Universal acclaim - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 55
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 55
  3. Negative: 0 out of 55
  1. 100
    Without a doubt the 'ultimate edition' of the ultimate music-based game. Though far from mind-blowing, the upgraded graphics are appealing, but the remastered sound, additional songs and features are the true stars of the Xbox 360 version's stage, making this game an even easier purchase than the two games before it.
  2. Buy this game. The content is plentiful (and crucially, more is en route) and the fantasy experience is pure rock and roll excess. Your personal stairway to heaven awaits.
  3. More or less the perfect video game - as entertaining, as challenging and as absolutely infinite as you want it to be. [Issue 24, p.52]
  4. When you can finally crack a song that initially seemed far beyond your skill level, and not just play it but perform it - arched back, windmilling arms, grins and grimaces and devil-horn salutes - it transcends a mere video game. It’s interactive entertainment taken to an entirely new level.
  5. 100
    The Xbox 360 adaptation is far and away the definitive version of the game and certainly worth the extra ten bucks. With an expanded track list, the promise of downloadable content, and the addition of leaderboards and Achievements you will be playing this game well into 2007 and beyond.
  6. The Guitar Hero games are electrifying not only rocker wannabes in family rooms and basements, but also on college campuses and in nightclubs, where Guitar Hero Night is all the rage.
  7. Even without a massive collection of exclusive content, this is an improvement (if a slight one) over the five-star PS2 original, which is all 360 owners need to know.
  8. Honestly, I can't get enough of this game, and by the look of the number of people on the leaderboard, I'm not the only one. Ok Harmonix, bring on "Rock Band"!
  9. It's exactly like Guitar Hero II for the PS2, but made even better by Microsoft's favorite son. [Mar 2007, p.58]
  10. Expect 8-12 hours to unlock the content (on medium) and 8-12 months to master it. By then, it will be time for Guitar Hero III and the insanity can start anew.
  11. Expect your non-gaming friends, family, and spouses to beg for the chance to bring the rock. That power alone makes Guitar Hero II a must-play. [Mar 2007, p.68]
  12. Everybody who frequents the game knows the feeling when the prompts melt away and you find yourself actually playing the music; that's why Guitar Hero is the best music and/or mainstream game to hit these United States. [Mar 2007, p.56]
  13. The game has a great rock-and-roll art style that works extremely well. The character models are fairly detailed but they all have very unique personalities whether you’re looking at a 60s era rocker, a punk rocker, or a hardcore metalhead.
  14. Aside from a few misgivings about some of the track choices, I enjoyed absolutely everything about Guitar Hero II. The practice mode ensures there's always that option there to improve yourself and master the game on hard and expert and also provides a great way for beginners to get into the game.
  15. An amazing game. There is no better party game on the 360, or any console for that matter. I found myself getting up early just so I could rip a few tunes before I had to leave the house then just as quickly getting back on as soon as I returned.
  16. The feeling you get when hitting one of those hard 5 note combos is something that no other game out there can replace. Getting the chance to play this masterpiece on the Xbox 360, as the first time it has hit a next-gen console, is enough reason to go out and purchase this today.
  17. Guitar Hero II is one of the greatest games ever created. It's innovative, addicting, polished and just plain awesome.
  18. 95
    But, the added level of depth and infinite replay value through Xbox 360 Achievements and loads of downloadable content make GHII Xbox 360 the ultimate version to own. [Apr 2007, p.80]
  19. 94
    Even if you already have done all of this before, you may yet find a reason to grab the Xbox 360 re-release. With reworked graphics, sound, new songs, downloadable content and more, this is easily the best Guitar Hero game yet.
  20. This is, by far, one of the best games on any platform – ever.
  21. The new guitar is cool, the new songs are amusing, there’s downloadable treats on the way, and the game itself is hours and hours of fun, even though you always feel a lot cooler than you look. With that said, the lack of online play is a huge disappointment and a glaring example of missed opportunity.
  22. The Xbox 360 gets what’s probably the best party game ever, because GHII is compelling for anyone who’s into music, not just to hard-core gamers. It’s that rare title that doesn’t become boring with repeat plays. In fact, I played it so much the first day I had the game that the tips of two fret-flicking fingers went numb on me.
  23. If you haven't already, go out and buy it. It's just that simple. [Apr 2007, p.104]
  24. Ok, so the Gibson X-Plorer guitar controller isn’t wireless, there’s currently no online play, and the downloadable Track Packs are a little pricey. Big deal. Xbox 360 gamers are still in for a real treat.
  25. You're not going to get more powerful guitars or more powerful characters (you will get different skins, though) – your rewards come in with the actual improvement of your manual dexterity and the sheer enjoyment you get from 5-starring a song like YYZ or Psychobilly Freakout on Hard or Expert.
  26. There are very few things in the world that a certain: death and taxes are two, a third is that you will enjoy rocking out to this game and living your rock-star fantasies. It is totally worth the $90 price tag.
  27. Gameplay that will make you play till your fingers bleed. Promise of Downloadable Content is mind-bottling, but so far the song packs have been kind of meh. Too bad the guitar isn't wireless, and too bad about the price.
  28. Dollars aside, Guitar Hero II is a sequel that improves upon its predecessor in every conceivable way, and the Xbox 360 version sweetens the pot with additional songs and light online functionality.
  29. If you own the PS2 version of Guitar Hero II the ten extra songs and the downloadable content are still reason enough to look into the 360 version. The new guitar controller is also definitely worth owning.
  30. Here's an analogy. Your 360 before Guitar Hero 2 is like an innocent Catholic schoolgirl who has never heard an electric guitar before in her life and who probably thinks the Captain and Tennille is pretty heavy. Your 360 after Guitar Hero 2 is the headless yet paradoxically headbanging body of that schoolgirl after her mind was literally blown away at the loudest rock concert in hell. So there’s only one question you gotta ask yourself: Cash or credit, bro?
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
  1. Sep 20, 2013
    Slightly better than the PS2 version; better detail although you mostly see white bursts and designs of the guitars and basses still have polygon parts rather than being straight. All or most of the songs covered by WaveGroup are great, Surrender, Carry On, You Really Got Me, Hush, Last Child, Freebird and others. If we don't have the "red ring of death" Xbox 360s, we will enjoy it more. Full Review »
  2. May 3, 2013
    Absolutely loved every moment, that's not true actually, half the time I was livid but I always came back to the little plastic guitar. This got me hooked and I now play guitar too. Full Review »
  3. Feb 18, 2013
    Including the abilty to play rythm and bass, to add replayabilty, and fixing the hammer on and pull off issues from the first game, make this in my opinion the definitive guitar hero game. Later games in the series have perfected and expanded on the formula, but this game is still my personall favorite, ill always remember tackling hangar 18 and free bird, and having so much challenge, but so much pay off. This game also had alot of influence on my guitar playing, as i can now play hangar 18 and freebird fully on a real guitar (most of megadeths catolouge i can play, but pointless bragging rights aside)i foudn this game had the best set list, and the most simple, yet fun gamplay that made the world love guitar hero in the first place. Highly reccomended for any metal/rock fan, and anyone looking to start playing the series, or just have some fun. This is definitely the game to start with if your getting into guitar hero. Full Review »