Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. Where other street racing games have been re-branded, re-built or have fallen by the wayside, Midnight Club: Los Angeles has been polished up to be the pinnacle of the series, and one of the most exciting arcade racing games of 2008.
  2. By sticking to its roots, Midnight Club Los Angeles may not be a master of innovation, but as one of the most polished, finely honed and adrenaline-filled racing games, you won’t find any that do it better.
  3. As fun as Midnight Club L.A. is, it wouldn't be nearly as impressive if it weren't for the incredible visuals on display.
  4. Hit your stride and the confluence of hard-won experience, favourite ride and the unmistakable kick of nitrous will see you threading through rush-hour traffic at speeds bystanders will scarcely believe possible. [Dec 2008, p.102]
  5. So, with a decent selection of cars (and bikes), the most extensive modification options yet seen in a video game, real-car traffic, race editors and loads of online modes (not to mention a total of 60 hidden unlockables) this is amazing value for money.
  6. Just what the doctor ordered: a fun, fast racing experience with enough content to keep you playing for months.
  7. The best racing game out on the market today PERIOD.
  8. Overall, Midnight Club Los Angeles is a superb racing game.
  9. The soundtrack is better, the characters more convincing and, for our money, the racing experience just that little bit more enjoyable.
  10. 90
    Despite the challenging learning curve, Midnight Club: Los Angeles succeeds in exactly the way it should: taking you to heights of adrenaline that are simply unparalleled.
  11. 90
    If you invest the time in tricking out your ride and mastering the more challenging difficulty levels, you'll be rewarded with an adrenaline rush that you won't find anywhere else.
  12. 89
    Suffice to say, MCLA is the sequel we were hoping for; a ballsy, fast, challenging racing game set to a killer soundtrack. It may be a little frustrating at times, but it gets an awful lot right. Plus, it makes L.A. an appealing place, and that’s harder than you might think.
  13. A very challenging but rewarding game.
  14. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a straightforward street racing title with a lot of bells and whistles.
  15. Rockstar Games did a very good job. For race-newbies Midnight Club: Los Angeles is an ideal game and graphics rock, too. A good game to enjoy the Christmas holidays!
  16. 85
    The cars handle fantastically, the city is nearly perfect, the GPS stuff is awesome and customizing your ride is great. It is way too hard, however, even right from the start.
  17. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is still a great racer and a great game, but unless your luck tends toward winning big lotteries back-to-back or you have supernatural ability at arcade racers, the price of entry into the current-gen Midnight Club title is giving up your meticulous win-every-race attitude, if you have one.
  18. There is so much to do, so many vehicles to buy and equip, fabulous online support and a great atmosphere overall.
  19. Rockstar has gone all out to make a great street racer with this latest Midnight Club release. Packed with hours of gameplay and incredible visuals, you'll probably still be playing as your Christmas dinner gets cold.
  20. Sure, it doesn't have the grandeur and scope of the Gran Turismo series, or the freewheeling mayhem of Burnout, but it does bring a style all it's own to the genre. With plenty of rides, modes, and personality to spare, this title is definitely worthy of having a spot on your automotive mantle, as long as you're up to the challenge!
  21. While not without its faults, Los Angeles is a nice place to take a drive.
  22. 84
    The best, fastest and most exhilarating ride you’ll get for a long time. It’s got all the options you’ll want from a ‘street’ racer of this ilk, but it really doesn’t need it. The real joy is in the toughness and thrill of the races. Simple.
  23. 84
    Midnight Club: Los Angeles is unarguably a high quality racer that admirably bridges the gap between a freeform gaming world and a more structured race setup. Yet for all its visual thrills, extensive (if never exhaustive) customisation options and high production values, it feels as though Rockstar San Diego has played it a little too safe here.
  24. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is an Old-School Arcade: Difficult, spectacular, sometimes absurd… This game will irritate all of those who want serious simulation, but will captivate those who are amused "simply" taking their engines to its maximum power.
  25. The gameplay could use a tune-up, and more of a plot would’ve been appreciated, but fans of the Midnight Club series, and street racing in general, will not be disappointed.
  26. "Burnout"'s more 'Hollywood', but MC:LA's the purer arcade racer. [Dec 2008, p.76]
  27. From time to time, it will get the better of you, and at that point it's not about difficulty so much as accumulated failure, a burden Midnight Club: Los Angeles forces you to carry, and one that's tough to bear for all the game's other successes. Tolerate the lashing of agony that accompanies every one of these moments, though, and this is fast, brutal, ingenious racing drama, dragging you into the screen every bit as thoroughly as Burnout Paradise, and delivered in a manner that befits the publisher that financed GTA IV.
  28. If you can stomach a little two-dimensional West coast gangster arrogance, Midnight Club: Los Angeles is the ride for you.
  29. You'll really dig the option of outrunning cops and keeping up with your rival makes this one revved up adventure that Midnight Club never runs out of gas.
  30. The breathtaking speed that we've come to expect from Midnight Club remains intact and better than ever on the streets of Los Angeles, becoming the most well-rounded instalment to date.
  31. All in all, I found that Midnight Club: L.A. is an incredibly enjoyable, but flawed racing game that succeeds at offering an excellent virtual L.A. and a great deal of fun racing action, but also requires you to jump through far too many hoops to fully enjoy the game.
  32. The game is frustrating, the rubberband A.I. does suck, and there are some unusually poor design choices, but with a large city, good customization, good visuals, terrific audio, and solid online gameplay, Midnight Club is still worth taking a look at.
  33. 80
    If you can grit your teeth and win races, you'll appreciate the digitized city of LA.
  34. 80
    Midnight Club: Los Angeles is a fun and fast racer for those after an open-ended arcade experience.
  35. The game is also a visual feast with striking environments, meticulous vehicle models, and adrenaline enhancing post-production effects. While its true the series hasn’t made a massive evolutionary leap forward in terms of gameplay, it still offers up plenty of unforgettable racing moments where you’ll get P.I.T. maneuvered by an opponent on the last corner but manage to desperately slipstream turbo your way back to win by the span of a diamond encrusted hood ornament. In other words; it’s got fun factor out the chrome-plated wazoo.
  36. So long as you have the skills (or beefy enough cars) to avoid crashing constantly, you can find an almost endless supply of fun on the streets of LA. [Dec 2008, p.76]
  37. The impressive vehicle handling, sky-high production values and conscious decision to refine Midnight Club for its next-gen debut rather than reinvent ensure that MC: LA is the best in its class.
  38. Sure, you may enjoy the challenge of this game and the time you must invest to achieve the goals set before you, but at the end of the day this game is frustrating from start to finish.
  39. Still, these neat little touches can't justify the purchase of this game by themselves, and the rest of Midnight Club Los Angeles just has too many less-than-next-gen issues to warrant choosing it over the outstanding Burnout Paradise.
  40. Rockstar San Diego has created something good here, so if they release a patch that eases things up a bit, they’ll have something even better. If you are looking for something more beginner-friendly, you may just want to give it a rental first.
  41. Midnight Club is fast, beautiful, and way too hard.
  42. Basically, I really enjoyed Midnight Club LA, but I was hardly amazed by it. It's a really solid arcade style racer with a lot of flashy stuff going for it, but it doesn't really do anything new or exciting, and it's not going to be the game to replace a couple other high profile racing titles on the 360 or PS3.
  43. Midnight Club Los Angeles is an excellent game brought down by its maddening difficulty level. It’s unfortunate to see Rockstar San Diego fall back into that ditch with this game seeing as how the rest of the package is loaded with arcade racing goodness.
  44. The overwhelming impression Los Angeles leaves is very slick, but it’s ultimately quite soulless. [Dec 2008, p.86]
  45. If you do decide to pick it up you’re unlikely to be disappointed, but it’s also unlikely to set your gaming world on fire.
  46. Visually weak, but delivers in other aspects. [Christmas 2008, p.90]
  47. If you like fast paced racers that are more on the arcadey side, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t give Midnight Club LA a try.
  48. If you're looking for a good street racing title, then this is definitely one to consider. It's not perfect, but there are enough positives to put it neck and neck with some of its competition.
  49. In spite of the L.A. verisimilitude and the sound racing action, the clichéd characters, pseudo-urban dialogue (we're officially calling for a moratorium on the term "buster"), and the use of a T-Mobile Sidekick all work to make the game feel like it's stuck in 2005. The racing is exciting; the packaging isn't.
  50. I really enjoy the look and feel of Midnight Club: Los Angeles, and there's a good amount of content here, but the severe difficulty level makes it all much harder to appreciate. It's punishing, but if you're up for it, there are some sights worth seeing here.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 72 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    WHY THE **** are some people rating this AMAZING game 0 , This is an Amazing game.. One of The BEST racing games this gen, A little underrated too, i mean how can an AMAZING game like this get an 7 or 8 while other **** games get 8 and 9 believe me.. you MUST buy this game.. Its really fun, the story is also AMAZING! You will really like this game, I highly recommend this game to everyone with a console Full Review »
  2. Feb 6, 2011
    4
    This game was a huge disappointment. I paid 35 dollars and I got ripped off. The rubber band AI takes all the skill out of it. You can drive perfectly and screw the computers over but they will automatically catch up to you even if you drive perfectly. They also can drive perfectly and know every shortcut while cars just spawn and turn in the exact places to screw you over but that never happens to the computer. They automatically get faster cars, better turning, and handling, and it takes forever to unlock any upgrades so they always have a car advantage as well as driving. It it hard enough to beat green (easy) races, but when they make you race oranges to get cars and as missions it becomes obvious that they just want to make game impossible to artificially lengthen the game. Graphics aren't that good for console game and it is a repetitive grind where you have to play 2 hours to unlock anything each time. They also make too long of races and everything is a series where if you get screwed over by the 2nd or 3rd race you've just wasted 15 minutes racing for no reason. I own and have beaten the past 3 midnight clubs and enjoyed them. This one got the trash can after a couple days. Done with midnight club. Full Review »
  3. Aug 18, 2012
    8
    I have fully enjoyed the open world racing. Nice looking graphics for 2008 standards. Car physics are about as good as they can get for a game. Lots to do. Very exciting races and a decent story attatched to it. Full Review »