The PS2 is one of the most well-remembered game consoles, in terms of raw sales numbers, it is the highest-achieving console to date. It makes sense that a lot of genres have some defining titles on this platform. With such a large player base, pretty much every developer published something big here. PS2 Fighting games reflect this. On this platform, you’re getting fighters which sum up every style of the genre and take advantage of the newly refined 3D graphics on the console.
Most of the best fighting game series’ have instalments on this platform. However, there are also other titles which have their defining moment here on the console. If you’re curious about how fighters worked in this era of gaming, these are the best PS2 fighting games.
Best PS2 Fighting Games
6. Capcom Vs SNK 2
While this game isn’t without its critics, Capcom Vs SNK has a lot going for it and it stands out in fighting games for PS2. It crosses over the rosters of both SNK’s fighters and Capcom’s, bringing together loads of the most recognisable faces in fighting games.
This game is a 2D fighter that sticks to sprite artwork rather than switching to PS2-style graphics, but the gameplay is still tight and engaging. Even with a 48-fighter roster, this game feels balanced and fun. It’s one of the PS2 fighting games that still gets a lot of play.
5. Dragon Z Budokai 3
Dragon Ball fighting games are prolific, especially on the PS2 which has loads of them. Budokai 3 is special though. It has the perfect mix of story and fighting that’s made it a hit. It had a bigger roster than anything that had come before, and an open world overworld for the story mode where you could explore all the different planets the Dragon Ball series had to offer.
For a Dragon Ball gaming experience, Budokai is still the favourite for a lot of fans. It might not be as in-depth as the best-selling FighterZ, but Budoaki 3 is one of the most fun PS2 fighting games.
4. Mortal Kombat Deception
The Mortal Kombat series prides itself on its gory violence and cool MK fatalities. On the PS2, it was able to depict those incredible bursts of violence in much more gory detail.
Deception adds new mechanics to the game including stage fatalities. It wasn’t a big reinvention in terms of gameplay, but it does enough to freshen the series up and the fatalities are a real standout. It’s one of the top picks in fighting games for PS2.
3. Guilty Gear X2
Guilty Gear X2 is a PS2 entry for the long-running series. While Strive has become maybe the biggest anime fighting game, the series has always been impressive. Guilty Gear X2 is a great example of why GG has persevered so much. It features the overpowered mechanics, characters, and unique world of Guilty Gear. Visually it’s a step up for the series too.
2. Virtua Fighter 4
Virtua Fighter 4 (and Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution) are two titles which have to rank as some of the best PS2 fighting games. They are a new entry in the series which pulled off some of the most impressive visuals seen in the series to that point. The gameplay takes the controls and inputs back to a more basic form, for gameplay that reminds you why this style of Fighter has become such a classic.
They’re accessible fighting games for PS2, but can be taken to a deep layer if you want to put the time in. There’s a great variety of modes too so there’s plenty for everyone to do here.
1. Tekken 5
Tekken originated in Arcades, but it’s one of the fighters most associated with PlayStation. By Tekken 5, the entire game was being built around the PlayStation 2’s hardware. These games got pretty impressive on the platform but Tekken 5 might be the most memorable.
This game added extra mechanics like destructible elements and some more customization. The core gameplay is still fast-paced and combo-focused, but Tekken 5 takes the whole series up a few notches. It’s one of the most recognisable PS2 fighting games.