• 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
Buy On
  1. There is one slight problem: I had already played much of it on a now defunct console some years ago. Dreamcast owners don't have much to look forward to here, with many of the same characters, features, and game mechanics intact.
  2. Whether you’re a fighting aficionado or a green rookie, there’s plenty to enjoy about this game.
  3. Cheat Code Central
    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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Edge Magazine
    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]
  7. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    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]
  9. The PS2 controller provides a much more intuitive fighting game experience than either the Gamecube or Xbox.
  10. 100
    For the vast majority of the gaming world, this is quite easily the best 3D beat 'em up ever made.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Game Informer
    A good fighter..., SC II just doesn't elevate the series the way I had hoped, and even takes a few steps back in some single-player respects. [Oct 2003, p.112]
  14. 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]
  15. 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.
  16. GameNow
    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]
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. You've seldom seen an interface as polished as this one.
  21. Serious fighting game fans will be hooked after they see how deep the gameplay is, while casual gamers will enjoy the fast-paced action and extra modes of play.
  22. 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]
  23. Soul Calibur II won't impress you as much as its predecessor, since you've seen most of these characters, their weapons, and their moves before, and the available gameplay modes are nothing out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, on its own terms, Soul Calibur II is by all means a great fighting game.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Soul Calibur 2 is sword-fighting perfection trapped in a box.
  27. The game looks great, sounds better, and has more depth than 3 fighting games put together.
  28. 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.
  29. GMR Magazine
    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. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. netjak
    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]
  33. 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]
  34. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    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]
  35. Play Magazine
    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]
  36. Playboy
    Unfortunately, Soul Calibur 2 doesn't include an option to download content from the Net, nor is there a component for online play, so all fashion critiques are confined to your living room. [Aug 2003, p.32]
  37. PSM Magazine
    The backgrounds are so stunning you'll want to drop your weapons, pack a lunch, and go exploring. [Oct 2003, p.26]
  38. The fighters move so fludily that one almost feels as if they are being helped from the onscreen character.
  39. 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]
  40. 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.
  41. 100
    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.

Awards & Rankings

#28 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 130 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 130
  1. May 18, 2018
    A good fighting game however my personal preference would be 2d side view and not 3d fighters like Tekken or Virtual Fighter
  2. May 26, 2017
    Soulcalibur 2 might be the best fighting game of the sixth generation. It had a lengthy campaign and a great and memorable roster. SoulcaliburSoulcalibur 2 might be the best fighting game of the sixth generation. It had a lengthy campaign and a great and memorable roster. Soulcalibur 2 is still one of my favorite games to play on the PS2. Full Review »
  3. Sep 6, 2016
    This note is only temporary, this can change if better settings are found in the future on another OS and rig:
    Which OS to load, which user
    This note is only temporary, this can change if better settings are found in the future on another OS and rig:
    Which OS to load, which user account and what hardwares:
    2 Sept 2016 … best looking graphic, but at lower than normal game speed = play this on Win7 64-bit, user account “knowy64”, Phenom 965 o'c to 3.8GHz with GTX 670 2GB. ... run it on PCSX2 1.4.0
    Phenom x 965 overclocked to 3.8GHz (stock is 3.4GHz) .. 8GB DDR3 RAM .. Geforce GTX 670 2GB .. Win7 64-bit ... runs ALL fine, FPS and game speed are all good. No jagged lines any more as the AA effect or screen resolution increased by playing it on the PCSX2 enhanced it so much.
    Note, this graphic glitches has been sorted after retunning and running the game on the PCSX2 1.4.0 than the v1.2.1: The game can be played on the same PCSX2 settings that's been used on the Soul Calibur 3, it works on the PCSX2 1.2.1 .. though there are small amount of ploygons flickering or missing in the background scenes on some maps, and the characters' face and couple other "skin tone" parts can has "tears" at rare times - like being pulled out into a far distance with the textures smudged into fine colored lines and narrowing into a point, the game is very playable despite the rare graphic issues only happend to the PCSX2 1.2.1
    Full Review »