User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 683 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 683

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  1. Jul 24, 2011
    9
    This was a good game and provides yet another gripping instalment into the tactical espionage world of Metal Gear. The story goes even deeper as new characters are introduced as well as some old characters returning. The game play has been significantly improved from metal gear solid to allow more fun for players.
  2. Oct 9, 2010
    9
    This game is inferior to its predecessor (which ought to be played on the Gamecube for a revamped graphic: The Twin Snakes) but it's still very enjoyable. Yes, the plot is really corny and borders the ridiculous many times. The dialogues can even be worse, granted. Atmosphere and character design was also better on The Twin Snakes. Still, how can't we be totally overwhelmed by the sheer excellence of the visuals, audio effects and cinematic? The game is full of those great, little touches that are a trademark of great productions (too many to mention). The control are as bad as in the predecessor but the action is flawless. Technically speaking this game is a real masterpiece and worth the highest rating. But the problems mentioned above drag it down to a 9/10. Expand
  3. Sep 23, 2010
    10
    Metal Gear Solid 2 continues the pedigree of trendsetting, pulse-pounding action from its PlayStation predecessor, updating the graphics and introducing more layers of intrigue, betrayal, politics, and technology to an already complex plot. The result is one of PS2's best games ever.
  4. Oct 3, 2010
    10
    This is one of the few games I played from start to finish non stop when I got home with it. I can't even imagine doing something like that now but that might be due to age hehe.
  5. Oct 15, 2010
    10
    I kind of feel like people missed the point on this game; it is, unlike most games, far more about what the game does to the player. Simply put, this was a benchmark for player manipulation and interaction for the purpose for telling a story and creating an experience. The story also gets a lot of unfounded criticism; it is a bit wonky at times, but more often than not, its simply brilliantly complex. It's the mindscrew that "The Matrix" and "Fight Club" wish they were. Indeed, as maligned as the ending may be, it definitely elicits a stronger emotional reaction than all but a very, very small handful of other games (three of which are in this same series), and it does so in a way that no other game had ever done before, and arguably has since. It is a twist far more complex than "you are the villan" or "it was a dream" or all the tropes that we accept so easily as "twists". It's not perfect, but damnit, it doesn't need to be; it is an artistic achievement, and a brilliant work of post-modenism.

    Another Kojima Masterpiece.
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  6. Apr 29, 2012
    9
    Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was a very interesting game when looking at it. The negative about it, first. The story plot bended and twisted so much, it completely snapped in two! I do not know what a Shadow Moses is and it never explained it! Something to do with Metal Gear Solid, I think. The story just went everywhere and kind of turned me off. Playing as Solid Snake, then as Raiden was like playing as Batman, then as Batgirl. Raiden was wimpy and whiny and asks way too many questions. His catchphrase can pretty much be "What?" or "..." Also, why does he need to call everyone over everything! Solid Snake could handle it without calling on the Codec too much, then again he had real training and not virtual reality training. It was well worth it to see Raiden get peed on by a guard or slip in bird poo to his watery grave or get dramatically electrocuted. The bosses were weird, but interesting. This game would be much better as an first-person shooter so you did not have to keep pressing the button. Now, for the positive aspects. I could not put down the game until it was over! The graphics were a great merge into the PlayStation 3 era. The Easter eggs were pretty cool. A great stealth game overall! Expand
  7. Jan 27, 2012
    10
    The game's greatest strength is without a doubt its story. For the first 10+ hours its a contrived, impossible, confusing circus. Then, in the final 5+ hours it all comes together. Looking back, I can safely say that the plot was intelligent, and even moving at times. I don't want to give anything away, but there's one moment late in the game that really moved me, and even depressed me just a little. That's how immersed I was. The gameplay was also very solid (no pun intended), even if the dated controls and camera required a little bit of getting used to. I was initially disappointed with having to play as Raiden for most of the game, but his character grew on me. I also beat Resident Evil 4 a few days before, so it's been a pretty good gaming week for me. Get the Metal Gear Solid HD collection. Expand
  8. Apr 15, 2012
    9
    Sons of Liberty is pretty much what you would expect from an MGS game. The story takes so many twists and turns and is more than a bit ridiculous. The writing and voice acting can go from excellent to decent to laughable all in the same scene. The gameplay is inventive and diverse but a little clunky. With MGS, however, its flaws are just as important to its character as its strengths and the overall product is very entertaining and innovative. Expand
  9. Apr 11, 2011
    10
    This really shows the true potential that the PS2 had during his release and is still intact. No other game had me so amazed during the time i had the console and is incredible the graphics were amazing in those years,the original gameplay,the funny parts ,the top nosh story . Lets put it simply this is a truly masterpiece in the Playstation library and it is already a classic. This cant be missed. Expand
  10. May 19, 2011
    10
    To this day, I think I have more playthroughs logged in MGS2 than any other game (at one point I had all the dog tags). Unbelievable graphics (at the time), awesome voice acting, great story, great cut scenes, intense action, well thought out levels and bosses, this has to be one of the best games ever made.
  11. Jun 14, 2011
    10
    This is not just a game. This here is a work of art. Steeped in metaphor, this game seeks to involve you the "gamer" at a deeper level; breaking all known conventions. Put simply there has been nothing like it before or since. It's far too complex for me to go into within the character limit here, but you should check out the sites : metagearsolid.org/reports_mgs2.html and deltaheadtranslation.com/MGS2/DOTM_TOC.htm for a greater analysis of the game. Expand
  12. Jul 4, 2012
    10
    For me, it's silly that people attack this game. Sure, in comparison to Solid Snake, Raiden was (at least when he was introduced) a lame main character, but this game, like all the Metal Gear games is unique and insanely entertaining. The style is both badass with the action-packed gameplay/scenes and humorous (yet amazing) in the small details and quirks. Despite not being an open world game - as Metal Gear games aren't, there is a constant sense of discovery all throughout. The game truly is a masterpiece and is beautifully put together. It doesn't take itself seriously, nor does it expect anyone to, but, in the long run, it's hard not to care about the characters no matter how corny or ridiculous some of them may be. The story, despite is surprisingly in depth, which I liked. I would compare it to James Bond, but that would be an understatement, but it's almost impossible to compare any Metal Gear Solid game to anything. The only possible way to truly understand what kind of game it is, would be to experience it first hand, and it is worth your time and money. Expand
  13. Jun 12, 2011
    10
    The plot becomes appreciated after repeat playthroughs, and the game play kicks ass. I can definitely see why other people would dislike it, but I can't help loving this game.
  14. Feb 24, 2013
    9
    This game deserves to be on the hall of fame for the PS2. It was released in 2001, but this game was WAY ahead of its time. And I don't see why people hate Raiden...just saying. Anyway, this game is so awesome that they re-released it in HD (along with MGS3 and Peace Walker) for the PS3, 360 and Vita. So do yourself a favor and get those versions, which are superior to the already awesome PS2 version. Expand
  15. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    This is just another game, not! This is a game for the ages. The story is so well made and planned that it does not bore the audience and gamer at all. It is such a wonderful and addicting game. The boss levels are boss, just kidding, they are very interesting and fun to play through, at times irritating, but that does not pan in its overall rating. It can't even be considered a quirk in this game. MGS2 is a must get, a classic if I would say. Expand
  16. Nov 8, 2011
    10
    The most memorable game to date on PS2. Amazing story and snake is and still to this day remains a badass. Great gameplay for a 2001 game, the visual setting still satisfys, not to mention every mission had an unforgettable twist. 10/10
  17. Dec 6, 2011
    10
    Everyone who has a negative review on here complains about the dumbest stuff. "O you have to play as Raidan " and that "the cut scenes are too long". Its just the same when people say that movies are too long. Everyone who says this games cut scenes are too long, are the people who didn't get the story of it. This is a amazing game with a great story and lots of different characters. If you want all action and no brains just go back to your COD already. Expand
  18. Feb 23, 2012
    10
    great game. good graphics, pretty decent controls, crazy ass story line. one of a kind. memorable characters and great voice acting, if you like mgs 1 i dont see why you wouldnt enjoy this game. yes, the very ending is very strange, i dont understand it, but you gotta play this game, but you dont play as snake the whole game, i think thats why there are some bad reviews. non the less still a classic in my opinion 10/10 Expand
  19. Feb 22, 2013
    10
    I love this game. The story, characters, graphics and music were great. Even if Solid Snake isn't the main character i still like, despise some negativity of some fans. Besides, this my favourite mgs game of all time.
  20. Mar 22, 2012
    9
    Thought provoking, clever plot, and playful with the fourth wall. Not the greatest of the MGS series when it comes to gameplay, but is a definite jump in progress from the Shadow Moses incident. The plot twisting, turning, melting, and remolding will be confuse some, if not most, players - but all the confusion is worthwhile when the multiple climaxes surface themselves near the end. To top it off, the social and political commentary in Sons of Liberty is the greatest out of the entire series. Definitely a top PS2 game. Expand
  21. Mar 28, 2012
    10
    This is by far my favorite game of all time! Tight controls, deep meaningful story, so many plot twists it's unbelievable; this is truly a game of the ages. Kojima is a mastermind for crafting such a delicate piece of art. Everything from the controls to the characters is perfect., and yes even though Raiden is annoying, it was very interesting and thought provoking to see Snake from an outside perspective as the mentor. I highly encourage anyone who hasn't played this game to go out and discover the joy that is this game! I give it a perfect 10. Expand
  22. May 27, 2012
    10
    This game blew my mind first time i played it. I was still playing the nintendo 64 back then and didn't ever realize they could even make games like this. This blew like any movie or game I ever played out of the water cinematic and story wise back then. A masterpiece of a game.
  23. Aug 16, 2012
    9
    I think this is one of the best computer game ever. You'll find there a lot of action, amazing story, nice locations and above all this little thing which makes games unique - culture connections. Even if you are not a fan of games like this, you should play MGS2.
  24. Jun 7, 2012
    10
    Square is to shoot? X is O? Overrated game? Frustrating shooting? convoluted plot? Raiden's a wimp? What are you talking about!? You sorry lads are probably the same unlucky bunch that didn't get Inception the first time. What kind of mongrels are you to not realize the absolute genius that is MGS2? Only a proper fool would have a negative thing to say about this game. If you have any sense you will pick this game up as the review finishes. Gameplay is a blend of shooting, sneaking and putting people in lockers. It's so artiscly crafted that it's kind of weird how smooth the gameplay is. You play as Snake in the first chapter which finishes in like 25 minutes. (when you get good at it though) first time it took me an hour and 30 mins. Russians have hijacked the tanker you are on in an attempt to capture Metal Gear Ray. As snake you can choose to sneak through the game using tranqs and boxes or Rambo style with melee moves and pistols. Music is also nice with great themes capitalizing on tense moments. Visuals are stupendous with real time cutscenes and the whole shebang. Raiden is no different. With an upgraded arsenal to house bombs, snipers, machine the works. It never feels wrong to play as raiden instead of snake. The basic plot in this part is dead cell, a group of terrorists, have hijacked the president and his people and you must go in solo to get him home. 10/10 best game ever made. Expand
  25. Jun 28, 2012
    10
    The very definition of "mind****." This game made sweet love to my mind in a cheap motel and never called back the following day. MGS2 isn't just a game, it's an experience. It's a thrilling, intelligent, and emotional roller coaster ride with twists and turns at every corner. I achieved such a high level of immersion on my first playthrough that I found myself questioning reality by game's end. Though initially annoyed by Konami's decision to make Raiden the main protagonist, I did enjoy seeing Solid Snake from a student perspective. Seemingly all knowing mentor who's better equipped and provides support when you're stuck is an appropriate role for a character who exudes unparalleled badassery and pimptitude. The soundtrack was pretty good. The improvements in gameplay over the original are vast. The first person aiming is a godsend, and the improved AI made toying around with enemy soldiers infinitely more fun and versatile. Every phase of the game is "Solid". Pun intended. Expand
  26. Jul 31, 2012
    9
    One of the best games. Hideo Kojima is genius director and writer! The story is complex and interesting and the plot becomes appreciated after repeat playthroughs. The story is mgs2 strongest point like in every other mgs games but also gameplay, graphics and music are amazing.
  27. Feb 21, 2013
    9
    MGS2 is the most involved with themes, like conspiration, memes, and many others. The protagonist may not be Snake, but this factor put Raiden in other way: the way of the Cyber Ninja. The movement the bosses, the situations, partially all remembers MGS1. The Easter eggs are to funny to, and more exposed. A the moment the MGS with the best Story
  28. Jul 20, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. where do i start? the story is mind boggling even with multiple playthroughs and looking at people talking about the game on youtube and you will never understand it all.

    the gameplay is true to the original and is enhanced with the pressure sensitive buttons on the ps2 and ps3 controllers,

    this is the first metal gear i have played and it is still my favorite even if you dont play as snake.
    this and mgs 4 are my favorites even though they are almost movies.
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  29. Nov 10, 2012
    10
    Whoever says this isn't a good game is a fool. The introduction to first-person shooting was just magnificent, especially since it was the first MGS game to do this. For anyone interested in a sneaking game with an extraordinary(yet sometimes far-fetched & convoluted in all honesty) plot, great music and graphics that would be welcomed for a game on the PS3 then MGS2 is definitely the game for you. It is so fun to play and I still play it to this day and don't get bored. The pitter-patter of rain while Snake walks the George Washington bridge in the opening of the tanker chapter, the music while you sneak around the Big Shell, the change of pace according to different missions, the Colonel's crazy sequence towards the end, the nostalgia you get when you emerge on the roof of Strut A as Raiden, the delusional yet righteous villains including Vamp, Solidus, Fatman and Fortune, not to mention Ocelot having a key role as always(his speech while hijacking Metal Gear is fantastic).....all of these moments in the game, they all make this game a treat particularly for a hardcore MGS fan like myself. Expand
  30. Jun 24, 2013
    9
    This game, in a word, is masterful. Every aspect of this game is well done. The story, while difficult to follow at times, is awesome, full plot twists and emotional moments. The ending in particular has the story transform in ways you would never imagine. The music is just outstanding, namely the main theme and the boss battle music. The gameplay takes everything good about the original Metal Gear Solid and just beefs it up to a whole new level. The stealth aspects in particular have evolved exceptionally well. In particular, the ability to hold people up at gunpoint is awesome.
    The biggest complaint with this game is that you don't play as Solid Snake for the majority of it, but rather you play as Raiden. In truth, I really like Raiden as the protagonist. It allows the story center around him and his back story, which allows for more variation in the story. Granted, he's not as cool as Snake, but he's no issue.

    This came is a must play for anyone. It truly is a masterpiece.
    9.3/10
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  31. May 20, 2014
    9
    Quite possibly one of the best intro of gaming history and a great presentation to a man that was abused to kill other people it's shocking; the graphics are the best of it's time, the acting impressive the characters lips look great. The setting beautifully created and realistic for it's time, a few new tricks of it's slew for unique stealth a first person aiming but the downside of it is that the player can't walk while aiming. Atleast gives tactical advantage over where I am going to hide? it's just great. Perfect cut-scenes with unique characters to show but horrible choice from using more raiden than SNAKE! prevents it from making the game even longer so I give this game a 9.1607 out of 10. Expand
  32. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    Definitely one of the better games of the Metal Gear series, and of the entire Play Station 2 era as a whole. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty takes the action and stealth gameplay of the first game, amps it up tenfold, and continues the driving narrative as well. The controls are one hundred percent tighter and easier to handle, and the major improvements made to the already winning formula make for one heck of an experience. Truly a legacy series and truly one of the better games in that series second only to MGS4 at this time. Expand
  33. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    a freaking PS2 era masterpiece here you have it the best in the metal gear solid quadrilogy and the series great graphics because it took full advantage of the PS2's hardware and pushed the graphics to the limit and gameplay was super fun i will never forget this game story was freaking amazing too just an amazing masterpiece
  34. Jun 30, 2013
    10
    Good:Story,Mystic feeling about patriots,Snake,Otacon,Ocelot,solidus,Music.Plot twists.
    Bad:Ending where they show america and snake,raiden telling about joy and etc... things credits music.

    Its like a pretty good holywood cinema.
  35. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Kojima,you did it again!
    After superb Metal Gear Solid,you again made the world flip.
    You start with Solid Snake,the hero we all know and love,and theeeeeeeeenn he's (supposedly) dead.
    Kojima then introduced as to Raiden ,(later) badass who was part in army's 21st trials.(which means he is trained by video games like this) Plot unfolds,Snake isn't dead(YAY!),Liquid isn't actually dead
    (YAY?) and Big Shell incident is a recreation of Shadow Moses. Raiden tries to save president,he dies.
    Raiden tries to save Emma Emmerich,Otacon's sister,she dies by Vamp,romanian wizard with knives.
    Raiden gets naked,gets his stuff back,than gets badass sword.Snake and Raiden go all badass on MG Rex then defeat it.Raiden fights with Solidus Snake,who is supposedly Big Boss's perfect clone.
    Raiden defeats him,credits,end!
    Kojima,you beast,you did it again!
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  36. Jul 11, 2013
    9
    A simplified review for novice gamers
    Graphics:
    Impressive visuals feels a little cartoonic but still its great
    Sound:
    nicely done
    Game play:
    Classic metal gear style
    Story:
    Amazing story line
    overall MGS2 is a well made game but not completely
  37. Aug 25, 2013
    10
    Metal Gear Solid is an absolutely remarkable series. The first MGS game is the first title in a very long time that I remember wanting to play again immediately after finishing it, and I did the same with this one. The soundtrack is fantastic, from the actual music, to the way the guns sound to the sound of footsteps; all amazing. The graphics were stellar for the time period. The gameplay is some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. There are however, a few minor detractors for me:

    1: Raiden. The popular complaint. I just didn't like his character. Over the top annoying and emotional.
    2: (Spoilers): The Metal Gear Ray boss fight. Not difficult once you know what to do, but so horribly repetitive.
    3: The dialogue between Raiden and Rose is just...so unnecessary and cheesy.
    4: The story at times feels convoluted, but it's actually really great in my opinion.

    That's really all I can say that is negative about this game. It is one of the greatest games I have ever played. With that said, I know these games are not for everyone. I, however, absolutely love them and that's why this game, as well as the first MGS, both get 10's from me.
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  38. Aug 11, 2013
    9
    This game is a real trip. Strange and cheesy, it still manages to be really cool in its execution. The spltting of the story is a powerful choice, but hasn't been seen by many fans as a good one. I tend to disagree. Raiden, who at first seems like an excuse to create a more anime-centric character, comes into his own rather quickly. He has a personality and style all his own, but still controls like Snake in the long run. It might as well be a skin swap.
    Having played this directly after the first Metal Gear Solid, a few aspects of this game stood out as improvements, and others detracted. A great improvement was made to gunplay, which was clunky on the directional pad, but shines a little brighter on a stick. The character movement is better as well, allowing for various speeds of stealth. One thing that caught me a bit off guard was the enemy ai, that at times seems very sensitive, and at other times they are dull as rocks. It's a frustrating thing to often trudge through the trial and error, but I feel like this was done on purpose to create a greater sense of urgency. Like most of Kojima's games, it is pretty genuine in its design. It allows itself to be more than what you see, and this installment adds more depth and sophistication to an already established system. There is an "epic" atmosphere, even in confined halls or battling ridiculous bosses.
    The conspiracies run deep in this one, and at first glance the plot is a bit of a cluster but a person willing to pay attention will find a detailed tale full of political intrigue and mystery. Even the inclusion of the oddly named "Solidus" wasn't so bad. The controls are a bit dated now and some practice is needed, but it shouldn't be a problem for someone committing to a good time. This is the real dividing point in the series, you can take it or leave it. It doesn't capture the same charm as the first, but its attention to detail is so strong it outplays many games even now.
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  39. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    One of my personal favorite games, and one of the best to grace itself on the PS2. Having not played Guns or the Patriots yet, this is by far the best in the series. The storyline, while outlandish and silly, is still engaging, shocking and damn right one of the best in a video game. The graphics were stunning, the gameplay updated loveably from the first, and the characters feel like people rather than goals to be reached.
    I see people saying don't fall for the hype, don't waste your money. Rubbish. We, the people make hype for games, and this game deserves it, and your money. Stealth action at its best, its still one of the most decent games money can buy.
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  40. Aug 30, 2013
    10
    While not as great as the original it did improve the gameplay of the series by a lot. First person mode aiming for every weapon, and all the cool melee moves, interrogating the guards, shooting them in the leg were all fun stuff to do... The storyline is its only lackluster field in my opinion but I guess this can be understood, since it was one of the very first games for the ps2, so the technical part might have been more important to the devs. Expand
  41. Jan 23, 2014
    10
    Great game. Don't understand the hate for it. Sure the story may not be that great, but the game play was fun. Kind of like Crisis core. Great game play, ignorable story. And you also can't call Raiden a cry baby and ignore it when Cloud does it.
  42. Mar 15, 2014
    9
    This game somehow manages to take the original Metal Gear Solid, which was a masterpiece in its own right, and one up it in almost every aspect. Sure, the bosses aka. Dead Cell in Sons of Liberty don't leave quite the impression that FOXHOUND did on the player in MGS1 and the boss fights are less imaginative as well as less difficult, the overall gameplay of MGS2 is much more complex and ultimately superior. Expand
  43. Jul 16, 2014
    9
    the gameplay is absolute bliss, the story although very complicated, is very interesting and a huge asset to the appeal of the game. there are a few things wrong though. I do wish you could play as snake, because raiden does get pretty annoying, but after a while once you get to learn more about his character, he doesn't end up being that bad, infact I like raiden. the plot sometimes feels ridiculous because of all the twists and turns it takes throughout the entire game, but is still enjoyable and quite necessary to set the plot for future titles. I love this game, but I don't think its quite as good as the first game which I consider a perfect game, this one having a few problems which in reality are just popular nitpicks among players Expand
  44. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    If you have a PS2 or PC (MGS2: Substance) buy this. Best game ever what I played. Good story, Good Characters... But the only problem the little hard control this problem after 10 minutes playing not hard.
Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. The environments are amazing, when on the deck of the tank the rain effects are extremely lifelike, along with rain drops hitting the ship and characters.
  2. As stunning and enjoyable as ever. You may feel foolish gripping the controller throughout a 40-minute cut scene, but MGS2 is something which must be experienced.
  3. 80
    MGS2 suffers in its story. I can't spoil it for you, but I can at least warn you to be prepared for a plot that frequently reaches levels of sheer absurdity.