Best M-Rated PlayStation 2 RPGs, Ranked

The best RPGs on the PS2 mostly fall in the E for Everyone or T for Teen categories. For example, Kingdom Hears was marketed toward kids who loved Disney. It was a wild action RPG platformer that bridged the gap between Disney movies like Aladdin and well-known franchises like Final Fantasy.


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Speaking of, Final Fantasy 10 was also a huge hit on the PS2 and was more for teenagers who initially grew up with the series starting on the NES. Were there even any RPGs that were M-rated on the console? The pickings were slim but there were indeed, so let’s take a look.

7 Drakengard

Metacritic Score: 63

Promo art featuring characters in Drakengard


September 11, 2003

Drakengard, or Drag-on Dragoon as it is known in Japan, was an action game from Square Enix. It’s also tied into the NieR series which branched off from this and became a bit more popular thanks to entries like NieR: Automata. This first game followed Caim and his dragon, Angelus, as he waged war against an enemy faction.

The gameplay style was similar to an action game like Dynasty Warriors as hundreds of troops stormed the battlefield during missions. The great thing about Drakengard compared to Dynasty Warriors though is that Caim could hop on his dragon to decimate rows of villains in fiery blazes which never ceased to be satisfying. It’s certainly far from Square Enix’s best on the PS2 but it, and its sequel, are good mindless fun.

6 Fallout: Brotherhood Of Steel

Metacritic Score: 64

A scene featuring characters in Fallout Brotherhood Of Steel

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel

January 13, 2004

Action RPG

Some may think that Fallout 3 jumped the shark for the Fallout series by making it a first-person, open-world shooter instead of a top-down RPG. Fallout 3 was not, however, the first genre change for the series and many either missed or forgot about Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel during this PS2 era. It was top-down like the classic entries but it was an action RPG modeled after games like Diablo.


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Players began in a dilapidated town wherein they had to take care of some infestation troubles as was a classic way to start any RPG campaign. As the name might suggest, eventually things became a bit more involved with the Brotherhood of Steel showing up in all of their glamorous post-apocalyptic armor. For a Diablo clone, it was not half bad and the addition of co-op helped its case as well for those starving for a good multiple RPG on the system.

5 Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

Metacritic Score: 70

Promo art featuring Hector in Castlevania Curse of Darkness

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

November 1, 2005


Castlevania: Curse of Darkness was the second 3D game in the series to hit the PS2 with the first being Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. While that game had the Metroidvania formula, it lacked the RPG elements that this one had. It was also rated M compared to the T for Teen rating which felt criminal as any horror-based game should be M-rated or R-rated if it’s a movie. The star of this game was Hector, a Devil Forgemaster who could create demons from a cauldron.

These demons would make contracts with him and follow Hector around like a more villainous version of Pokemon or the Shin Megami Tensei series would be a more fitting comparison. They could be leveled up and Hector could get stronger too and equip new gear. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness is not as good as any of the 2D Metroidvanias that followed Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but it is up there as one of the best in the series overall.

4 Yakuza

Metacritic Score: 75

Kazuma in Yakuza (PS2)

  • Released: September 5, 2006 (North America)
  • Developer: Sega NE R&D
  • Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii U

It’s incredible to play the original Yakuza on PS2 now, thinking about how far the series has come in almost two decades. There was even a remake, Yakuza Kiwami, that helped iron out a lot of kinks. Taken on its own, the original version is rough but it’s still a great and underrated PS2 game of its era.

But as clunky as some of the things are on PS2, there’s nothing quite like punching thugs and leveling up while experiencing the majesty that is Kamurocho. It was great to go back to Kazuma’s first story and to play it in English too. It’s fun to imagine what the series would have been like if Sega kept English actors like Mark Hamill around.

3 Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha Vs. The Soulless Army

Metacritic Score: 74

Raidou in Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha Vs The Soulless Army

  • Released: October 10, 2006 (North America)
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Platforms: PlayStation 2

There could be an entire list based on Shin Megami Tensei games published and developed by Atlus during the PS2 era, all of which were rated M for Mature. Among the many that were turn-based, this one stands out as it had an action combat system. Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army took place around 19th century Japan and followed Raidou, a young detective in Japan, who gets roped into helping an older private detective deal with paranormal cases.

There is an overarching narrative but it is also an episodic adventure with a case-by-case investigation. Battles are randomized which is a pain to go back to now, but the combat in these instances is fun thanks to the aforementioned action gameplay. It, and its direct sequel Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, are two of the great forgotten entries in this franchise.

2 Shadow Hearts: Covenant

Metacritic Score: 85

Karin from Shadow Hearts Covenant

Shadow Hearts Covenant

September 27, 2004



Shadow Hearts: Covenant is often regarded as the best entry in this PS2 trilogy. This sequel takes place during World War 1 and follows the hero from the previous adventure, Yuri, out to stop a plot involving Rasputin. Yuri will butt heads with several other historical figures, but Rasputin is the main baddie and his interpretation in this game is wild.



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Battles are turn-based with an active system somewhat similar to the Mario RPG games. When players attack a wheel will appear and if timed right, attacks can do more damage. Active turn-based systems like these are always appreciated as they help make players feel more engaged.

1 Persona 4

Metacritic Score: 90

Yu Narukami in Persona 4

Persona 4

July 10, 2008


Persona 4 is without a doubt the best M-rated RPG on the PS2 and one of the greatest M-rated games on the system overall. The graphics may be simple and a bit cartoony since it is an anime, but the subject matter is dark. A bunch of teens start investigating murders around their school and there is a supernatural twist to it.

These teens gain powers to summon demons that they use in dungeons found inside TVs. It’s a bizarre setup but that’s par for the course for the Persona series. There are hundreds of hours of gameplay between fighting monsters, investigating crimes, and hanging out with friends and none of it feels boring.

ps2 platform



Original Release Date
October 26, 2000

Original MSRP (USD)