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Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 479 Ratings

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  • Summary: Mafia brings the 1930's underworld to life in this 3rd person 3D action game. Rise from the lowly but well-dressed footsoldier to the envied and feared Made Man in an era of big bands, zoot suits and Model T's. Take on the role of a hitman, enforcer, getaway driver and more in your struggle for respect, money and power within the Salieri Family. [Take 2] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Yet Mafia oozes class, polish, and style like no other game so far this year. To not "experience" Mafia is a far greater crime than any in the Salieri family ever committed.
  2. From the living city in which you reside, to the incredibly realistic vehicles, this title has the heart and sould of a blockbuster. [Nov 2002, p.147]
  3. Outside of my complaint with the racing level and a few very minor issues, Mafia is a really immersive game. The story is very good, and the cutscenes and voice acting are of the highest caliber.
  4. Even with its problems, Mafia was a joy to play, and I really hope we see more games that expand on the Grand Theft Auto formula. But if you are going to do a GTA3-alike game, a unique setting as well as a few major gameplay additions are absolute musts. Luckily, Mafia delivers in those areas.
  5. The quintessential difference between other gangster games and this one is the fact that the story gives reason for the action to exist. It doesn't work the other way around.
  6. I really enjoyed the missions, and even though they could be tough, the movie-like atmosphere makes for a truly compelling gaming experience.
  7. The pacing seems a little off in this game, and to compound the issue, there's no in-mission save. [Dec 2002, p.120]

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 80
  2. Negative: 12 out of 80
  1. Nov 24, 2013
    Mafia is simply the best game I ever played. It was released on 2002, eleven years ago, and it still seems to have been released yesterday. The cars, the people, the story, the atmosphere... when I play it, I suddenly time-travel to the 1930's. I almost feel the fear on other people, the weight os the car in my hands, and the rain falling all around me, as I risk my life for the Salieri family. There will never be another game like it. The attention to detail while developing this game was absolutely amazing. There are no repeated textures on buildings, they're all different, cars can run out of gas, and the gas tank can hit by bullets, you can get fined if you drive over the speed limit, or if you pass a red-light. Police will arrest you if they see a gun. In other games, you can do illegal things, but in this game, you FEEL that you are doing illegal things. I think metacritic should get an eleventh score, so that we could accurately score this game. Expand
  2. Apr 8, 2012
    Things to know about this game: -Its linear (as linear as it gets). -Its Sandbox (but NOT like GTA) -It WAS MADE IN 2002 I say this, because i hear people complain about the graphics being dated, the game not being like GTA, and the speed limit being 40mph.
    But if you actually think about it. The game is not like GTA, because for one it is linear, and most importantly, unlike GTA, Mafias "main bit" is the story. A well writ, well directed movie. A movie where YOU play as the main character.

    With that out of the way, Id like to say that while I played, the main thing that pushed me to continue through is the "whats gonna happen next". Maybe I wasn't too much into the actual gameplay, but I can say I really was into the game.
    The gameplay maybe did lack a little something, but if you complain about that you're just missing the point.

    The "speed limit" is 40 mph but you can go over that by just putting your foot down. Do expect a fine or two though. You also get fines from destroying road posts and skipping traffic lights.
    Handling is a bit tricky at first, specially with the worse cars, but you start getting used to it and since the game is based in quite a range of years, new better cars are made which you get to drive.

    Mafia doesn't seem to have a defined "difficulty curve" (where the game gets progressively harder), instead missions vary substantially, but that is quite satisfying since you sometimes get very easy missions right after finishing some very hard ones. I personally found the first mission quite hard since I wasn't used to the driving and your car is considerably slower.

    The story as I said is very well told and contains all the "cliches" you might expect from an Italian Mafia game/movie/book. The game was just what i was hoping and I don't see why people would criticise such a fine piece work.
    Murder, car chases, guns, torture, cars, prohibition, gambling, love, betrayal... exactly what I would expect from a game that chose "Mafia" as its title.
  3. Feb 21, 2011
    You can put 100 on this movie without hesitation. I've played it 4 times. It is the ultimate; it's the supreme game. I'm loving it!
  4. Nov 3, 2013
    One of the best games ever. It has amazing music and gameplay is really fun. Even after completing story mode you can always play in free ride mode. Game is pretty long and hard but it's still fun to play. Characters are voiced very well. Bad thing about the game is the fact that some missions are pretty much same and pretty boring.
    If you love to drive a car, shoot people (in games) and watch great cutscenes, then you should play this game. It's really entertaining.
  5. Dec 8, 2012
    What a great game! An almost perfect game which is funny to play, but it also has a very good plot, very good graphics and excellent sound. Games like this will never be made again. Expand
  6. Feb 29, 2012
    Mafia is an uncut diamond. It's got a great story which embraces every mobster cliche with open arms and tells that story using above-average dialogue and cinematic camera work. The car models are beautiful and like the Four Fat Chicks say, the game just "oozes class". But that's where the toasting ends and the roasting begins. The overarching issue with Mafia is that its just... well... UNFINISHED. Driving around an open-world New York city circa 1933-1935, I was struck by how empty it felt. The city is bare, repetitive and mostly non-functional. Unlike Grand Theft Auto (especially GTA 4 and San Andreas), there's very very little to see and even less to do. Bugs and glitches abound, ranging from popping textures to screen tearing to getting your car stuck in the scenery constantly. While they're well done, the same 3-4 driving tracks that play over and over will have you gouging at your ears long before the game is over. A secondary (but still crucial) complaint is vehicle handling. Since you spend roughly 50% of the campaign behind the wheel of a car, its important that vehicle physics be spot-on. Or at least manageable. They are neither. Cars are so underpowered that they just barely sputter up a small hill but it's also incredibly easy to earn speeding tickets. All but the best 3-4 vehicles are floaty and a complete displeasure to operate. On many occasions I found myself skidding (or spinning, flipping, crashing, take your pick) wildly out of control from the slightest steering adjustment while the police pursuing me drive in such a way that the laws of physics seem to bend to their will. Mafia is very good at what it does right but unfortunately it's only 3/4 of a game that feels like the lofty goals of its developers got cut off at the knees in order to make a deadline. What a shame. Expand
  7. Mar 12, 2012
    Doesn't show you know where to go. Slowest cars I've ever seen. I spent more time trying to find the excat spot to stop those "bikes" (yes that's right. cars are powered by padels judging by speed) to reach or to advance the story. I never had any problems playing Mafia 2 so I see why this is interier. And it is way interier than GTA. 5 missions into Mafia and I'm still frustriated. Expand

See all 80 User Reviews