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Generally favorable reviews- based on 983 Ratings

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  1. May 27, 2012
    Probably my favorite war shooter multiplayer game. Had so much fun with this one. One of the best multiplayers ever.
  2. 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.
  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. Feb 3, 2012
    Halo 2 is a more versatile journey than the first game, and it comes with brand new characters, gameplay elements and weapons that improve upon the original. I encountered some bugs with a frozen image over the display when emulating the Original Xbox version on Xbox 360, but other than that the game performed very well. Although not up to par with the likes of Half-Life 2 technically, it is still quite an impressive game in regards to the art design, pacing and music. The story has some interesting elements here and there as well, and the characters are more relatable than ever before. However, the narrative felt a bit stretched out, and went back and forth a lot. The gameplay also lacked something to look forward to after a while, and became very repetitive. And it didn't help that the developers, similarly to the first, rehashed a lot of the level design, in addition to tossing the same enemies at you over and over again. And although I didn't need a walkthrough, I wouldn't mind being given better directions, especially in areas where you are supposed to pass by enemy fire and trying to figure out where to go. Similarly to Halo: Combat Evolved, I didn't appreciate the flying and driving as much either, since the controls are quite clunky and getting through enemy fire alive in this particular type of combat can often be more of a coincidence than determined by skill. Furthermore, the enemy AI is not very impressive, and basically runs towards you or shots at you while waiting from a distance. In the end though, this is arguably one of the richest experiences on the original Xbox, but not a giant leap forward from an already remarkable game. Expand
  7. Jan 19, 2011
    Complete and total trash. This is a good example of companies milking good games for money. The story is crap, the graphics did not improve and it's just one incredibly repetitive FPS with nothing special. Only thing that stands out is the incredible overhype this game recieved.
  8. Jun 12, 2011
    Slightly better graphics and some online... almost the same game as Halo 1. I don't need more vehicles, and dual wielding on weapons I'm not going to use... I prefer the first game over this hyped fps.
  9. Dec 31, 2011
    So, I had the chance to play the multiplayer of "Halo 2" thanks to a lock-in from our church. All I can say is.....STICK TO REACH, MY ****
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Mar 11, 2011
    wow this was and maybe one of the biggest dissapointments in a sequel ive ever had the misfortune of playing. the good of this game can be sumed up very fast .controls are tight and graphics where great in there day and that would be it. every thing els about this game falls flat on its face . the story starts out kinda intresting then you start playing as the arbator which was like WTF!!!! i dont wana play as this **** i want to play as the master chief . i wouldnt have minded if it was a seperate campahn mode i could pick from the start but no it jumps back and forth and its HORRABLY annoying. then there is the wepons balance OMG! they just took a huge dump on that all the wepons ammo got cut by 1/2 or 2/3 of what they use to hold on top of that they gimped alot of the old guns. remember how sweet the pistol was? yeah now you might as well shoot spitballs as the enimy. the old machine gun use to be a pretty solid wepon to use now they tossed that for the gimp little smg which is like shooting a FKin BB gun. the enimy AI has takin a major dump . the brutes are complete idiots they just charge you over and over and over and never stop . so you eather get cheap killed up against a wall or you jump up on some thing high and laugh at them as they run into the object over and over again like a retard tryin to hump a door knob on speed. the ending is one of the worst in gaming history . it pretty much sets you up to what you think will be the final mission only to give you a big F U wait 3 damn years to play the next one HAHA dumbass . now you would think ok well the online will be awsome right i mean that was one of the coolest things about Halo 1 was how bad ass a multiplayer game it was . well WROOOOONG!!!! another Epic fail by bunjie . first off im not sure how many maps there are but i can say this much i played the same 2 FKin maps for 10 hours and thoose 2 maps sucked. this games search set up SUCKS and suck HARD! now toss in how the wepons where all gimped and you have a piss poor pathetic waste of a online game . people giving this any thing higher then a 7 ... try to defend that . you cant . this game sucks end of story. Expand
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Nov 13, 2010
    Worst Halo. Multiplayer is OK, but it has the worst campaign, and a weird place balance. For the real Halo's, check out Halo: Combat Evolved, or Halo Reach. For something different, try out MW2 or Black Ops.
  18. 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.
  19. Dec 22, 2010
    I think Halo 2 lost some of its score when they deactivated Xbox Original Live. The campaign still delivers, its epic but sometimes there are those "Where do i go?!?!" moments. Graphics are really good for Xbox, and the voice recording is good too. I think that they still could of worked on the graphics.
  20. Jun 8, 2013
    Upon its release Halo quickly established itself as the original Xbox's killer exclusive and this highly anticipated sequel arrived three years later amongst huge fanfare. Fortunately, while it did not exactly reinvent the FPS genre, it more than lived up to the hype providing an excellent evolution of the close to flawless original. Single player, co-op play and online Vs modes are all accounted for and anyone that enjoys the FPS genre won't be disappointed with what they find here. Expand
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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
  25. Jan 13, 2012
    A disapointing sequel. I didnt like the new look that the game had and it didnt really fit well with me. The story was a little too similar to the first game. It was interesting playing on the covenant side and it was easily the best part of the campaign. Multiplayer was fun but besides an updated look, It didnt really have much different from the first game's multiplayer.

    It was an ok
    game but very disapointing. Expand
  26. 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?
  27. 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
  28. Aug 13, 2012
    Halo: Combat Evolved was always going to hard to follow up and Halo 2 almost manages it. The sprawling environments return, so do the covenant, so does the flood in fact so does everything. It feels like a copy and paste at times with very few gameplay changes and very few variations in environment. However what it does well is it brings the intergalactic war well and truly home and turns up the epicness to 11. Invading giant mobile covenant bases, assaulting a hanging city before it falls into the depths below and a story to bonkers that you get far too in over your head and it feels right! Halo 2 is by no means as good as Halo:CE but it damn well comes close. Expand
  29. 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
  30. May 5, 2012
    Halo 2 adds several mechanical achievements over Halo:CE, as well as continues the incredible story arc the first began. What is loses is the originality of the first without introducing enough new elements to feel completely fresh. This is understandable, considering what a feat the first game was and how soon after this game was released. Again, graphics and controls stand up well, even after a considerable amount of time. The Soundtrack from any Halo game is incredible, and this one is no different. For the completionist, this game on Legendary is, in my opinion, the hardest of all the Halo games, CE to Reach. Overall, a great continuation that just failed to deliver enough new material to be the greatest. Expand

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]