Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. 100
    Where SC4 really shines, however, is in its character-creation mode. The more you use your custom characters, the more options you unlock -- with a wealth of weapons and armor pieces offering boosts to strength, impact, speed, and more, while certain stat modifiers improve your chances to escape throws or reverse counters.
  2. 96
    Soulcalibur IV is the definition of how to make a sequel to a beloved franchise. Everything is dialed up and the amount of content will keep gamers occupied for months to come. The fighting engine is deep enough for hardcores to take pleasure in while easy enough for casuals to simply pick up and enjoy.
  3. Graphically the game is simply jaw dropping. Even with all the graphical masterpieces we have seen recently, Soul Calibur IV stands out on its own.
  4. It has an excellent game system that's been honed considerably for this release. It offers plenty of game modes, online play for those that want it, and it also looks and sounds great. Whatever system you get it for, you won’t be disappointed.
  5. 94
    An amazingly deep and beautiful fi ghting experience, marred by a couple of unnecessary characters, but essential nonetheless. If the online modes simulate the feeling of a traditional one-onone battle, we’ll be in combat heaven.
  6. It's not just a classic game, it's an essential purchase – no matter which version you decide to get it for.
  7. Well Soulcalibur IV has done both, it has wowed me and evolved all in one fell swoop. In four words…Buy Soulcalibur IV today!
  8. The fighting is fluid and well-paced, the characters are all interesting and the game wields an eccentric style that sets it apart from all other 3D fighters.
  9. It builds into a complex battle of patience and wills. [Sept 2008, p.90]
  10. Soul Calibur IV just oozes quality. It is a very polished game that is crammed with a variety of different play modes. The game is an absolute must-have for every fan of the genre. Because it is easy to pick up and play, Soul Calibur IV is also suited for those unfamiliar with these games.
  11. The additions that have been added work in the game’s favor and make it the best fighting game this generation. The customization, online play, and great game mechanics make this title a must-purchase for any fan of the series.
  12. In the end, whether it's your first time touching a Soul game or not, it's hard to not appreciate what's been done here: beautiful, crisp and bouncy graphics mix well with a fighter heavy on a classic formula of strategy, timing and execution, with it all backed by inviting-yet-deep character customization and creation.
  13. 90
    SCIV takes the existing winning formula and carefully adds new elements to make this edition the best edition ever.
  14. No matter how you slice it, Soulcalibur IV is a great game--even for those who don't consider themselves hardcore fans of the fighting genre.
  15. SoulCalibur IV brings out all the best in the series, and at the same time polishes it with some pertinent additions that make it truly shine.
  16. 90
    Soulcalibur has never been broken, and while there is certainly room for some novel approaches in the fighting genre, I would argue that no game has of yet come close in terms of subtlety and inventiveness.
  17. A well-produced, polished 3D fighter that no PS3 owner should be without, and is definitely one of the system's must-have party games. [Oct 2008, p.78]
  18. As for total newcomers, welcome to what is, in my opinion, the most fun, fully 3D fighter on the market. [Sept 2008, p.76]
  19. The soul still burns! Yes, it's very familiar and the changes that were made like the critical finnish aren't 100% successful, but the game still puts up a great fight both for novice and advanced players. Beautiful HD graphics, internet play and a versatile character editor add value to the update. [Sept 2008]
  20. It's exactly what fighting games needed - a plateful of stupid with a side-order of smarts. [Sept 2008, p.64]
  21. One of the strongest aspects of Soul Calibur 4 is its sense of style. Meticulously detailed mechanical gnomes, lizard-people wielding oversized tableware, and titanic, lasciviously rendered breasts may not be to everyone’s liking, but there’s no denying it all makes an impact.
  22. Frame-counters and other savants will probably have issues with some aspects of Soulcalibur IV’s gameplay, but the average player or fighting game enthusiast is well served by this title’s array of game types and tight weapon-based duels. I know I’m more than satisfied.
  23. A great addition to the franchise. There's a good amount of play modes, excellent character customization options, a strong character roster, smooth (though intricate) controls, and exciting online play.
  24. In the end, Soul Calibur IV is a great title to have in your collection, and as we said before, you really don't need to be a fighting expert.
  25. 88
    It’s much easier to get into than Tekken or Virtua Fighter, and the characters are generally – in my opinion at least – much more interesting.
  26. 87
    The game runs well, looks beautiful, sports great music and obviously has enjoyable combat. The PS3 and 360 versions are just about identical (barring the differing guest characters), though I felt that the optional install on the PS3 made things feel even quicker and more polished.
  27. Even though SoulCalibur IV has a lot of graphical and gameplay polish, it's still nowhere near a perfect game. A stunted Story mode and the completely unfair Apprentice character detract greatly from the single-player experience, and as it is, the online multiplayer is literally broken.
  28. Soul Calibur IV is a beautiful looking fighting game that pushes the long running franchise into some new ground while keeping the core gameplay near the same level.
  29. Even if it's not as complex as Tekken, and it doesn't have the online component of Virtua Fighter 5, with its top-notch graphic, captivating feeling and characters and fighting style diversity, Soul Calibur IV is without a doubt one of the best 3D fighters around.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 106 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 24
  2. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Mar 29, 2011
    i did not like this soul calibur game and find that it is the worst in the series. the story like is non existent with the characters and each one only has about 5 battles. i am not sure if it is this way with everyone but i am having a hard time putting combos together with all the characters and find myself just mashing the 3 attack buttons. i loved the 3rd one and wish they had kept most of what made that game great and at least had more extra features to entertain myself when i dont want to get my a$$ handed to me while playing online. i liked the addition of darth vader and the secret apperntace but unfourtunatly darth vader isnt a very good character since his moves are slow. i find that the controls have a bit of a delay and they never quite do what you want them to. trading this back in for some of my money back Full Review »
  2. Oct 5, 2010
    I have found Soul Calibur IV to be a very disapointing installment of the series. I can only commend the game for it's unique character designs and good online action. I feel the game lacks in variety, the moves and combos are too straight-forward. For a hard-core fan of the SC series, I would recommend renting it, rather than buying it. Full Review »
  3. Apr 16, 2014
    Reviewing something so similar to the preceding three games -- and after releases like Super Street Fighter IV -- becomes monotonous. Especially coming from a franchise once treasured in the fighting game genre. Pros? The inclusion of Star Wars exclusives is an excellent concept; the introduction of online mode; stunning graphics; once again, Soulcalibur IV caters to veterans and casuals with its variety of strikingly unique fighting styles. Cons? Unfortunately, the Star Wars concept is defeated by largely imbalanced fighting mechanics; Critical Finishers, although visually stunning, take too long to reach and are largely unseen outside of multiplayer; lack of replay value; occassional online hiccups; the gameplay is all too familiar and in 2014, it hasn't aged marvelously. Full Review »