Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 45
  2. Negative: 1 out of 45
Buy On
  1. Namco, in trying to fix what wasn't broken to begin with, ended up loosening a few screws where the job wasn't needed.
  2. 88
    Like its prequel, the game does not even try to convince the player it would be anything else but a classic, heavily story-driven RPG with a traditional turn-based battle engine. The visuals are currently among the best in the genre and at least the songs composed by Yuki Kajiura are solid.
  3. 88
    I gauge a great RPG as one that sucks you in so much that you lose track of time. What may seem just a few minutes turns into a few hours. That is true of a few great RPGs, and Xenosaga II is one of them.
  4. Xenosaga Episode 2 seems to top Episode 1 in almost all aspects of gameplay, graphics and sound...If you liked Episode 1, you'll like Episode 2. Speaking more generally, if you like RPGs you'll like Episode 2.
  5. Precisely what the second volume in a saga should be. It continues the story, and it develops the characters involved with the story... Hopefully, the next installment will propel the story forward a bit more.
  6. Xenosaga II is a worthy follow up with richly detailed characters and great battling, but it seems a little unfair to expect European gamers to jump onboard so late in the game.
  7. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 8 / 8 / 9 - 33 gold [Vol 811; 2 July 2004]
  8. Pelit (Finland)
    A good RPG with a brilliant story and a great cast of characters. However, the battle system is too slow-paced and not very flexible. [Nov 2005]
  9. While the game is still decent, it simply isn’t as great as the original installment. Though it still offers spectacular plot, it just isn’t as deep in its character customization as it once was.
  10. If you are willing to stick with it, and accept that they may use terms that won't even get completely explained in this chapter, it is a decent science fiction story. It's just not simple to follow, and translation from Japanese to English probably did not help make things any easier to understand.
  11. 80
    A beautiful composition, but restless gamers will have a hard time sitting throught the constant cinemas... Perhaps next time developers will seriously consider integrating the story through an increased amount of real-time gameplay. [March 2005, p.90]
  12. The only problems are the longer-than-generally-accepted load times, and the long cutscenes.
  13. Some might be a little disappointed by its short sub-30 hour campaign, but most people will find it forgiving because this game has so much heart and soul that it will be remembered long after it’s beaten.
  14. Monolith did attempt to reduce the ratio of movies to gameplay, and succeeded, to a degree, although they did also shorten the game by half or so.
  15. 80
    A marvelous game. However, you may want to have some popcorn with you while you play. Xenosaga: Episode 2’s cut-scenes are long and plentiful, about four and a half hours in total.
  16. I’m not going to lie… this installment isn’t quite as good. Episode I had a few minor errors that I hoped would be fixed, and in some cases they were. But the game ended up leaving me unsatisfied. A pretty good game, but not as good as it should’ve been.
  17. 79
    Though its story kicked butt and its characters look better than ever, the focus wasn't broad enough to make use of its rich cast of personalities and unique combat like the first game did.
  18. Game Informer
    This game is a dropped ball of "Devil May Cry 2" proportions. [March 2005, p.126]
  19. Improvements to the game's turn-based combat engine, graphics, and its still-captivating plot ensure that fans of story-driven role-playing games and the Xenosaga series itself will still find much to appreciate about Episode II.
  20. Episode 2 should take only about 40 hours to finish, short by the standards of the genre today and half the length of Episode 1.
  21. Play Magazine
    Episode II feels less grand than the original, almost like an epilogue to the first game. [Feb 2005, p.61]
  22. 75
    It is just that the problems that are in Xenosaga Episode II are pretty unforgiving in today’s standards.
  23. Though the game is woefully short, the game does set a standard for RPG difficulty, which might breathe some challenge into the genre.
  24. This version seems even less interactive than the original. So for those of you, who got bored with the first, stay away.
  25. Despite the game's pacing, the graphics, cut-scenes, and second half of the story end up making Episode II a solid RPG - just not the epic sequel that the previous game deserves. [March 2005, p.122]
  26. In the end, it feels more like "Xenosaga Episode I: The Deleted Scenes." [March 2005, p.96]
  27. 70
    Less than half as long as the original, making it something of a disappointing RPG snack for fans hoping to sink their teeth into a hearty meal -- something one would obviously expect after the seemingly endless twists and turns of the original.
  28. The new combat system is complicated but imaginative and adds much depth to the gameplay that was already superb.
  29. A good game all-around and a great continuation of the planned six-part saga, Episode II still falls short of what you'd expect from a supposed epic.
  30. netjak
    Whichever side of the fence you sit on, it's probably safe to say that Xenosaga II is one of the better movies to come out in 2005.
  31. 70
    Episode 2 is comparatively short not only in terms of Episode 1 but in comparison to RPGs in general. Whilst its length seems well paced in terms of the combat and exploration aspects of the title, its narrative just doesn't quite do enough.
  32. Frankly, the game components could’ve been stripped out and this would’ve scored better as an anime DVD, but as a game, it’s going to come off a very tiresome to the average gamer.
  33. Xenosaga 2, is a big commitment for any gamer. If you want to get the most out of the game you're looking at weeks of concentrated staccato playing/watching/playing/watching as you work your way through the huge narrative arc.
  34. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    More than a story game, Xenosaga II just about prevails in spite of itself as a title worth witnessing...for the patient. [Dec 2005, p.118]
  35. Good, just not great, and fails to live up to the expectations of its originator.
  36. I don't think I can stress it enough; I really don't like the overhaul of the battle system in Xenosaga II.
  37. PSM Magazine
    Every enemy has a fatal Achilles' Heel. Once you learn a combo to exploit it, all battles become trivial. [Feb 2005, p.79]
  38. 60
    Episode II offers hints of excellence, but few of them have anything to do with the gameplay.
  39. 60
    A decent chapter in a larger story, but as a standalone game it's simply not that exciting. It's hard to get over the dumbed-down combat and character development systems.
  40. This is a story worth telling, but you'll be beaten and abused while you try to listen to it.
  41. A pleasant addition to this templated tale.
  42. 60
    Despite the balance problems, less gripping story, somnolent voice acting, and dichotomous soundtrack, Xenosaga II is still a playable RPG if you don’t expect it to set your world on fire.
  43. Edge Magazine
    The player is required to reap their principle enjoyment from the narrative and the cinematic rather than the interactive. The traditional flow of play has been turned on its head: cut-scenes are the new king, gameplay elements little more than lines to link the drama. [Apr 2005, p.104]
  44. Despite a big, engrossing story and some improved combat features, this second step in the Xenosaga series doesn’t manage to live up to its prior success. Hopefully, the next game will tone down the excessive storytelling segments and continue refining the combat.
  45. This definitely isn’t a title that will impress most of the “jaded gamers” crowd, and while I had fun playing it, I certainly wouldn’t describe my experience as extraordinary.

Awards & Rankings

#60 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. AndrewC.
    Feb 8, 2007
    Ouch...this here sequel to one of my favorite RPG's ever is a steaming pile of feces. The gameplay is terrible, the voice acting Ouch...this here sequel to one of my favorite RPG's ever is a steaming pile of feces. The gameplay is terrible, the voice acting practically ruined, the great soundtrack missing, the cutscenes uninspiring, and worst of all it just doesn't look good. Very, very disappointing. Full Review »
  2. LUUQ.
    Jan 6, 2005
  3. Mar 16, 2015
    While I did certainly enjoy this game, it was certainly a departure from what I appreciated about the first and third games. First of all, IWhile I did certainly enjoy this game, it was certainly a departure from what I appreciated about the first and third games. First of all, I missed the voice actors that portrayed each of the characters. That is a large part of my score for this game. However, the graphics were still great (for the time). The battle system was an interesting upgrade that I often appreciated, however it was occasionally estoeric. The story is still a huge part of the game and that I believe was still done quite well. Full Review »