Mixed or average reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 50
  2. Negative: 4 out of 50
Buy On
  1. 72
    Certainly a disappointing release in one of the most fun and refreshing franchises we've seen anytime lately. It's fun, but it doesn't hold a candle to the previous two releases.
  2. There are certainly some bona fide '80s showstoppers on this expansion, but all told, this is Guitar Hero II with a coat of neon paint and half as much content.
  3. Just like the title states, this is Guitar Hero “Encore.” Another great performance from last year’s tour.
  4. Yes, this fresh batch of tunes will help with the wait until the holiday rush of "Guitar Hero III" and "Rock Band." Those who are hoping for a new load of unlockables to shoot for are out of luck. [Aug 2007, p.97]
  5. Rocks the 80's is a .5 version of a great game, released just months before the next full-fledged sequel.
  6. Rocks the 80's is not worth retail price, and I'm unhappy to see the turns that are happening with the franchise.
  7. There's really nothing new here. It is truly just GH2 with a garish color scheme, some different character models, 30 new songs and nothing else. It feels incredibly bare, but as a song pack, it stands up surprisingly well.
  8. 70
    Rocks the 80s feels like it was slapped together with as minimal an effort as possible. A $50 price tag only adds insult to injury, as it's arguable whether it's even worth half that price.
  9. One for 80's obsessives (you know who you are...) and die-hard GH fanatics only.
  10. $50 for 30 songs actually feels more like $50 for ten to twelve decent tracks—not a good deal in any decade. Like, totally bogus, dude.
  11. 80
    If you're just looking for new songs to play, you should probably just wait for more downloadable tracks to hit the 360 version.
  12. Games Master UK
    Still brilliant to play, but it feels more like a new mini tracklist than a proper sequel. [Oct 2007, p.83]
  13. 75
    This is basically Guitar Hero II with a new set of songs. That means you get all of its improvements, from practice mode to cooperative two-player jams with one person on lead and the other on bass or rhythm guitar. But that also begs the question: Why does this need to be a full-price title?
  14. In spite of all these shortcomings, this is still Guitar Hero and the formula still works - this remains one of the best games ever for anyone who has ever thought even for one second that it would be cool to be a rock star (i.e.: everyone). Just be sure to check out the song list if you weren't around to hear this stuff the first time.
  15. Guitar Hero Encore: Rock the 80’s would have been a much better installment in the franchise had it been priced as an expansion or offered more content to justify the high sticker price.
  16. games(TM)
    As with previous games, these songs do mostly turn out to be quite good fun to play even if they’re not so great to listen to. [Sept 2007, p.124]
  17. Considering it contains less than two thirds of the number of songs offered in Guitar Hero II, it really should have been at least $10 cheaper.
  18. 60
    With the ridiculous amount of eccentric music that was considered “mainstream” back in the decade of decadence, it’s a shame Rocks the 80s sticks so closely to one main genre. Even more disappointing, though, is that the whole thing feels like a total cash-in; like the yearly iteration of a sports game that no one put any major effort into.
  19. It's not a bad game by any means, but it is a disappointing game that simply doesn't live up to its potential.
  20. More of a stopgap for GH junkies. Don't expect it to hold you over for long.
  21. AceGamez
    I don't care how much it hurts to say it, but I'm dropping out of this 'bonus' tour. There is no way I can stand up on stage and pretend to have fun playing Shakin', Radar Love and all the other bogus songs you put in front of a sold-out crowd who had no idea just what they were buying into.
  22. Pelit (Finland)
    Has maybe the most entertaining song list yet in any Guitar Hero game, but unfortunately they are all too easy to play even on the hardest difficulty setting. The price tag for only a 30 song upgrade is a bit hefty, too. Still, it is fun for a sudden bout of 80s nostalgia. [Sept 2007]
  23. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Even scalpers don't get full ticket price for the encore. [Sept 2007, p.96]
  24. This disappointment will be amplified for many gamers by the fact that the game retails for the same price as Guitar Hero II. You get less than half the tracks, fewer characters, no costume changes, and fewer arenas for the same price.
  25. 80
    It's absolutely worth it to breathe new life into Guitar Hero II. Because there's nothing quite so exhilarating as facing down a whole long list of new Guitar Hero songs to unlock, learn, practice, and perfect.
  26. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    The unavoidable truth is that this tracklist simply isn't as strong as those in the previous games. [Oct 2007, p.106]
  27. Who would’ve thought there would ever be day when a new Guitar Hero release would be met with such a tepid response? Maybe it’s the price, maybe it’s the looming threat of Rock Band, but at the end of the day, Rocks the 80’s fails to excite.
  28. Once again, Guitar Hero makes us appreciate rock music more than ever before.
  29. Play UK
    Making a big thing out of it would have been a good idea. [Issue#157, p.80]
  30. PSM Magazine
    That said, GH Encore is a great game that's just as fun to play as GH1 and 2, and although it's not for everybody, if you're an '80s fan it's absolutely worth the price of admission. [Sept 2007, p.72]
  31. Not only does "Guitar Hero II" feature ten more songs, but Encore copies off its predecessor, retaining its venues, characters (they feature 80s style) and the loading screen. For $49.99, we expected more than just a simple expansion pack.
  32. If you’re looking to spend some money on new Guitar Hero and you’re expecting something more substantial, Guitar Hero III is only a few months away and may very be worth saving the money for a full-fledged sequel.
  33. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Despite the dodgy tunes and questionable hair styles it's worth the cash for fans, if only to keep your strum skills strong until "Legends of Rock." [Oct 2007, p.85]
  34. Well, the Guitar Hero tips have said that you shouldn’t save your best material in hopes of an encore, so I guess they follow their own advice, at least.
  35. With Harmonix moving on to the extremely ambitious Rock Band and Neversoft taking over the Guitar Hero reigns, it’s sad to see the series’ creators bow out of their own creation with such a purposefully half-arsed effort.
  36. Here's a dumb idea: rushing an expansion by regurgitating nearly all of the original game and delivering minimal compelling content. Here's a dumber one: charing $10 more than normal so unsuspecting consumers will pad your fiscal third quarter.
  37. The fact that Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s has nothing more, and in some cases, less content than the previous titles, while still charging the same price, is the problem here.
  38. A great concept and it really should have been a great title. But with a poor track list and a front end that implies even Activision views this as a cheap cash in, how can we view it as anything else?
  39. netjak
    I could see a couple of dedicated Guitar Hero fans picking this up purely for completeness’ sake. But beyond that, it should be avoided. It’s just too much for too little good stuff.
  40. The game is definitely a just enough to tide you over until Guitar Hero III ships, but for millions of fans, that’s quite enough.
  41. 65
    To use a musical analogy, rather than a true third album from a great band Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s feels far more like an unnecessary b-side compilation pushed out to fulfil a record company contract.
  42. With no additional songs and a steep price tag, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks The 80s is a disappointment of The Spaghetti Incident? proportions.
  43. 50
    My final advice to you is twofold. One, save your money and play the entire game at your local retailers (it's that easy by the way) or two, pick up some stuff by the bands I've mentioned, learn from them and start your own band, for real.
  44. You'll play through the songs once and then go back to playing Guitar Hero II while waiting for Guitar Hero III to come out.
  45. While Guitar Hero is still one of the best games of recent years, this cash grab of a psuedo-sequel does no favours to the franchise or to '80s music.
  46. If you’re a hardcore Guitar Hero fanatic and money and value are of no issue to you, then by all means pick up this expansion pack. Anyone else though should be advised to wait until the price drops down to a reasonable level.
  47. The 80’s edition is more of the same, more songs yet same Guitar Hero II. If you’re a fan of the game this will delight you, if you are a fan of 80’s rock music you might be left with a bad taste in your mouth. Either way there is enough material here to keep your amps warm until the inevitable Guitar Hero III.
  48. What we’ve got here is a stripped down version of a great game. It’s nothing short of a complete re-hash, but in the case of Guitar Hero that’s not necessarily a huge problem.
  49. The main criticism of Encore is that it has less than half the songs that Guitar Hero II does even though it costs just as much. This is admittedly shamefully stingy, but since I hated two-thirds of the songs in Guitar Hero II and liked the majority of those in Encore, I easily prefer the latter.
  50. 90
    It's a lot of (very familiar) fun, but like an overpriced concert t-shirt, there's no escaping the feeling that it's not quite the value it looked when enthusiasm had free reign over your wallet.

Awards & Rankings

#5 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#19 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 21
  2. Negative: 8 out of 21
  1. Sep 23, 2013
    The songs are great. WaveGroup made the their covers sound just a good. The only thing I dislike is that the game cost $50. So, go to GamestopThe songs are great. WaveGroup made the their covers sound just a good. The only thing I dislike is that the game cost $50. So, go to Gamestop and find one that is cheap as $20. Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2013
    What the is this?? This game is REALLY contagious WHEN I PLAYED!! AND HAS SEVERAL NEGATIVE? Really I am speechless. It's amazing how peopleWhat the is this?? This game is REALLY contagious WHEN I PLAYED!! AND HAS SEVERAL NEGATIVE? Really I am speechless. It's amazing how people do not like this game, I'm wordless now. Full Review »
  3. CaroleMitchell
    Jul 12, 2008
    After playing Rock Band, Guitar Hero rock the 80's was a huge disappointment! With the number of interactive options and songs for RockAfter playing Rock Band, Guitar Hero rock the 80's was a huge disappointment! With the number of interactive options and songs for Rock Band, not to mention that Rock Band now costs about the same as guitar hero to buy the entire band set and game as it does to purchase the two guitar hero guitars and the game you would be nuts to spend any money on any of the guitar hero games. Just buy Rock Band, at least you can keep changing and adding songs to your playlist for the same game rather than having to buy another fifty dollar game which may or may not have songs that you want. Face it Guitar Hero is washed up, make way for the entire band! Full Review »