• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Aug 27, 2003

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 41
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 41
  3. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 100
    For the vast majority of the gaming world, this is quite easily the best 3D beat 'em up ever made.
  2. The fighters move so fludily that one almost feels as if they are being helped from the onscreen character.
  3. 100
    A must-have for all fighting-game fans, but its easy-going control is also ideal for the casual gamer who just wants to get a bit of aggression out and look good doing it.
  4. The PS2 version is the weakest graphically, with a forgettable bonus character, but the Dual Shock controller is nearly as good as a joystick... "Virtua Fighter 4" might hold the top spot among hand-to-hand fighters, but when it comes to weapons-based combat, Soul Calibur II is the undisputed champion.
  5. Never mind that it's one of the best fighters ever made - it's one of the best games ever made... Brilliant. It's one of those extremely rare games that screams perfection. [Sept 2003, p.94]
  6. 100
    SCII is a rare thing. It has expertly designed fighting mechanics, a gorgeous graphical presentation, and a magnitude of features and play modes... The fighting still feels perfect. [Grade = A+; Sept 2003, p.48]
  7. With seemingly countless missions, weapons, and strategies, Soul Calibur II is the latest and greatest contender in the arena of thumb-numbing fighting. [5 Sept 2003, p.L2T 22]
  8. The game looks great, sounds better, and has more depth than 3 fighting games put together.
  9. 100
    The graphics are beautiful. The back drops are excellent and the character models look great. Color abounds in this eye-candy filled title. I wish some of the animations and moves had been changed up a bit, but what are you going to do?
  10. With such a diverse assortment of characters in the game, its shocking that 99% of the gameplay is ridden of cheap moves and attacks, graphical flaws, poor sound quality, etc; perfect as you would call it.
  11. Soul Calibur 2 is sword-fighting perfection trapped in a box.
  12. A hardcore gamer's fantasy game come true. With Eight-Way Run, Air Control, Guard Impacts, and all these other techniques in your holster, you can spend weeks training with just one character. [Sept 2003, p.103]
  13. Bland techno or rock riffs are common staples of fighting games, but SCII takes a much more elegant route and utilizes an orchestral soundtrack. Simply put, it works wonderfully. The voice acting is spot on as well.
  14. If you feel that your love for games is diminishing, play this and be welcomed back to a Technicolor world of total obsession. If this game was a person, we’d stalk it, search its bins and collect snippets of its hair. [Import]
  15. The assortment of characters, both new and old, will take time to master, but they’re all so different and well balanced that you’ll probably pick a favorite in no time, but still want to try them all.
  16. Whether you’re a fighting aficionado or a green rookie, there’s plenty to enjoy about this game.
  17. That isn't to say SCII isn't a fine upstanding product; it is in spades. It just happens to be more than a little predictable and without sounding unappreciative, it's more or less like the excellent Dreamcast verison released back in 1999.
  18. Definitely not as "out of this world" as SC1 was... But the gripes aside, I love this game. That's one (fault? feature?) of my reviews: the more I like the game, the more faults I try to find with it. [Japanese Import]
  19. What really pushes this soulful number to the top of the charts is the fact that it's great fun to play. Easy to pick up, difficult to master - that's the story of a great fighting game. [PSM2]
  20. Extensive gameplay, tons of unlockables, gorgeous graphics and solid audio qualities all come together to deliver a game that is only millimeters away from gaming perfection.
  21. 93
    The addition of weapons to the fighting game mix has put the Soul Calibur series in its own arena; the intensity of clashing blades and the strategies afforded by their behaviors makes the game feel more visceral than any of the other fighters on the market.
  22. 92
    Essentially more of the same great stuff that made its predecessor the genre-defining game that it was, but in the context of the present day and the corresponding competition, the impact of such a game has been greatly reduced.
  23. Remains a solid, hard-hitting fighting game that requires skillful mastery of it characters and their unique fighting abilities all wrapped up nicely in a next-gen package that no fighting fan will want to miss.
  24. A great game. It's got all the goods you’d expect, from solid gameplay to smooth presentation. But where the game comes up short is giving you things you don't expect, and considering that the series is in many ways unchanged since it first hit the PSX back in 1997, that’s a shame.
  25. With the grace, speed and precision of a great 2D fighter placed exactly in a 3D mold, Soul Calibur 2 is the only fighter I'll need for a very long time. [Oct 2003, p.72]
  26. The backgrounds are so stunning you'll want to drop your weapons, pack a lunch, and go exploring. [Oct 2003, p.26]
  27. No other beat 'em up developer is quite as willing to experiment with the form in a bid to stave off the moribundity that's gradually subsuming the genre. [Import - June 2003, p.88]
  28. 90
    A masterpiece in terms of design and playability. It is enjoyable for the novice, yet deeply rewarding for those who are willing to take the time it takes to learn its intricacies. [JPN Import]
  29. Whether you're using analog or digital controls, the PS2 pad offers the best controls for kicking butts... But the graphics are the least polished of the three versions. [Sept 2003, p.63]
  30. Sure, Soul Calibur II is the single greatest weapons-based fighter out there. But is it a significant leap forward from the original? Not really.
  31. Fans might feel a little short-changed at how, well, familiar most of the gameplay is to the Dreamcast version, but that doesn't take away too much from the fact that you can now play one of the best fighting games ever put out there without having to resort to digging out Sega's defunct games platform on eBay.
  32. 90
    The controls for the PS2 version are nothing short of perfect, but the slightly reduced graphics and occasional framerate issues drop it down a notch.
  33. You've seldom seen an interface as polished as this one.
  34. The PS2 controller provides a much more intuitive fighting game experience than either the Gamecube or Xbox.
  35. 88
    You may be pensively looking over at other games and wonder why SC2 skimped on all of those luscious features. I don't understand it all either, but that doesn't stop me from proclaiming this as the best 3D fighter I've played to date. [Import]
  36. One of the best fighters on PlayStation 2 and without a doubt THE very best for GameCube and Xbox. Maybe this tells just how incredible and ahead of its time Soul Calibur for Dreamcast was.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 94 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 41
  3. Negative: 1 out of 41
  1. Sep 30, 2014
    Simply the best fighting game ever created. Perfect gameplay and great visuals blend together to make a truly unique experience. But mostSimply the best fighting game ever created. Perfect gameplay and great visuals blend together to make a truly unique experience. But most importantly - it's great fun. Pick this up if you can find it. Full Review »
  2. May 20, 2014
    This is my favorite fighting game of all time despite that it didn't improve much over is revolutionary predecessor, it's story is brief whileThis is my favorite fighting game of all time despite that it didn't improve much over is revolutionary predecessor, it's story is brief while the are two repetitive arcades and way more content than the original because of the weapon master mode campaign. The graphics are excellent just like the original, more places to fight but barely anything new combos except for the new comers of the game. No on-line but why I have to complain about the on-line to a fighting game is still the same impact. My review 9.222. Full Review »
  3. Jan 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Soul Calibur II is not such a good game that could be. Although it has a lot of character and pretty good graphics (music too) but the combat system has been done on average. It reminds me of a combination of KOF and Tekken. People who played in the given game just may have the same feeling as me. And because I'm a big fan of Tekken glad I view Heichachi and Yoshimitsu. In Soulcalibur II, I like it too that each character has an alternate costume. In this fighting game does not have too many characters but you can bring them some good combos.According to me, the game was too expensive on release 65 USD). Full Review »