Resident Evil 2 was produced by Resident Evil director Shinji Mikami, directed by Hideki Kamiya, and developed by a team of around 50 over 21 months. The initial version, commonly referred to as Resident Evil 1.5, differed drastically; it was canceled when it was around two thirds complete after Mikami decided it was inadequate. The final design introduced a more cinematic presentation.
Resident Evil 2 received acclaim for its atmosphere, setting, graphics, audio, scenarios, and overall gameplay, as well as its improvements over the original game, but with some criticism towards its controls, voice acting and certain gameplay elements. It has appeared on a number of lists of the best video games ever made. It is the best-selling Resident Evil game for a single platform at more than 6 million copies sold across all platforms. It was ported to Windows, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and GameCube, and a modified 2.5D version was released for the Game.com handheld.