• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 9, 2008

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 83
    Still, it's a damn good crime game that delivers satisfying combat, an entertaining glimpse into the Japanese criminal underworld, decent fan service for players who dug the first game, and a pretty awesome tiger-fight scene.
  2. Its fantastic story and satisfying combat should be experienced by fans of the Japanese criminal underworld.
  3. There is a great story and a fine game in Yakuza 2, let down mainly by old technology and some stylistic choices that wouldn't have mattered half as much when it was first released in the East.
  4. The story in Yakuza 2 is definitely something that will stay with you, and must be experienced for fans of gangster culture, Japanese history, or anyone who appreciates a well-told and deep narrative.
  5. Many will be put off by Yakuza 2's lengthy cutscenes, or bored by the lack of variety in the gameplay; but for those for which the game clicks, it is a title that will be hard to forget. The boldness of its narrative and the confidence of its mechanics make Yakuza 2 a slice of Japanese gaming that is well worth experiencing.
  6. It's a bit more exotic than the previous game, with a bit more gameplay variety and groups, but it's definitely not Shenmue.
  7. Its flaws are downplayed in the context of its range, its humour, its oddities, and its alternately psychopathic and pandering NPCs. It's as unusual as it is conventional. [Nov 2008, p.99]
  8. Those savvy enough to see beyond Yakuza 2's slightly dated visuals will enjoy a richly rewarding openworld brawler - one that's every bit as immersive and entertaining as the original.
  9. Yakuza 2 isn't perfect by a longshot, but it's one of the exceedingly few games that makes an effort to deliver legitimately mature content aimed at, and intended for adults like me who can appreciate something a little more substantial than killing terrorists, aliens, or zombies once in awhile.
  10. It's not groundbreaking, but it is highly entertaining, and for players willing to give it some time, it will suck them in for hours.
  11. I whole-heartedly believe that anyone with even a passing interest in the brawling genre, or the Japanses criminal underworld should pick this game up. It’s a beacon, a light in a sea of mediocre. Seriously, one of the best PS2 games to come out in a very long time.
  12. Yakuza continues where the last episode stopped, but barely adds new elements. The city is a lively place, the story strong enough and the fighting system is more than ok. Unfortunatly these three elements don't connect very well thus making it a very incoherent gaming experience.
  13. Even taking the shortcomings into account, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better game than Yakuza 2 on the PS2 this year. I’m impressed with Sega being able to churn out a game of this quality, and wish they would do it more often.
  14. A masterclass in videogame storytelling, but there's little left for the player to do. [Nov 2008, p.81]
  15. Fetch quests interrupted by relentless, contrived fight sequences may have worked once, but in the altered landscape of 2008 Yakuza 2 really feels like it should be offering more. [Nov 2008, p.123]
  16. An entertaining story and a strong sense of visual style help make this brawling adventure worthwhile.
  17. 70
    Despite its technical problems, Yakuza 2's story really kept us coming back for more. It's fantastically paced, constantly dropping teasers to keep you interested in what's going to happen next.
  18. Not only is this a brilliant sequel to an excellent crime drama but it’s simply a bigger and better action game with a lot to offer. If you liked the first game you will love this sequel.
  19. 85
    While Yakuza 2 isn't vastly improved or even all that different from the first game (that will likely happen when the PS3 continuation finally hits), but what it does offer is a fantastic story that is actually interesting, sports characters that you can grow to love or hate, and plenty of twists to keep all those disparate parts fresh. Go buy this game. Seriously.
  20. Five years ago Yakuza 2 would have been a system seller. Today it’s just enough reason to wipe the layers of dust off of a shelved console and give it a final send-off.
  21. One of the last “AAA” Mohicans for PlayStation 2 brings Japanese mafia to the screen. Splendid fights, gripping story and a living city will keep you involved for at least 20 hours of intense gameplay. [Nov 2008]
  22. Arriving very late to Europe, Yakuza 2 is already showing signs of age. But despite some technical problems, it can make a good use of an interesting story, a brutal combat system and an exciting environment. [Oct 2008]
  23. A truly remarkable game with plenty to keep you engrossed. Non-linear gameplay means you can spend plenty of hours interacting with your environment.
  24. One of the last big games planned for PS2, Yakuza 2 is more that that. It's a project that shows many of the values for what Sega has been known in the past: ambition, attention for detail, and will for innovate. The games is still not perfect, but the series are showing a really interesting progression and pointing to a bright future if Toshihiro Nagoshi and his team manage to fulfill its big potential.
  25. 79
    There is a huge amount of fighting in Yakuza 2. [Issue#171, p.91]
  26. Not bad, but it's something of an acquired taste. Best to try it before you fork out. [Nov 2008, p.103]
  27. Yakuza is really where Sega took much-mourned Dreamcast classic "Shenmue." [Nov 2008, p.108]
  28. Enjoy it, PS2 owners. This is one to savor. [Nov 2008, p.84]
  29. It drips atmosphere and style, with great characters and story to boot. [Christmas 2008, p.85]
  30. A highly entertaining experience from start to finish. The story really drives the game forward extremely well, and it’s helped along by good pacing, top-notch voice acting, and a complex script that will throw you for a loop several times along the way.
  31. Yakuza 2 is a superior follow-up. It corrects flaws from the previous game, lends an attentive ear to fans' criticisms, keeps us interested with a strong narrative and improves the fighting.
  32. Yakuza 2 is more than worth your attention. The writing is often sharp and witty, the cast of characters are wonderfully realised each with there own intricate back-story and the story is deep enough to throw off even the biggest of cynics.
  33. A fitting farewell to the PS2 showing the console really at its best.
  34. Yakuza 2 is a fantastic sequel to an already great game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Apr 11, 2013
    The Yakuza series has earned the habit of earning 10/10's it is the best storyline game in the world and universe and with Yakuza 2 they have improved the gameplay with new gameplay mechanics and with Japanese dubs cuz the english dubs werent that good Full Review »