Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. From its huge offline game to its infinite online game, you can spend 100s if not 1000s of hours playing. [JPN Import]
  2. 89
    Not so good offline, but for those after an MMORPG, this is essential. [Issue #147, p.79]
  3. Phantasy Star Universe brings the classic lineage to the PS2 for the first time, in both offline and online modes. [Jan. 2007, p.76]
  4. 80
    It's too early to say whether PSU will have the same level of staying power in an age inundated with online games, but its pedigree makes this one worth watching -- and playing.
  5. Universe is a strong and worthy sequel to the 2000 Dreamcast classic, but key absences – specifically the offline multiplayer – make a very good case for waiting.
  6. Gameplay is paramount, and I would say that PSU is a better game than the original, but not necessarily up to the same level of quality.
  7. Sure, I applaud Sega for attempting to transform the single-player experience into something meatier, but poor voice acting and clumsy storytelling lend the proceedings a cheesy B-movie vibe. [Jan. 2007, p.101]
  8. Phantasy Star Universe, in the end, is just more of the same thing: simple dungeon crawling. It's fun online; it's not fun offline. This is a hard one to rate, as it's pretty convoluted.
  9. A solid and substantial attempt at bringing online RPG play to offline gamers, but it lacks any long-term appeal without others. [Christmas 2006, p.78]
  10. Even clearly noticeable repetition and developer laziness can't fully erase what is in essence an almightily addictive and emergent base structure.
  11. 66
    Simply adding new weapons and techniques, changing the environments and adding a few extras such as the bedroom isn't enough when the online RPG has become a fully blown phenomenon.
  12. If you're into anime, then Phantasy Star Universe is worth checking out. [Jan 2007, p.88]
  13. The missions have a shocking lack of variety, mostly just forcing you to do the same handful of things, but with stronger foes.
  14. The single-player is a fun new addition but is plagued by frustrating design choices and idiotic AI, while the multiplayer is very hard to justify paying £6.99 a month for, especially as the game doesn't even come with a free trial period.
  15. 60
    For now, though, PSU’s online half gets a thumbs-up. What made the original PSO a hit is still there – fun cooperative combat, smooth social interaction, and lots of loot to grab.
  16. A massive waste of an opportunity for Sega to bring us an MMORPG worth shelling out for. Bah. [Jan 2007, p.67]
  17. Nothing has been improved in the six years since PSO. Worse still, PSU actually managed to take steps backwards (level design, story, online play, mission counters, equipment, mags, etc) and ruin the memory of the Phantasy Star legacy.
  18. 40
    A disappointment of near-epic proportions. Sega ripped out the very heart of PSO's legendary addictiveness, replacing it with a repetitive, tedious grind that shows no signs of ending.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. May 2, 2013
    Cool game and idea, making a MMORPG style game for Ps2 and with online, I never had the chance to play online, but the story mode was very well done, and I liked the free mode where you could make your own character, made things interesting and gave it a change of pace, the missions can kind of get repetitive at times though. Full Review »
    Jun 15, 2008
    Hands down the most innovative multiplayer action dungeon crawler on ps2 and possibly computer.

    GRAPHICS=10(considering its made with in the limits of a
    multiplayer game,with alot! of animations,
    on a home console (the ps2)
    The design is AAA Anime scifi
    GAMEPLAY=10 the experience I got from this was
    unlike any other. Heres why.
    Gave me a large amount of controll over
    what my character looks like with out it
    looking like shit model that was made in a
    wrestling game,character generator.
    Higth, width, skin tone,facial structure,
    at the slide of a bar!, at about 1:56 you can
    see what I mean.
    and vast great verity even over the voice,
    and yes like every online game you can
    grow tired of it, but sooner or later some
    feature will come in and spark you up

    The one thing that this games lacks, is Sega's support and lack of good narration. There are a lot of PSO fans who bitch and whine about this being diferent from pso.
    I say shut up, because its more like Phantasy star then pso and it has Pso in it but better, only thing missing is the offline grinding, which the psp version should have. The game is 10 times as big and has deeper way better mechanics system, and a new counter and timed attack system which just adds to the depth.
    Having a verity of themed rooms to choose from and a NPC that you grow that manages your weapons and sells you shop items while your offline is pretty awesome. the shop system is pretty in depth and Sega is always improving on a good shop system that already worked good to begin with,by adding a good depth of features unlike any other game has seen.
    You do not have to be total nerd to pick this up and play!
    sonic team (especially if Yuji naka is behind it) has always been good about making games accessible by anyone.
    ITS NOT THE GREATEST THING 4 EVER, but it has a ton of FUN INNOVATIVE features that have set a bar, that many are not aware of.
    Full Review »
  3. EmilyB.
    Dec 31, 2007
    I have never gotten to deeply into the offline but my boyfriend loves it and i enjoyed the online story mode tremendously! This game has enough things to level (technics, attacks, type, character) to keep the most hard core gamer busy but can also keep someone who wants to play a little here and a little there coming back when they want a chance to save the universe! I love this game and have created quite a friend base on it, so much so that we started a "clan". With the AoI expansion it just made everything that much more fun and exciting! I recommend this game to casual and hard core gamers both!!! Full Review »