crew chief. A number of quality of life improvements were added also, such as speeding up the race time to make endurance races shorter. Furthermore, a robust online racing mode with up to six players was added, allowing gamers to interact and chat with other players in the community.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – 10.25 Million Units Sold
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was largely a remodelling of Grand Theft Auto III. However, it righted many of the wrongs of the original title and laid the groundwork for all Grand Theft Auto games to come. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City offered a heavily stylised revision of the original title, inspired by 1980s Miami. Players took on the role of Tommy Vercetti as he attempted to build a criminal empire. Whether he was successful or not largely depending on players’ bloodlust.
Final Fantasy X – 8.5 Units Sold
The first Final Fantasy title to grace the PlayStation 2 was also the best selling. It arrived at a time when the series was still on a high. Despite originally being a Nintendo exclusive series, Final Fantasy VII cemented the series as a PlayStation game in many gamers heads, and this generation of consoles did little to dissuade that belief. Final Fantasy X arrived soon after the PlayStation 2’s launch, and brought with it voice acting, fully 3D environments, and a whole new battle system. The game was so successful that it was the first Final Fantasy title to spawn a direct sequel, Final Fantasy X-2.
Grand Theft Auto III – 8.3 Million Units Sold
Arriving on the PlayStation 2 within the first year of it’s launch, Grand Theft Auto III helped cement the console as the mature place to play. At the same time, the Nintendo 64 was at the end of it’s life and the Dreamcast had already been announced as discontinued. There really was very little competition, and thanks to Grand Theft Auto III the PlayStation 2 flourished. This title was arguably not up to the standard of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, however it was a free roaming adult experience unlike anything that had been seen before. At the time, that was enough to make it a multi-million seller. And the PlayStation 2 with it.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – 7.03 Million Units Sold
The Metal Gear Solid franchise arrived on the PlayStation 2 for the first time in November 2001, with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Gamers took control of Solid Snake following the Shadow Moses incident. However, not all is as it seems. Following what appears to Snake’s death, players take control of Raiden for the first time. And for much of the game. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty sold over seven million units, and the expanded Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance released less than a year later. Despite the repackaging with additional content, it was still Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty that ranked highly in the best selling PlayStation 2 games of all time.
Tekken 5 – 6 Million Units Sold
Tekken 5 was the third game in the Tekken franchise to be released on the PlayStation 2. After the disappointing Tekken Tag Tournament and Tekken 4, Tekken 5 showed a series returned to form. Three new characters joined the fray, as well as a number of redresses of familiar faces. All of whom have gone on to become series regulars. However, the single biggest change Tekken 5 brought is Devil Within mode. This focuses solely on one playable character, Jin Kazama. It acts as a traditional platform game in which players must guide Jin through a series of labyrinth style levels and entire enemy armies.
Final Fantasy XII – 6 Million Units Sold
Final Fantasy returns for another entry, with Final Fantasy XII having sold 6 million copies on the PlayStation 2. The game arrived late in the console’s lifecycle – just months before the PlayStation 3 launched – but this allowed it to capitalise on that huge install base. Final Fantasy XII introduced an open-world exploration system, coupled with the removal of random battles. It brought about many changes in the series which have impacted every Final Fantasy title since.
Kingdom Hearts – 5.9 Million Units Sold
Somewhat of a shock to the system, Square Enix get their third entry with the original Kingdom Hearts. I mean, we all know the series is popular, but more popular than God of War? Jak and Daxter? Twisted Metal? Ratchet & Clank? The list goes on, and yet Kingdom Hearts beats them all. For the uninitiated, Kingdom Hearts is an RPG which mixes characters from both Disney and the Final Fantasy universe. Players take on the role of Sora as he travels through Disney-themed worlds to find King Micky and stop the Heartless from taking over worlds. The game has spawned numerous spin-offs and sequels, with Kingdom Hearts IV recently announced.
So that completes our list of the best selling PlayStation 2 games of all time. Any surprises for you in there? Which were your favourite titles? Let us know in the comments below!