Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 48 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 48
  2. Negative: 0 out of 48
Buy On
  1. 73
    An entertaining little dungeon-romp, if you aren’t a wizened Snowblind gamer.
  2. There's a whole new story, working multiplayer, thousands of new items, new mini-games and sidequests, new classes to play, and the ability to play evil and good plot paths. On the other side of the coin is gameplay that most of us have seen before, following the same formula, and not taking any real chances in the process.
  3. Personally, I had fun with Return to Arms, despite its flaws… until the end. I won’t spoil anything, but after 20 hours, one would expect more than the anticlimax at the end of the journey.
  4. A solid game, but largely derivative. Pick it up if you haven't played the first.
  5. A mediocre follow-up to the original Champions of Norrath. Good, but not $50 worth of good.
  6. games(TM)
    70
    The almost endless number of weapon, item and location combinations created by its randomly generated environments means you’ll never quite know what lies ahead, while the quest-led action and multiplayer functionality - particularly online - are compelling enough to keep you hooked for hours. [Apr 2005, p.108]
  7. 70
    Comes up short in a number of ways. Would you really notice a big difference between playing the last game again on a higher difficulty and running through the new one with your eyes half-closed? That's the $50 question, and it's one that unfortunately must be answered in the negative.
  8. This is definitely a genre that needs some serious reinventing.
  9. 70
    The players who'll get the most out of Return to Arms are those who didn't play the last game, and perhaps even gamers who haven't touched a hack-and-slash since "Gauntlet."
  10. As I paraded through the areas killing similar tiny enemies over and over (even the "big" monsters don't intimidate), it took forever to find any exciting rare items to wield. Without those incentives, things got monotonous. [March 2005, p.123]
  11. 65
    An improvement over Champions of Norrath, but just doesn't do enough to separate itself from the other games which have preceded it.
  12. Edge Magazine
    60
    Ironically, it’s people who haven’t played Champions rather than veterans who could find the most to like, given that it’s a year’s worth of tweaks and polish on that game’s largely positive foundation. [Apr 2005, p.105]
  13. New spells and powers don’t mean much once you hop into the game’s single-player campaign, as the action is still mash, mash, mash, mash. The level design is just as it has always been, meaning twisting labyrinth after twisting labyrinth filled with hordes of mindless enemies.
  14. But there's hardly anything new here. The plot is paper-thin, and lacks a driving sense of humor or drama to keep you interested. The game-play is just as basic as it's ever been, and frankly, if you've played any of its predecessors, you've slashed and spellcast just this way a million times before.

Awards & Rankings

63
62
#62 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
40
#40 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. JoshB.
    May 11, 2005
    10
    Best rpg game ever!
  2. IvanF.
    Feb 24, 2005
    8
    Yeah, its basically the same game, but it is fun to play. The side quests and the option to return to planes that have been completed are a Yeah, its basically the same game, but it is fun to play. The side quests and the option to return to planes that have been completed are a welcome addition. Return to Arms would have received a 9 if there were not an annoying bug in the very last boss fight. I simply could not rotate the camera without the game being stuck. Other than that, I am very satisfied that Sony and Snowblind have enhanced one of my favorite games. I am about to beat the Return to Arms for the second time to raise my character's level to 80. Full Review »
  3. Dec 27, 2012
    10
    Absolutely love this game! The story is a little weak but the game play beats any hack and slash dungeon crawler ever made. It looksAbsolutely love this game! The story is a little weak but the game play beats any hack and slash dungeon crawler ever made. It looks beautiful and moves quick enough that it's impossible to get bored and put down the controller I wish developers would make more games like this one. Plus there is nothing more fun than having a friend over or 3 for some excellent co-op action. A PC port or remake would be nice with controller support. This game made be buy a PS2 again just for this game. Full Review »