Max Payne PlayStation 2


Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. Yes, this game has the power to rip families apart, it's that cool. With nice graphics, violence, swearing, and Matrix-style camera angles galore, this is a must-have for action game fans.
  2. If you want the hard-boiled action of "Grand Theft Auto III" up close and personal, this is the game for you.
  3. 90
    The Dual Shock organizes controls logically and offers the sharp response, especially considering the cool Bullet Time and Shootdodge aspects, which slow down time for Matrix-style gunfights.
  4. While it’s tricky to recommend a game that doesn’t run too well on a piece of hardware with static tech-specs, the fact remains that, gawd bless ’im, old Max had us entirely enthralled until the end of his adventure.
  5. This excellent, visceral shooter is just the tiniest bit on the short side, but remember what the man said: In a New York Minute, everything can change.
  6. 81
    Delivers non-stop, ultra cool, and fun-as-hell action. And I highly recommend it on the PS2, if that's the only system you own. But if you own a PC or an Xbox, definitely skip this version, as it's the weakest of the trio in every aspect.
  7. PSM Magazine
    While the graphics are generally well done, the framerate gets sketchy when there’s a lot going on. [Feb 2002, p.46]
  8. 80
    It's original, foreboding, action-packed and full of dark humour, uplifting surprises and plenty of serious shooting for you to get to grips with.
  9. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Bullet Time…just looks so friggin’ neat. [Feb 2002, p.110]
  10. The game loses much of the original PC version's polish in translation to the PS2--loading times are bad, and the game's sluggish frame rate and blurry textures aren't flattering, especially if you've seen the far-superior-looking PC and Xbox versions...Otherwise outstanding.
  11. The overly detailed and crisp textures have been downgraded, character models sport lower polygon counts, on occasion the framerate becomes extremely choppy.
  12. I can’t help but caution people that as a PC owner, Max Payne for the PS2 won’t get much gameplay while I’ve still got the PC version on my shelf.
  13. 78
    So much of what makes this game cool is lost in translation to a less potent platform. If the PS2 is your lone system, you'll still have a good time, but may be left wondering what all the hype was about.
  14. Game Informer
    The control is not nearly as fluid as it needs to be. [Feb 2002, p.84]
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Once Bullet Time’s novelty wears off, you’re left with a repetitive shooter, blasting the same species of enemy over and over. [Feb 2002, p.158]
  16. While not without its flaws, Max Payne is a solid addition to any PS2 library, provided you didn't play the PC version, you don't have an Xbox and you aren't just itching to see Max on your big screen TV.
  17. Somehow Remedy Entertainment made the PS2 look like an old man when compared to the new console and the tried and true personal computer.
  18. Even if the overall experience is a bit too short, the length to which it goes to inspire some real John Woo-style gunplay and adrenaline is impressive and definitely deserves praise.
  19. Unfortunately, like other games that have an incredible opening act but don't know how to close the show (certain overhyped Konami action/stealth game come to mind?), "Max Payne" sometimes falls into "Soul Reaver 2"-like pretentions of grandeur that fall short.
  20. It just can’t match up to the PC and Xbox versions due to the difference in graphics quality and the lack of an important gameplay element.
  21. 50
    On the Playstation, it’s (practically) just as fun [as the PC], but the additional flaws it picks up really cut into the experience. I’d seriously flag this as a “rent first” title.

Awards & Rankings

#24 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#25 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 4 out of 28
  1. Nov 29, 2015
    Having not played this game till only this year, I massively regret not playing it earlier. The game obviously shows its age in the graphicsHaving not played this game till only this year, I massively regret not playing it earlier. The game obviously shows its age in the graphics department but everything else is terrific. Story is among the best I've ever experienced and just the whole creepiness of the setting is brilliant. The gunplay is terrific and very satisfying and can't forget about Bullet Time which is such a genius thing to include.

    The PS2 version does have some slowdown at times but nothing to terrible. PC version is probably better in many ways but the PS2 version is solid enough for anyone.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I haven't played any other version on any other platform. Just the PS2. I spent a lot of money to be incredibly annoyed. Compared to other games, it takes 'forever' to load each scene. The dual-stick requirement to move and try and lock-on a target while pressing the R2 (and L1 or L2 if you want the much-hyped 'bullet-time' mode which gets old really quickly Full Review »
  3. Dec 4, 2012
    Man, it's **** dark. and that's a good thing. One of the best shooters at the time for PS2 and it probably still is one of them. It's like a movie.