Is your old PlayStation 2 having a tantrum? Can't read some games anymore and crashes all the time? It must be really unpleasant, especially for you who still have a lot of titles that you would like to play but the console prevents you from doing so.
How about if we remedy the situation by seeing together how to emulate PS2 games on PC? If you have a powerful enough computer, you may be able to fill the gap on your PS2 by playing games directly on your PC. Just install a simple free program. Do not you believe it? Then try it yourself, find all the information you need right below.
The recommended requirements for running PlayStation 2 titles are as follows: 2GB of RAM, a fairly powerful processor (Intel Core 2 Duo at 3.2 GHz or higher, Intel i3 / i5 / i7 at 2,8 GHz or higher, or AMD Phenom II at 3,2 GHz or higher) and a graphics card with support for Pixel Shader model 2.0. Once you have verified these requirements, take a few minutes of free time and follow the instructions I am about to give you.
PS2 Emulator for PC
The best PlayStation 2 emulator currently available on Windows is PCSX2, which is completely free and very easy to use (although it requires a bit of a tedious initial setup). To download it to your PC, connect to its official website and click on the item first Windows and then on the button Download collocato sotto the dicitura PCSX2 xx Standalone Installer – Version: xx.
When the download is complete open, double clicking on it, the file you just downloaded (pcsx2-xx-setup.exe) and, in the window that opens, first click on Yes and then Next e install. At this point, if necessary, check the option I agree to the license terms and conditionsclick your install and wait a few minutes so that the components are downloaded and installed DirectX needed to run the emulator on your PC.
When finished, click on the button Close to finish the installation procedure of PCSX 2. Please do not start the emulator as some fundamental components are still missing for its operation.
The fundamental components to which I refer are the BIOS of the PS2, without which it is not possible to operate PCSX2. I must warn you, though: this is copyrighted material and, as such, could not be freely downloadable from the Internet. The download becomes "tolerated" only when you are in possession of a real PS2.
So, if you've regularly bought one PlayStation 2, look for the package PS2 Bios package containing the files rom1, rom2 ed about it on the BitTorrent network (or on sites like Emuparadise) and extract the downloaded files to the folder Documents PCSX2 bios of your PC.
Now you can finally start PCSX2 and perform the initial program setup procedure. Don't worry, it sounds complicated but it's actually a no-brainer. First, make sure that Italian is selected in the language selection menu (option System default) and click on your button forward.
Next, click on the drop-down menu GS and select from the latter the type of graphics mode best suited to your computer's graphics card (eg if you have a card that supports the SSE 4.1 you have to select the item GSdx 0 (MSVC 18.00, SSE41)). If you don't know what the technical characteristics of the graphics card on your PC are, download the free CPU-Z program and check the entry Instrunctions in the main window of the latter.
Furthermore, you can adjust the resolution to be used for games and other graphic features of the emulator by clicking on the button Configure located next to the GS drop-down menu. If you have a powerful enough PC the default settings should be fine.
We are almost there! Click on the button forward to continue with the initial configuration procedure of PCSX2, select the latest European firmware (Europe v2.00) and click on end to launch the main emulator window.
Now you might as well start emulate PS2 games on PC, but before doing that I suggest you connect a joypad with analog sticks to your computer and configure it to use with PCSX2. Then select the item Controller (PAD)> Plugin Settings from the menu Configuration of the program and, in the window that opens, select the tab Pad1. At this point, press the buttons corresponding to the PS2 joypad keys one by one and press the keys to be associated with them on the PC joypad.
When the operation is complete, you can finally start playing by choosing whether to start PS2 games from a real DVD or from an image file in ISO format (please, do not download them from the Internet if you don't have an original copy, it's illegal!) In the first case, all you have to do is insert the game disk into the PC, select the item Plugin from the menu CDVD and start your game by selecting the item Launch CDVD (full) from the menu System (if warnings appear, always answer in the affirmative). In the second case, you have to select the item ISO from the menu CDVD, after which you have to go up CDVD> ISO Selector> Browse, you have to select the image file of the game to start and click on the item Launch CDVD (full) on the menu System.
Once the game has started, if you want, you can also view it at all screen by double clicking on the window in which it is executed. If necessary, you can also adjust the audio and video settings of the emulator by selecting the item Plugin settings from the menus Configuration> Audio e Configuration> Video. Good fun!
PS2 Emulator for Mac
PCSX is also available for Mac but, unfortunately, its development for the Apple platform has been interrupted, This means that it is now obsolete and malfunctioning. If you want to emulate PS2 games on macOS you have to resort to alternative solutions.
The alternative solution that I recommend you to adopt is Play, a very young and light PlayStation 2 emulator that is fully compatible with macOS and does not require complicated configurations to be used. It still has some shortcomings and some bugs due to its young age, but its development is progressing very well and therefore it will certainly work better in the future.
To download Play on your Mac, connect to the official website of the emulator and click on the item first Weekly Builds (for Windows, OSX, Android and iOS) and then on the link relating to dmg package most recent.
Once the download is complete, open the package dmg which contains Play and drag the emulator icon into the folder Applications of macOS. Then start the program (by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item apri from the menu that appears) and go to the menu File > Boot Disk Image to load the ISO file of the game you wish to play.
That's all! No further configuration is required. Unfortunately, there is no possibility to customize the controls and there are some graphic bugs that pop up here and there during the gameplay, but as mentioned it is an early stage project, so you need to have a little patience.