Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
Buy On
  1. Even two years later the game is easily one of the most exciting experiences in the gaming world. The online play upgrades and new fancy look will please even the staunchiest of PC elite players.
  2. The first Halo's roots shined through on the first port of the series, and once again the controls are tight and exemplary for use in PC or console style controls.
  3. AceGamez
    This is bare-knuckle gaming - big, brash, unpretentious and viscerally entertaining. There's no excessive blood and gore, no gimmicky crime or foul language. This is well-organised, carefully-orchestrated violence supported by some of the best AI you've ever seen, a deep and comprehensive multiplayer mode that creates a game all of its own and a storyline far more creative than your usual terrorist-battling shooter fare.
  4. Pelit (Finland)
    A great game, also (or even) as a PC incarnation. But for marketing Vista and its DX10 graphics, Halo 2 is looking a couple years too dated. Hopefully Halo 3 will be converted faster. [June 2007]
  5. While the single player may end like a car crash, the multiplayer seems to live forever.
  6. The weapon and level design is about as good as it gets.
  7. 80
    What Halo 2 represents -- an integrated online experience, smooth, console-like mechanics and a hassle-free setup procedure -- is a great development for the PC's future as a gaming platform. But all the philosophizing in the world isn't going to change the fact that it's a port of a three-year-old game that we've all played to death, and try as we might, we just can't get excited about that.
  8. Halo 2 on Vista is a solid port that brings the Master Chief’s heroism to more gamers, and that’s indisputably a good thing. If it’s additional content or a new experience you’re looking for, though, this direct translation to Windows Vista will feel like $50 wasted.
  9. Halo 2 on the PC is a lot like Halo 2 on the Xbox, only now with higher resolution graphics, a level editor, and the ability to aim a sniper rifle with a mouse rather than the right analog stick.
  10. For those gamers that are already running Vista on a beefy enough system, have not yet experienced Halo 2 on the Xbox or are just looking for some fun multiplayer action on the PC, this would not be a bad title to add to your collection.
  11. The gameplay and action do get intense but it does not break any new grounds for video game enthusiasts. [*only Single Player considered]
  12. 75
    Gamers who have already upgraded to Vista will find that Halo 2's Live service offers some convenient and interesting multiplayer options.
  13. 75
    The biggest frustration with Halo 2 lies in Microsoft's decision to make it a Windows Vista exclusive. The game plays well, and its multiplayer component still rings true; so why are hundreds of millions of avid Windows XP gamers left out in the cold?
  14. And even though I played Halo 2 on the Xbox, I personally didn’t wait three years just for the map editor and dedicated server or to be charged for wanting to host an in-game server or talk to my friends via voice chat. Sorry Microsoft, but this time you really screwed up.
  15. Halo’s track record has been impeccable up to this point, but its first outing on the PC comes off as little more than a ploy to get users to upgrade to Vista.
  16. Although the game received a significant facelift with high-resolution textures to provide a sharper look, the graphical progression of more recent shooters leaves this improved Halo 2 feeling like a 2004 game.
  17. Halo 2 for Vista is a solid game that probably won't appeal to anyone who's played any recent high-profile PC shooters.
  18. Considering people were claiming Halo 3 wasn’t stretching the limits of graphical prowess on the Xbox 360 in the recent beta test, it’s doubtful that a barely upgraded Halo 2 is going to wow anyone.
  19. Halo 2 is Vista only. It doesn’t offer any new features, gameplay, graphics, or audio. It took three years to arrive. But it is still Halo 2 and does rock to play with friends.
  20. The soundtrack for Halo 2 is absolutely a work of art.
  21. I expected more of Halo 2 on Vista, and I suspect that you’ll feel the same way too.
  22. Ultimately, if you've had your fill of Halo 2 on the Xbox then there's not a lot to lure you to buy the game again for the PC.
  23. PC Gamer
    Halo 2 for the PC is too little, too late. [July 2007, p.66]
  24. Halo 2, you see, isn't truly awful, it's just achingly, repulsively mediocre, with a galumphing, clumsy story, poorly orchestrated action and bad music. It lacks bombast to the point where the nuclear destruction of a city on Earth doesn't seem all that dramatic. [June 2006, p.80]
  25. Games Master UK
    It wasn't as good as the original when we got it on Xbox; on PC it's just too little, too late. [Aug 2007, p.81]
  26. PC Format
    Christ on a bike, though, it's ugly. I mean like school bus traffic accident ugly. [June 2007, p.52]
  27. PC Zone UK
    The Halo 2 Vista experience is as forgettable as it is tardy and somewhat deptressing. [July 2007, p.72]
  28. 60
    The long delay, outdated graphics, crazy system requirements and the clunky Games for Windows LIVE system are show-stopping obstacles to what should have been a great port of a great game more than a year ago.
  29. 60
    The original Halo's story was better.
  30. With a 360 controller plugged into your PC Halo 2 for Vista is a decent, if rather dated FPS. For a game that is spearheading Microsoft's new operating system though, it's just not good enough.
  31. Though Microsoft's Games for Windows Live is an interesting system, they shouldn't have used a poor port of Halo 2 to demonstrate it, and instead focused on creating a great new title for the PC.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 219
  2. Negative: 82 out of 219
  1. Mar 22, 2012
    Now my review is going to be based on when this was released and not what it is compared to the games of "now".

    Halo 2 was one of those
    Now my review is going to be based on when this was released and not what it is compared to the games of "now".

    Halo 2 was one of those games for me that I was addicted to; the totally immersing story, the enemies the vehicles and most certainly Master Chief.

    Granted the graphics were not a good on the Xbox version but on the the PC version they were improved immensely. I have very fond memories of Halo 2, very fond memories indeed that probably set me onto my current gaming life.
    Full Review »
  2. Pete
    Aug 11, 2007
    Horrible.....not nearly as good as the original and probably should have stayed on the shelf...yuck.
  3. Barny
    May 29, 2007
    I found that when playing against the xbox live players they have a totally unfair advantage, while the pc owners have to play with the I found that when playing against the xbox live players they have a totally unfair advantage, while the pc owners have to play with the floaty sluggish controls i discoverd that the xbox players all have auto targeting, so while the pc owners may have more acurate cotrol the xbox players only need to look in your direction to kill you, and the microsoft live thing for pc gamers is a total joke and i recomend pc owners not to use it. Full Review »