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By the time the PlayStation 2 was officially discontinued in January 2013, more than 4,000 unique titles had been released for the Sony console. Naturally, not all of these could be hits. As a matter of fact, plenty couldn’t even come close to resembling a hit.

So, how could a PlayStation 2 game developer possibly stand out in a pool of over 4,000 competitors? The easy answer is to simply make a great game. The more creative answer, however, is to do one better; make the absolute weirdest PlayStation 2 games of all time.

Between the console’s release in 2000 and its eventual discontinuation 13 years later, you can be certain that plenty of weird games made their way to the shelves. Some of these oddities became hits in their own right. Others faded into obscurity almost immediately, gathering a cult following in their wake.

No matter their eventual fates, though, there’s simply no denying how fun the weirdest PlayStation 2 games are. We’ve compiled a list of seven remarkably weird titles, each one stranger than the last. Did your favorite oddity make the list?

A Brief History of the PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 — often seen abbreviated as the PS2 — is a sixth-generation video game console from Sony Computer Entertainment. Released in the U.S. in October of 2000, the PS2 competed directly alongside the Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft Xbox.

Even close to a decade since its discontinuation, the PlayStation 2 remains the best-selling console of all time. Its total number of units sold exceeds 155 million. That’s a little under a million more than the runner-up, Nintendo DS. Its 4,000-game library, including the weirdest PlayStation 2 games, sold a grand total of 1.5 billion copies in all.

As its name might suggest, the console is a direct follow-up to 1999’s PlayStation (later dubbed the PS1). Sony made improvements in just about every area imaginable, from graphics to the controller and all sorts of areas in between. It rightfully received universal praise from critics and consumers alike.

This success was only amplified when the PS2 Slim was released in 2004; a thinner, lighter take on the classic look of the original PlayStation 2. Its widespread success made it a bestseller even with 2006’s PlayStation 3. The two were sold concurrently until PS2’s 2013 discontinuation.

Secret to Success

Part of the PS2’s success was due to the fact that it doubled as a DVD player. With many DVD players priced higher than the console — and lacking the ability to play the latest video games to boot — many consumers flocked to the PS2 for a more affordable 2-in-1 option.

They could game, and they could play their DVDs too. What’s more, the post-release price was cut down to $199 in 2002 — far cheaper than the rival Xbox and the same price as the rival GameCube. This only further bolstered the success of the most successful console of all time.

How the Weirdest PlayStation 2 Games Were Made

When you think about the biggest brand names in the world of video game consoles, you assume there’d be some sort of protocol in place to keep anything too weird or too outrageous from hitting the shelves with the console’s name attached. And yet, as far as the PlayStation 2 is concerned, this is hardly the case.

There have been some truly weird games released for the PlayStation 2 over its 13-year life cycle, and the weirdest of all is the fact that Sony welcomed these oddities with open arms. As a matter of fact, they practically encouraged it.

You see, most video game developers today simply can’t afford to lose money. From the cost of building a team of creatives to the expenditure put into sculpting and perfecting photorealistic environments, and every other step in the video game development process, the budget’s grand total ends up in the millions of millions.

Grand Theft Auto V‘s budget was $265 million, for instance. Cyberpunk 2077‘s was well over $300 million. For this reason, few are likely to take a risk on something that isn’t made to appease the masses.

Creativity

The story was different with the PlayStation 2, however. Developers had the unique advantage of needing fewer designers, lower costs, and unprecedented freedom. PlayStation 2 game developers could make the weirdest, wildest games for relatively little money.

And, because the PS2 sold so well, demand for games went through the roof. This only further encouraged creativity as it had never been encouraged for a console before. The weirdest PlayStation 2 games are the result of a mix of cheap development, massive demand, and total creative freedom.

So, we’ve assembled seven of the weirdest PlayStation 2 games of all time below. From successful oddities and cult classics to obscure titles lost to the sands of time, these seven titles are undoubtedly some of the strangest to have ever hit the console.

7. Bully (2006)

Bully - PlayStation 2
$25.87
  • Great humor and voices bring the hilarious story to life
  • Takes groundbreaking and original gameplay and humorous tongue-in-cheek storytelling to an entirely new setting: the schoolyard
  • As a troublesome schoolboy, you'll stand up to bullies, get picked on by teachers and play pranks on malicious kids
  • You'll also win or lose the girl and ultimately learn to navigate the obstacles of the fictitious reform school, Bullworth Academy
  • At long last, stand up for the nerds, geeks, and unrepresented!
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02/03/2023 09:22 am GMT
PublisherRockstar Games
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360, PC
DevelopersRockstar Vancouver
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
ReleasedOctober 17th, 2006

Of all the weirdest PlayStation 2 games on this list, Bully is the one with perhaps the most iconic reputation. Embroiled in controversy even before it was released, Rockstar Games’ Bully tasked players with embodying a juvenile delinquent who has to stand up to bullies as he rises through his private school’s social hierarchy.

The game’s violence and mature themes, coupled with the troubling premise, made it an easy target for concerned parents, but the game remains an infamous and beloved title from the PS2 era. It was a huge success, but it was undeniably weird.

6. Katamari Damacy (2004)

Katamari Damacy - PlayStation 2
$23.40
  • Play is controlled with the analog sticks only. No buttons to press. No combos to cause distress. Featuring ball-rolling and object-collecting gameplay mechanics of mesmerizing fluidity, reduced to...
  • Dimensions change drastically as your clump grows from a fraction of an inch to a monstrous freak of nature. Go from rolling along a tabletop to ravaging through city streets, picking up momentum and...
  • Two-player battle mode lets you compete in a race to grow the biggest ball of stuff. Even the competition can be picked up, if your opponent is unfortunate enough to get in your way.
  • Enjoy quirky, infectious humor throughout—from the insanely cosmic animations, to the wacky and wonderful musical stylings, to the royally contagious storyline that's undoubtedly like no other.
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02/03/2023 04:12 pm GMT
PublisherNamco
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersNamco
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
ReleasedSeptember 21st, 2004

Part of what contributed to the PlayStation 2’s unprecedented success is the great number of original console exclusives. Until its remaster in 2018, Katamari Damacy was one such PlayStation exclusive. It’s as weird as can be, too.

Putting players in control of a mystical, extremely sticky ball — called a katamari — Katamari Damacy had players roll the thing around increasingly more ridiculous locations, collecting objects, people, buildings, landmarks, and more. It’s very stylized and just as surreal, remaining a cult favorite even after all these years.

5. Disaster Report (2003)

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02/03/2023 11:32 am GMT
PublisherAgetec
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersIrem
Mode(s)Single-player
ReleasedFebruary 15th, 2003

Some of the weirdest PlayStation 2 games simply come and go with little fanfare. Others spawn a whole series. This is exactly what happened with Disaster Report, the first in an ongoing series of four survival adventure games.

The game places players in the throes of a number of natural disasters, requiring them to safely escape the carnage as earthquakes, building collapses, and more threaten to take the main character out. A weird idea, to be sure. There’s also a subplot about investigating the cause of the disaster, to make things even weirder.

4. Under the Skin (2004)

Under the Skin - PlayStation 2
$259.99
  • Explore various environments and cause mischief in places like KoKo Town, Pirate Land and Resident Evil Land
  • Use your special ray gun to help Cosmi pull pranks -- absorb human personas and do everything from turning people into bowling pins and passing gas in crowds
  • Collect coins to improve your score -- and increase your chances of being judged a winner
  • Stylish cel-shaded graphics bring the fun and chaos to life
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02/03/2023 02:12 am GMT
PublisherCapcom
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersCapcom
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer
ReleasedOctober 14th, 2004

Looking at the weirdest PlayStation 2 games, it was only a matter of time before aliens came into the mix. Under the Skin follows an extraterrestrial from Planet Mischief named Cosmi, sent to Earth for his third birthday to cause panic and wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans.

The game allows players to torment strangers, with the ultimate goal being to cause the most destruction possible. From boomboxes to bazookas, Cosmi has an arsenal of objects at his disposal in order to achieve his goal. It’s absolute pandemonium, and it’s a weird and wonderful blast.

3. Dog’s Life (2004)

Dog's Life
$110.99
  • Control and interact with over 15 breeds of dog, each with distinct traits and abilities
  • Unique smellovision mode which allows you to see the world through Jake's eyes
  • Explore massive free-roaming environments, with a world of characters, mini-games and interactive features
  • Interact with NPC's just like a dog would - Chase chickens, steal sausages, shake kittens and more
  • Challenging gameplay as you try to nurture Jake, keeping him healthy and well-fed throughout his adventures
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02/03/2023 11:51 am GMT
PublisherHip Games
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersFrontier Developments
Mode(s)Single-player
ReleasedSeptember 14th, 2004

Fans of Nintendogs or Dogz might be surprised to learn that these two pet simulators are hardly the weirdest of the specific subgenre. Dog’s Life for the PlayStation 2 might actually take the cake in this regard.

Following a dog named Jake on a mission to rescue his love Daisy from dog catchers, Dog’s Life gives the player control of more than a dozen different dog breeds. Each breed has its own set of skills to be used to complete puzzles and challenges. Weirdly enough, the first-person (first-animal?) POV has a snout covering the lower center of the screen.

2. Chulip (2007)

Chulip - PlayStation 2 (Renewed)
$299.95
  • Earn the trust of the locals -- you're a boy from the big city and you'll have to prove yourself before they like you
  • Do a string of good deeds and show off what you can do, as you try to catch her eye
  • Think strategically -- make sure you've won her over before kissing her, or you'll get a painful rejection
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02/03/2023 09:57 am GMT
PublisherNatsume
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersPunchline
Mode(s)Single-player
ReleasedFebruary 13th, 2007

Nintendo‘s Pokémon series is known best for asking players to catch ’em all. Well… Chulip has a similar idea, but instead of catching ’em all, this game requires players to kiss ’em all. Yes, that’s correct; the objective of the game is to make a good impression on everyone in your small town and then, ultimately, kiss them.

Eventually, the hope is that your crush will be so impressed by your great reputation she won’t be able to help but fall in love with you. One thing’s for certain; you’ve never played another game like Chulip.

1. Mister Mosquito (2002)

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02/02/2023 02:02 pm GMT
PublisherEidos Interactive
Available PlatformsPlayStation 2
DevelopersZOOM Inc.
Mode(s)Single-player
ReleasedMarch 13th, 2002

Here it is, the weirdest of all the weird PlayStation 2 games out there; a little title called Mister Mosquito. Players embody a mosquito who must drain the blood from an unsuspecting family. Your character can only draw from one area of the body at a time, and the family goes through movements and actions that make the task challenging.

Suck too much, and you increase the victim’s stress levels and end up getting swatted (or, worse, triggering Battle Mode where you face off against the human). You’d be hard-pressed to find anything weirder across 4,000 other PS2 titles.

The Absolute Weirdest PlayStation 2 Games of All Time FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

When was the PlayStation 2 discontinued?

The PlayStation 2 was discontinued in 2013, seven years after the release of the PlayStaton 3 and 13 years after its own initial release.

How many PlayStation 2 games are there?

There are over 4,000 PlayStation 2 video games, with the most recent titles coming out all the way up to the console’s discontinuation in 2013.

How many PlayStation 2 titles were sold?

More than 1.5 billion copies of PlayStation 2 games have been sold since 2000.

What is the best selling game for the PS2?

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the best selling PS2 game by far, topping 17 million copies.

When did the PlayStation 2 come out?

The Sony PS2 was released in North America on October 26th, 2000.

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  • Britannica Available here: https://www.britannica.com/topic/PlayStation-2
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