It’s hard to believe that PlayStation 2 (PS2) is now 22 years old. Talk about the passage of time. Anyway, it brought us what I consider to be some of the greatest games of all time.
With its arrival, the emergence of open-world games and intense narrative adventures began with strong storytelling and finally – good voice acting.
Games are beginning to move away from the childish, colorful, and harmless art form of their infancy into legitimate interactive movies with immersive open worlds to explore.
Buying a used, working PS2 and hooking it up to a modern TV can be tricky these days.
Under the leadership of Rockstar Games, developers of Grand Theft Auto, the iPad App Store has been flooded with impressive PS2 game ports over the past decade. Just download it, right?
I don’t know about you, but even when I’m not playing my childhood games, I love being with you. Honestly, I’m over gaming in general, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that starting Final Fantasy 8 takes me back to what I was about 10 years ago.
And I honestly – the music, the visuals, all combined evoke the kind of scene in my head that I forgot was possible; The vivid memories that pushed it all into the background are resurfacing more than two decades later. I see the kind of snippets that seem so random in the early 2000s that time is forgotten, let alone me, with my limited human mind full of current affairs and fears. It’s surreal.
In the same way Listening to old music can take you back to your childhood, a feeling so overwhelming sometimes that some people might break into tears, and the video games you grew up with can do the same, and maybe even better. The high-production games that came out in time for the PS2 era contain much more than just a song to spark your nostalgia.
I guess that’s a long way of saying – even if you don’t play games anymore, play some PS2 games (or whatever games you grew up with) anyway, just for a while and see what happens to your head. It is likely to be good.
So what better way to revive old PS2 games that required a noisy console with spinning hard drives and a huge, heavy TV with questionable picture quality than with a device as thin, light, silent, and futuristic as this one? iPad Pro? Or…whatever model you have.
You just need a few things to get started – which gamepad is supported, and of course money to buy these games, some of which are quite expensive in the app store. Because some game makers know how nostalgic many of us are and how much we’re willing to pay to feel a few things. And they are not shy about taking advantage of it! But again…it works, right? I really can’t blame you, Square Enix. Well, maybe a little.
iPad + gamepad = The best portable game console!
Sure this is obvious, but you need an iPad. And not just an iPad, but it’s fairly recent updated to the latest version of iPadOS, so we can rest assured that it supports wireless gamepads without a hitch.
Now you have the following gamepad options: Xbox wireless controller or PlayStation wireless controller. There is no shock. It’s obviously blasphemous to play PlayStation games with an Xbox console, but I’ll do it because I already have one. If you have a PlayStation wireless controller, use it instead!
To be thorough informative, these are the microcontrollers Apple says you can use it with the iPad…
Xbox controllers you can use with your iPad:
- Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth (Model 1708)
- Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller
- Adaptive Xbox Controller
- Xbox Wireless Controller Series S and Series X.
PlayStation controllers you can use with your iPad:
- PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
- PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller
Once you’ve got those and paired them with your iPad, it’s time to download some PS2 games and start that nostalgic party!
The App Store has these amazing PlayStation 2 games
Fortunately, some of my favorite childhood games are available on the iPad, like Max Payne, Final Fantasy 8, and Grand Theft Auto: III. You can purchase and download these PS2 game ports on your iPhone or iPad and start playing them right away! In fact, this is a list…PlayStation 2 games available on iPad:
- Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
- Grand Theft Auto Vice City
- Grand Theft Auto III
- Grand Theft Auto: Tales from Liberty City
- Max Payne
- Bully: Anniversary Edition
- Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
As you can see, it’s not a huge list, but it does have some of the biggest and best PS2 games ever (and some of the best ever made), which more than makes up for it. San Andreas alone is an 18 year old game that people still play like crazy to this day! It is very big and fun.
Of course, if you prefer a strong narrative rather than the chaos of the open world, I’d recommend Max Payne or Final Fantasy VIII instead. They both brought me so many months of entertainment, culminating in the fond memories I hold to this day and I bet they could do the same for you too. Even if you’ve never played any of these games, now is the time! Don’t sleep on the classics!
Do you want more games? They have Apple Arcade and many other App Store games
A quick word on Apple Arcade – it’s a subscription service, essentially similar to Netflix for video games. You pay five dollars a month and you get access to over 200 games, many of which support the console. NBA 2K22 Arcade Edition is perhaps the most console-like game out there.
But you also have countless other games in the iPad App Store to discover, download and play! Maybe even other PS2 games that we missed (tell us in the comments), as well as some PC game ports like Limbo, Inside, PubG Mobile, Minecraft and Call of Duty – they are all available!
In fact, here is another list of console games, another console I grew up with – the SEGA Genesis. These are the games SEGA brought to the iPad from them…
SEGA Genesis games available on iPad:
- sonic the hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Streets of Rage
- Streets of Rage 2
- Gunstar Heroes
- the monster changed
- shinobi revenge
- golden ax
- Comics District
- fantasy star
- slash attack
- Beyond the oasis
Of course, there’s a lot we can cover depending on which console you prefer. PS1 fans, for example, will be happy to hear that another game I can call “one of the greatest” is available on the iPad – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. If you haven’t played the massive Metroid-esque PS1 classic that changed the series forever, I highly recommend it.
Important! Not all iPad games support gamepads. Always read the descriptions first to make sure they do this before you start buying.
Do you want to try classic sofa games? Connect your iPad to your TV
There is now always the wireless option to connect your iPad to your Smart TV via AirPlay, but in my experience, latency is a huge issue. Your quick reactions should be translated into onscreen action just as quickly, but AirPlay isn’t completely lag-free—it’s best for viewing photo albums or watching the occasional movie.
What you need to connect your iPad to your TV to enjoy lag-free gaming is of course a dongle. If you’re serious, you’ll either need to purchase a USB Type C to HDMI adapter, or if your iPad is an older model with a Lightning connector, you’ll need a Lightning to HDMI adapter instead.
That’s not all, you will also need an HDMI cable to go from this adapter to your TV, and of course your TV must have an HDMI port, which most of them do. In fact, your TV will likely come with an HDMI cable, so you may not at least need to buy that.
But anyway, once everything is connected, you can jump into bed with just your console and play classic (or non-classic) games on the big screen TV. Without a real game console, just your iPad.
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