IGN (91/100): "Anyone looking for a first-person shooter that offers more than flat, stereotypical characters and copy-and-paste supersoldier plots, one that attempts to establish a sense of right and wrong and loops you into the decision making process, and one that's set in one of the most vividly realized settings around should pick up BioShock 2."
GameDaily (90/100): "Much of it looks and feels familiar, but 2K Games proved that there is a whole other side of Rapture worth exploring, as well as new and interesting stories to tell. Gripping, wondrous and at times horrifying, it's a superb effort that opens the door for perhaps another game, but don't worry about that."
GameSpot (85/100): "Rapture may not be as mysterious and intriguing this second time around, but it is nonetheless host to a powerful and moving tale that allows you to better realize -- or pervert -- [Andrew] Ryan's principles at your own discretion. Regardless of whether or not this is a return visit to paradise lost, there is plenty to be found here to make it a worthwhile, meaningful, and compelling one."
Eurogamer (80/100): "Your passage through Rapture may not be a matter of free will - a challenge someone surely ought to take up with this series -- but BioShock 2 argues even within the strictures of fate that mercy and compassion or bitterness and revenge ring loud enough to echo through the lives of those who follow. The result is a less openly provocative game than its predecessor, and one that will capture less attention, but while it may be damned for subtlety it is every bit as deceptive, and perhaps that's the greater of the series' illusions regardless of what else a BioShock sequel might have become."