Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. The maturation of a genre. More "Civilization" in scope, feel, and satisfaction than even the popular "Age of Empires" series, Rise of Nations is the world's first 4X RTS.
  2. 100
    Hidden beneath that glossy surface is a game that takes almost everything that's annoying with real-time strategy titles and fixes it. It's deep, yet accessible. It's action-packed, yet manageable. In short, it's everything you could ask for in a real-time strategy game.
  3. Possibly the best AI ever found in an RTS. [Aug 2003, p.77]
  4. Rise of Nations revitalizes this genre because it blends the mechanics of real time and turn based strategy games into one. As weird as this may sound, the game does this flawlessly and expounds the gameplay a hundred fold.
  5. A well-designed, well-executed paragon of strategy gaming, although mouse-click maniacs may be disappointed that the game requires more thought than the typical RTS.
  6. A worthy product with far more assets than shortcomings and a campaign game that will keep you playing.
  7. In many ways, Rise of Nations is better than the strategy games that have come before it. It's smarter. It's more challenging. It gives you more to do.
  8. 93
    Graphically, this game is amazing.
  9. A stunning achievement in RTS design. [Aug 2003, p.74]
  10. While other games may offer more to immediately get excited about, its charms will last long after their 3D glories wane, and for fast-paced but thoughtful strategy action, you simply cannot do any better.
  11. No current strategy title can give you the clash between horseback cavalry and industrial age tanks and howitzers as compelling as what Rise of Nations brings to the table.
  12. Yes, Nations emphasizes military might over diplomacy, but it's still one of the most intelligent and riveting strategy games we've played in a long time. [18 July 2003, p.83]
  13. One of the most impressive strategy games we've seen in years.
  14. Merging the best of the historical strategies of Civilization and Empire Earth with the dynamics and appeal of the Age of Empires and C&C, giving this RTS the level of detail reserved for turn-based strategies and simulations. And the best thing is - this really works!
  15. Animation of the beautifully rendered characters and unit models particularly livens up the screen, and the attention to detail is often quite remarkable.
  16. As solid as bedrock. [July 2003, p.119]
  17. The second, more significant disappoint that RON inflicts upon the gamer is the mind numbing singularity of the conquest battles. As much as I love toasting the opposition into roasted marshmallow oblivion, doing so 22 times in a row gets a little old.
  18. 90
    An enormous game... Classic real-time gaming simply doesn't get much better than this.
  19. Rise of Nations is a great fusion of several recent and classic strategy titles. It combines Empire Earth with Age of Empires, puts in a dash of Civilization and Risk, and then mixes it all together with a ton of options for you to play around with.
  20. A towering aggregation of everything that's good about strategy gaming.
  21. Aside from the lackluster sounds, Rise Of Nations has Gameplay that rocks and beats out any recent RTS offerings and at a pace that you can be done in 90 minutes or less - all of which makes this an ideal game for almost any gamer.
  22. Has a huge amount of game play options and is one of the most intriguing RTS games I have played since Civilization. The only concern I had was with the amount of horsepower required by your computer to play in a bigger game.
  23. There is a lot to be said for the city-centric game design, the intricate unit balancing, the smart AI, and the catchy, quickie action, although there isn’t anything here to make the jaded sit up and shout.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 200 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Jun 15, 2011
    10
    for being 2003, this game is stunning. The graphics are great for it's time period. The levels are so fun, and challenging. You can pick so many different time periods to start and end with, and playing online especially is the funnest of all. To play against your friends. It's 2011, and i still play this game to this day. There's no bugs, no flaws, nothing. The AI is smart especially for it's day in age. The game is fantastic. 10 from me. Full Review »
  2. Nov 14, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I am writing this review 8 years after RoN came out, and it's still one of the best RTS games available. The game comes across as far simpler than it actually is, and never stops fascinating me how intricately interwoven it is. If you want an RTS, you must try this game, and try it again, and again. The mini-game within the game of generating wealth, finding out how long it takes for wonder bonuses to pay themselves back, directing your armies and striking the enemy decisively, the micromanaging of your nation, playing the market for potentially huge advantages. See the drama of an army overtake a city, then the defending nation makes a counter and reclaims it, and together they dance as the front lines oscillate back and forth until one realizes how they can change their tactic and beat the other. See the vast possibilities of different nation abilities, or how much the game suddenly turns on it's head when a new resources becomes available (like oil), or how one nation researching a future tech like AI or World Government or Missile Shield changes everything.

    The game mechanics are fascinating and vast, RoN will show you what an ingeniously designed RTS is like.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 4, 2011
    10
    This is a very good strategy game. Many ages, nations and functions like control 1 team as 2 players and so on. The only strategy game I had more fun is Warcraft 3 but mainly because of the story and world. Full Review »