What are the Best PS2 Games Only Released in Japan?

best ps2 japan only import exclusive games

Given the whole point of Siliconera is to talk about games coming out of Japan, we have thoughts on both new and old titles! Especially since, in the past, we weren’t “eating” as well as we are in recent years. It used to be a special occasion if something niche was localized. A lot ended up left trapped in the country. So today, we’re thinking back to some of the best PS2 games in Japan that remain exclusive and elusive imports

Fire Emblem isn’t on the PS2, but TearRing Saga: Berwick Saga is as close as you can possibly get. Former Intelligent Systems member Shouzou Kaga formed Tirnanog and set up his own studio making strikingly similar strategy games. There are similar classes, there are supports, and humanoid dragons show up. However, you also need to take care, as people can become injured in battles, and there’s a different kind of grid for more tactical approaches. It’s good, and absolutely one of the best PS2 games that is a Japan-exclusive title. — Jenni

For the longest time, I weighed the pros and cons of both Tales of Destiny 2 and Tales of Rebirth to decide which of the two is the superior Japan-exclusive Tales. However, Rebirth managed to eke past Destiny 2 simply because I personally was less frustrated playing Rebirth.

Tales of Rebirth has a fantastic story with lots of fun and well-developed characters. Yeah, its racism theme was kind of on-the-nose but it told its story and got its message across in a very effective way. The 3-line battle system was really fun until you get boxed in by those annoying emu things in the desert. I’d much prefer that over dealing with Destiny 2‘s battle system, though.

It feels like Rebirth had way more skits than other Tales games, which could be annoying for people who just want to get a move-on with the story. But when I played it, I really enjoyed the party dynamic and their interactions, and it certainly helped to remind me of what I needed to do if I took a break in between play sessions. Tales of Rebirth was actually the very first Tales game I properly played and beat, so there’s a tinge of nostalgia there too. Hopefully, Bandai Namco decides to remaster this one and bring it to the west so that others can enjoy it as well.

Remember: Mao is the best boy. — Stephanie

Yippie yo! You can’t touch this!
(Check the above link for my first encounter with Poinie’s Poin, a game I did indeed immediately go find on eBay and play through. It’s incredibly charming. It’s bad. But it’s great.) — Graham

I have a couple of import-only gems in mind when I think of what PS2 games I’d love to see make the jump, but

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.