Universal acclaim - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
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  1. A brilliant game for Xbox and Xbox Live!, quite possible the finest racing title ever created.
  2. Certainly the best racing game out there for the Xbox, what it lacks in high level racing realism it more than makes up for in sheer fun.
  3. 100
    The perfect sequel: a successful gameplay formula with some minor tweaks, together with a great big pile of new content and features. The multiplayer and other online additions are a big step forward.
  4. 100
    Offers the complete racing experience, with phenomenal graphics, the world's finest cars, exciting gameplay, and the best Live implementation on Xbox. This is without a doubt my favorite racing game ever.
  5. GameNow
    Hands-down the best racing game yet to hit Xbox. [Jan 2004, p.62]
  6. To put it bluntly, if you are looking for a racing game for the Xbox, one that is stunning graphically with superb racing mechanics, look no further than this title...Amazing, awesome, superb - the superlatives could never end.
  7. The best racing game ever, period. The gameplay with the kudos system along with the ability to race eight at a time on Live AND receive rank updates via the scoreboard makes it unique and somewhat revolutionary as of right now.
  8. Not only does PGR2 have what it takes in the graphic department like the original, but to be able to challenge your friends and the best in the world using the XboxLive service is something that no game has done so far.
  9. The amazing graphics as well as accurate representation of each of the numerous cars calls for a big round of a applause for Bizarre Creations.
  10. netjak
    I've never had this urge to unlock all the cars in a racing game since the old San Francisco Rush series. In fact, it probably gets my vote for best game of 2003.
  11. There is enough original single-player content to keep you behind the wheel for over a month and the comprehensive Xbox Live support not only complements the solo gameplay but also adds immeasurable value to the multiplayer racing modes.
  12. Some of the best graphics of any game to date, especially when compared to other racing games, but this time around the eye candy comes coupled with compelling, entertaining gameplay that is simply a blast to play.
  13. As great as the first Project Gotham Racing (PGR) was, the second installment has improved on virtually every feature of the first, while adding a few new ones to boot.
  14. 96
    It is quite easily the greatest title in its genre on the Xbox and you won't find a better substitution on the console.
  15. With graphics that shine and improved gameplay over the prequel this game rocks.
  16. 95
    A beautiful game that handles amazingly well, sounds just as good, and redefines what gamers should expect from an online racer. The game's seamless integration of Xbox Live is simply wonderful, and the online play is fast and furious.
  17. PGR2 just doesn't make sure that you meet a race's goal – it will watch how you race and reward good moves.
  18. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    If you like the racing games, and you like the Xbox Live, then buckle the f up. This is the best realistic (well, fairly realistic) racer since "Gran Turismo 3," and in many ways, it's even more fun. [Jan 2004, p.150]
  19. 95
    Its synthesis of control, design, graphics, and scores of real-world cars cannot be beat. Winning the war against "Gran Turismo" is not going to be done by a game that shamelessly apes it; PGR2 has its own style and own aims, and to my mind is the more appealing of the two.
  20. Hands down the best racing game of the year. And I would even go a little farther and say with the exception of the original Project Gotham Racing at the time, PGR2 is one of the best racing games I've put my hands on. The sheer depth of the game alone is far beyond anything that has been done to date.
  21. 95
    It feels like the final, nearly perfect evolution of the Kudos formula, one which got annoying in the previous PGR for beginners.
  22. 95
    The controls are dead on, the visuals are simply dazzling, the music and sound is terrific and the game modes are plentiful and exciting.
  23. Official Xbox Magazine
    It's a stunning achievement in design, playability, good old-fashioned fun, and in my humble opinion the best Xbox game this year. [Dec 2003, p.82]
  24. A huge selection of cars, custom soundtracks, and all the extras makes this title a contender for game of the year. Throw in Xbox Live functionality; and you'll be playing this one for a long time.
  25. Superb to look at, listen to and play. It's just too bad online couldn't have had more meat to it.
  26. PGR2 will take you a long time to complete, even if you simply collect Steel Medals, and even longer if you want to collect nothing but Platinum Medals. There are more then 100 tracks and cars to unlock and many time records to set.
  27. A racing video gamers fantasy fulfilled nevertheless, with tight controls, a good variety of tracks, a garage full of excellent looking vehicles and picturesque cityscapes, and great online gameplay through Live that any Live subscriber will immediately appreciate.
  28. Xbox Nation Magazine
    Playing the game through Xbox Live is literally like having a shared arcade machine in your living room. [Mar 2004, p.100]
  29. GMR Magazine
    When it comes to online play, PGR2 knocks it out of the park. [Jan 2004, p.76]
  30. After learning the control regimen, it only takes a few adjustments to drive each model with aplomb - all the way up through the mighty 660-horsepowered Enzo (albeit one that appears to have Colin McRae at the wheel).
  31. games(TM)
    What bumps PGR2 into the league of truly great racers is the extensive Xbox Live support. It really does feel like you're part of a community full of gamers vying to be the ultimate Project Gotham racer. [Christmas 2003, p.92]
  32. PGR2 fixes almost all of the problems that plagued original, and even manages to improve upon everything else.
  33. Perhaps the most intricate simulation out there, Project Gotham Racing 2 offers nearly unlimited gameplay with a wealth of licensed automobiles and gorgeous courses.
  34. Cheat Code Central
    PGR 2 has excellent controls. The only thing that might get a little frustrating is the fact they placed the camera button (The White Button) too close to the hand brake (The A Button).
  35. Cutting down the "solo mode", story mode, kudos challenge or whatever you want to call it, and adding the huge multiplayer section, BC have made the game wider. Still, "MSR" and "PGR" are deeper in gameplay.
  36. Add stunning graphics, custom soundtracks and Xbox Live compatibility to the mix and what we have here is a top class arcade style racer that not only finishes miles before the competition, but laps them several times for good measure before knocking them off the track and into the roadside gravel.
  37. 90
    Uncomplicated, nimble, and feature-rich. Xbox Live even enables you to challenge other Gotham racers and promises to deliver tracks and cars for future downloads.
  38. You know what, man? I really like this game. Maybe it's cause I been drinking, but now that I think about it, this is a damn fine racing game. It might even be the best racing game I ever played.
  39. Doesn't blow open any revolutionary doors to the racing genre. However, it reached the obvious but not always obtainable goal of not only demanding my skill on the track, but my constant interest as well. You'll want to give it your full attention. [Dec 2003, p.162]
  40. An excellent racing game overall and boasts such a sheer quantity of features and options that most other racing games simply cannot compare. On top of that, solid gameplay and a diverse, flat-out terrific selection of cars help give PGR 2 plenty of long-term appeal.
  41. One of the most refined and most unique racers of the last few years. It's getting harder and harder for racing games to stand out, but Bizarre Creations succeeded in making Project Gotham Racing 2 a racing game unlike any other.
  42. Runs like a beauty, but it hasn't got a lot of personality.
  43. Perhaps the only major thing that really holds back PGR 2 from challenging the likes of "Gran Turismo" is its lack of real progression. Considering the time I put into the game, I never really felt as if I was working toward a goal.
  44. Play Magazine
    As much as I like Project Gotham as a series, my heart belongs to Ridge Racer and Gran Turismo. [Dec 2003, p.58]
  45. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 8 / 8 / 8 - 32 gold [Vol 780]
  46. 80
    Its feature list is a master class for the attention of both gamers and developers. Whereas once it was cursed for snubbing widescreen TV owners and indulging in trivialities, the series has matured and finally come of age.
  47. Hats off to Bizarre for a marvellous technical achievement, slapped wrists for meddling with the already perfect progression system and balancing and tarnishing what would have otherwise been a peerless single player experience and hearty congrats for an excellent online offering.
  48. 80
    One potential complaint with PGR2 -- the only one, really -- is the competing AI. While other drivers' performance is well scaled based on skill level, you'll find that these aren't the most imaginative bunch on the road.
  49. The A.I., yet again, is guaranteed to cause a few controllers to be flung. While taking part in a group race or any kind, the CPU racers are entirely too dumb. They are wholly dedicated to driving their line no matter what it takes, and will take out a whole pack of racers due to some stupid decisions.
  50. There's no denying that Project Gotham Racing 2 is one of the most aesthetically accomplished titles ever produced. Yet this doesn't stop PGR2 from feeling a little heartless. In terms of excitement PGR2 is found wanting. [Christmas 2003, p.113]

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
#17 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 91 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 91
  2. Negative: 6 out of 91
  1. Jul 24, 2017
    Couldn't ask for much more from a racing game on that generation of consoles. perfect blend of arcade and sim and love the kudos system. Worth itttttt
  2. Jul 11, 2015
    The best racing game I've ever played. The sheer perfection of practically everything makes this a game worth getting no matter what the cost.The best racing game I've ever played. The sheer perfection of practically everything makes this a game worth getting no matter what the cost. With so many beautiful cars, tracks, wonderful custom track list and just so many songs, wonderful menus, organization of the showcase, impressive online, single, and multiplayer modes, including the arcade mode... etc. etc. The main single player campaign is pretty long and the replay value is pretty high, assuming you want to play online or test your skills at getting some of the bonus cars in the game (my favorite being the Porsche 911 GT1 Straßenversion. Anyways, this game is extremely satisfying - buy it right now!

    Gameplay: 9.5/10
    Story: N/A/10
    Music: 9.5/10
    Presentation: 9.5/10
    Length: 9.5/10
    Overall: 10/10
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  3. Mar 19, 2014
    While I have played racers that have a purer fun factor and others with OTT simulation, this is likely the slickest racing game I will everWhile I have played racers that have a purer fun factor and others with OTT simulation, this is likely the slickest racing game I will ever play. The mere act of driving through the streets of its many cities is cool in every sense, particularly at night and your favourite track on the in game radio comes on. The difficulty is just about right, arcade mode in particular demands a challenge even for gold medals which makes them all the more satisfying once you have attained them.

    Graphically still holds up, the cities are wholly convincing and little touches like the cable cars moving in the background of Barcelona or trains on the rails above in Chicago show a great deal of care. Racing feels smooth, not frustrating like sims can be but definitely need a bit of mastery that other arcade racers don't cater for.

    Racing style is what the game wants, and you will want to beat the game with as much Kudos as possible after a short time getting in the groove, and ultimately its a game that's very hard to put down.

    Buy if you liked the other PGR games, and try it out if forza is just not as fun as you would like, but still want a game with somewhat grounded racing.
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