Budokai Tenkaichi 3 DBZ
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10 Best Anime Games On the PlayStation 2

The PlayStation 2 is known as one of the best-selling consoles with an amazing line-up of games. Among those were a plethora of anime and manga games that continued to be distributed until 2013.

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Before we dive into this, I just wanted to point out that any list ranking is going to be subjective. So, if your list is different, that is perfectly okay. With that said, here are the top 10 anime games on the PlayStation 2.

10. Yu-GI-Oh! The Duelist Of The Roses

Yu-Gi-Oh the duelist of the roses
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Yu-GI-Oh! The Duelist Of The Roses isn’t your typical Yu-Gi-Oh! card game simulator. It features a gameplay style similar to chess that has 3D monsters and different terrains. It keeps the spirit of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game while diving into something unique for this franchise in modern times. Characters from the anime take on the roles of historical figures as the game follows the real-world conflict: Wars of the Roses.

9. One Piece: Grand Adventure

one piece grand adventure
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One Piece: Grand Adventure was released in 2006 as a sequel to One Piece Grand Battle. What makes this game unique is that it was produced for the American audience. The RPG-style fighting game follows the events of the One Piece anime up to episode 195, or the Skypiea Arc. Play as 24 different characters over 10 levels while gaining experience points to increase your stats.

8. Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked

Samurai Champloo
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Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked is a hack-and-slash game based on the critically acclaimed anime Samurai Champloo. The story takes place during the events of the anime as the protagonists, Mugen, Fuu, and Jin, search for the man who smells of sunflowers. The biggest indicator that Samurai Champloo: Sidetracked is a side story for the anime is its hip-hop soundtrack infused with the Japanese culture of the Edo period.

7. JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken: Ōgon no Kaze

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Golden Wind
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JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken: Ōgon no Kaze or GioGio’s Bizarre Adventure in English was released for the PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan on July 25, 2002. It adapts part five of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind. Developed by Capcom, fight through multiple bosses in arena-style gameplay with cell-shaded graphics in Super Story Mode.

6. Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir

Fullmetal alchemist Ps2
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Published by Square Enix, Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir debuted only on the PlayStation 2 on September 22, 2004, in Japan and July 12, 2005, in North America. The action RPG serves as a prequel to the PS2 game Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel. Its gameplay allows you to transmute items into bombs as you fight multiple enemies. Cutscenes blend anime and 3D animations to push the story forward.

5. Bakugan Battle Brawlers

Bakugan Battle Brawlers
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While not exclusive to the PlayStation 2 or the best version released, Bakugan Battle Brawlers is one the best representations of the anime. Create your own character and partner with a Bakugan named Leonidas to battle characters from the anime. The gameplay is similar to what you see in the original Bakugan Battle Brawlers anime.

Throw down a gate card face down, then choose between three Bakugan and navigate it around the playing field, trying to make it stand on a card. As a fan of the original card game and anime, it was hard to leave out the closest thing we’ll ever get to feeling like an actual Battle Brawler.

4. .hack

dot hack infection
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Although known for their take on the Naruto games, CyberConnect2 developed the .hack series published by Bandai in the early 2000s. Starting with .hack//INFECTION on PS2 and .hack//SIGN, Bandai launched a multimedia blitz for the series dubbed Project .hack. Light novels, manga, anime, and games have also come to fruition from this project.

3. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
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Considered one of the best Dragon Ball games ever created amongst fans, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features high-octane 3D combat. It is praised for its ability to capture the essence of Dragon Ball. Fly around a destructible arena unleashing earth-shattering special moves such as Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. Become the fastest in the universe and attempt to beat Vegeta. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 has one of the largest rosters in a Dragon Ball game, with 161 characters to choose from.

2. Naruto: Ultimate Ninja

Naruto ultimate ninja
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Naruto Ultimate Ninja was the beginning of a long-running franchise that had its latest release happen on November 18, 2023. The PlayStation 2 exclusive title features a beautiful cell-shaded art style layered with cross-hatching on its shadows. This 2D fighter invokes a similar look to the artwork of the Naruto manga on which it is based.

Its best feature would have to be the secret techniques. During these sequences, match the prompts on the screen to pull off the powerful moves. If you are the defender, try to stop it. The secret techniques combined with a dynamic 2D stage make Naruto Ultimate Ninja one of the best anime adaptations for the PS2.

1. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3

Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3
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Always butting heads with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is also considered one of the best Dragon Ball games ever made. The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series opts for a more traditional fighting style compared to its Budokai Tenkaichi counterpart. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is a fighting game akin to the likes of Tekken and SoulCalibur in which combatants fight on a 2D plane but can sidestep to avoid an incoming Kamehameha. This title includes gameplay mechanics consisting of combo strings, move canceling, and flying.

Anime games have a long legacy that extends to the modern era of gaming. However, the PlayStation 2 era can be seen as the start of many fan-favorite franchises gaining more traction due to the high volume of PlayStation 2 consoles sold around the world. Old series like Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi are now getting sequels, and it is great to see.

Dragon Ball: Sparking! ZERO is set to be released on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S starting starting October 1st, 2024.

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TreMarcus Thomas
TreMarcus is a writer that has been gaming since the Nintendo GameCube's debut. When he is not writing about video games, you can find him trying to make them if it hasn't frustrated him enough in a day. TreMarcus's favorite genres are fighting games and JRPGs. Every once in a while, you can catch him playing action-adventure games.