Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. 85
    Unless you seriously have a thing for turn-based combat and having to really work for your progress, the game isn't for you. But if you do, Gladius is one of the better examples of the genre on the system.
  2. It’s an interesting outing into the world of strategy RPGs, with quite a bit of depth to the gameplay and very nice visuals, but if you are a long time player of these sorts of games you may find the title a tad on the easy side.
  3. Replay value abounds in Gladius, and when combined with the great presentation and the intense and varied gameplay, I would say this game has it all. Hail Caesar.
  4. Tremendously deep warrior-customization options and rich strategy elements make Gladius absolutely worthwhile and fun, but prepare to invest serious time. [Dec 2003, p.185]
  5. Easily one of the deepest games I’ve played in a long time.
  6. 40
    If you're already wary of Japanese strategy RPGs, then be sure to stay even further away from Gladius. It's got as many menus, and its battles are slower and less rewarding. LucasArts clearly tried to make everything look and feel good, but Gladius is ultimately done in by the leaden gameplay.
  7. Gladius is not for the faint of heart – it demands attention to detail and a willingness on the part of the player to listen to instructions and take time to learn the ropes. Players looking for a Golden Axe-like hack and slash venture will soon find themselves buried in instructions on power ups, tournaments, and character statistics and should probably look elsewhere.
  8. It's not the prettiest game in the world, but it's certainly one of the most captivating. From the entertaining action to the depth of play, it has all the makings of a bona fide classic. [Oct 2003, p.116]
  9. If you’re looking for a game with a ton of depth, replayability and a solid storyline, look no further. Gladius is stockpiled with a ton of features that will appease everyone from the beginning adventurer to the hardcore strategist.
  10. Many action-oriented gamers arena’t going to like this game at all, but you strategy buffs will be pleased that Gladius is such a strong contender, because you really don’t have any other options. There are no other games like it.
  11. 60
    The actual gameplay of Gladius is innovative, but the execution is just as slow as the story telling.
  12. A brave game that deserves recognition. Gladius rises above its initial shortcomings and delivers a lengthy and enjoyable experience. [Dec 2003, p.112]
  13. At the heart of this game is an interesting and well-thought-out combat system, and there are so many viable combinations of characters and skills to experiment with that this game could easily keep you busy for much longer than most games do these days.
  14. 90
    With its epic storylines, hundreds of combat scenarios, and open-ended structure, Gladius is one of the deepest games of the year. If you play strategy/RPGs because you're an anime fan, Gladius will bore you; if you play them because they're fun, Gladius will obsess you.
  15. May not be long on unique game play, but it does have incredible depth and an intriguing immersive story.
  16. A great-looking, incredibly deep and satisfying combat role playing game. It's complicated and has a steep "getting started" curve, but the investment of patience pays off.
  17. Like most strategy-RPGs, it's a lot to bite off at once, but it's a fine game for players who know what they're getting into. [Dec 2003, p.86]
  18. 80
    A wide range of attack options, character customizations, tactics, and battle requirements put fresh faces on what would otherwise be a repetitive match structure. Most importantly, the swing meter is just enough action to stave off the usual turn-based boredom.
  19. 80
    Due to the controlled nature of the game, the battles and leveling system are very tight and logical. It's the perfect game for a cold winter's day inside, and it can be played almost forever. If you want to know what the world “epic” means, then just go ahead and play Gladius.
  20. I am happy to say that the strong point of Gladius is its’ game play.
  21. All of this solid gameplay combines with two well-scripted stories to keep you playing for hours at a time (anywhere from 50 to 100 per quest). [Nov 2003, p.130]
  22. There's an aura of nobility, barbarism and mysticism at work here that places you in the world and makes you care about the characters, and that's what it's all about. [Nov 2003, p.72]
  23. As a completely turn-based RPG with heavy strategy elements, Gladius's incredibly deliberate pace will try all but the most hardcore RPG'er's patience. Still, if you give it a chance, there's a lot to love. [Dec 2003, p.50]
  24. This unusual marriage of strategy and RPG (regardless of how inconsequential Gladius' storyline actually is) manages to work despite an acute lack of polish in the graphics (mostly blocky and undetailed with few exceptions) and the somewhat-huge interface (lots of variables to keep track of).
  25. This one certainly needs to be sexed up if it wants to be taken off the shelf.
  26. Offers strategy RPG fans a long, satisfying romp through the perils and profound implications of ancient gladiatorial conflict. Those who can overlook the slow, plodding pace of the game's navigational system will surely find hours upon hours of entertainment.
  27. While Gladius isn't going to convert haters of RPGs or turn-based strategy, it's got the same hard-to-define addictive hook as its older peers, "FFT" and "Tactics Ogre."
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Jul 29, 2013
    This is a classic title in my eyes. Could not fathom the time lost in the wonderful story and game play The sheer amount of unit selectionThis is a classic title in my eyes. Could not fathom the time lost in the wonderful story and game play The sheer amount of unit selection and level design was incredible considering it was one of PS2's first games. It really is a shame this game has not been remastered and ported to PC And to any ambitious developers out there, GET A SEQUEL DONE!!! Long live Nordagh! Full Review »
  2. AdamC.
    Aug 24, 2007
    The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that the gameplay eventually got a bit old. Still, it was a tremendous value, and I wish they The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is that the gameplay eventually got a bit old. Still, it was a tremendous value, and I wish they would make a sequel. Full Review »
  3. Morgan
    May 3, 2005
    Possibly the best game I have ever played, great replay, great engine, low price.