The Jak and Daxter series is coming to PS4 through PS2 Classics this year, but this may just be the beginning. The PS2 Classics line contains old PS2 games emulated (not ported) in 1080p with full trophy support. This gives us a chance to revisit some of the best games from an amazing console generation. It’s a brilliant chance not just for nostalgic types, but those who missed out on some gems of the era.
In anticipation for Jak and Daxter, we’re looking at some classic series that we want to play on PS4 next. Note that this will only include games in a series. We’re also not counting games that can only be played on PS4 through the PlayStation Now service—but we have more to say on that later.
What We Can Already Play
Before you scroll through the list and immediately question why your favorite title isn’t on it, let me stop you right there. Some of the PS2’s greatest games can be played on PS4 right now, either through PS2 Classics on the PlayStation Store or through a port. There’s a good chance one of your favorite PS2 games is playable now. Just to remind you what some of those are:
- The Grand Theft Auto triology. III, Vice City and San Andreas are available (together or separately) through PS2 Classics. San Andreas is viewed by many as the best in the series, so it’s a worthy purchase. Of course, it’s also available on PC, mobile, and other platforms, so it’s up to you how you decide to play.
- Final Fantasy X and X-2 are available on PS4 as the Final Fantasy X|X-2 HD Remaster. It comes with all the updated content, an (optional) remastered soundtrack, and much better graphics. It’s also available on PC through Steam; a great choice for those who want to mod the game. Final Fantasy XII is coming to PS4 through Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age, which brings over the Zodiac Job System for the first time in the West. Both X and XII are very different games, but fantastic in their own right, with hundreds of hours of gameplay, making them solid choices.
- Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 are both available through the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 Final Mix. The mix contains not just those but several non-PS2 releases remastered for the PS4. These are some great games from the era with incredible gameplay (even if the story may not be to everyones’ taste).
- Resident Evil 4, considered by many fans to be the series’ best, is already available on PS4.
- While we can’t play Gran Turismo 4, there’s a decent chance Gran Turismo 7 will include everything it had, even if Gran Turismo Sport doesn’t.
- The upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II seems to bring back enough of the old Star Wars: Battlefront II content that we can exclude the latter from the list.
Now, here are the series we’d like to see.
Metal Gear Solid
Both Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater are classic games. In terms of storytelling, they were the best of the era, and in many ways ahead of their time. The control scheme may be dated, but the gameplay otherwise holds up very well. They’re crucial to understanding the series’ ridiculously complicated story, too. Really, bringing back Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater alone would be fine, since it’s considered by many to be the best of the entire series (and it’s also my favorite game of all time). What’s more, it’s one of the few titles you can get into without playing other titles in the series.
The games were brought to PS3 and Xbox 360 as the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection. Their huge fanbase means Konami would be very wise to bring them to the current gen. However, if they do bring them back as PS2 Classics, hopefully they go with the Substance and Subsistence re-releases, which brought additional content and some improvements.
Ratchet & Clank
With Sony bringing back Jak and Daxter, it’s a no-brainer that it should bring back Ratchet & Clank. The Ratchet & Clank series features not just great platforming, but some amazing gunplay. This is due to its wide selection of completely outrageous weapons. The games are extremely easy to get into, and feature elements of platformers, shooters, RPGs, and puzzle games. All four titles are some of the greatest fun that can be had on the PS2. In fact, the recent PS4 re-imagining of Ratchet & Clank became the fastest-selling game in the series. This shows that there’s clearly still an appetite for the science fiction platforming series.
Unfortunately, the Ratchet & Clank Collection was not a great release. While it was great being able to replay the games on PS3 and Vita, the various ports contained many distracting visual bugs. This means that emulating these games through the PS4 would be very welcome. The previous collection includes Ratchet & Clank 1, Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal. Deadlocked was not included, but was ported and sold separately. All four games deserve to be emulated as PS2 Classics.
God of War
The God of War series is one of the biggest PlayStation franchises, with Kratos being one of its biggest icons. So to be able to relive his origins, and his second outing would be great for many gamers who missed out. The series contains insane hack ‘n slash gameplay that allows Kratos to tear apart ancient Greek gods—not to mention hack apart dozens of enemies on screen and leave behind trails of gore. While it arrived late on the PlayStation 2, it became one of the platform’s most iconic series.
Right now, PS4 players who missed out on PS3 game God of War III can play the remastered release. Giving them the other titles only makes sense.
Ico & Shadow of the Colossus
Many people missed out on Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. These beautiful action adventure games really offer more of a significant experience than most games. They were both ahead of their time, really making the case that games can be art. The emotional storytelling seen in these games is more commonplace today, but very rare at the time. Not to mention, exploring the castles of Ico and climbing colossal creatures in Shadow of the Colossus is an absolute joy.
Both games are available as the Icon & Shadow of the Colossus Collection on PS3. It’s high time to emulate them and bring them to PS4.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time series is a really interesting piece of gaming history. In fact, it serves somewhat as the predecessor to Assassin’s Creed, which was originally developed as a Prince of Persia game. Much of the more realistic platforming and movement seen in these games also shows a true evolution in third-person action/adventure. It’s clear how we got from the likes of Crash Bandicoot‘s simple jump and spin to the much more nuanced movement and combat seen in the likes of Batman: Arkham.
As with the other entries on this list, the games were released for PS3 owners as a collection. PS4 owners deserve them too.
And bring them all to PS Now!
It would be amazing if we could play the emulated PS2 Classics on PS Now. We know that Sony are bringing PS4 games to the PS Now, so its servers should be able to emulate PS2 games. It’s already possible to play the PS3 ports of some of these games on PS Now. It would be better to play them emulated from their original version, in a higher resolution than the ports, and without any port bugs. This would mean many could play these games without individual purchases, and also play them on PC.