Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
Buy On
  1. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The sound effects are without any shadow of a doubt the most amazing I've ever heard in a videogame. The rasp of the engine is so unbelievably believable that you can actually feel the reverberation of the exhaust as the ower surges through it. It will change your expectations of what a game can sound like. [Dec 2004, p.120]
  2. 100
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. To top it all off, the online portion of the game has been vastly improved, and EA has addressed almost all of the complaints that were raised about the original NFSU, from the ability to reset the race, create private or password-protected rooms, to several different modes for online play.
  5. 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.
  6. Everything from the first game has been done better, cleaner and with more emphasis, but the free-roaming city is a double-edged sword, offering a sprawling metropolis to navigate, but a bit too much travelling in some spots.
  7. 90
    An impressive, and more importantly, fun game that overcomes its faults with depth, breadth, and variety.
  8. GMR Magazine
    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]
  9. 90
    The world is elaborate, the sense of speed is dizzying, and the customization could cost you a job or a girlfriend. But you'll still have Brooke to keep you company.
  10. 90
    By far the biggest innovation is the massive, explorable cityscape, complete with secret garages and locals hankering for a drag race. The only truly unforgivable flaw is the cornball dialogue.
  11. 90
    While the previous game may be more polished, this edition aims higher and achieves more regardless of a few missteps.
  12. 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.
  13. 90
    A massive improvement over its predecessor of last year. The sheer excitement and rush of adrenaline that the game constantly delivers without fail pushes the game’s few faults into the back of your mind. Turn up the volume and enjoy.
  14. 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.
  15. If you live for 20-inch rims, flame decals and picking just the right door mirrors to accent your neon, you need this. The racing might not be quite the best available, but it's not that far behind. Certainly way good enough for you to enjoy your crazy ride. [PSM2]
  16. 85
    Once you've unlocked the entire area and learned how to get around on the surface streets and freeways, it creates a remarkable sense of immersion in the environment. It doesn't just feel like a collection of scattered race tracks, it feels like a real world, with the player a unique little speck in the middle of it.
  17. 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.
  18. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  19. While the driving action isn't quite as satisfying as the superb "Burnout 3," it's still strong enough to keep you playing through the 150 or so races.
  20. If you don't mind searching the city for action, Need for Speed Underground 2 gives you a chance to become the best street racer out there.
  21. PSM Magazine
    Has made quite a few improvements on its predecessor - there are just a few rough spots that still need to be buffed out. [Holiday 2004, p.72]
  22. AceGamez
    A lightweight storyline is balanced out by a hardcore car creation mode (at least on the visuals front) and all this is backed up by the delectable Brooke Burke. It's fair to say that it beats neither Midnight Club or Burnout, but it comes a pretty close second.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. The cars sound great, and have more of an individual roar than they did in the first game, which racing aficionados will no doubt appreciate.
  26. Game Informer
    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]
  27. 80
    Naturally the pimping side of things have been expanded to a maddeningly complete degree.
  28. Need for Speed's underground isn't a gritty, electrifying one, it's a relaxed and velvety one. But damn does your gearbox ever sound sexy.
  29. 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.
  30. Almost everything that has been added to this year's game detracts from the overall experience. Once you're in and racing and customizing your cars, it's a lot of fun, but there are too many obstacles standing between you and the best parts of the game.
  31. 70
    Not a realistic racer, the details of physics aren’t there, and some of the reactions the car makes are not accurate to say the least. But we don’t think that matters, NFSU2 is a great, loveable game which, taken at face value – a fun-filled racing game – is great fun and enjoyable to play and progress through, if you’re in Career Mode.
  32. But strip away the culture it’s trying so very hard to win over and there’s a game that’s been hastily, and sparsely, updated, and was beaten to death in the womb by "Burnout 3" months ago. Just like 20” rims and a spoiler on a 1984 Volvo, this game may turn heads, but where it counts most it’s a phoney.
  33. Emphasizes flashy visuals, corporate sponsorships and ease-of-use over the seedy aspects of street racing. The competitors’ AI goes from dumb to aggressive in the blink of a tail light too.
  34. My main complaint with the AI is that it is often way too easy to beat in the traditional racing modes. The racing tends to suffer because of the ease of the game.
  35. 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.
  36. games(TM)
    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]
  37. Races feel more like a monotonous chore than a speed thrill, purely because the tracks fail to inspire exciting burn-ups. [PSW]
  38. 60
    There’s something almost absurd about paying for a game that inundates you with a constant stream of ads.
  39. Edge Magazine
    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]

Awards & Rankings

#9 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#19 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 150 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 150
  1. Jul 4, 2013
    Riders on the Storm Remember?? Aaaaaah.. As this game is nostalgic, brings me many memories of my black Golf entering the garage to beRiders on the Storm Remember?? Aaaaaah.. As this game is nostalgic, brings me many memories of my black Golf entering the garage to be modified. How good you run with that little car beside those opponents that you just want to destroy it!! This game was great, I have to give my 10 here! CONGRATULATIONS EA GAMES!! Full Review »
  2. MattD
    Nov 10, 2004
  3. Mar 10, 2016
    Este jogo é incrível! Eu recebi e ainda não posso parar de jogar. Os gráficos são tão detalhadas para um game e é desafiador, mas divertido eEste jogo é incrível! Eu recebi e ainda não posso parar de jogar. Os gráficos são tão detalhadas para um game e é desafiador, mas divertido e terá que jogar por horas! A história é complexa e profundamente pensado. O melhor jogo que eu já joguei de forma Full Review »