10 Fun PS2 Action-Adventure Games That Hold Up Great Today

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fun PS2 action-adventure games.

Howdy, fellow retro gaming connoisseurs~ today, we’re taking another trip to the yesteryear of the glorious and fun PS2 action-adventure games. Yep, in case you’re unaware, we’ve done a similar list with the incredible PS1 action-adventure titles. Check that one, too, ‘cause it’s got some dope selections in there, too. But, yeah, now we’re moving up a gen. We’ll highlight the best offerings of Sony’s hit sequel console, the PlayStation 2.

Of course, some of our picks are gonna trigger a few fanboys, so we’ll say this right off the bat. We’re not picking the most popular entries ‘cause most of them everyone already knows about. No, we’re reaching out for the gems that many gamers didn’t give a chance to. Or the games got lost in the shuffle of blockbuster hits that are household names now. Either way, it’s their time under the spotlight, and we’re super ecstatic to do this. Let’s get going~

Which PS2 Action-Adventure Games Are The Epitome Of Fun That You Should Try If They’re Available On PS Plus Premium?

Yeah, real bummer this one, eh? Instead of backward compatibility, Sony is milking us to play retro games on their premium subscription service. It costs a pretty penny, too. We wish Sony would take the Xbox route in the future and take a page out of Uncle Phil Spencer’s playbook for future backward compatibility. But, anyway, enough ramblings; let’s take a gander at the games within the action-adventure genre on PS2 that you should try whenever you get the chance.

Oh, and one more thing before we begin: the games we’re gonna focus on do not include RPGS. Yeah, they’re more character-centric, with gameplay that revolves around fast and exciting combat and exploration. So, keep it in mind if any of your PS2 favorites don’t pop up on the list, okay? Now, here we go!

[10/10]

Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time – Peak Ubisoft Efforts In Action-Adventure

The Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time is one of the most fun PS2 action-adventure games.

Not wasting any time here, folks. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time is perhaps one of the most influential action-adventure games on the PS2. The parkour, the traversal, the free flow motion, and the smooth and fluid combat all have aged like a fine wine. Whenever we see the Prince in his charmingly charismatic and resourceful ways, it’s always a delightful experience. The level design of Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time is amazing, too.

There are so many secrets littering the layout if you have the patience and the determination to find them. You actually feel rewarded for going out of your way to find them. Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time’s gameplay and vibe just hold such a timeless appeal, we can plug in our PS2 even today and just have a great time with it.

This is because Ubisoft actually was innovating and knocking it out of the park back in the day. Nowadays, it’s a shell of its former self, as Prince Of Persia’s modern iterations, while fun gameplay-wise, it lacks personality and charm. Plus, when the decade-old Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is better than 2024’s Skull & Bones, that’s a problem. But yeah, Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time on the PS2 is one of the finest action-adventure games ever.

[09/10]

Sly Cooper: Thievius Raccoonus – Sony’s Long Lost Mascot Game Deserves To Shine Again

Sly Cooper & The Thievious Raccoonus is one of the most fun action-adventure games from the days of PS2.

Oh, great, now we’re gonna cry some tears ‘cause it’s a reminder of how Sony’s ignoring its own treasured IP. We’re talking about the one-and-only Sly Cooper. The debut outing of the suave and sneaky furry thief, Sly Cooper, in Sly Cooper: Thievius Raccoonus, was so great that we still haven’t forgotten. It just pains us that it’s not getting the same treatment as the recent Ratchet & Clank series.

Like seriously, platforming and stealth in this game is top-tier. This game’s presentation and aesthetic just meshes brilliantly with the environments. With a colorful cast of characters and quite the spicy back-and-forth between Sly and Carmelita, this game is the bomb. Our boy Sly’s got some smooth moves in every sense of the word.

Sly Cooper: Thievius Raccoonus has such a great pacing and that wholesome, adventurous feel. You get invested in the story and wanna see how things will go down. The voice-acting creates plenty of tense and hilarious moments, too. How you maneuver every level takes a fair bit of skill; the moment you pull off a caper, it’s utterly satisfying. We’re just baffled as to how this franchise is not being given the love and attention it deserves. The Sly Cooper games on the PS2 have an unmatched vibe among other action-adventure games.

[08/10]

Bully – One Of The Most Criminally Underrated PS2 Action-Adventure Games That Deserves A Sequel

Bully is one of the most underrated PS2 action-adventure games.

Next up, we’re going with Bully, the infamous Rockstar Studio’s title that was apparently so controversial we’ve yet to see a sequel. For context, we got two Manhunt games by Rockstar, which were basically interactive snuff films where we actually saw some brutal executions. But nope, the name Bully is the one the sensitive possum bellies don’t want more of. Anyway, so what was Bully about? Here’s a bombshell for anyone who didn’t play this gem among other PS2 action-adventure games.

You play as troubled teenage Jimmy Hopkins, who is actually bullying the bullies of his new dorm-school academy. Yep, he fights back against the hooligans and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty for it. Jimmy goes about his days and nights at Bullworth Academy. He attends classes, and there are rewards for acing them, too. Fair warning, though: you gotta be quick in your button presses. Then there are story missions and the whole host of shenanigans, too.

From going on dates with the girls to pulling pranks on the obnoxious disciplinary staff, it’s such a rollicking good time. You can shove bullies into lockers, how’s that for Karma, and get into fisticuffs with them, too. The unique animations for special finishing moves add richness to the gameplay. The point is, you’ll love Bully, and it is by far our favorite title from other action adventure games on PS2 by Rockstar.

[07/15]

Ghost Rider – Exceptionally Addictive Game That Could Stand Next To The First God Of War

Ghost Rider is one of the most underrated action-adventure PS2 super hero games.

Ghost Rider is one of the most underrated and obscure PS2 action-adventure games ever, but we swear it deserves better. With Marvel’s collaboration, the possibility of a Ghost Rider solo game would be just bananas. Seriously, Marvel and Sony, consider it! Anyway, so what did Ghost Rider on the PS2 offer?

Well, it’s a hack-and-slash experience that takes cues from God Of War but puts its own twist on it. The character’s chain-based melee and his character powers, the style and presentation of his powers just give off a badass vibe. There are even in-game execution prompts that feel satisfying to pull off in the game. Ghost Rider breaks up the pacing of the levels by giving players motor-cycle-specific levels. You gotta get to the finish line, not fall off into the obstacles and knock off other enemies.

The boss fights feel really enjoyable and the whole supernatural powers create enough variety that gameplay feels fresh. The story is not the best, but then agains, back then we weren’t exactly looking for that in PS2 action-adventure games. If the movement and action were fun, that was all we needed, and Ghost Rider is one of those games that has those in spades.

[06/10]

Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence – The Kogi Igarashi Flex Showing His Knack For 3D Action-Adventure Games On PS2

Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence is one of the biggest PS2 action-adventure games ever.

Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence might not be everyone’s favorite, we get it. But among the PS2 games in the action-adventure genre, it is one of the most influential; especially in the Castlevania series. The major reason for that is the creator behind it, Mr. Koji Igarashi; one of the legendary Japanese video game creators. His vision and passion, as well as creativity for the Castlevania series, are well-documented within the fandom.

After parting ways with Konami and fans supporting him, he’s made one of the best vampire games of all time in Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night. But, his earlier work, Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence is the best example of his early signs of game design brilliance. The open-ended nature and backtracking made famous in the Metroid-vania genre is present in all its glory. Plus, you get a host of powers and weapons to use in conjunction with the primary vampire killer whip of the protagonist, Leon Belmont.

The boss fights are spectacular and grand, with unique and memorable backgrounds and character designs. The musical score ramps up the intensity and creates the perfect ambiance for players to immerse themselves in Castlevania’s majestic experience. There are unlockable characters that give Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence lots of replay value, too. It’s one of our absolute favorite PS2 action-adventure games ever.

Related: The 100 Most Iconic Video Game Soundtracks Of All Time (100-81).

[05/10]

Resident Evil: Code Veronica – One Of The Greatest Survival Horror Titles Which Sticks To Its Horror Roots

Resident Evil Code Veronica is one of the best action adventure games from the PS2 days.

Resident Evil Code Veronica is perhaps one of the best games ever in the Resident Evil series. It’s more survival-horror than action-adventure, but among other PS2 games, the spooky vibes and the weird, unsettling nature just make it stand out. There is a sense of dread and creepiness that sneaks in during the playthrough of the game’s two campaigns. Obviously, plot armor for the protagonists is still a thing, but even still, the huge graphical leap at the time showed off the menacing enemies, which created a sense of dread for us.

We were kids, too, once, so what are you expecting? Heh… anyway, Resident Evil Code Veronica contains the best villain of the series in his prime. Yep, you know the one, Albert Wesker. Seriously, it was refreshing to see him steal the scene he’s in, and we’re lowkey rooting for a return. Seriously, Capcom, do it. The threat of Alexia in Resident Evil Code Veronica adds to the claustrophobic fear of the confined space of the facility our leads, Chris and Claire, are in.

Slowly trekking through the facility and uncovering what’s happening, then solving puzzles while fighting off zombies, is the pretty standard Resident Evil experience, right? Well, in Resident Evil Code Veronica, we see a lot of it, but the story and enemy placement always keep you on edge. If Capcom’s considering a remake and wants to hold onto its 2023 Meta-Critic Publisher Of The Year crown, they gotta green light this one. It’s one of the few Resident Evil action-adventure PS2 games we genuinely want a ground-up remake for.

[04/10]

Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks – Amazingly Immersive And Highly Entertaining Fan-Service Fest From Ed Boon & Co.

Mortal Kombat Shaolin Monks.

The great thing about Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks is that it’s a love letter to Mortal Kombat fans. The story is a retelling of the classic tale but from a perspective that gives you more insight into the character dynamics. There is the deception element of the story, which creates tension between the two heroes; Liu Kang and Kung Lao. All courtesy of Shang Tsung, of course. But there’re some super cameos in there, too, which fans will jump for joy at.

Seriously, we weren’t kidding about the love letter part. You see Johny Cage, Kitana, Jade, Mileena, Reptile, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Raiden, too. There are powerful opponents hiding within their elements, which Liu Kang and Kung Lao must confront and defeat. The simple yet really engaging button-mash fest is a throwback to simpler times when you could just shut your brain off and enjoy yourself.

The ability to just whip out fatalities on the go as you’re pummeling down enemies left and right in a 3D environment is spectacular. Every combo is so character-specific and fits the gameplay vibe to a tee. The exploration is encouraged, too. We’re still pining for a proper sequel or a remake of Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks on current-gen hardware. Kinda like how the Lollipop Chainsaw Remake that’s set to sizzle in the summer of 2024 is shaping up to be. is one of the biggest guilty pleasure action-adventure games on the PS2 we’d love to play now.

[03/10]

Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe – Shockingly Great Beat’em Up Style Spidey Title That’ll Keep You Hooked Till The End

Spider-man friend or foe gameplay.

Wow, another action-adventure title from the treasure trove of PS2 games that doesn’t nearly get enough love. Considering it’s a Spidey game, it’s even more baffling because Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe is among the best there are. Seriously, this is the Spidey team-up game where Spidey shines, but so do the allies he teams up with. From Black Cat to the Prowler, and even Iron Fist, to Blade, Scorpion, Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and even Venom! The whole gang is there because the symbiote infestation is getting out of control.

Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe is a globe-trotting adventure with super fun melee combat to pace things brilliantly. In every level where Spidey goes with the help of Nick Fury, he picks up allies. The sheer joy of smashing through exotic and colorful environments with Spidey and a buddy in co-op is just indescribable. There are boss fights that require players to save up their super attacks and unload on enemies.

The upgrade system creates plenty of new ways for Spidey to deal damage and the allies get their character-specific bonuses, too. When you see the enemy variety and the variants in each level of Spider-Man: Friend Or Foe, well, you’ll appreciate the hard work the artists put in. Seriously, this could be the template for a Spider-Man-centric co-op game if Insomniac’s considering one in Spider-Man 3.

Related: Spider-Man 2 Review – The Amazing Insomniac.

[02/10]

The Bard’s Tale Is Perhaps One Of The Most Hilarious PS2 Action-Adventure Games To Ever Be Made

The Bard's Tale.

Hoo, boy~ talk about one of the most complex and infuriating PS2 games with gameplay that barely scratches the action-adventure threshold. So, then, why have we Bard’s Tale so high up on our list then? Well, it’s pretty simple to understand, really. You see, Bard’s Tale is the most hilarious and laugh-out-loud game there is. Especially because the dialogue completely shatters the fantasy roleplaying games it’s imitating.

We’re not even joking here, The Bard’s Tale narration is by the late great Tony Jay, and his delivery is impeccable. But the voice actor for the bard is a hilarious fella’, too. The sheer amount of randomness and WTF moments you’ll encounter in this game will leave you a giggling mess. We still burst into laughter when we hear the song ‘It’s bad luck to be you’. The poking fun of fantasy games is the icing on the cake that we just had to bump it up in our rankings.

The gameplay is nothing to write home about, because it is generic and uninspired, but the strong writing and performances more than pick up the slack. You’ll have to get used to the retro Elder Scrolls engine; otherwise it can be a jarring experience for you. But for us, the gameplay wasn’t too terrible, and the stellar story just won us over. It’s one of the must-play or at least must-try action-adventure games on the PS2 because of how unique it is.

[Honorable Mention 1]

God Of War & God Of War 2 Are Perhaps The Most Cinematic Action-Adventure PS2 Games

Do we really need to even say anything about this one, folks? God Of War is the brand name of action-adventure genre of games on the PS2. There is no other series that comes to the polish and brutal depiction of cinematic violence that makes you feel an adrenaline rush. Kratos’ journey to becoming the titular God Of War is both tragic and transformative, starting from the first and second God Of War games.

We see the rage and fury with which he’s struggling with as he realizes the treachery of the Pantheon. How they toy with mortals for their own musings. Kratos, tired of their constant ridicule and arrogance, literally brings his wrath upon them. The boss fights and even the combat with fodder enemies feels incredibly fulfilling. The range of abilities that Kratos posses allows him to deliver devastating finishers on his enemies.

The gameplay segments are broken down into puzzles and even a fair bit of platforming. Some require brain work, too. It’s not all mindless button-mashing. The enemy variety is enough that you can’t let your guard down, as they will swarm Kratos. Thankfully, with his powers and weapons, it’s not really all that much of an issue. That’s why this power fantasy element is the reason God Of War 1 and 2 are among the top-tier PS2 action-adventure games.

[Honorable Mention 2]

Devil May Cry Trilogy Is The Peak Of Action, Not So Much Adventure, But Boy, Is It Hella Fun To Play

Take what we just spoke about action-adventure games on PS2 about God Of War titles and apply them to the Devil May Cry trilogy here. Why? Because if God Of War 1 and 2 are the cinematic and polished hack-and-slasher titles, then Devil May Cry series is the hardcore and much more skill-based side of that coin. These games, though, are accessible on lower difficulties; the truly rewarding experience is in their upper-level challenge modes.

You already have one of the most charismatic, badass, powerful, and versatile video game characters of all time, Dante. Add to that, he only gets more powerful and stronger, gets more unique and stylish gear, and more fighting abilities. It’s like games just try to overwhelm you with so many options and styles for playing the games almost intentionally. But that’s the Devil May Cry series in a nutshell.

The trilogy of the PS2 action-adventure Devil May Cry games contain high-octane action with non-stop fights. The enemies keep on coming, but as Dante, you just run circles around them and have the thrill of your life. This franchise ranks among the upper echelons of the greatest action games of all time. With good reason, too.

[Honorable Mention 3]

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, & Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Tactical Stealth Action-Adventure

At the final stretch of our list of dope PS2 action-adventure games, what better way to bring up two excellent honorable mentions? You see, the reason why we’re not including Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater officially in the rankings is ’cause they’re severely spectacle and stylish but lack substance in gameplay. No joke, the amount of dialogue and extensive cutscenes in these two games is ridiculous.

Both Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 have excellent stories, and what little engaging gameplay there is, it’s gimmicky. Don’t get us wrong, it’s fun, and we love them, but as purely action-adventure titles… we’re not too big on them. Hey, our list, our rules. The voice acting and performances are phenomenal; we’re not denying that one bit. In terms of actual replay value and enjoyment, the pacing of these games isn’t… the best, shall we say?

Oh, but what we do love about Metal Gear Solid: Sons Of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are the characters. Their motivations, their silliness, their habits and quirks (revolver ocelot is a riot), and how they reference past and future events. The mind-bending story and how bombshell twists shake up the narrative. Hideo Kojima’s brilliance shines through in those aspects a lot. It’s why we love these PS2 action-adventure games.

[01/10]

Tomb Raider Underworld – Gaming Heroine Of The PS2 Days Holds The Crown Of The Top Action-Adventure Games

Tomb Raider Underworld.

Finally! We’re at the end of our list, and unsurprisingly, the crown of the action-adventure games on the PS2 goes to the Queen~ yep, Tomb Raider: Underworld is the perfect iteration of Lara Croft that’s yet to be topped. It’s got the fun-loving vibes, unapologetic and sarcastic, sassy and sensual personality of Lara Croft. It’s not the watered-down shell in the recent trilogy by Square Enix; this is pure fun.

Secondly, Lara Croft’s abilities and manoeuvrability are at their most fun. The platforming and traversal just deliver a degree of satisfying gameplay that gels the entire experience sublimely. Tomb Raider: Underworld’s combat is another strong point of the game. Don’t let the naysayers influence you; check it out. It’s well worth it. The enemy variety and environmental diversity create an unforgettable ride from start to finish.

Tomb Raider: Underworld is the true examplification of action-adventure games on the PS2. There’s perhaps no other game that comes close to the originality of this one. Sure, Spider-man and other mascot games from Sony may have their strong points, but come on~ with Tomb Raider: Underworld, you have one of the most unique games with hot and cool female heroines. Ya’ll can’t beat that, now can you?

Review: Stellar Blade Review – Stylish Action Gaming Just Found A Queen.

Final Thoughts

Well, that’s ‘bout it for our list of exciting and ridiculously fun action-adventure games from the days of PS2. Yep, we told y’all our picks tend ot be different, but none can deny that any of’em are unworthy of their place. If you’re feeling particularly daring, try your luck in the comments below. But we warn you, you better have good justifications for your criticism ‘cause we bite, too~ We jest, of course; please, feel free to express yourselves in the comments below. We’re highly lookin’ forward to reading your feedback.

In the meantime, if you’re still itching for more retro-themed gaming suggestions, well, we got’em, albeit with a twist. If y’all can stomach the classic games that should get remakes belonging to Xbox, you’ll have another dose of nostalgia to dive back into. You’re welcome, internet~ Anyway, that’s ‘bout it for today, we’re gonna take off now, but check back in soon for more gaming lists. We’re not done with the trips down memory lane, so prepare for many more to come. Until next time, folks, take care, stay safe, and happy gaming!

Author

  • Rafi Ahmed

    Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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