Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 100
    The game tells a finely crafted and interesting story at its own pace, and those without the patience to appreciate it may not understand what all the fuss is about.
  2. 100
    A thoughtful, grand-scale adventure that's not afraid to test your patience. [Dec 2002, p.60]
  3. Without a doubt one of the greatest games ever, regardless of console.
  4. Shenmue II's story is really what makes the game so enjoyable, and the plot is about as epic as they come...It has a few annoying flaws, but overall, it's my pick as the best Xbox adventure game of the year.
  5. If you want an absorbing game that has everything you could want, I would recommend buying Shenmue II. But you really have to be able to devote tons of time to the game.
  6. Technically, the Xbox conversion of Shenmue 2 is a pot-pourri of highs and lows. Visually, it's two notches above its DC brother (AM2 have attached light sources to EVERYTHING - moreso at night, where neon bathes you in its "afterglow") but two notches below what the system is capable of.
  7. The series, especially this installment, has become among the most memorable game-playing experiences of my life.
  8. 90
    The mixture of play styles may rub some people the wrong way, but most will find the vast scope of this venture too alluring to resist.
  9. A great, rollicking adventure with some integrated action and worth your time if you’re in the “Adventure Games are Dead and I Miss Them” camp.
  10. With it’s mixing of genres and brilliant story, Shenmue II is an unforgettable experience.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 22
  3. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. Jun 28, 2012
    This is essentially the same game as the original, but expanded into more chapters. The original serves as chapter 1. With that said Shenmue II seems more grand and epic than the original. The world is huge. These games were ahead of their time. Full Review »
  2. Nov 23, 2013
    Shenmue II......
    I own both the Dreamcast and XBOX version, i also own the first title, Shenmue II opens up what was already a masterpiece,
    and turns it the dial to 11.
    More content than ever before, richer graphics, but not missing anything from the gameplay.
    A stunning and enchanting game, a must have for anyone with a XBOX or Dreamcast console.

    Full Review »
  3. Apr 19, 2013
    Overall, Shenmue is without doubt in my opinion the finest game ever made. Quite how Shenmue 1 and 2 stack up to one another is unclear to me, as they are both breathtaking and outstanding in their own ways.

    It's simply magical. It's hard to truly do this game justice with words, but it is an immersive, exciting, poetic and captivating experience that you will most likely remember and take with you forever.

    The only possible flaw with Shenmue 2 is the occasional slowdown on Dreamcast I am unsure if it's been smoothed out for the Xbox version (quite likely).

    Do yourself a favour and play Shenmue, you won't regret it!
    Full Review »