Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 100
    It’s one of the most original, creative and inspired titles out there and even better—-it’s one of those rare videogames that can actually make you laugh out loud.
  2. 96
    If you’re a fan of sharp humor, great stories, stellar gameplay, or Invader Zim, you simply can’t go wrong with this gem.
  3. Arguably the best epic platformer since the Rare/Miyamoto days of N64. [May 2005, p.65]
  4. Psychonauts may not be particularly innovative in any of its undertakings, but it breathes new life into a stale genre by virtue of its humor and creativity alone.
  5. No title is likely to exhibit this much magnetic appeal for some time to come, and as an outspoken resident of Lungfishopolis once remarked, if you don't buy Psychonauts, you "are against children—and against love.”
  6. The production values are top notch in every department. If you're the kind of gamer who craves the weird and unusual, look no further; this is your game.
  7. The fact that Psychonauts isn’t on the radar as one of this year’s big releases is a major shame, as it is, quite simply, superb.
  8. What truly makes this game so enjoyable is the fact that it is incredibly clever and witty, with a gallery of fantastic (as well as bizarre) characters and some intelligently conceived details.
  9. Utterly mental, but quite, quite brilliant. One of the best experiences of the year. [July 2005, p.92]
  10. Weird, funny, immensely playable, and has that nigh-unclassifiable thing we can only call charm.
  11. It's so goofilfy hilarious, you may just find yourself a wisecrack away from peeing in your Jockeys. [June 2005, p.76]
  12. 90
    It's a brilliant debut for Double Fine, and here's hoping it's just the start of what we can expect to see from them.
  13. A triumph of art direction, a prime example of exquisite aesthetics and of how well an imaginary world can be beautifully conceived.
  14. 90
    In a world where one of the most common gamer laments is there's no originality in gaming anymore, Psychonauts is an incredibly enjoyable breath of fresh air.
  15. A breath of fresh air that has restored faith in platforming adventure titles. Within the first three minutes of gameplay, one realizes just how funnily bizarre this title is.
  16. Inspired, delightful and at times bordering on the insane. Psychonauts is mind-blowing, however it's tricky at times and definitely not for kids. [PC Gamer UK]
  17. 87
    The first half of this game is easily one of the most enjoyable I've had in the past year. But as is the case with many humorous games, the laughs begin to fade in the home stretch and in the end Psychonauts started to wear on me.
  18. A wildly imaginative platform adventure. Framerate and visibility issues are a bit of a letdown, though. [Mar 2006]
  19. Psychonauts doesn't reinvent the platformer, but it still delivers an experience that feels wholly original in every aspect of its execution.
  20. Creative mayhem, and is at times crazy fun to play.
  21. I’d rather spend my nights playing Psychonauts than a "Myst" or "Resident Evil" title, barring perhaps "Resident Evil 4." It’s livelier, funnier, and more original, in an age when sequels are the only safe bets for publishers.
  22. It isn’t any kind of reinvention, but a revitalisation, with a style so rich that it becomes an integral part of the game’s substance; Psychonauts breathes imagination and individuality as effortlessly as most games steal from one another. [July 2005, p.84]
  23. What's unavoidable is the fact that almost all of the problems that weigh Psychonauts down are borne out of the legacy that the platform genre itself has, and Double Fine - like so many other developers - has largely been unable to avoid falling into the same pitfalls of inconsistent level design and unwise difficulty spikes. Dammit.
  24. The uniquely quirky presentation, brilliantly conceived storyline, excellent cut scenes and tremendously varied gameplay all combine for a totally refreshing and fun game experience.
  25. Insanity is what makes Psychonauts entertaining and unusual, so it is a shame you have to spend several hours in the mildly eccentric minds of instructors before getting to the cool part of the game.
  26. 80
    The levels are fun, the gameplay is solid, and the puzzles and bosses require more than a bit of brain matter to figure out, resulting in a nice sense of accomplishment every time you reach a new milestone in Raz's adventure.
  27. As it gets progressively weirder, it also gets significantly better, making it one head-trip definitely worth taking. [July 2005, p.56]
  28. Psychonauts may be an excellent concept and creatively realized, but it is translated into an average game.
  29. It’s not revolutionary by any means, nor is it particularly long, but thanks to some clever creative control the game delivers a funny, engrossing and downright weird experience unlike most other platform adventures. [July 2005, p.104]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 405 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 4 out of 113
  1. Aug 20, 2010
    If you have played Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fadingo, or Full Throttle you will be overcome with feelings of nostalgia when playing Psychonauts. The story, how the characters are presented, and puzzles in the game all share similarities to these other games developed by Tim Schafer. I loved those games so I wanted to love Psychonauts but I just couldn't. There are so many creative environments and interesting level ideas woven into the story but almost every chapter of the game overstays its welcome or leans on one gameplay mechanic too much. Take for example the awesome idea of the Milkman Conspiracy chapter where you have to find and free this mysterious Milkman under the surveillance of these lemming-like CIA characters. By wearing disguises you find in CIA cars you progress through the spooky and silly neighborhood that appears to be warping and folding in on itself. The disguise part is fun but it goes on for the whole chapter with no other gameplay mechanics introduced until you get to the boss battle, which has to be the most boring boss in the game. This chapter is just another example of one cool idea stretched too thin. The disguise thing just gets old quickly and there is nothing else to take its place except the usual collecting things and exploring the level.

    What this game really seems to be is a 2d game designer who is having trouble adapting to the requirements of 3d platforming. The platforming suffers at the hand of person who only cares about presenting weird ideas, levels, and characters. If you played Brutal Legend you will also recognize the stiff and awkward controls in this game. The challenge of Psychonauts doesn't rest in combating enemies but rather in combating the stiff controls. If I had to sum this game up in one broken sentence it would be, boring and stiff combat with creative level and character design.

    All negative things aside this game is creative and its impossible to not notice the unique vision the Pyschonauts universe provides. Sometimes the use of items in the game can be fun for example in the Matador level you use paintings you collect like ladders, vines, guitars, doors, and windows to more easily move around the level. The characters are fun and the writing is decent but the tedium that sets at some point in every chapter really kills this game.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2012
    Psychonauts tries very hard to be wacky and funny, but I didn't find it engaging. The gameplay was mediocre, with control issues and lots of tedious collectibles, and I didn't care for any of the characters. I know others have raved about this game, but it's hit and miss, and it missed the mark for me. Full Review »
  3. Feb 10, 2012
    One of the best platformers out there, if not the best. No review is needed, just take my hearty recommendation and buy this game. Anyone that tells you otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. Full Review »