There’s no better way to connect with a gaming partner than playing one of the best PS2 co-op games of all time.
We’re celebrating the age-old pastime of plugging in that second controller and playing games with somebody at your side, although all of the games listed below can be enjoyed solo.
Our list of the best PS2 co-op games covers a variety of genres including platformers, RPGs shooters and driving games so there’s really something for every type of gamer.
Whether your co-op partner is a sibling, a housemate, a significant other or a friend, our guide guarantees a good time in 2 player co-op modes.
While most of the games on our list offer co-op for 2 players, we have included one or two that support up to 4 players so make sure to keep that PS2 multitap handy.
The PS2 has a huge library of games to choose from so we’ve done the leg-work for you and created this list of the best PS2 co-op games for you and your favourite ‘Player 2’ to play through right now.
Table of Contents
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas kicks off our list of the 10 Best PS2 Co-op Games of All Time. While primarily known as a single player epic and one of the best Grand Theft Auto games of all time, San Andreas also features the ability for two players to cause mayhem together.
San Andreas features two co-op modes; ‘Rampage’, where two players must work together to kill a certain number of targets against the clock, and ‘Free Roam’ which allows a second player to join CJ as they explore from Grove Street to Las Venturas.
Free Roam is the standout with a second player doubling the carnage of a typical GTA spree and driving around San Andreas with a buddy sat next to you on the couch is always a thrilling experience.
The best Time Crisis game of all time, Time Crisis 2 made its way from arcades to the PlayStation 2 in 2001, enabling players to enjoy one of the best lightgun games ever made, without draining their pockets of quarters in the process.
Time Crisis 2 introduced co-op to the series and allowed a second player to jump into the action.
While the game can be played in split screen, we recommend connecting two CRT TVs and two PS2s with an i-Link cable as the best way to play at home. Add two players using lightguns for that authentic arcade at home experience.
Released just one year after the phenomenal Ratchet & Clank 3, Ratchet: Deadlocked (or Ratchet: Gladiator here in the UK) pared back the platforming in favour of a greater focus on gunplay and the series signature weaponry.
Ratchet: Deadlocked sees Ratchet attempting to escape from the Dreadzone, a gladiatorial game show where contestants murder each other in the name of entertainment. Imagine Takeshi’s Castle but with a higher body count!
The entire story mode can be played co-operatively with a second player taking on the role of Ratchet’s support bot.
Players must share the explosive weapons and ammo, resulting in battles where resource management and communication are just as important as how fast you can pull the trigger.
Next on our list of the best PS2 co-op games is X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse. Future Call of Duty developer Raven Software produced a duo of superb X-Men games back before the MCU was a twinkle in Kevin Feige’s eye.
X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse expanded the roster and upped the stakes of its 2004 predecessor by forcing the X-Men to join forces with the Brotherhood of Mutants against the mutant supervillain, Apocalypse.
X-Men Legends and its sequel offer comic-book inspired campaigns for up to four players to battle through using beloved characters such as Wolverine, Jean Grey and Deadpool. Each character could utilise their trademark super powers as they battled their way through the story.
With 18 playable characters every co-op session could feel unique as players mixed and matched their abilities in what would be considered by many to be the best X-Men game.
Not to be confused with EA’s game of the same name (EA even used Roman numerals in the 2017 release), Star Wars: Battlefront II brought a galaxy far, far away onto the PlayStation 2.
Star Wars: Battlefront II expands on the ideas of the original and features a campaign that spans across the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War.
The highlight of Star Wars: Battlefront II is its co-op friendly Galactic Conquest mode. Galactic Conquest challenged players to conquer the galaxy through epic space battles that could transition seamlessly to ground based encounters.
Joining up with a friend to participate in battles from the original and prequel trilogies let us live out our dreams of facing down AT-ATs on Hoth and zapping Gungans on Naboo.
Long before Baldur’s Gate 3 let players ‘romance’ bears, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance brought a tactile adaptation of D&D to the PlayStation 2 in an adventure that could be enjoyed entirely in co-op.
Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance allowed players to traverse the Forgotten Realms, dispatching enemies in real-time with swords, bows and magic.
Loot and experience is not divided equally in Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance. XP is split 60/40 in favour of the player that makes the kill and gold is only accrued by the player that picks it up.
These mechanics introduced a subtle competitive edge to proceedings that meant that even while working together, co-op partners would also be looking out for number one!
Narrowly missing out on a podium place in our list of the Best PS2 Co-op Games of All Time is TimeSplitters 2.
TimeSplitters 2 features a variety of exotic weapons including crossbows, rocket launchers and (checks notes) bricks! As a time-hopping escapade, TimeSplitters 2 also has an assortment of interesting levels including the Wild West, 1990s Siberia and Notre Dame circa 1895.
TimeSplitters 2 was developed by the team behind Goldeneye on the N64. With tight gunplay and a humorous story that can be played through in its entirety co-operatively, there’s no wonder TimeSplitters 2 finished so highly on our Best PS2 FPS Games of All Time list!
When it comes to car combat on the PS2, Twisted Metal: Black is tough to beat. This reboot of the original Twisted Metal series maintains the arena shooter gameplay but adds more characters and a darker storyline for two players to blast through together.
Twisted Metal Black’s co-op helps to balance the odds as players fight through explosive and horrifying deathmatches in grim post-apocalyptic wastelands.
There’s an unrivalled elation when your co-op buddy rescues you in a last-minute clinch. Also, did we mention that your co-op buddy is driving an ice cream van as a murderous psycho-clown?
Where Star Wars: Battlefront II targeted teens and adults, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy brings space-faring co-op fun to kids of all ages. With easy to use drop in/drop out co-op, anyone could have fun with this colourful take on George Lucas’ space opera.
With a huge array of characters to choose from, players can work together to overcome puzzles and thwart the Empire. Lego Star Wars II presents a brick-based romp that loving retells the events of Episodes IV-VI with Lego’s trademark humour.
Fans of Star Wars will rejoice as their favourite scenes get the parody treatment from Denmark’s greatest export. The combat is straightforward but the silliness and reverence for the source material is present in abundance. Playing Lego Star Wars II in co-op is one of the purest forms of joy for fans of Lego and Star Wars.
Finally, taking the crown as the Best PS2 Co-op Game of All Time is Guitar Hero II.
Back in the mid-2000s, rhythm games reached a new peak with the arrival of Guitar Hero II. Axes slung low as players did their best to replicate the sounds and swagger of rock titans like Aerosmith, Pearl Jam and Van Halen.
While the music is punctuated with the clickity-clack of plastic fretboards, Guitar Hero II’s greatest achievement is making players feel like rockstars. Like most rock bands starting out in their parent’s garage, the music is always better with friends.
Guitar Hero II’s co-op mode is a masterclass in game design. The feeling of unleashing star power by swinging your twin cherry red Gibson SG facsimiles in perfect synchronicity while Guns N’ Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ solo screeches out of your TV isn’t just a great gaming moment, it’s a life-affirming one.
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Theo first fell in love with gaming when he sped through Green Hill Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog back in 1991. Theo has previously provided reviews, news coverage and articles for The Games Cabin and enjoyed producing comedic Let’s Plays on his own personal YouTube channels.
A huge Kingdom Hearts and Metal Gear fan, Theo enjoys deep gameplay mechanics and complex storylines. A completionist by nature, Theo has earned over 140 platinum trophies including top digital trinkets for Stardew Valley, The Witness, Bloodborne and a plethora of GTA games.
Outside of gaming, Theo can often be found riding his motorbike, headbanging at gigs or out in the countryside exploring nature and marvelling at the ‘realistic graphics’.