Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. From its flawless control and presentation, to its huge amount of variety and online modes, MCII is one of the most fun and complete racing games we've ever played. [June 2003, p.24]
  2. Polished online interface + incredible sense of speed (i.e. bikes out of hell!) + perfect arcade handling (wheelies anyone?) + plethora of modes to tinker with + no "GT3: A-Spec"-type customization or realistic physics = the best PS2 arcade racing ever made.
  3. The first PS2 game to really get my heart racing. If you really get into this, your adrenal gland will start juicing out its stuff so much that you'll actually feel that buzz. [Apr 2003, p.82]
  4. No matter how much muscle your car is pushing, the AI will always manage a way to gain up on you and take the lead. I felt as if I’ve won a Nobel Peace Price when I finally beat the last race in Paris, and you will too.
  5. Offers the best in arcade street racing with a large selection of cars, lively cast of characters, wonderful locations, challenging course designs, single, multiplayer, and online racing, and endless creative possibilities with the Race Editor.
  6. Online racing thrills like you’ve never seen before. Combine this with a race editor that allows you to reconfigure checkpoints for your own customized races, and what we have here is a game with replay value that flies over a ramp and off the charts.
  7. The most enjoyable arcade racer to come along in quite some time. It's not an easy game though, and the easily frustrated may give up on it.
  8. Whether you're miles ahead of your opponents, in the heat of it or straggling behind, it provides you with an adrenaline filled rush.
  9. 91
    An excellent online game that offers an ostensibly limitless amount of replay value, given the range of courses and numerous race alterations and variations.
  10. A brash, brilliant arcade game with real substance. It'll blow you away with its unrelenting pace and aggression. [GamesMaster]
  11. The best racing game I’ve played in months, and anyone looking to release a title in this genre now should look long and hard at what Rockstar’s been able to pull off here.
  12. Possibly the most refreshing element of Midnight Club II is the CPU AI.
  13. The improved controls, the overwhelmingly huge cities and the extreme (but not cheap) challenge make this a must-play game.
  14. Although there are things about Midnight Club II that certainly aren't new, when you play the game, you feel as if screaming down the boulevard and almost giving yourself a heart attack is suddenly fun again. [May 2003, p.76]
  15. With a larger career mode featuring more cities and greater tracks, additional gameplay modes and rock solid online play, this is the racer you want to cross the finish line with in your gaming console.
  16. One of the most enjoyable, and addictive, games I've played in years. Never have I expected so little from a game and gotten so much. I truly relished every (split) second of it, not only as a great racing game but as a great videogame that happens to be about racing.
  17. With incredible attention to detail, the graphics are among some of the best ever seen on the PS2.
  18. 90
    It's harder than most, but the feeling of elation when you finally work those punk-ass CPU roadsters into submission is legendary. Rockstar's latest above-the-law offering is excellent.
  19. 90
    Although it lacks the ultra polish of "Need for Speed" or the outrageous wrecks of "Burnout," its high challenge and huge tracks will keep your hands glued to the controller.
  20. The range of multiplayer games and user-created race routes means near-limitless replay value and the chance to earn cred on a much larger street. [June 2003, p.111]
  21. It strays from greatness thanks to completely frustrating AI that ends up cheating so badly, it’s not even worth playing.
  22. Memorizing the maps and finding the many shortcuts is crucial. [18 July 2003, p.82]
  23. It’s a good looking game – without being stunning – it handles well and offers a refreshing alternative to the usual racing fare. Some of the races do get frustrating, but on the whole, Midnight Club II is an enjoyable experience – particularly in multiplayer mode.
  24. The racing is intense and should appeal to arcade racing fans.
  25. There's plenty of fun to be had with the online mode, and it’s often fun just cruising around the cities looking for every shortcut and also trying to find the locked cars the game has to offer, making it well worth a purchase.
  26. The only way they could make it better would be to set it in Boston, where drunks get kicked out of the bars long after the T has shut down, flooding construction-choked highways.
  27. MC II should ship with a free sample of Ritalin. The amount of concentration required to maintain control of your car at such incomprehensibly high speeds almost requires some sort of chemical assistance (just joking kids). [June 2003, p.66]
  28. Although Midnight Club II is no match for the mighty "Burnout 2" it is worth a purchase if street racing is your thing. There is a nice selection of missions and cars to choose from and the urge to keep trying again is present in most of the levels.
  29. The difficulty level is pretty high, but it's not so much annoying as it is challenging.
  30. Freedom is king here, and you’ll know what we mean the first time you tear through a fast-food drive-thru or scare shoppers to death in a Los Angeles, Tokyo, or London mall.
  31. When Midnight Club II frustrates, you'll want to snap the disc in half and feed the pieces to the nearby watchers... But when Midnight Club II is fun, it takes you by the throat in such a manner it's impossible to stop playing.
  32. 80
    Perhaps unfulfilled potential and a hard-to-learn layout detract from the product's charm. Details be damned.
  33. It's exaggerated in its look and feel, but the balance between physical realism and fantasy-tuned fun is so engaging that you begin to forget that a racing game could be fashioned any other way. [May 2003, p.68]
  34. The first time I hit the nitrous on the incline of a culvert and launched an El Camino over a short one-story building to win a race, I thought this was a great racing game. But, three hours later when I jumped a motorcycle over a six-lane expressway after popping a wheelie up the extended arm of a utility truck, I knew this game was pure gold.
  35. 75
    Touchy controls require precision to avoid wrecking or, even worse, forking over your ride to a Frenchie. [July 2003, p.34]
  36. The lack of vehicle specific control and any real customization leaves it a little too light. You find yourself playing through it just to unlock the goodies for the online game.
  37. A treat for fans of the original, but it won’t blow you away in any particular aspect.
  38. It performs well, but there are definitely more-interesting PlayStation 2 driving games on the market.
  39. The graphics and overall feel of the game do not seem quite right.
  40. It's like being given the keys to Disney World and finding out the majority of attractions are not operational; you're left in a magical place with little to do other than to go on the same few rides that happen to be working.
  41. 67
    One thing about the game will really piss you off, though, and that's the difficulty. In plain English, the A.I. is freaking brutal, and if you make one mistake in most courses, you may as well restart the race. [June 2003, p.52]
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. Dec 10, 2014
    10
    I absolutely loved this game. It's my favorite of the series, and is likely my favorite racing game in general. The handling in this game is aI absolutely loved this game. It's my favorite of the series, and is likely my favorite racing game in general. The handling in this game is a dream, the car selection is excellent, and the locations are full of life. I love being able to actually hit pedestrians, which no games in the series have done since. It adds more things to do with friends as well. Me and several friends have gotten together and spent a whole night trying to mortar each other and pedestrians with the SAVETHEKIDS cheat. The campaign is my favorite in the whole series and had very memorable characters and races. I still know all the shortcuts around town and can hit them perfectly. On one side, I didn't like that cars weren't customizable, but on the other side, the game's balance was much better than in MC:LA, since you didn't have to worry about other cars having upgraded parts. Your car was it, you had to beat the enemies with what cars you had and your own skill. A game like this would not be viable today, since people would complain and ask more of it, but I'd buy it again today if I had another chance. Full Review »
  2. BlueFalcon
    Nov 13, 2007
    4
    Elasticband ai ruins the single player experience, and there isn't more than 2 player offline multiplayer. So unless you're online Elasticband ai ruins the single player experience, and there isn't more than 2 player offline multiplayer. So unless you're online (and i don't think this game is even supported online anymore on the ps2), avoid it. If it had 4 player split screen, and no catchup ai, it would be a LOT more rewarding. Full Review »
  3. adrian
    Jul 31, 2005
    9
    Best racing game, even better than MC3. Unlike Burnout, which is probably the most overrated racing game (who wants to sit around watchingBest racing game, even better than MC3. Unlike Burnout, which is probably the most overrated racing game (who wants to sit around watching crashes and wading through menu screens?), in MC2 the emphasis is on racing and speed. Only drawback is you have to spend a lot of time learning the race routes - but the flip side to this is you can often choose whatever route you wish. And I think the characters are funny as hell. Full Review »