Metascore
64

Mixed or average reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 75
  2. Negative: 10 out of 75
  1. Mar 13, 2013
    70
    In some ways I'd equate SimCity to an early version of Minecraft: a wonderfully creative toy attached to a barely functional game.
  2. Mar 7, 2013
    50
    SimCity (the game) isn't the pinnacle of the series, but it's super fun. SimCity (the service) is a disaster. What you get out of the package as a whole rests solely on how many flaming hoops you're willing to jump through before arriving at your just reward.
  3. 80
    Maxis set out to create a real living world for players to tinker with. At that, they’ve succeeded. Well, they’ve succeeded whenever the game actually works.
  4. Mar 15, 2013
    65
    Given time, Maxis could clear up the problems with SimCity. The studio could deliver consistent server performance, restore cheetah speed, patch the AI, and give players larger cities. But games can’t be reviewed based on the product they might become; Electronic Arts and Maxis are charging gamers for this experience right now. At this point in time, it just isn’t worth your money.
  5. Mar 15, 2013
    40
    I can handle the graphical bugs - those overlapping buildings, the misshaped roads, the fire fighters who have chosen to stand on the station roof and spend their time endlessly vibrating. What I can't handle is the knowledge that things aren't working properly, that whatever success I've made is a sham, the result of misshapen game mechanics producing outcomes that are frequently contradictory or even nonsense.
  6. Apr 1, 2013
    55
    There's just something disturbing in seeing a game that is part of such a storied and influential franchise sacrifice so much to rush headlong into the social sphere. Perhaps the bugs and shortcomings will be resolved in a few weeks, but until then, SimCity's hidden requirement of additional patience still applies.
  7. Mar 19, 2013
    50
    There is magic here, but after hitting the ceiling so often I can't recommend this game to many people without a list of caveats to warn them first. It's gorgeous, and a time sink, but the more you come to understand it, the less you wish you knew.
  8. Mar 6, 2013
    70
    The present itself is fantastic, well-conceived, and highly customizable to new SimCity players such as myself, and will be for SimCity veterans provided that they can get stomach the smaller cities, several missing tools, Origin, and always online DRM. Of course, that may be one too many pills for them to swallow. As Electronic Arts and Maxis fix the issue with the online servers, which the entire game hinges upon, feel free to add up to one full star to the grade below.
  9. May 9, 2013
    68
    Hints at great things but is limited by small cities and promises it can't deliver on. [June 2013, p.80]
  10. Mar 17, 2013
    80
    While it still needs more content and depth, SimCity is a fresh and exciting new start for the series.
  11. Mar 11, 2013
    60
    SimCity's a mess of moving parts, occasionally clicking into place and allowing for brilliant experiences before coming undone and tearing everything down. With updates to both server stability and the game itself, SimCity's wonderful moments may be able to overtake the bad ones to create the best game in the series. But if those don't come, EA's bustling metropolis may end up a ghost town.
  12. Mar 14, 2013
    86
    Controversy and technical issues aside, SimCity is deep, full of details and very accessible. No matter if you like this kind of game or not, we think it deserves a try.
  13. Apr 1, 2013
    40
    Ultimately, when compared to other city-building games, even the decade-old Simcity 4, Maxis set the bar low and failed to clear even that.
  14. Mar 18, 2013
    60
    For now, SimCity is good for the reasons it’s always been good, and bad for reasons old and new. And yes, we wish we could play it on the train. But after spending two weeks as mayor of a series of teeming pocket metropolises, we’re still ready to spend more.
  15. Mar 13, 2013
    80
    Initially some of the decisions surrounding SimCity’s mechanics may seem frustrating, especially for diehard fans of the series, but give it time and you’ll realise – in spite of all of this – this is actually the best SimCity game yet.
  16. Mar 13, 2013
    83
    Obviously SimCity is far from perfect and we have concerns about its small scope, but it's still an addictive and enhanced experience.
  17. Mar 9, 2013
    69
    As a simulator, SimCity advances the achievements of SimCity 4, SimCity 3000, and SimCity 2000, but as a product, it is inferior to all of them. Constant connectivity does have benefits, such as leaderboards, worldwide challenges, and the Global Market, but it’s not even close to being worth the hassle for those features, and hardly touches the essence of what makes SimCity so diabolically addictive and engrossing.
  18. Mar 15, 2013
    80
    Despite its tremendous launch, day one DLCs, and always online mode SimCity is still a really good game with some new interesting feature.
  19. Mar 15, 2013
    49
    The re-imagined and return of SimCity is a disappointment that's a direct result of the included always-online system. Even worse, the gameplay suffers from multiple issues including reduced map sizes to seemingly-unintelligent Sims. Individuals looking to purchase SimCity should wait until the online restrictions have been lessened and gameplay issues fixed.
  20. Mar 8, 2013
    40
    At first I started to enjoy it, but soon all I found was frustration. I can't recommend this game to anyone, and I don't want to play it anymore myself because I am afraid of seeing all my efforts lost due to server issues. It's a decent game if it worked right, but the online dependency, forced multiplayer, and DRM ruin it.
  21. Mar 18, 2013
    87
    The new SimCity is a rich and fun computer video game, definitely a must-have, already on the list for best PC game of 2013: it's good, however, but it's not a massive game or a title with the fundamental component online, despite the need to be constantly connected to the network.
  22. Apr 15, 2013
    75
    SimCity is basically a good game, although it's crippled by poor technical choices and the DRM that requires an internet connection for single player game is obviously the worst thing since the plague. It's very fun to play, but after a brief building stage all there is left to do is to optimize, optimize and optimize. There's a load of patching to do. [Apr 2013]
  23. Mar 20, 2013
    65
    Our general impression was: SimCity is good fun. Unfortunately, the game is let down by some serious server breakdowns leading to quite long waiting times and the fact that it doesn't really have a proper single-player mode. By addressing these issues and providing the possibility not to only be able to build cities along with other hobby mayors the developer could easily develop into a buy recommendation from our side.
  24. Mar 4, 2013
    88
    The world’s biggest simulation franchise is back with a vengeance. We’ve all grown up playing SimCity, and it’s finally time to get back to living the life of a virtual city planner. Whether you play the game alone or with friends, SimCity proves to be a great deal of fun.
  25. Mar 10, 2013
    90
    We've chosen to rate the game, not the service so far, and this new SimCity is a pure joy to play, a different but worthy re-imagination of the franchise.
  26. Mar 13, 2013
    75
    SimCity only partially delivers on its high expectations. It does a lot right and tries to do add something new to the concept, but not to great avail. Despite being able to lose hours upon hours by managing the most complex cities, SimCity will not sit right with the veterans.
  27. Mar 11, 2013
    40
    It’s a genuinely revolting vision of the future, of a games industry that treats its players as enemies to be bullied and manipulated – not customers to be entertained and attended to. If SimCity really was a city we’d realise we weren’t welcome and move out immediately.
  28. Mar 8, 2013
    80
    Aside from some issues with its online requirements, bugs, and restrictions on city size, it's still a satisfying and addicting simulator that will grant dozens of hours of entertainment with one well-designed city alone. It's best played with friends, but there's still plenty of fun in store for those who go it alone, and the work Maxis has done here proves that the beloved franchise can still hold its own in a gaming world vastly different from its first appearance in 1989.
  29. Apr 1, 2013
    60
    Unfortunately, the compromises necessary to make SimCity a multiplayer, always-online game detract from what’s most enjoyable about city-builders, resulting in a product that feels like it’s actively trying to keep the player from having a good time.
  30. Mar 17, 2013
    65
    There are some lovely aspects to the game, that have been developed from the earlier experiences that so many people knew and loved. There’s a great soundtrack, and the game has a polished look about it that makes you want to love it. But underneath, there is so much that’s broken, that I currently wouldn’t recommend the game - as I experienced it - to anyone not willing to go through the pain for a glimpse of the game they once loved.
User Score
2.2

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4424 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 5, 2013
    3
    Server reached maximum capacity and so I was placed in a queue and was not allowed to play a SINGLE PLAYER GAME because it forces me toServer reached maximum capacity and so I was placed in a queue and was not allowed to play a SINGLE PLAYER GAME because it forces me to constantly be online.

    So despite my flawless internet connection, EA's incompetence has forced me to postpone playing a game I'd like to play on my own anyway.

    I have played the beta and the city size limits are awful.

    But it isn't all bad, I do enjoy the new features, such as removal of the piping networks and the add-ons for buildings. But it's awful comopated to SC4
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 5, 2013
    0
    It may be looked down upon to use this as a megaphone to shout through but the fact is that people need to see this, that NO-ONE should EVERIt may be looked down upon to use this as a megaphone to shout through but the fact is that people need to see this, that NO-ONE should EVER support always online DRM for a single player game, on my partners 2nd attempt to play this game, she was told the servers were at full capacity and could not play until 235 minutes had elapsed. There are a staggering amount of other problems, such as the save states being tied to client-side servers, so that once EA decides this game is finished so is your progress and your ability to play it, forever. Not only that but, as probably said before, this game is on Origin only, so you must install this malicious, unoptimized, buggy front-end to just begin to play the game.
    Regardless of how the game plays as a Simulator, or whether or not it is improved upon it's predecessors, these issues need to not just ironed out, but abolished completely and utterly. The business practices being executed here are absolutely disgusting and should not be tolerated, at all.
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 5, 2013
    3
    BEWARE: Forced online DRM, will you be playing this 10 years down the track like previous Sim Cities? No, you wont. And they want this, so youBEWARE: Forced online DRM, will you be playing this 10 years down the track like previous Sim Cities? No, you wont. And they want this, so you buy the next one. Servers go down? Well screw you, EA already has your money. DLC available from release, server side save-games. I repeat, FORCED ONLINE DRM Also, server queues at launch. Thanks for destroying video gaming and my most treasured franchise. Full Review »