Universal acclaim - based on 42 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 42
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 42
  3. Negative: 0 out of 42
Buy Now
Buy on
  1. The environments are amazing, when on the deck of the tank the rain effects are extremely lifelike, along with rain drops hitting the ship and characters.
  2. GamePen
    The best part of the whole thing is, you become so comfortable with the controls that the movements feel like a natural extension of your body. You’ll find your self ducking your head every time a bullet whizzes by you during a gunfight.
  3. 100
    MGS2 delivers everything it was teased, touted, hyped, and, in some circles, feared to be. It's easily one of the most memorable gaming experiences you're likely to have.
  4. Anyone who comes away from this game with anything more than a few nitpicky complaints should just give up videogaming, period. Everything that this game does goes above and beyond the capability of the current competition and will easily set a bar for quality for years to come.
  5. Nearly everything in the game is interactive the way it would be in the real world whether it’s melting ice cubes to leaking flour bags. The detail is staggering.
  6. You’ll be more impressed that you can make Snake stare lecherously at a centerfold poster one minute, only to have him pop out and choke someone to death the next.
  7. A perfect balance between videogames and cinema.
  8. Looks beautiful, plays precisely, and has a complex, detailed plot that will tax your brain and maybe even have you questioning the greater truths of life. If that's not a game that qualifies for a perfect score, then no game possibly can.
  9. Game Informer
    From the attention to detail that went into the graphics to the sophistication of gameplay, Hideo Kojima and his team set out to create the perfect game, and the result is nothing short of this. [Dec 2001, p.84]
  10. 100
    If you own a PS2 and you do not own and play through this game 100% you will forfeit your right to call yourself a game player and should trade in everything you own and become a monk.
  11. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    I know everyone is expecting this game to be good, but I have to tell you I was shocked at how great it is. [Dec 2001, p.159]
  12. 100
    Astoundingly beautiful. From the sunset, to the rain effects, to the guard animation - everything is very well done. There’s dynamic cloth effects, beautiful lighting and most importantly, some incredible textures to round it off. [Grade = A+]
  13. 100
    The game is nearly perfect, with stunning graphics, great sound, and controls that enhance rather than detract from the overall cinematic experience.
  14. Next Generation Magazine
    A stunning creation, a tremendous achievement. [Jan 2002, p.73]
  15. MGS2 includes all kinds of incentive to play the game again and again, including the new collectable "Dog Tag" feature, but to be honest the real replay value lies with the beauty of the game.
  16. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    A must-own, state-of-the-art tactical espionage stealth-a-thon. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  17. A masterpiece. The story and scope of MGS2 is much larger than the original and Kojima should be commended for creating a game that makes you feel like you are in the game. I never put this game down until I beat it.
  18. The graphics are virtually flawless, down to the smallest detail - the interactivity with your environment and the attention to detail will have most people playing through multiple times just so they can find every little secret.
  19. 97
    The experience will stay with you for a long time -- everything from the action to the masterful story...Game of the Year on PS2? No arguments here!
  20. 97
    One of the most interesting aspects of MGS2's gameplay, though, is the emphasis on nonviolence. For a game with such a huge arsenal of destructive implements, and such a horribly rich killing experience for the twisted among us, it honestly provides considerable opportunity and incentive to be a benevolent commando.
  21. Not just a game, it's an experience, and well worth the three-year wait...It almost makes you wonder how Hideo Kojima might fare directing a movie based on the Metal Gear license.
  22. If you’re wearing body armor just before you start a new part of the plot, you’ll see your character wearing it in the cut-scene as well. I feel that this effect really adds to the suspension of disbelief in MGS2 and helps it be that much more impressive.
  23. At times, it's hard to tell where sincerity ends and irony begins--select Snake's cigarettes in the inventory list and you're provided with the helpful information that cigarettes are highly addictive and bad for your health. Not like, for example, guns or anything.
  24. Games Radar
    A bit plot heavy, but that's a tiny criticism of one of the most inventive, ambitious and downright fun games to play, well, ever.[GamesMaster Magazine]
  25. Though you'll undoubtedly get swept up in the game's plot and be dazzled by its cinematics, it's the incredible story and the tense, enjoyable action at the heart of Metal Gear Solid 2 that make it so extraordinary.
  26. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    It’s infinitely more polished, more playable, more replayable, better-looking, and just plain fun to run around and play than most anything else out there. [Jan 2002, p.212]
  27. Enjoyable, captivating, and thrilling.
  28. A great game not only because it surpasses MGS1 in terms of graphics, sound, and control, but because it offers new and innovative gameplay.
  29. Cheat Code Central
    Some reviews are superfluous and this is one of them. If have played the first one, you'll play the sequel because you know it's going to be a quality product. Who cares what other people think anyway?
  30. Almost perfect - storyline notwithstanding.
  31. It’s almost as fun to watch as it is to play.
  32. Aside from the over-abundance of movies and com-link chatter, there is a really great game hidden on this DVD. The freedom to explore and ultimately play this game as you see fit within the confines of the parameters of the script is a great feature that offers excellent replay potential.
  33. A testosterone soaked soap opera. With a storyline that will keep you deciding who to trust and what really is going on right up until the end, it’s a great bit of entertainment.
  34. A great game from a gameplay standpoint but fails pretty badly when it comes to the story. As a result, even though I've given it an A-, it turns out to be one of my biggest disappointments of the year.
  35. As stunning and enjoyable as ever. You may feel foolish gripping the controller throughout a 40-minute cut scene, but MGS2 is something which must be experienced.
  36. GMR Magazine
    This highly anticipated sequel throws a real curveball early on in the game. It was probably the least confusing part of the story. [Feb 2003, p.92]
  37. In a very Hitchcockian gesture Kojima structures the entire game around a plot twist no one will see coming and many might not even like. This kind of audience-foiling gutsiness is always a delight in my book.
  38. Truly astounding. Not tarnished at all by all the hype, and truly worth the wait.
  39. The gameplay factor is much lower for MGS2.
  40. 80
    MGS2 suffers in its story. I can't spoil it for you, but I can at least warn you to be prepared for a plot that frequently reaches levels of sheer absurdity.
  41. 80
    As good as this game is, as amazing as the graphics are, as fantastic as the audio is, as fun as it is to play, and as much as everyone loves Solid Snake, the obscene storyline virtually ruins everything.
  42. SOL's storyline (and this is being generous) is woefully inept, consisting of such high-calibre nonsense that there's absolutely no point following it.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#3 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1756 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 8, 2011
    The most memorable game to date on PS2. Amazing story and snake is and still to this day remains a badass. Great gameplay for a 2001 game, theThe most memorable game to date on PS2. Amazing story and snake is and still to this day remains a badass. Great gameplay for a 2001 game, the visual setting still satisfys, not to mention every mission had an unforgettable twist. 10/10 Full Review »
  2. Jun 12, 2011
    The plot becomes appreciated after repeat playthroughs, and the game play kicks ass. I can definitely see why other people would dislike it,The plot becomes appreciated after repeat playthroughs, and the game play kicks ass. I can definitely see why other people would dislike it, but I can't help loving this game. Full Review »
  3. CodyB
    Jul 1, 2009
    The perfect masterpiece of the ps2, yet there are are some people that bitch & moan about how "horrible" THEY THINK the storyline is because The perfect masterpiece of the ps2, yet there are are some people that bitch & moan about how "horrible" THEY THINK the storyline is because either they don't PAY FULL ATTENTION or they're just totally mentally retarded to understand ANYTHING AT ALL. ANYBODY who rates this brilliant masterpiece a low score are inexperienced losers who just TRY to ruin gaming experiences for other gamers because they have no lives of their own. Trust me, I am an true gamer and I know what a true masterpiece is, get this game or be like one of "them". Full Review »