I think the original Uncharted is a bit overrated. As Sony’s answer to Gears of War, I think people glossed over its faults in order to rank it on that same level. It’s sequel, however, stands on its own merits as a landmark release.
Uncharted 2‘s key differentiator from its predecessor (and everything else out at the time) were its masterful setpieces. Admittedly, I didn’t even know what ‘setpiece’ meant prior to playing this game. However, it didn’t take long for the game to provide examples. From fighting through a building as its collapsing, to the bombastic train sequence, the game was an epic roller coaster ride.
The formula has been aped many times since, though rarely has it been matched or surpassed. Even Uncharted 3 fell short of the mark. For all of its high-impact thrills, Uncharted 2 deserves a nod on my list of the best from this console generation.