• Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: Sep 24, 2001
  • Also On: PC

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
Buy On
  1. While Silent Hill 2 retains the same basic format of the original, the story is decidedly more coherent and the graphics have been upgraded immeasurably.
  2. Stands strong as the top survival horror game of the decade.
  3. 100
    It's scary, beautifully imaginative and just when you think it's got as mad and twisted as it possibly could you're treated to a stranger puzzle, harder opponent to beat or even just a deeply twisted environment to explore.
  4. Amid its many puzzles, creepy scares and flurries of combat, Silent Hill 2 has moments that are so human and painful--forget about “horror” for the moment--that they elevate the experience from a mere “videogame” to a jarring, unsettling look at pain, loss, despair and dread.
  5. It uses a combination of sight, sound, imagery and imagination to create the scariest game on any home console. Turn off the lights, grab your controller and enjoy the horror of Silent Hill 2.
  6. 100
    Seldom has sound, vision, and control worked in such perfect harmony. Most players will find themselves wanting to play SH2 right after they finish it the first time.
  7. 100
    The team have used the superior pixel-pushing capabilities of the console to make this a truly terrifying game.
  8. 100
    Some really sick stuff. The imagery and grotesque design of the enemies is disturbing, and the grainy film stock adds an element of brutal realism to an already upsetting game. Needless to say, we loved it...Not only disturbing and scary, it’s actually a lot of fun.
  9. 96
    If "Resident Evil" was likened to "Night of the Living Dead," then think of Silent Hill 2 as "Twin Peaks," minus the damn fine coffee, but plus the atmospheric gloom and cast of insane deviants, with the entire mixture then taken out back into the woods, shot, hacked into small chunks, and buried.
  10. Things like reducing the on-screen fog, the chance to pick up a chainsaw as a weapon and multiple endings really make it a lot of fun to go through a few times.
  11. It's not often that monsters of many types can freak you out. It's not likely you'll find a plot as sickening or bent as the one in this game.
  12. I'll take SH2 [over "Resident Evil"] any day. Turn out the lights, turn off that damn radio and you'll see what I mean. It eats into your brain (mmmmmm.....) and you won't even notice how jittery you've become until the cat suddenly jumps into your lap and you fling your controller at the ceiling.
  13. As far as sound effects go, they are some of the best ever found in a videogame.
  14. The game is one of the longer offerings Konami has offered on PS2 to date...[but] you'll still be left wanting more when the game is over.
  15. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    To fully appreciate Silent Hill 2, you have to let it take over your life for a while. [Nov 2001, p.162]
  16. Beautifully crafted. The story-driven gameplay is compelling and the atmosphere is a visual and aural masterpiece.
  17. 90
    It's an experience that, excuse the Chaucerian, is sure to freak the crap out of you.
  18. With a unique and interesting story, mind-blowing graphics, incredible soundtrack, great gameplay and FIVE endings, it’s hard to find fault with Silent Hill 2.
  19. 90
    SH2 makes more effective use of shadows, lighting, and sound than 99 percent of the Hollywood horror movies made in the last 20 years.
  20. With solid puzzles, a great story, creepy settings, the most disgusting monsters ever and puzzles that simply rock, Silent Hill 2 has gained my respect in the survival horror genre.
  21. Games Radar
    Flawed, frustrating and contrived, but as an experience it's one of the most emotionally engaging games in existence.
  22. 85
    Quite simply, mature PS2 owners craving a creepy game that's perfect for playing with the lights out and speakers cranked, pick up a copy of Silent Hill 2 and you will not be disappointed. Clean underwear not included.
  23. It was a little slow at times and the control issues were frustrating, but the great story, incredible atmosphere and just plain creepiness made it all worthwhile.
  24. While the voice acting isn't a total waste, it seems like the writers decided to have the characters babble on about nothing at times.
  25. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    SH2’s unnerving mood is so immersive, almost deafening, that it overshadows some of the technical faults…This game will scare you. [Nov 2001, p.212]
  26. Next Generation Magazine
    The action, though, is simply repetitive, as even the most common creatures must be bludgeoned repeatedly to “kill” them (and there are a lot of creatures). [Nov 2001, p.100]
  27. The graphics at first may seem to be a little too grainy, however the atmosphere created from it is pure genius.
  28. If the grainy, David Lynch ambiance doesn’t make your nads retract in terror, the four-legged headless guys in combat boots and leather thongs certainly will.
  29. The pacing can be a little languid at times, and the combat and movement controls could use some tweaking. Also, this game feels a little linear and lacking in extras when compared to the original.
  30. A much prettier, somewhat smarter but less-compelling game than the original.
  31. Overall, the Silent Hill 2 experience is worth having, if just for the freak-out value. It's not that compelling a story, and the puzzles aren't too difficult, but it's gorgeous to look at and listen to.
  32. From the stable that gave us "Symphony Of The Night" and "Metal Gear Solid," more is rightfully expected.
  33. Instead of the brain-bending adventure with scares and gore that I had so desperately hoped for, it turned out to be a sloppy, monotonous bore that nearly put me to sleep.
  34. Suffers a bit from being too close to its predecessor in terms of gameplay, but it does manage to scare up enough dread to be a worthy game for fans of the genre.

Awards & Rankings

#4 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#7 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 712 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 712
  1. Feb 1, 2014
    Silent Hill 2 is overrated; I'm not saying is bad but I don't think is the best survival horror ever or the best Silent Hill game to thatSilent Hill 2 is overrated; I'm not saying is bad but I don't think is the best survival horror ever or the best Silent Hill game to that matter. The story of James Sunderland's quest for the truth about his wife has heart, but is not has touching has Harry's search for his daughter, not the mention the passing is unfocused and characters that, while interesting, play no importance to our protagonist's journey, is very distracting. Art direction is phenomenal, music is excellent and gameplay is well incorporated for a survival horror. Silent Hill 2 is a good fallow up and I'm glad I played it but is not the best game in the series and the praise it gets makes me call it one of the most overrated titles of all time... Full Review »
  2. DanielM
    Jan 21, 2010
    In my opinion, this is game of the year, all years. This game, is more then a game. It is so deep that almost every last little detail, from In my opinion, this is game of the year, all years. This game, is more then a game. It is so deep that almost every last little detail, from a wall's wallpaper, to a whisper that's just barely audible, and a radio's seemingly random burst of static, all has a profound and revealing reason to be there. I feel so bad that I read the ending before playing this game. If you plan on buying this game, and this is your first non-spoiler review, please. Do not continue reading reviews, just buy it. Many reviews here have spoilers. I hope they make another Silent Hill as good as this one, and that next time, I can play through it with my knowladge of the plot inexistant. Full Review »
  3. Nov 24, 2012
    Mind-blowing story and almost excellent graphics. The only bad point is the longevity, which is a problem of many other games.
    Overall, this
    Mind-blowing story and almost excellent graphics. The only bad point is the longevity, which is a problem of many other games.
    Overall, this is an optimal game.
    Full Review »