• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Mar 16, 2004
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 48
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 48
  3. Negative: 0 out of 48
  1. 100
    With the famed versatility of the game engine, the amazing potential for quality third-party content has already begun to manifest itself, making it well worth the purchase and hefty investment in hard drive space.
  2. 100
    Simply the most varied and accomplished multiplayer combat game on the PC.
  3. 100
    UT2K4 goes to 11. The scary part is…more and more people are buying it and joining servers, patches are getting made, the Mod community firing up. This game could actually get better. I don't think I shall ever see/a game as awesome as UT.
  4. 100
    Surprise, surprise —UT 2004 looks absolutely fantastic. From the sprawling battlefields to the tiny blades of alien grass, there’s not one visual detail that looks less than stunning.
  5. The gameplay is pitch-perfect, and everything has a rich and polished feeling about it. The variety of the styles of play is deep and incorporates some of the best multiplayer fragfests to date.
  6. 100
    This is the one, folks. A more complete package you will not find.
  7. And therein lies the game's beauty—it's expertly balanced. For every Goliath tank driver, there's a Manta master or Raptor pilot who can rip you a new one.
  8. 100
    The battles are fast-paced and frenetic as ever, the programming is rock solid, the graphics are eye-popping, and blood is spilling all over the place.
  9. Unreal Tournament 2004 is close to a master work, containing tons of new levels, new modes, and a great excuse for upgrading your video card... It's polished to a shine, it plays like a dream, it's gorgeous, and best of all, it is an absolute blast to play.
  10. The level of detail in the various maps and multiplayer levels will have you reeling, while the integration of voice communication software allows you to chat with friends, in real-time, in mid-battle.
  11. Boasting a solid, long, and challenging single player career, a massive online gaming side, enhanced graphics, aggressive and intuitive bot AI, tons of action, a solid engine, and a host of new tweaks added to the original theme that triggers all over the world have come to know and love, UT 2004 has put its foot down with a bone-rattling crash into the world of PC fragging.
  12. But for now, UT2004 is one of the best, if not the best, tactical FPS games you can play on your PC, either alone or online. With improved gameplay, enhanced AI, and new game modes it’s packed with enough content to keep you entertained for months, and it will take a good solid year to master all the levels and tactical subtleties this game offers.
  13. Most impressive of all is the obvious care and planning put into the maps, which are large without being cavernous, and intricate without being overly confusing (though I’ve got to say that it’s a good thing that they’ve included vehicles, because some maps would involve a lot of long walks if you couldn’t steal a vehicle somewhere).
  14. I was absolutely blown away by UT2K4.
  15. It may just be the best arcade style online shooter ever made, and it’ll likely only be unseated by next year’s incarnation.
  16. The speed and polish of UT 2004 cannot be denied. [May 2004, p.104]
  17. 95
    It's a stunning comeback for the franchise, a fantastic mix of the fresh and the familiar, and enough content to make this the only game you need for the next few months. [**Reminder: GameSpy's "How Our Ratings Work" equates a 5-Star review with 95.]
  18. 95
    For fast trigger gameplay, and the best in fast and furious gameplay, there is still nothing better than Unreal Tournament 2004.
  19. It offers lightning fast gameplay, beautiful graphics, streamlined control and near flawless networking. It's no exaggeration to say that you won't find a more feature-packed, high quality first person shooter on store shelves today.
  20. Ninety five maps, a huge variety of game modes, extensive single player campaign, online multiplayer and the low system requirements makes this a game that no first person shooter fan should ignore.
  21. The graphics in UT2004 have a semi-surreal sort of edge, for which the term “eye-candy” is undoubtedly the most appropriate.
  22. An early candidate for 2004's best PC game and quite possibly the smartest game purchase choice you'll make since leaving "Daikatana" on the shelf.
  23. 94
    A huge selection of new maps, gorgeous graphics, improved game play, and the return of Assault are generous enough. But the addition of Onslaught, with its powerful vehicles and tactical variety, makes UT2004 into a multiplayer behemoth, offering enough action, depth, and expansion possibilities (just think of the mods here, people), to justify keeping UT2004 on your hard drive for a long, long time.
  24. This is the multiplayer action game that offers something for everyone--even those who prefer playing offline, since the UT bots are better than ever and are still the best in the business...No other multiplayer-focused action game has this much to offer.
  25. Onslaught alone makes this game a must by for all the fans out there. If you are an online gamer and looking for the very best death match game out there today, there is no better, more polished game out there.
  26. It's the new team-centred gameplay modes - the return of an old favourite particularly - and the introduction of driveable vehicles that make this such an exciting and important addition to the Unreal lineage...It offers just about all you could ever want in a first-person shooter - and just a smidge more. [PC Zone]
  27. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that it’s the best pure online FPS ever made.
  28. The huge assortment of high-tech weaponry and the variety of modes, coupled with the superiority of the Unreal technology, rightfully places UT 2004 amongst high-ranking online action games.
  29. If you want “twitch action” then this really is it. Unreal Tournament 2004 has an insane amount of content.
  30. You could quite literally configure a different game of Unreal Tournament 2004 for every day of your life. Each map can be played either online or with bots. Online play is, as ever, greatly preferable, but the bots seem the cleverest to date and can provide an enjoyable challenge.
  31. Eventually I had to venture online, and the first sounds I heard (no lie) were "Oh yeah, you f******, I am the mother-f******'s s***!" It turns out UT 2004 has built-in voice support, and as easy as it is to set up, it's mercifully easy to turn off. [June 2004, p.79]
  32. If you're looking for perhaps the best multiplayer experience ever created in the history of the industry, this is definitely the game for you.
  33. It's hard to find any real fault in Unreal Tournament 2004.
  34. It's been a while since the community has had a good fleshy Deathmatch game to sink their teeth into, and UT2004 is exactly that and so much more. It just feels like the right game at precisely the right time.
  35. Marrying the best elements of traditional UT with "Halo," "Tribes II" and a bit of the "Battlefield" series, the game serves up intricate, breakneck battles at blinding speeds.
  36. Epic has created the mother of all first-person shooters with this game - over a hundred maps, a selection of diverse and extremely well balanced game modes, built in voice communications, intelligent bots, a great offline play mode, good network code, a superb server browser and a solid graphics engine. Onslaught alone is worth the price of entry, but the game as a whole is a stunning package.
  37. Without doubt the ultimate release in the Unreal series. Smooth gameplay, great graphics, and mountains of content. Epic has released a game that may well be able to dominate the online gaming scene for the next couple of years.
  38. Those who do most of their gaming alone may well prefer "Far Cry," but as far as multiplayer shooters go, this is the best game on the market, and well worth a gander.
  39. Much more than a mere upgrade, Unreal Tournament 2004 brings more depth to the frag-fest with more weapons, vehicles, maps and opportunities for team-based strategy.
  40. 90
    It's a brilliant collage of smooth, polished gameplay, solid netcode, unadulterated diversity, and a frenetic pacing few games can rival.
  41. While UT2K4 does mark the current high-water mark in FPS shooters with its innovative game play modes, and the addition of Onslaught really does seal the deal for me, there’s not a huge amount here that’s revolutionary… it’s just a really solid FPS game, well executed.
  42. Unreal Tournament 2004 achieves that near impossible task in video gaming: It appeals to every online shooter fan without making compromises in quality.
  43. Unreal Tournament 2004 might be the superior product, but "Battlefield Vietnam" is the better game. [June 2004, p.73]
  44. The retail version of UT2k4 works on both Windows and Linux, with a Mac version of the game also available. This is something that I personally wish more companies would do with their games.
  45. Note to Epic: just give us more unique Onslaught maps – and new vehicles for them – and we’ll happily keep playing. But keep churning out endless samey maps and it’s back to "Battlefield" and "PlanetSide" for us.
  46. The improvements are so varied, polished and deep to make any devotee of the game consider upgrading. In fact, its range is extensive enough to make those who turned their nose up at the business-as-usual nature of UT2003 come storming back. [May 2004, p.98]
  47. You'll be hard-pressed to find a white-knuckle, multiplayer-focused FPS more intense than UT2004 any time this year. [June 2004, p.87]
  48. If you've ever so much as seen an Unreal Tournament game, you'll know what to expect here and, thanks to the addition of vehicles, modes and maps galore, this clearly represents the culmination of genre evolution thus far. [May 2004, p.108]
User Score
8.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 383 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 97
  2. Negative: 4 out of 97
  1. Oct 9, 2010
    10
    Addictive.Like no other.
  2. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    This game is the best video game I have ever played by far. It is definitely the perfect multiplayer shooter in just about every way. In case you are wondering why I think this game is so awesome, let's start with the gameplay. This game is not the usual class-based FPS like Team Fortress 2 or Battlefield. It is actually similar to earlier games such as John Romero's Doom or Quake in which there are no classes, and everyone can have the same weapons. This is a very good system, as it means that no units can overpower another, and no one has any real advantage or disadvantage. This is a very good system, and I only wish more shooters followed that trend nowadays. The rest of the gameplay is separated into different modes. There is Deathmatch, which pits everyone against each other in a free-for-all, where people have to score the most points in order to win. There is also Team Deathmatch, which is similar to normal Deathmatch, but now pits two teams against each other, rather than a free-for-all. There is also Capture the Flag, which has the straight-forward goal of capturing the enemy team's flag while defending your own. Then there is assault, which is a unique mode that pits two teams against each other with one on offense, and the other on defense. The offense needs to complete its objectives before time runs out, while defense needs to prevent them from doing so. The teams then switch, and the new offensive team has to beat the opposing team's time. There is also onslaught which takes people out of the large corridors of normal Unreal Tournament games, and takes them into full-scale battles in which you need to destroy the enemy team's power core to win. Then there is mutant mode, where once a player scores a kill, he becomes a mutant, and thus the target of the other players. The mutant is an overpowered unit, and is hard to kill. There is also invasion, which involves three players fighting for survival against wave after wave of enemies. Finally, there is last man standing, which is like Deathmatch, but each player now has limited lives, and once they lose those lives, they're out. These are all very creative modes, and they ensure that you will not get tired of the game very easily. This game also has great graphics. Admittedly they were much better back when this game was released in 2004, (they are dated by today's standards), however, I still say they're great nonetheless. As for the story, it's very simplistic. You make a character, and have him complete in every event in the Unreal Tournament. Even though the story is simplistic however, it is still very good. After all, this game doesn't need a massive storyline to be awesome. The story of this game is definitely good enough to get the job done, and that's all that really matters. Overall, I'd say that this game is excellent. There is really nothing wrong with this game in the slightest. It has amazing gameplay with silky smooth controls, great graphics, and a great story. If you do not have this game, for goodness sake, you need to buy it now! It is cheap on Steam, or you can get this game, along with the Unreal Deal Pack (includes this plus all of the Unreal games in one package) for the price of a newly released game. Heck, buy the whole package if you really want to. All of the games on there are excellent. Full Review »
  3. Sep 5, 2012
    8
    If you fancy a fast paced multi-player FPS, this this your game. Not much to say, this game was a blast online and some of the battles are down-right intense! I switched between this and Counter-Strike 1.6 back in the day, both were equally fun and rewarding in their own sense. Like I said, this game is not for everybody, but if you can handle the action you'll have yourself a good time. Full Review »