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The PlayStation 2 has been around for quite a while now, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. And with 140 million units sold so far, it’s easy to see why the games are still so easy to find. Some of these games can be really cheap, especially compared to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games. As I’ve done with the Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS, here’s a list of games for the PS2 that’ll total only $100, but last you a long time. Given the wealth of titles available, I wouldn’t be surprised if the games listed here last at least a year or more.
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Metal Gear Solid Collection ($29.99 new)
Okay, so this might be a bit unfair, as the Metal Gear Solid Collection actually contains the first three games of the Metal Gear Solid series. The first game is technically a PS1 game, and you’ll need a PS1 memory card in order to save your data. In case you haven’t heard of Metal Gear Solid, it’s a series of “Tactical Espionage Action,” as every box states. You play as Solid Snake (well, mainly Raiden, a somewhat whiney and grating character in MGS2) as he sneaks around, and silently kills or knocks out enemies. The story is a bit convoluted, but the gameplay is there. It’ll make you think and plan rather than just shoot and kill.
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Sonic Mega Collection Plus ($12.99 used)
Sonic Mega Collection is just what it sounds like: a collection of Sonic games. Sure, you may have already played them before, but the classic Sonic games are always worth a revisit. What’s more fun than running from left to right, finding secret passages, completely ignoring every enemy that isn’t a boss, and collecting Chaos Emeralds? Well, there may be a few things, but those are also on this list.
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Disgaea: Hour of Darkness ($19.99 new)
Strategy role-playing games really shine on the PS2, and Disgaea is arguably the best of the bunch. You play as Lahral, Prince of Darkness, who just woke up from a very, very long nap only to find his father has died. You control Laharl and his army in turn- and grid-based battles as Laharl attempts to claim his rightful place as the King of Darkness by defeating the warring warlords who are trying to claim the throne for themselves. The dialogue is funny, and you can control an army of devil penguins. You read that right, devil penguins (or Prinnies) that end almost every sentence in “dood!” and explode when thrown. Oh yeah, and you can level up into the hundreds. This game is massive, and could last for hundreds of hours on its own. But, more importantly: exploding devil penguins, dood!
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Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal ($14.99 used)
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal takes everything you know about 3D platforming games, and takes it to the extreme. Technically it can be replaced by just about any other Ratchet & Clank game (except Deadlock), but Up Your Arsenal is possibly the easiest to find. There’s a lot of cool and hilarious guns, fun platforming, and a great sense of humor. The game can easily last upwards of 40 hours, and you’ll enjoy every moment of it. Even if you don’t care about the story, Ratchet & Clank will draw you in with its fun, classic gameplay, and guns that are just plain fun to use.
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Mega Man X Collection ($17.99 used)
Another collection game, this one chronicling every Mega Man X game from the first to the sixth (the seventh and eighth are available separately for the PS2). Every game plays nearly the same: as Mega Man (and sometimes his partner, Zero), you fight eight bosses based on animals, gain their powers, and go to defeat Sigma. Along the way there are power-ups, and each boss' ability can be used to great effectiveness against another boss. It sounds simple, and it is to a degree, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Plus, Mega Man X games are always fun to play through again just to kill some time or to try a different way of doing things.