Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. A well-realized, excellent, and more importantly, fun adventure title.
  2. Gorgeous graphics, in-depth gameplay, and a compelling environment easily make POTC one of my favorite games of 2003.
  3. The gameplay mechanics of melee combat, sailing and naval battles have been greatly improved, making the action portion of the game much more strategic, and ultimately more appealing.
  4. If you like action games, RPGs, and especially pirates with a completely open ended storyline, you should get this one and it will offer a lot of time and replayability.
  5. RPG fans will love the open-ended feel of the game, but more casual gamers may be put off by the lack of guidance and the game's few minor control issues. [Sept 2003, p.123]
  6. Does an adequate job of giving PC gamers the opportunity of hijinx on the high seas.
  7. Offers a refreshing and entertaining experience that successfully evokes a sense of what it might have been like to live a life of danger and adventure on the high seas.
  8. It might be damn pretty but, running on a 1.4GHz system with a GeForce FX, we still couldn’t get a smooth third-person experience.
  9. 72
    There's a gorgeous-looking but not-entirely-helpful RPG adventure here, buried under a mass of presentation and control issues. Think of it as treasure under sand, bones and seaweed -- it's all a matter of how much digging you're prepared to put up with.
  10. There is a lot of variety and freedom here, and at its best this is the most physically attractive virtual pirate adventure ever released. It all boils down to this: if you want a fast-paced action title, do not go near this release; but if, on the other hand, you want a slower-paced role-playing experience with lots of different types of things to do, then by all means give it a shot.
  11. Once you're past the technical hurdles (and the brutal realization of just how easy it is to die in a swordfight or sea battle), Pirates of the Caribbean is an absolutely beautiful looking, freeform RPG adventure. But it is really suited for experienced, patient gamers rather than casual ones.
  12. For pirate lovers and diehard roleplaying fans only - a pass for everyone else. [Oct 2003, p.118]
  13. For all the attempts to make the world lively, the world map has shown what a dreadfully static place the archipelago is. AI ships float around randomly, making no attempt to even look like they’re even trying to run trade routes.
  14. A good, just not great game. If you want more diversity and ability to choose the length of your evil doings, you may want to give Port Royale a spin instead.
  15. Instead of the marketing-driven production you might expect, Pirates of the Caribbean is a deep and interesting role-playing experience. [Sept 2003, p.81]
  16. The lackluster sword fighting, terrible interface, and nasty bugs detract from the experience a great deal. Excellent naval combat isn't enough to make up for these issues.
  17. With a clunky interface, poor control, and frustrations aplenty, it should be sent to Davy Jones' locker.
  18. The game's real mistakes were made at the design level, and that's a pity, because it contained the potential to be a much better experience than it ended up being.
  19. 55
    A sad mess that not only has virtually nothing to do with the movie or the ride, but is a pretty poor game in its own right.
  20. And then there are all the crash bugs, and the easily broken quests, and Pirates of the Caribbean just isn’t a lot of fun to play.
  21. The joy of Pirates of the Caribbean is to be found in the variety of the elements delivered - sword fights and canon battles happily sit alongside contraband trade route management. But ultimately none offer a tremendous amount of depth. [Nov 2003, p.107]
  22. 42
    While the graphics are insanely impressive, the gameplay rolls in on the other end of the spectrum. It stinks.
  23. A cool game hiding underneath scads of bugs, control problems and weak swordfighting, leading to not a cool game whatsoever. If you're dying to be a pirate, dig up one of the Monkey Islands.
  24. It has a few great moments, but it seems like an incomplete collection of half-finished ideas. [Nov 2003, p.126]
  25. If you're looking for the thrill of a pirate's life, frankly, you're better off with the Disney ride that inspired it all. [Oct 2003, p.88]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 40
  2. Negative: 13 out of 40
  1. Oct 16, 2011
    I am still unsure what to rate this game. I think it deserves a 7 for its graphics and sailing game play. I found this game incredibly challenging. I might not have been playing it correctly but I had to save continuously and because the character is so weak in combat at the start it was so hard to board and take ships. I really dislike the default controls. In fact there is a lot that is bad about it (GLITCCHHHYYYY). However, the game had a good idea and a decent story to follow so I'll give it that. Full Review »