Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
Buy On
  1. 60
    Sure, the core gameplay is still there -- and it's still fun -- it's just marred by shoddy visuals and a stuttering framerate. In a shooter, a sketchy framerate is the last thing you want. And that's not all -- the game's cool save system has been totally botched on the PS2 port.
  2. An action title that relies on keeping the player immersed and focused on the game as much as possible. But if you're asked to spend literally 20 per cent of your playing time staring at a loading screen, then that sense of excitement and immersion quickly ebbs away.
  3. Even though some features were missing from Max Payne 2, the audio attribute of the game is superb.
  4. It is short, but sweet. A few extra game modes add much to the replayability.
  5. Far more satisfying than its predecessor. In fact, it's one of the most satisfying story-driven shooters you can play right now, as well as the latest success in the drive to make games as deep and engaging as movies.
  6. It's no secret that this doesn't look as good as its bigger brothers, but it can certainly stand up against anything else on this console. [Feb 2004, p.102]
  7. 79
    The PC and Xbox versions are just plain better than the PS2 version, which at best is a fun, sometimes brilliant action game hampered by a shoddy porting job that leaves many technical aspects of the game in question.
  8. The PS2 version is so rife with problems, like no quick save feature and lousy framerates, that the game can feel practically unplayable at times.
  9. I cannot believe the presentation level is that far below it's Xbox and PC counterparts. It's been a long time since I've seen that level of difference.
  10. The mediocre performance of the PS2 port of Max Payne 2 never makes the game completely unplayable, but it does noticeably hinder it.
  11. Without the graphical chutzpah of the PC or even Xbox versions, Max feels like a deflated, stripped-down, hack of his former self. If you don’t have access to a PC or an Xbox, this is still definitely worth checking out as it’s a short but sweet experience, just know that there are far better options out there.
  12. As much as I love my PS 2, this version is the ugly cousin in the Max Payne family. Rent before purchase.
  13. A purchase is not recommended, however, due to the game’s short length and considerably degraded graphics and gameplay. After all, 50 smackers is a lot to invest in such a short-lived game, especially when it’s an inferior port of a PC title (largely the result of the PS2’s technical limitations).
  14. The presentation of the PS2 version is seriously lacking, and the lengthy loading times and the huge oversight in the save system make it less than enjoyable to play.
  15. Please do not buy this or even rent it. To do so would make you think less of Remedy and Max Payne 2, an absolutely terrific game on other consoles. Try another version instead.
  16. A recycled (and quite inept) PS2 interface plagued with technical shortcomings (slowdown galore!) that mirrors the prequel’s 2001 PS2 version makes this the console version of Max Payne 2 to avoid.
  17. 45
    Too many corners were cut to ensure the timely shipping of this PS2 release, and Rockstar Vienna's lack of care shines through.
  18. 90
    It achieved something that is very rare in gaming: well-developed and believable characters. That, in itself, is no mean feat, but mix it with the game's delightful combat, varied design, and admirable coherence of style and creative vision, and you have something very special.
  19. 80
    The first game’s take on noir was fresh and powerful; the sequel has the same haunted spirit with less surprise value. While Max Payne’s rain-soaked world is a weary one, it’s also undeniably compelling.
  20. If you only own a PS2, Max Payne 2 is a worthy pickup, but those of you with a decent PC should buy that version instead. Trust me - it's easier on the eyes and the hands.
  21. PSM Magazine
    Some of the level design is brilliantly done, and there's even a new playable character - nothing revolutionary, but good, solid action with a liberal sprinkling of the dark side. [Feb 2004, p.20]
  22. Edge Magazine
    Is this the most violent game of all time? Maybe. Its ragdoll physics may not match the flying limbs and broken faces of Soldier of Fortune, but its throwaway approach to life and death is genuinely shocking, leaving a bitter, metallic aftertaste. This is neither a fall nor an ascension. This is an update. [Jan 2004, p.105]
  23. The game also feels a little too anticlimactic because the last few chapters aren’t as intense as the original.
  24. But it’s hard to recommend this port with a straight face due to its severely makeshift presentation. Nevertheless, it is a fun game thanks to the satisfying gameplay and excellent story. If all you’ve got is a PS2, then consider this your consolation prize.
  25. 72
    The atrocious frame rate and textures hurts the game play, almost making it at times unplayable. Max still has the charismatic way of dealing with his demons, which is dealing death with bitter coolness.
  26. There is enjoyment to be had here but it is so short lived that there is no point donating much more than one evening to the game. For a franchise that started out so well this does indeed seem to be the fall of Max Payne.
  27. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    A blast to play - it's just that you're likely to spend as much time watching cinemas, storyboards, and loading screens as actually playing the game. For a six-to-eight-hour game, that's just not right. [Feb 2004, p.104]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 66 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 28, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Number 1 was a succes and number 2 even better this slow action shooter is brilliant i mean fare enough Max Payne does look like Richard Hillman out of Coranation Street but hey this game is ace and the slow motion is alot better then that achieved in The Matrix game. Full Review »
  2. CodyBaker
    Mar 17, 2009
    Give this game more love on the ps2. Sure, the pc & xbox versions were graphically superior but COME ON, no greatest hits? Well at least itGive this game more love on the ps2. Sure, the pc & xbox versions were graphically superior but COME ON, no greatest hits? Well at least it made platinum hits, but still.....anybody who hasn't given this game the chance it deserves, GET IT NOW, PLAY IT NOW, LOVE IT LIKE THE ORIGINAL!!! Better than GTA 3, vice city, even GTA 4, believe it or not (not better than san andreas though but still play it). Full Review »
  3. David
    Jul 26, 2004
    This game definitely makes the list of horrible sequels. It does very little in developing the gameplay or mechanics of the first game. In This game definitely makes the list of horrible sequels. It does very little in developing the gameplay or mechanics of the first game. In addition, the bullet time is very limited: Payne does not have any useful new moves and its just the same diving rolling that was in the previous title. The game does succeed in creating an eerie atmosphere, however, the fact that it can be ran through in one short rental and that "Enter the Matrix" bullet time makes Payne look and feel like an amateur just don't make the game worth a buy. Rent Max Payne, enjoy it, but keep in mind that the game will get dry very quick. Full Review »