Game fans had a lot to be excited about at Sony’s PlayStation Experience a week. Psychonauts two, for example! A lot of the more promising games that showed up on Sony’s stage will also be making their way to the PC, but one of the greatest announcements—or at least the one that I watched the most excitement around —was not about a new game. It concerned eight PS2 classics, including Dark Cloud and GTA III, being manufactured playable on PS4… via emulation, at $15 a pop. But if you are like me and have a whole lot of amazing PS2 games on a shelf or in a box at the back of your closet, you can really emulate these games on your PC with better images and more options than you can on a PS4. It’s completely free, and it is actually pretty easy.

Let me present you to PCSX2.

PCSX2 is an open source PlayStation 2 emulator project that’s been in development for more than a couple of years. It’s compatible with about 95 percent of their PS2’s 2400+ sport library. Sony’s new PS4 emulation can run those previous games in 1080p, however on a decent gaming PC you can leave them even higher resolutions like 4K, downsampling them to the resolution of the screen for a much better, clearer about it from Our Articles Even an aging or budget gaming rig ought to be able to deal with 1080p emulation for the majority of matches, no issue.

If you’re an old hand in PC emulation, you’re likely as comfortable with PS2 emulator PCSX2 as you’re with GameCube/Wii emulator Dolphin. Both are legal and free —not one of the code at the emulators themselves proceeds to Sony or Nintendo—also have improved enormously over years of growth, because of ardent communities. The great thing about PCSX2, however, and in which it really differs from Dolphin, is that you may easily play with your old copies of PlayStation 2 games by simply sticking the disks in your computer.

Assuming you have a DVD drive (in case you do not, find a friend who can ), you can put in a PS2 disc into the drive and emulate it straight from the disk. I would recommend ripping it into an ISO with a free program like ImgBurn so you don’t have to think about disk read rates or swapping discs when you wish to play a new sport.

Seriously, it’s not that hard

The remaining portion of the method is pretty simple, fair (at least, unless something goes wrong). Download PCSX2 here and stick to a setup guide to set this up. The official PCSX2 manual is a excellent resource, but full of an intimidating amount of info you don’t really have to learn whether you’re just out to play games. Mostly all you want to know to get started is the way to configure the graphics settings along with a gamepad.

Here is a fantastic guide that sets out the basics of configuring PCSX2 and its images settings without depriving you with advice. That has not stopped the BIOS files from being broadly distributed online, but it will imply the sole free-and-clear legal method to get the necessary BIOS files is to ditch them out of your PS2. PCSX2 provides a forum and manual for how to ditch your BIOS.

Ironically, this all takes a little more work than paying $15 into re-buy a PS2 game in your PS4, which you’ll inevitably be asked to re-buy about the PlayStation 5 or 6. With a little work, you are able to perform just about anything.

With a bit more work, you can create the games much better than they had been on the original hardware. It becomes a part of the pleasure: you can generally get a game to run without too much problem, but which makes it seem as good as it can, and operate as smoothly as possible, is a gratifying vetting procedure. Any problem you encounter you can probably solve using a simple Google search. That’s the excellent part thing concerning emulation communities: they are full of people devoted to creating these games run.

With a small time put into PCSX2, you can leave the picture at 2x, 3x, 4x its initial resolution (or greater!) , play a PS2 game with a DualShock or a Xbox controller, listen to unlimited virtual memory cards or use save states, borrow save files from different players, then use hacks to run games in widescreen. And you can take some pretty awesome screenshots.

Valkyrie Profile 2 using SweetFX shaders. Image via NeoGAF member Boulotaur2024.

God of War with ReShade and other filters employed. Picture via NeoGAF member irmas.

I will give you a few of my own: screenshots I took of Final Fantasy XII while enjoying the game before this season. What was fuzzy at 480i looks pretty damn amazing in 4K.