Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 84 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 84
  2. Negative: 0 out of 84
  1. 100
    Fallout 3 almost effortlessly succeeds in its central aim of reviving a much-loved brand to appeal to the vast majority of players. It's a thrilling, all-consuming experience that will absorb you for weeks, whether you're attracted by the action, the adventure, or the role-playing, as you fall in love with the relentless excitement, incredible atmosphere, sense of place and sheer choice...Bethesda has once again delivered a game of life-affirming brilliance that will be heralded as a classic, and talked about for years to come.
  2. 100
    If you’re not exploring the wasteland then you’re cheating yourself out of one of the best games in years. [Christmas 2008, p.94]
  3. 100
    By turns spectacular, exhilarating, disturbing, moving, frightening, relaxing, idling and life-consuming, Fallout 3 is one vision of the end of times that gets better with every minute. This is epic gaming and if this is what the Apocalypse is all about then you can sign me up.
  4. Vast, epic, engaging, absorbing, terrifying, horrific, amusing and thoroughly brilliant. Fallout 3 is easily one of the best games ever made and one that deserves and needs to be played.
  5. 100
    Fallout 3 will probably end up being one of the best games of 2008 and, in it's one unique way, a worthy sequel in the Fallout series. Bethesda takes essential gameplay elements from the original Fallout games and gives these elements a new twist. The Fallout 3 gameplay is perfectly executed and Capital Wasteland offers a fantastic world in which you'll find plenty to discover, even after spending dozens of hours in this world. Gamers, hide in your bombshelter and don't resurface before you've played Fallout 3.
  6. 100
    After this game-experience negative points are hard to find. Sure, the radio program is not mind-blowing and the third-person-view is suboptimal. But this doesn’t matter, as Fallout 3 is wonderful and even a class better than Bethesda’s last title - Oblivion.
  7. 100
    Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Fallout 3 is how effortlessly it combines so many gameplay mechanics, storylines, characters, expansive environments and complex in-game intricacies into one fluid package.
  8. Games this captivating do not come along often. Between its engrossing story, ginormous world, well-crafted RPG side, and white-knuckle FPS combat, Fallout 3 completely, utterly gives you your $60 worth. [Dec 2008, p.52]
  9. Not only will you be glued to the game right up to the end, you'll go right back and play it through again just to see what consequences different choices will produce. Fallout 3 is a technical triumph, but more importantly, it's a beautiful piece of design, exploring the well-trodden video game ground of good vs. evil better than any other game to date.
  10. 100
    The ironically devastated world of Fallout has never been better realized than in Fallout 3, offering a vast landscape that is almost relentlessly bleak in its hopelessness. It's absorbing, immersive, paradoxically beautiful, and kind of depressing to play over long periods of time.
  11. 100
    Yes, Fallout 3 is a lot like Oblivion (with guns!), but it's a superior game in nearly every way, as it features a more engaging storyline, impeccable presentation, and hundreds of hours of addictive gameplay. While the jury is still out on whether or not hardcore Fallout enthusiasts will accept the game as part of the storied franchise, Fallout 3 is a must-have title for most RPG fans, as well as one of the finest games of this generation.
  12. Though it doesn't do anything particularly revolutionary, the level of artistry is so far beyond anything we've played recently that it almost doesn't need to. Standing uniquely in the busy Christmas schedule and indeed within 2008 as a whole, Fallout 3 is an experience to savour.
  13. 100
    This is easily one of the best RPGs ever created, a serious contender for Game of the Year awards from the gaming media, and a title with which all video game fans owe it to themselves to spend some time. It is hard to put down and will not disappoint.
  14. A massive, enthralling achievement.
  15. That’s the beauty of survival, and this world of fallout: It feeds on adventure and breathes in freedom, yet it dreams of order and the safety of the Vault. I can describe it, explain it, tell it in finely chosen words, but I can never make you fully understand for as long as you sit and listen. But even if I die, I do not worry. There will come a time when you will seize that lever and open that metal door, and it is then I will return. And the Wasteland will greet you, the birth of a legend.
  16. 100
    The main quest is an enthralling tale that will thrust you into the battlefield of D.C., side-by-side with the Brotherhood of Steel, face to face with the illustrious DJ of Galaxy News Radio (my favorite station of the wastes), and aboard a reclaimed aircraft carrier. It’s an epic journey, but when it’s done, it’s done. The only option after that is to start all over again with a brand new face. No complaints here.
  17. 100
    Faults be damned, though; this is the kind of hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often, and when it does, you'd be a fool not to play it and enjoy the hell out of it and look forward to the day (next-next-gen?) when the fidelity of open-world RPGs takes another big step closer to the uncanny valley's far side.
  18. 100
    Heck, it might just be the best console RPG of all time. It's deep, complex and tremendously addictive. From the amazing character development system to the engaging and satisfying combat, Fallout 3 has everything you could want in an RPG experience.
  19. You are going to want to book a few weeks off work for this one, once you have started its very hard to put down, a enthralling story backed up with a great VATS to add spice to the fighting.
  20. The presentation of the game, as a whole, is what really takes Fallout 3 and boosts it into a level high above most of the other games being released this year on the Xbox 360.
  21. If you like role playing games, buy it. If you like first person shooters, buy it. The game is just amazing in everyway and we could not have expected a better Fallout title. Bethesda has another huge galactic hit on its hands and now we need to see some downloadable content please.
  22. 97
    Although Fallout 3 is fundamentally a role-playing game, its success lies in the way it balances -- and sometimes betters -- the approaches of other videogame masterpieces: the retro immersion of "BioShock," the paranoia of "Portal," the exploration of "Oblivion" and the seamless storytelling of "Half-Life 2."
  23. 96
    Fallout 3 offers freedom without sacrificing a focused story. It delivers fantastic combat without forgoing a deep role-playing system. The characters you meet are engaging and oftentimes hilarious without feeling out of place in this harsh world.
  24. It isn't quite perfect, but no game of this size and scope ever really will be, and ultimately nothing can prevent Fallout 3 from being one of the greatest role-playing experiences on the console to date.
  25. 96
    Bethesda's apocalyptical Fallout 3 belies its own jaw-dropping desolation by delivering a near-faultless action RPG that manages to not only execute compelling first-person gameplay but also provides an influential and in-depth character evolution system that's supported by an intriguing storyline and a mind-boggling game world that screams "Game of the Year" at every turn.
  26. The game combines the strengths of two fine RPG series, which for Fallout 3 means compelling narrative in a post-apocalyptic setting and immersive gameplay in a huge, open-ended world. All of this just leaves one question to answer: is Fallout 3 a contender for Game of the Year? And the answer: undeniably, yes.
  27. So what you have here with Fallout 3 is a great addition to the series, even if you are a die-hard fan of Black Isle Studios’ work with the previous Fallout titles. It has some slight faults, but the quality of the rest of the package more than makes up for it all.
  28. I just can't find a good reason not to recommend Fallout 3 to any serious gamer out there.
  29. Fallout 3 masterfully creates a parallel universe for players to explore and lose dozens of hours in. No other game of this console generation comes close to offering the amount of content, freedom of choice, and level of immersion that can be found here.
  30. This game is massive, and as your character’s stature in the Wasteland grows, so does the excitement. It’s not a true sequel to the Fallout series, but as a fan of the games of old, I found it to be every bit as good.
  31. There is more gameplay in this game than any four other holiday titles combined, and every minute of it is compelling.
  32. The people at Bethesda are well-known for making games with incredible longevity and replay value, and Fallout 3 is another solid, worthy achievement by this studio – you can be sure that down the road there’ll be expansions or downloadable content for this already sizeable experience.
  33. In the end, Fallout 3 feels like a Fallout game, and that is absolutely the highest compliment. Despite the changes, much of the charm and fun of the franchise remains intact, and despite the similarities to Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, I never felt that I was playing anything but a Fallout game.
  34. 95
    This is one of the best games of this generation, and a must-have for anyone with the slightest bit of interest in the post-apocalyptic genre.
  35. 95
    Fallout 3 is among the best games I've played this year, and represents both Bethesda's legacy and the legacy of the Fallout series incredibly well. It's easy to sink hours into exploring this world, and its depth will consume you if you let it. Fallout 3 is a must buy for anyone who loves games, regardless of your preferred genre.
  36. Fallout 3 is an experience in itself, and while it may not offer as much replay value as Oblivion, it’s so much more then an “Oblivion with guns”.
  37. It looks amazing, its immersion factor is second to none, and the whole experience is like a good book; addictive and impossible to put down. Packed to the gills with the incredibly deep Fallout mythos, you can play through the twenty odd hours of main quest but come back to experience the 50+ hours of side quests dotted throughout this freaky, radiated reality.
  38. 95
    If you can put in the time and commit to exploring this detailed and carefully designed wasteland, then Fallout 3 can't help but satisfy and engage you in ways that very few games ever have.
  39. There's no doubt that many people already know that they will love Fallout 3: it offers the epic world that many yearn for.
  40. Hardcore Fallout fans will either hate Fallout 3 because it's not Fallout or Fallout 2, or they'll love it because it's still a great game set in one of the best freaking universes ever. If you never played the original games and you like shooter/rpg combinations Fallout 3 is a must buy.
  41. Definitely, no videogame fan should let Fallout 3 escape. There are so many things you can do, places you can explore and situations to experiment, that regardless the many times we could say this is a superb title, an instant classic, there is no better way to understand the reason for such praise than to get lost in the ruinous Washington D.C. region.
  42. If the third-person perspective was better, Fallout 3 would’ve been an almost perfect RPG. Even with that said, everyone needs to spend time showing off how amazing VATS is since it is pure ecstasy.
  43. When people talk about deep, immersive video games, Fallout 3 can stand as a reference.
  44. Still, it's the kind of hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often. [Dec 2008, p.69]
  45. 94
    Ultimately, Bethesda triumphed over all odds with Fallout 3. Defeating hype and the need to live up to the past, the Fallout 3 team created an intensely profound world and worthy successor to the franchise.
  46. Tthere’s a constant flow of surprises and excellence packed into this RPG. Everything is set at such a high caliber that the negligible flaws and inconsistencies come across as much larger blemishes than in most games, but they can’t tarnish the overall experience.
  47. Fallout 3 is a fantastic game. It has its flaws, as does any game, but it is so immersive and can give you a heck of a lot of entertainment for your money that it's worth the pricetag. If you liked Oblivion, you will no doubt fall in love with this game as I did. Maybe not Game Of The Year, but it is a worthy contender for that top spot.
  48. But really, those why find the missions a little repetitive are missing the point, because while Fallout 3 is certainly not perfect, the goods outweigh the bad to such a degree that the negatives really can be ignored. Whether you want to trade, rob trade caravans, become a melee combat specialist or perfect killing from 500 yards, the possibilities are endless.
  49. Different from Oblivion but bound to be compared to it, Fallout 3 is deep, rewarding and as open-world as you get, with only a few issues that warrant a sight raise of the eyebrow.
  50. Fallout 3 is a masterpiece. Failing to add it to your games collection is simply not an option. [Christmas 2008, p.74]
  51. In almost all respects, Fallout 3 is a staggering, genre-defining achievement - marrying an utterly immersive world, memorable characters, incredible production values, some of the most inspired RPG mechanics ever devised and so much heart. It might not steamroll the epic "Oblivion" in the manner we all hoped, but maybe that was simply asking too much. Instead, Fallout 3 stands as the perfect companion piece - a near unparalleled RPG that stands so far ahead of the majority of the games on 360 that it would be a crime against gaming not to laud this title as anything other than a masterpiece.
  52. If you own a next gen system, you really owe it to yourself to play this game for at least 10 hours of your life. Doing this will not only prove how entertaining games can be, but rather act as a statement as to how far video games have come.
  53. Bethesda has done an excellent job at creating a living and wheezing post apocalypse world. Combining RPG elements and gory action orientated combat flawlessly.
  54. There's a tremendous amount of replay value here as well so you'll really want to play it over and over again. Fallout 3 is worth the wait and it's not surprising that Bethesda has done it again.
  55. Fallout 3 is an incredibly well-accomplished game that lets players explore a rich, diverse and interesting landscape however they see fit.
  56. The game concludes with a satisfying outcome, but really doesn’t make much of a big deal of your course through the game and final decisions on what to do, and unless you’ve got a save before the unexpected point of no return, you’ll have to start again to explore more of the world. Of course that’s the beauty of the game. You’ll want to.
  57. A big game that is worth sinking your teeth into, even if you have to close your eyes and hum every time you're reminded it's called Fallout.
  58. It's simple what Bethesda's done here - it's taken Oblivion's engine and design ethos, and applied it to a fresh franchise. The results are truly impressive, and we've no hesitation in slapping on a Must Buy badge, but you can't help but notice that for every problem it's fixed from Oblivion, a new leak's sprung.
  59. This is a massive game: in a month that's seen the release of five or six of the year's best titles, I reckon this is the absolute peach. It's packed with interesting places, with choices to make, with that nebulous sense of adventure you only find in the best RPGs.
  60. Another must-have title to make wallets weep and players rejoice, Fallout 3 live up to expectations and only seldom stumbles, even then in expected areas where scale and scope get the better of it slightly. Regardless, it’s an undeniable classic and if you only plan on buying one or two games this winter, we couldn’t name a title that could give you value for money in the way that Fallout manages.
  61. Fallout 3 gives an incredibly bleak outlook on our future and humanity, all the while roping me in closer than just about any title has in the past few years, despite it’s faults. It’s a game everyone should play, if not just to find out who they really are, and to learn what life would be like if we finally had to duck and cover.
  62. Fallout 3 is a triumph in almost every sense.
  63. There's no denying Fallout 3 is little more than Oblivion in a post-apocalyptic setting. However that's more a compliment than complaint.
  64. In fact, Fallout 3 is leaner and meaner than Bethesda's previous efforts, less expansive but more intense, while still offering immense replay value and quite a few thrills along the way.
  65. Though Fallout 3 is a good game and it lived up to all my expectations, it is certainly not for anyone wanting a quick game.
  66. In Fallout 3 Bethesda has made a very good thing, though it is somewhat hampered by the lack of variable scenery and a VATS that plays less than perfectly.
  67. For all Fallout 3’s ideas, innovations, and excellent hybrid of game genres, it’s not without its flaws.
  68. Fallout is back and dare I say, better than ever.
  69. The overall experience of Fallout 3 is unmatched, and the amount of game Bethesda has packed into this $60 title can’t be ignored. Flaws aside, taken as a whole, Fallout 3 is an astounding effort and easily one this year’s best gaming experiences.
  70. It’s a game that provides action, adventure, exploration, interaction and excitement in a beautifully realised Armageddon that provides so many unexpected moments, but somehow manages to remain consistent and believable.
  71. 90
    From the hollow wind blowing down through subway tunnels, to the radioactive dust clouds swirling throughout the wasteland, up to the buzzards circling the encampment where the bodies of 30 slave traders lie; Fallout 3 is as much a game as it is a training sim for the coming apocalypse.
  72. Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
  73. Fallout 3 brings back a legendary saga to the foreground of video games and it does it with remarkable successes. Graphically it is a very powerful title, the ambience is carefully planned, and its size, freedom and scope are its principal highlights. It is as captivating a game in the beginning as easy to forget in the mid term; despite this, we can say that it is a title that is worth trying.
  74. After the initial jaunt though, visiting old locations gets repetitive and dull.
  75. 88
    It’s the big Christmas action game with brains and choices, and with an interest in constructing a refreshingly different world from all those austere near-future manshoots that clog up the shelves. In many respects, it’s a far better game than "Bioshock," most of all because you get the endless choice that promised but didn’t deliver. So it’s tragic that the often awful production values make a fool of it so regularly.
  76. I really must say I initially expected a slightly more epic feel during certain segments of the game. Some scenes are a bit underwhelming, as is the very ending of the game.
  77. Despite being unable to match the PC in terms of graphical splendour, there's plenty here to keep you occupied, and fans won't be disappointed with what the developers have crafted.
  78. Anyone who played Bethesda's Oblivion, 2006's 'Game of the year,' will find the mission structure familiar, save for the game's auto-targeting system, called V.A.T.S., which is sometimes more of a hindrance than help. Even so, gamers with a taste for detailed storylines and Mad Max style visuals, will find that Fallout 3 delivers a solid, entertaining role-playing experience that will keep you glued to the couch for hours.
  79. Fallout 3 is a great realisation of the Fallout franchise in the third dimension, backed by the great tech that powered Bethesda's prior success Oblivion. But the game's greatest strength is also it's greatest weakness. Although you have a wealth of great content to wade through there is also a great deal of repetitive environments and missions. This being said, these minor flaws aren't enough to dampen what is otherwise a great roleplaying adventure and of the best games of 2008.
  80. 80
    Despite the clunky menu system and nearly useless real-time combat options, the biggest complaint I can level at Fallout 3 is that it isn't by the original developer, Interplay. But since we'll never see that game, Bethesda's take on the series is a very acceptable substitute.
  81. For lovers of the genre, it's tough to go wrong with Fallout 3. However, if you're strictly a shooter fan or enjoy free-flowing combat, the plodding pace, vast amount of content, and RPG hallmarks (such as heavy inventory management, non-essential quests, and character leveling) may bore you. It's a good game, but certainly not without its faults. A new game engine and better controls would have served this title well.
  82. It's unfortunate that Fallout 3 is saddled with so many little- and medium-sized issues, because they get in the way of what's an otherwise fantastic experience. The world is well-realized and full of options. It'll be a struggle in spots, but I'm willing to guess that most people will be able to overlook a lot of the game's problems and still have a very good time exploring the irradiated wasteland formerly known as Washington DC.
  83. My issues with the game lie within the fact that whilst playing it, I wished I were playing something else. I wanted to play Bioshock for its heavy atmosphere and compelling story, or Mass Effect because I finally appreciate the dialog trees and voice acting. In Fallout 3, most of my decisions could be argued for the inconsequential feeling I associated with them. That's never a good thing, so it either means Fallout 3 wasn't my particular cup of tea or that it is actually that boring at times.
  84. It’s a game that rewards the long-haul with deep, inventive missions which eschew the usual fetch and kill structure, ensuring that the many hours spent in Fallout 3’s wasteland aren’t wasted. [Christmas 2008, p.88]
User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1373 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 335
  1. [anonymous]
    Jan 20, 2010
    10
    You must get the GOTY edition with the DLC to enjoy this game!!! I could see this game being an 8 or 9 without the DLC, but with the level cap raised, and other missions. this is my favorite game of all time!! Full Review »
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    9
    If you liked Oblivion you will fall in love with this masterpiece. Trying to follow your missing dad ,stuff gets more interesting and almost impossible to finish the game , simply because you just want to explore Washington completely. There are a lot of weapons but limited ammo , radiated water , hordes of creatures and mutants , rider making it hard and struggling to survive in this wicked dangerous world. Cool graphics , cool environment , desolated city etc. Great ambient sound effect. This is a totally pick for RPG fans Full Review »
  3. Nov 8, 2011
    7
    Played "Fallout 3" in my friend's house. It's pretty fun and enjoyable especially with the slow mo dissections, but it gets pretty boring after a while. The muddy textures also makes the game pretty hard to watch (you'll have to squint your eyes). BUT. It's basically an open world where you just run around and kill stuff which is pretty fun and exciting for those young indiana Jones dudes out there. The selection of dialogue (like Mass Effect) is also pretty amazing and intriguing; every decision you make COUNTS. Overall a good game that you'd spend a good time on. Full Review »