Guitar Hero II

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
Guitar Hero II Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Rock-'n'-roll party returns, better than ever.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 35 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Some songs include innuendo in the lyrics, like "I mixed up the batter and she licked the beater."


Nothing that wouldn't play on the radio, but the song lyrics include sexual innuendo, drug and drinking references, and some mild cursing like "hell."


Includes references to real guitar companies like Gibson and Ernie Ball. Players can buy bonus material at a Guitar Center store. Most songs are from commercial bands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Songs refer to drinking and drugs. Some of the settings are bars with bottles of alcohol on the shelves.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the songs in this game include sexual euphemism and drinking and drug references, and some of the game takes place in bars. Some profanity has been edited out of the songs, but kids will still hear "hell." Most of the songs are from well-known commercial bands, and the game promotes a guitar store and guitar gear. The game is best played with the special guitar-shaped controller, which adds to the price.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bycmbird April 9, 2008
Adult Written byjtnmom April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old August 24, 2013

5 Stars

This is a very fun game and kid's will enjoy it. Language is at a minimum, their are a few uses of d***, h***, and a**. There is some smoking and alcohol i... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFlaming Pencil April 28, 2012

How did this get a T rating?!

I once got in trouble for playing this at a friends house; I was 12 at the time, playing a badly-censored cover of "Carry on Wayward Son" by Kansas.... Continue reading

What's it about?

As in the first game, the appeal of GUITAR HERO II comes from the air-guitar-meets-karaoke thrills players get when jamming to some great rock-'n'-roll songs. Although the game can be played with a standard Playstation 2 controller, to get the full experience it is best to purchase a version that includes a guitar shaped controller ($80 versus $50 without the controller). Gameplay involves strumming the controller and pushing fret buttons in time to the music. The new cooperative mode lets two players tackle one song, with one player on lead guitar and the second player on bass or rhythm guitar, depending on the song.

Is it any good?

The Guitar Hero formula is so much fun that even if a sequel were nothing but a collection of new songs, it would still be worth playing. With two guitar controllers, Guitar Hero II is one of the most fun party games in ages. Single players will find a great new addition in the practice mode: On higher difficulty setting, the songs become very difficult. This time around, the songs even seem a bit faster on easier levels, making the game a potential challenge to new players.

Here's the bottom line: Guitar Hero II is just as much of a blast as the original. Players who missed the first game will find the sequel to be a friendly game even for the musically challenged, thanks to the practice mode. And players who already have the first game and have friends to play with may wish to consider spending a bit more for a second controller to go with the new game. Long live rock 'n' roll!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about issues related to the songs in the game. Do songs about sex and drugs encourage kids to engage in risky behaviors? Does playing along to licensed songs make you want to purchase recordings by a band? Families may also wish to discuss the difference between playing a creative game like this one and a shoot-'em-up game. Which teaches you better skills? Which is more enjoyable and why?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $79.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Activision
  • Release date: November 21, 2006
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: T for Lyrics
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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