Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. While those of you with hypercritical eyes will argue there's room for improvement, AoE 2 is the best RTS game of the year to date, and as such is worthy of our GDR Gold Award.
  2. An outstanding game. It looks great, is very well balanced, and is easy to get started with. The game has more strategy and fewer mouse gymnastics than the average RTS game.
  3. I really haven't had a game get me so fired up in a while, and this one seems to be one that I couldn't go wrong with. If you were a fan of the original AoE, then you're probably going to love this sequel.
  4. An engrossing and highly playable RTS game, Age of Empires II will even convert the people who didn't like the original.
  5. The only reason I did not give this game 100 out of 100, as great as it is, is that it is a sequel. It is not a totally new idea with groundbreaking creativity and originality. Don’t get me wrong, I love this game and it already has my vote for Game of the Year.
  6. Trivial shortcomings aside, Age of Empires II: Age of Kings is a good-looking and feature-full 2D RTS that manages to provide hours and hours of solo or multiplayer gaming enjoyment. The kicker? With its extremely lean system requirements, you don’t need the latest and greatest computer in order to get in on the fun.
  7. Within minutes of starting out, you will find yourself totally immersed in the world inside your PC. No longer will you care about what''s for dinner or how you pay the rent. Instead, you will be worrying about how to raise finances to build catapults, or how best to storm the nearby French castle.
  8. A beauty to behold and play. The AI may prove to be too great a challenge for some beginning players, though. Otherwise, there is very little I can find to complain about. This is a genuinely well-designed, fun to play game that stands out from most of the other games out there.
  9. The Age of Kings is a work of art, and one of the best RTS games ever.
  10. If you've ever liked any other real-time strategy game in this classical style, then you'll clearly see why this one deserves so much credit, even in direct comparison to the finest examples in its category.
  11. In almost all ways, The Age of Kings expands and nearly perfects the already proven AOE formula. A few remaining AI and path-finding glitches are a bother, but overall there are very, very few things that one can fault AOE 2 for. This is easily the best RTS game to come out this year, far surpassing the original, and destined to immensely entertain eager RTS fans for a very long time.
  12. The AoEII environment is extremely rich in detail. Even more than the original, details on buildings are captured right down to the dead leaves resting on the rooftops.
  13. I never got into the original game, yet I find AoE II enchanting. The sheer depth of the technology tree and evolution of the civilisation are always a surprise. I particularly like the intuitive logic that makes battles more tactical.
  14. AOK is as addictive as crack, but at the same time, as refined as a 30 year old cognac. Package all that into a drop dead gorgeous graphics engine and it's easy to see that Ensemble and Microsoft have a real winner on their hands; AOK is going to be around for a long time.
  15. The possibilities of this real-time strategy game seem nearly endless and it definitely is on my short list of personal "game of the year" nominees. If the music and sound isn't spectacular (which it's not), it's my opinion that most strategy gamers will focus on the game's stellar gameplay and forgive any minor shortcomings, the largest of which is possibly the lack of a zoom or map rotation feature.
  16. 89
    A very strong and well-themed real-time strategy title that shouldn't be missed. A fun single-player and multiplayer experience with plenty of fresh gameplay and original ideas, despite its adherence to the original Age of Empires formula.
  17. 88
    There's a certain strategic subtlety that games like "Dark Reign" and "Starcraft" inspire that is in many ways missing from Age of Empires 2, particularly in the single player mode.
  18. It’s not a significant improvement as far as gameplay and graphics, but it does help further the claim of AOE as a solid gaming title and a quality multiplayer game. The originality may be gone, but the idea lives on.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 555 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 74
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 74
  3. Negative: 16 out of 74
  1. ZuffuluZT.
    May 1, 2008
    Best RTS game of all time. Period. ;) Seriously this game has everything you ever wanted in an RTS game. The graphics may not be up to date anymore but since it's 2D it doesn't grow old as fast as 3D titles do. (look at 3D games of that time and you know what I mean ...) The gameplay is just awesome, because it has such a great balance between economy and warfare, which allows you to build huge cities and train enormous armies to besiege them. Besides that there is just an endless amount of stuff to do in this game, because there are so many different factions, units, strategies, campaigns, scenarios and probably the most easy to use map editor of all time. It is already 9 years old and I am still playing it every now and then, because it just has so much more to offer than all the other RTS games that were released since then, especially AOE3, which was really disappointing to me. There has never been such an addicting RTS game out there, so if you still don't own it, buy it! It is more than worth it. And if you already have it, go and play it again! It is really so much more enjoying than all the modern RTS games with fancy graphics but no substance. Full Review »
  2. SimonF
    Sep 9, 2008
    This is a masterpiece. Not only are the singleplayer missions fun and historically correct, it has lots to offer to new RTS players, as well as old RTS players, and is the most well-balanced game I have ever played. It is also a lot of fun, especially when you play multiplayer. The AI could use an additional difficulty mode, because the hardest mode isn't hard enough for real RTS veterans. I have to highlight the multiplayer again, because it is absolutely fantastic. You can have the most amazing and epic battles with sieges from multiple sides on your opponents castle et cetera. Playing with eight players is an amazing experience because of the importance of alliances, that can be really fragile, especially if you turn on the last man standing mode. This is a wonderful game, and an absolute classic. Full Review »
  3. JeffC.
    Mar 18, 2007
    This has to be the worst RTS ever. There is no element of strategy whatsoever. There are 10 different factions and they are all exactly the same! At least in Starcraft there are differences between the races and makes need for some strategy. The units move ridiculously slow(a king with a pot-belly outran my mounted knights!), the tech trees are needlessly large, and there are too many types of resources Don't buy this junk. Full Review »