While Sony’s announcement that the PlayStation 2 was getting a price cut, from $130 to $100, wasn’t what some folks were hoping for, the long-awaited $100 price point means you have very few reasons not to pick up the widest-selling video game console with the deepest library of titles.
AOL-owned gaming blog Joystiq has a handful of gift guides out, telling you the cool PS2 loot you can score for $200 or less. Most of the bundles are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but the music-related one suggests you can pick up a PS2, “Rock Band Special Edition” and an extra guitar controller for $200. That’s all well and good, and a great use of $200, but you’ll also need a memory card if you want to save your progress.
Also worth a look is Joystiq’s bundle for the angry PS3 owner. (The PS3 owner would be angry because that console had the ability to play PS2 titles when it launched in 2006, but the feature was removed from later models as a cost-saving measure.) That bundle includes the console, “Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection” (a bundle of the first three “Metal Gear” titles that sells for cheap), “Shadow of the Colossus,” “God of War II,” the first “Ratchet & Clank” game and “Rogue Galaxy.” There’s no memory card in this bundle, either, though, and you’re gonna want one for all these games.
My bundle would look something like this (all prices from Amazon): PS2 ($100); Sony memory card ($17); “Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection” ($28); “Katamari Damacy” ($10); “Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy,” which includes “Grand Theft Auto III,” “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” and “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” ($28); and “Shadow of the Colossus” ($20). Yeah, it’s at $203, so I cheated a bit, but with my bundle you get a PS2, a memory card and eight games. Technically, you’ll need to find an original PlayStation memory card to save your progress in the first title of “Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection,” but that can come later.
I picked the above list because it gives you the most award-winning games for your buck, but your individual gaming preferences may mean your mileage varies with those titles. Horror fans will want to steer themselves toward the “Silent Hill,” “Fatal Frame” and “Resident Evil” series, for example. Music buffs would do well to follow Joystiq’s recommendation and start with the first “Rock Band” bundle. Fans of action titles will want to seek out the “God of War” and “Devil May Cry” series. Role-playing gamers will eat up “Final Fantasy X,” “Final Fantasy XII,” “Odin Sphere” and the “Persona” series. Families with young children will love the “Ratchet & Clank” and “Jak & Daxter” titles, as well as “Katamari Damacy” and the “Lego Star Wars” games.
You could play through a PS2 game a week and not hit a mediocre game until 2010. So get out there and play.