Last updated: August 25, 2021

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Even in a world where videogames already have completely digital interactions, there are loyal and nostalgic fans of consoles that, if they are not exactly analog, have many of their processes still considered old-fashioned. If you are part of this group, the following text is for you. After all, we'll talk all about the PS2 memory card.

With a memory card, you save your PlayStation 2 game data and progress. In the guide we've put together especially for you, we'll help you choose the best model for your gaming. We will show you information and features, share tips and, of course, show you the best ones in the market.




Summary

  • The memory card is the external PS2 storage responsible for saving game data, such as the progress of a campaign or the customization of an avatar.
  • The original Sony memory card has 8MB of storage space, but other manufacturers' models are sold that can have up to 256MB.
  • There are memory card modifications that, with an installed program, enable the PS2 to run games directly from a USB stick.

The best PS2 memory card: Our picks

Buying Guide

You're at home and the doorbell rings. At the door, your friend has a PS2 game in one hand, and a memory card in the other. Together, they will enable you to play that fighting title with all the characters unlocked, which means hours and hours of fun.

For this and similar scenes to happen, the PS2 memory card needs to be the right one, compatible and capable. In this Buying Guide, we will provide all the information you need to know which is the right model for you and your game.

Imagem mostra um grupo de cinco amigos se divertindo com um videogame. Dois deles jogam, e outros três reagem ao game, que está fora do quadro retratado.

The memory card ensures hours and hours of gaming for your crew, and that those hours are not lost either. (Source: Bernard Bodo/ 123rf.com)

What is the PS2 memory card for?

The memory card is an essential piece of equipment of a PlayStation 2. It is an external memory, responsible only and exclusively for saving the data of a game, such as the progress (how many stages have been beaten) and customizations (the skills or the appearance of a character).

The memory card appeared in the first PlayStation, with the same function and basic design, a kind of cartridge of the first console generations, but with an exclusive connectivity, that is, it only works for memory cards, and in a smaller size.

Imagem mostra, com um filtro rosa, uma composição contendo um controle de PlayStation 1 o próprio console, este com a maior parte fora do quadro. Ambos estão sobre uma superfície lisa.

Developed since the first PlayStation, the memory card is essential for the full use of a PS2. (Source: Nikita Kostrykin/ Unsplash.com)

How to use a PS2 memory card?

You have to imagine that the memory card is like a PlayStation 2 flash drive. Instead of saving files, however, game data is stored.

Using it is very simple. Just, with the console off, connect it to its proper port, which is just above the control input, identified as"Memory Card" and a number, 1 or 2, just above.

Then connect, insert the game disc and be happy. If there is already another memory card connected, when asked which will be asked to save the data, choose the corresponding port in which you connected your model, between 1 and 2.

Tip: avoid, if possible, to have too many memory cards. It can be difficult to identify which card has which data. If you have a lot of games, opt for models with as much space as possible

To access, explore, copy or even delete the data saved on your memory card, you must turn on the PS2 and, without inserting a disc, access the "Browse" option, and then select the desired memory card. From there, the interface is very simple and intuitive.

You can use the same memory card for different consoles. It is very common to use them to share game data with other users, who can copy them to their respective memory cards or even for you to play a particular title from a specific point.

This last option, however, depends on the compatibility between the games, which must be of the exact same version, either of software, or playback license, even the method of pressing the disc, since the difference in any of these aspects makes the PS2 understand that are different titles, and therefore unable to use the same data.

Is it worth having the memory card for PS2 with OPL?

As a console becomes obsolete, its modifications are developed and popularized. Perhaps the most developed and popular of them in relation to PS2 memory card is the OPL(Open PS2 Loader), a program installed inside the memory card that allows your PlayStation 2 to run games from a pendrive.

Its use, like everything in life, has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are easily identified, obviously, as the huge amount of games you can have inside a pendrive, even more with today's models that reach 256 GB of space.

Then, access to games from pendrive is very practical, at least in relation to the disc exchanges of normal versions of the PS2. There is, of course, the economy of not spending money on all those games you can have on the pendrive. Even the pendrives sold are cheaper than if added all the discs of the titles recorded on the pendrive.

The counterpoint is on the compatibility

The counterpoint is on account of compatibility problems, from the version of the OPL to the version of the console itself. If you are not going to buy a USB stick with games, get them is not exactly easy, requiring a few hours of research and download.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly is the potential damage OPL-enabled memory cards can do to your console. After all, we're talking about software that isn't original.

Advantages
  • Huge amount of games
  • Convenient access to games
  • Economy
Disadvantages
  • Compatibility
  • Unpractical to obtain
  • Potentially harmful to the console

Purchase Criteria: Comparing memory card models for PS2

The simplicity of the PS2 memory card is the most difficult part of your search for the right model. This is why the following list shows important product features that can serve as a basis for comparison and selection.

Modifications

One of the most recent advents for retro gamers are memory cards with modifications, that is, with installed programs, such as HDloader or OPL, which access "extra" PlayStation 2 functionalities, such as accessing games via pen drive or reading specific file formats.

If you opt for this type of memory card, the most important thing is to note the specifications of the programs installed, as the version, the exact functionality and their compatible models. It is also worth searching for the reliability of who is providing the product, since this type of memory card has the potential to damage the system of your PS2.

Imagem mostra um PlayStation 2 do tipo Slim sobre uma mesa de madeira, com outros itens aleatórios ao seu redor, desfocados.

Carefully research modified memory cards, they bring a lot of functionality, but can damage your console. (Source: Cameron Barnes/ Unsplash.com)

Compatibility

A very important point for choosing your PS2 memory card is compatibility, that is, with which versions of the traditional console the model of your choice is compatible.

There are, since the first release, 20 (!!!) versions of PlayStation 2, some of them radically different from each other, others with only minor changes from the previous version. But stay calm, because there are basically three variations that you should take into account:

  • PlayStation 2 Fat - Also known as "big brick", it is the first basic version of the console;
  • PlayStation2 Slim (700XX) - If the previous one was "fat"(Fat), the PS2 Slim was compact and very light, but also full of problems;
  • PlayStation 2 Slim (9000X) - The most recent edition of the console, also very compact, but with many of the problems solved.

Sony Original

One way to ensure that the PS2 memory card you choose will be of quality is to opt for the original Sony model. It is compatible with absolutely all versions of the console released.

But be aware! The memory card is original only if: it has a storage capacity of 8MB; it has the Sony, PlayStation and PlayStation 2 logos on the packaging.

Imagem mostra, em plano-detalhe, os botões de energia e do leitor de CD de um PlayStation 2, além do logo da Sony.

Opting for an original Sony model guarantees quality and unrestricted compatibility, despite the smaller storage. (Source: Nikita Kostrykin/ Unsplash.com)

Storage

The simplest way to choose a PS2 memory card is by its storage. There are six possible capacities:

  • 8 MB
  • 16 MB
  • 32 MB
  • 64 MB
  • 128 MB
  • 256 MB

The idea is to choose the model with the storage that matches your amount of games and saved data, i.e. the more games, the more space.

(Source of the highlighted image: Nikita Kostrykin / Unsplash.com)

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