PlayStation 2 or officially branded as PS2, is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. The console was initially released in Japan in 2000, and few months later were released worldwide. Although this console sounds very old, we have to admit that it has a lot of good games differ in genres, including these top 7 PlayStation 2 visual novel games you must try.
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key and released in 2004 for PC. While both of Key’s previous creations, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games (later been censored for younger market), Clannad was released for a rating for all ages. The game was later ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
The story follows the life of Tomoya Okazaki, an average high school student who meets many people in his last year at school, including five girls, and helps resolves their individual problems. The gameplay follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters by the player character.
6. Higurashi: When They Cry
Higurashi: When They Cry or also known as Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni in Japanese language is a murder mystery Japanese doujin soft sound novel series created by 07th Expansion. A sound novel is similar to a visual novel in that the gameplay requires relatively little player interaction as most of the game is composed of text dialogues.
The game takes place during June 1983 in a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara moves there and befriends with his new classmates. At first, Hinamizawa looks to be a normal and peaceful village but after the Watanagashi Festival, Keiichi learns that he was drawn into some strange events which involve murders.
Utawarerumono is a Japanese adult tactical RPG developed by Leaf, and was released initially in 2002 for PC. It was later ported to PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation 4. The gameplay requires very little interaction as most of the duration of the game is spent by simply reading the text that appears on the game screen, which represents a dialogue or inner thoughts of the protagonist.
Players will take on the role of a masked man named Hakuoro who is suffering from amnesia and ends up in a small village. He soon becomes the leader of a rebellion aimed at overthrowing the regime of the evil emperor. The story’s genre is at first a fantasy-style story with heavy Ainu influence, though later develops science fiction themes towards the end of the game.
4. Little Busters!
Little Busters! is another Japanese visual novel developed by Key. The game was released initially in 2007 for PC and is rated for all ages. Little Busters! is Key’s sixth game, along with Kanon, Air, and Clannad. Little Busters! is classified as a romance visual novel, with the gameplay spent on reading the story’s narrative and dialogues. The text in-game is accompanied by character sprites, representing who we are talking to.
The story follows the life of Riki Naoe, a high school student who has been a member of a group of friends named the Little Busters since childhood. Riki brings multiple girls at his school into the Little Busters to have enough people to play a baseball game. The gameplay follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the six female main characters.
3. Fate/stay night
Fate/stay night is a Japanese adult visual novel game which was developed by Type-Moon for PC. Released in 2004, this game and the other Fate/ series were known to have more action scenes than the other visual novel games. Being Type-Moon’s first commercial work, this game is a actually a doujin soft visual novel which later turned to some several series of games.
The plot focused on the battle royale which was known as Holy Grail War, where the winner will obtain the chalice called Holy Grail which can grant their wish. There are seven participants in total, and each of them is accompanied by Servant with unique powers and abilities to assist them. As the Master’s assistance in battle, only one Servant can be summoned in each war of the seven classes.
2. Persona 3
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is the fourth installment of the Persona series. Released in 2006, this game initially was made for PlayStation 2 console. An enhanced version titled Persona 3 FES was made on the same console with bonus chapter: The Answer (this version also available for PlayStation 3). There is also a PlayStation Portable version with an optional female protagonist titled Persona 3 Portable.
The story follows a group of high school students with the name of SEES who were trying to cooperate with each other in a world where death is acceptable. Together, they investigate a mysterious time period called Dark Hour and found out Tartarus, a huge tower containing Shadows. To fight them the members of SEES summons Persona as a manifestation of their inner self.
1. Persona 4
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is the fifth game of the Persona series which was released in multiplatform: PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. The successful initial release for PlayStation 2 has made Atlus decided to bring the game into next-generation consoles. The enchanced port of Persona 4 titled Persona 4 Golden was released for PlayStation Vita/PS TV in 2012 following its success.
The story follows a group of high school students dealing with a mysterious TV channel which distorted the truth of who they are and their identities. A string of bizarre murders related to the TV channel begins to disturb their peaceful town. Together, they explore the mysterious world inside the TV and rescuing other victims from death. The answer of who was the serial killer lies inside the TV.
Read also: Top 7 PlayStation 3 Visual Novel Games
PlayStation 2 might be old, but it is also gold. A lot of nice franchise on next-gen consoles came from this classic device. Talking about favorites, it is obvious that I’ll go with Persona 4 and Persona 3. But with its tactical RPG gameplay, I also liked Utawarerumono. We can find some RPG with visual novel gameplay, but a PlayStation 2 visual novel mixed with RPG and tactical combat is not that common to be found.
Which one is your favorite PlayStation 2 visual novel game? Have you tried playing them on your PlayStation 2? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.