Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 52
  2. Negative: 0 out of 52
  1. 100
    An absolutely fantastic title with superb graphics and tight gameplay. Single-player or multiplayer, no matter what your skill, you'll get hours of joy out of this sucker online or off.
  2. In short, AoE III is yet another masterly triumph.
  3. There are so many new additions in this game that it will boggle your mind. This is one of the best looking games, much less an RTS game, that is out on the market currently.
  4. The new additions do much to add new depths of strategy.
  5. A phenomenally awesome RTS, and stays true to all the games before it.
  6. With 24 campaign missions and endless replaying online, unless you have an aversion to RTS games you’ll want to give it a try.
  7. Balanced, innovative, gorgeous. Truly worthy of the series. [Holiday 2005, p.52]
  8. Combining solid game play, stellar physics, and some of the most vibrant graphics available on the PC, Age of Empires III is the alpha male of the RTS pack.
  9. Classic real-time strategy action in a beautiful new wrapper.
  10. 90
    The home city concept adds a new twist, making the game slightly more interested than it had been before.
  11. There is nothing terribly new or original here, but this still offers a very solid RTS experience.
  12. The game meets the bar set by previous games in the series though it doesn’t really revolutionize the genre.
  13. This game is pure, unadulterated fun.
  14. 88
    The unit design and the range of opportunities in both the single player and multiplayer missions will definitely get your strategic juices flowing.
  15. The gameplay of the title is the core strength, and getting through the single player campaign will suck you in for uncountable hours into the night.
  16. Gorgeous to look at and wonderfully well made, but it's not a revolution. [PC Gamer UK]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 347 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 100
  2. Negative: 21 out of 100
  1. Jul 8, 2012
    AOE 3 was a disappointment. It's predecessor was a brilliant, fun strategy game. There were lots of unique civs to pick, historic campaigns to play, and a simple, easy, but flexible map editor. AOE 3 has only a handful of civs, and you have to buy the expansion pack to use any native american civs. There are 3 long campaigns each with 5 minute missions in the place of a ton of short campaigns and a few individual missions. The first campaign was just silly. Magic. No kidding, magic. In the first campaign you have to find the fountain of youth and destroy it to keep a secret organization from using it's powers for evil or something. It sounds like some sort of bad sci fi. Another thing that irritated me when I played was that everything is so... big. The inability to zoom out combined with the fact that every soldier in my army is half an inch tall means that there is very little room on the screen. Not only that, but the maps are very small too. I found myself quickly running out of room to build, and, when I just started and was playing on the easier levels, found myself accidentally destroying an enemy because my guards went rouge. That's another problem. AOE 1 had that command list where you could pick formations, and set units to patrol, guard, escort, or just not attack anything. That's all gone in AOE III. If you want to guard your base with troops, you have to constantly pull them back to keep them from following a trail of retreating enemies back to their home base. In this version, instead of just reducing troop training time, troops train in squads up to 5. Personally, I have no objection to this change though, it saved me one time because I had to train soldiers while under attack, and if they had been coming out 1 by 1 they'd have been slaughtered. And then there's the realism. I'm sorry, but if your unprotected fleeing screaming villager can take over 15 BULLETS TO KILL, there is something seriously wrong. Bullets are incredibly underpowered in this game. Even after buying a special upgrade that gives me massive bonus damage versus villagers, it still took way more bullets than it realistically should have. A game where bow and arrow > gun is one where the laws or reality are warped. There are 2 things in AOE III that keep me from giving it a 2 or 3. The first one is the home city option. Though it isn't exactly "Age of Empires" style, it did a nice job of motivating me to keep playing. After all, I can't just stop with a level 9 home city, I have to go to 10. And after that, why not 15? or 50? Another thing that was fairly well done was the graphics. I don't mean the troops. They all look like a mess of colored triangles. And the buildings just look like buildings. Nice, but nothing to write home about. I'm referring to the thrill I get from positioning 16 cannons in a circle around his town center and firing, watching pieces of it fly 50 feet into the air and land in a shattered heap on top of the mess that used to be a colony. The physics in the game, though also somewhat unrealistic, (Houses appear to weigh nothing, a 20 foot long chunk that must weigh at least 1 ton can be blasted straight up into the air and come back down as if it were a lego brick) are very fun and visually interesting. All in all, this is an okay game, but if you are expecting Age of Empires III, you won't get it. This is just another rts. Full Review »
  2. Mar 25, 2013
    This was the game I grew up with. I had lots of fun playing this for hours and hours. Great game, Great campaign, almost great everything. The multiplayer was very fun, but I would often find lot of issues with the connection and the horrible lag. I also later discovered that when I played Age of Empires 2, it had a much better feel then Age of Empires 3. I felt something was stripped off of Age of Empires 3, that should of not been stripped off. Overall great game and I wish more people would play the Age of Empires franchise. Full Review »
  3. Mar 7, 2013
    The realistic graphics is the first thing a player notice in the game. But as the game goes on, you find yourself trapped in the huge number of different tasks your must complete in order to grow your village, collect as many resources as you can and build a considerable defense so you don't get caught off guard, and eventually attack. This is the definition of RTS and this game has the best of it. You don't get bored, because you don't stop commanding your citizens for a second, and you don't get tired of doing the same thing over and over. Different nations allow different tactics, units, buildings keeps you playing and the language npc's speak can be fun. Also the campaign is very interesting, although it's not the best I've seen. Full Review »