Metascore
91

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. Without a doubt the best RPG adventure of the decade.
  3. 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.
  4. 92
    Bioware’s achievements in all this are incredible. It cannot be stressed enough at the depth of the universe they have conjured.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Occasionally sloppy visuals and dialogue can't derail a fantastic, involving role-playing experience. Baldur's Gate veterans should definitely apply.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Incredible storytelling, great characters, and exciting battles are just a few of the things that make this fantasy role-playing game so extraordinary.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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".
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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]
  21. 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.
  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. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Dragon Age Origins will keep you in front of your computer for hours! Graphics, sounds and the controls couldn’t be much better!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. 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.
  36. 90
    A very nicely delivered RPG with loads of content to explore, plenty of replayability and genuine options to choose in the branching dialogue.
  37. Absolute bliss for fans of the genre.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. RPG lovers shouldn't let escape this title that offers a strong story and an impressive conversational mode.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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.
  44. 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.
  45. 100
    Ultimately, Dragon Age: Origins is quite possibly the best game ever to come out of Bioware.
  46. 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.
  47. 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.
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  50. Another classic in the making and a bloody beautiful smear on the BioWare name. [Issue #27, p.50]
  51. 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]
  52. One of the most thoroughly enjoyable RPGs of all time. [Jan 2010, p.73]
  53. 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]
  54. 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]
  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]
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2776 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 555
  1. Mark
    Dec 10, 2009
    10
    Dragon Age Origins is not a perfect game, but I can't rate it at an even 9. The game takes you into a fantasy world that you don't want to leave. It is a single player experience that I haven't had since I played Oblivion. While the gameplay is not exactly like that of the Elder Scrolls series, it is close in its theme. I had never played an RPG like this before, because I found the whole concept rather tedious. After my friend saying that he was pretty jazzed about getting this game, I vowed to give it an honest try. By the time I'd finished the origin portion of the game, I was completely hooked. The voice acting is excellent for the most part, and the graphics are pretty good, although the PC version requirements seem to be considerably high for the graphics quality. My son has no trouble with playing it with his dual core AMD CPU, but he has a pretty good graphics card. I guess the best thing I could say about the game, is that I don't want it to end. After playing for more than 50 hours I still have a way to go before finishing my first play through. I will play it through again after giving it a break for a couple of months, and try my hand at a different class of character. That must tell you something. Full Review »
  2. LeahR
    Dec 26, 2009
    3
    Most overrated RPG of the year. The AI is terrible. Left alone, it will either sit around doing nothing, which means you go nowhere if you've chosen to play a ranged or back-line support class--or else it will rush blindly into enemies, leaving you to perform damage control and clean up behind as it continues to charge forward without pause. If you play on anything above casual difficulty, you'll fight the AI every step of the way and end up having to constantly micromanage your party. The game offers "tactics" slots which you can use to assign conditional behavior patterns to NPC teammates, e.g. "Heal yourself if your health gets below X%," yet for some insane reason, you have to spend skill points to unlock these tactics slots. Essentially, you must spend skill points to make the AI slightly less stupid. The tactics also need far more flexibility and generality, e.g. "Use any debuff skill not on cooldown" instead of "Use specific skill X." Because of this, the tactics end up being mostly useless on harder difficulty levels and require you to micromanage the team anyway. On top of these gameplay issues, DAO has a ridiculous amount of dialogue, even by Bioware's verbose standards. It's well-written dialogue, for the most part--but it's still redundant jawing. Too much of the narrative is talked about rather than shown in action. This tendency to tell rather than show has been creeping deeper into each successive Bioware game for years, but it feels like DAO finally crossed the line into self-indulgent writing. Ultimately, the game is simply formulaic: it's the same linear, on-rails RPG with the same linear, on-rails dialogue "choices" which are supposed to give us the illusion of making moral decisions in tense, finely-shaded conflicts. Bioware has been making this same well- (if over-) written, painstakingly-realized, yet ultimately stultifying and narratively-funneled game for years. While playing, I kept thinking how cinematic the game felt, and how much more I would have enjoyed it as an animated film, or a novel. Dragon Age: Origins is a throwback RPG addled by last-gen gameplay and self-indulgent, tedious writing. Full Review »
  3. JohnG
    Nov 26, 2009
    10
    I usually don't stop to rate games on review websites like this, but seeing the lousy 8.6 score gave me a bit of pause. I believe that this is far and away the most immersive RPG I've ever played. It is also the first RPG that actually made me feel that the choices I made had real consequences. The dialogue options have a lot of variety and at times I find myself wondering what would have happened in response had I chosen something else. The combat system is wonderful, I love the tactics involved. Although the system of pausing and issuing orders makes combat seem almost turn based in complicated situations it also feels more rewarding to me personally after having out matched my opponents on a strategic level. The only real critism I have is that outside of specialization, character customization is a bit limited, there aren't really many important talent trade offs. Any time I make a Tank character it's pretty much going to be the same build or if I make a rogue or archer or healer or mage. I would have liked it more had I been forced to choose talents that would make a more magic oriented tank or more single target oriented damage dealer etc. Maybe I was just looking for a more fleshed out specialization system. Anyway back to how awesome the game is; Dragon Age Origins is definitely a game that I recommend buying even just as a salute to the developers for great game making. Even though I haven't finished the game I already see myself spending hours and hours repeatedly playing it through with different classes and on different difficulties; and even now I feel a bit anxieous that I might finish it too soon and have to dread waiting for a new expansion or sequel. Full Review »