There is a category of people who will always nostalgically look back on the time where Sony PlayStation 2 was an object of all gamers’ desire. These players stay loyal to such gaming icons as Shadow of the Colossus, Kingdom Hearts, Grand Theft Auto, and Final fantasy. While their friends play Android games, fans of PS2 use every means at their disposal to relive the sweet moments of playing on a legendary console.
The great news is that presently, anyone has a chance to play original PS2 games on their computer through the magic of emulators. Continue reading to learn how to start playing your favorite classics on the PC or any other device.
A Few Words about Emulators
As its very title suggests, an emulator’s main task is to emulate gaming consoles, letting users play everything from Xbox to Nintendo GameCube games on their computers without the need of actually having a console. Emulators read the a game’s disc image by means of in-built software and then project this image onto your computer, which means that your PC becomes a display and storage system. This allows using emulators as a console.
Aside from an emulator itself, you will need to download PS2 ROMs (Read-Only Memory) from such a reliable website as RomsMania. ROMs can be compared to game cartridges, whose primary function is compressing a game’s memory into an ISO file. The files represent copies of the original game file. Thus, with the help of emulators, ROMs make it possible for players to enjoy console games on various devices.
The BIOS files are also prerequisites for PS2 emulators. You come across the BIOS every time you boot your comp. Nevertheless, PS2 BIOS information differs from that of your PC. The version of your PS2 is also dependent on the emulator BIOS.
How to Choose an Emulator
There is a plethora of emulators available online. Some of them are just amateur-made software that can be downloaded for free, but may barely allow you the use of your ROMs. There are also the models of professional or premium emulators that can be quite costly due to their quality.
Some of the most popular and trustworthy PS2 emulators include PCSX2, Damon PS2, and Gold PS2 emulators. These tools can boast of their stability and graphic setting functionality.
Please, keep in mind that one and the same emulator will not allow you playing games across different consoles, which means that you won’t be able to run Xbox games on PS2 emulator.
How to Install an Emulator
One of the oldest and most stable emulators, PCSX2 that is supported by Windows, Mac, and Linux, has been chosen to walk you through the process of installing a video game console emulator. Head to a trustworthy and reputable website and download the emulator. Once you got the appropriate file, whose extension must be .exe, double-click on it to launch installation.
You will be provided with the first-time configuration page. Then, you will see a window with various drop-down menus. You will need to click “Next” to proceed to the most important part of the installation process.
Afterwards, you will be prompted to select your BIOS ROMs, which is necessary for identifying a user’s geographical location. It is also responsible for controlling various text and sound functions.
At this point, you should be aware of the fact that the only legal way of getting BIOS files is dumping the BIOS of your physical PS2 console. Although, on the Internet, there are plenty of links to programs that can do it, accessing such BIOS files is solely your decision to make, which may be quite risky.
Once you are done with ripping the BIOS files, you will need to copy and paste the archived file to a certain directory. Your route will be like this: C:\Users\[User Name]\Documents\PCSX2\bios. Still, you are not confined to the given default directory. You are free to change it to one of your liking by unselecting “Use default section” and choosing any other directory.
You will be required to activate the BIOS and embed a folder’s content into the root bios directory. After that, select the “Refresh list” option.
Then, select the necessary language and click on the “Finish” button to complete the process.
Playing Games with an Emulator
Your next step will be obtaining the ROMs that are freely available online to start playing. Make sure to use your emulator as an ISO file to make the acquired ROMs playable. Then, go to CDVD > Iso Selector > Browse in the PSX2 window. For all your disc images to be more easily accessible you are recommended to save them in a single folder. Then, double-click the ISO file.
After that, go to System > Boot/Reboot CDVD.
That’s all. Now your game should start. Nothing is stopping you from playing the PS2 classics anymore!