Universal acclaim - based on 67 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 67
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 67
  3. Negative: 0 out of 67
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  1. 100
    Modern Warfare 2 crosses into the must-have category of video games effortlessly. It offers an unmatched shooter experience, a compelling story mode, a slick package of mini missions and a multiplayer which is pretty much unparalleled in depth.
  2. 100
    Modern Warfare 2 offers epic gameplay, a stunning Spec-Ops mode and a huge amount of adrenaline.
  3. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    "History is written by the victors" says one character. Infinity Ward has just written history. Modern Warfare 2 is fast paced, deep, flexible and utterly, totally belongs in your console. [Christmas 2009, p.64]
  4. Anyone who already has issues with the single-player ‘style’ of IW’s games will still find fault with the scripted, linear experience, but in terms of sheer drama and show-stopping set-pieces accompanied by laser sharp FPS controls, Modern Warfare 2 is your daddy. And that’s without Spec Ops and Multiplayer.
  5. You're always unlocking something and messing around with your created classes to find just the right balance of tactics and murderousness. That balance is the true core of Modern Warfare 2's online play. It's an exhilarating mix that forces tension by rewarding you for taking it slowly.
  6. 100
    Mixing real-world locations with bombastic set-pieces MW2 continues the guided, thrill-ride experiences of its predecessor, and adds even more depth to its multiplayer offerings. It might not have fixed all the problems from the first game, but there's just so much quality content packed into this game that it will almost certainly be one of the most-played games in your library for a long time to come.
  7. 100
    The fact that I didn't even get into the stunning visuals and amazing sound design speaks volumes about the sheer amount of content in the game, and I could probably write another 800 words simply about the ridiculous attention to detail on display in each level.
  8. 100
    The singleplayer knows no competition and the multiplayer and brilliant Special Ops-mode make Modern Warfare 2 a phenomenal package. There are truly some scenes in the game that can affect the way you think and feel. After five games, the series seems to have found its high mark. One of the best shooters ever.
  9. 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...Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 takes everything that was great about CoD4 and ramps it up to the next level. With the best multiplayer shooting that money can buy, an incredibly action-packed campaign and plenty of superb two-player co-op levels, this is without a doubt a real contender for game of the year.
  10. 100
    Modern Warfare 2 has stepped up its game and it has been well worth the wait.
  11. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    The quality hits you like a tank - the visuals, the set-pieces, the detail. [Christmas 2009, p.100]
  12. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Modern Warfare is everything you'd want from a sequel. [Jan 2010, p.72]
  13. Despite certain controversial elements, this game is an FPS fan’s dream. Game of the Year? Hell, yeah!
  14. Modern Warfare 2 is a masterpiece of careful iteration, with an unmatched presentation and a well of content that will take months to run dry.
  15. 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.
  16. 97
    It was expected to be one of this year greatest gamers, and yes, it is.
  17. Infinity Ward hits another one out of the park with Modern Warfare 2.
  18. Infinity Ward delivers the "greatest hits" of action movies with references to Cliffhanger, Red Dawn, The Rock, and even Spies Like Us. You're fighting in the arctic one minute and crossing the desert the next, or you might be performing a rescue operation on a terrorist-controlled offshore oil platform or infiltrating a Russian submarine base.
  19. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Sublime in single, co-op and multiplayer. An incredible package. [Christmas 2009, p.10]
  20. The air of unpredictability and the care that was paid to each separate element puts it in lofty company. The multiplayer hasn't received an overhaul, but considering most shooters are still playing catch-up with Call of Duty 4, the tweaks and twists make it the best multiplayer shooting experience in the industry. Few games manage to meet such high expectations.
  21. The War on Terror never rests. The same goes for Infinity Ward, who raises the bar again with Modern Warfare 2. Its new campaign keeps delivering a cinematic, inmersive, and visually spectacular experience, while polishing AI and respawn issues, and offering a minimum of 8 hours of gameplay. Without a multiplayer rival, where it's as powerful as a Tactical Nuke, including a first approach to coop, and archiving excellence in every aspect, this last Call of Duty proves itself as a very solid candidate to become the game of the year.
  22. The surprise factor of the first Modern Warfare is missing, although it doesn’t affect this awesome sequel which is even better than the former. This new Call of Duty iteration exceeds every expectation and earns a place among the best shooters of this year.
  23. 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.
  24. Perhaps the greatest feat that Infinity Ward has performed is not only living up to the hype of Modern Warfare 2, but actually exceeding it.
  25. Play Magazine
    But value and longevity be damned, it’s the emotional impact Modern Warfare 2 brings to the table that in the end deserves the highest of praise.
  26. Modern Warfare 2 raises the bar for online gaming making this a must have for this area alone.
  27. Modern Warfare 2's emotional and intense single-player game is a thrilling rollercoaster ride of exciting moments, while the multiplayer is truly a definitive experience for online FPS players everywhere. This game lives up to the hype.
  28. There was a lot of hype leading up to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and for the most part the sequel lives up to it’s billing.
  29. 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.
  30. Modern Warfare 2 is an essential purchase regardless of your affiliation with the Call of Duty brand. In short, buy this game now. That is an order, soldier.
  31. 95
    While it may not reinvent the wheel, it makes it a much more enjoyable ride.
  32. 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!
  33. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is simply a terrific game and a solid addition to the Call of Duty franchise.
  34. Modern Warfare 2 is a complete package and one of those games you'll be playing for a long time to come. It's not only one of the best shooters of the year; it's one of the top shooters ever to appear on a console.
  35. 94
    Absolutely one of the most rounded gaming packages of 2009. The single player campaign – while not long – is well-paced, with plenty of variety in settings and gameplay, and will definitely be a steep challenge on the harder difficulty levels. The multiplayer component is fully featured, with an expansive set of modes and maps, and it’s great to see persistent stats returning. Rounding it out is Spec Ops, which is very much the icing on the cake.
  36. 94
    This game has so many standout moments of such immersive power, there really is no other experience out there to touch Modern Warfare 2’s controlled and entertaining pandemonium. Infinty Ward has skill, panache and big, hanging balls that clang as loud as Big Ben, so much so a the bar has been raised with Modern Warfare 2.
  37. Improved controls, more modes, better graphics and presentation equal out to be one big non-stop gaming experience that will spoil you rotten.
  38. Play UK
    Singularly the best reason to own broadband ever invented. [Christmas 2009, p.68]
  39. The multiplayer is phenomenal, the special ops are addicting and the campaign is one of the best you’ll play. Only the relatively short length of the campaign and its accompanying story presentation issues keep this from being all it can be.
  40. 93
    One of the best games of 2009. It has a great but short single-player. The multiplayer is brilliant and the new mode, Spec-ops is a great advantage of the series. Probably the best first person shooter of 2009.
  41. 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.
  42. Modern Warfare 2 carries the good tradition of its predecessor. The campaign is nonetheless too short, and it feels too inspired to the previous one; on the other side, the multiplayer carries a lot of improvements, and Spec Ops is a well crafted coop mode. If you consider buying for online fun, this is the game that will steal your life for the months to come. If you're up to an unforgettable single player experience you might consider other more lengthy and original titles.
  43. While at times the action can make you whiz by the environments, slowing down will allow you to take in the beauty of the environments. There isn’t quite the real-life detail as seen in the last game with Chernobyl, but Modern Warfare 2 has its own great detailing. And best of all, you won’t have any hiccups or lag.
  44. 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.
  45. AceGamez
    It’s living proof that history is written by the victors, because when people look back over the records of 2009, they’ll find more than a couple of paragraphs in Infinity Ward’s distinctive script.
  46. At first, it may seem as MW2 is not able to surpass or even match its predecessor, but thanks to a mindblowing second half of the singleplayer-part and a solid multiplayer, it’s nevertheless an amazing experience and a definite "must-have" for every shooter fan.
  47. Multiplayer is what it's all about, and here it's is head and shoulders (and torso and waist and legs and feet) above its nearest competition in terms of accessibility, balancing, strategic depth, technical prowess, and all around fun - so much so that it makes the campaign mode look like an tiny, ugly mole hidden away in some bodily crevice.
  48. It's well worth picking up, and even if you missed out on the original, there's no reason you couldn't pick this one up and enjoy it just as much as the rest of the fans, making it one of the more accessible "hardcore" FPS experiences out there.
  49. Modern Warfare 2 balances the spectacle and silliness of its single-player campaign with a deep, enduring multiplayer core, carefully covering its bases for players of all persuasions. But there is no denying it seeks merely to build upon the successes of its forebear while doing very little to expand its scope or redefine them.
  50. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has more than enough guns, modes and "oh-my-god" moments to propel it to the very top of your must have list, with astounding visuals, crystal-clear (and at times, frightening) audio and enough plot twists to make you second guess everything, so gear up, hop onto your snowmobile and haul ass to the nearest store.
  51. A dazzling package. A singleplayer campaign crammed with set-pieces that pull the player through at breakneck speed sits alongside Spec Ops, 23 co-op missions and a MW greatest hits package, before that superlative multiplayer, which really needs no introduction. With such attractions on offer, this is a shooter that demands playing, and playing again. It is still Call Of Duty, but its execution is skilful, mostly thoughtful, and it boasts the highest of production values.
  52. Modern Warfare 2 is the perfect example of a great sequel for a great game. This awesome first person shooter has a short but exciting story and one of the best multiplayer in the console market. The new mode, called Special Ops., is perfect to co-op with a friend for short and fantastic game sessions.
  53. Modern Warfare 2 ticks all of the right boxes: varied gameplay, immersive story, engaging gunplay, superb multiplayer, and the list goes on... If we're being really nitpicky, then we might suggest that there aren't many innovative features in the game. However, MW2's Spec Ops mode is fresh enough to ensure that the overall package isn't a stale one, while the long-term appeal of adversarial multiplayer will stretch out until the next Infinity Ward release with ease.
  54. Modern Warfare 2 nails the three pillars of play--campaign, cooperative, and multiplayer--to earn its place in the pantheon of modern shooters.
  55. Ultimately, this blockbuster is just another version in the Modern Warfare franchise and whilst failing to live up to the unreachable hype that was developed prior to release, Infinity Ward have produced a very impressive title. One good enough to even convince this sceptic.
  56. Though MW2 suffers from some of the same faults as its other ‘modern’ predecessor, its still a well made package that shows how although no game is perfect, a developer can still put out great work. If you like shooters at all, Modern Warfare 2 is the piece of work this year that you should be playing – like, right now.
  57. While the heavily scripted and way too short campaign is a disappointment, the new Spec-Ops mode, especially when played in co-op, and the great multilayer make up for it. The polish shines through in every aspect, from the graphics and sound to the controls and multiplayer balancing. Prepare yourself for a game that is sure to take you on a thrilling ride.
  58. Modern Warfare 2 offers you more of the same, but with enough new content and options to demonstrate just what a firm foundation Infinity Ward has built.
  59. Fans of the Call of Duty franchise won’t want to skip Modern Warfare 2 as it’s the most in-depth, involving Call of Duty release to date. Modern Warfare 2 is really three different gaming experiences rolled up into one package, and when you add up the value of each component, Modern Warfare 2 feels like a steal.
  60. As you would expect from a Call of Duty title, Modern Warfare 2 offers an intense and exhilarating single player experience with the only disappointment that it doesn’t last very long.
  61. There are a lot of emotion and adrenaline, although the implementation of the conflict often doesn’t proceed as expected for what is usual to see in these battle stations.
  62. Don't even hesitate about picking this one up. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is an instant classic.
  63. 89
    Did you think you had seen it all in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare? Get ready then for this war! Don't think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be a revolution, it's more like an evolution if you compare this to the first Modern Warfare game.
  64. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is solid continuation of the original Modern Warfare.
  65. Modern Warfare 2 is a great game, there is no doubt about it, but its shortcomings make it feel as if the game has stagnated and doesn't feel evolved, at all. And in some ways, I actually think the first Modern Warfare was better.
  66. 88
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 doesn't disappoint, but doesn't meet the high expectations either. Singleplayer is intense, but short and the multiplayer is smooth, but lacks innovation. It didn't need much to begin with, since the previous multiplayer was excellent, but still... Infinity Ward can't rest on its laurels, because it's doubtful they will get away with a lack of innovation three times in a row.
  67. As a whole, at least on consoles such as the PS3, Modern Warfare 2 is a thrilling, if not entirely coherent, care package for itchy trigger fingers.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2619 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Dec 21, 2011
    People should stop comparing this to other games, great campaign that tests you on veteran along with a superb online that also does the same.People should stop comparing this to other games, great campaign that tests you on veteran along with a superb online that also does the same. If you are looking for a fun campaign this game is for you. Full Review »
  2. GavinR
    Dec 17, 2009
    I am seriously disappointed with this title. The ratings here are really misleading. For instance Killzone got a 91 average and is the far I am seriously disappointed with this title. The ratings here are really misleading. For instance Killzone got a 91 average and is the far superior game. It beats MW2 in visuals, single player, weapons, online (32 players). The only good thing about MW2 is that they show replays of the kills. Pass on this if you are smart. Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2010
    If this game came out and no other games existed, then yes, this game would deserve a 10. Sadly, for IW, it wasn't. The plot-holed storylineIf this game came out and no other games existed, then yes, this game would deserve a 10. Sadly, for IW, it wasn't. The plot-holed storyline made no sense. It also lacked the amount of suspense and awe that MW had. It is more of a shooter and less of a exciting COD title. The multiplayer is horribly unbalanced. The perks are shoddy at best. The reactions and physics are very unresponsive. You can knife someone from ten feet away but 4 buckshots from a 12 gauge won't bring you down? What? Despite the many flaws, I still had fun during sp. Full Review »