Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
Buy On
  1. 100
    I honestly can’t fathom going back to driving a car in the next installment of "Grand Theft Auto" – the world is just so much cooler when you can explore the whole city, meaning everything up in the air as well. Manhattan becomes a giant jungle gym for Spider-Man to play in, and it is a blast.
  2. Web Swinging is brilliant and it truly is one of those things that you have to experience for yourself. I can just load up the game and swing around for a few minutes and still have a great time before shutting it off, which is a testament to Treyarch’s great work.
  3. Incredibly fun. I finished the story mode and spent almost an hour continuing to explore the city.
  4. Hats off to Treyarch for making a game based on probably the most difficult character to harness. They have nailed Spider-man from his animations to his abilities – this game is nearly a perfect adaptation.
  5. The end result though is a very playable method of swinging through the city yet at the same time looking flashy and a lot like the way it was done in the movie. You can imagine the final few seconds of the first movie to get an idea of what you can expect, except you'll actually be doing it.
  6. The goal of any superhero game is to make you feel like the hero, and by that standard, Spider-Man 2 is unrivaled. That it also happens to be a fantastic action game is icing on the cake, a true treat for both fans of the webslinger and general gamers alike.
  7. Using the simple control dynamics to soar through a living, breathing, virtual New York City is as much fun and exhilarating as watching it on the big screen.
  8. What I think is the most significant about the game is that it takes the movie's story, but it doesn't deviate from the gameplay that makes Spider-Man so fun. And this time it's very open ended.
  9. 90
    Between the massive boss encounters and hours of swinging around Manhattan, you’re in for at least a week of play.
  10. 90
    The best Spider-Man game yet made. From the rich combat system to the simple, inexhaustible joys of swinging through the city, Spider-Man 2 delivers the experience web-slinger fans have been begging for since time immortal.
  11. While the graphics may not be ground breaking for either the PS2 or the Xbox game system they do provide players with a well represented city that is both visually stimulating and just plain fun to play in.
  12. 90
    All the best bits you'll see in commercials for the game -- bits likely to make viewers think, "Wow, that looks cool, I gotta have it!" -- aren't merely climactic moments of one-off boss battles... they represent the vast bulk of the gameplay experience.
  13. 88
    The game's integral factors ascend above the fray, giving players a huge, multifaceted game that's rich in skill-based gameplay and replay value. It's fat with a massive array of challenges, and it delivery a distinct Spider-Man style of fun previously unmatched in the action genre.
  14. Has a great engine, and it’s easily the best superhero game ever...The real problem is that the further you get in the story mode, the less fun Spider-Man 2 becomes.
  15. 88
    If you just forget the missions and go around beating thugs senseless, you can have hours of fun.
  16. Spider-Man 2 can feel repetitive at times, but the webswinging aspect is simply fantastic. It’s the closest you can come to being Spider-Man without being bitten by a radioactive spider first.
  17. The free-roaming gameplay, expansive environments, fun combat and commendable graphics all make for a great experience, and the fact that it comes in a superhero game is just icing on an already-great cake.
  18. A little more variety in terms of the structure of available side missions would have made the game even better.
  19. The funny thing about that is that there are probably enough sub-par things in this game to come down on it a little harder than I did, but the game is one of those deals where the complete work is greater than the sum of its parts.
  20. 85
    A big reason why the things you do are so much fun is because the controls are exactly like the game needs them to be.
  21. 85
    While Spider-Man 2 has some issues, nearly everything is outweighed by the fantastic web-slinging and the huge city environment.
  22. A landmark superhero game that offers an experience not only unique to superhero games, but gaming in general.
  23. The main plot can be completed in a rental period though, so skilled gamers should rent first to see whether the fun of Spidey’s web slinging offsets the repetition of the game’s missions.
  24. Play Magazine
    If the name of the game is immersion, fun and a connection with the environment, Spidey wins the prize in my book. [Aug 2004, p.52]
  25. Some may be disappointed by the lack of personal scenes from the film but chances are they wouldn't have made great game missions.
  26. 80
    Choose to ignore the plot and the side missions if you like; the hidden races, the token hunts and the tremendous feeling to be had from simply exploring, swinging and crawling about the city are more than enough to justify purchase.
  27. So it's short; Steve Wonder could probably rock the combat engine like nobody's business. [Aug 2004, p.97]
  28. Fortunately taking on the smaller bad guys is pretty fun too. It does feel as though you’ve done it all before after a while though.
  29. PSM Magazine
    Although the more mundane tasks get tiring by the end, the boss battle rock, and the joy of simply cruising from building to building is a thrill no gamer should miss. [Sept 2004, p.25]
  30. Special attention was paid to capturing the athletic tumbling abilities that Spider-Man exhibited in both the comic books and the movies, and it shows. The incredibly agile moves that a player can pull off with Spidey are astounding.
  31. GMR Magazine
    Hand-to-hand combat, especially against a large group of thugs, is clunky at best and irritating at worst. [Sept 2004, p.79]
  32. Other than its generic mission objectives and/or uninteresting sounds (including a poor attempt at camp humor) Spider-Man 2 delivers the goods and has legs to last well beyond the summer of 2004.
  33. Without doubt extremely enjoyable for fans, simply because controlling Spider-Man has never been executed so well. There are problems with the main game, there’s problems with its presentation; however we still find ourselves loading up the game just to swing around New York again.
  34. Just as Spider-Man has to struggle with the burden of trying to live a normal life as Peter Parker, Spider-Man 2 struggles to find balance between the open ended gameplay of titles such as GTA it has so obviously been influenced by and platform games of old and their out-moded approach to boss fights.
  35. Spider-Man 2 isn't a revolutionary take on the movie-to-game-licence genre; it's just a competently put together game that suffers a tad from being a bit content poor. At the same time, though, what it offers is a lot of fun - while it lasts.
  36. The problem is, the pedestrian missions are endlessly repetitive...This is a definite rental (everyone should experience swinging around the city), but in about a month, you’re going to start hating yourself if you pay full price.
  37. It is just plagued by mindful tedium and an uninspired battle system that prevent it from breaking the shackles of mediocrity and soaring to glory. It pains me to give Spidey 2 such a bad review, since the game's saving grace of web-shooting clearly showed that the game had serious potential.
  38. While Spider-Man 2 truly puts you in the webbed booties of the wall-crawler and boasts a ton of freedom to do what you want, there's not enough variety to keep things fresh from start to finish.
  39. Just recreating the city and getting the web slinging right is impressive on its own, but they aren’t enough to keep the game from getting stale too quickly. The game can be beaten in less than ten hours, and while that’s only 50% if you haven’t gotten all the bonus hidden stuff, there’s not really anything interesting enough to entice you to keep playing.
  40. But the game design doesn't take full advantage of the huge city, so instead you'll usually end up repeating the same half-dozen or so tasks over and over again, with some unique challenges thankfully sprinkled in to keep things moving.
  41. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Even though the battles may occur in the same settings as the ones in the movie, they lack not only the coolness, but also the soul. [Sept 2004, p.86]
  42. It doesn't quite reach the lofty heights that the likes of "Goldeneye" and "Bladerunner" achieved as film/game tie-ins, but what Spider-man 2 does is create one of the best super-hero games of all time.
  43. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    I give developer Treyarch credit for its ambitious GTA-style playground game design, but the errands Spider-Man sends you on are repetitive and dull. Combat is part of the problem; you can buy all sorts of fancy moves and combos, but why bother when button-mashing works just as well? [Sept 2004, p.98]
  44. It can’t possibly sustain its ardour, but nevertheless, purely for reasons of bringing Spider-Man to life in the best way possible, this is a spectacular experience.
  45. AceGamez
    As much fun as swinging around the city and helping random people is, Spider-Man 2 could have been an absolutely amazing title had the developers spent a little more time crafting better missions and crimes to stop and actually giving the enemy some AI instead of patterns to repeat.
  46. games(TM)
    Spider-Man 2 emerges as not only a movie licence that eschews the ‘fast-buck’ approach, but as an enjoyable game in its own right – which is chiefly a testament to just how compelling it is to have superpowers and a vast city in which to show them off. [Sept 2004, p.118]
  47. The game has too many instances where things will be going great and you will be enjoying it and then you will be stuck having to get enough hero points to complete the chapter. The other big downside to the game is the fact that the enemies are more of an annoyance then a challenge.
  48. Edge Magazine
    Spider-Man 2 presents players with a city ripe for action and exploration, but once you swing down out of the clouds and take a closer look at the grubby streets and roads strewn with vehicles, you'll find little to pique your interest. [Sept 2004, p.100]
  49. While Spider-Man 2 is quite entertaining during its major challenges, it grinds to a halt when you are forced to wander around saving random people.
  50. netjak
    Probably the worst game of the year, and definitely on my top 20 worst games ever. It was truly disappointing. The bottom line here is that the game was severely rushed.

Awards & Rankings

#25 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#22 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 1 out of 133
  1. Sep 4, 2012
    I've played several Spider-Man games, and out of all of them, this one is still my all time favorite. This is exactly what I want from notI've played several Spider-Man games, and out of all of them, this one is still my all time favorite. This is exactly what I want from not just Spider-Man, but also every other comic book superhero. In other words, this game is a free-roaming game that allows you to roam around New York City, do story missions, and fight crime (basically a superhero Grand Theft Auto). I'm surprised that the only other superheroes who've followed this formula are Batman (Batman: Arkham City), and Hulk (Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction). Of course, the question on everyone's mouths is this. Is this idea well executed? The answer is yes. As a matter of fact, it's not only executed well, it's executed perfectly! It really does feel like a superhero Grand Theft Auto. There are several missions for not only the story, but also jobs such as delivering Pizza, and taking pictures for the Daily Bugle. Along with that, in New York City itself, there are plenty of different crimes to fight. They can be anything from saving a person from falling, to stopping an armored car robbery. The control of this game is excellent. It really makes you feel like you're Spider-Man. This is another important thing I think about when playing a superhero game. The control has to make you feel like the hero that you're playing as, and this game does that perfectly too. As for the graphics, they're decent but not perfect. I've seen far better graphics, but I've also seen far worse. The story is pretty much the same as the movie that it's based on, but expanded with extra characters. As a matter of fact, the only thing about this game that I don't like is the voice acting which is flat out terrible. Aside from that, this entire game is amazing, and is overall one of the best superhero games I've ever played (if not the best). Full Review »
  2. Oct 15, 2011
    A hugely fun game that has plenty of things to see, places to go, items to collect and people to save. Web swinging is exhilarating if aA hugely fun game that has plenty of things to see, places to go, items to collect and people to save. Web swinging is exhilarating if a little irritating at times. Combat is frantic and fast, with numerous moves and combos available. The game expands on the movie by adding new storylines and characters (Black Cat, Shocker, Mysterio etc). Spierman 2 is a great take on the open-world formula as the game transforms New York into a playground. Full Review »
  3. Feb 12, 2015
    Best Spiderman game ever. I love the open world, the web slinging, the graphics and the gameplay. Spiderman games might be bad now but youBest Spiderman game ever. I love the open world, the web slinging, the graphics and the gameplay. Spiderman games might be bad now but you have to check this one out Full Review »