• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 10, 2009

Generally favorable reviews - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 74
  2. Negative: 1 out of 74
Buy On
  1. 94
    MadWorld is way too violent, has way too much cursing, and the gore factor is off the chart, and boy am I glad it is. MadWorld is an amazing game that you have to experience yourself. With a solid story and simplistic and easy to learn controls, the game offers more than just shock value. This is one of the best games I have played or seen for the Wii.
  2. This is exactly the game the mature, hardcore Wii crowd has been craving, and it's just too bad that Nintendo is too busy making the next Wii Play, Wii Fit or Wii Music to put more resources into projects like this.
  3. TV criticizes video games? OK, let’s destroy, humiliate and condemn the worst aspects of television. Violence with sense in a brilliant video game in all of its facets that manage to demonstrate that adult and interesting titles for Wii are possible. Mad World is the powerful entrance of Platinum Games in the market of the electronic leisure.
  4. 91
    The design constraints of Nintendo's system forced the developers at Platinum Games to be creative, and they followed through on their creativity by putting together a thoroughly enjoyable brawler with just the right amount of the ultra-violence.
  5. For a game that is so entertaining, because of, or in spite of the copious amounts of gore, having a reason to pause and think at the end is the cherry on top of a brutally exciting, blood soaked sundae.
  6. I had considerable doubt that MadWorld would be more than an exploitation game, but it’s been done so smartly that I can’t help but love it
  7. 90
    I realize that not everybody will find MadWorld's unique visual and aural presentation appealing, but to me, the game is an instant collector's item and a Wii showpiece, not just for its amazing style, but for its label-busting content.
  8. Nintendo Power
    Although the game is unquestionably brutal, the violence is so over-the-top that it's more humorous than gruesome...For any hardcore gamer, this one is not to be missed. [Apr 2009, p.82]
  9. 90
    Dark, brutal and hilarious in just the right way, MadWorld is a title that has rocketed to the top of every staff member's must buy list. Don't let the fact that it's on a "kiddie console" fool you-this is one title every "hardcore" gamer needs to play, provided you're over eighteen years old, of course.
  10. If you play this game the way you should – by slaughtering victims in the most foul of ways – it ends up being a non-stop highlight reel. The ranked boss battles are especially entertaining – think Mortal Kombat Fatalities with the budget of a Star Wars movie.
  11. A surprisingly excellent game that is bound to piss off a lot of people. However, it's refreshing for adult gamers to have access to such interesting and mature (immature?) fare on Nintendo's console.
  12. Mad World is bloody, vulgar, and a ridiculous amount of fun.
  13. MadWorld is what you'd get if you stuck Pink Floyd's "The Wall" video into the mouth of Quentin Tarantino and pushed play.
  14. Highly entertaining and violently satisfying; perfect for anyone who is looking for some variety on the Wii.
  15. 90
    MadWorld definitely earns its place as one of Wii's must-have titles and completes a trinity of hugely enjoyable, quirky, mature titles on the system that don't forget what games are all about, the other two being No More Heroes and The House of the Dead: Overkill.
  16. Madworld is not only brilliant but really up's the gore content on the Wii too, if you thought the new House of the Dead game was violent then you ain't seen nothing yet.
  17. Aside from the camera issue and length, MadWorld is superb. Everything from the visual style and the sound to the ultra-violent gameplay and visceral controls are wonderful. It has its flaws, but MadWorld is riddled with unadulterated fun.
  18. Since the unique visuals to the different ways applied to set the progression, there are not lacking reasons for speakers jump from the chair in full vibration with brutal actions of Jack, the butcher of service. Madworld is a fantastic fiction world.
  19. 90
    I am just one reviewer who found it far too pointlessly violent.
  20. 90
    Brash, loud, funny and ultra, ultra violent, MadWorld is something of a shock that it was released on the Wii. Thing is, it probably wouldn't be the same on a standard controller. As it stands, this is a great game, highly recommended and with only a few problems to its name.
  21. The gameplay is nothing without the unique graphics Madworld sports. The game is entirely black and white except for the red that dots and smears the screen and gameworld when you slay a person.
  22. MadWorld is a great game. It has failures in technical and practical points, but none can ruin the fun. No More heroes players must buy the game immediately, and other gamers must reflect if it's better to buy a horrible 40-hour length or an remarkable 10-hour length game.
  23. 89
    Control issues hamper fluidity but there’s no denying that, with some investment, MadWorld rewards in huge doses, delivering an incredibly visceral experience that's as stunningly unique and obscenely entertaining as it is just plain obscene.
  24. MadWorld is an awesome action game, filled to the top with stylish graphics, exaggerated violence and black humour: it is indeed the kind of product that the Wii hardcore gamers were waiting for, but the biggest part of the audience won’t event notice it. This is a serious nominee for 2009 “best game no one ever played” award.
  25. Madworld takes a genre that had been absolutely beaten into the ground and reinvigorates it with incredible presentation and brilliant usage of the Wii’s motion controls. The game is as fun as it is violent, and as hilarious as it is grotesque.
  26. In a time where it seems like Wii owners have been deprived of hardcore, or mature, games, solid titles such as House of the Dead: Overkill and MadWorld get released to somewhat nurture their poor souls.
  27. Madworld is an absolute wonder on the Wii. Packed with a fantastic visual style, simple but effective controls, and a healthy dose of humour, this is almost a complete package. Diminished focus on the story, and some minor camera issues aside, this should be on any fan of mature game’s "must have" list.
  28. 87
    This is a game you have to own because it presents its brutal killing, incessant swearing and bleak world with such humour and such style. It’s tongue-in-cheek the whole way, and at times quite hilarious. Great fun, too.
  29. One of the most eye-catching games to come along in a while, MadWorld is stylish, bloody, and a great fit for the Wii's controls. Though there's a surprising amount of incentive to replay it, it's barely seven hours long, so if you aren't persuaded by the novelty of extreme violence buy with caution.
  30. Games Master UK
    A brilliant reinvention of the beat 'em up, and the most exciting Wii game for ages. [Apr 2009, p.64]
  31. Its solid controls and wonderful presentation make this game an incredibly tough act to follow. MadWorld is easily a must own for anybody who has the system. If you don’t have a Wii… well… it sucks to be you because you’re really missing out.
  32. Great fun in short bursts, MadWorld is a quality title with buckets of gore, style and humour.
  33. MadWorld is a fantastic game, even worth killing for (*badoom pssh*). The game looks great, delivers great fun and sounds superbly. There are some minor annoyances: the game repeats itself over time and some quick time events don’t register well. Nevertheless, go get this game!
  34. 85
    There's no denying that MadWorld is effortlessly, deliriously fun. The OTT, unashamedly brutal mutilation never grows tired, which will encourage you to return to the game even after you've aced the initial play-through of the story.
  35. 85
    MadWorld is an incredible amount of fun and should be enjoyed and experienced by all Wii owners. Play this game.
  36. MadWorld is a must-have for any Wii owner looking to branch out from sports titles. It's rated for a reason however, and the cartoon violence won't appeal to everyone.
  37. The first major disappointment was the length of the game; although it was fun, it was too short.
  38. Nintendo Gamer
    A brilliantly ballsy debut on a console short on adult thrills. [May 2009, p.48]
  39. 83
    Madworld has made a lot of noise before its launch and, after playing it, we can say it deserves it, although the result could have been even better. The game brings very special aesthetics which are undoubtedly a good decision, and totally fits the gameplay experience Platinum Games wanted to offer.
  40. With an old style gameplay, unique visuals and many other peculiarities, MadWorld is indeed the mature Wii game that many were waiting for. Potential buyers should be warned though, this is not just a black-and-white action game, for its mechanics could make it frustrating for those not used to an old style scoring system. Add this to a desolating length, and what you get is a controversial product, split between its visionary genius and very basic gameplay issues. Some will love it, others will hate it; it will be remembered, but it’s not the absolute masterpiece many were waiting for.
  41. As disturbing and disgusting as this game might be (remember, don't play it in the same room as your mother... unless she's into this sort of thing, or you're willing to hear her repeat “WHAT THE HELL” over and over again), there is a real beauty to the experience.
  42. 83
    MadWorld is a real beat'em up title. Pleasant if you're trying to get rid of your frustrations, but good for a lot of joy as well. The controls are working fine, the graphics look nice and the sound is al right. What else do you want?
  43. Brutality, tons of blood and the most violent show ever seen to come exclusively to Wii. Former Clover members prove their talent with this beat'em up portrayed with this comic-book look drawn with black, white and red colors. Modern art with a great sense of humor mixed with a macabre tone, MadWorld can only be blamed for its 6 hours campaign and the little depth it offers as a brawler, compared to the biggest games in the genre.
  44. A bloody, entertaining - but short-lived - action game.
  45. 80
    Far from a perfect game, MadWorld is perhaps the answer to gamers’ pleas for a hardcore title to arrive on the Wii. You’ll be able to clean up the city in a little under seven hours without breaking a sweat – but it’s seven hours of pure bloody mayhem that you won’t find in most twenty-hour games.
  46. 80
    It's got an entertaining story that skewers our reality show-obsessed culture, equal-opportunity offensive humor that could make a Marine blush, and a dazzling visual style. It evokes the better elements of early '90s brawlers and updates them with a sensibility tailor-made for the Wii.
  47. games(TM)
    Between its wonderful style, superb boss fights and chaotic carnage, Madworld is evidently a magnificent and unique title. [Apr 2009, p.117]
  48. The camera and targeting mechanics are bad, almost game-ruining awful. What really kills this game’s appeal is its brevity; since you can beat this in only a few hours, the high price tag might not be justified. However, it’s still one of the most fun, entertaining, and unique titles on the Wii. Who says violence in video games is a bad thing?
  49. MadWorld may well be a highly nuanced comment on the role violence plays within our entertainment, as well as a gleeful two fingers to the Wii’s so-called casual audience.
  50. It's the first new IP for Nintendo's Wii that caters expertly for the console's forgotten core audience, sating the bloodlusts of those loyal fans that made Resident Evil 4 such a huge hit on the Gamecube.
  51. MadWorld lives up to its expectations. With ease. The graphics are great and the gameplay more than satisfying. The only thing that really holds the game back is its short duration. But, as long as it lasts it will be an excellent and brutal experience.
  52. 80
    MadWorld is stylish, sardonic, and one of the best beat 'em ups in recent memory. Imperfect, but worth a look for all adult Wii owners with a predilection for the dark side.
  53. MadWorld is one of the most eye-catching, stylish and well-made games to land on the Wii in some time. It's also tremendous fun and for players old enough to enjoy its bloody delights, it lands in the essential category effortlessly.
  54. MadWorld is not quite the godsend, super-mature hardcore title some gamers were hoping for; it has a few major flaws but still manages to out-rank most of the competition with ease.
  55. AceGamez
    MadWorld is bloodthirstily entertaining, even if it is incredibly short lived. Whether it's a rental or a purchase depends very much on your personality.
  56. Despite its shortcomings, MadWorld still deserves heaps of praise for the things it does right. Its mix of visceral but strategic combat with stunning visuals, memorable characters and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments easily earns its place on anybody’s shelf.
  57. Granted, the amount of virtual blood spilled in MadWorld may seem a little too much for the touchy ones, but the fun is there to back it up.
  58. This comically savage action game overcomes its frustrations with liberal doses of blood and guts.
  59. We’re left with something that’s entertaining in small doses, but doesn’t really offer us anything more. This is sorely disappointing when you consider that these were the same guys that brought us the sublime arthouse videogame Okami - which, ironically, didn’t sell well at all.
  60. MadWorld is an odd beast. Its violence and core controls are remarkably pleasing on a visceral level and its sense of humor is so startlingly unpretentious that it's difficult not to admire, but its over-the-top premise is rarely exploited to its fullest potential.
  61. I love the new "adult" tack Sega are taking with their current Wii line-up and I hope it continues. What MadWorld needs is more complexity, but a lot of what makes it great is the fact that it's so easy.
  62. Pelit (Finland)
    Stylized over the top cartoon violence in black and white.... and blood-red. There's a lot to like in MadWorld. Only for a brief time however since the game doesn't have depth or longevity. The gameplay is rough around the edges and there are some technical niggles. The poor European conversion with 50 Hz screen refresh and black borders is worth a special mention. The shame! [May 2009]
  63. MadWorld is an astounding visual and auditory achievement that really shows off the "power" of the Wii. While the story is patched together and inspired by dozens of other movies and games, it's engaging enough that you'll want to know just what kind of a mad, mad world Jack is living in. But the repetitiveness of the action will ensure that once you put MadWorld down, you may not pick it up again.
  64. No matter how much the schoolboy-humour commentary grates, no matter how repetitive the bits in between the set-pieces start to feel and no matter how frustrating the later levels become, MadWorld provides a rush of blood to the head almost as often as it provides a rush of blood to the pavement.
  65. It's great to have such a visually appealing and mature-themed title on the Wii, but MadWorld is too brief and a bit too shallow to justify a purchase.
  66. A hugely entertaining, if slightly uneven, roller coaster ride of gorgeously stylised ultra violence.
  67. High production values and a superb art style can only take a game so far, and the gameplay on offer here, while fun, can't take it that step further.
  68. I enjoyed MadWorld when it was fresh, but it’s so sad that I can’t enjoy it more just as I’ve gotten to know it.
  69. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    A wet dream of the blood bank technologist. This extreme fighter game displays black and white (and red) violence with no excuses. Use you remote + nunchucks like you never used them before. [Apr 2009]
  70. If the mundane enemies that populate the world brought a little more challenge to the table, and if the basic environmental kills consisted of more than just impaling or beating someone to death, then I would have had much more interest in the title than just the boss fights and Bloodbath events.
  71. It makes an amazing first impression, and it has a consistently great sense of style. But once I started digging deeper, I hit bottom fast, and the spell was broken. If you're the type of person who can appreciate style-over-substance games, you'll probably love it. But once I figured out what was really going on in MadWorld, it felt pretty thin.
  72. Edge Magazine
    As a big joke about violent-for-the-sake of it games, MadWorld just about gets away with it. But it won't bear a repeat performance. [May 2009, p.93]
  73. What MadWorld has in style it lacks in substance.
  74. Frustration sets in when: You realize there’s no need for strategy whatsoever. You can die taking one approach on enemies, but still get results with the same tactic in the next life.

Awards & Rankings

#7 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2009
#9 Most Shared Wii Game of 2009
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 182 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 3 out of 182
  1. Apr 27, 2012
    And Ps3 and 360 fanboys say "the Wii has no violent games." This game right here DESTORYS all arguments out of the water.
  2. Apr 23, 2012
    MadWorld is exactly as advertised. It's mindless, gory, stylish, and most importantly, it's fun. MadWorld is not a perfect game, and itMadWorld is exactly as advertised. It's mindless, gory, stylish, and most importantly, it's fun. MadWorld is not a perfect game, and it won't fill the desire for deeper gaming experiences on the Wii, but it does accomplish two key things - 1) It's reminiscent of the mature-cuz-we-can SEGA games of Genesis past, and 2) It offers unique and well-implemented motion controls. Too bad it also caters to an audience that isn't really interested in owning a Wii, meaning hardcore and mature gamers that mostly populate the true next-gen consoles PS3 and XBox360. Full Review »
  3. Sep 10, 2011
    one of the greatest video games ever made. Fantastic plot, fantastic amount of violence and gore, fantastic comedy and graphics, and some ofone of the greatest video games ever made. Fantastic plot, fantastic amount of violence and gore, fantastic comedy and graphics, and some of the greatest gameplay and weapons in one game and one of Sega's greatest games Full Review »