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. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Really, though, the only glaring weakness we can find in BioShock is that it may be too unusual, too original, too artistic and too genius to be embraced by the general public. Please don't let this game become that forgotten, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. It never once became boring and the use of mixing weapons and plasmids makes for some pretty spectacular battles.
  11. 90
    Flawed though it may be, it's one of the most atmospheric first-person games ever made and perhaps the standout title of the generation so far. Dazzling, thought provoking, compelling and engaging, it's an experience which refuses to lessen its hold until you've seen it through to the end, and in doing so, lodges itself in the memory in a way that few other titles can.
  12. Rapture is a beautifully stylised city that provides plenty of mystery and intrigue. Definitely a game of the year contender.
  13. Bioshock is a real triumph, a wonderful story told in a beautiful world gone terribly wrong. Xbox 360 owners may balk at a game that doesn't feature multiplayer action but this really shouldn't put you off.
  14. Play it, talk about it, experience it--a game like Bioshock won't happen again for a good long while. [Nov 2007, p.80]
  15. HOLY SH..! With stunning visuals, immersive sound, and an epic story, BioShock hearkens back to a time of fantasy and wonder, blending elements of Jules Verne and John Carpenter into a cinematic masterpiece of sci-fi horror that you won’t want to miss. I can’t think of any game more deserving of a perfect ten than BioShock.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 100
    One of the most engrossing experiences in the history of interactive entertainment.
  20. 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]
  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. 99
    Bioshock is everything we've been hoping it could be. It defines the action/adventure genre, combining the thrills of a FPS, the strategy of a RPG, the looks of a visual masterpiece, the sounds of an epic, and the story of a full-blown mystery. It's not perfect, but it's damn close.
  24. It’s neither perfect nor as revolutionary as some might make out, but it is one of the most progressive, gripping and downright fun games to hit the market in the last decade.
  25. You simply will not find a game with finer audio. From the murky and creepy background noises to the spot-on voice work, there simply is no better game on any system in any genre that sounds better then this.
  26. 98
    By far and away the very pinnacle of first-person shooters, with 2K achieving those heady heights by braving to not just push against established genre barriers and expectations but to rip them out and place BioShock atop the pile as a landmark pseudo-RPG first-person shooter that will be a benchmark of quality for many years to come. Staggering.
  27. Simply put, BioShock is a must for anyone who’s over 17 and has a 360. So far, this is the best game of 2007.
  28. Make no mistake, BioShock is a masterpiece, as pure a gaming experience as exists today.
  29. 97
    There is art here, despite what many would say isn't possible with games, from Roger Ebert to game designers like Hideo Kojima...BioShock stands as a monolithic example of the convergence of entertaining gameplay and an irresistibly sinister, engrossing storyline that encompasses a host of multifaceted characters. This is an essential gaming experience.
  30. Without doubt, BioShock is truly a next-gen masterpiece, more than worthy of your attention. It simply blows everything comparable out of the water and for now we challenge you to find otherwise.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2071 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 53 out of 576
  1. Jun 1, 2011
    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
    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
    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 »