Halo 2

Common Sense Media says

A bloody, action-packed, sci-fi shooter sequel.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

You are fighting an alien race, using extreme violence to do so.


Shoot down enemies from a first-person perspective. You can wield two sub-machine guns at once, cut down your enemies with a sword, or blow up enemies with grenades. Blood is prevalent and battles are intense.

Not applicable

Mild language sprinkled throughout the game. Online play isn't rated, and fellow teammates or enemies can swear in their headset.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is not for kids -- hence the PAUSE rating and recommended age of 16 years and older. It's a moderately challenging first-person shooter game with lots of blood, gore, and scariness. You will use guns, swords, grenades, and other weapons to inflict death. Some torture is shown and you can also hijack cars. Online play will likely expose players to foul language.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Picking up shortly after the events in Halo, HALO 2 finds the Master Chief attending a medal ceremony onboard a spaceship hovering above Earth. The evil Covenant begins an attack on the ship and planet, which calls Master Chief back into action down on the surface to dispose of crafty aliens. Notable new features in Halo 2 include online play for up to 16 gamers via Xbox Live (service sold separately); a split-screen mode for up to four players on the same television; a system link mode for those who want to connect multiple Xbox units in the same room; and, of course, an updated arsenal of weapons with which to dispatch the enemy.

Is it any good?


The original Halo was one of those rare games that excelled in every department, from the gameplay and story to the graphics and orchestrated music soundtrack. And now its sequel takes things further. The game's sci-fi story and impressive cut-scene sequences are some of the best in a video game to date. Stunningly surreal landscapes, an outstanding soundtrack, multiple game types, and the ease with which gamers can launch a multiplayer match all contribute to the thrilling experience.

Halo 2 proves you can improve on excellence. It's an outstanding solo adventure and multiplayer game that gets almost everything right.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this game has become one of the most popular action game franchises of this generation. Is the sci-fi story better than other games? Does the level of violence make a game like this more immersive than its competitors? Is blood necessary in a 3-D shooter or is falling down enough to confirm the enemy is dead? Does the swearing that you might hear while playing online detract from the multiplayer experience or add to it?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Xbox
Available online?Not available online
Release date:January 4, 2005
Genre:First Person Shooter
ESRB rating:M for (Windows, Xbox)

This review of Halo 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byjc103 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Decent gameplay, but mature

Admittedly addicting, the game is still violent, and some scenes in the first-player scenarios can be tense/frightening. The online gaming can be fun, but that can also become one of the more offensive aspects of gameplay as players talk to each other; Frequent cussing and harrassment is somewhat common even though they have a system in place to report abuse. I think Mature is an appropriate rating for this game.
Adult Written byMacintyre April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

A great game.

Saying halo 2 has so-so graphics is like saying the sky is red. it simply isn't true, and is immiedietly obvious to anyone who looks at it. I don't think this game deserves an Off 17+. yes, there is violence, but none of it is very realistic, and there isn't any dismemberment. most of the blood is either purple or green. i wouldn't recommend it for anyone below 12, but most kids above 13 are smart enough to know that it's just a game.
Kid, 11 years old April 24, 2011

EPIC! Just somewhat hard.

My friend and I played it on his xbox and it was EPIC! Just somewhat hard and I had to ask for help for him a lot. That is why I gave it four stars.


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