Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
Buy On
  1. 85
    The grisly cutscenes are just icing on the cake of a superbly honed stealth and tactical action game. Manhunt is a solid, deep experience for seasoned gamers pining for some hardcore, challenging games this fall.
  2. Seriously intense, and anyone with a stomach for the game's concept ought to find it fiendishly entertaining.
  3. You would be hard-pressed to find a more intense experience in any entertainment medium. [Jan 2004, p.120]
  4. The controls are responsive and worked well, both for the sneaking around aspect and the heads up melee fighting if you happen to get spotted.
  5. Cheat Code Central
    This game is one of the most dark and disturbing games I have ever played and I'm still not sure if that's a good thing or not...Underneath it all I found the game one part infectious and one part repetitious. I enjoyed skulking in the shadows for the first half of the game, but after that it wore thin.
  6. It doesn't advance the stealth genre in too many areas other than the aforementioned headset idea, but what's assembled here is such a strong core of atmosphere, gameplay, and overall tension that the game as a whole doesn't suffer as much for its linearity as it probably should.
  7. Just plain fun. I haven't been this addicted to a game in some time, and I'm looking forward to wrapping up this review so I can get back to playing it.
  8. 85
    Forget it if pure action is your bag, but fans of MGS-style thievery owe it to themselves to check this one out. Just keep a couple of puke bags handy if you're a little emotionally sensitive.
  9. These movies was pretty good, but after the first ten bloody murders I was like, "Eh, seen it all." The more you watch, the more it just looks like what you just watched. The murders even got a little thin for Cash after a while, I think.
  10. 80
    Yes, this is all very gory, grisly, and absolutely not for kids or anyone with a weak stomach as people are decapitated, disemboweled, perforated, shot, and chainsawed—all to the cackling delight of your offscreen savior (brilliantly voiced by Brian Cox) who relishes each kill.
  11. If you enjoy slow, strategic, stealth gameplay, if you hacked your way through "Tenchu" and wanted more blood and violence then look no further. You won’t find a more stylish or disturbing game than this.
  12. The sound quality of Manhunt is surreal, simply because the game seems like a living, breathing entity by itself.
  13. Edge Magazine
    Like "GTA" there's more to this than shock and awe. Within its linear structure there is a lot of freedom within which to act, much more so than both "Splinter Cell" and "Metal Gear Solid 2," the titles which Manhunt most closely resembles. [Jan 2004, p.96]
  14. Beneath the gore and gritty urban realism is a well-designed and challenging game. Killing is never meant to be fun, but in Manhunt there is a sick satisfaction to be gleaned from each and every kill.
  15. It creates a superbly tense atmosphere that draws you in and completely immerses you, we can’t think of any other stealth game that’s managed this to such good effect. We also like to see developers stretch beyond the barriers and explore ways to touch the players’ emotions – this game certainly does that. But on the other hand the repetition soon becomes apparent and its lack of depth.
  16. PSM Magazine
    More variety, be it "Ico"-style environmental puzzles, "GTA"-type missions, "MGS"-inspired boss battles, greater AI diversity, or simply deeper interactivity with the environment, would have really helped keep things fresh. [Jan 2004, p.28]
  17. It is incredibly easy to screw up and get killed in this game, which sometimes forces you to repeat lengthy and difficult sections of each level. Thankfully, there are mid-stage save points that allow you to restart there instead of at the beginning of the level.
  18. I liked the game sometimes and other times I despised it. Then again, maybe that is what they were shooting for.
  19. I just didn't quite get into Manhunt the way I wanted to because of the wierd control setup. This game just doesn't do justice with a GTA-style control system. It's not the same game.
  20. A fun game that’s utterly and completely bone-chilling in some parts. If you’re old enough, this is one hunt worth going on.
  21. With all of the variety and unlockable content, you'd be hard-pressed to find a game more gut-wrenchingly intense and disturbing as this one. That being said, it makes for one hell of a good time.
  22. The phenomenal use of sound and the "snuff" executions are exceptional, and the attention to detail in both the environments, the gangs, hell, even the instruction booklet is top notch.
  23. netjak
    Extremely violent and even a bit disturbing, but it is also one of the finest games to grace the Playstation 2 in some time.
  24. More than just a gimmick. Sure, the brutal animations are great fun to watch, but the true satisfaction lies in getting to that point and finding a way to overcome even the largest obstacles.
  25. A word of caution should probably be added; the overall pace of Manhunt is rather slow. This is in keeping with the overall feel of the game and somewhat necessary for development of the linear story line.
  26. 80
    I don't doubt that the violence used in this game is used at least particularly for shock value – but what happens when batting someone’s head off becomes boring? Will Manhunt 2 feature the ability to rape a victim – will some other game in the immediate future? It’s a fair question.
  27. An amazing stress reliever as well – there’s nothing like beating the crap out of someone with a bat who only has their hands to defend themselves.
  28. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    A dirty, grisly, filthy but brilliant game experience. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  29. Attempts to combine excessive violence with stealth-action gameplay, but fails to invoke a sense of value and worth in play.
  30. A subversive parody that cleverly indicts our depraved culture? If it makes you feel better about having a shitload of sadistic fun, sure.
  31. 84
    An extremely violent game, but its strength comes from the strong mix of atmosphere, stealth and gameplay.
  32. Entertainment Weekly
    An engrossing thrill ride. [19 Dec 2003, p.L2T 20]
  33. A very good game, it's just hidden under a coat of blood and filth. The game engine is good, and the gameplay, graphics and audio are well done. If you can stomach the disturbing images and violence, you'll find a solid stealth/action game.
  34. Violent or not, Manhunt contains substance that other games can only wish for, and does so while pulling off some excellent and original play mechanics, executed to near-perfection.

Awards & Rankings

#9 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
#10 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 149
  1. CoryP.
    Oct 9, 2005
    Smash or trash time, and this game well deserves a perfect score. Sure there is better stealth games out there and better graphics and all Smash or trash time, and this game well deserves a perfect score. Sure there is better stealth games out there and better graphics and all that other special crap, but this game didn't need it to pull of a great experience. I love the fact that this game of very,very,very, few can pull off a well deserved mature rating ( I don't know how many other titles try to pull it off and fail to succeed). I am not a pyschopath, i know the difference between reality and virtual reality, but I believe there should be a sequel (pray to the almighty Rockstar) if not more games of its kind.... but again please let there be a sequel. Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2012
    Disturbing, scary, graphically violent. Rockstar North's urban horror game is a tense and taut spin on "The Most Dangerous Game". PlayersDisturbing, scary, graphically violent. Rockstar North's urban horror game is a tense and taut spin on "The Most Dangerous Game". Players control James Earle Cash, an inmate who is busted out of prison by The Director; a mystery man who sees your every move. Once Cash escapes the prison facility, his journey home becomes a literal fight for survival. Armed with bladed weapons and firearms, Cash uses both stealth and full-out assaults as to fight off the creepy gangs who are out to kill him. The macrbe twist is that The Director aids Cash through an earpiece throughout the game. He directs Cash to his final destination, ordering him to kill as gruesomely as possible every step of the way. The disturbing aspect of the game is that it rewards you for doing so. You are encouraged to perform the most graphic killings to unlock challenge rooms. In movie terms, "Manhunt" is "The Running Man" meets "The Warriors" with a touch of "8MM". Gameplay-wise, it is very similar to "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell" and "Hitman 2". This game features shooting segments, but it's very much a stealth game. The horror atmosphere is extremely thick with a synth musical score straight out of an 80's slasher flick. In a sense, "Manhunt" is a survival game as much as it is an action title. In fact, you'll probably creep out when you first get spotted by a crazed gang member.

    Rockstar North made three great "Grand Theft Auto" games for the PS2. This game is nowhere as grandiose as those mammoth titles. But it is an efficient and effective actioner that is truly creepy. 8.5 out of 10.
    Full Review »
  3. Jun 29, 2017
    The atmosphere of this game is one of the best and at the same time depressing that I have ever seen. We have to play for James Earl Cash, whoThe atmosphere of this game is one of the best and at the same time depressing that I have ever seen. We have to play for James Earl Cash, who was supposed to be executed, but the so-called director saved him from the death penalty, but on one condition, he must star in his film and become a "star." The gameplay is a stealth shooter with shooter elements. Full Review »