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Sony’s Iconic PlayStation 2 Anniversary Will Make You Feel Old

Sony's iconic PlayStation 2 console was released twenty years ago today on March 4, 2000, and it's impact is still felt to this very day.

  • The PlayStation 2 was released on March 4, 2000.
  • It remains to this day the best selling console of all time.
  • The PS2 was the first home of many of today’s biggest franchises.

Sony’s PlayStation 2 console released twenty years ago today on March 4, 2000. Has it been that long?

The PlayStation 2 Is Twenty Years Old Today

Many will fondly remember the console’s blocky aesthetic. The ethereal quality of the gentle synth stab and floating orbs of that no iconic boot-up sequence are etched in many a player’s mind. The hours ours spent basking in the comforting green glow of that all-too-familiar power button.

The console was the proving grounds for many of today’s major franchises. From God of War to Yakuza by way of Kingdom Hearts, the PlayStation 2 was the first home of numerous stalwarts of the modern gaming landscape.

Let’s not forget, the PlayStation 2 was the platform where Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto transitioned from its top-down perspective to the dazzling world of 3D. The switch spawned seminal games like Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Source: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas/Rockstar Games

And with these, we are only scratching the surface of the PlayStation 2’s rich catalog of games. Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Katamari Damacy, SSX Tricky, Beyond Good & Evil, Ico, Resident Evil 4, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3, and more.

The Best Selling Console of All Time

Looking back on old consoles with rose-tinted nostalgia is easy. Time tends to gloss over the negatives. Nevertheless, the PlayStation 2 stands out because it retains the coveted title as the best selling console of all time. If there ever was an indicator of how loved it was, then sales are exactly that.

Sony had sold over 155 million PlayStation 2 units by the time it halted production in early 2013. Other than handheld consoles, the closest competitor is Sony’s very own PlayStation 4, with 106 million units sold as of January this year.

For younger players, the PlayStation 2 is a relic of the past. A piece of history long superseded by better graphics and more powerful successor consoles.

But, the console defined a decade of video games and played a big part in securing the medium a berth as a mainstream pastime. Gaming wouldn’t be quite what it is today without it.

The PlayStation 2 truly was a phenomenal console.

Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:37 PM

Thomas Bardwell

UK-based writer covering the video game industry. Email me | Bug me on Twitter