Sony’s PlayStation 2 was a testing ground for many platform franchises, and these are the best the console had to offer during its reign.

The PlayStation 2 was the home of fantastic platform games. This genre exploded during this era, and when the PlayStation 3 was released, developers were incorporating platforming elements into larger games like Unexplored Serie. However, not all of these games were equally great.

Some of the platform games on PS2 were far above the rest, transcending their peers with new innovations and changing the genre in the coming years. Here are the five best platform games on PlayStation 2.

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Sly 2: Band of Thieves

Sly 2 Key Art

Long before Tsushima ghost, or even infamous, Sly cooper was the star son of Sucker Punch Productions. The adventures of this thieving raccoon would propel the studio to new heights and help shape the studio’s future titles. With the unexpected critical and commercial success of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Sucker Punch honed his skills with a sequel.

Sly 2: Band of Thieves vastly improved over its predecessor by featuring larger, more open stages and a focus of play on the entire Sly team rather than just the raccoon. Offering gamers what would feel like an interactive heist movie to the Ocean’s Eleven, Crafty 2 delivered on the narrative front and was backed by its solid action / platformer gameplay that offered a fun variation between three playable characters.

Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy

Key art of Jak and Daxter

Naughty Dog introduced PlayStation 2 owners to the best platformer of its kind in Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Fresh off your success with the Crash Bandicoot series, the studio took much of what made its PlayStation series strong and transformed it into a more immersive and story-driven title. Jak and Daxter It took players away from the level-based structure that platformer games had previously defined and presented them with a more focused cinematic experience.

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Later Jak and Daxter the sequels would add a larger open world, vehicles and weapons, making it closer to a Grand Theft Auto title than your initial Banjo Kazooie-Influenced roots. The bigmouth Ottsel (hybrid of otter and weasel) Daxter, often steals the show, but Jak and Daxter featured a full cast of colorful, full-voiced characters that players couldn’t help but fall in love with.

Rayman: revolution

Rayman 2 Key Art

Rayman: revolution It is a new and improved version of the Nintendo 64 game Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Seen as the definitive version of the title, it features improved visuals, new minigames, skill enhancements, level redesigns, new music, language options, new bosses, and redistribution of the Yellow Lums collectible in-game. Rayman 2 was considered one of the best games of its genre until Rayman: Revolution came and upped the ante.

Making the leap from 2D to 3D, Rayman 2 introduced gamers to an accessible and fun platformer for any skill level. The title reinforced some of the most polished games seen in the genre at the time, and its cheerful and welcoming score was the icing on the cake. This game resonated so well with critics and gamers that it’s no wonder Rayman 2: The Great Escape It has been ported seven times.

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Ratchet and Clank: Upgrade your arsenal

R&C UYA

Ratchet & Clank: Upgrade your arsenal is the third game in the series and offers what many consider to be the duo’s best adventure on PlayStation 2. As in the new PlayStation 5 title, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the series combines platforming with exaggerated action. The mix has proven successful time and time again, but in 2004 the franchise was still breaking new ground. Upload your arsenalThe philosophy is more: more jumps, more grinds, more gadgets, and (most importantly) more explosions.

Upload your arsenal introduced the now de facto villain Dr. Nefarious from the series and takes the heroic duo on an adventure back to their home galaxy after their departure in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. Even if Upload your arsenal It was seen as a departure from the series’ platforming roots when it was released, critics now look back and call it one of the biggest platformer games of its generation.

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Psychonauts

Key art of psychonauts

Psychonauts is a platform game like no other. A Double Fine Productions game created before the studio acquired by Microsoft, this game brought Tim Schafer’s insane sense of humor to summer camp for the psychically gifted. PsychonautsThe best feature is the living world it creates, with characters brought to life by a cast of stellar voice actors making it easy to bond with them.

Large portions of the game take players into the psyche of other characters, worlds created from their state of mind and thoughts. That is where Psychonauts It shined like a platformer. Regardless of the laws of reality, each of these mental worlds was unique and a pleasure to traverse. Whether jumping through the 1950s-themed Milkman Conspiracy or cowering to help a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte defeat his ancestor at a board game, each part of Psychonauts absolutely oozes charm and character.

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