Tribes: Aerial Assault, to me, is fun; I think the online playability is a ton better than SOCOM.
There's no real online chatting in T:AA, but you've got different ships and jobs to do, whether it be repairing damaged equipment or running in light armor to Capture The Flag.
For newbies, there's lock-on mode, so that helps... and eventually, you get better at it. I didn't think I'd like CTF that much, but as I got better, it's my favorite mode. I'm still getting used to DeathMatch/Team DeathMatch... but sneaking in and taking that flag is great.
I recently had to buy a new PS2. I had one of the original series as well. It started with trouble reading PS1 games and slow loading. Then it started having trouble reading just about any game or DVD. Then it wouldn't read anything.