Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. Borderlands is a excellent title, which is a must have for fans of both FPS and RPG games.
  2. Co-op is a blast, the variety of weaponry lends an addictive quality to the game that's rarely seen, and it maintains a distinct sense of humor and personality. It's a long-lasting experience that manages to stay fresh throughout, and the ability to easily jump into a friend's game at any time only lengthens the appeal of an already stellar title.
  3. The bottom line is that this game is near-perfect and if you love looting then this is the game for you.
  4. 92
    The jump-in, jump-out aspect of multiplayer mode is great for people who like to play both solo and multiplayer. And while FPS/multiplayer extremists may find the questing a bit grindy (as one confided to me after a few days of playing), there really is a je ne sais quoi about this game that totally rules.
  5. It’s not just an RPG, not just a Diablo-style dungeon-crawling loot-whore game; no, Borderlands managed to actually cram in some satisfying FPS combat that doesn’t feel tacked-on. It succeeds as both an RPG AND a shooter and for that alone, it's definitely worth your money and your time.
  6. Even with its technical drawbacks, Borderlands is a shooter for people who want something a little more engaging. It will remind you of every FPS you’ve enjoyed over the last few years, stealing bits of brilliance here and there to make its own enthralling experience.
  7. 90
    The level of enjoyment derived from the game in single player proves that this is a game best played in co-op, which is where Borderlands shines.
  8. Borderlands is one of the year’s most enjoyable games, and I highly recommend it—even to those who may not like shooters or RPGs, because there’s a lot to like from this interesting hybrid.
  9. Despite the pre-release co-op hype, this one’s just as entertaining for solo apocalypse survivors. While I wish more dialog was delivered through animated characters, it’s hard not to be taken in by the rest of what this ambitious shooter has to offer—great visual presentation, addictive leveling and looting, frenzied gunplay, four playable classes. Oh, and Mutant Midget Psychos.
  10. The bottom line here is that as true hybrid games go, Borderlands is as great a success as there has ever been.
  11. One of the great things about Borderlands is that there is always plenty to do. In addition to the story missions there are always a number of other missions available, either from characters that you meet in the game or from job boards in the friendly settlements.
  12. Borderlands is a deep and engaging, RPG-shooter hybrid that needs to be played to be fully appreciated.
  13. The art style is great, the co-op is a blast, and while it's far from perfect, Pandora is a planet well worth exploring Borderlands is a fun – if not a tad simplistic – shooter that will appeal to the gear junkies and RPG heads as much as it will FPS fans.
  14. 90
    And there you have it. Gearbox has conjured up something special, and it's not just another Brothers In Arms sequel.
  15. 90
    This game has single-handedly stolen my soul since it arrived at my doorstep and I find myself needing to level up once a night, much like my wife and her World of Warcraft addiction.
  16. A furiously successful RPG and FPS combination that doesn't fall short on either front. [Issue#52, p.86]
  17. Overall, the game is worth the money for all those gamers who enjoy playing with a small group of friends or love looting. Still the game has various noticeable flaws which can have you caught in some pretty weird and awkward situations.
  18. As singleplayer experiences go it's still phenomenal - especially for a loot ***** (rhymes with boar) like me. I've racked up 25 hours in the game now on just one of my characters - and I'll absolutely play it more.
  19. When a game has such vicious combat, an intriguing skill system, and full co-op capability, a mediocre story can be overlooked. Borderlands is a necessity for any fan of the FPS and RPG genres, or just down-right looting fun.
  20. 90
    Taking elements from shooters and dungeon crawlers, the game blends them flawlessly into a terrific experience that's an easy sell for anyone who loves either.
  21. 90
    The fun I had with the rock-solid gunplay and extensive role-playing elements was considerably amplified by each additional player. Borderlands is an absolute blast that I'll go back to again and again, even if my friends aren't around to help out.
  22. Wildly entertaining and loaded with enough bullet-fueled action to keep action aficionados more than pleased, Borderlands for the Xbox 360 should be on the very top of your Must Have list. Filled with more than enough missions, plenty of skills and loads of guns, this is over-the-top action at its most insane.
  23. Borderlands is leading the way with the new FPS/RPG genre. It strikes a comfortable balance between real-time combat and character advancement.
  24. Borderlands isn't perfect. Far from it. But its addictive gameplay and unique features makes it different from the pack.
  25. 88
    It's something action role-playing game fans looking for an experience more up-close and brutal than genre entries of the third-person variety should have a blast with, and one of the more memorable products of 2009.
  26. 88
    With the right blend of attitude, solid gameplay and an unapologetic focus on making a really entertaining co-op experience, Borderlands isn't just an alternative to Valve's co-op zombie-blaster this holiday season, it's really the alternative.
  27. Borderlands provides players with an open world to explore, thousands of guns to collect, and plenty of compelling moments, making it worth a look for fans of shooters and RPGs alike.
  28. Borderlands manages to combine two normally distinct genres into an impressive and potent blend of FPS and RPG entertainment that is best played with friends. Grab your buddies and get hunting.
  29. Pure and addictive RPG-flavored FPS action, extremely engaging co-op and altogether a vast and mysterious world waiting to be explored.
  30. 87
    In short, Borderlands is a top-quality shooter and grind-fest.
  31. In most ways, Borderlands is a first-person shooter that's really designed towards RPG fans, specifically the Diablo-styled hack & slash games. Regular shooter fans will find a lot to enjoy here however, thanks to the solid shooter mechanics.
  32. Doesn’t have an instant appeal to it, but after a while Borderlands can get seriously addictive. It’s really quite impressive when you realize, that you've put 40 hours into a single player fps game! Still, the game could offer a bit more depth with the character builds. One active skill per character is really not enough. The laggy co-op in Xbox Live is a sore disappointment. [Nov 2010]
  33. Borderlands is a pretty brilliant example of the power of genre mixtures. RPG, Shooter, Sandbox… all of them are quite simple but assembling them creates a brilliant and addictive videogame.
  34. Borderlands, is a great game, a strange but well devised mix of kill and loot mechanics from Diablo and a frantic fps. Long and challenging in single player, the game gives its best in the online coop mode.
  35. Whether you’re a FPS, RPG or racing fan, this is a must-play game and with multiple different gameplay types, it’s guaranteed to keep you busy for an endless number of hours.
  36. With all the single-player blockbuster first person shooters on the market and even more to come, if you are looking to break away from all the loneliness and socialise with a friend or few in vast desert landscapes, Borderlands could be just for you.
  37. Original, visually attractive and unique, Borderlands won't leave anyone indifferent and will be a treasure for those who enjoy its innovative style.
  38. Fun combat and a steady flow of rewards make this journey a massively enjoyable one, especially with some fellow mercenaries along for the ride.
  39. Borderlands is great but not for everyone. It's narrowly aimed at a certain type of player, and if you love fierce combat and the kind of group level grind that Blizzard's PC games specialize in, you'll feel right at home. [Dec 2009, p.66]
  40. Gearbox has churned out another hit with Borderlands, an original IP with original style, flare, graphics, and gameplay in a land of sequels, spin-offs and clones.
  41. Overlook-able faults aside, Gearbox has delivered one of meatiest, most wholly satisfying hybrids yet.
  42. Borderlands isn't the most complex of games, in fact it's quite simple as you're not really interacting much with anything like it somehow feels you should be able to. However the execution in the areas it does well in are well polished and entices gamers who have gaming addictions.
  43. 85
    What it does do is take the most basely satisfying parts of the whole RPG genre and lay them out in a fast moving buffet of bloodshed and looting. The joy of acquisition and dominance inherent to role-playing games is married to the savage joy of slaughtering entire crowds of victi.. sorry villains, and in conclusion I can heartily recommend it.
  44. 85
    Borderlands shows just how compelling a mix of shooting and looting can be. And it can be even better with friends.
  45. Fun, huge, with hundreds of missions and cooperative gameplay for up to four players, both online and offline. Borderlands is an incredible mix of action and RPG, with some flaws but, overall, a great game for action lovers.
  46. Borderlands, in this generation, is one of the few titles that dares with courage, exploring new styles of gaming without the constriction of its genre. The game owes its success to the articulated gameplay that sums GTA, Halo and WoW mechanics in a single pot. Gearbox's production shows its muscles in particular in the co-op multiplayer mode, which is the top experience in the game.
  47. 85
    Borderlands offers an interesting FPS gameplay, with a healthy dose of RPG elements woven into it. It has addictive gameplay, item fever and a world full of funny and interesting characters. On top of that, you get an amusing co-op mode and an unequaled audiovisual rendition. A great game for both shooter lovers and (action) RPG fans.
  48. Do not dismiss Borderlands as “just another shooter.” Co-op play is all the rage in FPS games these days, and not only is it featured here, but it is encouraged.
  49. Really, Borderlands is like crack. But these 16 hour marathons have to stop. I have laundry and other things to attend to.
  50. Borderlands is a bit of a grind-fest, but that's part of the fun, as you take on tougher enemies and hunt for bigger and badder gear. The co-op play is integrated seamlessly, and there's a huge world to explore with friends or on your own.
  51. Put an FPS, an RPG and a Sandbox game into a deep pan, mix gently and then add a pinch of Fist of the North Star and abundant Fallout flavouring. Stir and cook for a while then add cel shade graphics, plenty of blood and weapons and a solid multiplayer structure, and you’ll have Borderlands. Although at first it smells a bit like frozen pizza, give it a bite and you'll see that it tastes oh! so good!
  52. Not nearly as epic as Fallout 3 but intriguing and addictive for level-grind-loving gamers. [Dec 2009, p.72]
  53. High calibre fun. [Christmas 2009, p.74]
  54. For fans of loot hunting and a cooperative multiplayer experience, Borderlands will unquestionably steal their soul. Their days will be wrapped around figuring out how to put more time into Borderlands and trying to find out who they can ultimately trust as a teammate.
  55. Borderlands is a successful experiment, managing to introduce some fresh elements in the quite static FPS landscape. The gameplay mechanics and its original graphics make it fresh and entertaining, suitable both for FPS fans and the people who loves Diablo-style RPGs. If you're willing to play it cooperatively with (up to four) your friends, Borderlands will shine in its best shape.
  56. Packed with so much stuff to see and kill, Borderlands offers plenty of things to aim your spiffy new weapons at, all the while providing one of the best co-op experiences of the year.
  57. 83
    Call it a first-person Diablo, an evolution of Resistance 2's co-op mode, Monster Hunter for the west, or a party game for FPS gamers. Call it the best example of the transformative power of multiplayer. Whatever you designate it, Borderlands is a decent single-player FPS/RPG that simply becomes great -- when playing with others. Besides, sheer midget panic is something that has to be shared with friends.
  58. Borderlands has been a great game. First of all we have to reward the willingness of developers to propose something different, that we dare to define original. The RPG-FPS hybrid gameplay works perfectly and playing the co-op mode online, the title takes off, ensuring many hours of fun. Combine this with its excellent graphics, in its way kind of unique too, and you'll understand the value of a fresh product, suitable for all those who love to spend their time online.
  59. 82
    Are you looking for a good game which you can play online as well as offline? And do you like shooters with RPG-elements? Then Borderlands is definitely your game to buy!
  60. In terms of value, Gearbox has created an extraordinary package - one that will offer subtly different rewards regardless of how you approach it. [Dec 2009, p.114]
  61. In actuality, in spite of these congruities, all of its parts are tailored toward the shooter genre, so it's not an RPG at all really, it's just a multi-layered FPS, which, to be honest, is brilliant.
  62. It’s rarely frustrating, always fun, and a total blast when it comes to multiplayer. While the story won’t change anyone’s life, the presentation and gameplay are more than enough reason to journey to Pandora.
  63. Borderlands is a very entertaining shooter and a rather bland RPG. It rewards dedication with new guns and new things to shoot at, which is all kinds of fun for players who enjoy MMO-style progression. But if its charm and depth hadn’t been abandoned so quickly, it may have been absolutely brilliant.
  64. Much more than the sum of its parts, but unfortunately said parts are only an okay FPS and an okay RPG, both fairly no-frills and functional. It's a roast dinner without gravy followed by an apple pie without custard. Nothing's wrong, but you can't shake the nagging feeling that something's missing. Borderlands is a good time, but it should have been a great time.
  65. Borderlands is unique, it's different, and it's hard to classify. But it's not for everyone. It's not for the stereotypical CoD/Halo crowd. It's not revolutionary, but it is interesting. And, crucially, it's a hell of a lot of fun, but only, long term at least, in co-op.
  66. Borderlands surprised us. We went into the experience expecting a pulse-pounding shooter with fancy cut scenes and lots of drama (no surprise, since we play more FPS on consoles than RPGs), and instead found a slower-moving and tough (but immensely rewarding) slog through a beautiful fantasy world populated by imaginative monsters and more weapons than we know what to do with.
  67. Borderlands mixes up RPG and shooter and this works well. Don’t expect a Fallout 3 though, because this is an entirely different product. This really feels more like a shooter at most times.
  68. It is a successful mixture of first person shooter and role playing elements. The story is thin and unexciting and the world shows a rather low variation on environment and enemies. The different character classes complement each other and raise the experience a notch and if you play the game with a couple of friends the faults are less obvious and irritating.
  69. 80
    Borderlands‘ story is paper-thin, a dollop of flavor draped over compelling gameplay.
  70. A nice shooter with an entertaining coop mode, cool weapon combinations but annoying AI.
  71. Borderlands is one of the best co-op games on the market. It's fun and easy to pick up, and its unique combination of RPG and FPS elements makes it unlike anything else out there.
  72. Borderlands is a really solid game that does deserve a look this holiday season. Being more of a single player gamer on the consoles I was a bit let down by the games lack of attention to the single player element, but was extremely impressed with the cooperative play.
  73. Players will have a great time with the different character builds, weapons, and multiplayer squad configurations, but will also be served lackluster narrative and mission structure that temper the experience.
  74. Borderlands is a fantastic beginning to what will hopefully become a great franchise. While it lacks certain elements that would have made it more memorable, the sleek gameplay and beautiful graphics represent a stellar example of genres melting together, something which too often fails in execution.
  75. Borderlands gives the lonely gamer a kind of monotonous experience, but it is great when you invite some friends. The story is really thin and the world is kind of lifeless at some points. But tons of weapons, quests and the urge to level to the next stage makes the game entertaining. A solid game for those who like to play together, instead of against each other.
  76. 80
    The accessible nature of Borderlands -- with its relatively non-punitive deaths, constant checkpoints, and convenient fast-travel systems -- makes it a fantastic game for introducing FPS fans to some basic RPG tropes. And, most importantly, the killing and looting never ceases to be fun.
  77. It's also one of those games that's so strong in parts that its shortcomings become almost glaring by comparison. As such, the game's barebones story, lackluster AI, and insufficient player trading options are real disappointments that prevent the game from reaching its full potential. But when you're frantically trying to stay alive while getting swarmed by an angry horde of gigantic spiderants, chances are you won't care much about that other stuff.
  78. Borderlands is undoubtedly a unique experience - but one that comes with many flaws like being quite repetitive and somewhat boring, if you are not absolute into looting, grinding and playing Co-op. If you are though: This might be your sole past-time-activity for the coming months.
  79. A fairly unique composition in terms of first-person shooter meets role-playing gameplay with a stylized presentation, Borderlands offers hours of leveling to do and a never-ending supply of enemies to experiment destructive weapons on.
  80. The multiplayer aspect gives it a lot of longevity, which is supplemented with New Game+ features as well. Mission variety is decent and enemies are well varied within their types, although the most addictive part of the game's missions will be the underlying RPG elements that allow further customization and adjustments throughout the length of the title.
  81. Borderline brilliant at times and even a heavy weight of minor flaws can't spoil the superb co-op play.
  82. If you're looking for an RPG, there are better options (yes, Fallout 3, I'm looking at you). If you want an FPS, there are tons of better games. But as a combination of both genres Borderlands is a fresh and fun option.
  83. Alluringly lurid, but ultimately disposable. [Dec 2009, p.92]
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 633 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 161
  1. Jul 11, 2011
    6
    A mediocre game. At first the experience is a bit new and seems fun, but the game quickly drags on. The original campaign is very short and anti-climatic. The online co-op is a joke, riddled with shameless cheaters and bugs that still exist from release. Instead of fixing the bugs, Gearbox decided it was a better idea to release 4 DLC add-ons. I only paid 10 bucks for the game and all the DLC and I still feel cheated. Full Review »
  2. MordecaiHunter
    Jan 14, 2010
    10
    Borderlands retains the best elements of Fallout 3, leveling, skills, open RPG environment, and the first person shooter behavior and ridiculous weapons variety of Modern Warfare, all wrapped up in an orignal and creative style. The opportunities for developing a unique character based on the choices you make in the game are nearly infinite. I love this game, a must buy! Full Review »
  3. WillB
    Dec 7, 2009
    3
    I've never been more disappointed by a game. Glitchy (misplaced markers, corrupted my savegame on xbox) annoying (millions of weapons, but they're all the same and you can only carry so many) no replay (quests aren't repeatable) and the ending is a flat-out disappointment after which you're left with no reason to do anything but throw down the controller. I want to like Borderlands, but my deleted character and complete lack of reward make the rest of the fun I had feel not worth it. Full Review »