A few years ago, the PS2 was in that happy spot of having a lot of trade-ins as people were moving away from it, but now we are entering the early stages of “retro collecting”. 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.
Values Current as of November 2022
RECENT GROWTH OF NORTH AMERICAN RETAIL GAMES
With four full years since our last guide revision, it was easy to notice a lot of ranking shifting with the North American retail releases. I decided to chart out the major movers. In the chart below I compared the average pricing between the different average loose/rough price levels for a game and their highest mint copy sale during the time frame. I compared those averages between our 2018 guide and this 2022 guide to calculate the value growth percentage. If you’d like to see the full 2018 guide for comparison, I have made it available to my Patreon members. (Only $1 of support or more is needed to access)
After the chart, we will dig into the details of the top North American, Japanese, and PAL PS2 games — we have a lot to cover!
Valuable North American Releases
Kuon: $500 – $1360 ($1800 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. Demand for Kuon started spiking in 2016 before building to the $120 to $400 level in our 2018 guide. Not to be content with that 4X to 8X increase in value over the six years, it more than tripled again since during the 2020s retro boom. It even managed to leapfrog Rule of Rose to take the #1 spot on this list due to the premium put on its mint/complete copies.
Rule of Rose: $475-$800 ($1000 Sealed)
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. Over the next 6 years, it had another steep increase — essentially tripling to quadrupling in value leading up the $115 to $420 range in our 2018 guide. While it might not be #1 on the list anymore, it still managed to increase strongly in the 2020s.
Haunting Ground: $225 – $510 ($700 sealed)
A “survival” horror game in the truest sense, Haunting Ground leaves you as a completely weaponless young girl who 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.
Haunting Ground 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 next six years, it tripled/quadrupled to a $68-$205 range by 2018 as the survival horror fans have been trying to round out their collections with this PS2 exclusive. It more than doubled again to strengthen its position in the 2020s as well.
Blood Will Tell: $160-$480 ($1000 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 to $60 to $180 levels in 2018. It has continued to fare well into the 2020s keeping its Top 5 status.
Xenosaga 3 (Lenticular Cover): $225 to $400
Xenosaga 3 (Standard Cover): $175-$275
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) and was rumored to be a Best Buy pre-order exclusive, but many gamers reported finding this particular variant on standard store shelves after its 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 value 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 (it’s strong enough to essentially be in the Top 10 on its own), but currently, the lenticular cover has a 33% premium (although reduced from the 60% premium from 2018) — quite a value if you are truly playing the rarity game.
Silent Hill: Shattered Memories: $200-$400 ($500-$700 Sealed)
Shattered Memories changed the series in fundamental ways by dropping combat, changing the way Silent Hill is represented visually, and making the game subjective to the player’s actions as opposed to a linear plotline. In essence, Shattered Memories attempted to shift the focus of psychological horror from the character, where it had always rested in previous games, to the player.
With both survival horror and nostalgic/iconic favorites seeing mint copies increasing in value these last few years, Shattered Memories has risen in the ranks these last few years. It was “only” selling for $39 – $96 back in 2018, more than quadrupling in value over 4 years.
.hack Part 4 Quarantine: $210 – $380 ($420 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
Futurama: $155 – $415
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 canceled 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 canceled.
Even though the animated series was revived four years later, the game has remained a collector’s 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: $130 – $415
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.
Echo Night: Beyond: $160-$250
Another recent Survival Horror addition to these higher rankings is this Sci-Fi gem, developed by From Software. In addition, its story is based on near-future moon travel, Echo Night: Beyond is unusual for a horror game in that there is no combat and no health items while you explore. If you encounter a hostile ghost, the only things to do are run and hope you make it out alive. You can read more about it on our PS2 Survival Horror guide.
In addition to the growing interest in survival horror game collecting, the rise in popularity in From Software’s games, such as their modern classics, Dark Souls and Eldin Ring, Echo Night Beyond skipped right over being in our Honorable Mentions list and jumped right into our top rankings this year. During our last guide installment in 2018, Echo Night Beyond was only selling in the $30-$80 range. Even for a 2020s-era jump, that’s an impressive gain.
Wild ARMs Alter Code: F: $140-230
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 didn’t appreciate a whole lot between 2012 and 2018, but it has done pretty well to keep up with its PS2 peers the last few years!
Marvel vs Capcom 2: $120-$240
Back in our initial Rare & Valuable PS2 guide installment in 2012, Marvel vs Capcom 2 actually ranked #2 on our list of standard North American releases (albeit, at a relatively modest $45-$140 price range). It has always been a fan favorite among casual and dedicated fighting game fans. However, with Marvel vs Capcom 2 getting more digital distribution on newer platforms, it took some of the resale pressure of the PS2 between 2012 and 2018.
It didn’t come down in value much (landing at a $45 – $110 range in 2018), but it didn’t keep up with general collectors marketing heating up for the PS2 in general. Instead of being in the Top 10 at all, it got knocked down to the honorable mentions. With the growing love of both the Capcom and Marvel properties and the nostalgic collecting market really blowing up in the 2020s, MvC2 finally saw some real growth in resale value and is climbing the ranks again (although not quite as high as a decade ago).
Valuable PAL Imports
Sengoku Anthology: $600-$700
There were a handful of Neo-Geo port compilations on the PS2, but interestingly enough, this collection of the three Sengoku beatemup games was only released in Europe on the PS2 (it also received a PC port).
The SNK series has its fans, but in 2009, it was a bit of a surprise to see its own dedicated compilation. It may have been more odd that it was only released in Europe. It would have made sense that it be sold in Japan as well, but I suppose the publisher, DHM Interactive viewed it as a passion project.
Michigan Report From Hell: $340 – $530
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.
Ocean Commander (PAL Release): $250 – $450
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
Valuable Japanese Imports
Snow Battle Princess Sayuki: $650 – $1100
This scrolling shooter was originally developed as a sequel to Taito’s Kiki KaiKai series (better known as Pocky & Rocky outside Japan) before the game was cancelled and the the developer lost the license. The game was finished and released in all regions on both the Wii and PS2. Interestingly enough, the Japanese version was the last to be released on the PS2.
This one is very difficult to find on eBay at any given time, its more easily found online on Japanese Yahoo Auctions, but even then, its quite apparent that is quite the rarity.
Ibara: $300 – $335
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.
Outrun 2SP: $260-$350
It was exciting to see an Outrun revival in this console generation with the Outrun 2 series. While Westerners will mostly be familiar with the Coast 2 Coast follow-up that graced the Xbox, PS2 and PSP, the installment originated under the name Outrun 2SP in the Japanese arcades.
This Japanese-exclusive installment retains that original moniker while having some slight differences from the Outrun Coast 2 Coast we were used to outside of Japan. This Japanese PS2 version adds force feedback wheel support for GT Force and GT Force Pro, special course animations are included (that were missing in C2C), plus some extra unlockable music tracks. It also has all the PSP unlockables are included at the outset (in exchange for not having the PSP connectivity). It also happens that Clarissa has more revealing clothes to match the original arcade version.
So while Outrun 2SP may not be drastically different from the Coast2Coast Outrun that other regions experienced, it could be considered a superior version for die-hard Outrun fans.
Shin Goketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnou Kaihou: $150-$200
While scrolling shooters might be the most-collected old-school genre, fighting games are typically on shmups’ heels. This particular fighter from Noise Factory is the sixth installment of the series best known as Power Instinct in the English-speaking world.
Bonnou Kaihou isn’t viewed as a typical sequel, but is viewed as an updated port of Power Instinct: Matrimelee, which was exclusive to the arcade and Neo-Geo. In this regard, it is the only installment of the series that exclusive to a home console.
Compared to Matrimelee, it has improved visuals and sound plus additional bosses, some gameplay adjustments and online systems.
ADK Tamashii: $150 – $200
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
Additional North American Retail Releases of Value
- Def Jam Fight for NY [Greatest Hits]: $110-$245 (eBay)
- Obscure: $100-$230 (eBay)
- Silent Hill 3: $95-$225 (eBay)
- Def Jam Fight for NY [Black Label]: $85-$220 (eBay)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army: $95-$210 (eBay)
- Steambot Chronicles: $100-$200 (eBay)
- Wild Arms 5 : $108-$190 (eBay)
- Suikoden V: $105-$190 (eBay)
- Shadow Hearts [Not For Resale]: $135-$159 (eBay)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon: $95-$190 (eBay)
- Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 [Greatest Hits]: $90-$190 (eBay)
- Robot Alchemic Drive (RAD): $80-$200 (eBay)
- Chulip: $105-$175 (eBay)
- Silent Hill 2 [Greatest Hits]: $80-$200 (eBay)
- Silent Hill 2 [Black Label]: $72-$200 (eBay)
- Silent Hill Origins: $84-$180 (eBay)
- Gitaroo Man: $87-$175 (eBay)
- Samurai Western : $70-$190 (eBay)
- MS Saga A New Dawn: $90-$170 (eBay)
- Shadow Hearts: $87-$155 (eBay)
- Ed Edd N Eddy Mis-Edventures [w Bonus Disc] : $65-$160 (eBay)
- God Hand: $80-$125 (eBay)
Additional PAL Releases of Value
- Rule of Rose: $380-$500 (eBay)
- Kuon: $200-$470 (eBay)
- Samurai Western: $110-$300 (eBay)
- Legend of Sayuki: $120-$250 (eBay)
- Snow White and the 7 Clever Boys: $135-$220 (eBay)
- Hard Knock High: $150-$180 (eBay)
- Iron Chef: $130-$200 (eBay)
- Raiden III: $120-$200 (eBay)
- Armored Core Last Raven: $70-$220 (eBay)
- White Van Racer: $90-$180 (eBay)
- Dragon Blaze: $80-$160 (eBay)
Additional Japanese Releases of Value
- Rule of Rose: $200-$210 (eBay)
- Sol Divide & Dragon Blaze: $135-$210 (eBay)
- Mahou No Pumpkin: $120-$170 (eBay)
- Radirgy: $90-$150 (eBay)
- Triggerheart Exelica Enhanced: $85-$150 (eBay)
- The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match Tougeki : $72-$160 (eBay)
- Kuon: $100-$130 (eBay)
- Gregory Horror Show: Soul Collector: $90-$135 (eBay)
- Espgaluda: $70-$135 (eBay)
- Gigawing Generations: $70-$120 (eBay)
- SDI & Quartet: $90 -$112 (eBay)
- Sunsoft Collection: $87-$112 (eBay)
- Thunder Force VI: $65-$130 (eBay)
- DoDonPachi Dai-Ou-Jou: $60-$127 (eBay)
- After Burner II: $75-$90 (eBay)
- Shooting Love: Trizeal: $70-$90 (eBay)
Collectors/Limited Editions Sets
- Wild Arms 5 [10th Anniversary Edition]: $160-$350 (eBay)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2 [Raiho Special Edition]: $180-$300 (eBay)
- Growlanser: Generations Deluxe Edition: $190-$260 (eBay)
- .hack GU Rebirth Special Edition: $130-$225 (eBay)
- Bully Collector’s Edition: $150-$180 (eBay)
- Dragon Ball Z Trilogy: $120-$210 (eBay)
- Tekken 5 [Ultimate Collector’s Edition]: $110-$200 (eBay)
- Ar Tonelico Melody of Elemia Limited Edition: $125-$150 (eBay)
- Onimusha The Essentials: $80-$150 (eBay)
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