• Publisher: Midway
  • Release Date: Sep 27, 2004

Generally favorable reviews - based on 49 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 49
  2. Negative: 0 out of 49
  1. Shadow Hearts is not a short game by any means, as it will take normal gamers anywhere from thirty to forty hours to complete.
  2. A rock-solid Role-Playing Game with a moving story, believable characters, and loads of great humor that keep it from dragging you down...Hands-down the definitive role-playing experience for the PlayStation 2.
  3. A lengthy, two-disc tale with all the sidequesting most people could ever want, Shadow Hearts: Covenant took me nearly 40 hours start to finish. And yet, after all that I still wanted to keep playing, yet another sign of greatness.
  4. Not only is it the best RPG I’ve played this year; it is a serious contender for Game of the Year in my opinion.
  5. I haven’t played an RPG this good since "Dark Cloud 2." It’s so polished and ingenious that it’s a wonder that Midway hasn’t put more marketing muscle behind it. Make no mistake, this is the best RPG to come out this year and may very well be the best RPG to come out for quite some time.
  6. All I can say is WOW! This game is amazing! Shadow Hearts: Covenant is in my opinion one of the best RPG to hit the scene this year.
  7. It just works; it combines a challenging combat system with likeable characters and a unique setting to create a truly excellent game. Covenant is easily a contender for the title of best RPG on the PS2.
  8. 93
    It's been a long time since I've played an RPG this engrossing in terms of story and yet was still fun to play after 35+ hours. Shadow Hearts: Covenant is one of those rare games that you simply don't want to end.
  9. An exceedingly enjoyable RPG that’s both captivating and addictive enough to keep fans of the genre more than satisfied.
  10. Offers a nice twist on the role-playing genre, blending a fascinating and darkly brooding plot with the occasional and very bizarre dark humor while throwing in an interesting twist to the genre’s weakest point –fighting.
  11. 91
    I had just experienced one of the best role-playing games this year...The battle system is great, the characters are awesome, the storyline is among the best of the year, and the presentation is top-notch.
  12. Easily one of the most refreshingly original adventures to grace the PS2 to date. Elements conspire to create a well-rounded and enjoyable gaming experience that will keep you entertained for all of its 40-odd hours and aside from the odd annoying section (being forced to use underpowered characters early in the second disc, for instance), there really isn't anything stopping this being one of the best RPGs due out this year.
  13. 90
    With splendid visuals, new fighting innovations, and a snappy sense of humor that anyone can comprehend, Shadow Hearts: Covenant dazzles you every step of the way. [Nov 2004, p.156]
  14. It's really a no-brainer for RPG fans even with the genre being so crowded this season. Personally, I put Shadow Hearts Covenant in my top three RPGs this generation.
  15. Ridiculously good. With a stacked roster of fun personalities, a wicked sense of humor that never lets up, and a vast, captivating quest, the words "epic" and "engaging" don't really do this one justice. [Nov 2004, p.78]
  16. Yet again the Shadow Hearts series delivers, and really you’d be a fool not to try out this original and captivating series. As for now this is the finest RPG on the Playstation 2.
  17. It’s old-school and traditional, but has gameplay depth unique to it, and a wicked sense of humor that will keep you going without fear of falling into the melodrama trap.
  18. Only the best elements have been preserved and put to good use to continue the series. Covenant gives us great characters, a unique and fun to use combat system and a storyline that takes on a life of its own.
  19. Covenant’s quirky charm, nifty battle system and likeable characters comprise a noteworthy RPG and its strange yet satisfying story sets it apart from other, similar RPG titles.
  20. 90
    Its style is like no other, and the mechanics behind battles are rock solid.
  21. 90
    It is unique, addictive, funny, well-written, and above all, memorable.
  22. 90
    It features everything that makes a great RPG great, and offers a lot more that many don't. Shadow Hearts: Covenant is one of the unexpected surprises of the year.
  23. The judgement ring fighting system and the semi-realistic surroundings are the major high points. [Apr. 05]
  24. Had the comedy not fallen so flat and completely undermined what is otherwise a great story to follow, I seriously would have considered this as a personal RPG of the Year contender for last year seeing that the gameplay is just as fun as any RPG that came out in 2004.
  25. Luckily, the adventure and the Judgment Ring aspect of combat lend themselves to a quality title that's sure to be a nice change of pace for those who love Final Fantasy.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. WalterN.
    Jan 3, 2007
    Simply the best RPG I've played. The FMVs and the story is near unmatched by most of today's new animes on all consoles. The Simply the best RPG I've played. The FMVs and the story is near unmatched by most of today's new animes on all consoles. The gameplay is also very unique. Xenogears still remains the best ever. Full Review »
  2. KatyG.
    Feb 14, 2006
    Awsome!I love it! I am trying to fight the jellyfish thing so I can get the book thing. But this game is just cool!
  3. Nov 11, 2013
    One of my favorite RPGs of all time. Story is great. Wide range of characters. I don't believe I've ever enjoyed a story so much. TheyOne of my favorite RPGs of all time. Story is great. Wide range of characters. I don't believe I've ever enjoyed a story so much. They added quite a bit of comedy with some characters. Battle system is more than just clicking through menus. Makes the battle system engaging and entertaining. There are options to increase or decrease some functions of the battle system for those who want more or less of a challenge. Monster design in the Shadow Hearts games are amazing. Creepy monsters all with lore. Plenty of side quests, and difficult battles for completionists. Full Review »