A fun game with some major flaws
Although the concept behind Max Payne is great (I love the film noir-styled storyline) and there are plenty of fun levels, there are too many crippling flaws in this game for me to consider it truly excellent. For starters, the aiming mechanic is pretty terrible, the save system tends to be a bit too unforgiving, and a few of the levels are a major pain - I'm looking at you, "nightmare" levels. The graphics are also pretty choppy by PS2 standards, and the painfully long loading screens additionally help top things off.
However, if you can look past all of that, Max Payne really is a quite good game. The storyline, as goofy as it sometimes can be, is pretty fantastic, and the gritty atmospheres make this the perfect game to play late at night. Max Payne is a downright badass character, and playing as him with a huge arsenal of weapons is a ton of fun - and, in reality, quite a few levels here are pretty amazing. It's really a shame that this is plagued by so many pesky shortcomings; this could've been a truly excellent game.
With that said, Max Payne is definitely worth a shot if you're into crime movies and action games - and considering how cheap PS2 games are nowadays, it's definitely worth the price of admission. In short, this is a pretty good game that, unfortunately, shows quite a few signs of age.