Universal acclaim - based on 69 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 69
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 69
  3. Negative: 0 out of 69
Buy On
  1. 100
    If you already own the first game and all the instruments, this is a must-own title; if you haven't experienced the magic, this is a great place to start.
  2. It's both a must-own for fans of the genre and a great place for new players to get started.
  3. It’s not radically different from its already brilliant predecessor (at least not yet), but everything is tighter and runs more smoothly, and there’s an explosive, extended encore.
  4. 100
    If you've been playing Rock Band regularly over the last 9 months, then you'll find a lot of welcome features -- and tons of more music -- in Rock Band 2.
  5. 100
    Rock Band 2 has a killer track list seemingly compiled from every mix tape you were proud of in college.
  6. "Rock Band" seemed like the definitive music game experience when it came out, and Rock Band 2 has taken it even further, fixing the few things that were wrong with the first and adding a little bit extra to boot.
  7. 100
    On paper, the new features of the game may not seem like much, but the resulting effort makes it one of the greatest music games available today and destroys any need, or desire, to play the original.
  8. 100
    Rock Band 1 was innovation. Rock Band 2 is perfection. Buy it.
  9. If the first game was a success on so many levels, the sequel brings the same success back but pushes it so high that at this point it will be hard for anyone to catch it up. I can’t finish my review without saying that if you never experienced Rock Band, you’re definitely missing something really special.
  10. Between the steady stream of DLC and the ability to import your tracks from the first game, you are unlikely to stop playing Rock Band 2 anytime soon. The added ability to continue your World Tour band online, drum trainer, and daily challenges may sound like small additions, but they greatly enhance and extend the gameplay for what was already a must-own title; at least until the next Guitar Hero is released.
  11. Harmonix doesn’t necessarily break any molds with Rock Band 2, but it does a damn good job of perfecting the one it created. There’s little doubt that this sequel will be the life of just about every party for at least another year.
  12. 95
    As mentioned earlier, Rock Band 2 is Harmonix perfecting their established formula with a few gameplay improvements and the addition of some new modes.
  13. Rock Band 2 doesn’t revolutionize the series or the genre. It lacks a super defining feature (a la Guitar Hero World Tour’s music creator) but it’s hard to complain when the core game is so good.
  14. 94
    With 84 tracks on the disc, an additional 20 more coming before year's end and the gigantic amount of improvements to an already stellar game Rock Band 2 is a music game lover's dream come true.
  15. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    And once the music ended, it was pretty clear: Rock Band 2 is another chart-topper. [Nov 2008, p.79]
  16. Rock Band was just the opening act. Rock Band 2 is the real headliner.
  17. Rock Band 2 is a solid sequel. Harmonix smoothed out most of the rough edges and added enough new stuff to warrant the full priced upgrade.
  18. It's remarkable what a few adjustments can do. From instruments to user interface to gameplay options, one thing after another makes you nod appreciatively and smile while playing Rock Band 2. [Oct 2008, p.107]
  19. Either way, Rock Band 2 is the best music game on the market right now, and while it may or may not lose that title when Activision's offering is released next month, for now I don't care.
  20. The game’s still plenty of fun, offers enough challenge without being unbearable, has a couple great additions and will still bring out the inner rocker within you.
  21. Overall, Rock Band 2 may be mostly incremental in upgrades and seemingly more of the same, but from where I sit on my drum throne, that isn’t a bad thing at all.
  22. The added online feature for the Band World Tour mode surely makes this the best music game on the market right now.
  23. Rock Band 2 is definitely an upgrade over its previous entry. Although its best feature is probably the 80+ songs that come with it, you'll find a whole host of new and upgraded features that will keep you rocking for quite some time. Even if you have never rocked before, Rock Band's No-Fail mode makes this one an easy choice for casual or new players.
  24. Rock Band 2 will be disappointing if you’re looking for drastic changes. Most of the upgrades are subtle, and you’re basically getting a ton of downloadable content at a great price. For our time and money, it’s worth every penny.
  25. Some might complain that the game is too similar to the Rock Band released last year. But the minor tweaks and the huge music collection make this game a must buy.
  26. Bottomline, there are a lot more improvements here then I was expecting as Harmonix did so much more then just update the set-list.
  27. In summary, Rock band 2 is well worth the purchase especially is you own the instruments from the previous version.
  28. 91
    The real attraction here is the game's "Sticky Fingers"-like bulge of music. With 84 tunes on the disc (all are original recordings) and 20 free downloads form the online store, Rock Band 2 is simply the cheapest way to beef up your library.
  29. The new modes (Battle of the Bands, for instance), expanded online functionality and large song library offer a lot for players to do. Otherwise, nothing in the fundamental gameplay has changed.
  30. Rock Band 2 is THE definitive version of its revolutionary progenitor– better instruments, better online modes, and a wickedly better song list – taking its place as one of the greatest multiplayer games of our generation. Where Rock Band 2 doesn’t innovate, it polishes and tweaks until it KILLS.
  31. Rock Band steps up from clubs to arenas and barely misses a beat.
  32. An excellent sequel to Harmonix's new music franchise.
  33. This is a worthy sequel with a look and feel that are more polished than last year’s effort.
  34. 90
    You can say its not very innovative in comparison with the original game. But this is a minor thing if we take into account that this is without doubt the best game in the genre, and a great achievement if we consider the great struggle with its rival, that doesn't lose grip.
  35. 90
    The track list is better, the difficulty has been bumped up, it's more accessible, all previously released DLC works from the get-go, and Battle of the Bands is a brilliant online mode. But there's no getting around the fact that almost nothing was done to the main mode, World Tour.
  36. At its worst, Rock Band 2 feels like a massive expansion pack that fills in the gaps from the original game. At its best, it’s a rewarding and refined excuse to pick up your fake career where you left off — laughing and rocking with friends near and far for a group thrill that few other games can deliver.
  37. It does a lot to cater to nearly all skill levels and playing styles, and it's one of the most user-friendly rhythm games ever published.
  38. The new Challenge and Battle of the Bands modes and tweaks to the World Tour mode will keep you playing for months.
  39. 90
    Whether or not you grab the new hardware, there is no question that the stand-alone Rock Band 2 game is worth its $60 price tag. Heck, you'd pay twice that just to download the 84 new songs; toss in the new online functionality, Battle of the Bands and the Drum Trainer and you get another desert island classic.
  40. 90
    Rock Band 2 is a massive bullet-point list of new features, each of which makes playing the game a little bit more fun, a little bit less annoying. MTV has played it very safe: It has not broken anything, but neither has it taken any great risks to add any feature that is mind-blowingly new, the way it did when it added drumming and vocals to Guitar Hero in the first place.
  41. While a few songs suffer from note repetition, the overall mix is robust and fun to play. For anyone who enjoyed Guitar Hero or Rock Band, Rock Band 2 is a no-brainer.
  42. While nothing terribly new has made its way onto the new disc, the amount of songs more than covers the price of admission. And you won't even have to sit through any putrid local opening acts.
  43. Fans of the original Rock Band will probably find Rock Band 2 worth it both for the large new tracklist and the numerous engine improvements, while newcomers to the series will enjoy one of the most polished music game experiences to date.
  44. It doesn't drastically shake up the formula, but it does come one step closer to perfecting it.
  45. 90
    A significant enough step up from the original to warrant your renewed attention this year.
  46. More or less every concern and complaint we had about the original game has been addressed, the new tracklist is very much to our taste (with 20 more free songs to come, remember), and with the rebalancing of difficulty, modes like Battle of the Bands and the No Fail modifier and Drum Trainer, Harmonix has completed the awkward job of broadening the game's appeal at both ends of the skill spectrum successfully. It's an excellent, measured sequel that should appeal to all.
  47. Edge Magazine
    By polishing away blemishes, Rock Band 2 carefully improves on its predecessor. Those expecting the likes of music-making functionality perhaps aren’t quite on Rock Band’s wavelength, which is about performance, not creativity. [Dec 2008, p.85]
  48. 90
    While Rock Band 2 did not create or redefine the rhythm game genre, it is a very worthy addition to any game library.
  49. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Rock Band 2 includes substantial improvements and a better setlist over its predecessor, making it the must-own music game for the 360. [Issue#39]
  50. Rock Band 2 is, basically, everything that the first one had. Which is not good, but great news. But everything that Harmonix has added this time makes the package even better. Improved, more sensitive instruments, the great backwards compatibility and indeed the new online co-op for both Band Tour and Multiplayer modes are the best of the mix. One of the few games which a sequel makes sense.
  51. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    RB2 improves on the original and does enough to distance itself from main rival GH, although uncanny similarity to the first game might leave a sour taste in the mouths of those that already bought one Rock Band game this year. Still, it’s the most refined and thorough example of the genre so far and for that alone must be applauded.
  52. At its worst, Rock Band 2 feels like a massive expansion pack that just fills in all the missing gaps from the original game. [Christmas 2008, p.92]
  53. For us, Rock Band 2 is brilliant, just like Guitar Hero: World Tour is. We can't pick between them. Slightly boring conclusion, we know, but the right one.
  54. Harmonix paid good attention to what made Rock Band such a success. It fully adapted Rock Band 2 to this knowledge and that's why single player and multiplayer mode gives you the feeling that you're playing one solid game. The game offers much more than its predecessor and even the tracklist (what seemed almost impossible) is even better than the first one. Harmonix has given the fans exactly what they want and has given newcomers a nice starting point.
  55. The second installment in the hard rocking franchise may seem familiar at first, but the fact is that there are several minor and major additions here that do a lot to improve the overall experience. You can now play the campaign online and there is a new training mode for all of us that are struggling with learning the drums. There are 84 new songs to rock out to and an additional 20 to download for free. This is in fact a buy even for those who bough the first Rock Band, and for those who own neither it's a must have.
  56. games(TM)
    The whole drop-in drop-out nature of the world tour, both online and off, is outstanding. It’s also worryingly addictive. There never feels like a good enough reason to stop. [Jan 2009, p.98]
  57. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    HG's victory is an academic one. [Jan 2009, p.81]
  58. Jamming with friends to some classic tunes that span 4 decades and a variety of genres is a load of fun and a great way to waste an evening. The new features are not enough to convert anyone who can't stand rhythm games to begin with but to anyone who enjoys this kind of experience should go out and add Rock Band 2 to their library today.
  59. 88
    Overall Rock Band 2 makes a few welcome changes to a solid rhythm action title – and the overall soundtrack is a big step up.
  60. All in all Rock Band 2 is a must have if you’re a fan of music Sims then this is a must have. Simple changes, lots of songs and more to come along with great gameplay and a new online mode makes this one for the library of games.
  61. I don’t believe there will be much distinction between the franchises apart from the DLC tracks available. With both expanding as fast as we can report, and with names like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix being added to the fray, I honestly reckon there’s enough music out there for both to be successful, and that if Harmonix can do something about their terrible staggered worldwide release schedule, they may still be in contention.
  62. Without achieving something revolutionary, Rock Band 2 is bigger and better than the first instalment of the franchise. The best music experience on Xbox 360 to date.
  63. Rock Band 2 is a great follow-up to an already good game. The improved track list and World Tour mode, and the implementation of some interesting new options make for a great sequel.
  64. Even though Rock Band 2 plays it safe with only minor improvements and additions, it still rocks.
  65. 85
    The lack of innovation is disappointing, but there's still more than enough here to attract existing players and lure new ones to what remains the best way for music fans and gamers to party together.
  66. 85
    It's fair to say that this game plays more like a giant expansion pack than a sequel, but that said, it's a brilliant expansion pack.
  67. There's nothing revolutionary about the second game and it's more evolutionary but it's still a fun game to play with others.
  68. Rock Band 2 may not be a full fledged sequel in the mind of some critics, but what the team at Harmonix has done is beef up an already established franchise and listened to what their fans wanted.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 157 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 157
  1. Oct 8, 2010
    Rock Band 2 has a large variety of genres on platform. The option of 2000 (At time of writing) songs ranging from Death Metal to Nerdcore toRock Band 2 has a large variety of genres on platform. The option of 2000 (At time of writing) songs ranging from Death Metal to Nerdcore to Funk to Rap to Trance. From Megadeth to Gun's n Roses to Snoop Dogg to Bob Marley.
    The option to import all the songs from Rock Band 1, Lego Rock Band and Green Day Rock Band allows users to keep on playing their songs on one disc and future editions of the game.
    World Tour bring a much longer and varied playthrough rather than Rock Band 1's play one song, next! play next song, NEXT!.
    Single users can play World Tour now.
    Realistic charts a.k.a single notes rather than a ensemble of three note chords.
    Weekly Download content announced every friday on
    Better graphics and colourschemes. (Have you seen the main menu tiger! D:)
    Rock Band Network allows even more songs for 360 users and soon to be PS3 and Wii Character Creator could do with a makeover
    Full Review »
  2. Jun 9, 2013
    Taking the formula of Guitar Hero and adding the option for both vocals and drums to be played alongside the guitar Rock Band 2 makes no realTaking the formula of Guitar Hero and adding the option for both vocals and drums to be played alongside the guitar Rock Band 2 makes no real effort to cater for the single player but does make for a great party game. Full Review »
  3. Mar 31, 2011
    Song list that can only appeal to people who can nicely fit their musical taste in a predictable box and think they can gain substantialSong list that can only appeal to people who can nicely fit their musical taste in a predictable box and think they can gain substantial musical knowledge from having a subscription to the Rolling Stones magazine. Full Review »