The PS2 has recently entered the point where there’s a lot of cheap gems our there as a lot of gamers have moved away from the system, but not in full “retro mode” of collecting yet. Despite its relatively young vintage and its widespread popularity, there’s still plenty of in-demand rarities and exclusives commanding strong price tags. Survival Horror has been a mainstay on the PS2 and you’ll see them make lots of appearances here.
In stark contrast to the Cheapest Games series, this Rare & Valuable series will round up the rarest and most valuable games for a given console or handheld so you’ll know what to look for whether you are buying or selling. Below you will see two prices beside each title. The first is the average daily selling price, which is typically the going rate for the loose game disc or in a beat-up case. The second price is the highest price in the past three months for a pristine, complete copy (we also make note of sealed game values, when available).
The PS2 era was when we started seeing an increase of limited edition collectors editions of games. I’ll list some of the big ones near the bottom of this guide, but I really want to focus on games that were standard editions that made their way to traditional store shelves.
Valuable North American Releases
Rule of Rose: $115 – $420
This psychological horror game from cult-classic factory, Altus and developer Punchline. Punchline wanted to develop a modern title with an emphasis on psychological horror. This decision led to the concept of childhood, specifically the “mysterious and misunderstood” nature of young girls. The team drew inspiration from the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales for the narrative, and the Silent Hill series for graphics and art style. If you’re interested in learning more about how Rule of Rose factors into the PS2 library, check out our Playstation 2 Survivor Horror guide.
Rule of Rose almost remained in Japan before Atlus decided to localize it. Upon arrival in the West, it was surrounded by early criticism in the UK regarding the references to child sexuality and cruelty. Much like the Night Trap controversy in the 16-bit era, many of the claims (like burying children underground) were overblown. Due to the controversy, the release of the game was cancelled in a number of countries and increased the demand for the US release. Since its release in 2006, it has gradually risen in the ranks of collector’s pieces of the PS2 library. This is an up-and-comer to keep an eye on.
Rule of Rose was a modest collectors item back in our 2012 guide at the $40-$88 range. Since then, it has had a steady, but steep increase — essentially tripling to quadrupling in value over the last six years.
Kuon: $120 – $400 ($450 sealed)
The story is told from the point of view of two very different young women, each of which has their own separate phase
While it does have some redeeming factors for fans of the survival horror genre, it didn’t get great reviews due to a relatively short length and lack of replay value. Between reviews and being a rather obscure game to begin with, the print run was rather small on this title. Since then, fans of From Software’s other titles like Dark Souls have been wanting to add this to their collection of survival horror titles. If you’re interested in learning more about how Kuon factors into the PS2 library, check out our Playstation 2 Survivor Horror guide.
Back in 2012, you could have found a copy of Kuon for about $30. Up through 2015 it only increased 2X to 3X to a $65-$80 range. However, demand for Kuon started spiking in 2016 building up to their current levels. Overall, the game has seen a 4X to 8X increase in value over the past six years. That’s quite impressive!
.hack Part 4 Quarantine: $90 – $200 ($205 sealed)
Much like the original Playstation, this list of valuable games includes a handful of RPGs. The .hack series is especially popular with RPG fans and collectors. The fourth installment, Quarantine easily tops the list, commanding at least double the amount of most other three games in the series. The .hack series features a “game within a game”; a fictional MMORPG called “The World”. Players can also transfer their characters and data between games in the series. It made for a rather interesting concept that built a bit of a following .
.hack Quarantine maintained a place near the top of the PS2 collector’ list in the past decade and slowly appreciated since then. While it has nearly doubled in value since 2010, it hasn’t risen quite as much as many of the survival horror games mentioned here.
Check for .hack Part 4 Quarantine on eBay
Check for .hack Part 4 Quarantine on Amazon
Haunting Ground: $68 – $205 ($240 sealed)
A “survival” horror game in the truest sense, Haunting Ground leaves you as completely weaponless young girl has nothing more than a German Shepherd named Hewie to defend herself against a series of pursuers. The game’s best feature is probably the sense of danger it can convey, but the game still managed to garner mixed reviews in 2004 — it depends highly on what you’re looking for in the game. The game shares many similarities with Capcom’s earlier survival horror title Clock Tower 3 (2002), and has been described as a spiritual successor to the Clock Tower series. If you’re interested in learning more about how Haunting Ground factors into the PS2 library, check out our Playstation 2 Survivor Horror guide.
Back in 2012, you could find Haunting Ground in the $25 to $45 range, but over the last six years, it has tripled to quadrupled in value as the survival horror fans have been trying to round out their collections with this PS2 exclusive.
Blood Will Tell: $60 – $180 ($230 sealed)
This samurai beatemup is based on the Japanese manga series, Dororo from Osamu Tezuka (of Astro Boy fame). The game itself was developed by Sega, particularly, Sega Wow (formerly known as Sega AM1, Overworks, and WOW Entertainment), known for many of the House of the Dead and Sakura Taisen games from the era and Skies of Arcadia.
Despite these credentials, Blood Will Tell didn’t get especially great reviews during its release in 2004 and got lost in the shuffle of plentiful action games on the PS2. However, there are some fans of the game and it’s remained a PS2 exclusive.
Back in 2012, if you could find this one in the wild, you could score it in the $10 to $25 range. Six years later, you’re seeing an increase of 6X to 7X. Another one of the big risers here.
Xenosaga 3 (Lenticular Cover): $120 to $165
The Xenosaga series was one of the more iconic RPG series during the PS2’s era and the third installment had a few different pre-order incentives/variations. This particular cover variant features a lenticular effect (changes the picture when you tilt the case) was rumored to be a Best Buy pre-order exclusive, but many gamers reported to find this particular variant on standard store shelves after initial release. You can read about this debate in this forum thread.
It is possible that it was intended for pre-orders but did not sell out or that there were returns or unclaimed that were put back on shelves. Regardless, this stunning variant (see a better up-close picture) is hard to find in the wild and has been growing in values over the years. BTW, it’s worth noting that some people also refer to this lenticular cover as a “hologram” cover.
For what it’s worth, the standard cover edition of Xenosaga also has some significant value (we mention it in the list below), but currently the lenticular cover has a 60% premium — quite a value if you are truly playing the rarity game.
Futurama: $45 – $136
The cult-classic animated series from Matt Groening was struggling to find a mainstream audience on Fox when this console game adaptation was in development. The show ended up getting cancelled in 2003, the same year the game arrived in stores. Since the game wasn’t released until after the last episode of season 4, the Futurama game was viewed as a “lost episode” containing 28 minutes of new animation.
The publisher had a feeling the show wasn’t doing well so the print run of both the PS2 and Xbox versions were kept rather low. A Gamecube and Game Boy Advance port were also originally developed, but cancelled.
Even though the animated series was revived four years later, the game has remained a collectors item and has appreciated quite well over the last few years. Back in 2012, you could score a copy in the $30 to $36 range.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3: $51 – $108 ($250 sealed)
The PS2 (along with other consoles of the era) had a few installments in this series of Dragon Ball Z fighting games. This third and final installment in the Budokai Tenkaichi series was on the PS2 and Wii, but seemed to have worn out its welcome a bit.
While it added features and had one of the largest character rosters in a fighting game, it got mediocre reviews and didn’t get a whole lot of sales action. It wasn’t an especially common game on the aftermarket so had maintained a respectable price for a while before gradually increasing over the last few years.
Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD): $50 – $135 ($152 sealed)
If you’re a fan of mech action games, Robot Alchemic Drive is worth looking into. What sets the Enix-published game apart, however is in the way you control your robot. Instead of sitting in a cockpit or having a dynamic third-person perspective, you have remote control from the point of view of a human character on the ground. This requires you to strategically position your human character and obviously creates a rather unique gameplay element that earned the game a place in our PS2 Hidden Gems guide.
Being rather hidden in the wild, its not surprising that this one has risen in the value ranks since it’s $25 range in 2013.
Wild ARMs Alter Code: F: $40 – $105
Wild Arms was a cult classic on the PS1 and Alter Code: F served as a remake for the PS2 and features 3D environments, more playable characters and other improvements. Apparently collectors approve the remake as it has been climbing the charts on this PS2 list while the PS1 original is still significantly cheaper.
It hasn’t increased too terribly much since it’s 2012 range of $35 – $74, but has pretty much gone along with the typical PS2 library appreciation.
Ibara: $180 – $335
$180 – $200
Much like the Sega Saturn, the Playstation 2 has a handful of 2D shooters that draw in hardcore fans. However, since shmups aren’t especially mainstream outside of Japan, they usually remain Japanese exclusives and command high prices. Ibara leads the pack of regular Japanese releases as there aren’t too many copies of this Cave-developed shooter that typically appear on eBay at any given time.
While many of the hot imports from five or six years ago have cooled down, Ibara has remained strong as the primary collectors item in the Japanese PS2 library. The base price of the game has stayed quite steady at $180 since 2012, but the more mint copies have increased about 60% over six years.
Michigan Report From Hell: $60 – $250
This horror game from Suda51 was released in both Japan and Europe and follows a TV news crew sent to investigate a strange mist which is turning the city’s denizens into leech-like monsters. The game is played entirely in the first person perspective of the camera operator, and the player will lose if the camera runs out of film before the end. It’s an interesting addition to the PS2 Survival Horror library. And much like most of the PS2-exclusive survival horror games mentioned above in the North American releases, Michigan Report from Hell has risen form relative obscurity to an item that commands some solid cash.
Check for Michigan Report From Hell on eBay
Dragon Blaze: $65 – $220
Dragon Blaze another PS2 shump published in 2000 by Psikyo (known for Strikers 1945, Sengoku Ace, and Gunbird.). It was ported to the PlayStation 2 as part of Taito’s Psikyo Shooting Collection Vol. 3: Sol Divide & Dragon Blaze compilation in 2005. However, Dragon Blaze was later also released on its own as a budget range title for the PS2 in Europe in 2006. However, its small print run kept it from being a “bargain” for very long. Despite being brought to the Switch as a digital release in 2018, it’s held its value so far.
While a lot of Psikyo’s shooters feel rather similar, Dragon Blaze actually stands a bit more than usual with some interesting dragon-based gameplay mechanics. You play as a dragon rider with the ability to “shoot” his or her mount straight forward for a powerful up-close attack. Its a polished system that needs to be practiced to be successful in the game.
Ocean Commander (PAL Release): $120 – $155
Ocean Commander is an odd little 2D shooter has been released on a bunch of platforms (with probably seeing the biggest distribution on the Wii) in a lot of regions, but only saw a PAL release on the PS2. According to this very helpful thread on AssemblerGames, it seems like the PS2 port was released in 2008 as a budget title and possibly only in Italy.
As one forum user asked: “Why would a Dutch company release a game only in Italy, with a title in English? And why are they selling it in Pounds Sterling on their site?” Well, as an Italian member pointed out, the economic downturn in Italy hit them quite hard in 2008 and residents were looking for cheap titles. Perhaps the port was easy but the PS2 was too saturated elsewhere? Anyway, it’s quite difficult to find a copy, so its obviously appreciated quite a bit since its release.
Check for Ocean Commander (PAL Release) on eBay
ADK Tamashii: $120 – $150
We’ve seen a handful of Neo-Geo compilations over the years, but this particular one specifically features games from the developer, ADK Damashii. Twinkle Star Sprites, the cool shooter/puzzle game hybrid, is one of the most popular titles on this compilation, but it also includes Ninja Master’s: Haō Ninpō Chō (fighting), Ninja Commando (top-down scrolling run-n-gun), Ninja Combat (scrolling action), and Tsuukai GanGan Koushinkyoku (Aggressors of Dark Kombat, a fighting game)
The PS2 compilation was released in 2008 in Japan, but eventually released outside of Japan for the PS4 in 2017.
Check for ADK Tamashii on eBay
The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match Tougeki Ver.: $75 – $90
The best of fighting game developers are always trying to optimize balance on their new games to be best suited for enthusiasts and tournament players. In this case, SNK introduced additional balance changes for the 2010 Super Battle Opera tournament and an updated version of the game was released for PlayStation 2 called The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match Tougeki Ver. in June of 2010. Since this was a subtle change to a game that was already on the market (not a bigger commercial success like Street Fighter IV or V plus additional characters), SNK kept the print run pretty low.
Check for The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match Tougeki Ver on eBay
Additional North American Retail Releases of Value
- Xenosaga 3 (Standard Cover): $20 – $105 ($130 sealed) (eBay)
- Marvel vs Capcom 2: $45 – $110 (eBay)
- Suikoden V: $40 – $89 ($115 sealed) (eBay)
- Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy: $40 – $100 ($130 sealed) (eBay)
- Def Jam Fight for New York (Black Label): $40 – $100 ($120 sealed) (eBay)
- Obscure: $43 – $100 (eBay)
- MS Saga A New Dawn: $41 – $100 (eBay)
- Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: $39 – $96 ($120 sealed) (eBay)
- Monster Rancher 4: $20 – $75 (eBay)
- Jurassic Park Operation Genesis: $38 – $75 ($163 sealed) (eBay)
- Steambot Chronicles: $37 – $80 ($100 sealed) (eBay)
- Onimusha The Essentials: $33 – $55 ($100 sealed) (eBay)
- Shadow Hearts: $30 – $95 ($162 sealed) (eBay)
- Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance II: $20 – $60 ($85 sealed) (eBay)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army: $24 – $40 (eBay)
- .hack G.U. Vol 3 Redemption: $22 – $70 (eBay)
Collectors/Limited Editions Sets
- Bully Collector’s Edition: $120 – $135 (eBay)
- Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence Limited Edition: $50 – $80 ($168 sealed) (eBay)
- Growlanser: Generations Deluxe Edition: $65 – $115 ($152 sealed) (eBay)
- .hack GU Rebirth Special Edition: $110 – $110 ($123 sealed) (eBay)
- Wild Arms 5 10th Anniversary Edition: $40 – $90 ($100 sealed) (eBay)
Additional Imports of Value
- Raiden III (PAL): $120 – $145 (eBay)
- The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match (JP): $75 – $90 (eBay)
- Gregory Horror Show (PAL): $40 – $180 (eBay)
- Raw Danger (PAL): $50 – $110 (eBay)
- Mushihime-sama (JP): $45 – $100 (eBay)
- Espgaluda (JP): $43 – $62 (eBay)