Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 34
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 34
  3. Negative: 0 out of 34
Buy On
  1. The increased difficulty and lack of a Tutorial mode may turn off newcomers to the Wars series, but the fun, depth, and replayability of this game make it a killer ap for the GBA just as much as the original.
  2. From my perspective, I prefer the original on the sole basis of storyline, because it provides for a greater variety of enemy CO's and aids in creating a close bond with your own CO's. Either way, it's still a great game and is co-owner of the crown when it comes to "Best Game Boy Advance game."
  3. 100
    Attractive graphics, endless gameplay, engaging strategy, new features, and multiplayer out the, ah, missile silo... what more do ya want, a parade?
  4. 100
    One of the best games to hit the market this year, portable or otherwise.
  5. Packaged with a new, longer campaign, an expanded roster of COs, a bunch of new maps, and a new constructible unit, the game boasts plenty of original content.
  6. netjak
    An incredibly fun and addictive turn-based strategy game that even with its minimal improvements definitely overshadows what the original contained.
  7. Pocket Games
    Strategy and suspense play a greater role this time around, not just because the CPU is more intelligent, but also because each new cast member brings different abilities to the battlefield. [Fall 2003, p.34]
  8. 95
    Though there haven't been as many improvements made to the game, Advance Wars 2 still manages to shine... as it is a polished title that simply needs little improvememnt.
  9. It might look old-fashioned, but Advance Wars 2 is incredibly satisfying, pleasingly intelligent and never less than tremendous fun, even when it gets horribly hard. [GamesMaster]
  10. Game Informer
    Everything a fan of the series could want. There are more opportunities for dual army control (like the final battle in the original) as well as much more challenging maps to defeat. [July 2003, p.121]
  11. Full of all the exciting, addicting gameplay of the first game, and best of all, there's more of it. And it's more challenging. And there's a map editor! And there's...
  12. Nintendo Power
    There aren't as many unit types as I would have liked, but the improved mission diversity more than makes up for it. [July 2003, p.144]
  13. No GBA owner should be without it, and anyone getting their hands on a new GBA for the first time should make playing Advance Wars 2 one of their first orders of business.
  14. GameNow
    Definitely one of the meatiest handheld games out there, and if you let it, it'll absorb you as intensely as some of its larger siblings. [July 2003, p.51]
  15. Sure, it's a classic, but it's so obviously a £35 mission pack, and is probably double the price it should have been. Unless you were utterly captivated by the original and spend every day pining for more, or never owned the original, it's hard to justify why you should shell out for it.
  16. This is one of the few times where a sequel overshadows its predecessor. Even though the Advance Wars series will be seeing some time on the Gamecube sometime in the future, Black Hole Rising is still a blessing of wonderful quality, floating in a sea of mediocre ports and lacking games.
  17. 90
    The game is made for players looking for more of the same, not for players looking for "more." It's such an incremental improvement over the original that the number 2 in the title honestly doesn't deserve to be there.
  18. Despite the map design issues, the gameplay is solid and is definitely not a rehash of the original Advance Wars. The additional characters, new story emphasis, and diversity of the scenarios make Advance Wars 2 feel like a brand new game.
  19. 90
    Advance Wars 2 doesn't take any hard turns from the formula established in the original... and this is one of those rare cases where an overall lack of innovation is probably a good thing in the end.
  20. Cheat Code Central
    It has a great story and interesting characters and makes you use your brain.
  21. Nothing has changed too much from the first title, but I spent over 100 hours with it, and thanks to the new editions that Intelligent Systems did include, I'm likely to do the same again.
  22. I have spent well over 50 hours with this game thus far, and I find myself still revisiting it. It has deep, rewarding gameplay, as was as an immensely satisfying multiplayer experience.
  23. The original Advance Wars was a great game and it will enhance your enjoyment of this sequel when you eventually buy it. And you will. It's that addictive.
  24. I'm giving Advance Wars 2 an 8.5 because of the game's lack of any significant innovation (the missile silos and volcanos are nice, but one new tank doesn't cut it for me). The developers decided not to take any risks, which I can't really fault them for, since the first game was so damn close to perfection to begin with.
  25. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The sequel packs the same simple visuals and strategy system, but I think the rewarding gameplay's even better this time around. [July 2003, p.122]
  26. 82
    A great game, and better than the first in all of the important ways, but the impact is lessened by the similarity to the first game.
  27. Happily, no improvement over the original's deep and difficult strategizing.
  28. Edge Magazine
    Advance Wars 2 isn't really Advance Wars 2, it's Advance Wars 1.5. Still a superb game, it's only close to perfect for those who've never experienced perfection before. [Sept 2003]
  29. 80
    The sequel throws players into the thick of battle almost immediately with only the faintest of reintroductions to the Wars world. The missions also get very hard, very quickly, with some of the later missions proving especially demanding, even for Advance Wars veterans.
  30. GMR Magazine
    The game has changed just enough to please loyal fans, and when you've got a formula that makes for such a compelling gaming experience, why mess with it? [July 2003, p.80]
  31. Gameplay is the core of this title, resulting in fantastic replay value, only if you do not mind the fact that not much has changed from its predecessor. Due to the lack of new modes of play and new units, Advance Wars 1.5 would have been a more accurate title.
  32. It's still a buy, but fans hoping for something new are in for a sore surprise.
  33. 80
    Just like its predecessor, Advance Wars 2 is a great, excellently balanced, and super-fun strategy game, but it feels more like an expansion pack than a sequel. If you never played the first one, skip right to number two.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
#32 Most Shared Game Boy Advance Game of 2003
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 106
  2. Negative: 5 out of 106
  1. JedC.
    Oct 24, 2007
    This game is the best strategy game I have played in my life luckily for me I downloaded it but trust me NEVER avoid it in the shops.
  2. ProfessorChewy
    Sep 23, 2006
    AW2 is such a good game. I get so addicted to it, and you actually gotta think! The hard campaign kept me busy for a while (to tell d truth, AW2 is such a good game. I get so addicted to it, and you actually gotta think! The hard campaign kept me busy for a while (to tell d truth, it still is) and it gets frustrating but its still hard to stop playing. They should have put infantry actually dying instead of flying out and I like how the different continentz have different looks and stuffs. I've been playing this thing for years. What a great game. Full Review »
  3. JbS.
    May 15, 2006
    Advance Wars. The best game ever! It is the coolest game ever!! It is like a mix of an anime, modern combat and chess, Advance Wars is a Advance Wars. The best game ever! It is the coolest game ever!! It is like a mix of an anime, modern combat and chess, Advance Wars is a challenging game that is easy to pick up and play yer suprisingly deep. This game is not, and I repeat NOT for idiots because this game requires skill, strategy, and knowledge in combat. So, don't waste your time playing those cheap, rusty games! Move to the greatest strategic game in town! Advance to the next game! I guarantee you: YOU WILL enjoy it! 100% Fun. Full Review »