Generally favorable reviews - based on 64 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 64
  2. Negative: 0 out of 64
  1. I loved the sheer amount to do within the game and hope for a next gen Kingdom Hearts 3 in the same way the Final Fantasy series never fails to engross me for an exorbitant amount of time.
  2. You may not be playing the same game as the original, but the same feelings of awe and enjoyment will flow over you.
  3. It has a combat system that rewards the tactical ninja without leaving the button-masher completely behind (three difficulty levels, folks), and it has characters who can easily surmount every shortcoming the game displays.
  4. 80
    Although Kingdom Hearts II seems to focus more on the action than the RPG, it’s still a lot more enjoyable than the previous outing.
  5. It's pretty simple, very linear and slightly lazy in places but there can be no denying that it still manages to earn a place among the most beautiful and exciting adventures of recent years for gamers of all ages.
  6. A very good game, but it's so close to being something completely out-of-this-world that you can't help but feel just a little short-changed by how strangely bereft of challenge it is.
  7. Once the tedious opening section is completed, Kingdom Hearts II rarely disappoints, with even its weakest sections providing plenty to enjoy.
  8. There are a number of good and inspired moments, but for each one, you can think of something else that would have been better.
  9. If you enjoyed the original Kingdom Hearts you'll find some enjoyment here too, but sadly it is not the classic it could have - and probably should have - been.
  10. Unfortunately, now the major problem of mundane backtracking has been remedied, the minor flaws have become overly pronounced. Despite this, Kingdom Hearts II is still a hugely pleasurable experience.
  11. An all around excellent game. It looks phenomenal and plays even better. What started out as a crazy fan based experiment for Square-Enix has panned out to one of the most entertaining titles of the year. [JPN Import]
  12. Where the first KH felt like more like a like an RPG in terms of item use, exploration and experimentation, KH2 feels more focused and linear and definitely falls more into the action adventure genre.
  13. This is a rare sort of game that can appeal to almost any type of gamer from ages 12 to 120.
  14. Kingdom Hearts 2 provides the most engrossing and polished gameplay experience available on the PS2, with enough variety to please any gamer and keep them entranced many hours past the ending.
  15. It's hard to deny that from its humble beginnings to the spectacular finale, Kingdom Hearts II is absolutely what the first game should have been. Its production values are still amazingly high, but the mechanics and tactile experience of play are now equals.
  16. 95
    From the amazing opening cg cinema (oh god, I think I just soiled myself it was so good) with Utada Hikaru's newest song, Passion, to the kick ass ending, this game rocked and set itself a more than worthy successor to the first Kingdom Hearts. [JPN Import]
  17. A very large game in every respect. A long narrative, huge worlds, more secrets than you can shake a giant evil-slaying key at, more characters, more moves, bigger explosions, enormous hordes of Heartless, it's all here.
  18. If you’re looking for Disney nostalgia and very linear action-RPG gameplay, it’s simply a joy to see, hear and interact with all of your Disney favorites.
  19. The smoothest and most seamless action/RPG to grace the PlayStation 2. It’s more addictive than "Grandia III," more charming than "Dragon Quest VII," and as memorable as the granddaddy of them all – "Final Fantasy [insert Roman numeral here]."
  20. It has an excellent battle system, more variety than almost any game out there, great graphics, and an interesting story. The title isn't perfect though. The story lacks a bit of cohesiveness and the auto-camera still can't seem to track everything that's going on. [JPN Import]
  21. 93
    I am wildly pleased by every little thing this game had to offer, and I consider myself fortunate to be one of the millions of gamers who will laugh, cry, and fight their way through this exciting title.
  22. A game well worth playing. It lasts much longer than any game should have to, squeezing out new experiences wherever possible.
  23. Forget your opinions about the original Kingdom Hearts. Kingdom Hearts II improves on its predecessor in just about every possible way, and is a must-have title for Disney fans and Square Enix fans alike.
  24. 91
    If you liked KH1, you’ll love KH2 – it’s better than its predecessor in every aspect.
  25. Despite its obvious flaws, Kingdom Hearts II is a great game – just not as great as its predecessor, and not the best RPG we’ve ever seen.
  26. An amazing technical feat, a vast improvement in key areas of the last game, and just a bit too much forced rehashes to keep it from being perfect.
  27. 90
    One of those sorts of games where nearly everything goes right. And despite some annoying load times, Kingdom Hearts II eventually becomes so involving, so enthralling, you'll find yourself propelled from world to world as if by some magnetic invisible force.
  28. Kingdom Hearts II isn't necessarily the kind of game you replay obsessively, or even take an instant liking to, but once you sink into the fantastic world it presents, it's hard not to get addicted to its immense variety and kinetic pace.
  29. An excellent, fun, and whimsical game that once again proves how well Disney and Final Fantasy can play together.
  30. 88
    Kingdom Hearts 2 will be looked upon as one of the "must play" games on the Playstation 2, and while not perfect, original, or surprising, it IS very well put together, very polished, and it is very fun to play. [JPN Import]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 585 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 155
  1. DerekS.
    Mar 28, 2006
    this is what you need to be playing.
  2. Apr 11, 2011
    Kingdom Heart II is better than its predecessor. Pros: Excellent use of action-RPG and platforming elements, improved controls, graphics, andKingdom Heart II is better than its predecessor. Pros: Excellent use of action-RPG and platforming elements, improved controls, graphics, and visual effect, and more Disney worlds to explore. Cons: Only for viewers who have played the previous games and starts out with a dull 3 hour long tutorial. Full Review »
  3. DavidF.
    Jun 26, 2007
    As disappointing as it was easy KH2 fails to live up to what I thought it would be. The designers took out the exploring and the challenge of As disappointing as it was easy KH2 fails to live up to what I thought it would be. The designers took out the exploring and the challenge of the first game and replaced them with flashy graphics and unneeded abilities. Obviously they decided to focus the game on a younger audience. Full Review »