It’s a well-known phenomenon in the gaming world that older games get lost in the dust each time a game console takes a leap forward. Sony has taken this leap seven times, with five video game consoles and two handhelds. With the PlayStation 5 being the most recent of these consoles, the PlayStation 2 is three consoles behind and nearly 25 years old, first being released in 2000. Because of this advanced age, the market value for certain PS2 games has begun to climb, making them rare collector’s items with big price tags. The rare a PS2 game is, the pricier it gets, and that’s especially true for these games whose price tags put them on par with gold and precious gems.
1. Kuon ($1373 – New)
Published for the PlayStation 2 in 2004, Kuon is an early game from the now-iconic team at FromSoftware. The survival horror game takes place in the Heian period of Japan and has players following three separate protagonists: Utsuki, Sakuya, and Abe no Seimei. The aim of the game is to explore Fujiwara Manor, solving puzzles and defeating an outbreak of monsters along the way. The game’s rarity is somewhat surprising, given how notorious FromSoftware has become. Still, it can probably be attributed to the fact that Kuon was only released in Japan and released mixed reviews. Whatever the reason, Kuon is now a rare collectible sporting a price tag of nearly $1,373 in new condition.
2. Rule of Rose ($1036 – New)
Another survival horror game, Rule of Rose, was developed by Punchline and released for the PS2 in 2006. The game features the deeply traumatic childhood memories of Jennifer, a timid, vulnerable young girl who has to battle a variety of dark, fairytale-inspired monsters. Reportedly based on the concept of girls’ childhood being seen as “mysterious and misunderstood,” the game came under fire not long after its release for its depictions of violence against children and rumors of other “obscene” content. Because of this, it can be near-impossible to find a copy of Rule of Rose for the PS2 and be prepared to pay the $1,036 price tag when you do.
3. Futurama ($663 – New)
Futurama is a beloved, decently long-lived sitcom with a wide fan base – unfortunately, its video game can’t say the same. Released for the PS2 in 2003, the Futurama video game is a 3D, cel-shaded platformer that was marketed as a “lost episode” of the show after season 4 had completed. Unfortunately, the game received middling reviews upon its release, with critics describing the game as lackluster, with clunky controls and gameplay that was average at best. A GameCube version was scrapped due to slow sales, but the PS2 version is still available, though it’s rare and bears a hefty price of $663.
4. Haunting Ground ($641 – New)
Released for the PS2 in 2005, Haunting Ground is a survival horror game from Capcom. The game puts players in control of Fiona, a young woman who wakes up in a mysterious castle and has to escape with the help of Hewie, a helpful White Shepherd she meets along the way. The game came under fire after its release for the objectification of its main character, as well as for being repetitive and derivative of many other survival horror games, including Capcom’s own Clock Tower series. This, along with Haunting Ground‘s growing importance player-avatar connection research, has made it a rare find with a $641 price tag.
5. Xenosaga Episode III – Lenticular Cover ($605 – New)
Published by Namco Bandai Games, Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra, more commonly known as Xenosaga 3, was released for the PS2 in 2003. Similar to the Final Fantasy games, the RPG game puts the player in charge of a party of characters who operate on a turn-based combat system as they battle evil aliens led by Gnosis. For a limited time after its release, Xenosaga 3 was available with lenticular box art that would transition between images of different characters when viewed from different angles. While both versions of the game are pricey, the limited edition versions of Xenosaga 3 with the lenticular covers take the cake with a price tag of $605 in new condition.
6. Blood Will Tell ($565 – New)
Released by SEGA in 2004, Blood Will Tell: Tezuka Osamu’s Dororo, also known as Blood Will Tell, is a black-and-white action-adventure game that follows the hero Hyakkimaru and Dororo, a thief he befriends during the game. Hyakkimaru is tasked with defeating forty-eight fiends to recover stolen pieces of his body, which were stolen in return for their demonic powers and replaced with prosthetics. The game is based on the manga Dororo by Osamu Tezuka, and these days, the game’s rarity has given it a hefty price tag of $565.
7. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories ($506 – New)
Released for the PS2 in 2010, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is a re-imagined version of the first Silent Hill that drops players back onto the fog-soaked streets of Silent Hill. Gameplay is split between a first-person therapy session used to frame the story and Harry Mason’s third-person journey through the town as he struggles to find his daughter. Shattered Memories has five endings for players to achieve, and despite the positive reviews for the Wii version, all signs point to the PS2 version being a badly optimized port. These days, getting your hands on a copy is going to cost you $506.
8. Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 ($437 – New)
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 was released for the PS2 in 2007. The latest in a line of Dragon Ball Z-themed fighting games, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 boasted one of the largest character rosters of its day and introduced new battle stages, combo attacks, and the Battle Replay feature that would allow players to save fights to an external memory card. Despite all of its new features, the game only saw average reviews upon its release and didn’t hold an exceptionally large market in the US. Thanks to its rare status over fifteen years after its release, a copy of Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 will cost $437 in new condition.
9. ObsCure ($360 – New)
ObsCure, released for the PS2 in 2004, is an aptly-named survival horror game that follows five high school students as they get locked into Leafmore High while searching for their missing friend and end up uncovering a conspiracy to turn people into monsters. The game has five playable characters with unique skills the player can swap between at any time, while the other characters can be controlled by a second player. The game received mixed reviews, at best, upon its release and has since faded into obscurity, meaning that a new copy of ObsCure will cost $360.
10. .hack/QUARANTINE ($324 – New)
Fourth in the .hack series of games, .hack/Quarantine follows the “game within a game” formula set up by the earlier games, with the player taking control of the main character, Kite, who enters the simulated MMORPG The World. Quarantine, released for the PS2 in 2003, tasks Kite with saving The World as its servers become increasingly unstable thanks to the villain Cubia. .hack/Quarantine received mixed reviews upon its release, with many critics calling it poorly paced, full of plot holes, and oddly structured with four separate parts. Since the series itself has fallen into obscurity these days, it’s not entirely surprising that getting a new copy of .hack/Quarantine will set you back $324.