Game received generally positive feedback. Many praised the game's graphics, which were a significant improvement over the first game, with more polygons, realistic lighting and CGI, and more detailed textures, environments, and facial animation.
A mannequin of James and Laura on top of a wall was displayed for the game's booth at E3 2001. Silent Hill 2's events, according to Masahiro Ito, take place in the late 1970s.
Silent Hill 2 does not have an explicitly known canonical ending, which has sparked debate among fans. "Of the four conclusions, there is no one correct interpretation," according to a translation of the Book of Lost Memories.