Universal acclaim - based on 67 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. 100
    Truly epic singleplayer RPG with great tactical gameplay (PC version, that is) and compelling story.
  2. If you're into rpgs, or rather if you love roleplaying in general, there's really no need to waste time reading any reviews of this game. The same goes if you regard games like Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2 and the Baldurs Gate-series among the best computer games ever made. Because this game is everything a person like you look for in a game, and so much more. Be aware though, Dragon Age: Origins is not a revolution of the genre, rather it is an evolution, where Bioware has refined everything that made them into a formula as close to perfection as possible. Without a doubt one of the strongest Game of the year-candidates so far this year and a game we will remember with warm feelings many years to come.
  3. BioWare has done an excellent job making such a huge game readily accessible while maintaining the vibrancy and richness of the game world, and the depth and strength of the story.
  4. This is definitely not the game for those frightened of the idea of micromanaging a game to the point where a large portion of it will be spent in a pause screen. However, as the sort of guy that has lovingly played an Infinity Engine game at least once every year for the past decade, I can think of no higher praise for this throwback than to say that Dragon Age: Origins leaves me feeling fairly confident I won't need to dig out the classics for this ritual next year.
  5. Add in excellent voice acting, gorgeous graphics, highly customizable characters, and complex systems for how spells interact, and the result is a game destined to become a new RPG staple.
  6. 100
    Ultimately, Dragon Age: Origins is quite possibly the best game ever to come out of Bioware.
  7. 100
    The folks at BioWare have shown that they're always looking for ways to make their games better -- each of their RPGs builds upon the previous title. Dragon Age displays this refinement, and while the story may not be completely original, it's told in a way that enthralls and enchants the player. It's the best RPG of the year -- and maybe the best of the HD era.
  8. 100
    A spectacular experience from beginning to end, and with an enormous amount of choices to make, cities to visit, dungeons to crawl, NPCs to interact with, treasure to find, quests to complete and crafts to master, I feel pretty confident in saying that Dragon Age: Origins is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable and immersive RPG experiences I've had since my Infinity Engine days.
  9. But for the true RPG gamer, this game is of a level that has never been seen before. It is the new benchmark. The story is rich and engaging, the characters are memorable, and the journey is one that pulls you in, captivates you and compels you to move forward toward the conclusion.
  10. Incredible storytelling, great characters, and exciting battles are just a few of the things that make this fantasy role-playing game so extraordinary.
  11. In the end what I was left with after my first play-through was the longest lasting RPG experience I've had in years, and possibly the most emotionally involving computer RPG I've ever played.
  12. It’s not too often anymore that you see an RPG with so much character depth, well-written spoken dialogue, and engaging story arcs on top of such brutally enjoyable combat.
  13. 95
    Writing this review has been hell for me, never have I had to write so much about something I wanted to do so badly. I've had to stop myself at least 4 times from tucking this away and jumping on Dragon Age. It's the best recommendation I can give the game, its beyond addictive, and the story is so good that I never want it to end.
  14. Without a doubt the best RPG adventure of the decade.
  15. Bioware has managed to update and evolve the formula that made Baldur's Gate 2 a classic, creating an engaging, rich, and solidly fantastic universe that feels consistently coherent and credible. Dragon Age is a triumph that shows, among other things, how the core values of the traditional roleplaying genre are still valid, managing to include a complete and versatile combat system that welcomes new players and will challenge veterans, with difficult encounters where tactics are the key to victory. Overall, it's a really special RPG, which truly deserves to be called "epic".
  16. It's really difficult to describe in a few words what Dragon Age: Origins means for the RPG genre. It's role-playing at its roots, with an incredible story arc, deep gameplay and an atmosphere no other game can deliver. You'll hope the game will last forever. There are really few problems in the gameplay but we can say without any doubt that Origins is the RPG of the year and, perhaps, of the last few years.
  17. Dragon Age: Origins is one of the best RPGs to come along in a long, long time. Bioware has most certainly resurrected the charm that made Baldur's Gate such a classic.
  18. Dragon Age: Origins might have a few clichés here and there, but for those looking for a RPG to lose themselves in, you need not look any further. Dragon Age: Origins is a winner.
  19. This is the most enormously detailed game world I've experienced, its history stretching back thousands of years, its cultures vivid, beautiful and flawed, the battles enormous, the humour superb. Roleplaying games now have a great deal to live up to. [Dec 2009, p.74]
  20. Compelling epic storylines, characters so rich you can become emotionally invested in them, and a great combat engine that works on multiple platforms - Dragon Age: Origins has what it takes to take the RPG genre to the next level.
  21. Dragon Age: Origins is a brave and brutal return to form for PC fantasy roleplaying - bettering nearest rival The Witcher through both its combat and the innate lovability of so many of its characters...With Dragon Age: Origins BioWare have secured their position as masters of the RPG art. [Christmas 2009, p.68]
  22. After almost 8 years, Bioware is back on the PC platform to deliver an impressive RPG. Old style party mechanics merged with next gen cinematics, an epic plot, deep and tactical combat, replayability and beautiful dialogue. Elder Scrolls fans could miss the free exploration, other could feel the lack of a deeper crafting, but Dragon Age finds its strength in delivering an immense and believable story driven experience. Newcomers to the genre could find it hard to learn the tactics, but patience and dedication will grant a fair share of gratification. An RPG for RPG true lovers, destined to be remembered.
  23. An outstanding story-driven RPG with fantastic writing, RPG depth and tough tactical combat. It's BioWare's best RPG since Baldur's Gate 2. [Holiday 2009, p.38]
  24. If you're a Western-style, fantasy RPG nut, or if you love a great tactical challenge, you simply can't go wrong with Dragon Age: Origins. BioWare has outdone itself once again - they've created an RPG masterpiece that I'll be playing till Mass Effect 2 drops.
  25. This is the best game by Bioware since Baldur's Gate 2. It's a highly motivating and excitingly told adventure for adult gamers. You'll experience rage, anxiety, inner conflict, loss, sympathy, bafflement and joy in this epic drama. Probably the role-playing game of the year.
  26. 92
    Bioware’s achievements in all this are incredible. It cannot be stressed enough at the depth of the universe they have conjured.
  27. The fantastic story, great cast of characters and open world nature will keep you occupied for a very long time. Even with all that is remarkable about it, it still is not the picture perfect title. If you are not familiar with this style of RPG or don’t enjoy having to micro-manage your characters, this coupled with the difficulty will most certainly put you off. But if you are willing to learn and are ready to invest the time needed you will not be disappointed.
  28. Dragon Age Origins will keep you in front of your computer for hours! Graphics, sounds and the controls couldn’t be much better!
  29. You don’t need a thousand words to make you fall in love with Dragon Age: Origins. It has everything that is sought by the most jaded fans of the genre: at least 60 hours of adventuring, colorful, lively characters, flexible combat system, complex situations and quests, dialogues that are pleasant to read and even more pleasant to listen to… Dragon Age, like a good storyteller, captivates within minutes. It doesn’t rush the story, relishes in small details, goes into ornate lyrical digressions, and maintains the intrigue, keeping you at the edge of your seat.
  30. 92
    We can wholeheartedly conclude that Dragon Age: Origins has become a masterpiece. BioWare has delivered an epic adventure that will keep you to your screen for hours on end. Beautiful fights, huge amount of skills and an abundance of content make this a true top game. A shame though that every now and again, the loading times crash the party, but nevertheless, Dragon Age: Origins is the RPG of the year.
  31. Dragon Age: Origins is a monster RPG that spares no expense, and is very likely the beginning of something great. If you've been waiting for the next great PC RPG, then jump right in. Just make sure you have 60 or so hours to spend on the low end.
  32. It's still a fantastic game, though, and Bioware is to be commended for taking what could have been a tired fantasy setting and injecting just enough newness into it to addict us all over again.
  33. Despite its lack of innovation Dragon Age: Origins is the best RPG in 2009, especially in PC, the best platform to enjoy it. Its great value and addictive gameplay are among its main highlights.
  34. The most exciting RPG, that follows the footsteps of the Baldur’s Gate-series. Bioware goes back to its roots, combining classical party-roleplay and tactical battles with a cinematic presentation that reminds to the Lord of the Rings-trilogy by Peter Jackson. The storytelling and the dialogues are fantastic, the sound effects are great and you’ll be deeply involved in the game within minutes. Though, the technical background isn’t state of the art. Lack of high textures and missing details in the surrounding level-area aren’t satisfying.
  35. After a four-day marathon of couch-indenting focus playing Dragon Age: Origins for at least fifty hours, I can safely say that there was not one moment of regret. It shows why BioWare is one of the leading developers of our time.
  36. Overall Dragon Age: Origins is fantastic, and is a must play for any fan of the genre. Doubly so since it readily promotes multiple play throughs. It's the player that controls the game more than the story , so everyone can look forward to spending endless hours in a wonderfully fleshed out fantasy realm.
  37. High fantasy role-playing at its finest. Its detailed world, memorable characters, meaningful choices, and engrossing combat system makes Dragon Age the sort of game you’ll want to replay from start to finish several times. RPG fans won’t be disappointed by this truly epic adventure.
  38. Occasionally sloppy visuals and dialogue can't derail a fantastic, involving role-playing experience. Baldur's Gate veterans should definitely apply.
  39. Dragon Age: Origins should be mentioned alongside games like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights. The average gamer may wonder why hardcore RPG-players are drawn to a game filled with fantasy-clichés, long conversations, screens filled with statistics and mediocre voice acting. But the hardcore RPG-player knows that Bioware delivered a game that's epic, expansive, dynamic, classic and contains enough elements to make even the biggest critic shut his mouth. Dragon Age: Origins can rightfully be called a masterpiece.
  40. It offers drama, beautiful graphic, deep game play and an incredible long play time for those who want to get value for their money. Bioware shows once more that they know what they do and that their own series holds the highest of quality.
  41. Another classic in the making and a bloody beautiful smear on the BioWare name. [Issue #27, p.50]
  42. Forget about the traditional sweet and cute fantasy setting, this world is cruel and merciless. Origins maybe lack in graphics but everything else is amazing and flawless. Truly the new standard for a grown-up RPG game. [Nov 2009]
  43. One of the most thoroughly enjoyable RPGs of all time. [Jan 2010, p.73]
  44. 90
    Incredibly deep and expansive, Dragon Age: Origins is one of those titles that can easily swallow up dozens of hours of play and keep you coming back for more.
  45. In addition to capturing the joy of battle, Dragon Age also provides an engrossing backdrop for the action. Even more than Mass Effect, the nation of Ferelden feels like a fully realized setting with its own history, conflicts, and power groups. This is one of the main reasons the game is so addicting; completing quests isn’t just about grinding experience and amassing loot – it actually feels like you have an impact on the world.
  46. Through the effort put at all levels of the game, BioWare has proven that it’s trying to transform Dragon Age into a new cult, but also into a new, rich imaginary culture.
  47. 90
    Bioware has crafted a truly remarkable game, but don’t be surprised if you have to pour over an FAQ to find the right combination for your party.
  48. 90
    A very nicely delivered RPG with loads of content to explore, plenty of replayability and genuine options to choose in the branching dialogue.
  49. Absolute bliss for fans of the genre.
  50. Expert storytellers BioWare have made no effort to disguise the fact they consider Dragon Age: Origins to be the spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate, but the game also owes much to sister title Knights of the Old Republic. The graphics may be a little vanilla, but by and large: Masterful.
  51. Dragon Age is definitely a game that takes time - and you will like to take that time. BioWare created a dark and well polished fantasy world which offers many things to do for a roleplay-gamer.
  52. RPG lovers shouldn't let escape this title that offers a strong story and an impressive conversational mode.
  53. Dragon Age: Origins, even without being perfect and even without stunning graphics, is a great game. A lot of quests and sub-quests, deep, well-balanced gameplay and a great interaction scheme, build up a valuable production. BioWare gave fans all that they needed: the spiritual sequel of Baldur's Gate.
  54. 90
    After logging over a hundred hours on Dragon Age: Origins, I still want to continue playing. I want to unearth more of its secrets, to better know its characters, to see how the decisions I make can impact its world, and yes, to see more of its endings. I can't think of a better recommendation than that.
  55. Battle beyond the tactical problems and enjoy the blood splattered glory of it all. [Christmas 2009, p.86]
  56. A well made traditional fantasy RPG, even though the marketing department in Bioware would have you think otherwise. The world is well fleshed out and the story is traditional, but still interesting. The game lacks the truly epic atmosphere and realistic looking actors of Mass Effect, but it still manages to be great fun. Big plus for surprisingly challenging combat, which you don't see that much nowadays. [Nov 2010]
  57. Whatever the game may lack in visual splendor it makes up for with a deep story and pure awesome fun.
  58. Dragon Age: Origins is an exceptional role playing game that features a strong setting and storyline and offers quite a challenge, effectively requiring you to either stack your group and abuse overpowered abilities or play on Easy as combat is poorly balanced. Suffers also from offensively poor handling of downloadable content - when will the DLC milking stop?
  59. For those of us seeking a deeply storied adventure in which to save the world from the forces of darkness, Dragon Age delivers.
  60. 85
    It is unmistakably a BioWare game, but nobody makes them quite like they do. I can see myself playing it for hundreds of hours.
  61. In its desperation to infuse this setting with "maturity" - be it of the sober, political kind, or the game's painfully clumsy gore and sex - BioWare has forgotten the key ingredient of any fantasy: the fantastical. Without it, you're still left with a competent, often compelling, impressively detailed and immense RPG, but it's one that casts no spell.
  62. Its role-playing is superb, but not revolutionary. It is a fantasy RPG so obviously crafted for the PC that it seems pointless to consider playing it on an alternative platform. It is an experience as compelling as it is archaic.
  63. This is an immense world full of mysticism.
  64. Dragon Age: Origins is yet another worthy title in BioWare's stunning catalogue. A richer, deeper experience that satisfies a more demanding PC audience, BioWare has once again showed its command over the genre.
  65. Dragon Age: Origins doesn’t really serve up anything we haven’t seen before in a roleplaying game. What it does, it does well and gameplay in the title is near perfect!
  66. The characters exude life and soul despite the game’s clunky animations and less than stellar voice acting – that’s the power of Bioware’s effective writing. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the environments: all the rote forests, castles and dungeons tend to blur into a single indistinguishable mess. It’s also too bloody hard in places, with a wonky difficulty curve comparable to a diagonal line drawn by a Parkinson’s sufferer sitting on a moving bus.
  67. The best and worst of BioWare's excesses combine in this competent but unprogressive RPG.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2525 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 67 out of 531
  1. Oct 8, 2011
    Bland and boring is the best way I can describe it. From the contrived storyline, to the setting which borrows heavily from other works of fantasy and real life, I felt like I was thrust into a world that was a boiled down, flavorless version of every fantasy story ever told. I do give them credit for not making D&D: Sword Coast vol. XXVI, and the Origin system was a great idea. The characters are pretty good as is the interaction between them. Mechanics-wise DA:O is good - combat is tactical and fun, though I still can't figure out how, in 2009 (2011 as of this writing), Bioware STILL hasn't been able to come up with a decent inventory system. Probably the worst aspect of this game were the uberdungeons of the Fade and Orzammar, which single handedly dissuaded me from doing another playthrough. Bottom line, it's not the spiritual successor to BG it was billed as, but you may find some elements you enjoy. Full Review »
  2. Oct 21, 2010
    The best. Ever. Sure, game preference is entirely subjective, but I cant help but feel that the negative review scores this game received were provided by people who never actually played the game. From the start, it's clear that the world of Thedas is an epic place, with conflict, nuances, and thousands of years of history. Likely you disagree, but don't believe the gamers giving this game a poor score. Beyond being a sublime game, dragon age origins pushes the boundaries of emotion, choice, and freedom within gaming. DAO doesn't simply faithfully receive Baldur's Gate II's mantle of best game out there, it rips that mante from BG2's cold, dead hands, then uses it as a weapon to single handedly enslave every other game in existence. Full Review »
  3. Mar 29, 2011
    I just can't see how anyone got pass the extreme cliché, bad combat system, and crazy long load scenes.

    Guess: Bioware + Hipe =
    love from the masses.

    on the good side i did enjoy some brief moments of the story, and giving the chance to start with different classes and races with an unique "origin" is a plus, but they might have spent that time and money crafting a better game after that...
    Full Review »