Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 70 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 70
  2. Negative: 0 out of 70
  1. Aug 26, 2013
    100
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf represents not only the pinnacle of the series, but also the ingenuity of the life simulation genre.
  2. Jul 12, 2013
    100
    It’s not a complete overhaul of the series, but it’s an entry that intelligently pushes Animal Crossing into new areas of control and creativity.
  3. Jun 18, 2013
    100
    Well, we could go on and on, except, to be honest, we'd rather get back to playing it than talking about it. After all, we just need a few more bells to pay off our house and start on an expansion. So we'll just say that Animal Crossing New Leaf is the best of its franchise and highly recommend it.
  4. Jun 17, 2013
    100
    New Leaf is a world on a cartridge slightly bigger than a stamp, one full of beautiful, wise and hopelessly optimistic observation of humans as social animals. It is a magical creation.
  5. Jun 13, 2013
    100
    The best Animal Crossing yet, a real oasis in the videogame industry.
  6. Jun 4, 2013
    100
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf finally evolves and revitalizes the formula, expands on the way you interact with your town in meaningful ways, and more importantly returns the series to portable hardware.
  7. Jun 4, 2013
    100
    There’s charm oozing out of every single corner (across both screens!), and even if you’re not a long-time fan there’s a good chance this will be the entry that draws you in.
  8. Jun 3, 2013
    100
    Every time you open your 3DS to play New Leaf, you know you’re almost certain to experience something new or surprising. And how many games can you say that about?
  9. Jun 4, 2013
    97
    It’s not something that you can marathon, it’s not something you can “beat,” and going in without those expectations will ruin it for you. Its portable nature, plus all of the extra features that they’ve been adding since the first game on the GameCube make this not only the best game in the series, but also a perfect starting point for newcomers.
  10. Jun 4, 2013
    96
    New Leaf is a truly magical game, one that you can easily expect to invest hundreds of hours in over the course of years. Anyone with access to a 3DS should absolutely give this game a try - just be prepared to kiss your “real” life goodbye.
  11. This might be the brightest of 2013's 3DS stars. A beautiful, generous, warm-hearted game in every way and a worthy successor to Wild World's crown.
  12. Jun 4, 2013
    95
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is arguably the best in the series so far and is a welcome addition to anyone’s 3DS library.
  13. Oct 7, 2013
    91
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is excellent for meditation, coffee breaks, grinding, goofing around, self-expression and, naturally, having loads of fun. [Aug 2013]
  14. Jun 26, 2013
    91
    An essential purchase for any 3DS owner. [Aug 2013, p.60]
  15. Jun 4, 2013
    91
    Along with greater sharing options (clothing designs can be shared with other players via QR codes, and the game even allows you to take your own screenshots by pressing the system’s shoulder buttons), these features make New Leaf the perfect starting point for any player looking to get into the Animal Crossing series for the first time, and they give old fans plenty of incentives to pack up and move to a new city yet again.
  16. Jul 22, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf encourages the player to approach it as a calm in the storm of everyday life: a portal to a new, conflict-free world that you can escape to for a little while each day. It's a peaceful, guileless, and totally enchanting title.
  17. Jul 12, 2013
    90
    New Leaf is a truly magical game. It is the best entry in the series yet.
  18. Jul 12, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the best entry in the series yet.
  19. Jul 8, 2013
    90
    And that’s where New Leaf really sinks its fuzzy claws into you: it offers the constant carrot of a bigger house, a new town project, a fresh gameplay mechanic or simply a cooler collectible that you didn’t even know existed before that day.
  20. Jul 7, 2013
    90
    More than a game, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a habit. We are not afraid to say that New Leaf is the best title in the series. The developer managed to exploit the 3DS' capabilities to offer a game experience that, while not groundbreaking, feels very polished and handcrafted. Players capable of enjoying noncompetitive games will find in New Leaf hundreds of hours of content and a lovely place to relax and spend time. This game is a very good reason to own a Nintendo 3DS.
  21. Jul 3, 2013
    90
    New Leaf is a massive game that has broad appeal. No one person in my group of friends was playing the game the same way.
  22. Jun 30, 2013
    90
    The game puts the bar high for the Animal Crossing series, by offering an extremely long game without too much steady routines or repetition. In between everything you can do, you'll get surprised with special visitors, events and season based festivals. It's impressive if you can't see the fun in playing New Leaf after a week.
  23. Jun 25, 2013
    90
    There’s always something new to see and do, and all the additions make it easier to hop in for a few hours each day and lose myself in the world. When things get to stressful for me in the real world, it’s nice to know that Animal Crossing: New Leaf is there in my 3DS, offering me a nice escape.
  24. Jun 24, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing New Leaf is without a doubt the best chapter of the saga.
  25. Jun 22, 2013
    90
    In this new iteration, Animal Crossing: New Leaf still may not be the most complex sim there is. But it has a special brand of charm that transforms even the most basic of activities, like sitting on a virtual bench, into a wonderfully soothing experience. This is why I love it.
  26. Jun 18, 2013
    90
    With new activities and subtle changes to the base concept offers New Leaf a very addicting forest-adventure that rises above its predecessors. No day feels the same, because the game makes subtle suggestions at the right times to prevent a drag from setting in to your virtual life. One day you’re collecting money for charitable works, the next you’ll be completing a museum collection or shaking a coconut tree. Everything you’re doing feels like an adventure you sought out on your own, which is a pretty impressive achievement for a game with such a soft and pleasant exterior.
  27. Jun 9, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is not a game, it's an experience. Rule your own village as a major and share your experience with friends online. This is the game that you will be playing for the next years in your 3DS.
  28. Jun 7, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the definition of "more of the same," but that's not a bad thing. You're getting more of the same Animal Crossing, the familiar formula has been improved, and the new features add to the fun
  29. Jun 5, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a must buy for every Nintendo 3DS owner. It is arguably the best in the series and the perfect stating point for any player looking to get into the relaxing and magical atmosphere of this lovely series.
  30. Jun 5, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is no doubt the best entry in the twelve years old franchise, but it's still the same game at its core and both new and veteran players should keep that in mind.
  31. 90
    Far more innovative and advanced than the previous game for the DS, New Leaf works as a diary. When we start writing about our doings in that village to which we give a name on the train ride, we're not sure when we'll stop writing.
  32. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    It's enough to satisfy both longtime fans and newcomers to Nintendo's charming franchise. New Leaf doesn't necessarily play like other games, but that's why we appreciate it. Whereas other titles assault the senses with over-the-top action sequences, this one provides a welcome escape. Cherish it.
  33. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    New Leaf is the best Animal Crossing game to date. With new duties, increased tempo and lots of online options, its a well known but none the less enjoyable and in some way fresh experience. One that can grab you in its clasp for months.
  34. 90
    It's the pinnacle of the series, inviting people of all kinds to take a load off and spend a little time diving for scallops, re-upholstering furniture, installing a new fountain near the town square, and joining up with their friends for a bug-catching contest.
  35. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    Charming, smart and deep, Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a must buy for Nintendo 3DS, and the best Animal Crossing to date.
  36. 90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a beast of a game, featuring hundreds of hours of open-ended gameplay. If you were turned off by the lack of structure and real goals in previous Animal Crossing games, nothing here will change your mind.
  37. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf's addicting, ceaseless progression is all in the service of creating an identity for yourself and your surroundings. The expansion of the series' multiplayer capabilities — a vehicle for you to actually showcase that identity — is one of the best things New Leaf has going for it.
  38. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    Yes, it can be boiled down to "just more Animal Crossing," but the introduction of your mayoral duties, a few housing and furniture enhancements and (let's be honest here) the ability to buy your character pants is enough to make Animal Crossing: New Leaf worth playing, even for series veterans.
  39. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    New Leaf isn't just about adding more activities and items in a green fashion, it's about empowering the player with the ability to model the town through its aspirations. And with the wider opening provided by the possibility to visit other cities through dreams, there are even more reasons to express ones creativity and discover the richness of Animal Crossing.
  40. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    This is quite simply the best Animal Crossing has ever been. Fans of the series are in for an expanded treat, and newcomers will find fresh delights in its relaxed gameplay.
  41. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    It is apparent from only a comparably short time — as opposed to months and years — spent with the game that Nintendo has done a great deal to address the complaints of its Wii predecessor, and provided plenty of exciting new features and buildings to enjoy.
  42. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf has a revitalising new flavour, and in 3DS it’s finally found the ideal place to settle down and make its home.
  43. Jun 4, 2013
    90
    Playing it my way has lead me to the kind of self-reflection that a man in his 30s can't always afford. Why do I care what this leopard thinks of me? Why am I losing sleep over the construction of a virtual bench?
  44. 90
    The definitive version of one of the best feel-good franchises ever.
  45. 88
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf is one of the most relaxing gaming experiences to be had on the 3DS at this time.
  46. Jun 4, 2013
    88
    In the end, New Leaf takes logical steps toward expanding its appeal and solidifying its foundations—but when you boil it all down, just as with the best of the series’ past, it’s a proven recipe for social gaming: just add friends.
  47. Jun 4, 2013
    88
    New Leaf is a delightful way to spend a lazy afternoon. It does have stagnation issues — this is basically the same thing we played on GameCube, Nintendo DS, and Wii — but the magic is still real.
  48. Jun 4, 2013
    86
    Despite the daily chores and bee stings, there's something truly captivating about this virtual life, and you'll grow attached to its endearing characters as you chat and exchange letters. For long-time fans, there's much of the familiar, but the vast array of tweaks and additions to Animal Crossing: New Leaf blow through your town like a fresh breeze. It's good to be mayor.
  49. Jun 25, 2013
    85
    This may just be the biggest Animal Crossing game yet. New Leaf is just as cute and fun as it's previous parts. It just makes you want to work for your town.
  50. Jun 4, 2013
    85
    New Leaf is one of the most purely pleasant experiences in gaming, free of stressful boss fights, combative multiplayer experiences, or cynicism in any form. Instead, it focuses on clever humor and forming friendships with the residents of your town. Some may find it cheesy or without direction, but I enjoyed this endlessly charming outlier in the current gaming landscape.
  51. Jun 4, 2013
    85
    New Leaf brings updates both major and minor, but the most important of them for me was the push for customization. You’ll now spend far more time making your town just the way you want it to be and personalizing your character to suit your specific tastes—and, really, that’s what Animal Crossing should be about.
  52. Jun 4, 2013
    84
    New Leaf has an addictive bent unmatched in most other titles, and it will keep those even mildly interested coming back for days and days.
  53. Aug 8, 2013
    80
    Animal Crossing is cutesy, it’s inviting and it’s addictive. It’s a mug of hot cocoa after the stresses of the many gritty, intense blockbuster games on the shelves today.
  54. Jul 18, 2013
    80
    Every Animal Crossing fan was impatiently waiting for this game. New Leaf holds on it's promises, by playing as the mayor or the city, you will enjoy absolute power, and the customisation possibilities are almost endless. You'll be able to let you imagination float away building and governing the village according to your style. The new stuff in terms of online social interactions do bring a true value to this game which still stays very repetitive. Beware, boredom isn't far away. Nevertheless, the fans oof the series will most likely enjoy this game for many hours.
  55. Jun 28, 2013
    80
    Represents the best version of Animal Crossing to date. [Issue#136, p.102]
  56. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    But thanks to some welcome tweaks and neat 3DS-specific features, for those that want to slowly savour paying a mortgage, picking fruit and making friends with weird animals in short but sweet daily bursts, New Leaf is the best Animal Crossing yet.
  57. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    New Leaf is an expected sequel that doesn't stray far from its predecessors. Still, the happiness of your citizens is so intoxicating that it's easy to be sucked into this portable adventure as you live out your dreams as an all-powerful mayor.
  58. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    It’s maybe not as thrilling as the first time you goof about with the animals in an Animal Crossing, a bit like how you never forget your first Katamari, and if you remained unconvinced before you’re not going to change your mind now, but New Leaf is still more fun, more engaging, and will last you longer than pretty much everything that’ll come out this year.
  59. 80
    It still feels more like a remix than a wholly new game, but New Leaf combines stress free entertainment and inescapable addiction in a more beguiling way than ever.
  60. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    It’s agonizingly cute, addictive and packed with content. Animal Crossing New Leaf should please fans both young and old.
  61. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    With more to do than ever before it might seem a little strange to dock Animal Crossing: New Leaf for feeling repetitive, but in truth too little has changed to really celebrate this latest 3DS release. It'll eat your life whole in an instant, though, that much is clear.
  62. Jun 4, 2013
    80
    If only New Leaf had taken a few bolder steps forward from its predecessors, this would be utterly essential. As is, it’s ‘merely’ one of the finest social games ever made. Get involved, and you’ll be forever bragging to your friends about your latest item. For instance, a tarantula. Bet you haven’t got one of those.
  63. Jun 21, 2013
    77
    You build, you plant, you foster your small town as a mayor and you enjoy heaps of side activities. Although this is very entertaining there is not much new to see here.
  64. Jun 4, 2013
    75
    New Leaf could have stood to use a few actual new mechanics, as the mayoral system is not as deep as it sounds on paper, but the Animal Crossing experience is faithfully preserved. Playing with local friends and streetpassing together and comparing towns will help increase your enjoyment tenfold, but if you’re flying solo this time around, New Leaf is probably best for hardcore fans and newcomers — not for most gamers who are in-between.
  65. Sep 10, 2013
    70
    It is not too shabby to be a major. Animal Crossing New Leaf continues the series tradition of being as charming as it is relaxing. The repetitive nature of the tasks in the game has an allure that somehow never gets old. Fans will of course feel right at home and welcome the occasional tweaks and news the game has to offer. It’s just too bad that New Leaf while being a game with lots of content still offers very few surprises.
  66. Jun 28, 2013
    70
    I'm impressed by the magnitude of new content that Nintendo has packed along with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, and the way that this is distributed over time and progression. At the same time, I cannot help letting out a loud sigh due to the fact that I have to do the same things all over - just to enjoy all the new goodies.
  67. Jun 17, 2013
    70
    Animal Crossing is as adorable and relaxing as ever to play, with calming visuals and a laid back musical score that really sets the tone. Your new job as town mayor and the tropical islands gives the game more progression and the player more things to do.
  68. Jun 9, 2013
    70
    A game that truly knows its audience and makes little effort to lure in stiff-necked skeptics to its particular school of bureaucratic thought.
  69. Jun 7, 2013
    70
    It's Animal Crossing through and through. Though New Leaf doesn't add a whole lot of 'new' stuff, it is still an enjoyable experience, just watch out for that troublesome 3DS battery life.
  70. Jun 4, 2013
    70
    A new leaf has not been turned. Rather, an old dog is on display. Faithful, loyal, and hard to dislike, but you know what it can do already.
User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 447 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 104
  2. Negative: 4 out of 104
  1. Jun 9, 2013
    10
    Much different than the previous DS version I popped in the old game today to see the difference, and "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" is so much smoother and better in every way! The whole game seems happier and Nintendo really listened to its fans. It may sound silly, but being able to sell all your items at once or have the owl appraise all your items at once saves a ton of time and is so convenient! No game is perfect, but this is so close! 9.9/10 Full Review »
  2. Jun 9, 2013
    10
    Finally an AC to dethrone the Gamecube version. This game is so full of charm and makes me constantly smile and laugh. There is no other series I can pick up and play literally ever day for months. Full Review »
  3. Jun 9, 2013
    10
    Animal Crossing has gone a long way since the original game. While previous entries have not made any evolutionary turns, this one surely has. The 3DS game is the one that beats them all. Missing out on this game is a great mistake. This is a must have for all 3DS owners. Full Review »