Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  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. While the graphics are generally well done, the framerate gets sketchy when there’s a lot going on. [Feb 2002, p.46]
  8. 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. 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. The control is not nearly as fluid as it needs to be. [Feb 2002, p.84]
  15. 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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 69 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
  1. 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.
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    love this game! the story is engaging and creepy but just the right amount. bought this game for about 3$ just for the fun of it, didn't knowlove this game! the story is engaging and creepy but just the right amount. bought this game for about 3$ just for the fun of it, didn't know what to expect and was blown away! the only things that i don't really like about this game is its frame rate, if you have the choice to play it on the xbox or pc, play it on that. but it doesn't break the game. at the end it gets a bit too hard but, hey! everyone needs a challenge! Full Review »
  3. Feb 23, 2012
    Max Payne is a game you either love or hate. The gameplay is extremely simple and never evolves, though the environment, the story and the wayMax Payne is a game you either love or hate. The gameplay is extremely simple and never evolves, though the environment, the story and the way the story is told through perfectly narrated noire stylings, this can be a great game. Personally I love this game. Even though the graphics are not the best, it's completely immersive. The majority of the game you'll be fighting your way through snowy back alleys at night, dark parking garages and abandon hotels now occupied by junkies and vermin. The environment is what makes this game and if you don't like the environment, these's not much here for you. The story is a generic action affair: you're a cop who's now gone fugitive on the premise that your wife and child were murdered by gangsters and the police have a mixed bag of evidence on who did it. The gang is sleezy and deals drugs to junkies in some not so appealing places, setting the backdrop for where you'll find yourself. Along the way you'll also find connections between cults and politics and blah blah blah. There's not much here but cheezyness, but it's wrapped in noire comics style cutscenes that are really mindblowingly engrossing. Seriously, the comic book story telling is enough to get anyone interested. Now apart from all this great story telling, if you don't like it, you really have nothing. For the gameplay is just plain ok. You run around and shoot people in slow-motion and dive left to right. It's really damn simple and wouldn't get a passing grade in and of itself. where you find yourself doing it and your incentive for being there is what makes the game worth while. So in the end it's a decent action game with a very entertaining and engrossing story. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone looking into anything deep, though if you enjoy the occasional generic story, this will do well to catch you for longer than you'd think. The story may be same old, but the story TELLING is amazing, and the environments are some of my personal favorite in gaming. It's dark, it's cold, and it's damn well entertaining.â Full Review »