Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Innovation, game play and design are blended in near-perfect measures, resulting in a game that's such a delight to play that I'm already begun working our way through it for the second time.
  2. With a good mix of action, story, and character elements, there's sure to be something here to appeal to everyone!
  3. I wholeheartedly recommend this game to all people in search of a good flight sim -- or just a chance to be a daredevil pilot.
  4. While suffering from some initial problems with a repetitive soundtrack and audio related performance issues, Crimson Skies makes up for it with strong and unique gameplay, detailed graphics, and a 1930's feeling that just won't quit.
  5. Take a combination of realism and arcade action, add a large helping of 1930's romantic attitude and a healthy dose of humor, and you've got all the pirate treasure you'll ever need.
  6. So many small nuances coalesce here to make this game one of the most rewarding flight experiences since the generation of "TIE Fighter" and "Wing Commander IV."
  7. Crimson Skies draws me in to every single mission.
  8. A frantic, aerial action game that reminds you that sometimes simple can be fun.
  9. Fresh, fancy, and fun. A good combination worth checking out, and, I think, bound to win a few awards this year.
  10. If you're either bored with or overwhelmed by standard realistic PC flight sims, give this one a try.
  11. 90
    Simply the best air combat action the PC has to offer.
  12. 88
    Highly inventive, tons of fun and ridiculously addictive.
  13. The elements of flight simulation in Crimson Skies in combination with a lot of shooting and a lot of acrobatics, all wrapped in a cute story promise a great game, but the general feel of the game will be ruined if the patch doesn't appear soon.
  14. For a Microsoft-published game Crimson Skies is refreshingly politically incorrect, with blatantly sexist mid-battle quips from the dashing protagonist.
  15. Features excellent production and plenty of aerial dog-fighting, but the Microsoft video game doesn't soar.
  16. 87
    The overall experience could have been that much more rewarding had more attention been paid to the design.
  17. A great game that narrowly misses classic status due to its bugs. [Dec 2000, p.160]
  18. 84
    It's engaging, challenging, and loads of fun. 'Nuff said.
  19. A great game that introduces a fresh feel to a genre that really needed it.
  20. Another testament to the release-first, patch-later mentality of the PC games industry, Crimson Skies could have been a near perfect title if a little more time had been spent on quality assurance.
  21. An exceptionally fun game to play - the fight model is spot-on (entertainment wise), and the missions and storyline are both sufficiently interesting to keep the player involved in the action.
  22. The only downside so far is that Microsoft is making the sequel only for the Xbox which sucks if you don’t have one.
  23. One of the best Action Flight Simulators since the pioneer "X-wing."
  24. We loved the graphics, sound, game play, to put it simply -- everything. Crimson Skies is bound to bring some ray of light to your tortured existence. If not with its campy humor, then possibly with its incredibly fun game play.
  25. A fresh, original concept that has plenty of style.
  26. It's easy to pick up and play, but with all the planes and adjustments at your disposal, don't expect to master this one anytime soon.
  27. The huge number of fatal and annoying bugs is unfortunate, because Crimson Skies would be a very good game without them.
  28. Crimson Skies comes with a few features that aren't mentioned in the manual, such as hardware compatibility problems that can cause lockups or even make the game impossible to launch on some machines.
  29. A must for fans of arcade-style dogfighting -- provided they learn their way around the bugs and download a critical patch.
  30. Microsoft should be ashamed for releasing a game with so many obvious and nasty bugs, basically throwing away a year's worth of work just to meet some pointless deadline.
  31. I could give the game an 8 or even a 9, because it can be such a sheer joy to play and, after the patch the little gremlins that had me cursing the game and its developers six ways to Sunday have been vanquished.
  32. This game should actually get two separate ratings -- because it really is unplayable right now (a 1), but with the bugs fixed I think it will be a 10.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. MikeM.
    Jan 9, 2006
    9
    I remember picking this up at the time of release. It deserved every poor review it got when it hit the shelves. It truly was an unplayable I remember picking this up at the time of release. It deserved every poor review it got when it hit the shelves. It truly was an unplayable mess, due to MS rushing Zipper to get it finished & out the door. (typical behavior for them) After patching though... WOW. Nothing like it on the PC at the time, or since really. Not a typical flight sim, but an inventive, exceedingly fun atmospheric alternate-history arcade flying game. Unlike most other PC flying and racing games, Crimson Skies had a story thrown in. This is usually the cornball out-of-place sort of thing you find on consoles (Midnight Club for example), and it could have really dragged the game down. Thankfully it was well done, fit the theme perfectly and actually made the game better than it would have otherwise been. In addition to the engaging story mode, there are a considerable number of fully customizeable instant action missions. In these, you can choose your plane, number of wingmen and their planes, number of enemies, their planes and pilot expertise, weapon loadouts and the environment in which the mission takes place. There's also an online component, which is free, as any proper game should be. It's fun, but there are only a handful of die-hard people still playing these days. Graphics were fantastic at the time, and are still nice today due to crisp high resolutions. Smoke effects in particular are nice, and flying through clouds still hasn't been done better visually. The planes are interestingly designed and have moving control surfaces. One cool touch: when your plane has taken enough damage from enemy fire that it is about to explode, your pilot opens the canopy, climbs out onto the wing and jumps off with a parachute. Many of the environments are much more detailed than your run-of-the-mill flight sim, with various buildings and structures to fly around/through. It's fun to simply fly around, low to the ground, checking out all the cool destructible stuff, which can include automobiles driving around city streets. The textures, water textures in particular, don't hold up well compared to today's games of course. The terrain is slightly more angular/low-poly as well. However, looking at what was available on consoles at the time, and even a few years afterward, the visuals and details were downright amazing. The sound is masterfully done, with authentic sounding 40's era music, professional voice acting and perfect sound effects. Control with a proper joystick is excellent. This is one of the best games ever released for the PC. Once patched, it's really difficult to imagine how it could have been improved upon. My only lament is that the sequel isn't available on PC. Full Review »
  2. John
    Dec 5, 2005
    9
    For once all you have to do is read any of the first 3 reviews above. Because for once, the game reviewers got it right. This is is a For once all you have to do is read any of the first 3 reviews above. Because for once, the game reviewers got it right. This is is a fantastic game that is like an old Saturday morning movie our Parents/Grandparents may have gone to see and give that adrenaline rush that they probably felt watching while we have the chance to be involved it in rather than just watching! This is gaming as it should be. Great gameplay first then surrounded by excellent graphics, great voice acting, oodles of charm and immersive world creation and huge production values in general. I have to say that the only reason Microsoft is not on my hate list is the games they release. This is another one that makes me forgive them for the other things they do! :) Full Review »
  3. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    One of the first flight sim games I ever played, this game was for the time perfect, The graphics were great, the planes fantastic, theOne of the first flight sim games I ever played, this game was for the time perfect, The graphics were great, the planes fantastic, the gameplay solid, the story though is what really helped this game. Set like a old radio action thriller or early action movie (think flinn) the campaign was enjoyable and I still play the game from time to time on my PC, so re playability is top notch. Wish they would make a new one, could make a great free to play. Full Review »