PlayStation 2 emulator for desktop systems (Windows, Linux, Mac)

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111 Votes

  • Category Emulators
  • Program license Free
  • Version Beta 3113
  • Size 6.22 MB
  • Works under: Windows 2000
  • Program available in English
  • Program by PCSX2

PCSX2 is a PlayStation 2 emulator designed for modern computers.

The PS2 is a complicated video game console, in terms of emulation. Originally released in 2002, not long after the PS2 itself, PCSX2 has received improvements up to this day, as of this writing. It is the premier option for PS2 emulation, and it is available for all three major operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux).

Its predecessor, PCSX, used a system of plugins, where each user configured the emulator themselves, selecting plugins for sound, graphics, control and processing, among others. PCSX2 uses a nearly-identical framework given a modern update: different games require different forms of emulation, so by downloading and trying different plugins, users can achieve the best speed and accuracy (to what the game should be).

However, PCSX2 can be somewhat difficult to use. Although it launches a console in the background to provide information about emulation and errors, this is more useful to developers (who can provide support by the program's forums) than to users.

Additionally, although installation is as easy as dropping plugins (or virtual memory cards, for example) into the program's folder, many games require configuring each plugin individually for best results. For many users, this can mean turning options on and off, trial and error, until the desired result is achieved.

In spite of these flaws, and the fact PS2 emulation is too difficult a task for older computers, PCSX2 is an excellent emulator. It is constantly updated, as are many of its plugins, and a guide to using it can be found its official website. For anyone looking to play the games released for a great – even legendary – console in a world where that is harder and harder to do, PCSX2 is an option well worth considering.


  • Constantly-evolving gamepad and hardware support; even compatible with PS2 controllers
  • Constant improvements in terms of speed and compatibility
  • Very high compatibility for a PS2 emulator
  • Some games can be enhanced to look even better, or run even better, than on real PS2 hardware


  • PS2 games, with many buttons, can be difficult to play without a gamepad or PS2 controller
  • Does not work well on older computers
Alternatives to PCSX2
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