Despite the PS2 being far and away the most popular console of its generation, it was actually the weaker hardware when compared to the GameCube and Xbox. The latter system, in particular, had numerous games that showed off its superior graphical prowess, the ten most notable of which are presented below.

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One of these was actually brought to the PS2, and it highlights the major differences between the two consoles. It should be noted, however, that the PS2 had certain strengths that many developers used to a game's advantage. Titles like Silent Hill 2 and Metal Gear Solid 2, for example, ran substantially better on the PS2 than they did on the Xbox.

10 Halo

HaloCombat Evolved did what no one thought was possible in bringing a first-person shooter experience rivaling the PC's greatest contributions to the genre. Bungie mastered dual-analog aiming, and their success helped establish the Xbox as a force to be reckoned with.

Early PS2 first-person shooters like TimeSplitters are still classics, but their graphics don't hold a candle to Halo. Once Xbox Live launched and Halo 2 came packed in with online multiplayer, one could clearly see where the system's strengths were versus its competitor.


9 Ninja Gaiden

ninja gaiden original xbox

This reboot of the classic side-scrolling action series was a gorgeous showcase of the Xbox's graphics. The visual presentation was only half the glory, however. Ninja Gaiden is also remembered for its grueling difficulty, testing the patience of even the most skilled gamers.

While the PS2 had no chance on Earth to smoothly run this title, the PS3 received a port with some extra goodies. The sequel also came out on Xbox 360 first before making its way to Sony's console. Only with Ninja Gaiden 3 did both systems see a simultaneous release.

8 Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

morrowing original xbox

PC gamers had massive RPGs the likes of which consoles could only dream of running, which is what made The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind's release on the Xbox so special.

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Not only was the series restricted to PCs since its inception, but Morrowind was the first three-dimensional mainline title in the series. It is not a perfect port, filled with graphical cutbacks and some performance issues, but its existence on the Xbox certainly let the console flex its muscles over the PS2.

7 Fable

fable original xbox

Peter Molyneux made some pretty hefty promises upon Fable's announcement. While the final product did not live up to all of them, it was still an impressive display for the Xbox.

In addition to the pretty graphics, it also included an in-depth morality system where players actions affected the world around them. This was a rarity for console games at the time, and Sony had almost no titles with such a feature, save for Mega Man Legends on the PS1, but is was small detail rather than a major part of the narrative.

6 Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic

knights of the old republic

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is often regarded as one of the best western RPGs ever made, a fact Xbox fans could hold over PlayStation loyalists for years until the game became more widely available (though it still never made its way to a Sony console).

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BioWare chose the Xbox specifically because of its increased horsepower, making the complex game easier to make. The PS2 still had a plethora of Star Wars titles in its library, but nothing as sprawling as Knight of the Old Republic. Fortunately, future BioWare games would make their way to the PS3 and PS4.

5 Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay

chronicles of riddick escape from butcher bay

Spitting in the face of negative trends regarding video game adaptations of famous movies, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay is actually hailed as a great first-person shooter adventure.

Its immersive gameplay and beautiful graphics were too much for the PS2, making it an Xbox exclusive until a re-release on the Xbox 360 and PS3 widened its audience. A PS2 version was in the works, but the team decided to can it in order to focus their efforts on one release.

4 Dead Or Alive 3

dead or alive 3 xbox launch title

Nothing showcases a console's graphics more than a fighting game. Because the genre only requires two people on screen, the character models can be exquisitely detailed. Dead or Alive 3 used the full potential of the Xbox's graphical capabilities to craft what was one of the best looking games around.

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It was a launch title too, proving right out of the gate how good the system could look. Given the cast of characters, one wants the game to look as great as possible. But ultimately, fans are in it for the solid gameplay.

3 Half-Life 2

Half-life 2 xbox

getting Half-Life 2 on the Xbox was a small miracle which took a graphical downgrade and additional loading screens to accomplish. Giving the sacrifices made for Microsoft's premier console, a PS2 version was totally out of the cards.

Fortunately, The Orange Box eventually made its way to the PS3, so Sony fans could experience what is often considered one of the best first-person shooters ever made. Until then, however, PS2 owners held themselves over with a port of the original Half-Life.

2 Max Payne 2

Max payne 2 max

This one actually came out on the PS2, though its quality on Sony's console makes one wonder if it was a good idea. Comparing the two side-by-side reveals countless imperfections.

The colors are drab and muddy, character models are less detailed, and the frame rate screeches to a halt once the action starts picking up. On the Xbox, Max Payne 2 is one of the best looking titles to come out in 2003, while the PS2 version barely holds itself together.

1 Doom 3

While not the most beloved entry in the franchise nor as impactful as the first two gamesDoom 3 was still visual spectacle upon its release in 2004. The lighting in particular was praised, and the utilization of the flashlight in gameplay showcased this feature.

The graphics take a hit on the Xbox, but the gameplay remains intact, making for a worthy port. The PS2 saw no Doom releases at all, somewhat surprising considering the amount of times the first two games were ported to other consoles. The first three games are widely available on the PS3 and PS4, however.

Next: 10 Amazing Original Xbox Games You Didn't Know Were Playable On Xbox One

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