The stakes in Saw II were appropriately bigger and the traps were even more dangerous and brutal than what we saw before; it was clear that the producers behind the newfound franchise wanted to make good use of the extra dollars in their budget. Moreover, this sequel introduced the group dynamic, along with the police officer who arrested John Kramer watching these imperiled people (including his own son) from monitors, that would carry over (for better and worse) throughout the additional Saw sequels. And it had an ending twist that, while not as good as the first one, was solid enough to stand out.
Certainly, Saw II‘s twisted finale was better than the twists in a few of the later installments. It also kept the timeline continuing in a way that was at least more logical, if not believable, than some of the over-the-top sequels. Overall, Saw II proved to be a respectfully OK follow-up.