Universal acclaim - based on 55 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 55
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 55
  3. Negative: 0 out of 55
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  1. Hardcore Gamer
    It's exactly like Guitar Hero II for the PS2, but made even better by Microsoft's favorite son. [Mar 2007, p.58]
  2. More or less the perfect video game - as entertaining, as challenging and as absolutely infinite as you want it to be. [Issue 24, p.52]
  3. Buy this game. The content is plentiful (and crucially, more is en route) and the fantasy experience is pure rock and roll excess. Your personal stairway to heaven awaits.
  4. 100
    Even without a massive collection of exclusive content, this is an improvement (if a slight one) over the five-star PS2 original, which is all 360 owners need to know.
  5. 100
    The Xbox 360 adaptation is far and away the definitive version of the game and certainly worth the extra ten bucks. With an expanded track list, the promise of downloadable content, and the addition of leaderboards and Achievements you will be playing this game well into 2007 and beyond.
  6. Honestly, I can't get enough of this game, and by the look of the number of people on the leaderboard, I'm not the only one. Ok Harmonix, bring on "Rock Band"!
  7. When you can finally crack a song that initially seemed far beyond your skill level, and not just play it but perform it - arched back, windmilling arms, grins and grimaces and devil-horn salutes - it transcends a mere video game. It’s interactive entertainment taken to an entirely new level.
  8. The Guitar Hero games are electrifying not only rocker wannabes in family rooms and basements, but also on college campuses and in nightclubs, where Guitar Hero Night is all the rage.
  9. AceGamez
    Without a doubt the 'ultimate edition' of the ultimate music-based game. Though far from mind-blowing, the upgraded graphics are appealing, but the remastered sound, additional songs and features are the true stars of the Xbox 360 version's stage, making this game an even easier purchase than the two games before it.
  10. Expect 8-12 hours to unlock the content (on medium) and 8-12 months to master it. By then, it will be time for Guitar Hero III and the insanity can start anew.
  11. Official Xbox Magazine
    Expect your non-gaming friends, family, and spouses to beg for the chance to bring the rock. That power alone makes Guitar Hero II a must-play. [Mar 2007, p.68]
  12. Play Magazine
    Everybody who frequents the game knows the feeling when the prompts melt away and you find yourself actually playing the music; that's why Guitar Hero is the best music and/or mainstream game to hit these United States. [Mar 2007, p.56]
  13. 95
    But, the added level of depth and infinite replay value through Xbox 360 Achievements and loads of downloadable content make GHII Xbox 360 the ultimate version to own. [Apr 2007, p.80]
  14. Aside from a few misgivings about some of the track choices, I enjoyed absolutely everything about Guitar Hero II. The practice mode ensures there's always that option there to improve yourself and master the game on hard and expert and also provides a great way for beginners to get into the game.
  15. Guitar Hero II is one of the greatest games ever created. It's innovative, addicting, polished and just plain awesome.
  16. The game has a great rock-and-roll art style that works extremely well. The character models are fairly detailed but they all have very unique personalities whether you’re looking at a 60s era rocker, a punk rocker, or a hardcore metalhead.
  17. The feeling you get when hitting one of those hard 5 note combos is something that no other game out there can replace. Getting the chance to play this masterpiece on the Xbox 360, as the first time it has hit a next-gen console, is enough reason to go out and purchase this today.
  18. An amazing game. There is no better party game on the 360, or any console for that matter. I found myself getting up early just so I could rip a few tunes before I had to leave the house then just as quickly getting back on as soon as I returned.
  19. 94
    Even if you already have done all of this before, you may yet find a reason to grab the Xbox 360 re-release. With reworked graphics, sound, new songs, downloadable content and more, this is easily the best Guitar Hero game yet.
  20. The new guitar is cool, the new songs are amusing, there’s downloadable treats on the way, and the game itself is hours and hours of fun, even though you always feel a lot cooler than you look. With that said, the lack of online play is a huge disappointment and a glaring example of missed opportunity.
  21. This is, by far, one of the best games on any platform – ever.
  22. Game Informer
    If you haven't already, go out and buy it. It's just that simple. [Apr 2007, p.104]
  23. The Xbox 360 gets what’s probably the best party game ever, because GHII is compelling for anyone who’s into music, not just to hard-core gamers. It’s that rare title that doesn’t become boring with repeat plays. In fact, I played it so much the first day I had the game that the tips of two fret-flicking fingers went numb on me.
  24. Ok, so the Gibson X-Plorer guitar controller isn’t wireless, there’s currently no online play, and the downloadable Track Packs are a little pricey. Big deal. Xbox 360 gamers are still in for a real treat.
  25. You're not going to get more powerful guitars or more powerful characters (you will get different skins, though) – your rewards come in with the actual improvement of your manual dexterity and the sheer enjoyment you get from 5-starring a song like YYZ or Psychobilly Freakout on Hard or Expert.
  26. There are very few things in the world that a certain: death and taxes are two, a third is that you will enjoy rocking out to this game and living your rock-star fantasies. It is totally worth the $90 price tag.
  27. Gameplay that will make you play till your fingers bleed. Promise of Downloadable Content is mind-bottling, but so far the song packs have been kind of meh. Too bad the guitar isn't wireless, and too bad about the price.
  28. Dollars aside, Guitar Hero II is a sequel that improves upon its predecessor in every conceivable way, and the Xbox 360 version sweetens the pot with additional songs and light online functionality.
  29. If you own the PS2 version of Guitar Hero II the ten extra songs and the downloadable content are still reason enough to look into the 360 version. The new guitar controller is also definitely worth owning.
  30. Here's an analogy. Your 360 before Guitar Hero 2 is like an innocent Catholic schoolgirl who has never heard an electric guitar before in her life and who probably thinks the Captain and Tennille is pretty heavy. Your 360 after Guitar Hero 2 is the headless yet paradoxically headbanging body of that schoolgirl after her mind was literally blown away at the loudest rock concert in hell. So there’s only one question you gotta ask yourself: Cash or credit, bro?
  31. It’s like playing air guitar, rocking out to your favorite music, but actually having a guitar.
  32. The beauty of Guitar Hero II is it's just as playable and addictive in single-player, with a career mode taking you and your band out of the sticks and onto the road of rock stardom. [Apr 2007, p.80]
  33. 90
    There's a surprising amount of depth as you work your way through the various difficulty levels, and the new songs, online leaderboards, and upcoming downloadable content make it the definitive version of one of the best games of the past few years. Now, if we could just get a new guitar...
  34. 90
    More songs, better sound, a sexier guitar and online functionality. The Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero II is the definitive entry in Harmonix’s phenomenal rhythm and music game series.
  35. 90
    Even those who normally don't consider themselves fans of music games will enjoy Guitar Hero II, it's so easy to pick up and play yet so incredibly difficult to put down. An instant classic.
  36. The lack of an online multiplayer experience and wireless controller were slightly disappointing, but it's hard to complain when new content, online leaderboards and enhanced visuals add so much to an already vivid gaming experience.
  37. And with the improved mechanics of the second game, the old songs work even better - Bark At The Moon's once nigh-impossible solo is now made a hell of a lot easier while Frankenstein goes from being a chore to an absolute delight.
  38. Don't be scared of the new Gibson X-Plorer controller because it plays just as well as the PS2 version. Too bad it looks a little too 80s hair band for my taste. No matter, the game still totally rocks.
  39. 90
    Even the most fanatical guitar music hater will not be able to resist rocking to the rhythms and pick up that guitar to show you how it must be done. If you got the money, you won’t regret spending it here and then waste weeks, if not months, jamming to this excellent game.
  40. A major factor in the addictive and fun nature of Guitar Hero II is the excellent learning curve.
  41. 90
    Downloadable content gives the 360 version a potential ace in the hole, but the first wave released comes as a mixed blessing.
  42. With the improved visuals, increased song count and the crucial addition of friend-bating online leaderboards, the 360 version is the best yet.
  43. Downloadable content, cleaned up graphics, and new songs makes this a nice buy for Xbox 360 owners.
  44. The best way to play air guitar ever conceived. It's only a coincidence that it just so happens to be the most fun rhythm game ever made, to boot.
  45. The question is probably being asked, I own the PS2 version of Guitar Hero 2, do I need to upgrade? My answer is simply no.
  46. 90
    Guitar Hero 2 is the definitive rock ‘n roll game. It’s got a highly impressive set list, addictive gameplay, online leaderboards, downloadable content and new multiplayer aspects. Whammy bar issue aside, this is one title you need to pick up.
  47. It might be tailored more for experienced players than complete newcomers, but that's not a bad thing, and the new multiplayer modes and practice options are excellent.
  48. The Guitar Hero series makes a fantastic debut on the Xbox 360 in Guitar Hero II, adding a bunch of new content and even tweaking a few small things that weren't so great about the PS2 version.
  49. On PS2 or Xbox 360, Guitar Hero II is a fun game. The Xbox 360 version just doesn’t match up to the promise of what it could and should be.
  50. Games Master UK
    Addictive rhythm gaming made all the better by its guitar controller. [May 2007, p.65]
  51. If you've already got the PS2 edition, then it's difficult to justify the upgrade to the 360 release, as there just isn't enough new content and the new controller isn't particularly worth the asking price. Yet, if you're new to the franchise, what are you waiting for? Rock on!
  52. There's plenty of diversity here, but not so much in the songs. If you like heavy rock, you're well catered for. Otherwise you won't recognise half the tracks.
  53. Putting aside the lack of online multiplayer, frustrating DLC structure, and lack of wireless controller, GHII still merits recommendation for most users.
  54. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Trying disgracefully to squeeze every last penny out of 360 gamers, but nonetheless close to the most fun you can have by playing a videogame. [Issue 18, p.90]
  55. 80
    So, my friends, this is my cross to bear. Rest assured if the series continues down the path of leather pants and fret board showboating, I'll be unplugging my axe and shutting down my amp.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 249 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 249
  1. JesseB.
    Jan 19, 2008
    Absolutely amazing, I never played the playstation version of the game, but the Xbox360 had me hooked like a fish. At first I was on easy Absolutely amazing, I never played the playstation version of the game, but the Xbox360 had me hooked like a fish. At first I was on easy thinking this games impossible. But hours and hours and more strait hours of gameplay and I'm tearing through easy, then medium and hard. This is absolutely the most addicting game I've ever played. Full Review »
  2. Dec 3, 2021
    Such a fun time, had a fantastic song list and was suitable for all skill levels. Shame it all went sour
  3. Jun 19, 2021
    dude, this is a really masterpiece for me, the best version ever for me its also better than gh3 but i love gh3 so much too 10/10 C L A S S Idude, this is a really masterpiece for me, the best version ever for me its also better than gh3 but i love gh3 so much too 10/10 C L A S S I C S XBOX 360 Full Review »