Universal acclaim - based on 69 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 69
  2. Negative: 0 out of 69
  1. 90
    But while a ton of awesome bands are represented (Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, Anthrax, All That Remains, Kansas, and so on) Guitar Hero II is still missing a few megaton metal bands -- mainly Metallica, Iron Maiden, and AC/DC. But no one will ever be happy, so instead of crying, crank the volume and bang your head until your brain busts.
  2. Without hesitation, this game is the greatest rock simulation on planet Earth and a must have for any PlayStation 2 owner and every fan of rock music.
  3. Yes the practice mode is awesome, the multiplayer options are greatly improved and the gameplay itself has been fine-tuned. But for most people, it will come down to the songs. I am sure this set of songs will be just what the doctor ordered for the true Rock fans.
  4. Better or equal, Guitar Hero 2 is a must have for any music lover, PS2 owner or person looking for a most excellent party game.
  5. While there are no songs that give the same sense of glory that More Than A Feeling had in the first game, it offers plenty of fun for the non-musician and musician alike and is one of the better party games available for PlayStation 2.
  6. Almost every aspect of the game has been tweaked to perfection which leaves me in a predicament: I gave the last game a 5 out of 5 and GH2 is vastly superior in virtually everyway. So can I pull a Spinal Tap and crank up my review score to give GH2 an impossible, uncanny 6 out of 5?
  7. A rock-solid music game (no pun intended) that includes a good number of improvements from its already-fantastic predecessor.
  8. This game stands as an example of the absolute definition of a great sequel. It is so much improved that I cannot even fathom going back to play the original now.
  9. This is by far the best rhythm game on PS2, with none of those lame techno songs. All that's needed is for Red Octane to announce the release date of Guitar Hero III. Freebird!
  10. Fulfill your fantasy of becoming a rock God with this blockbuster sequel. Get ready for more tracks, more bands and the awesome co-op multiplayer mode.
  11. 100
    Everything about the game is better and the new features and additions are simply icing on an almost already perfect cake. Tons of new songs, three note chords, progressive scan images, pretty decent covers (in most cases), new multiplayer modes, practice modes, encores, awesome graphic cutscenes...Guitar Hero is always going to be a ten, but Guitar Hero II takes it to eleven.
  12. Guitar Hero II wins four stars from me because it has an excellent training mode that is missing from the original. That's the only major difference between the two games, other than the songs.
  13. This game personifies all that is good about rock and roll - along with its excesses. Guitar Hero II does exactly what it says it will do, which is to rock your ass off (but instead of ass, it's your fingers).
  14. The overall impression Guitar Hero II leaves, particularly in light of its multiformat future and MTV's investment in Harmonix, is that it’s ceased to be a stand-alone game, and is now a platform in its own right. [Christmas 2006, p.86]
  15. Aside from the bitchin' new modes, Guitar Hero II is essentially the same game with new songs. [Dec. 2006, p.134]
  16. GHII starts off harmlessly enough, but by the time you try to keep up with the later levels' intricate three-button chords, anyone without freakishly agile fingers and lots of perseverance will want to smash their guitar (and not as an homage to Jimi Hendrix).
  17. Guitar Hero II is what being a sequel is all about. Taking the core gameplay from a solid game and making improvements and sharpening until it can cut through steel like a hot knife through butter.
  18. For me, Guitar Hero's real genius was its universal appeal, its ability to cater for any taste and any ability with its varied track list, infectious enthusiasm and unique immediacy, and that inclusiveness is - arguably, I must stress - not quite so present here as it was before.
  19. 100
    But the truly useful game play additions show that this publisher actually listens to its fan base – the superb new music lineup is just icing.
  20. There will likely be some songs you don’t like, but jamming along with them just might give you a whole new appreciation for the subtle nuances of classics like "Cherry Pie."
  21. Lightning does strike twice and Guitar Hero II is 1.21 gigawatts of blazing electric guitar gameplay with a perfect track selection, perfect gameplay, perfect multiplayer, and perfect fun that will start the day you open the game and last until the day you, your PS2, or your guitar dies.
  22. It’s so good, in fact, that there are few gamers I wouldn’t suggest this to, if only for how great of a tool it is to evangelize gaming to friends and family. The high cost of admission is most certainly worth it – this is a show you don’t want to miss.
  23. An anecdote: I was in the grocery store this past weekend when I heard a song playing over the P.A. I don’t remember the name of it, just that it was an old 80s rock tune. As I stood there in the dairy section, all I could think of at that moment was how cool it would be to play that song in Guitar Hero II. That’s the kind of infectious effect this game has, you’ll never listen to another rock song the same way again.
  24. The point is, the game has no context, and it could use one.
  25. With a better song list, high quality audio for the most part, expanded and improved modes, and all the fun of the original, Guitar Hero 2 is one of this busy holiday season’s best games.
  26. For me, the ultimate success of Guitar Hero II's formula lies in the pick-up-and-play accessibility of its controller, the strong selection of catchy songs, and the game's uncanny ability to make players feel like they're actually rocking out on stage.
  27. 100
    The sequel improves greatly on an already superb product with an in-depth training mode, a song list that holds up just as well as the original, and multiplayer that includes cooperative play. Everyone should rock out to Guitar Hero II -- it's one of the best games of 2006.
  28. You can play any given song at any of four speeds (Normal, Slow, Slower and Slowest), and you have the ability to select what portion(s) of the song you'd like to play. That has proven ridiculously useful as I continue in my Quixotic quest to complete "Free Bird" on Expert.
  29. 90
    While I personally don't LOVE the overabundance of hard rock and metal songs, every track on the game is more than fun to play along with, and the classic rock tunes are savage, as usual...One of the best gaming experiences ever.
  30. The game has been so well-made that it’s hard to even think of what can be added or improved to Guitar Hero III outside of a new soundtrack.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 39
  2. Negative: 2 out of 39
  1. Nov 22, 2014
    I love everything about this game, except the hammer-on and pull-off system.

    I am pretty sure that i suddenly miss a note for no reason. I
    hit the notes at the right timing, but still losing my multiplier and destroys my accuracy stats! It's almost impossible to hit every note on this game when you are strumming very fast, because the game wont register everytime you strum.

    Overall, this is one of my favourite Guitar Hero games ever made. It makes so many good memories.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 30, 2012
    This game is amazingly addictive. My ps3 fried and i got a ps2 and played this game. This game is almost ps3 worthy...i hope they remake it in ps4. the notes are a little off and the song selection (being almost all of them are covers) is a little off...then again my music liking may be a little different then Red Octane. The graphics are 8/10 for a ps2...the cartoon artwork was a very good move they didn't really keep in GH 3 :( Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2011
    Guitar Hero II is bounds better than Guitar Hero. Though the addition of encores is a superfluous addition that only wastes time in the long run, a larger set list, an improved practice mode, two-player simultaneous modes, a vastly improved hammer on system, and superior charting leave little to argue against the upgrade for fans of the original excepting preference of songs. Today, this game is outmoded by other rhythm games except for the guitarist who wishes to test his mettle against Jordan. Full Review »