Your 'better quality disc(s)' probably still isn't/aren't good enough, or you have another problem which produces this crazy results on your side...
Have you ever tried loading the game from another device than disc?
PS2 V7/DMS3 V2 (FW:2.4b7); Seagate Baracuda 200GB
PS2 V7/CC1.0 (FW:34 hacked v2 BM:2.1.6); Maxtor DiamondMAX9 PLUS 160GB
PS2 SCPH-30004R; NoMod+NoLaser
3xSony MC 8MB
MAX/Datel 16MB with Boot-CD
Custom FMCB 1.8b+ Beta-Build, my AIO 0.5, Sony&xRhino-Linux