Generally favorable reviews - based on 40 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 40
  2. Negative: 0 out of 40
Buy On
  1. It's hard to see the majority of people wanting to play any other multiplayer shooter until the next CoD is released, such is the quality of what's on offer here.
  2. This is definitely a must buy, despite the surprising $60 dollar price tag for a PC title. Grab your gear; you’re in for one hellava ride.
  3. MW2 is a fantastic follow up that doesn't muddle too much with the mixture of success found in the original, but instead just adds some more depth and a much higher level of polish. Whether you're a fan of the original MW or a newcomer to the series, this is easily one of the must-play titles this year. Honestly, unless you're completely against playing games in which you shoot things, this game's excellent single-player campaign, enjoyable Special Ops mode, and addictive and nearly endless online multiplayer experience should put MW2 at the very top of your "to buy" list.
  4. 95
    For those planning to check out everything Modern Warefare 2 has to offer – online competition, full co-op Spec Ops mode, as well as the campaign – you’re looking at a no-brainer purchase. For the strictly single player crowd, however, Modern Warfare 2 is surprisingly short, and doesn’t live up to the standard set by previous Call of Duty games.
  5. With the music of Hans Zimmer and the cinematic scenes, you're sucked into the game and spit out after you’re done. The single player is rather short. It will take you about six hours to beat the game, but you get an intense and memorable ride the entire time. The game seems to be a little scripted, but it isn’t annoying for everyone. The multiplayer isn’t annoying at all. You can play for hundreds of hours without being bored. The Spec Ops mode extends that with fun for two. If you ever played a shooter and liked it, buy this game!
  6. Infinity Ward has managed to outdo themselves with this sequel, a tremendous feat in its own right. If the games of 2009 were stacked up against each other, there’s no question that Modern Warfare 2 would be incredibly close to the apex, fighting viciously for the top spot and, for many people, getting there and continuing upward. This is what gaming is supposed to feel like.
  7. From the first campaign mission to the 50th deathmatch round, Modern Warfare 2 is one heck of a ride. Its flaws are miniscule whispers against a thundrous symphony of greatness, where all elements combine for a must-play experience.
  8. PC Zone UK
    Something of a landmark title. [Jan 2010, p.52]
  9. It looks better, it plays better, the story is more intense and the multiplayer is more inviting. And with the inclusion of SpecOps, the longevity of this game is sure to have increased as well.
  10. MW2 is spectacular in all the right areas; building and refining on the most solid of bases. And although its political heart might not be in the ‘right’ place, at the very least it might make a few people think rather than skim through on muscle memory and twitch reactions. That’s a rarity in itself, and something to be respected in an age of apathy.
  11. 91
    The PC version of Modern Warfare 2 is identical to the console versions in almost every way, and that's actually the problem. PC gamers have a certain expectation for online shooters. Removing dedicated server and user mod support from a game that's already $10 more than its predecessor seriously hinders the long term appeal for me.
  12. Compared to the hundreds of hours you might spend in Modern Warfare 2’s brilliant multiplayer mode, the few hours you might lose to its painful singleplayer game will fade like a bad memory.
  13. I don’t know what to say … simply brilliant!
  14. Modern Warfare 2 will leave you breathless.
  15. Its sheer assuredness in mechanics, spectacle and often situation are unlikely to be surpassed for some time.
  16. Modern Warfare 2 is the best Call of Duty game ever. Thus it's also the best action game multiplayer experience ever. Hence it’s also a must buy. Don’t listen to the haters who claim that Infinity Ward has ruined the experience for PC gamers. The truth is that Infinity Ward has made the multiplayer experience tighter, better and more intense. For once you don’t have to pay heed to the famous Public Enemy quote ”Don’t belive the hype”.
  17. Modern Warfare 2 provides an astounding package of game modes, polish, and thrills. It’s just too bad PC gamers get the shaft with the lack of dedicated servers.
  18. This game is a very intense experience, no doubt at all. It mixes fast action with slow passages and perfectly done scripts. But it could have been much better had someone with talent written the story. It’s full of logical errors and gaps the size of the Grand Canyon… and the massacre on the airport only serves to show the missing tactfulness of the developer. But it’s a brilliant game, nonetheless.
  19. PC Format
    Not a huge leap on from CoD4, but still a fantastic single-player action romp and quality multiplayer if you can get it to work. [Jan 2010, p.86]
  20. Modern Warfare 2 deserves to be one of the biggest games this year, but it's still up in the air whether the PC community will let go of their grudges and enjoy this version for the great game it is anyway.
  21. The surprise factor of the first Modern Warfare is missing and the PC version is by far the worst in the PS3, X360 and PC trio. This new Call of Duty iteration exceeds every expectation with its off-line mode, but loses its place among the best shooters of this year because of its poorly designed and badly executed multiplayer.
  22. Modern Warfare 2 boasts an exhilarating campaign, engaging cooperative play, and addictive multiplayer, but the high price and limited multiplayer features may tarnish its appeal.
  23. The PC version of Modern Warfare 2 must shack up with the absence of dedicated servers and a technical engine that doesn't perform very well.
  24. Modern Warfare 2 is a great game, and if it weren’t for all the PC-defining features that were stripped out of the game, it’d doubtlessly be superior to its predecessor. What we have here, though, is a game that’s lost a lot in its transition to the PC, and whether that’s something you can tolerate, well… you know.
  25. Changing your game style in order to complete achievements will offer variation for a while, but the routine and technical limitations don’t make Modern Warfare 2 anything more than a rehash of a successful title, superior only in visual terms and inferior in many other departments that are far more important in my opinion.
  26. Pelit (Finland)
    A true video-game equivalent of a Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay action movie. The singleplayer is engaging while it lasts, but the game's true value lies in the multiplayer. The online matches are fast, fun and highly addictive. [Nov 2010]
  27. Its surprisingly hard for me to recommend Modern Warfare 2 to anyone. Sure: The singleplayer-campaign is quite exciting, the atmosphere is intense and graphics are "ok", but the console-ported multiplayer quite simply spoils it all. What were they thinking?! Bottom line: Fans of the predecessor can give it a go, everyone else is way better of with Modern Warfare 1 - especially in terms of "value for money".
  28. Artificial limits to and strict uniformity of online play, precious development time spent on extraneous and arcadey side-missions, removal of a crucial gameplay mechanic because “the game isn’t balanced for that?” I just expect more from a developer who wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for the PC.
  29. All things considered, the first-rate production values, challenging missions and compelling atmosphere should keep you hooked (though for a brief period). The most obvious problem with the main campaign is that it's too darn short, hardly worth the game's retail price.
  30. PC PowerPlay
    Despite the lack of dedicated servers, Modern Warfare 2 is undoubtedly the best thing to happen in 2009. [Jan 2010, p.76]
  31. PC Gamer
    Modern Warfare 2's convincing weapons, evil enemies, shock-and-awe set-pieces and beautiful-but-unrelated locales suit nothing so well as co-op. [Jan 2010, p.72]
  32. Total PC Gaming
    An impressive shooter with a high degree of polish, but as a PC game it has taken a step back. [Issue#28, p.45]
  33. 80
    With its combination of an engaging single-player campaign, addictive adversarial multiplayer modes, and enjoyable cooperative Spec Ops action, there's no denying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the year's finest games.
  34. Infinity Ward has created a solid shooter which raises your adrenaline to dangerous levels in a number of places with some of the best set pieces I have ever seen in any game. If only it had changed the pace here and there and made it longer, MW2 would have been a classic.
  35. 75
    For the PC, Modern Warfare 2 is a solid shooter with an excellent but very short campaign, and an improved online multiplayer system hurt by the new matchmaking setups.
  36. Matchmaking is as woeful as you would expect, and the campaign mode is too short and plays like it was designed by a committee. The Special Ops mode fails to lift the uniform score of this game to anything worthy of remembrance.
  37. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Modern Warfare is a true symbol of “military service for everyone”. Short singleplayer and dull AI can’t overcome the intense fights, excellent level design and splendid multiplayer. [Dec 2009]
  38. In the attempt to capture the feel of a Hollywood movie, the developers went so far that they completely turned Call of Duty into a mindless run from one objective marker to another. There is a mediocre on-rails shooter under all these blurry visual effects and nice music, a game no better than Secret Service or Code of Honor 3. It just looks and sounds nicer than its low-budget brethren. Multiplayer is the only worthy thing about Modern Warfare 2.
  39. If you told me three months ago we would be suggesting PC gamers hold off on buying Modern Warfare 2 I would have thought you're crazy. But if you are buying this game mainly for multiplayer - especially if you're contemplating serious competitive play at a high level - that's exactly what we're saying. The single player story is great, and if your idea of multiplayer is a quick zap with mates maybe an hour or two a week then by all means - it's great for your purposes. However if you're a Counterstrike, Battlefield, ETQW or even a COD4 player looking for a serious competitive platform to move to - best wait. Wait and see if Infinity Ward can implement dedicated server support.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 7040 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nu3gaWhat
    Jan 10, 2010
    Terrible. The story line is weak and short. Multiplayer? LOL Yeah the biggest fail ever. NO dedicated servers, NO kicking/banning, NO choice Terrible. The story line is weak and short. Multiplayer? LOL Yeah the biggest fail ever. NO dedicated servers, NO kicking/banning, NO choice in what map you play or any other options OTHER then gametype, NO leaning, unbalanced weapons/perks/killstreaks, retarded respawns on overly busy map designs that leads to always being shot in the back by someone respawning or being killed by a camper, cheaters run rampant and are blatant because there is NOTHING you can do about them. Oh maybe VAC will detect the PUBLIC hacks, and ban them a few weeks later...maybe. It just keeps being worse. Lack of a console to tweak settings or even to display your frames per second!!!! Laggy as f*ck, as expected with no dedicated servers. Worst of all, IW is ignoring the community, and even insulting our intelligence. Deleting threads and petitions on their forums. Also what would appear to me, having their employees or simply people they pay to blatantly lie saying how good the game is. All of this for $10 more then PC games go for.....what a rip off. Full Review »
  2. mathieuG.
    Jan 28, 2010
    Well, I was always a fan of the Call of Duty games, the only reason why I voted so high was because the single player was actually really Well, I was always a fan of the Call of Duty games, the only reason why I voted so high was because the single player was actually really really good. The multiplayer on the other hand is complete garbage. The PC community was completely abandoned when dedicated servers were taken out, its not that the game is garbage really, its mostly that the loyal gamers were completely ignored. The community is completely destroyed. Meeting familiar faces is no longer do-able. Just another console game with a mouse, its all MW2 is. Stick with MW1 if you are a skilled fps player. Did I mention that the hosts get 0 ping, while everyone gets 70+ in every game? Really big disadvantageous if you ask me, not to forget to mention that the nub tubes are still in the game. And theres NO WAY to take them out. Skilled FPS are a thing of the past, its all about "nice" graphics and consumer dollars. Don't support this game, it was my mistake for not listening to the podcast. Full Review »
  3. JosephB
    Dec 5, 2009
    Modern Warfare 2 single player is a complete joy to play. The action is nonstop from start to finish. The Spec Ops is also pretty cool Modern Warfare 2 single player is a complete joy to play. The action is nonstop from start to finish. The Spec Ops is also pretty cool addition to the game. The Multi player on Steam is another thing. The issue I have is with the lack of security updates to stop the hacking / cheating. Steam and Infinity Ward are not doing near enough to deal with this issue. It completely kills the fun in playing the multi player. My rating would be a 10 if they would get the multi player hacking / cheating under control. I don't understand why they are allowing it to happen on such a great game. Full Review »