Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. 90
    There's absolutely no doubt that Left 4 Dead is one of the most social and exciting multiplayer games that we've ever played. It's almost pitch perfect in how it captures the tension and the action of a Hollywood zombie movie.
  2. Left 4 Dead is a great multiplayer shooter with many elements that you won’t find in any other shooter this year. The co-op experience is unrivaled and the dynamic AI is an excellent design choice.
  3. 90
    The inventive and highly entertaining competitive multiplayer mode just adds to the experience, and we're looking forward to seeing what Valve's got planned for the game's future. Out of all the titles that have shaped the Year of Living Cooperatively, this may be the best experience of them all.
  4. Another deeply professional, personality-filled and progressive take on the shooter from Valve. In a cultural landscape that has as many zombie touchstones as ours, it takes something special to make them shamble appealingly, and Left 4 Dead, both literally and metaphorically, makes them run.
  5. Left 4 Dead is a shining example of zombies done right in a video game. It's an action-packed riot with gore galore and is four times as fun with friends.
  6. Unless you're genuinely lacking anyone to play it with though, Left 4 Dead is easily one of this year's must-have games.
  7. 100
    Fast zombies? Check. Non-stop tension and intensity? Check. The quality of gameplay we expect from Valve? Check. When it comes to co-op multiplayer, Valve is consistently ahead of the curve and excellent at making games that force players to work together.
  8. Valve has taken something unscripted and dynamic, and seeded it with the right amount of narrative flavour, pacing and spectacle. [Christmas 2008, p.82]
  9. A truly monumental achievement, not only for Valve but for the games industry as a whole - this is what the concept of co-operative play is all about and this is the definitive implementation of it thus far.
  10. Left 4 Dead is one of the most pleasant surprises of this final quarter of 2008. Without making too much noise it brings a very interesting set, in which the cooperative campaign is its main breakthrough. Short, thrilling and intense.
  11. There are games you want everyone to play, just so they can experience what you've such a good time with, and Left 4 Dead is one of them. It's unlike any other game I've ever played and demonstrates the true power of cooperative gameplay.
  12. Left 4 Dead's emphasis on teamwork and vague hints of story may not appeal to gamers who demand a focused single-player experience, but for the millions out there who have ever imagined their role in the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse, it simply cannot be missed. [Jan 2009, p.30]
  13. While it's a short campaign, the game's solid as a rock and offers a good deal of replayability.
  14. As a co-op game, Left 4 Dead is literally the best the genre has ever seen. As a competitive experience, it's still very entertaining, but ultimately conflicted and uneven. But that's okay: I'll just play campaign that much more.
  15. Valve hits gold again and turns zombie apocalypse into year’s best co-op-shooter. The tank doesn’t really fit the game, otherwise it’s a winner. [Jan 2009]
  16. Besides five boss monsters, there are over 1000 zombie models, which have been designed very well and seem to be taken out of a zombie movie, … a good one!
  17. Even people who dislike zombies will probably change their minds after playing Left 4 Dead. The game offers much more than just killing zombies by the hundred. It offers lots and lots of gameplay with an unique combination of a tactical shooter with good old fashioned humour.
  18. All in all, if you know from the start you are getting into a game that is entirely based around its cooperative multiplayer elements you are going to be rewarded with hundreds of hours of the best gaming experience you have had in years.
  19. The game is exactly what so many fans of the zombie horror films have longed for, for so so long.
  20. Left 4 Dead means fun and adrenaline in its SinglePlayer mode or in the phenomenal co-op Multiplayer, where only the lack of some more options blew the chances to seek new highs. It's like drugs, once you have it, it's impossible to drop. L4D is especially dedicated to all FPS fans who love pure and non-stop action.
  21. 100
    Every aspect of Left 4 Dead has been refined and tweaked to perfection. It’s addictive and atmospheric, and it contains undoubtedly the best co-op gameplay we’ve seen yet.
  22. It's got all the nail-biting high tension of a control point assault/defence of Team-Fortress 2, mixed with the tightly designed levels of Half-Life 2 and the weapons of Counter-Strike. As long as they keep introducing new missions, there's no reason why it won't be sucking on your bandwidth for years to come.
  23. Left 4 Dead is a fantastic experience so long as you can get yourself into games with good players.
  24. The game works excellently both as a co-op game and as a classic competitive multiplayer experience.
  25. Possibly too relentless for the less devout mouse-jockey, but it's astounding proof that being a brain-dead shooter is a very good thing. [Jan 2009, p.86]
  26. 91
    There's so much tension and just pure fun to be had here that it is quite impossible to ignore, and if you're a player that craves genuine team cohesion then this could be one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences you've ever had. The only thing this game is missing is a G-String clad and rotting Jenna Jameson.
  27. It's a playable zombie movie. Would you like to hunt down the infected or rather rip human flesh to shreds? What may look like a simple shooter turns out to be very challenging, scary and a lot of fun. The game may be short, but with great replay value and different ways to play like versus mode or co-op mode.
  28. As it stands, Left 4 Dead is a great game, and Valve is continually improving it with patches already released and a content update promised for the near future.
  29. A redefining moment for the survival-horror genre.
  30. If you're looking for the cooperative PC experience of 2008 and you're more interested in guns and zombies than in orcs and swords, then Left 4 Dead is very much a must-have game.
  31. When playing with friends, Left4Dead gives the best cooperative experience in gaming, hands down. Nothing compares. The game is lacking a bit in terms of content, and more weapons and locations would definitely add to the experience, but nothing can take away from the sheer enjoyment value.
  32. A monumental pillar in multiplayer gaming; playing it without yelping in delight is like eating a doughnut without licking your lips. [Jan 2009, p.54]
  33. L4D’s Versus mode is on par with Call of Duty 4 in terms of drama and tension. Every battle is a Hollywood blockbuster, an endless well of war stories about bravery, team spirit, betrayal, and cunning tricks.
  34. L4D is the next best thing to a real-life zombie apocalypse with fun and excitement in abundance.
  35. Left 4 Dead proves that zombies don’t have to be dumb and slow! The game’s definite pro is its brilliant versus mode. The campaign mode is nice to have, but nothing more.
  36. So Left 4 Dead is basically the „Royale with Cheese” of this year’s multiplayer shooters. Just that the french fries next to it aren’t covered in mayo, but blood.
  37. The biggest issue I face with Left 4 Dead however is that I can't stop playing it. And when I can't play it I'm thinking about it.
  38. Left 4 Dead is simply spectacular.
  39. 92
    One of the finest zombie games ever made, and one of the finest co-op games ever made. The potential for everything to go so, so wrong without warning, or conversely to pull off the most spectacular escapes against all odds, means this is an online shooter you can tell your finest anecdotes about without boring everyone else to tears.
  40. 90
    If you enjoy playing first-person shooters with a team of friends or even complete strangers, Left 4 Dead offers an unparalleled social experience. It can be frustrating at times when the team's actions aren't synced, or strategies continually falter, but a bit of practice and, more importantly, communication will transform this zombie massacre into one of the most exciting and addictive gaming experiences ever.
  41. Its bravery and stunning execution deserve plaudits while its addictive nature deserves a health warning. [Issue#15, p.58]
  42. Foaming at the mouth, with a mad glint in the eye and a trio of trusted friends watching your back - that's how it's played. And there's no stepping away from it. When the consensus was that there's hardly anything more to invent in the survival horror genre, Valve proved it wrong. No other game made me give the medikit to another player despite being hurt myself. [Jan 2009]
  43. Left 4 Dead is, above anything else, a fun and replayable co-op experience. Everything is elaborately designed to support the co-op gameplay and the moody zombie theme. So it doesn't have a heavily scripted 30-hour storyline with dozens of maps? Who cares! Refreshingly original and polished to the point of being a textbook case how to make a proper PC game.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 3576 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 498
  1. Aug 17, 2010
    The base concept of moving from area to area killing hordes of zombies is nothing new. How they go about making it is remarkable, however. TheThe base concept of moving from area to area killing hordes of zombies is nothing new. How they go about making it is remarkable, however. The game forces teamwork and with the help of the ai director you can play this game over and over and over and almost never have two similar situations. Defiantly a groundbreaking achievement in the gaming world. Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2011
    Okay gentlemen, what you see here is a FPS zombie killing game that is actually addictive and entertaining (and funny) at the same time. "LeftOkay gentlemen, what you see here is a FPS zombie killing game that is actually addictive and entertaining (and funny) at the same time. "Left 4 Dead" made me play the single player and the multi player for hours and hours non-stop. The single player, inspired by movie scenarios, is very innovative and fun. The multiplayer is also a big hit for the game. With 3 other partners, you can go out and whoop those **** zombies anytime!! A great must-play!! Hurray for Valve!!!!

    Note: The game gets boring after a few months.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 30, 2010
    The game is amazing. Great Graphics and the increasing hordes makes the game very addicting as well as zombies being in different places eachThe game is amazing. Great Graphics and the increasing hordes makes the game very addicting as well as zombies being in different places each time you play the campaigns. Great game with nice weapons. I recommend it! Full Review »