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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

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Game Profile
 Written by Chris Reiter  on October 27, 2005

Specials: See, I was going to get you Shadow of the Colossus for a present. However, as I understand it you already have like thousands and thousands of copies being played by you already, PlayStation 2.

You know how I know the PlayStation 2's Sony's strongest system? It's now turned five and there's no PlayStation 3 in sight. Of course, that doesn't mean anything. It's in my personal opinion too that the PlayStation was a better overall console. The games make the system, and there definitely was more overall software back then that contained some of the greatest titles of all-time. But, this isn't an article about Sony's previous console. It's about the future. And by future I mean now, at the nearing close of their grand five year run with the best current console on the market today. The PlayStation 2 has seen many classic characters, great games, and naturally awful ones too. To celebrate the PlayStation 2's fifth birthday, I've run down a list of the top ten best heroes, villains, babes, and bad games from years of good and bad times. Keep in mind though that these lists were all very hard to finalize with quick solutions, and are not as accurate as I'd imagine they'd be.

10 Best PlayStation 2 Heroes

10. Dingo Everett
From: Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami JPN
Released: March 11, 2003

Dingo I like to view as a very special type of hero. As would anyone. After all, he is bound to the Jehuty that's operated by A.D.A. after he meets an almost grisly death after being punctured full of bullet holes. Dingo, unlike Leo before him, is a man of a hero rather than a young 14-year-old from the first Zone of the Enders. Dingo's got a funny name and all (that can jokingly be associated by that familiar Aussie phrase), but it's his unique position being kept alive by the very mech he's driving and his vengeful nature and eventual "loving" personality which give Dingo an interesting twist not found in any typical storylines.

9. Nonameguy
From: Grand Theft Auto III
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: DMA Design
Released: October 23, 2001

Who is he? That's the answer to the question that nobody can supply but Rockstar themselves. As worldly as it goes, everybody is aware that Grand Theft Auto III was the installment in the series that pushed the boundaries of the franchise toward a certain amount of unlimited freedom, which in turn is why the games are so hot today. It was that, but also this nameless, voiceless, unidentifiable man that made playing through the game so remarkable. His girlfriend shot him, left him for dead, he turned up in a prison break from a moving truck, and he became the star of the game (essentially representing you, the player). The interactions he enacted between mob bosses and the like, and especially his suave ending sequence pushes this unnameable fellow toward one of the best gaming personalities out there.

8. Leo Stenbuck
From: Zone of the Enders, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami JPN
Released: March 27, 2001/March 11, 2003

I don't care what anyone else says. Zone of the Enders was a phenomenal game, and its star Leo Stenbuck was because of that. Just because Leo's voice wasn't "manly" doesn't mean it sucks. Leo's character is one of the most emotional and passionate characters. That makes him better than just some generic manly man. That makes him real. His story is beyond exceptional, with the caring bond he ends up forming with his new mechanical pal in this warring future, A.D.A. Leo unfortunately had to pass the torch of A.D.A. and his spotlighted heroic work over to Dingo in the sequel. However, of the two legendary tales, his still stands the stronger.

7. Jak
From: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, Jak II, and Jak 3
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: Naughty Dog Software
Releases: December 4, 2001/October 14, 2003/November 9, 2004

Sony ditched their unofficial PlayStation mascot -- Crash Bandicoot -- in the dust. This was intended to make way for the PlayStation 2's newest unofficial mascot, Jak. Unlike the spinning marsupial, Jak is human. Well, elf-kind anyway. Not to mention he's supplied with a partner, who like Crash is orange. Only he's smaller. And he's perched on Jak's shoulder blade. But, Jak isn't just some non-talkative wily "cool guy." Well, in the first game he basically is. But Jak's also got personality. A mean personality at that. Once you get through the colorfully charming original game, Jak is transformed from a bright boy into a dark man after revenge. But it's just Jak overall that's great. His multitude of abilities (both weapon and non), his look, his badass and kickass attitude all are elements that give Jak the power to be one of gaming's definitive platforming stars.

6. Tommy Vercetti
From: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar North
Released: October 29, 2002

Grand Theft Auto 3 totally blew the sandbox style gameplay world out of proportions with its indistinguishable character in black jacket and olive pants. But to go further than they previously did, Rockstar didn't just give gamers a cool looking guy without an identity and voice box. They gave us a man with style and with business sense. They gave us a slick criminal named Tommy Vercetti. To give this new "king of cool" antihero a voice for the series' first time, actor Ray Liotta was pursued. For good reason too. Ray's past experience with violent movies (even Mafioso ones) and his distinctive vocal talent made him a perfect choice for the multi-vehicular riding (including motorcycles), criminal to kingpin man of the 80s.

5. Kratos
From: God of War
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: SCE Studios Santa Monica
Released: March 22, 2005

A kind man. A gentle man. A man every little boy and girl can look up to and probably not what you want to think when picturing Kratos. The very definition of murder was modeled after Kratos. Kratos is like the Ghostbuster of ancient Greek times. He can kill Medusa. He can kill harpies and massive cyclops beasts. He tugs on the very tongues of hydras and fells them down. Kratos is even a god slayer. He was given the power to take life by Ares, the God of War. Now, Kratos' mission is to take that life away, the life of his ginormous master. Equipped with blades eternally grafted to his arms, war paint adding to his already intimidating muscular physique, Kratos is a powerful man with an incredible arsenal of moves, and a driving story that really hits home and makes you feel attached to him. And so, Kratos gets the fifth spot on the list.

4. Raiden
From: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami JPN
Released: November 13, 2001

Video gaming's biggest shock. Well, one of them anyway. Once the transition from playing the part of Solid Snake faded into the role of an unknown "wussy" soldier named Raiden, people were either intrigued or horrified. Mostly they were pissed off is what they were. I, on the other hand, loved the switch Hideo Kojima pulled on us. I can't say I was happy with the change right away, but then I got over it as I grew to know Raiden for whom he really is. He's not just some rookie. He's a real killer with a talent. He has as much place in a hero story as Snake does, and I loved experiencing a different take on the Metal Gear Solid story not only from the battle hardened Snake's eyes, but of that from a younger individual who grows as a character and even partnering with everyone's favorite stealthy operative.

3. ICO
From: ICO
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America
Developer: SCEI
Released: September 25, 2001

He doesn't talk...much. Not that you could understand him in his natural language...whatever it is. ICO is an immensely strong character, though. His tale is an epic and gripping one told rather through touching moments between Yorda, her wicked mother who's trying to keep her a captive in the castle, and ICO as the horned boy leading her away. ICO has a lot of heart, and courage. What happens to him at the end of the game can never be forgotten. If you're one of those many people who haven't played this inspiring and artistic adventure game yet, do so today and find out why ICO is better than you.

2. Naked Snake
From: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami JPN
Released: November 17, 2004

Haven't played Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater yet? For those of you lucky to have had that chance, you know whom I'm really referring to in this section. This is Snake before he ever was Snake. Before the scientific wave of technology hit, this is the Snake before he came crawling out of his skin. This version of "Snake" doesn't have a whole myriad of technology at his disposal, but what he does have is definitely a slicker attitude. His badass skydiving intro, to his torture sequence lay on a more vulnerable Snake (but ultimately cooler one) than ever before.

1. Tidus
From: Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2
Publisher: Squaresoft
Developer: Squaresoft
Released: December 18, 2001/November 18, 2003

He's whiny and has feminine features, but so what? Tidus' story is one that grows on you. All you know about this young Blitzball player at the beginning is that he's a big star among sports goers in his own time. Then when the creature named Sin attacks his shores, he gets swept away to a future 1,000 years in. He learns to love, he learns to confront great odds against an "evil dead," he learns to deal with the pain his father left him with, and he's a part of one of the most amazing plot twists found in any game on the system.

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