Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 83
    An impressive, and more importantly, fun game that overcomes its faults with depth, breadth, and variety.
  2. The actual racing in Need for Speed Underground 2 is still pretty good, but unfortunately most of the stuff you do in between races keeps you away from the game's best moments.
  3. Illegal street racing has never looked and felt so right and with Need for Speed Underground 2 you'll find it hard not to fall in love with this fun racing game.
  4. Just about everything in this game is better, except for the cumbersome overworld. If you can overlook this one shortcoming, there is a lot to like in Underground 2, I just had a hard time getting over this one, rather large, hurdle. [Dec 2004, p.162]
  5. 80
    The additional game modes, upgraded customization, and most-importantly the game's open world environment make it stand a clear step above its predecessor which was already a fantastic racer to begin with.
  6. 100
    Simply put, Underground 2 is an outstanding sequel in all aspects. It offers a lot of new and fun features, yet the game doesn't move away from the core gameplay that made the first Underground so popular, which is pure adrenaline street racing.
  7. NFS Underground 2 does one more thing exceptionally well; give the gamer plenty of bang for their buck. If 8 different game play modes wasn't enough; Circuit, Drag, Drift, Sprint, Street X, Downhill Drift, Outrun, and Underground Racing League, you have a story mode that will give gamers over 40 hours of racing joy.
  8. Does a pretty good job capturing the tuner scene with fast races and flashy cars. However, some lingering A.I. issues and the excessive time it takes just to get where you need to go keeps this ride from shifting to fifth.
  9. 40
    The GameCube version, on the other hand, slows down horribly with too many cars on the screen (at the start of a four-car race, for instance) or in certain areas of town with a lot of background architecture. It's bad enough that the absence of online multiplayer is just a little extra salt in the wound.
  10. Broadening the racing arenas to include a complete city, the number of race types and vehicles significantly increases the number of things to do in the game. However, the quirks of the world map, lack of visual speed and other gameplay issues keep it from surpassing the original title.
  11. 60
    There's something almost absurd about paying for a game that inundates you with a constant stream of ads.
  12. The handling hasn't evolved and a year on, with the masking novelty of the game's tuning aspects worn off, it's disappointingly limited and remote. And despite the increased choice and plot introduction the whole exercise can often feel soulless. [Christmas 2004, p.60]
  13. Unfortunately, the extras and vehicle customisation can't change the fact that the actual racing feels very average. The tracks seem to be more winding than the last game, which detracts from the feeling of speed, and the handling feels very sloppy when compared to other recent games in the genre. [Christmas 2004, p.117]
  14. The game's overall length and number of hidden surprises is downright daunting, yet the story is so paper-thin, the series still lacks the impetus necessary to motivate casual racers through nearly 50 hours of gameplay. [Holiday 2004, p.96]
  15. An open format, great driving physics and stylized graphics contribute to a rewarding playing experience. [Feb 2005, p.113]
  16. I was positively crestfallen when I exited the menu to find that my car design didn't stay put.
  17. For all its good intentions and car modifying appeal, there's a real lack of exhilaration under the bonnet that cripples the game the moment it leaves the starting line.
  18. NFS:U2 is trying very hard to progress this franchise, but sadly the enhancements that EA seem most proud of (the free roaming map, refillable N2O and SUV racing) detract from, rather than enhance, the game play experience.
  19. Its immense thrills and spills through the open-ended city of Bayview is exhilarating, and the culture that is emerging is created in the game to great effect.
  20. Sports a free roaming city where you can drive around wherever you'd like across 125 miles. This is the biggest of its kind for a racing game and, once again, transfers to this genre spectacularly.
  21. Electronic Arts really has turned the Need For Speed series into something very special. The series was starting to get old with rehash after rehash, now each Underground title seems to get better and better with every release.
  22. The original Need for Speed Underground is still better than its sequel, which speaks for the great quality of the first game or the lack of it in the sequel.
  23. It's just a shame EA insist on using a blurring effect when you boost. The graphics are already blurry enough to make it tough to see where the track ahead is taking you. The last thing you need when rocketing along at some silly speed over 100mph, is an effect that looks like someone's smeared Vaseline on your windscreen.
  24. 81
    This game is huge. Seriously. 40 hours or more worth of gameplay amounts to a lot of fun.
  25. The music selection could've used more work, and some parts of the game drag when they shouldn't. Still, this is a great sequel.
  26. Compared to its predecessor, NFSU2 is more. More city, more courses, more cars, more parts, more style...just more of everything in general. The game is huge. [Dec 2004, p.99]
  27. NFSU2 feels like a much fuller game than its predecessor most of the time, but there is still that feeling in the back of my head saying that the free-roaming world is nothing more than an interactive menu interface.
  28. The original NFSU's city was a little repetitive, but now IT'S broken up into five distinct neighbourhoods, each is suitably spectacular. Most of the time you fly through these districts so quickly that everything becomes one big neon blur, but it's worth slowing down to soak up the sights.
  29. This title has the dubious honour of being the most cynical, poorly produced mess that I have clapped eyes on for at least five years.
  30. The courses in this game are just as much the stars as the cars. The dazzling downtown locations are massive, dominated by skyscrapers whose light bathes the streets in a radiant glow.
  31. Tries to roll driving and role-play into a neat little package, but through ham-fisted design and execution the game's faults continually blot out any true sense of immersion within the game's atmosphere.
  32. Not as much much fun as EA's other recent speed merchant "Burnout 3," but if getting under the hood to tinker with motors is your thing, this could be the one for you.
  33. They need to make it exciting when you are traveling to places, either that or cut the travel distance down.
  34. 80
    Naturally the pimping side of things have been expanded to a maddeningly complete degree.
  35. Everything "NFSU" was and more. Racing is now more realistic and the freedom to cruise the city and choose your events is an awesome improvement.

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