Generally favorable reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 54
  2. Negative: 1 out of 54
Buy On
  1. 65
    Namco Bandai says downloadable planes, maps, and levels are to come, but unless they can fix the frustrating mission structure -- the game's largest problem -- I'm only mildly interested.
  2. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    If you want something more than that, you might find that this is a little shallow and over too quickly, but if you are looking for nothing more than some dogfighting craziness, this could just be a match made in the clouds.
  3. A real victory for blue skies in games and the very welcome return of a great franchise.
  4. Hands down, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is the best console flight simulator to date. This may not have been a hard achievement, but it is nice to say that there is finally an aerial combat game worth racing to the store to pick up.
  5. It was sad to have such a shallow and uninspiring storyline to keep you going until the very end, but with the game’s stunning visuals and effects, arcade pick up and play gameplay, online multiplayer and co-op features there is plenty here to satisfy your appetite in being the next Maverick or Ice Man.
  6. It is a good game, one that continues to build upon the really great franchise from Namco.
  7. There are so few games that get air combat right, but Ace Combat hits the nail on the head. From the huge scale air support missions to the vicious online dogfights, everything about this game is perfect. Its limited appeal is offset by the fact it serves that audience so well.
  8. Edge Magazine
    And the visuals? Well, if you want more screenshots, just pop your head out of the window and look up. [Dec 2007, p.96]
  9. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Frequent fliers of the Ace Combat series will feel like they've been on this flight before. [Dec 2007, p.122]
  10. More than anything else, we're just happy to have another Ace Combat game we can genuinely say we really like, rather than just saying we don't dislike it. The series has rated a categorical "meh" for some time now; but no longer. Ace Combat 6 can be our wingman any time.
  11. 80
    The game looks and sounds fantastic, and offers an impressive level of control and combat refinement that fans have come to expect from the series.
  12. Someone asked me to describe Ace Combat 6 in a word, and my response was “shallow,” which probably wasn’t fair. Shallow seems to imply a lack of depth to a fault, which certainly isn’t the case with Ace Combat 6. Though you don’t have to worry about flaps settings, ILS approaches, or proper air-traffic control etiquette, Ace Combat 6 is by no means barebones. It’s a lean, mean, fighting machine.
  13. But if Fires of Liberation doesn't catch your eye, I'm not sure if any game of this ilk ever will. [Nov 2007, p.154]
  14. If you’re hardcore into flight sim games, you might find some satisfaction from the better parts of this highway to the danger zone, but if you’re looking for the next Crimson Skies, keep looking.
  15. The single player game's story features poor voice acting and the game doesn't look as photo realistic as Namco Bandai wants you to believe, but AC6 successfully delivers the quality Top Gun experience, allowing you to live out your fighter pilot fantasies.
  16. 80
    About the only shortcoming Ace Combat 6 possesses is an intimidating visage, especially if you're using the Ace Edge flight stick. This is definitely a hardcore game, not one intended for casual play given its attention to detail, simulation-style controls, and general difficulty.
  17. In sum, Fires of Liberation is the complete package for any fan of the franchise, or anyone looking for a fairly accessible fighter-sim.
  18. Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is a fun game to waste away an afternoon, but a hard sell for anyone who hasn't been a fan of the series beforehand. The combat is fun, but the rest needs some work.
  19. Games Master UK
    As complex and as challenging as you want it to be, this is top-notch plane-based blasting. [Dec 2007, p.58]
  20. games(TM)
    It’s as if Michael Bay defected to Japan and made a videogame, and we mean that in the best way possible. [Dec 2007, p.118]
  21. Ultimately, the game provides beautiful graphics and (with the controller) an intensely immersive experience, but just keeps tripping over itself in its attempt to excel or provide new and interesting features.
  22. Slick gameplay and gorgeous visuals are among Ace Combat 6's many strengths.
  23. 80
    Providing solid gameplay throughout the duration of the game and the incredibly fun online modes, Ace Combat 6 ups the ante and more than makes up for the minor failings of previous versions.
  24. Far better than any other flight game on the 360 - and it also happens to be a technical showcase for HDTV fanatics everywhere.
  25. 90
    The most solid, robust, and realistic Ace Combat game yet. Even if you're not into playing online, Fires of Liberation offers a hearty helping of intense, varied combat that will keep you coming back long after you've completed your first campaign.
  26. The game is accessible enough to be picked up by someone who hasn’t yet earned their wings, and while the online mode isn’t incredibly deep, it’s a solid addition that makes the game that much more attractive. If jets aren’t your thing, though, it won’t convince you to enroll in flight school.
  27. Ace Combat 6 is an accessible and exciting flight combat game with great arcade-style gameplay. While the story elements are pretty cheesy, the game itself is a lot of fun.
  28. With very few flight titles available, Ace Combat 6 is the best one on next gen platforms hands down.
  29. Ace Combat 6 is one of the best air-combat games I have played, yet it has a lot of flaws outside the core game that drag it down a bit.
  30. It may not be the flight simulator that many people may have been hoping for, but it doesn’t detract from being an enjoyable arcade shooter. Highly recommended.
  31. Over all, Ace Combat 6 is a good game but because of the final mission, it might be one you'd struggle to complete, but the multiplayer will more then make up for it, specially if you have the broadband speed to make it a real dogfight.
  32. 84
    The realistic visual design married with the arcade controls make for a game that anyone can have fun with. This is the closest to the imaginary dream of being in Top Gun that most of us are ever going to get.
  33. The controls are easy to pick up, which makes flying and combat both simple and fun.
  34. 80
    If you loved any or all of the previous Ace Combat games, we recommend you pick up Ace Combat 6 immediately. If you were never a fan of the franchise or the genre before, Ace Combat 6 doesn't offer anything that will change your mind.
  35. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Another good chapter on this franchise. The multiplayer makes it an even more attractive proposition, since the single player campaign is good enough on its own, with the usual adrenaline fix for anyone who likes dogfights. [Dec 2007]
  36. Ace Combat 6 is certainly a welcome addition to the Xbox 360 library of games, and although we've already had a few flying games to date, none can match the quality of Namco's efforts.
  37. Although Ace Combat is far from perfect, it still offers entertainment. This game is one of the few titles to actually marry the idea of realistic graphics mixed with arcadey controls and gameplay.
  38. The dogfighting, though, feels aimless unless you're playing with people who really know what they're doing: We predict it'll be the stomping ground of the uber-hardcore pilots. [Nov 2007, p.88]
  39. An entertaining, exciting game that looks simply stunning. It really does the genre, and the Xbox 360, justice. And you can't get a higher recommendation than that. [Dec 2007, p.88]
  40. 80
    Luscious visuals and a solid plot may really add to the experience, but it's Namco's extra layer of polish on Ace Combat 6 which makes it all the more fun to play.
  41. Pelit (Finland)
    A visual treat and pure arcade shooting fun. The missions are full of action and while you always end up saving the day, it certainly feels like there’s a war going around you. It’s a pity that the cutscenes are so full of phony melodrama and corny dialogue. [Nov 2007]
  42. Play Magazine
    Ace Combat 6 is this venerable series at its best. [Nov 2007, p.63]
  43. 90
    There's something genuinely thrilling about Ace Combat's high speed dog-fighting that grabs you by your throat and refuses to let go. It's unashamedly arcadey, it doesn't last all that long and the between mission cut scenes are a bit of a pointless distraction, but once you're in the air there's few games that provide as intense a feeling of exhilaration.
  44. Without overly dumbing down the modern military sim fighter, Namco Bandai has managed to create a very accessible flying game that has all of the presentation bells and whistles of its big boy cousins.
  45. Rather than merely surpassing the expectations set by its predecessors, Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation provides a foundation for console-based aerial combat games of the future.
  46. Yes, the jets look stunning and at a great distance, so do some of the landscapes. Get closer however, and Ace Combat 6 doesn't hold up to scrutiny, with both its visuals and gameplay coming up short.
  47. The audio soars even higher than the graphics.
  48. With a stunning single-player campaign, a wealth of capable online multiplayer facilities and the provisions of raw power the 360 offers, Ace Combat finally feels like it has become what it has always strived to be.
  49. A title that's running on autopilot. It looks better than the previous Ace Combat offerings, but little else has changed.
  50. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Stunningly beautiful, easy to pick up and ultimately satisfying to play. Shame about the terrible storyline, tediously long missions and a distinct lack of variety. [Issue 26, p.86]
  51. The visuals, audio even the character scripts are carefully chosen to add life and a new experience to AC veterans and newbies alike.
  52. One of the prettiest games you'll ever see and the best air combat going. [Christmas 2007, p.81]
  53. Graphics and sound are absolutely the strong points in Ace Combat 6.
  54. 90
    Easily the best flight-sim available on next-gen systems, not to mention the best the series has ever had to offer. Picture perfect controls and lush visuals make this a package that fans of the series will not want to miss.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. Mar 19, 2015
    This game is responsible for my most fondest gaming memories to date. Solid gameplay, Deep storyline and an amazing soundtrack. spent hoursThis game is responsible for my most fondest gaming memories to date. Solid gameplay, Deep storyline and an amazing soundtrack. spent hours playing this game. a must have for series fans. also great for getting friends into the game. Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2015
    For a game released in 2007, the graphics are incredible. The gamplay is fun and challenging when on higher difficulties. The storyline isFor a game released in 2007, the graphics are incredible. The gamplay is fun and challenging when on higher difficulties. The storyline is okay. The only thing making it feel less than worthy of a "great" or "perfect" is because of the voice acting. It was cheesy, I will admit. animations were meh for cutscenes but remember, the game is from 2007! Full Review »
  3. Jul 2, 2015
    Yes, it is 2015 and I am reviewing this game. As a huge fan of the series and a Playstation gamer, I was pretty upset when I found out thatYes, it is 2015 and I am reviewing this game. As a huge fan of the series and a Playstation gamer, I was pretty upset when I found out that this was going to be a 360 exclusive, as this had previously been a Playstation exclusive series. With that being said, I finely got a 360 on the cheap and to be able to play this game was one reason. Keep in mind that I am reviewing this game for single player only and that I am reviewing it relative to the other base games (AC4, AC5, and ACZero, AC:Assault Horizon is a disgrace and should never have been made) in the series.

    Let's start with the positives:
    The graphics during gameplay are very good, especially for a title early in this generation. I think these graphics would even hold up in the current generation.The music is good, however, not as good as usual for an AC game. The game is in the Strangereal universe, which can make some interesting stories. Unfortunately, that's about it for positives in this game.

    The negatives:
    The biggest problem with Ace Combat 6 is that the developers thought that more is always better. This is not true at all. The amount of enemies on the map is just annoying, especially during air to air combat. Rather than making a few more difficult enemies, they decided throwing as many as they could on the map was a good idea. Also, the AI has the habit of launching missiles against you no matter what angle they are at with complete disregard for whether they even have a chance of hitting you. This leads to being in nearly constant missile alerts so the sound track may as well be a constant ringing sound. Fortunately I spent way too many hours playing Ace Combat growing up, so this wasn't a big problem for me, but it stopped me from enjoying air to air engagements as I had in the previous games. Rather than being a challenge, air to air engagements in this game are simply an annoyance. Unlike AC4, AC5, and ACZero, there is not one good dogfight mission in this game.

    AC6 had a good idea as far as spitting up the mission into separate "zones" as I will call them. However, as with aerial targets, the developers simply put too many targets on the ground. More targets should have been optional in that destroying them will benefit you, but not required for completion of the mission. The zone system also has the side effect of making everything feel so rushed. While I understand this is an arcade game and it should be fast paced, never before in an Ace Combat game have I spent so much time going from point A to point B with afterburners on to simply get to a new area as fast as possible. There's no time to relax, take in the scenery, the music, or the scope of the battle because everything is so rushed and you nearly constantly have a missile alert.

    The story is most definitely the weakest out of the Ace Combat base games. You don't develop any feeling toward your wingman or the other pilots around you. I don't mind seeing a story from the perspective of a civilian, but it ultimately has to lead back to the pilots. I think they were trying to emulate Ace Combat 4 as far as using a civilian perspective, however the constant jumps of perspective from person to person doesn't allow the player to develop a relationship with any of the characters. SPOILER ALERT In one of the missions your wingman decides to defy orders and continue engaging the enemy when told to cease fire, and it's just not a smart decision, you have no input in it at all, and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Also, the fact that the wingman has very little personality and the story doesn't focus on him really makes you not care about him and you really do not understand his feelings or his reasons for taking those actions. Also, it's just really out of character for him. SECOND SPOLER ALERT Your wingman crashes and is assumed to be dead during the last mission. Other like other circumstances of losing a wingman in the Ace Combat series, I felt absolutely nothing and was not concerned about his outcome.

    The storyline itself is weak, and the execution (dialogue, cutscenes, etc.) are below what I expect for an AC game.

    It pains me to say this because I love this series and I hope it succeeds in the future, however I have to give this game a below average review score because of the poor gameplay and the poor storyline, There are certainly elements that are good, such as the graphics and music, however this game simply does not stand up to it's predecessors.
    Full Review »