Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
Buy On
  1. It hasn't lost much of its charm from the 2002 PC edition and they seem to have used the PS2 hardware in the best way possible.
  2. While the plot and Depression-era ambience still held me rapt, the gameplay itself was, quite frankly, pretty dull at times. [Mar 2004, p.104]
  3. One of the best storylines I've seen for a while, but to my surprise it also had poor game play. It's probably one of the first times I've seen such reverse psychology.
  4. A strong story line and graphics that are merely ok for the most part will have you seeing everything in Tommy’s eyes.
  5. Of course, you’ll miss out on a lot of the wonderful visuals and spot-on gameplay elements if you go the PS2 route, but if that’s your only option then take comfort in the fact that Mafia’s excellent storyline, which is arguably its best quality, hasn’t suffered a bit in the transition.
  6. A big part of what made the PC version be so great was the whole atmosphere; you felt like you were in Chicago in the 1930s. Unfortunately, the visual inedibility of the PS2 version takes a good chunk of this feeling.
  7. It's somewhat frustrating that what was a pretty great PC game is now a great game buried underneath vast technological annoyances. [Apr 2004, p.98]
  8. Cheat Code Central
    If you are familiar with the PC Mafia there isn't a lot here for you except a drop in graphics, resolution, frequent gameplay interruptions and longer load times. WIth that out of the way, PS2 owners who haven't already got a taste of the Cosa Nostra way of life might certainly enjoy this.
  9. When all is said and done, Mafia still has a lot to offer: The competent graphics, incredible music and dialogue, top-notch story, cinemas, and ambience all work to create a virtual time machine.
  10. PSM Magazine
    On the plus side, there are some console-only extras, like a racing mode that lets you hit the asphault with old-fashioned hot rots. [Apr 2004, p.36]
  11. Because the PS2 version of Mafia unavoidably compromises the PC version's graphical presentation--while also introducing longer loading times and injecting more interruptions into the gameplay--it comes off like a mere shadow of the original.
  12. The sense of atmosphere and ambience from the excellent PC version is all but gone from the PS2 version, with stiff controls, dumb AI, long loading times and tons of strange bugs. Overall, the gameplay is a shell of the PC version.
  13. This late in the PS2 life cycle, there really isn't any excuse for a port that is so shoddy, especially when it is coming a year and a half later than the original release.
  14. 68
    Given the amount of time the team had between August 2002 and today, the development team's inability to bring the PC code into line on the hard-to-develop-for PS2 is just short of a disaster...What makes this game worth owning, or at the very least, is the story.
  15. While the game provides an accurate depiction of the family business through a beautifully crafter story, its visual presentation is decidedly lacking due to lengthy loading times and poor textures throughout the game.
  16. While I get the feeling that this game proves to be a sloppy port, it is still a good game at heart and has a wonderful timepiece story that fans of the genre will enjoy.
  17. Computer Games Magazine
    The most satisfying aspects of the game are the fantastic plot, excellent voice acting, and distinct score. [May 2004, p.11]
  18. Enemy AI is minimal, weapon effects lack impact and, best of all, once you're in a fire fight all the beauty of the slickness drops to just enough to make aiming more annoying than fun and that can't be good.
  19. 65
    Since aiming and movement is too difficult to track enemies as they appear, a typical mission will have you die on the first enemy, learn his location and kill him before he can strike back, only to be felled by a second enemy, and so on.
  20. If Illusion Softworks can solve the load-time issues and bump up the graphics a little for the Xbox version, they may have a winner on consoles as big as the one they had on PC.
  21. Highly frustrating missions pepper the game, usually filled with cheap enemies who have impeccable aim and a superhuman ability to absorb multiple shotgun blasts at point-blank range. [Apr 2004, p.116]
  22. When it's good it's fantastic, but when it's not it's a spirit sapping experience. That's Mafia in a nutshell - a flawed classic that'll certainly provide good rental value if nothing else.
  23. 60
    During gameplay, be prepared to suffer through countless glitches, blurry textures, and clunky animation.
  24. Mafia manages to keep its engrossing story and wonderful audio package but loses everything else. The graphics are laughable by PS1 standards and the clunky controls and frequent load screens make Mafia an excercise in frustration.
  25. 60
    Mafia's solid script, impeccable voice acting, and overall mood makes it worth a rental, though you're better off playing the PC version if you get the chance. [Apr 2004, p.65]
  26. A victim of its own ambition. The good core elements are still here, but are lost underneath a gray cloud of control and graphical issues.
  27. Edge Magazine
    A frustrating port of an above-average game. Rather than attempting to significantly tweak Mafia's structure and narrative … the developer has attempted to replicate the PC experience to the letter. It has been only partially successful. [Mar 2004, p.109]
  28. The play and story will ring familiar to anyone who’s played the "Grand Theft Auto" series—which is good—but the guy responsible for the crummy graphics should slip on a pair of cement galoshes and take a long walk off a short pier.
  29. Mafia on the PS2 is a very pale imitation, especially with regard to the graphics, which were resplendent on the PC, and the handling, which I’ve mentioned already. And the load times? Don’t get me started, buster.
  30. Buggy, clunky, littered with minute-long loading pauses (the tell-tale sign of a PC-to-console port gone bad) and framey as hell, this action title at least has a pretty cool premise that is enhanced by a well-told story and very good sound.

Awards & Rankings

#45 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#20 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 65 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 65
  2. Negative: 10 out of 65
  1. Sep 23, 2015
    Mafia does a great job at recreating the atmosphere of the 1930's american-italian underworld. The voice acting is good, the graphics are notMafia does a great job at recreating the atmosphere of the 1930's american-italian underworld. The voice acting is good, the graphics are not so special. Especially if you try to shoot enemies who are hiding in a far distance it can be very annoying because you can't see them, while they are emptying their tommy-guns in your chest and head.

    The driving is also not very good. Just slightly hitting the sidewalk makes your car spin around like a wet piece of soap on an ice rink.

    The shooting will require some time to get used to. There is no auto-aim and you'll have to shoot the enemy a lot of times to make them sleep with the fishes. At times it even feels like you're hitting R1 (the shootbutton) like crazy and nothing happens, which will result in a bullet in your brains coz the enemy rarely misses its target.

    Even with all those little annoyances Mafia is still a game that's hard to put down, thanks to an engrossing story and believable characters. Especially the main character Tommy Angelo feels like a real guy, and by the end of the game you feel like the whole story happened to you. Don Salieri is also very real and makes some funny comments.

    Every mission starts at the Don's bar, where you'll receive your instructions from Salieri. Then it's off to Vincenzo to get a weapon (or two) and then you'll visit Ralph for some wheels. All these little details makes you feel like you're in a real gang, a tight mafia family if you wish.

    After 22 missions the game ends with an interesting twist (which i wont reveal here) and there is little replay-value. There is a racing and freeride mode that allows you to take up Tommy's old job as a taxi driver, and you can replay all the missions, but that wont keep you busy very long. But the storymode of Mafia gives you the feeling of being in a 1930's gangster movie and that is pretty nice. As Don Salieri would say: "Forget about it!".
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 30, 2016
    Graphics in this game is normal for 2004, in this game there are races on old cars, storyline is amazing and very interesting and in this gameGraphics in this game is normal for 2004, in this game there are races on old cars, storyline is amazing and very interesting and in this game was die Tommy and I cry when Tommy was die, good open world and I love this game for Good Open World and very interesting storyline, but I don't wait Tommy Angelo Deaths . Full Review »
  3. Jun 28, 2016
    This game is a true masterpiece!

    This Mafia game is like a time machine, a great perspective of Retro USA. You will time travel back to the
    This game is a true masterpiece!

    This Mafia game is like a time machine, a great perspective of Retro USA. You will time travel back to the 1930's & experience the early Italian American Mafia era.

    Note: The early American Big band music, classic cars, vintage classy fashion, technicolor looks, beautiful antiques, early American Italian accents, old fashion steamboat ferry, classic weapons, & lots more goodies. Enjoy this gem of a game, if you can find it. (I'm glad I own the game)

    This game is a must buy !
    Full Review »