Christmas, 2004. A 7-year old Markus is awoken and taken downstairs to the living room, where he is greeted by a colorful Christmas tree surrounded by wrapped presents. Being a child, the still joyous and not yet cynical Markus threw himself at the gifts to open them and reveal their contents. While some of the items elude my memory at this point, what’s important here is that one of the things received was a big black box containing… a big black box.
The Playstation 2.
Along with it there were two games: Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. And so Markus’ love affair with the PS2 began.
As the years then went on, I continued to play my PS2, growing my collection. And while I haven’t counted it in years, I wouldn’t be surprised if I collected around 90 or so titles. Now, this could be a testament to me having a bit of a problem, or it could be a testament to the console’s incredible library of both first and third party titles. On the exclusive front you have stuff like Ratchet & Clank, Sly Cooper, God of War, Final Fantasy X, Transformers, Kingdom Hearts, and many more (yes, I’m aware most of these have been ported to newer consoles too, but they originated on the PS2). And let’s not even get into the third party support this console had, because then this rambling piece of mine would take around a year to read. But let’s just say that the sheer amount of games I’ve discovered over the years has kept me busy on many a lonesome day… hell, even on days when I’ve had friends over it has served me well.
Co-op, local multiplayer, controller switching—even with friends, the PS2 is an absolute joy… especially when I got to kick their butts in Digimon Rumble Arena 2, which was the rare occurrence when I actually had a legit chance in a multiplayer setting.
Now, the funny thing about my PS2 legacy is that I’ve had two different ones over the years for the dumbest reason possible. You see, at some point, all the games I played started getting this sickly greenish hue, which my parents and I thought could be blamed on the console. Turns out that wasn’t the case. The reason this silly thing happened was because young Markus had fiddled with the settings on his TV, which gave the shows he watched stronger colors… at the expense of the video games getting the aforementioned green hue. So my parents bought a second PS2 (this time a slim variant) for no actual reason. Oh well, now we have backup chunkster at least.
Around the year 2011, I started using the PS2 a little bit less. Sure, I still played games on it, but I didn’t really get as many titles for it. Why is this, I hear you not asking. Well, my parents had gifted me an Xbox 360 for Christmas that year (that’s right, I’m a spoiled little shit). So, I had a little bit of a break from my darling PS2 for a while. Sure, I hopped on it a few times after that. But when you have a shiny new console, you’re gonna devote a fair bit of time playing on that, adding to that collection.
Soon enough (around the end of junior high/start of high school) I started getting back onto the Playstation 2 properly again, adding to my collection, and finding new appreciation of my older games due to a slightly more matured mind. I’m still highly immature, but I’m better at understanding the complexities of some of my older games now. At the time of writing, the last game I added to my collection was Jak & Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, a fun (if flawed) collect-athon platformer. And while I don’t buy as many PS2 games as I used to, I don’t intend to fully stop collecting games for it anytime soon. While I could easily settle for the massive collection I have now, I’d love to see it grow even more. It’s my favorite console, so of course I should keep adding games for it.