Metascore
96

Universal acclaim - based on 88 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 88
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 88
  3. Negative: 0 out of 88
  1. 100
    The first-person shooter's great looking, has an engrossing storyline, a perfect balance of action and exploration and a totally customizable combat system that can be described as nothing less than video game rapture.
  2. The most salient fact about BioShock is that it's different. If it doesn't sell well, perhaps it's time to abandon hope and resign ourselves to the eternal recurrence of space dungeons and World War II. Games like BioShock are what we need. They are what we deserve.
  3. 100
    One of the most engrossing experiences in the history of interactive entertainment.
  4. 100
    It will challenge you, it will move you, and it will force you to make hard decisions. It is unbelievably immersive and tenaciously inventive. It is a game that sets the bar high for others to follow—for its art direction, narrative, and gameplay.
  5. Bioshock is that rare game where the plot, environment, and combat are all steps above the normal video game experience. Games at their very best, like this one, can create amazing alternative worlds for us to inhabit, doing those things we can't do in real life. This is one product the free market should be very happy to have.
  6. 100
    You'll notice really small but crucial touches throughout your descent in Rapture that make it easily one of the most engaging, fun and unique shooters of any console. Whether you're looking for an action game, an adventure game, a good story, a unique concept, or hell, even an RPG, BioShock's brilliant campaign will make you realize that the first person shooter genre can and needs to be so much more than it is.
  7. BioSchock is amazing. Not only are its visuals, music, sound, gameplay and plot superb, but it's highly polished and runs beautifully on the 360 without any noticeable drop in frame rate. [Issue 23, p.70]
  8. BioShock is a title that gamers spend their whole lives waiting to play. Something that delivers on an absurdly high level in every department, and one that never dips in quality for the 15-20 hours that it lasts.
  9. 100
    The art direction is outstanding; mixing art deco architecture, classic 1950’s graphic design and tons of great old music from the early jazz era that adds a musty creepiness to the overall atmosphere of the game. It’s definitely not your typical Space Marine fare, and that’s a very good thing.
  10. Everyone will play it differently, and have a different experience. Some like myself will find it drenched in tension and atmosphere, having run into many a situation where the poop was scared out of me. Others, like a friend of mine, will claim that its intuitiveness, combative freedom, and creativity puts it above the spiritual predecessor "System Shock 2," and wonder at how convincing the whole affair can be.
  11. A technical masterpiece with a story that reaches too far—but Andrew Ryan would have it no other way.
  12. 100
    While Bioshock doesn't necessarily do anything remarkably new once looked at from afar, what it does achieve is a literal masterpiece of all the elements presented. Most shocking of all is the deep customizable weapon system which gives it an almost RPG feel.
  13. This is a beautiful-looking game. This is a beautiful-sounding game. And this is a beautifully designed game with a story and atmosphere that sticks with you long after you've emerged. [Oct 2007, p.96]
  14. It's not just the fact that BioShock is a real looker, or the fact that as a first-person shooter alone it stands up to all of its competitors; it's the thought and craftsmanship that went into realising Rapture, its emotionally-jarring denizens and its compelling and seamless narrative that pushes you willingly forward from chapter-to-chapter.
  15. 100
    There are very few games that can provide a universe so intriguing that they force players to ask themselves questions about their own morality and decision making in the medium of video games. It’s easy to see that many gamers will walk away from their Xbox 360s having played BioShock feeling some emotional attachment to the events that unfolded right before their eyes and for that 2K Boston have succeeded in their goal.
  16. 100
    It's a tale of moral imperative, the nature of man, tragedy, betrayal, right, wrong, and the gray that lives in-between. And if you're not interested in the depth its story line explores, it's also an immaculate action game, with enough ways to bludgeon, maim, and blow stuff up to hold you over until "Halo 3" arrives.
  17. 100
    BioShock is one of the few games that I’ve reviewed in my entire career that I feverishly want to go back through and play again to not only enjoy the dynamics of the gameplay, but also appreciate all of the effort put into a great story and an amazing underwater city named Rapture, which sucks you into its world the second you step through its doors.
  18. 100
    In the vast majority of games, and particularly first-person shooters, quality is entirely dependent on minutiae such as weapon choice and enemy variety. In Bioshock these are merely details, adornments to a far deeper and more complete experience than any game since "Half-Life 2." [Oct 2007, p.104]
  19. Play it, talk about it, experience it--a game like Bioshock won't happen again for a good long while. [Nov 2007, p.80]
  20. An excellent mix between FPS, RPG and adventure, Bioshock challenges conventions to bring us a game where the choices available to the player are the focus of its innovative and creative gameplay. It’s not a perfect game, but it’s without a doubt an unforgettable experience. The main candidate to the GOTY award rests its case. [Sept 2007, p.59]
  21. Rapture is so thoroughly realized that it genuinely feels like a place that very well could exist -- not so much something created by the art and design team, but rather lifted from some preexisting pocket of hell deep under the ocean. It's an absolutely stunning game with some of the best graphics you're likely to see on the 360, bringing to life the gorgeous art deco environs of the city.
  22. 100
    BioShock has everything that "Doom 3" wanted to offer and keeps all the essence and horror elements of the classic "System Shock 2."
  23. 100
    Enthralling from beginning to end, and the fact that it deserves its place alongside some of the greatest games ever made is achievement enough.
  24. It never once became boring and the use of mixing weapons and plasmids makes for some pretty spectacular battles.
  25. Whether you're a nice guy or not and whether you tackle System Shock 2 beforehand or not (or (re)watch The Shining!), you owe it to yourself to own a copy of Bioshock.
  26. Amazingly written and beautifully constructed, it's a complete emotional rollercoaster which we can't drawn any parallels with...You'll be playing this game for months to come, exchanging story elements to build up the bigger picture, and arguing about what it all means. [Sept 2007, p.88]
  27. 100
    BioShock is the ultimate rarity: not only does it live up to its lofty promise, but exceeds it through simple, old fashioned talent and imagination - not to mention verve, style,class, wit, and sheer bloody-minded ambition. It takes the tired, worn-out FPS genre by the scruff of the neck, reinvents and bend it out of shape in such a breathtaking fashion that it's going to take something very special to top this in the months and years ahead.
  28. It’s ingenious, enthralling, and a masterpiece of the most epic proportions. So without further delay, would you kindly enter Rapture so that you too can experience the best that video games have to offer?
  29. 100
    Taken as a whole, as an experience that's richly and utterly complete, and one that engages the player in a constant dialogue, BioShock is virtually unassailable. And that makes you feel good.
  30. 100
    An unparalleled achievement. No other game comes even remotely close to it in terms of raw emotional connection.
User Score
8.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2071 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 576
  1. Jun 1, 2011
    10
    Original and refreshing, has an amazing storyline aswell as an amazing atmosphere and setting. Enjoyable combat, maybe a little bit repetitiveOriginal and refreshing, has an amazing storyline aswell as an amazing atmosphere and setting. Enjoyable combat, maybe a little bit repetitive for some, the game paces well too. Full Review »
  2. Bio
    Oct 1, 2007
    10
    Intense, breathtaking, and original. If you don't like this game, take a break and detox from the Halo hype, and try again later. Ahh, Intense, breathtaking, and original. If you don't like this game, take a break and detox from the Halo hype, and try again later. Ahh, isn't that better? I thought so. Full Review »
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    10
    The most political game you will play on an Xbox, a great art direction, and simply brilliant. If you haven't played this yet its a must. ItsThe most political game you will play on an Xbox, a great art direction, and simply brilliant. If you haven't played this yet its a must. Its not a game you can play for a couple of minutes then leave. Its a game that requires the user to be warped into its world Full Review »