Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. On a console starved of the genre, Banjo-Kazooie really stands above all the others and for a ten year old N64 game, that’s some achievement.
  2. Banjo-Kazooie may be more of an homage to Nintendo’s first 3D romp through the mushroom kingdom than a pioneer of the same genre, but that doesn’t make it any less satisfying.
  3. 85
    Despite being ten years old the original Banjo-Kazooie has aged remarkably well. The game is a must for anyone who loved the N64 outings or simply wants some classic platformer action.
  4. Banjo Kazooie shows that even the beginnings of 3D-Jump ’n’ Runs have to offer a lot. The different levels still make a lot of fun because of the motivating gameplay.
  5. Smooth moves like this are paramount for a platformer, which probably explains why Banjo-Kazooie, even ten years after its release, is still a solid player for both the pick-up-and-play crowd as well as the serious jumpers out there. There’s enough comic relief and clever level design surrounding the slick team-up moves and animations of Banjo-Kazooie’s leading animals to pull it all together into one of the better classic console platformers to grace Xbox Live Arcade.
  6. With a solid level design, unique transformation mechanic, and plenty of loveable charm, Banjo- Kazooie still holds up well to the stringent of today's gaming market.
  7. 1200 MS Points might seem a little steep for a game that originally came out ten years ago, but this is a true classic and a game that stands up very well today. Visually it's certainly showing its age, but the HD spruce up means it's by no means ugly and the core gameplay is just as universally appealing as it ever was.
  8. Even though it's been over ten years since Banjo and Kazooie made their triumphant debut on Nintendo 64 their adventure still holds up very well when released again on Xbox Live. Everything from gameplay to level design is ingenious and this game is still one of the best in it's genre. A few flaws mar the experience though, such as aged presentation and an unwieldy camera, but overall this is a must buy on Xbox Live.
  9. 80
    Banjo-Kazooie is a great game for a kid to play around with, something that the 360 library is often lacking, but many people will find this style of gameplay outdated by modern standards.
  10. Varied controls, unique challenges, and kooky characters make this old-timer a worthwhile blast from the past. [Holiday 2008, p.73]
  11. The closest to Mario we'll ever get, and instantly the best classic platform game on the Xbox 360. [Feb 2009, p.103]
  12. If there's one genre the 360 is short of it's platformers, and Banjo is still one of the best within it. [Issue#41, p.113]
  13. A real nostalgia blast, if you enjoy Mario you will love this. Now I just hope RARE release Banjo Tooie, the ultra rare sequel.
  14. Banjo-Kazooie remains a solid resurrection of a classic game whose influential nature can still be appreciated and enjoyed today. Unfortunately, it is hampered by some bad camera glitches and could have used a few more enhancements, given the price tag.
  15. Fans have here the best version, without any flaws to point to. Still, those who aren't familiar with the game should think before buying because if some things were acceptable in 1998, today they give frustration. Problems - transited from the original - don't stop it from being among the best XBLA has to offer in the genre, but may leave you questioning the high price.
  16. Even as I come to the end of the review, I’m still pondering whether Banjo-Kazooie is worth the 1200 Microsoft Points tag. Yes you get a fun-filled adventure which many players will enjoy, but the lack of replayability is an off-putting factor.
  17. It's still a solid platformer with some neat ideas, but it's undone by a host of camera and control issues. If you popped your gaming cherry playing Banjo as a youngster, prepare for nostalgia tinged by disappointment, as you discover it's not quite the classic you remember.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Nov 17, 2012
    Back in 1998 when Rare was actually a video game company, they released Banjo - Kazooie, a platformer which could compete against Super Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time to be the best game on the system. 10 years later, this masterpiece has been re-released and it is as good as ever.

    In a quest to save your little sister Tootie from the evil which Gruntilda, you take controll of Banjo and his trusty feathered companion Kazooie to stop her. In Gruntildas Lair which serves as a hub world, you will find world gates and a corresponding portrait. In each of the 9 distinct worlds, you will find 10 jigsaw pieces - or just "jiggies" - which are used to fill up a portrait to then unlock the next world. Clever puzzle solving and mad platforming skills has to be used to acquire these jiggies in each world. While the jiggies are the main collectible, this game has so many things to collect to help in your journey.

    While the classic and marvelous soundtrack still sounds great today, the graphics has gotten an improvement. while the game still looks like an N64 game, it has gotten a very nice HD paint job. While it might not impress someone, it still looks very beautiful.

    There is not a whole lot to say anymore. This downloadable game wont break the boundaries like it did 10 years ago, but it still can be considered to be at the top of its class,even among today's standard. The gameplay is spot on, the controlls are perfect, the envoirment is creative and beautiful, a memorable soundtrack and with tons of secrets and collectibles to find makes this game one of the most complete packages of all time. With new additions to the XBLA version being leaderboards and a fully intergrates Stop 'N' Swop function, Banjo-Kazooie will last you a long time and is among the best out there!
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 26, 2012
    Quite possibly THE best retro 3D platformer you can get your hands on for 360. Now if only they could get Super Mario 64 on here......
    played and completed both Kazooie & Tooie first and second time around and even though you can get them running smooth enough on emulators who wouldn't pay for this one again.
    Truly one of the classics from the 64bit era & I still have both in cartridge form for N64
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 7, 2011
    Great N64 era game, memorable characters, great locations and a wise cracking bird.
    Only marred by a sometimes silly camera positioning...

    Recommend to All, Great game!
    Full Review »