Hard Drive recently published a list of PS1 games for millennial parents to force on their children, implying we millennials grew up in the 32-bit era. Obviously, that article was written by a clueless boomer who was probably born in the 80’s or something. All true millennials grew up on the greatest console of all time: Sony’s Play Station 2. In order to make up for this lapse in generational awareness we now present the 50 PS2 games millennial parents should make their children play.
1. Dark Cloud
Kids today cry about weapon durability in Zelda because they’ve been coddled by modern games. Those of us raised in the harsh dungeons of Dark Cloud are just grateful we don’t have to manage Link’s hydration.
2. GTA San Andreas
Hillary Clinton tried to take this game down and that’s why she lost the 2016 election. At least that’s what you can tell your kid instead of having a difficult conversation about systemic sexism.
3. Tekken 4
You won’t remember why this was your favorite Tekken until you see Christie. Then you’ll suddenly realize you were just really horny for that character. Have fun explaining to your kid that you’re making them play this because of how hot the Capoeira girl is.
4. Final Fantasy X
It might be hard to ignore the parallels between yourself and Jecht when you’re forcing your kid to play hours of blitzball and criticizing their skill at it. But hey, at least the ending will let you know if your kid’s going to cry at your funeral or not.
5. Sly Cooper
You need to accept that statistically there’s a good chance your kid will be a furry. It’s important to cover your bases and hit the classics like this game and Disney’s Robin Hood just in case. You don’t want to raise the one furry at the convention who doesn’t know Carmalilta Fox by sight.
6. Silent Hill 2
Sex is weird and uncomfortable to talk about. Make sure your kid is too terrified of sex to ever ask about it by making them play this psychosexual horror masterpiece. That’s just good parenting.
7. Devil May Cry 3
It’s crucial to preserve this aesthetic for future generations now that Hot Topic just sells anime t-shirts. How else will future generations know how cool the trench coat over bondage gear look was?
8. The Sopranos: Road to Respect
You’ve never gotten around the watching The Sopranos but you did buy this game for $2 at a garage sale in 2010. After skipping out on his seminal work don’t you owe it to James Gandolfini to make your kid suffer through his only video game credit?
9. Rogue Galaxy
There are approximately a thousand pretty good JRPGs on the PS2 and Rogue Galaxy is the one you got for your 12th birthday making it the best one. Remember, forced nostalgia isn’t about “the greats” it’s about the ones you kinda sorta remember.
10. Shadow of the Colossus
Back in the 2000’s games were all about mindlessly killing giant monsters with swords. Then Shadow of the Colossus broke the mold by being about killing giant monsters with a sword and then feeling bad about it. That’s art, baby
It’s going to be hard to tell if The Milkman Conspiracy has aged well or not. On one hand, the game’s warning about conspiracy theories is more relevant than ever. On the other hand, the level is a lot less fun once you realize Boyd Cooper was definitely at the capital on January 6th.
12. Katamari Damacy
This game about a narcissistic king sending his son to mindlessly collect stuff in order to restore things to how they used to be is strangely appealing to you. It’s impossible to say why.
13. Metal Gears Solid 3: Snake Eater
You can really make this project multi-generational with Metal Gear Solid 3 because let’s be honest you’re gonna have to get your dad to explain all the references to The Great Escape and David Bowie lyrics.
14. Armored Core 2
Armored Core is billed as a mech combat franchise but early games were actually about something much more important: accounting. Every mission charges you for the ammo you use and damage to your mech, meaning even successful missions might lose you money. Eventually, your kid will be crushed under a mountain of debt, preparing them for the real-life mountain of debt that will someday crush them.
15. Suikoden III
One of this game’s playable characters is a cute little Shiba Inu who leads an elite all-dog military squad. That fact alone makes this game better than all the other Suikoden games. Actually, it makes it better than all the other video games ever made.
16. God of War
This is an important game because it popularized QTE’s, finally perfecting gameplay. No more remembering what a button does or feeling immersed in a fantastical world. The game tells you to push a button so you press the button and get rewarded with a hyperviolent animation. The game will literally condition your kid to like it.
17. Kingdom Hearts
Kids love Disney characters which will help them get past how convoluted the story is and how poorly the controls have aged. It’s like coating your dog’s pills in peanut butter, but the peanut butter is popular children’s IP and the pill is Tetsuya Nomura.
18. Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
When you played this game back before the MCU existed it was mostly an excuse for you to explain who Deadpool was to your less nerdy friends. If you want to recapture that feeling you need to make your kid play this game before the MCU teaches them who the everloving Thing is.
19. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Between Mario and Sonic kids today think video game movies are good. Don’t let them forget the atrocities committed by Hollywood against gamers. Make them play this game then show them what Jake Gyllenhaal did to it.
20. Soulcalibur II
Sure, the GameCube version had Link, but you were never jealous. I’m sure your kid won’t be either, I mean when’s the last time Zelda was even a relevant franchise?
21. Persona 3
Everyone loves Persona now but you were into it back when it was niche and cool. You get extra coolness points for this one because Persona 3 is the edgy Persona where the characters shoot themselves. Your kids will have to respect you once they know how cool your tastes were in middle school.
22. Antz Extreme Racing
Playing this game is really just an excuse for you to talk about how underrated you think the 1998 animated film Antz was. Sure, A Bug’s Life looked better but you’ve been arguing with people that Antz was better since grade school and you’re not stopping now. This game will not help your argument.
23. Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
You’ve actually never played Dragon Quest which really puts your JRPG street cred at risk. If you make your kid play this one you can ask them for notes and pretend like you’ve played it. I mean, you’re an adult now you don’t have the time to play an entire Dragon Quest.
24. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
You got this game for Christmas in 2001. It’s going to be tempting to bring up 9/11 when you remember that fact but I promise you it’s not actually relevant to the game and your kid doesn’t want to hear you talk about where you were when the towers fell again.
25. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai
Your idiot kid is going to pick Goku because he’s the strongest. They’ll never see the Captain Ginyu body switch coming until it’s too late. If they don’t know Ginyu’s move set well enough to switch back then that’s on them.