Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 58
  2. Negative: 1 out of 58
Buy On
  1. 88
    It's something action role-playing game fans looking for an experience more up-close and brutal than genre entries of the third-person variety should have a blast with, and one of the more memorable products of 2009.
  2. Fun combat and a steady flow of rewards make this journey a massively enjoyable one, especially with some fellow mercenaries along for the ride.
  3. Co-op is a blast, the variety of weaponry lends an addictive quality to the game that's rarely seen, and it maintains a distinct sense of humor and personality. It's a long-lasting experience that manages to stay fresh throughout, and the ability to easily jump into a friend's game at any time only lengthens the appeal of an already stellar title.
  4. A deep and engaging, RPG-shooter hybrid that needs to be played to be fully appreciated.
  5. The multiplayer aspect gives it a lot of longevity, which is supplemented with New Game+ features as well. Mission variety is decent and enemies are well varied within their types, although the most addictive part of the game's missions will be the underlying RPG elements that allow further customization and adjustments throughout the length of the title.
  6. The handful of statistical attributes add more of an investment behind every bullet, and when coupled with compelling co-op, Borderlands' seamless take on the FPS/RPG hybrid is sure to keep more than a few wasteland warriors fighting for survival through Pandora's many days and nights.
  7. 80
    The accessible nature of Borderlands -- with its relatively non-punitive deaths, constant checkpoints, and convenient fast-travel systems -- makes it a fantastic game for introducing FPS fans to some basic RPG tropes. And, most importantly, the killing and looting never ceases to be fun.
  8. Even with its technical drawbacks, Borderlands is a shooter for people who want something a little more engaging. It will remind you of every FPS you’ve enjoyed over the last few years, stealing bits of brilliance here and there to make its own enthralling experience.
  9. 86
    Original, visually attractive and unique, Borderlands won't leave anyone indifferent and will be a treasure for those who enjoy its innovative style.
  10. 90
    This game has single-handedly stolen my soul since it arrived at my doorstep and I find myself needing to level up once a night, much like my wife and her World of Warcraft addiction.
  11. 83
    Call it a first-person Diablo, an evolution of Resistance 2's co-op mode, Monster Hunter for the west, or a party game for FPS gamers. Call it the best example of the transformative power of multiplayer. Whatever you designate it, Borderlands is a decent single-player FPS/RPG that simply becomes great -- when playing with others.
  12. Borderlands has been a great game. First of all we have to reward the willingness of developers to propose something different, that we dare to define original. The RPG-FPS hybrid gameplay works perfectly and playing the co-op mode online, the title takes off, ensuring many hours of fun. Combine this with its excellent graphics, in its way kind of unique too, and you'll understand the value of a fresh product, suitable for all those who love to spend their time online.
  13. 3DJuegos
    Borderlands is a pretty brilliant example of the power of genre mixtures. RPG, Shooter, Sandbox… all of them are quite simple but assembling them creates a brilliant and addictive videogame.
  14. Borderlands is a very entertaining shooter and a rather bland RPG. It rewards dedication with new guns and new things to shoot at, which is all kinds of fun for players who enjoy MMO-style progression. But if its charm and depth hadn’t been abandoned so quickly, it may have been absolutely brilliant.
  15. The bottom line here is that as true hybrid games go, Borderlands is as great a success as there has ever been.
  16. Borderlands is a ton of fun, and its massive arsenal of weapons makes it highly replayable.
  17. 82
    Are you looking for a good game which you can play online as well as offline? And do you like shooters with RPG-elements? Then Borderlands is definitely your game to buy!
  18. Borderlands is unique, it's different, and it's hard to classify. But it's not for everyone. It's not for the stereotypical CoD/Halo crowd. It's not revolutionary, but it is interesting. And, crucially, it's a hell of a lot of fun, but only, long term at least, in co-op.
  19. Packed with so much stuff to see and kill, Borderlands offers plenty of things to aim your spiffy new weapons at, all the while providing one of the best co-op experiences of the year.
  20. Borderlands mixes up RPG and shooter and this works well. Don’t expect a Fallout 3 though, because this is an entirely different product. This really feels more like a shooter at most times.
  21. Although Borderlands seemed ready to be one of the next big things, the overwhelming focus on grinding and gun-collecting can't carry the entire game, in either co-op or single-player.
  22. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    The sense of progression draws you on constantly. [Dec 2009, p.120]
  23. Despite the pre-release co-op hype, this one’s just as entertaining for solo apocalypse survivors. While I wish more dialog was delivered through animated characters, it’s hard not to be taken in by the rest of what this ambitious shooter has to offer—great visual presentation, addictive leveling and looting, frenzied gunplay, four playable classes. Oh, and Mutant Midget Psychos.
  24. Borderlands is the bastard child of Mad Max, Halo and Phantasy Star Online; and yes, I’m aware that’s three participants.
  25. Action-Role-Playing-Shooter…nuff said!
  26. Borderlands is a bit of a grind-fest, but that's part of the fun, as you take on tougher enemies and hunt for bigger and badder gear. The co-op play is integrated seamlessly, and there's a huge world to explore with friends or on your own.
  27. I timed it and it takes about a minute and a half of load time when you move from one area to the next. Like I said before though this is a stretch because each area is so large that you don’t mind because you spend so much time in the area it is worth it.
  28. For fans of loot hunting and a cooperative multiplayer experience, Borderlands will unquestionably steal their soul. Their days will be wrapped around figuring out how to put more time into Borderlands and trying to find out who they can ultimately trust as a teammate.
  29. The wow moments will come with the over-the-top gore but don’t expect system breaking visuals. However, do expect a unique style and a long adventure that will better cater for those that like to “grind” through a game.
  30. With a few more tweaks Borderlands could’ve been an essential purchase, as it stands though it may be a great game, but outside of that niche of gamers that enjoy the genre, it may find it difficult converting others.
  31. Borderlands is a perfect multiplayer RPG-Shooter that offers loot hounds hours of fun. It has its flaws, though, and its grinding sensibilities probably won't appeal to everyone.
  32. Play UK
    Worth your money if you have a friend or three to share in the experience, but less so as a solo experience. [Issue#185, p.72]
  33. If you can get past the bland visuals, there is a very deep and solid gameplay experience, overall.
  34. Borderlands gives the lonely gamer a kind of monotonous experience, but it is great when you invite some friends. The story is really thin and the world is kind of lifeless at some points. But tons of weapons, quests and the urge to level to the next stage makes the game entertaining. A solid game for those who like to play together, instead of against each other.
  35. Borderlands surprised us. We went into the experience expecting a pulse-pounding shooter with fancy cut scenes and lots of drama (no surprise, since we play more FPS on consoles than RPGs), and instead found a slower-moving and tough (but immensely rewarding) slog through a beautiful fantasy world populated by imaginative monsters and more weapons than we know what to do with.
  36. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Borderlands starts out great and only gets better from there. If you’re up for an epic, awesome and subversive good time, get your arse to Pandora and explore the Borderlands. [Dec 2009, p.72]
  37. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Pleasingly deep RPG/FPS hybrid with a few niggling flaws. [Dec 2009, p.86]
  38. Players will have a great time with the different character builds, weapons, and multiplayer squad configurations, but will also be served lackluster narrative and mission structure that temper the experience.
  39. Despite being next to nil in the story and character development side of things, the few RPG elements that are merged with a traditional FPS are so well represented that it ends up making the game insanely addictive.
  40. The bottom line is that this game is near-perfect and if you love looting then this is the game for you.
  41. Accepting Borderlands on its own terms is key to enjoying the experience. It may be a late comer but this is definitely one of the better games released in 2009.
  42. In actuality, in spite of these congruities, all of its parts are tailored toward the shooter genre, so it's not an RPG at all really, it's just a multi-layered FPS, which, to be honest, is brilliant.
  43. It's also one of those games that's so strong in parts that its shortcomings become almost glaring by comparison. As such, the game's barebones story, lackluster AI, and insufficient player trading options are real disappointments that prevent the game from reaching its full potential. But when you're frantically trying to stay alive while getting swarmed by an angry horde of gigantic spiderants, chances are you won't care much about that other stuff.
  44. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Borderlands may be a little rough around the edges, and the story is less than engaging, but the overall experience is satisfying and compelling. [Holiday 2009, p.66]
  45. With all the single-player blockbuster first person shooters on the market and even more to come, if you are looking to break away from all the loneliness and socialise with a friend or few in vast desert landscapes, Borderlands could be just for you.
  46. In most ways, Borderlands is a first-person shooter that's really designed towards RPG fans, specifically the Diablo-styled hack & slash games.
  47. Finally, a videogame with the balls to depict the generic post-apocalyptic wasteland as it really will be: utterly boring and lifeless.
  48. Really, Borderlands is like crack. But these 16 hour marathons have to stop. I have laundry and other things to attend to.
  49. Borderlands is a fantastic beginning to what will hopefully become a great franchise. While it lacks certain elements that would have made it more memorable, the sleek gameplay and beautiful graphics represent a stellar example of genres melting together, something which too often fails in execution.
  50. Overall, the game is worth the money for all those gamers who enjoy playing with a small group of friends or love looting. Still the game has various noticeable flaws which can have you caught in some pretty weird and awkward situations.
  51. A nice shooter with an entertaining coop mode, cool weapon combinations but annoying AI.
  52. Decent by yourself, fantastic with friends.
  53. 81
    A good game with an unique visual style, unique possibilities and a great atmosphere. The game has got a few annoying bugs, but besides that the game is a great experience in the single- and multiplayer.
  54. Borderlands is undoubtedly a unique experience - but one that comes with many flaws like being quite repetitive and somewhat boring, if you are not absolute into looting, grinding and playing Co-op. If you are though: This might be your sole past-time-activity for the coming months.
  55. Borderlands is a excellent title, which is a must have for fans of both FPS and RPG games.
  56. 88
    With the right blend of attitude, solid gameplay and an unapologetic focus on making a really entertaining co-op experience, Borderlands isn't just an alternative to Valve's co-op zombie-blaster this holiday season, it's really the alternative.
  57. With Borderlands, Gearbox promised us a unique gameplay in what they call RPS - Role Playing Shooter, and they also promised us a brand new visual experience with cartoon-styled graphics and stunning colors. And they delivered both. However, they didn't manage to deliver compelling story or a vibrant world full of people and amiable characters.
  58. Slick visuals and an addictive scavenging approach doesn't save Borderlands from eventually slipping into the realm of almost-great.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 456 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 456
  1. TrentR
    Dec 17, 2009
    1 hour of cool setting, 1 hour of decent gameplay, 38 hours of repetitive grinding. This isn't a game, it's a part-time job.
  2. Aug 6, 2011
    I have always enjoyed games that have a decent story. Not necessarily epic stories complete with plot twists and gasp worthy moments, but justI have always enjoyed games that have a decent story. Not necessarily epic stories complete with plot twists and gasp worthy moments, but just a narrative that helps drive the action forward. Borderlands is a game that completely lacks any sort of decent story, it even goes as far as not even having voice recordings to introduce missions to you, but rather makes you read through a passage of text which describes your task and also tries to inject some character development into these passages. This detracts from the experience for me and makes the action feel very repetitive and pointless beyond trying out your new weapon (of which there are thousands).
    Borderlands is a very interesting game in what it tries to become both visually and with regards to it's gameplay. Some will love everything about it including it's very relaxed approach to narrative as well as it's stark visual style. I, however found it tedious and lacking in direction but slightly redeemed when playing with friends either online or locally.
    Full Review »
  3. Dave
    Jan 7, 2010
    Awesome hybrid Fps. I can't to thinking about it. I'm hooked. The guns are amazing and I love how it effects enemys. If you enjoy Awesome hybrid Fps. I can't to thinking about it. I'm hooked. The guns are amazing and I love how it effects enemys. If you enjoy rpgs comics and fps this game IS for you! Full Review »