Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. 90
    Pandemic's packed the game full of well-coded smoke and explosion effects, and seeing a bomb sortie work its way across an enemy compound is almost a thing of majesty. Bring a tear to your eye, it will. It's this unwavering feeling of exhilaration that separates Mercenaries from the other "free-roaming" ripoffs.
  2. 100
    The replay value of this game is huge, with hundreds of things to find, do and complete. Since all the contracts can be beaten in dozens of different ways, the fun factor in replaying the game just goes up and up, plus there are more than three different characters to do it with.
  3. The new added tag line of Playground of Destruction fits perfectly. It's just a huge area to destroy; yet it offers the gamer so much more. With a great story, decent characters and several mini-missions this one has it all.
  4. The sandbox nature and tight, polished gameplay make this one of the first games in 2005 you should play.
  5. The game oozes atmosphere, from the Russian propaganda blaring out of the loudspeakers to the eerily empty war-torn streets. [PSW]
  6. Although not necessarily its core mechanic, few things are more satisfying in Mercenaries than blowing crap up, and the enormous variety of methods with which you can do that makes it an absolute joy to play... The first truly great game of 2005. [Feb 2005, p.101]
  7. It has lived up to the hype and that's no mean feat when you consider that it's been billed as GTA War. Only the lack of total freedom and iffy handling hold it back. [PSM2]
  8. Dense with explosive content that satisfies on a fundamental level. Of the games that have tried to borrow the Grand Theft Auto style of play, Mercenaries is one of the most successful.
  9. 90
    I can't remember the last time I played a game in which I wondered whether something could be done, and nine times out of ten it actually could be, whether it's calling in an airstrike on a lone soldier or jacking a helicopter from the sky. Blowing stuff has never been this fun, or this satisfying.
  10. A rare gem that surpasses expectations and stands as an extremely fun and engaging action game.
  11. Combining hardcore action gaming with a grand environment and an intense feeling throughout... A crucial title that needs to be experienced to be truly believed.
  12. PS2 fans: I imagine you’re just about done with "San Andreas" these days. If there’s not already enough blood on your hands, it’s time to head to North Korea. They have air strikes there.
  13. 91
    A wild ride of pure action and destruction. It's a long, deep game that continues to deliver on its promise (it's marketed with the tagline "playground of destruction") with an unending amount of military might, muscle, and variation.
  14. One of the most impressive aspects is despite the numerous simultaneous explosions, the frame rate doesn't skip a beat, which is a rarity in the genre.
  15. Enjoy all the fun of free-roaming warfare. And get paid for it! [Jan 2007, p.106]
  16. I'm sure its stunning presentation and ambitious structure will surprise you. I hope they do a sequel. [Feb 2005, p.78]
  17. Gameplay aside, Mercenaries is loaded with tons of unlockables such as the ability to play as Indiana Jones, as well as opening up new vehicles and weapons (like the portable airstrike). Now how cool is that?
  18. 90
    Running missions for the factions is compelling enough, but the real fun comes from hunting down the Deck of 52—the 52 baddest guys in the game. The first handful totally roll over with their Christmas hams in the air, but the latter guys will leave you begging for sweet, sweet mercy.
  19. While it's not quite as epic as "GTA:SA," the combat within Mercenaries is more focused and polished, thanks to tight controls, amazing graphics and clever physics.
  20. Creativity can be one of the deadliest weapons in your arsenal in this free-form third-person shooter. Playing with toy soldiers was never this fun.
  21. A fun and truly enormous action game based around that most perfect of gaming goals: blowing up anything that so much as thinks at you funny.
  22. The biggest, pervasive plus of Mercenaries is the raw, gleeful destruction options open to you. This is exactly the kind of stuff your parents don't like about video games.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 46
  2. Negative: 1 out of 46
  1. kieranH
    Jul 6, 2008
    9
    A fantastic game and is a great alternative to gta, infact its better in my opinion. I spend half my time during the game just blowing up NK A fantastic game and is a great alternative to gta, infact its better in my opinion. I spend half my time during the game just blowing up NK soldiers and cars with all sorts of weapons and t if u need help during the game use a airstrike to blow the crap out of it . Heaps of replay value. u can even hijack helicopters!!! Full Review »
  2. PjotrK.
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    Huge game. Always nice to see a very playable and enjoyable game, especially when it gives lots of missions for the money. How many games are Huge game. Always nice to see a very playable and enjoyable game, especially when it gives lots of missions for the money. How many games are out there that give you the task to hunt down 52 baddies and on top of that give you another 32 missions? And if that isn't enough to entice you.... don't forget that you not only can drive anything, fly the helicopters but can destroy anything, vehicles, buildings, bridges. Anything, except trees. I've just tried "battlefield 2: modern combat" and although it is much younger it doesn't allow that and that really detracts from the realism and enjoyment. Are their games that are more realistic? Sure. Are there games that have better graphics? Sure. Is it silly that you're character can't stand water or that the trees are undistructable. Ofcourse. But you'll be hard pressed to find any game in it's genre that give you that much enjoyment for that much time. Full Review »
  3. Mar 14, 2014
    9
    I incredibly enjoyed Mercenaries due to the Open World experience only before seen in Grand Theft Auto. The thought that there are otherI incredibly enjoyed Mercenaries due to the Open World experience only before seen in Grand Theft Auto. The thought that there are other things than the main story was mind-blowing when I first played it, having not played any Grand Theft Auto game at that time. The dynamic environment was what sealed the deal for me. The ability to blow up buildings, hijack helicopters and call in airstrikes? This game was amazing!

    The only reason this is a 9 and not 10 is because there were a few annoying Glitches I found in the game.
    Full Review »