In a head-to-head comparison with anything else on the market, the game library for the PlayStation 2 might be the best of any system ever released. Many of today's greatest franchises either started or made an appearance on the PlayStation 2. If you're a fan of first-person shooters, there are multiple entries in the Call of Duty franchise and you can check out the first installment of Killzone series, which is still going strong on the PlayStation 3. While Mario may only appear on Nintendo systems, games like Jak and Daxter or Ratchet & Clank may scratch that platforming itch. If violence and mayhem is more your thing, you can't ignore the long line of Grand Theft Auto titles that were released on the system, including San Andreas, regarded by many as the series' high point. Some games that were originally released on the PlayStation 2 such as Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Sly Cooper, and God of War are in such high esteem with gamers that they have been remade for the PlayStation 3.
What may be even more impressive is that the PlayStation 2 is popular enough that it still warrants new releases even to this day. Many titles such as MLB: The Show, Madden, and FIFA still have an annual release on the PlayStation 2. While it's far from the show-stopping new releases that will be coming out on the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 over the next year, cash-strapped gamers can take comfort in the thought that the PlayStation 2 still has a little life left in it.
With all this talk of systems and games, it's easy to mistakenly think that it's only systems and games that ravage the consumer's wallet. The unfortunate truth about current generation gaming is that the spending doesn't stop once you leave the store and there are a variety of things that can catch an unwitting gamer off guard.
For example: All the reviews might tell you that Uncharted 2 sports some of the greatest graphics ever seen in gaming, but they'll all go to waste if it's being played on an old 26 inch standard-definition television. While it might still be a television in the broadest sense of the word, that family heirloom is a relic from another time and isn't going to allow you to fully appreciate all the hard work the developers put into making the game beautiful.
Beyond aesthetics, using a standard-definition television may also present practical problems. Many current generation games are being designed solely with high-definition displays in mind and something as simple as text soon becomes an unreadable smudge on the screen when forced onto a 4:3 relic from the Cold War. Trying to see how much time is left in the half while playing FIFA? Good luck telling that "3" from an "8."