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Universal acclaim- based on 7365 Ratings

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  1. Jan 3, 2014
    Quite possibly the best FPS ever made. People below and above this who have rated it 5 to 0 have either been influenced by how bad Steam used to be (which I can really understand, 3-5 hours installation time is really going to change your overall opinion of a game) and have not remebered that this game was made in 2004. For the time it was released, the story, AI, graphics and physics engine were exceptional and such quality in a game was unheard of. If you want more up-to-date versions of this game that continue the storyline and improve texture quality (and a good chance to see what Steam as it was then turned into; a brilliant idea that other publishers then took up, such as Uplay [Ubisoft], Origin [EA] and the XBOX LIVE Marketplace [Microsoft]) then get Steam and knock yourself out with Half Life: Episode 1 and Half Life: Episode 2. Expand
  2. Apr 12, 2014
    What's to say that hasn't been said already? It's a Half-Life game. It's one of the best FPS's with great game effects ever published. If you haven't played this game...well, you're missing out. Even as dated as it is the game is still unbelievably fun to play.
  3. DME
    Jun 10, 2012
    Half-Life 2 was one of the greatest games I have ever played. It's very diverse, immersing, interesting, and just plain fun. One of the coolest things about it was the way you could manipulate the environment in crazy ways to complete your tasks. Unfortunately, the game has one drawback. It has an appalling ending. But, everything leading up to the ending is such a blast, it's forgivable.
  4. Apr 16, 2014
    The game I compare all others to. I love it! The first ever time I felt like I was playing a movie. It feels dated to look at now, but the game play and sound design are still far better than most new games. If you've not played it yet, BUY IT NOW! But get the PC version - the Xbox one was a poor port.
  5. Apr 19, 2011
    The greatest game to date. I discovered this game only last year and it changed it set the infinitely high bar for all FPS to come. Half Life 2 has the most immerse and captivating story line of any video game, and ideas beyond brilliant. The game makes me angry, and happy, delivers satisfaction and is mind wracking at the same time. A beautiful blend of story, interaction and violence. My absolute compliments to Valve for the cheat engine as well, I had A LOT of fun after the campaign just messing with cheats and mods.

  6. Sep 3, 2012
    If you are reading the reviews there is a chance you didn't played this game yet. Let me tell you one thing: I envy you. This game has the best and longer FPS campaign ever.
  7. Sep 22, 2012
    It's been said a million times that this game is literally perfect in every aspect, but what struck me most was just how intellectual the puzzles and combat tactics were. This game will give your brain a workout that you will never forget.
  8. Sep 10, 2012
    Awesome game, impressively well balanced, fun to play, even over and over, simple but efficient at what it does : entertainment. Clearly, here Valve has shown to everyone that it is possible to make a great FPS without having to be weaker on some other aspects of the game. Hats off.
  9. May 6, 2012
    This game is perfect. Simply perfect.
    Amazing graphics which are beautiful even on weak PCs because of compatibility and greatly designed Source graphics engine. The story is great, voice acting is above average and sound quality breathtaking.
  10. Feb 4, 2012
    Half-Life 2 is simply amazing. I've noticed some reviewers (one in particular) mentioned that Half-Life 2 "has no storyline". Well, I have one question to ask : are you retarded?

    Anyway, Half-Life 2 = Amazing. The graphics are good! People have to realise that Half-Life 2 was released in 2004. It does not have the graphics that we have today. Half-Life 2 provides excellent voice acting
    from all the cast, including the great Merle Dandridge (Alyx Vance).

    Half-Life 2 also has famous actors such as Robert Culp and Robert Guillaume. Half-Life 2 earned 39 Game of the Year awards. This shows that, well, Half-Life 2 is damn awesome.

    Great gameplay, great storyline, great voice acting, great soundtrack. Great. Buy this game!
  11. Oct 18, 2011
    Absolutely the #1 Shooter of all time. There is nothing to compare it to because it is just that groundbreaking and original. Half Life 2 Possesses a level of game flow that few games even attempt. By far for the price of it there is no reason every gamer in the world should not own this game.
  12. Jun 6, 2012
    Half life 2 is without a doubt one of the best games ever made. I wish I could say otherwise but it is the truth, everything about this game: the story, the tight level design, the graphics and sound is done with a rare care and attention which most developers are stubbornly against. Despite being eight years old, HL2 is and always will be a benchmark in the video games industry.
  13. Nov 9, 2011
    This game is one of the greatest games i ever played, its so huge and so immersing, you really feel like your the character that your playing and Alyx is just the best female character in a game because its doesnt appeal to sex but appeal to women that they can be brave, intelligent and pratical and also she looks like my girlfriend :P but anyways its a great game and im hopping to Valve to release the final episode of this series because i want revenge on what happen in Ep2. Expand
  14. Oct 26, 2011
    You have never played a game so diverse in it's environments and gameplay variety, it is quite simple one of the best games I have ever played. It has managed to trump its predecessor in every conceivable way, and then some... The Graphics in 2011 aren't all that great (download Cinematic Mod) but that aside, the sheer amount of fun you can have for the price is ridiculous. You are never in one place too long, or doing something for so long it becomes tedious, as the game takes you through different areas, changing your play style subtly and introducing new mechanics and weapons (such is the world renowned Gravity Gun) as well as new enemies. The story unfolds very, very well and the pacing is of the highest quality you will find in a shooter even now in 2011. Voice work is top-notch and animations can be stellar even by todays standards. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys shooters for what they are and is willing to ditch the typical iron-sight for a more classic, fire-from-the-hip feel. Trust me when I say, it is worth every cent. Expand
  15. Oct 26, 2011
    A timeless classic which even in the current era, still stands apart. It delivers an experience like no other, seamless and totally and truly immersive. Never has a game actually put me in a characters very shoes and made me see through his very eyes.
  16. Dec 9, 2011
    No doubt that this is the best game ever build. The lengthy single play game gives you everything you would expect from a shooter; great action scenes, a diversity of good weapons, horror scenes, a great physics engine and so on. This is a game that raised the bar and is up to today still very enjoyable to play.
  17. Aug 23, 2012
    There isn't much to add, its almost a perfect game! Only music is a little bit weak. Hopefully Half-Life 3 score will be much better. All other great games have great memorable music.
  18. Sep 17, 2012
    This is the best FPS of all time, and I say that with 100% confidence. No other FPS even comes close to the sheer brilliance of this game. The physics, level design, and gameplay are unmatched. If you haven't play this yet, you are missing out.
  19. Nov 12, 2011
    Half Life 2 is one of the best games I have ever played, the storyline is fantastic! On the very first level you get sucked into the world of City 17. Basically the game takes place years after HL1. You are a scientist named Gordon Freeman and your mission is to try and stop the Combine from wiping out humanity all together. The Physics are very well done thanks to the Source Engine. The sounds and graphics are also very good as well.

    Bravo Valve!
  20. Feb 20, 2012
    I can't really say anything that hasn't already been said. This game is great, period. I would consider it art that should be preserved through the centuries. I'll remember this game when I'm an old man wandering around in my underwear inside a department store.
  21. Nov 27, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In my honest opinion, this is the best FPS video game in the 2000s decade. Despite its outdated graphics and being a 2004 game, the gameplay is way more superior than most FPS games today (i.e. Black Ops, Modern Warfare 2/3, Halo, etc.), and it has an excellent deep plot, which, for me, has political themes as it is about a revolution against foreign alien invaders called the Combine. In addition, the plot has much twists and suspense that will make you feel intrigued and curious on what's going to happen next in the game. In HL2, you play as a mute Resistance leader, Gordon Freeman, in a revolution against the Combine, which was indirectly caused by the Black Mesa Incident in HL1 and with the excellent first person feel, you are able to go in Gordon Freeman's "shoes" as he leads the resistance against the alien invaders. Plus, there are puzzles that make the game challenging, which are mostly used by the Gravity Gun, an awesome weapon intended for carrying objects used for puzzles, and using innocuous objects as weapons against Xen aliens and Combine Soliders. Another proof that HL2 is superior to today's FPS games is that there are various enemies and environments, thus making the game less repetitive and more addicting, especially in the Ravenholm level and the Citadel missions, where you can even throw Combines everywhere with your gravity gun, making you feel like a god. In overall, HL2 is full of thrills and adrenaline which no other FPS games can have. I hope Gabe Newell exits HL3 from vaporware so that I can know what will happen next after Eli was killed by Combine Advisors. Expand
  22. Nov 28, 2011
    Holy **** this has to be my favorite game of all time. The game utilizes the then new Source technology, bringing a very realistic atmosphere and backdrop. Half Life 2 brings a whole new idea to the Half Life franchise, years after the events of the first one. The game starts out in a train, much like the first one, which was very cool. The game progresses at the perfect speed, and weapons are obtained throughout the game. My final say: this game is definitely worth the purchase, and is worth its price because even when you are finished playing, you will want to replay it several more times. Pick this game up! Expand
  23. Dec 7, 2011
    Thinking of buying HL2? Please do - it's one of the best games ever made. The 4,293 other users and the 96/100 metacritic score justify my opinion. Definitely worth the purchase.
  24. Jan 3, 2012
    Poor graphics. That's IT. A true benchmark for PC games, and an example all developers should learn from. Award-worthy story, overwhelming atmoshpere, dynamic physics, perfectly paced action and puzzles, intense firefights, good character development, surrealism in video game form, and one of the biggest moral plights in video gaming history; Gordon Freeman--the "badass normal" scientist turned soldier, originally intending to create and produce, suddenly turned warrior with all the paradoxis of killing to save, fighting for peace, and destroying to create that go along with it when he (technically was used) to start a chain reaction of events that ends everything he ever cared about. Which he only found out about after several years of being in limbo. If anyone's tragic, it's him. And he's never said a word. Expand
  25. Jan 23, 2012
    Okay let me get down to it Half Life 2 is practicably flawless. The graphics are great and give some really great effects especially with the physics engine 10 out of 10. The sound design is beautiful from crashing buildings to the moans of striders in the distance. Voice acting is also top notch 10 out of 10. The level design is top notch in every area in the game i have a few problems with one part but that's just me. 10 out of 10. The game play is amazing its always surprising from level to level there are parts were you will be in a car running over giant alien bugs, then in a town alone with no ammo and full of zombies, then to a full out wars and great puzzles. This deserves a 10 out of 10. The final part of my review the brilliant story. Just like Half Life 1 its all toward from the players perspective Gordon Freeman with no cut scenes. Without spoiling to much its been twenty years after the first game and a alien race called the Combine have enslaved humanity on its on planet forcing people to work as slaves. That is all i will reveal the rest is up to you to find out. It gets a 10 out of 10. So this game gets a 10 out of 10. Expand
  26. Feb 3, 2012
    My gaming experience was strictly separated with HL2 in "before" and "after". No other game could give that much fun, excitement and pleasure so far. And I doubt there will be one.

    I even agree for an experiment -- to loose all the gaming experience I have for now and remember only HL2. Because one journey of Mr. Freeman costs so much.
  27. Feb 12, 2012
    There is no better game in the world. It combines elements from almost all genres, from first person shooters to puzzles. The game has some horror elements, and some parts that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. This game has something for everyone.
    The game itself is pretty good. For being released so long ago, the physics and graphics aren't as bad as you would think. Actually, they're
    pretty nice. In my whole time playing I've never seen a texture glitch, or an error in the physics. It can run pretty good with an out of date computer too. You don't need to steal a computer from NASA to play this game well. In fact, that dinosaur of a computer you keep in your back room or basement could probably run this fine.
    When you're playing the game, you know A LOT of time went into designing and planning this game. It seems that whoever made the game knew which turn you would make before you made it, and planned for it accordingly. The design of the levels are so complex and interesting that I don't know how any human being could create something so amazing. You may walk through a door and find that the hallway ahead is blocked, so you take around five or ten minutes navigating through air vents and dark rooms, only to find yourself popping out right on the other side of the blocked hallway. Ten minutes to move ten feet.
    The characters in the game also add to the amazing feel that the game gives you. The characters really find a way to connect to you in this game. It gets to the point where you actually feel like you're Gordon Freeman. It makes you want to laugh and cry with the other characters. The emotions that the game conveys are amazing.
    To sum it all up, this game is amazing. Absolutely amazing. I could not recommend this game anymore. This game is easily my favorite game of all time. If you have a little money to spare, this is the absolute perfect thing to invest your money in. Every second you play it will be worth it.
  28. Feb 17, 2012
    This is a masterpiece of gaming, I love this game for anything that may be in the games! Audience of many millions of fans will attest, for which this game has become something more than just a good game, it's a good childhood memory ... 3
  29. Apr 28, 2012
    Where do I start. In 1997 Valve made its debut with its legendary title Half Life. The Game sparked a new era of gaming, and redefined the First Person Shooter by going well and beyond just shooting. Any one who played Half life, and immersed themselves in the experience would understand this. Then in 2004, Half Life 2 is released to the public, throwing the player into a post-apocalyptic earth. Let me make my opinion up front. Half Life 2 is positively the best First Person Shooter that I have ever experienced in my life. With its ground breaking graphics, which still compete with games of today. Its advanced AI systems. Its superb voice actors. Its intense gameplay. All "COMBINE" with each other to form an amazing experience. There is only one issue with the company Valve, and that is that they take forever to make a video game. However, the end result seems to justify their means of achieving it. All UPHOLD THE UNIVERSAL UNION! Expand
  30. Sep 23, 2012
    This game is virtually perfect in every aspect. The graphics are beautiful, the plot is amazing, and the characters deep. When I first played this game, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It is easy to tell the developers of this game and other valve games, love their job. I hope they do, because they do it d*mn well. The puzzles aren't what you'd normally think. They they make you think, like they did in Portal and Portal 2. This game can be funny, scary, disturbing, and great. If you have played and liked Half Life, get this game and episodes 1 & 2. If you didn't like HL1 or haven't played it, just get ALL of them! Gosh! Now, about Half Life 3... (valve can't count to three though L4D 1 & 2 Portal 2 TF2 HL2 episode 2. HL3 is probably going to be HL2 episode 2 part 2) Expand
  31. Apr 22, 2014
    Damn. That's about all I can say on this game. It's so good it left me at awe like the first one did. This is an essential to all gamers alike. The engine on this makes it a beauty visually for it's time, and the ability to intereact with items in your surroundings and such makes this all the more pleasurable as you are able to use a few guns that typically look cheesy but on Half Life these guns are just as cool as Brando. You take on the role of hero Gordon Freeman a physicist I think that is by chance a bad ass with weaponry etc. Anyways you can figure out the story yourselves. On PC this is a must have for everyone who likes to game. On steam it's almost a crime if you don't at least try to play the game demo etc. This game is probably one of my personal favorites along with the sequel/expansions that are just as good but visually better. The game is a non stop thrill and I recommend this to anyone as you encounter a lot of puzzles with your surroundings (not puzzles like Tetris mind you) and and action fps what is not to like about this game? Expand
  32. Jan 3, 2014
    Half-Life 2... Where do I start. Even now I am still in awe by just how amazing this game is. I wish I could rate this something like 9.9/10; if it weren't for a few minor things than it would have gotten my full appraisal.

    The gameplay is varied, you could either be trying to avoid walking on sand to attract antlions, driving around in different vehicles, or shooting through hoards of
    zombies/combine. Along with this, the game uses a physics engine to make gameplay varied, either in puzzles or in combat.
    The story is immersive, well paced, and interesting. Superb dialogue. Along with all of this, the game looks and runs very well.

    The game had minor faults. Some areas would feel a little too long, i found myself really only using the shotgun and SMG, the other weapons I would use only once my ammo ran out. The rocket launcher I used basically when I absolutely needed to e.g when trying to take down a helicopter. The ending was great, but left more questions than answers.

    Overall, the game was just astounding and surprisingly good. If you are a fan of first person shooters you need to play Half-Life 2.
  33. Jwv
    Jan 18, 2014
    Probably the best single-player game I have ever played on PC. The Source engine has a great eye for detail; portrays a realistic picture of a totalitarian regime, which kindles a real sense of sympathy with the rebels; a squad-system (although not the best); likeable, unique and realistic characters; varied gameplay and locations with some particularly epic parts like Ravenholm (which even now, 10 years later, still gives me the creeps), the hovercraft and buggy scenes, and your first Strider-confrontation; cool weapons; smart AI; an enormous amount of different enemies to shoot; a great story; a great momentum in the game (action-packed and serene scenes alternate nicely); an enjoyable soundtrack adapted to every moment (cf. combat, Ravenholm, etc.), good voice-acting and great sound-effects (anyone not creeped out by the zombie-dogs?); smart puzzles (but just some really stand out), great use of physics; and one of the best first hours of gameplay ever (with a great sense of dependence, realism and adrenaline). Expand
  34. Feb 5, 2014
    Only two games ever I can say that the second I finished playing, that I just started over immediately, being this and Super Metroid. Half Life 2 is just one of those games that gets everything right. To find fault, one must look pretty hard. Valve brilliantly incorporated it's source engine in their true masterpiece.

    When you find truly good games, you of ten find things put in by
    the developers to enhance the realism. For example, in Metroid Prime, Samus's reflection can be seen during flashes of light and certain events. She also interacts with her arm cannon if you wait around long enough, creating the whole image that Samus isn't just what you tell her to do. This is evident in HL2 in spades. Explosions deafen you, guns wield realistically, and infinite amounts of care went into character's expressions and tone of voice.

    This game is truly an instant classic that has an amazing story, well developed characters, awesome gameplay, and truly impressive depth. This game is good to the core.
  35. Mar 27, 2014
    Graphics: For a 2004 game. the graphics can't be beaten and somehow are still kinda up-to-date even in 2014

    Gameplay: Smooth, no bugs/glitches, nothing that annoys you constantly other then one or two parts where you couldn't find the exit or couldn't complete the puzzle.

    Story: Better then anything I've ever seen, total masterpiece! The game doesn't only uses dialogs to give the
    storyline but also graffiti/posts and even sounds to not only immerse the player to the world but tell the story of it. many times you can hear ingame "echos" of the past.

    There're very few games in my 10/10 games list, Half-life and Half-life 2 are ones of it.

    for all those who say the game is overrated are trying to be "out-of-the-hoard" and fight against psychology, something they don't understand is impossible.
  36. Apr 26, 2012
    Truly one of the greatest videogames - nay - pieces of entertainment of our generation. Combining a well-executed script, engaging plot and lovable characters that will become instantly attachable. The blend of puzzle and action makes for exceptional gameplay and Valve's Source Engine flexes it's muscles on this title. Half-Life 2 is the definition of a perfect videogame.

    And, there's
    that boat-ride... Expand
  37. Jun 3, 2011
    Quite possibly the best FPS ever made. No wait, it is... Both the critics and users alike agree! Storyline is solid... (wish Hollywood would figure out how to write good entertainment like Valve did) and the action, the music, the graphics. Just everything is badass!
  38. Jun 12, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Superbe jeu, à découvrir ou à redécouvrir, découvert a sa sortie, je viens de le redécouvrir avec une carte graphique nouvelle génération, que du bonheur ! Expand
  39. Aug 16, 2011
    Creo que lo he jugado muchas veces, lo voy a descargar de nuevp desde mi steam para jugarlo otra vez, es el mejor fps de todos, jamas me aburre y la historia te inmersa en un mundo realmente increible!!, ojala pudiera entrar en el juego!!, le doy 10, lo he jugado desde muchos años...realmente sick!!!
  40. Aug 24, 2011
    this game has an amazing story, amazing atmosphere, amazing gameplay and this is also responsible for some of the greatest machinima videos. overall this is an amazing experience you cannot miss
  41. Jun 15, 2012
    One of the most important experiences of my life. Completely changed the way I look at the world, made me start appreciating the greatness, beauty and mystery of life, world, universe, science, technology, intelligence and human spirit. 10/10, 100%, I don't think that any videogame will ever influence me so much.
  42. Sep 18, 2011
    Half-Life 2 is an amazing game that should be in every household for FPS fans. This is the best FPS I have ever played. The story and voice acting was performed and done perfectly in every aspect, all the emotions and dialog was spot on with the events happening in the game. The story of Half-Life is truly amazing. It pull's you in and makes you want to keep playing, when most of the time with first person shooters, the formula is "Go here, kill those guys, BIG EXPLOSION, game end". But with Half-Life 2, they slow down and take some time to think. And not only that, the action is amazing and fun. There is only one problem and that is that the AI is stupid and lacking at times, but it doesn't effect the game play that much, it just makes the enemies a little easier. Any gamer that has a brain in their head, should own this game, or have at least played it. Expand
  43. Sep 23, 2011
    Will be the best FPS you will ever play, Valve is a company that knows how to make an amazing story, and great game play and voice acting. A 10 can't even do justice to this game. Truly the best PC game of all time. deserves a 100, some critics are stupid.
  44. Apr 5, 2012
    if you're looking endless action, endless fun, the best story ever made, the best AI, awesome and powerful guns, strong and really creepy disgusting enemies, the best graphics and physics, great soundtrack, intrigue, emotion, chills, lovely characters, the best protagonist and everything inside a FPS game, then you need to buy half life 2
  45. Jan 1, 2014
    Absolutely, unquestionably one of the greatest games to hit the surface of our fair planet. Still, to this day amazing. I have lost count of the amount of times I have played through this game. The elegance of the leve design is unbelievable. introduce a concept.... let you use it.... then challenge you with it and make you feel really clever for working it out. Stunning story.
  46. Dec 14, 2011
    This is the best game i haver played.i have played it 5 times and never get bored.It has good graphics and best game play .True value for money game. I am eagerly waiting for hl2 ep3
  47. Oct 9, 2012
    Lo primero que debes hacer si estas leyendo esto y aun no has jugado a este juego es ir corriendo a comprarlo/descargarlo/loqueseaperohazloya!! porque es el mejor juego de las últimas décadas (el mejor que yo he jugado). La primera vez, de las muchas que me lo pasé, fue una experiencia genial e increible:
    gráficos, sonido, ambientación, inteligencia de
    los enemigos, y por encima de todo, jugabilidad.
    Es el juego en primera persona mas profundo, variado, imaginativo y divertido que existe!
    Una obra maestra que aunque tenga ocho años, sigue siendo imbatible hoy en día.
    Gráficos: 10 Sonido: 9 Diversión/jugabilidad: 10 Duracíon: 8,5
  48. Jun 12, 2012
    From the gameplay, to graphics and sound section then, this game is spectacular. A compelling story, divided into episodes, not so linear gameplay, varied and full of surprises, with the use of physics. Using a gravity gun is the most innovative game, something never seen before. The Source engine debuts with this game, and to date, complied very well with one of the best physical that can be found for a game. The original voices are among the best out there for a game (Valve always take care of this). Expand
  49. Dec 1, 2011
    Simply the best singleplayer experience offered by any fps ever. Who says you need to invest big time into multiplayer to make a game that people might actually buy. The $9.99 steam price tag also helps this game greatly. Reasonable pricing and solid singleplayer make this game simply unbeatable.
  50. Dec 31, 2011
    I have finally got around to playing this game and completing the original which I started 11 years ago! Having played FPS that were released in 2009 and 2010 I am amazed with Halflife 2- the graphics are still great and the level design is spectacular. I enjoyed the zombie level so much that I just brought the left for dead games for 4 euros from steam. All the levels have their own very distinct character but somehow you move from one to the next seamlessly. The campaign has so much variety- you could be driving along the open coast next to the sea in one (with the sound of the sea in your ears if you get a quiet moment) or feeling oppressed and claustrophobic as the evil combine guard infiltrate the apartment blocks you're hiding in. Great game- still have not found any FPS since 2004 that surpasses it. Expand
  51. Dec 26, 2011
    Endless possibilities awaiting for you with the Source Engine presented by VALVe Corporation with their best game ever made: Half-Life: 2.
    Extreme action in this FPS game with one of the most original stories,between us,who the hell would had thought of putting a scientist as the main character in an FPS game? There is no reason for your delay,if You haven't played it yet,go buy it now.
    trust me,I know it will give you 'the feeling'.

    Sam Segal.26.12.11
  52. Jan 9, 2012
    Grafica stupefacente; gameplay straordinario e coinvolgente; AI imprevedibile (quindi egregia); armi originali (provare il ferormone per credere): insomma, non si può pretendere di più da un gioco d'azione in prima persona che, a 7 anni dalla sua comparsa, sa ancora regalare incredibili emozioni. Questo secondo capitolo entra di diritto, come il precedente, nella Hall of Fame dei videogiochi. Expand
  53. Apr 10, 2012
    I don't write anything insightful. Half-Life 2 is one of the best game ever made. For me the biggest advantage is the story and well written characters, especially Alyx. Must play!
  54. Mar 22, 2013
    Half life 2 is truly the best single videogame I've ever played. Great graphics, physics, level design, plot, characters, weapons, difficulty, enemies, and overall gameplay experience I have had and probably will have for a long time. (Read: When HL3 comes out) And once you've finished the game, you can enjoy going back and finding all the subtle things you missed, or try out some of the community made mods for the game. You can get this game for $10 which is just about the best price vs. entertainment factor I've ever seen. Ever. Expand
  55. Jul 23, 2012
    Not much to add here- a game every gamer should play at least once. A story, soundtrack, and experience to rival that of any other piece of fiction. Despite not really enjoying HL1's overall gameplay (and horribly dated graphics), HL2 more than makes up for it. Anyone who dismissed this game after having an unfavorable experience with its predecessor absolutely should give it a second look.
  56. Feb 3, 2012
    The greatest modern FPS game!
    Although it was made in 2004, it is way ahead of many modern games, like Call of Duty!
    Think of it as like Classical Greece compared to the Persian empire!
    It is the only game I know that can rival Doom or Heretic!
  57. May 23, 2012
    I have played many games, but there is only one game I keep coming back to hoping to know what happens next, and this is it. My favourite game of all time!
  58. Nov 2, 2012
    This is the greatest video game ever made.

    As someone who has been a fan of Half Life 2 for years, I have never really quit playing it - although I have taken some pretty big breaks in between. It is during my current playthrough that I decided to come write a short review on Metacritic to describe just how I feel about this game.

    I am sure there isn't a reputable gamer alive that
    isn't fully aware of Half Life 2 and the hype surrounding it. And as beloved as it is, I would still so far as to say that this game is one of the most underrated games of all time.

    How can a game that is widely considered by many as the greatest shooter to date, and even still by others (such as myself) as the greatest video game period, be underrated?

    As difficult that would be to explain, it's equally difficult attempting to convey just how great this game is in so short of space. Indeed, the fact that a game so good can be so under appreciated is something that has baffled me for quite a time. In my humble opinion, no amount of praise or appreciation for Half Life 2 would suffice. What Valve has created is simply a work of art. The visuals, sound, gameplay, and storytelling are of among the best the gaming world had ever seen. It's incredible just how amazing and groundbreaking was every facet of Half Life 2, in respect to the time it was released, and even more incredible that each groundbreaking aspect was all in the same game. The game that literally had it all. The Beatles of the PC gaming world. The fact that Half Life 2 can still be played today, 8 years later, and can be every bit as impressive as modern shooters (more, in some instances), truly testifies to just how great this game is. This is truly the greatest game ever made.
  59. Feb 24, 2012
    Just such an amazing game. So unique and amazing. It's just so smart. It has such a think story line. It's not just a "shoot whatever you see" game. If you like action it has a lot of that but it is also very intellectual. NEVER WILL REGRET BUYING IT!!!!
  60. Mar 4, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. OMG this game is so awesomely brilliant, its one of the best games i have ever played (I've played hl1, hl2, hl2ep1, hl2ep2.) i just think its just brilliant, graphics are brilliant, and the way some of the fast zombies run at you was terrifyingly brilliant (especially when you have all around sound) Expand
  61. Mar 7, 2012
    Half-Life 2 is an epic sci-fi FPS, with one of the best atmospheres of any games i have ever played. The game offers intense and varied FPS game play with a great story and some puzzles on the way. Probably my favorite game to this date.
  62. Mar 13, 2012
    What can I say? This game really shouldnt even be called a game. What it sets out to do is so beyond our standard notion of videogames that it defies that categorization. The fundamental difference between Half Life 2 and "videogames" is that Half Life 2 wants you to go on an adventure, not play a game. Do you see the difference? Videogames are predicated on the fact that they have to entertain you through the provision of some form of "play" or "game". Half Life 2 isn't about getting to play with a gun, or killing a roomful of aliens: It's not a game. It's not play. All that stuff comes as an afterthought. The entire point of Half Life 2 is that you get to witness the most important day in Gordon Freeman's life in its entirety - and It was one hell of a day. If you were to watch a playthrough of Half Life 2 without having any control over the character at all, It really wouldn't effect the overall experience that much. No other game studio has had, or since had, the balls to do something like this, and not even Valve -at least not until Half Life 3. Half Life 2 is virtual reality at it's finest, and you owe it to yourself to experience it. Collapse
  63. Mar 13, 2012
    Best Game Forever! The game is very well armed, the maps are unique, and the game has a plot that grabs you.
    Better gameplay, better story, good graphics, nothing else to say!
    just, Who the hell is Gman?!
  64. Mar 15, 2012
    I am 44 years old, and a hardcore gamer. Started out when the first personal computer came out. Have played almost 90% of the games since 1983 to 2012. The only game that impressed me to this day in terms of storyline, graphics, game physics and rendering has to be half-life 2. Its the only game that will keep making you come back and play it over and over without getting bored. Many times i have started this game and finished it in one sitting. This is how good it gets and still has that spark. No other games will make you feel that, thats a challenge. Expand
  65. Nov 19, 2012
    Who does not like FPS probably never played Half-Life. Why? Simple! This game has one of the best storylines I've ever seen in a game!! Stupid games like Call Of Duty and Battlefield who invests only in Multiplayer mode sullied the image of the true FPS games.
  66. Apr 1, 2012
    Half Life 2 is FPS perfection. Nothing gets better than this. For a game of 2004 the graphics are astounding. The interaction in-game characters have with you and facial movement is remarkable. The shooting is back and better than ever. Now less repetitive, longer, better and sexier.
  67. May 7, 2012
    Possibly the greatest game of all time.
    Fantastic story, incredible gameplay, graphics that still hold up in 2012, and characters that are impossible to not love. This game, nay this masterpiece, is a landmark in gaming.
  68. Apr 12, 2012
    Throughout the years, the originality and the way Half Life 2 sucks you in, has made it my favorite game. I've played it countless times all the way through, and unless I lose my mind, I plan on playing any future release that is put out. Thanks Valve!
  69. Apr 21, 2012
    This game is one of the greatest games ever on Pc. I would like to go to what the people who gave it said. I've heard people saying it's unrealistic and that is really stupid thing to say because if it's a game it will never be realistic and there are freaking Head Crabs so I don't think realism was their goal. It has been compared to Far Cry but in my opinion the graphics and gameplay in this game were a million times better. Some people said it was boring but it isn't just run and gun there are actually some pretty awesome puzzles in this game. The AI isn't bad at all and the people who said that must have been playing on easy because they actually tried and sometimes succeeded to out maneuver me. The story was great and this was a huge advancement from the first one and if for whatever reason you don't have it buy it for only $10. You will definitely get a bang for your buck. Expand
  70. May 1, 2012
    Best. Game. Ever. Created.
    Vavle made a big step in the right direction, and since HL2 many game developers tried to copy it. But they will fail, because in my opinion, the only game which will (or could... yeah, Valve can't count to 3) make it is HL3.
    10 out of 10.
  71. May 7, 2012
    Really awesome game!The best storyline combined with the source engine= this game!I recommend it to everyone who is in doubt, this game rules, and the price is too low in my opinion! (6.99 euro)
  72. May 10, 2012
    Actually one of my BEST OF THE BEST games! When I played it for the first time I was like: WTF? VALVe are GODS! So, if you ask me if its HL best game, I'll answer: No, HL isn't game, HL is religion! :-)
  73. May 13, 2012
    Half-Life 2 is an excellent single player story driven first person shooter of the highest quality. Even having been out for a few years its production values shine through in every aspect of the game. Be it the tight shooter controls, the well thought out level design, the story moments or the pioneering physics based environmental puzzles the game maintains its ability to entertain like few others. If you are looking for a multi-player online shooter HL2 is not the best choice. However if you are a fan of FPS and have yet to play Half-Life 2 you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy and play through one weekend if for no other reason than to play a landmark title in the genre. Authors note: All of my reviews content cover what you should expect when you purchase the game to enjoy it. My scores cover what I feel is the overall quality of the game and may not reflect what I cover in the bulk of my review. Expand
  74. Jun 2, 2012
    This game is way too good. It does not deserve a review, it would be futile to try and judge this game. It is too perfect. Judging it would delay Half life 3 even further.
  75. Mar 23, 2014
    Best single player game ever. 10 years later most of these scenes are still better looking than the newest games that come out in 2014, and it deserves an 11 for that. Graphics aren't just high definition textures and more polygons, they are also the context they are put into, proportion, and sound.
  76. Jun 18, 2012
    Simply amazing. A large improvement from the original. The story can be hard to follow, but it's still interesting. Graphics are amazing as always, especially with the new physics engine implemented in. I'm looking forward to the future of this game franchise.
  77. Jul 22, 2012
    And in response to some fa**ot that commented some time ago: I'm sure in 2004 this was the best game ever and blew minds, but this is 2012 and I'm judging it by 2012 standards. -ok fine 1) the game is 100% linear, claustrophobically linear. -Sometimes linear is needed for a storyline to be followed right. 2) it handles like **** The controls are not responsive, jumping is a pain, etc.
    -The handling is just perfect.
    -The controles are responsive, just not for your **** HP wireless keyboard, or maybe you're playing it on ps3/xbox.
    -You can jump by pressing space.
    3) The guns are really dull except for the gravity gun.
    -That can be set by setting difficulty.
    -It could also help a whole lot to aim at the enemy.
    4) The enemy AI is beyond retarded.
    -Set dificulty higher.
    5) The story is an incoherent mess.
    -Follow the storyline. It aint hard to understand if you understand english.
    6) the art is soviet era rot, brown and grey and depressing That is because the enviroment is supposed to be depressing. It aint Angry birds you're playing.
    7) the assests look like they are from 2004, you know when videocards had 128mb of ram and people were playing games on the ps2 and original xbox? And don't forget that this game was made for original xbox. -The game is for 2004, so I guess it looks like it's from 2004.
    8) puzzles involve moving boxes around, and platforming with above mentioned **** controls. All in all, this game just does not stack up to great shooters like like crysis, Stalker, Metro, New Vegas, DayZ, etc. I supose if you are into playing old games like Fallout 1&2, Thief, etc., then you'll like this one. But if you are like me and find old PS2/xbox era games totally unfun, then stay away. YMMV blahblah.
    -Physics were new at that time. If you know how to think through obstacles and can actualy use a keyboard, it's no problem solving.
  78. Jul 29, 2012
    Exellent Game and one of my alltime Favorites. A Milestone in the Gaming History, well worth to Buy. This is probably the best sequel to any PC Game there ever was +10!
  79. Jul 31, 2012
    One word, "Amazing" This is one of the cases where a sequel doesn't ruin the franchise. The graphics are amazing for a game made in 2004. It is powered by the Source engine, which allows mods to easily be installed along with its great physics engine and lighting. My only problem is the vehicles are quite cumbersome. But, it the controls aren't as bad as some of the racing games I have played. What makes this game great, is that you NEVER feel safe and nearly everything goes wrong. Expand
  80. Sep 5, 2012
    Outdoing the original Half-Life is no easy task, but I am happy to report that Valve has succeeded in exactly that. Half-Life 2 is a breathtaking FPS that will have you on the edge of your PC chair from start to finish. Story: (10) Just as good as the first, Gordon is one of the best characters of a game. There are even a few unexpected twists and parts that are actually scary. Graphics: (10) Some of the best available when released, this game looks awesome on full settings and still respectable today. Sound: (10) Best of the best sound effects and background music. The soundtrack is definitely worth checking out. Gameplay: (9) Just as good as the first, if not better. There are several challenging areas and some of the boss fights are epic. The shooting feels more accurate and I must say the AI in this game is incredible. Endgame: (8) It is fun to go through again on harder difficulties but I would have loved to see some sort of multi-player support besides deathmatch. Overall if you are a PC gamer you CANNOT pass this game up. Just the story alone is enough to keep you going and the suspense builds at every corner. Still to this day the graphics hold up really nice and the source engine is smooth and a blast to play. Overall: 9 Expand
  81. Sep 7, 2012
    This game is a must-play. It´s a prime example for storytelling and the graphics were and still are quite good. It's not simply a FPS-shooter, also a puzzle-game with lots of vehicle-passages mixed in, so that despite its length of about 20 hours Half-Life 2 never gets boring. What makes the Experience so great is the authentic way the story of Gordon Freeman is told. Never does the player see or hear anything else than Dr. Freeman would, nor is he ever interrupted by instructions or else on the screen. He simply IS Gordon Freeman. Expand
  82. Sep 9, 2012
    The masterpiece! Awesome story, unique art/level design style, interesting game universe and excellent gameplay. Also it was revolutionary in graphics, remember E3 2003? My mind was blown back then.The game still locking awesome, and i replay it again and again... P.S. Sorry for my bad english, I'm from Ukraine :D
  83. Oct 12, 2012
    Half-life 2,like its predecessor, is one of those games that leave a mark. Masterpiece of fps games! run to buy this game if you haven't already done.
  84. Dec 13, 2012
    Definitely one of the best FPS games ever. This game is what really started it all for Steam. It was a beautiful game back then and still stands the test of time today without any modding. It's packaged in a multitude of bundles and is on sale regularly so it's a real shame if you haven't played it within the past 8 years.
  85. Nov 27, 2013
    This game is a legend at the time of 2004, she produced a blast, and not only in graphics, ease of management, charismatic characters, cool music and interesting oruzhiem.Kompaniya in this game is incredibly diverse, it has car chases, shootouts, horror, atmosphere humor, scale, coop with bots and of course G-man, maybe now on the background of modern games and you will not experience

    Это 2004-года 2004-ом
  86. Nov 12, 2012
    What i like the most about it its that it doesn't feel any linear, you get so into it that it really feels like it flows, i say it stays at the top even if it is almost 9 years old O.O holy crap! yes, its that good, that's the thing that hooks me the most, its pace, it really is a MASTERPIECE and you should definitively try if you haven't, get the orange box, one of the sweetest deals that you can have Expand
  87. Mar 24, 2014
    This is probably one of the best games I have ever played. Just amazing. Incredible story and playability. No critics to this game at all. A masterpiece.
  88. Dec 3, 2012
    What makes Half Life 2 one of the best games of all time is the subtle things included in it. Every detail is measured. Every moment is epic. The settings looked so realistic, you could swear this was happening in your local town, city, whatever (or even your own backyard). The story doesn't grab you by the throat in any way, but it truly makes you feel like you are a survivor in a collapsed world, just like the people you encounter in your journey. If you haven't bought the game, you're missing out on the experience of a lifetime. MARK MY WORDS. Expand
  89. Dec 4, 2012
    Nearly unbeatable game; in terms of excellence that is. This was one of my earliest PC shooters and simply blew my mind. Since then it has maintained a place as my absolute favorite game of all time and will likely hold onto that title for many years to come. I have played it somewhere in the range of 15-20 times and expect many more. A true innovator.
  90. Dec 16, 2012
    Best. Game. Of. All. Time. If you call yourself a gamer, THIS is in your library. It revolutionized the genre, set the bar where gaming should be, and ultimately wrote the book on how to properly make a FPS that has graphics that have lasted a long time, large beautifully detailed maps, a huge arsenal of weapons and foes, physics that speak for themselves, and has brought us very good mods. Mods including, but not limited to: TF2, CS:S, CS:GO, NS2, and countless others that few even remember.... such as Rocket Crowbar 2 (I miss that game... :( ). When HL3 comes... I am absolutely confident that it will take the title of the best game of all time, much like a baton being passed in a relay race. Valve is undeniably the greatest game developers of our time. Expand
  91. Dec 19, 2012
    This is my favourite game series of all time. The story in this game makes you feel like you're actually the person you're playing with great physics, graphics and story telling.
  92. Feb 23, 2013
    That is why my computer to play the game. I'm grateful to uncover the phenomenon of gaming story. period and the legendary gameplay innovations brought to the game will remain a memorable one every time. crowbar crowbar crowbar
  93. Jan 6, 2013
    Definitely the best FPS game I have ever played! The gameplay is very fun, the story never gets boring and the graphics are AMAZING for a 2004 game! It is much better than call of stupid duty and horrible halo! It is also a steal for just £6.99 on steam so be sure to get it!
  94. Jan 16, 2013
    Half-Life 2 review

    Half-Life 2
  95. Jan 30, 2013
    Uns dos melhores FPS ja feito, quase tudo nesse jogo e otimo personagens,inimigos,armas,ambientção,fisica e puzzle,sim eu sei que demorou quase 5 anos para se desenvolver half-life 2, mas com certeza a espera valeu a pena!
  96. Mar 3, 2013
    This game is genius, the graphics and gameplay have stood the test of time and every single inch of the game has had massive attention paid to it. How anyone can say this is a bad game is under age of 16 or they have a terrible choice in games.
  97. Jan 27, 2013
    This game is amazing! I still play it today! Can't wait for ep3!
  98. Jan 27, 2013
    To this day HL2 remains one of my favorite and most replayed games in my collection. The brilliance of this game has not been matched by any FPS adventure game to date. The visual storytelling execution was spot on and the game play experience is the best description of what gaming is all about.
  99. Nov 17, 2013
    Just a perfect game of the legendary franchise. A golden example of FPS.Everything in this game is great- plot, gameplay, characters. Also can't forget the Zombie level, it was really interesting experience.
  100. Aug 27, 2013
    The sequel to Half-Life but much different the graphics are still quite good but the animations are still really good it still is Half-Life so you will know its Half-Life the stroy telling is amazing as well an absolute masterpiece
  101. Mar 13, 2012
    What can I say? This game really shouldnt even be called a game. What it sets out to do is so beyond our standard notion of videogames that it defies that categorization. The fundamental difference between Half Life 2 and "videogames" is that Half Life 2 wants you to go on an adventure, not play a game. Do you see the difference? Videogames are predicated on the fact that they have to entertain you through the provision of some form of "play" or "game". Half Life 2 isn't about getting to play with a gun, or killing a roomful of aliens: It's not a game. It's not play. All that stuff comes as an afterthought. The entire point of Half Life 2 is that you get to witness the most important day in Gordon Freeman's life in its entirety - and It was one hell of a day. If you were to watch a playthrough of Half Life 2 without having any control over the character at all, It really wouldn't effect the overall experience that much. No other game studio has had, or since had, the balls to do something like this, and not even Valve -at least not until Half Life 3. Half Life 2 is virtual reality at it's finest, and you owe it to yourself to experience it. Collapse

Universal acclaim - based on 81 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 81
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 81
  3. Negative: 0 out of 81
  1. 100
    Nothing less than a revolution in the gaming industry that will keep gamers busy for years to come, just as the original did.
  2. 95
    An ephemeral and controversial ending, along with the few issues described above, means that for me, Half-Life 2, while a compelling and highly enjoyable game, falls short of the size of impact that the first title had on the gaming world.
  3. 100
    A graphics overhaul delivers detailed facial animations and sophisticated physics that leave battle zones strewn with debris after intense shootouts with shuffling corpses, overfed curstaceans and other assorted foes. [October, p.37]