Universal acclaim - based on 84 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 84
  2. Negative: 0 out of 84
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. A massive, enthralling achievement.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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]
  12. 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.
  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. 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.
  15. 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]
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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. 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.
  21. 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.
  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. I just can't find a good reason not to recommend Fallout 3 to any serious gamer out there.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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”.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1476 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 350
  1. [anonymous]
    Jan 20, 2010
    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 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
    If you liked Oblivion you will fall in love with this masterpiece. Trying to follow your missing dad ,stuff gets more interesting and almostIf 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
    Played "Fallout 3" in my friend's house. It's pretty fun and enjoyable especially with the slow mo dissections, but it gets pretty boringPlayed "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 »