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Generally favorable reviews- based on 964 Ratings

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  1. Jul 10, 2011
    This is where the multiplayer started getting hype. Thanks to Bungie doing an almost perfect game, no other game have made an addictive multiplayer game. Halo 2 kicked ass back then, and it still does.
  2. May 27, 2012
    Probably my favorite war shooter multiplayer game. Had so much fun with this one. One of the best multiplayers ever.
  3. Dec 11, 2010
    It's hard to believe you could improve in anyway on the first, but they did! recommend playing this one after playing the first though. The game continues on the story of the original game and adds cool key things in the game like new weapons and the feature of dual wielding which was a great feature added in. Definitely a BUY.
  4. Mar 6, 2011
    Halo 2 did what I thought was impossible it improved upon what Halo: Combat Evolved did, it improved on gameplay, story, sound, and graphics, and created the best multiplayer experience ever that set the pace for games like the Call of Duty and Battlefield series, in my personal opinion this is the best in the Halo series, the only reason this does not get a perfect 10 is that there is no more multiplayer, but this is still a absolute must play. Expand
  5. Mar 11, 2014
    better tahn teh butt seckz. halo 2 was perfect, is perfect, and halo 2 anniversary will save the franchise. 343 made a terrible game called halo 4 and killed our franchise. let's get it back by pressuring microsoft to release a halo 2 remake. halo 2 is better than halo 5 because we know 343 can't do anything right.
  6. Oct 3, 2011
    Story: 7
    Characters: 8
    Graphics: 8
    Setting: 8
    Multiplayer: 10
    Soundtrack: 10
    Audio: 9
    Gameplay: 10
    Re-Playability Value: 9
    Fun Factor: 9

    Score: 8.8/10
  7. Jun 2, 2012
    Halo CE came out and it was awesome and I couldn't think it could get better. But it did, Halo 2 will forever be in my mind the greatest FPS of all time. The campaign was well thought out and a great continuation of the first. And the multiplayer was so addicting. Its the one game I have played until that sad day when the shut down the servers. I will miss you Halo 2 MP.
  8. Jun 12, 2014
    This game didn't only change my life but I'm sure it changed other peoples too. This was not only the start of Xbox Live and Xbox, but the start of something bigger. Life. Yes Halo 2 was life for me back then. What I like about this game is that everybody can relate to it. It is by far the best Xbox game created. It really changed how gamers thought (Considering there werent a lot back then). This game not only boosted its series but it boosted Xbox, gaming, and even some peoples lives. Including mine. I know they will continue to make Halos and I believe it will continue to succeed. I Expand
  9. Mar 31, 2014
    Halo 2 is the best games that have been created in history, by the fact the gameplay, story, soundtrack and others, this is my favorite video game, and no one can change it
  10. Dec 4, 2012
    A top 5 game of all time for me. I could play this for hours and I would never get tired of it. Even if I got hungry and weak, I wouldn't find a faullt with this game. It's revolutionary. It's just one of those "perfect" games.
  11. Feb 10, 2014
    Halo 2 ramps up the drama but manages to stay a good shooter. It gets the balance right. Halo 2 introduces duel wielding for the first time in the series and is unique in story mode for letting you play as both the hero master chief and anti hero arbiter.
  12. Nov 27, 2010
    Halo 2 is an excellent game. It's not quite as good as the first one, but what is? This game has a great campaign and awesome multiplayer. I got this game as a Christmas present back in 2005 and I'm still playing it! You know a game is good when it doesn't grow old even after 5 years.
  13. May 22, 2011
    This is just about the best Halo ever made. I mean seriously, there have been Halos after this, Halo 3, Halo ODST, and Reach. But from all of the Halos I've played, (which are Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo: Reach) this one is the best.
  14. Feb 11, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is the one of the best shooter games of all time, and the best game in the Halo series. Halo 2 is kind of the filler game between halo:CE and Halo 3. Halo 2 has the player play was Master chief (The main character from all of the good halo games) and as the Arbiter. I really liked how they allowed you to experience both sides of the game lore. You saw the struggle to save humanity, and the insanity behind the prophets great journey. Fight along side elites and grunt and riding in phantoms was awesome. My favorite part about Halo 2 was high charity. The city is huge and looked awesome. Oh, and you cannot forget about the amazing soundtrack.... Was just great.. Expand
  15. Jan 12, 2012
    This is a great game. It is bigger and better than the original. There are several more weapons, enemies and vehicles. The multiplayer is spectacular. The campaign is fun but the story is not the best in my opinion. Also this game was rushed so the graphics were not up to the expectation of the e3 demo. It still deserves a 10.
  16. Nov 11, 2011
    This game is hands the down the best game ever. I don't care about Zelda, Call of Duty, or even the other Halos when this game is brought up. It is so good it is at it's own level of phenomenal. One of the best stories I have ever played. The multiplayer is great and Bungie is the GOD of video games and Microsoft is amazing. People can disagree with me but I know right now a ton of people who agree with exactly everything I have said in this post. Expand
  17. Sep 9, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Halo 2 was a gigantic improvement from Halo: Combat Evolved, and that's extremely commendable because Halo: Combat Evolved was a masterpiece in itself. It's difficult to improve something when the original was nearly perfect. (Look at Bioshock 2 for an example of failed improvement.)

    Halo 2 might not have had the best story, but the fun factor the game offered was outstanding. The game was especially fun with couch co-op. It's also good to mention that this is the only Halo game where you play on the Covenant's side. Halo 2 also has the longest Halo campaign to date. Now, every game has it's flaws, and Halo 2 isn't spared from them. As mentioned before, story-wise, you get absolutely nothing done in the game. You discover a Halo ring, and prevent it from firing. That's pretty much the gist of it. Because of that, the 15 chapter campaign (again, longest Halo campaign to date) was pointless. However, it was still interesting. I guess you could say that the entire game was just a lead-up to Halo 3. The ending of the game was also not very great. But let's just put all of that behind and focus on what made Halo 2 such a success: Halo 2 took all of the fun from the first Halo, brought it over and enhanced it. Halo 2 all in all was loads of fun, and in the end isn't that what a game is supposed to be?
  18. Feb 26, 2012
    Halo 2 is one of the greatest games ever created. The story was much different than it's superior predecessor, but nonetheless Halo 2 left any other game in its day in its wake. The gameplay was solid, fluid, and realistic. Graphics were good for its day, and the game in its self was extremely addictive and fun! The world of halo explodes into a massive science fiction epic where you never know what is going to happen, and you are left at the edge of your seat until the final seconds of the game. Level designs were great and very creative! I enjoyed the variety, and the multiplayer is arguably the bar-setter for every other game to date. A great campaign, and a great multiplayer experience. A superior game and a delivering sequel. Expand
  19. Aug 26, 2012
    This game is the sequel to one of the best game of all time! Great campaign, really fun missions and you can play as the Arbiter in some missions. Multiplayer is just amazing and improved on the multiplayer (BT). And halo 4 will be awesome, HALO FTW!!!!!!! Halo 2 9.6/10
  20. May 7, 2012
    Amazing game. Bungie really did an Awsome job with halo 2. It has the best soundtrack in the series, and introduced some exiting gameplay elements like boss fights and hidden skulls to find. I really enjoyed the master chief's new suit of armor as well. No longer will you have to look all over the levels for health packs. Your mark vi completely brings you back to full health and negates fall damage. I will continue to play this game untill the day I die. I will play it with my future children as well. Expand
  21. Dec 2, 2012
    I have done my halo 1 review and now it is time to move onto the best of the series. It is important to point out that I am only basing this review on the singleplayer as I didn't manage to play the multiplayer before it was shut down, shame because I heard it was the best in the series :/. Anyway onto the review, the games plot is great with some good voice acting and cutscenes added into it, the gameplay is still as great as always and (again) the music and sound effects are where it is at, they went for an electric guitar in the music this time as opposed to the choir in the original and it pays off as it makes for great action music. 10/10 (I have redeemed myself for the halo 1 review) Expand
  22. Jun 22, 2012
    A fantastic and welcome addition to the Halo universe. The gameplay has changed in a very positive way with the ability to dual wield and the addition of the sword. For fans of the original, get the sequel.
  23. Jul 21, 2013
    Halo 2 to this day is one of the greatest games I have ever played. And to my personal opinion it is the best Halo game. There was such hype for this game upon release because the first Halo redefined the FPS genre and put Xbox on the map so much was expected of this game, and it did not disappoint. It returned with some innovative features such as dual wielding weapons, hi-jacking enemy vehicles and new weapons. This may not seem like a big deal but it really did change the experience.

    It not only tells the story of the main character Master Chief but also a new protagonist called the Arbiter. He is a disgraced Elite from the Covenant who has been given one last chance to redeem himself. Some people did not like the Arbiter's side of the story but personally I felt it was the highlight of the game, the political struggle for the Covenant was incredibly interesting. In my eyes its an almost faultless game, the most fun I have ever endured in a campaign and had the best and most intriguing story line.

  24. Mar 22, 2013
    Following up Halo: Combat Evolved is no small feat. Luckily, Halo 2 was open to the challenge and succeeded in every way. The multiplayer speaks for itself. The only nitpick is the brevity of the campaign and the cliffhanger ending. Still, the campaign, while short, is incredibly original containing a twist you will never see coming.
  25. Nov 2, 2012
    Awesome game, improvement over the first in some ways. The only reason I dinged it down a notch was because I hated the missions when you were forced to be an alien, I rushed through them and didn't enjoy them at all. Multiplayer was also awesome, loved the introduction to the BR in this game.
  26. Nov 28, 2012
    This game will make your dick hard and thats not a lie. You can debate on weather this halo or halo 3 being the best halo. The gameplay was insane. Did I mention it makes your dick hard?
  27. Dec 3, 2012
    Greatest game i have ever played. Matchmaking in this game was so much fun, plus I would play hours on end with friends in private games. The campaign was awesome, you get to drive around in a tank, drop in a pod from space, survive a flood onslaught, basically anything you could want to do in a Halo game. NO game has had better multiplayer, and NO sequel has lived up to its name period. We wouldn't have GOW, COD, or any modern first person shooter without this game happening. Game summed up by emoney "This game will make your dick hard." Microsoft can GO TO HELL for taking off this games multiplayer and ruining the series with Halo 3 and 4. 3 wasn't bad but 4 is unplayable. Expand
  28. Dec 6, 2013
    better then the first one in my view but still have the feeling that the levels arren't changing at all there's not much variety between rooms
    the campaign itzelf is good you play again with masterchief and for the first time with a sanghieli called arbiter now you can explore new dimensions of gameplay with too different story working their way together
    +:cool looking sights
    +:awesome characters
    +:multiplayer options
    -:dark rooms
    -:no variety in levels
  29. Mar 18, 2013
    OMG I miss this game, this was the first game I modded in which so I can fly the Pelican. I love this game with a passion can really hoping they could bring the Dual make into the Halo Series.
  30. Aug 29, 2013
    First the campaign has added skulls and is thrilling but the story is not as good as the original and the ending isn't as disappointing as ME3's ending it ruins the campaign.
    While the campaign is worth a 7 the multiplayer is so strong and back then matchmaking didn't exsist and online console gaming was terrible bu this made it amazing
  31. Mar 26, 2013
    After nine years and counting, Halo 2 still remains one of the best (If not the best) first person shooters of all time. The sequel to the 2001 hit "Halo: Combat Evolved" not only keeps all of the characteristics that made the first game great, but also adds new exciting features including the ability of hijacking vehicles, dual wielding, and multiplayer. Halo 2 looks pretty good for a 2004 game, but Halo is best known for its gameplay, not its graphics. To no surprise, Halo 2 is an amazing game that deserves to sit in every nerds collection. Expand
  32. Aug 5, 2013
    The best Halo in my honest opinion, no game has thus far been able to beat this games amazing story, amazing gameplay and amazing characters. This is where the amazing halo games ended and started going down the hill.
  33. May 26, 2013
    This was the first Halo game Iv'e played on the Xbox when I was young and this one will always be the best Halo game in the franchise! Dual wielding weapons in this game was exciting, especially with SMG's, which were my favorite weapons in the entire game. Just to bad that Halo 3 didn't have the same spark this one had.
  34. Jan 5, 2014
    The 2nd instalment of Halo throws players straight back to the shoes of chief after the cliff hanging ending of Halo: Combat evolved. Your in for one hell of a ride, once again as its now to fight to keep earth alive. You will be forced to make allies with the unexpected for the hopes of keeping humanity alive. Halo continues to be the best shooter of the generation with this excellent follow up.
  35. Sep 2, 2013
    Es un gran juego, después de su primera parte HALO COMBAT ENVOLVED(RECOMENDADO) estuve ansioso por jugar su segunda parte HALO 2, me sorprendió como un gran juego persiste en su gran variabilidad de juegos y sigue aun así siendo un muy buen juego sin des meritar las excelentes gráficas que para ese año eran y son muy buenas.
  36. Oct 6, 2013
    A game with such an incredibly memorable online multiplayer that it far outweighs any problems within the campaign. Halo 2 multiplayer was the greatest combination of fun with friends and competitive play ever achieved in a console or PC game. For one to have not experienced the multiplayer of Halo 2 means they have missed out on what may possible be the best online multiplayer game of our generation. The defining game of the xbox and many consoles to come. Expand
  37. Nov 8, 2013
    Halo 2 succeeds in raising the stakes and pushing further into the human races battle for survival. It has new weapons, new characters, and even gives us more insight into the covenant. Microsoft pushed up the release date for Halo 2 and it shows throughout the game. Characters and textures blink in late in cut scenes, brutes take ridiculous amounts of damage without flinching, and a cliffhanger ending tops it off. Even with all that this game still manages to be one heck of an awesome experience. Expand
  38. Nov 6, 2013
    Great game! A must have. Halo 3 outdid Halo 2, but that was something expected it being developed by Bungie. You can never go wrong by getting Bungie-developed games.
  39. Aug 19, 2014
    Halo 2 pioneered many grounds that laid the framework for today's FPS console gaming. The development of skill based ranking systems, smart playlists, multiplayer map design and gametypes. The multiplayer was revolutionary for its time - and this was all on top of a emotionally charged, non-linear plot campaign, with the most epic score to ever accompany a video game. Halo 2 came from a time when people put their heart and sole into developing video games because they cared about the player, before everyone was worried about your wallet. Bungie listened to the feedback of its players, patched its bugs, and released quality DLC that was worth the money.

    Thank you Bungie, this game was one hell of a ride.
  40. Sep 9, 2014
    There are probably some minor faults in this game but it doesnt stop me giving it a 10, i was young and this was one of many of the first games i played and it is special, i have special memories of this game and is and always will be my favourite Halo game. 10/10.
  41. Jul 6, 2014
    my personal favorite halo it had a great and bad-ass story it had revolutionary graphics for the time and the multiplayer. This game set the bar for fps multiplayer very fun even now so happy 343 is making it on the Xbox one.Overall great game no flaws just buy it on the Xbox one not the original
  42. TvH
    Sep 28, 2014
    Halo 2 is an action-packed first-person shooter that delivers an excellent multiplayer, and a great story mode that unfortunately ends on a cheap cliff-hanger.

Universal acclaim - based on 91 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 89 out of 91
  2. Negative: 0 out of 91
  1. Microsoft and Bungie have created a gigantic bell that sounds like thunder and reverberates with a fury worthy of a gale-force hurricane. It's not perfect, but get in front of it, and wonderful things - wonderful destructive things - are bound to happen. [Dec 2004, p.72]
  2. The digital surround sound is phenomenal (and the voice-acting peerless), and players with a good A/V system will enjoy hearing enemies approach from all sides due to the sharp positional sound.
  3. 100
    One of Halo 2 Online's best features - if not the best - is the statistics tracking system. [Online review]