Silent Hill 2 (サイレントヒル 2 Sairento Hiru Tsū?) is a survival horror video game published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 and developed by Team Silent, a production group within Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo. The game was released in September 2001 as the second installment in the Silent Hill series. An extended version of the game was published for Xbox in December of the same year, containing a short bonus scenario and other minor additions. It was later ported to the Microsoft Windows operating system in 2002. A remastered high-definition version of the game was released for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 in 2012 as part of the Silent Hill HD Collection.
While set in the series' eponymous fictional American town, Silent Hill 2 is not a direct sequel to the first Silent Hill game. Instead, it centers on James Sunderland, who enters the town after receiving a letter written by his deceased wife, saying she is waiting for him in their "special place" in Silent Hill. Joined by Maria, who strongly resembles her, he searches for her and discovers the truth about her death. Additional material in re-releases and ports included Born from a Wish, a sub-scenario which focuses on Maria before she and James meet.
Silent Hill 2 uses a third-person view and gameplay places a greater emphasis on finding items and solving riddles than combat. Psychological aspects such as the gradual disappearance of Mary's letter were added to the game. More humanoid than their counterparts in the preceding game, some of the monsters were designed as a reflection of James' subconscious. References to real world history, films and literary works can also be found in the game.
Silent Hill 2 received critical acclaim from critics. Within the month of its release in North America, Japan, and Europe, over one million copies were sold, with the greatest sales in North America. English-language critics praised the atmosphere, graphics, story and monster designs of Silent Hill 2, but criticized the controls as difficult to use. Since its release, the game appeared on several critics' top lists for its story and use of metaphors, psychological horror and taboo topics as well as its soundtrack/sound design. It is now considered by many critics to be the greatest horror game of all-time, and is widely recognized as one of the greatest video games of all time.