Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 96 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 96
  2. Negative: 0 out of 96
  1. Sep 25, 2011
    100
    The narrative setting is nearly as potent as the gameplay.
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    100
    Gears of War 3 is a must own and chances are once it gets a hold of you it will be hard for you to let go.
  3. Sep 20, 2011
    100
    It's a great shooter and a great video game in general. It caps off the trilogy extremely well, perhaps better than any recent video game trilogy that I can think of.
  4. 100
    The evidence is indisputable: Gears of War 3 is the ultimate realization of the Xbox 360 console, much in the same way Halo 2 was for the original Xbox. It maximizes the hardware's horsepower; boasts a fully featured, seamless online experience that serves up both competitive and cooperative gameplay; and it's enduringly replayable online or off. Quite simply, Gears of War 3 leaves no stone unturned - it's everything a triple-A blockbuster should be.
  5. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    Gears of War 3 is the game all Gears Fans have dreamt of since playing the first title back in 2006.
  6. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    It comes packed with visceral gun-battles, ear-splitting explosions, bucketloads of blood and you use a good old-fashioned control-pad to play it. Oh, and it's also one of the best games released all year.
  7. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    It's almost impossible to overlook this third episode. Pushing the boundaries even further, the solo campaign is a satisfying conclusion to the story. In terms of multiplayer, it's obvious that Epic delivers the best episode yet, both in terms of fun and richness. Overall, it's more accessible, all the while keeping enough details for the hardcore to enjoy it, in solo play, co-op, or competitive play. For what more can one ask?
  8. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    It's the great bump in visual quality, the diverse and engaging campaign that never lets up, and a universe that finally catches your interest that impresses the most.
  9. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    On one side, it represents a powerful elegy, a close to a series that has done much to define this console generation. It's a melancholy thing, seeing a solid conclusion for characters that a lot of us liked despite ourselves, that make themselves even more understood in the end. But Gears of War 3 does it with respect and grace, and even subtlety, for a fantastic experience from start to finish. And it bestows a postscript of one of the most full featured, fun, and polished multiplayer experiences I've ever played.
  10. Sep 15, 2011
    100
    It answers questions. It leaves things in a dramatically different place than they were at the start of the game. If this were to be the final game in the Gears franchise, it'd be a satisfying place to leave things.
  11. Sep 19, 2011
    99
    Unless you have taken an oath to reject violence in your entertainment, there is no reason to skip Gears of War 3 – it has everything you could ask from a shooter and does them all with first class polish. If the Gears franchise has come to an end, it goes out on top of its game.
  12. Sep 28, 2011
    98
    This is gaming making at its finest; a worthy follow-up to the previous editions and a big booming end note for the trilogy.
  13. Oct 20, 2011
    97
    Horde 2.0 is the best multiplayer experience going right now, and Beast Mode isn't far behind.
  14. 97
    An unmitigated triumph for Epic, not only finishing off the trilogy in style, but doing so while expanding upon already sturdy foundations. It's a game that tugs on the heartstrings at times, raising more than a few laughs, offering undeniable value for money and boasting production values of a Hollywood movie. Gears of War 3 is the very definition of a killer-app.
  15. Sep 20, 2011
    96
    While the Gears of War 3 campaign will be better remembered for its variety and pacing than dramatic heft, it's the send off the Gears series deserves; one with enough content to keep it in our minds and disc trays for months to come. Whether you're craving some closure on the saga of planet Sera, or simply want as much multiplayer bang for your buck until Modern Warfare 3 arrives, you owe it to yourself to play Gears of War 3.
  16. Oct 6, 2011
    95
    Gears of War 3 is without a doubt the best installment in the Gears of War franchise.
  17. Oct 5, 2011
    95
    Diversified missions, an exciting storyline, a smart enemy AI and the impressive visuals make Gears of War 3 the best Xbox 360 shooter to date. Period.
  18. Sep 28, 2011
    95
    For a series known for addictive nail-biting shootouts as well as breathtaking visuals, this third and possibly final act to the Xbox 360's first mega blockbuster is a fitting end to one of the most definitive multiplayer experiences in our current console generation.
  19. Sep 23, 2011
    95
    Not only a technical refinement over its predecessors in terms of gameplay style and mechanics, it also provides a richer experience with different co-op modes with multiple levels of depth within each mode.
  20. Sep 23, 2011
    95
    A true gaming landmark that stays true to the legacy of the previous episodes. You really don't want to miss this.
  21. Sep 19, 2011
    95
    Gears 3 is filled with plenty of wow moments not just visually but also in how the story is driven to its climatic conclusion.
  22. Sep 18, 2011
    95
    Gears of War 3 is what everyone was waiting for: a great ending for an epic saga with state of the art visuals, rock-solid gameplay and a feature-rich multiplayer. It obviously lacks that innovation and surprise factor that we can't expect from the last episode in a trilogy, but it is however one of the best and most polished games this gen.
  23. Sep 18, 2011
    95
    With Gears of War 3, Epic has delivered a worthy send-off for Marcus Fenix and the rest of Delta Squad. Player complaints from previous titles have been addressed, there is more multiplayer content than ever before and the story delivers a satisfying conclusion. In many respects, Gears of War 3 is everything you could want a Gears game to be. Don't hesitate on pulling the trigger.
  24. Sep 17, 2011
    95
    Perhaps it doesn't add anything new to the gameplay of the previous chapters, but Gears of Wars 3 is simply the perfect conclusion of an epic saga.
  25. Sep 16, 2011
    95
    Markus Phoneix leaves the Xbox 360 with an enormous and well-told adventure that exceeds all expectations. A lot of online modes, great Horde 2.0 and all the gameplay that characterizes the journeys of Gears. Magnificent!
  26. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    Epic really seems to have nailed how to get the most out of the Xbox 360 hardware and it shows with each new release. The bottom line is this: If you own an Xbox 360 Gears of War 3 is one of those games that you must own.
  27. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    Gears of War 3 is the ultimate ending to the Marcus Fenix and the Delta Squad sci-fi epic story. As close to perfection as third person shooters can get: A great campaign, amazing on-line component and an awesome level of polish and refinement.
  28. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    It is the most complete entry in the series, and its campaign is probably the best. It makes some slight changes in the combat mechanics, making them more dynamic, and has great new weapons. The three online modes are greatly addictive, and the revamped Horde mode and Beast modes are especially remarkable. It won't convince those who didn't enjoy the two previous games, but will please those who did.
  29. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    So while Gears of War 3 might not be the ending every player was hoping for, I believe it's the right ending in many ways. Many questions are answered, but there is enough story left to tell for a prequel series to be made down the road. You'll definitely laugh, you might cry, you'll spill a lot of blood, and you'll have a hell of a good time unless you're actively trying not to. No game is going to please everyone, but Gears 3 pleased me.
  30. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    Doesn't do anything radical, not that anyone expected it to. Only the staunchest Gears haters will find much fault here, though. This is the best execution yet of an idea that spawned one of the biggest modern franchises in all of gaming. What's not to love?
  31. Sep 15, 2011
    95
    From the taut Versus competition to the two great cooperative modes, Gears of War 3 delivers immensely entertaining experiences on both sides of The Locust War. But the real triumph is the campaign, a masterpiece of exciting gameplay and emotional storytelling that stands head and shoulders above its predecessors.
  32. Sep 20, 2011
    94
    Hands down Gears of War 3 is going to bring you not only one of the best stories you ever went through, but one of the best and most addictive multiplayer experiences ever to hit consoles.
  33. Sep 15, 2011
    94
    A fantastic experience that's sure to make new fans with innovative new multiplayer options that give players plenty of room to experiment and find their niche. There are moments in every act of the campaign that would serve as grand finales in most other games, and it's done so well that it will make you want to play through the whole series all over again.
  34. Sep 16, 2011
    93
    An Epic conclusion to an Epic saga.
  35. Sep 15, 2011
    92
    Epic climax to a legendary saga. Awesome cinematics, cool battles, plenty of variety, great handling, near-to-perfect mechanics: Great, greater, Gears of War.
  36. Oct 25, 2011
    91
    The single player campaign finishes up the story nicely and there's a ton of replay value in mutiplayer mode. I'm in love with the new Beast mode and still thoroughly enjoy Horde mode with the new additions. Not much has changed up from the previous two games though in terms of gameplay and presentation, but it's still a fun game.
  37. Oct 23, 2011
    91
    A gentler Gears, but all the more entertaining for it. And the co-op play will be hard to beat. [Dec 2011, p.76]
  38. Sep 28, 2011
    91
    Very few games offer as much as Gears of War 3 does, and even fewer manage to do it this successfully. I would say that this is easily the best Gears of War to date. Once again, Epic has successfully iterated on a series what most other developers are still desperately trying to imitate. What a fitting end to a most fantastic trilogy.
  39. Sep 28, 2011
    91
    Gears of War 3 is undoubtedly the ultimate in the series, made especially for the fans with the formula, story and characters they've become to love grown and polished to brilliance. When it seems like all other trilogy series are reinventing themselves, Gears of War 3 stays true to its roots and has, as promised, just become bigger, better and more badass.
  40. Sep 20, 2011
    91
    As a package, Gears of War 3 is simply the best. Small nags you may be left with--like less than stellar dialog or some overpowered attackers in Beast Mode--fall by the wayside as balanced competitive multiplayer, deep Horde Mode mechanics, and a driving campaign win out. Epic Games have trimmed the fat and churned out one lean, purposeful Gear, ready to stomp some locusts back into the ground.
  41. Sep 15, 2011
    91
    It's so often that by the third outing both games and movies can lose any hope of a coherent storyline or sensible character arc. Gears of War 3 manages to dodge that bullet, ending up stronger than the previous two titles in every way. The solid multiplayer, a somewhat meaningful single player experience, an epic score, and the chance to share it with your friends is a compelling package.
  42. Sep 15, 2011
    91
    Gears of War 3 is an amazing game, jam packed with things to do. It's designed from the top down to ensure that you never stop playing it.
  43. An unmissable, unbeatable offering. [Dec 2011, p.95]
  44. Nov 13, 2011
    90
    Right now, it doesn't get any better. [Issue#77, p.78]
  45. 90
    Worthy series climax comes with a perfect story and offers lots more thanks to the pack of multiplayer modes. Marcus Fenix says good-bye with style. [Oct 2011]
  46. 90
    Enough loose ends are accounted for in the campaign to give fans a sense of closure to what has been an epic slice of gaming history.
  47. Sep 30, 2011
    90
    There's no big news but a great game has been polished in so many ways it's a must have title for action fans.
  48. Sep 29, 2011
    90
    Certainly the best of the trilogy. It is a highly refined experience, an exceptional showcase of the growing experience of the team at Epic.
  49. Sep 29, 2011
    90
    The single player campaign is a thrilling ride through incredibly varied locations. I would rate it 8/10 but the multiplayer unquestionably deserves 10/10 – I can't think of any way to improve it. Especially the Horde 2.0 and Beast modes are terrific. Visuals are fantastic too – one glance is enough to notice the improvements in the Unreal Engine. As a whole Gears of War 3 is an outstanding, platform defining game. [October, p.52]
  50. Sep 29, 2011
    90
    If you hated the previous games, then steer clear, but anyone with an Xbox 360 should pick up this superb third-person shooter right away, and without hesitation.
  51. Sep 28, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is the most epic game of the year and if you're a fan of third person shooters, than you've come to the right place. This is not a game to miss.
  52. Sep 28, 2011
    90
    The best shooter available on console right now, Gears 3 is an experience not to be missed.
  53. Sep 23, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is a must buy shooter that offers you hours and hours of gameplay. It's got a long campaign and the multiplayer is better then ever. Epic Games has made good adaptations. But don't expect really big innovations.
  54. Sep 20, 2011
    90
    A perfectly crafted, complex game that offers loads of fun in single and multiplayer alike. It has a diverse campaign, an arcade mode, co-op mode for 4 people, tons of entertainment in 8 online modes and a worthy plot that summarizes Delta Team's adventures. Microsoft hasn't got many exclusives left, but clearly has some aces up their sleeve and Gears of War 3 is one of the strongest aces there is.
  55. Sep 20, 2011
    90
    One hell of a bloody nostalgia path, that surprisingly greatly seals this whole series. At the same time it seals one crucial brand of the modern video game generation, and from a perspective of those previous parts it is a really cocksure sealing, without a doubt. The game's got a great tempo with great ideas and a great vibe. GoW 3 will reward all of you living in the series for a couple of years, knowing almost everything from Sera's history, as well as it will reward those of you knowing practically nothing about the previous games. Delta, it was a great honour.
  56. Sep 20, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 takes us to new places and tells us some great stories, and while the shooting action might feel just a little tired for veterans of both previous games, it's still very much worth the price of admission - especially once you start digging into the online modes.
  57. Sep 19, 2011
    90
    If you missed parts one and two, Gears 3 is still accessible. That in itself is impressive, helped by the "Previously on Gears" video that provides a quick reminder of who did what to whom, where, and why. Second, if you're a veteran, you're likely diving online immediately, and those modes are very impressive, fun, and likely to help keep this turn in the trilogy in your gaming rotation for some time to come.
  58. Sep 19, 2011
    90
    Epic has not re-invented the wheel with Gears 3, they've simply improved on a formula that was pretty awesome in the first place.
  59. Sep 16, 2011
    90
    Epic couldn't have ended the Gears of War trilogy in a better way: a great single player campaign and a highly addictive and stunning multiplayer, destined to be remembered as one of the highest examples of what current gen competitive and cooperative online has to offer. If you're not afraid to risk your social, family, and love life, give it a go: you surely won't regret it.
  60. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    As far as we're concerned this is easily the best Gears Of War game, but it's also one that refines and exhausts every gameplay element to such a degree that it seems like a far more final end to the trilogy than Epic probably intended. If there are more games, and we assume there will be, they're going to have to be significantly different to seem worthwhile.
  61. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is the absolute business. It plays extremely well on your own, as part of a co-op experience or if you've got the minerals to jump online and leave your mark.
  62. 90
    Gears of War 3 towers over its otherwise great predecessors with a campaign so finely tuned that you'll have a hard time putting the controller down. There's the same dissonance between the macho-wit of the characters and the bombastic drama that the series has always suffered from, but that is easily forgiven in light of the rock solid online component and the exemplary options for co-operative play. Shooters don't get much better than this, and if you own an Xbox 360, there's no reason not to get this game.
  63. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    The degree of refinement and technical polish across every facet of Gears 3 is enough to make most other games look tatty.
  64. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 boasts the best co-op and multiplayer of the series, by far, easily making up for the less-than-satisfying campaign. The end of the trilogy may not live up to your epic expectations, but somewhere in the tenth – or hundredth – hour of Beast and Horde 2.0 modes, you'll forgive it.
  65. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is a brilliant piece of blockbuster game design that shows, when in the right hands, the 360 still has more to give. More than that though, this is a fittingly spectacular finale to the Marcus Fenix trilogy and evidence that no matter how loud, how brash, how violent a game may be it can still be intelligent and emotionally affecting.
  66. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Stood side by side with its predecessors, this third and final hurrah is less a dramatically pitched revolution and more a masterfully sculpted evolution, as while the graphical depth, online functionality and cover mechanics are some of the best in the business, when contrasted with Gears 2, they're incremental steps rather than thundering leaps.
  67. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 isn't filled with surprises, but thanks to a perfect pace and constant new set pieces, the game remains in your disc drive to the end. Thanks to the multiplayer – which is easy on newcomers – the durability of the game is also an impressive feature. Epic has listened to the community, used the feedback and created a fantastic closing chapter in this trilogy.
  68. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    With Gears of War 3, Epic played it safe: they took a proven formula and improved it enough in order to keep fans pleased. It's the best looking game for Xbox 360 and a very fun one to play too (specially with friends), although it's a shame they have not kept their promises about having a better plot and narrative, which are still subpar. Not a perfect game and not the best of this generation, but I can't think of a better way to finish a trilogy that, in some senses, marked an era.
  69. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is the definite pinnacle of the series. The third chapter about Marcus Fenix and his gang of brutes is exciting from start to end, and an incarnation of everything that Epic Games has learned during the last five years.
  70. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    A cheesy story aside, this is third-person action at its best. The multiplayer should have us chainsawing ourselves happy until 2014 and the campaign is full of all kinds of settings and monsters.
  71. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 may not give you that sense of closure you might need in order believe this is the last Gears story, but it will definitely give you a complete adrenaline rush of sheer bloody fun.
  72. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Every third-person, cover-based shooter from here on out will likely be compared to Gears 3, and it provides a fitting and poignant-- if sometimes cheesy -- closing chapter to the trilogy...The noted hitches, design decisions and 'been-there, done-that' feel of much of the content colors the overall experience, but it certainly didn't keep me from having one hell of a good time.
  73. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Few games offer up as much as Gears of War 3, and even fewer manage to do it this successfully. This is quite easily the best Gears of War yet, weaving excellent core mechanics together with the renewed perception of an ever-maturing developer. Once again, Epic has successfully iterated on a series that most other developers are still desperately trying to imitate.
  74. 90
    There's no doubt the series has grown with every instalment, and number three sees Epic at its unsurprisingly best...Original or not, the solo campaign is solid in every department and brim with class, while the Versus, Co-Op, Horde, Beast and ambitious DLC plans should see Gears live on for years - even if this is the last time Epic has to use that chainsaw gun. For the record, we hope it isn't.
  75. 90
    The story isn't amazing, but it takes a cheerful back seat to spending time with the characters we've all grown to love over the last five years. And, best of all, nearly all of the loose ends are tied up. In single-player it's easily the best game of the series - and online the Horde, Deathmatch and Beast modes stand a good chance of making you forget about Battlefield and Call of Duty. Bravo, Epic.
  76. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    The most polished and satisfying entry in the series, and it presents enough fresh ideas to make it worth seeing through to its gripping conclusion.
  77. Sep 15, 2011
    90
    Gears of War 3 is the perfect conclusion of an incredible saga. The core mechanics are just the same, but Epic Games delivers a splendid lesson in game design, creating a brilliant campaign, varied and well-paced as few others. Plus, you can find an enormous amount of cooperative and competitive options out of the box.
  78. Sep 22, 2011
    88
    This is undeniably a terrific and well-polished action game.
  79. Oct 17, 2011
    87
    Gears of War 3 is a bit thin in the story department, but it's a great shooter nonetheless.
  80. Sep 15, 2011
    86
    Gears of War 3 is fantastic game, especially together with friends in multiplayer, and the campaign mode is a lot of fun. But as the finale of the trilogy it's a bit disappointing.
  81. Dec 12, 2011
    85
    Gears of War 3 is a solid game and likely worthy of the praise it's received. I just happen to think it falls a bit flat.
  82. Sep 18, 2011
    85
    Though not without its faults, Gears of War 3 ties up the trilogy in a brutally final and satisfying manner.
  83. Sep 16, 2011
    85
    Nevertheless, there are two ways to look at Gears of War 3: it's the best of the series; and, it's not a disappointing ending.
  84. Sep 15, 2011
    85
    Being a gamer who puts story almost equal to gameplay, personally I was kind of annoyed at the tangent the third game seemed to go off on. Gears 2 asked more than a few questions, and whilst Gears 3 answers some of them - mainly relating to the lambent - it leaves other's painfully un-answered.
  85. Oct 10, 2011
    84
    Marcus Fenix shifts to third Gear, but the game stays the same. Graphics are stunning, but the desperate last fight of humanity is still far from dynamic and the paper thin plot fails to meet its premise. The ten hour trip to Sera is spent almost entirely in trenches, once again. [Oct 2011]
  86. Oct 2, 2011
    80
    This game is a must-have for fans of the series, but keep away if you haven't been fond of the first two. While new features are lacking, overall refinement and polish make this game great in almost every respect.
  87. Sep 23, 2011
    80
    It's still the best third-person shooter out there by quite some margin but, equally, it's just not quite as impacting as its two predecessors. Long-time fans will be happy with how Epic has tied all the loose ends together, but dabblers in the series may be less inclined to return to planet Sera one final time.
  88. Sep 20, 2011
    80
    Quotation forthcoming.
  89. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    This is a game of refinement, not reinvention...Gears of War 3 has nothing new to say to its audience, only more lavish and breathless adjectives to throw our way. It is, at times, nothing short of spectacular, and there is a robustness and polish to every aspect of the game that makes it consistently enjoyable. But for the series and the studio that crafted it, it's time to pursue novelty once again.
  90. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    Gears of War 3 falters somewhat in its storytelling, but it's still a game I highly recommend. The story has never been the focus in the series anyway. Both the single and multiplayer modes are massive, and despite not being a perfect game it's still well worth your while.
  91. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    Despite some lingering flaws, the gameplay is fantastic in both single and multiplayer. A big part of the game's audience won't care about the lack of variety or depth among the characters, but the monotonous tone still holds the game back from being as great as it otherwise might have been.
  92. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    In its multiplayer, all you could have reasonably asked for; in its visuals, new heights reached, while cracks of old age are papered over; in its story, a fitting conclusion; and in its campaign, though short of the consistent brilliance of its predecessor, a mostly rousing and memorable spectacle.
  93. Sep 15, 2011
    80
    A great game indeed, one that fans will most assuredly adore. It does lack that unique, intangible spark that the past two games had, but that does not mean it's a poor game in any way. I have my disappointments, but I cannot claim I had a bad time. That Gears of War 3 doesn't quite live up to expectations is only a testament to how high Epic raised the bar in past efforts.
  94. Sep 20, 2011
    75
    While our biggest complaint is Gears of War 3's refusal to deviate substantially from the tried and tested formula of the series, we have to concede it does what it does extremely well. Gaming clichés such as switch-flipping, sniper sections and boss battles are used throughout, and the rigid linearity can be frustrating, but underneath it all is still a refined, polished shooter that can't really be knocked for falling back on conventions it helped create.
  95. Sep 20, 2011
    67
    So many months, so many thousands of man hours of work, so many millions of dollars, such an extravagant marketing campaign, and this is what Epic has produced? The shooter equivalent of a roster update in a sports game?
  96. Jan 18, 2012
    65
    Rather than the perfect end to a thrilling series, it seemed like the developers were afraid to take real risks with either the story or the gameplay of Gears 3.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1223 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 408
  1. Sep 20, 2011
    10
    Gears of war 3 is the best in the series by a mile. The multiplayer is great no flaws, and the first game with a way to kill campers. The digger gun! Great graphics on both SP and MP. 4 player co-op and just an all round epic game. While saying epic, I hope they have some plans up there sleeves as it's ashame this is the end for gears. Possible spin offs witch would be great as it's an amazing franchise. The MP is fresh and I just love playing on it, a great action game and one of the best on the 360. Epic should be very proud as this is a top contender for game of the year. That's about all I have to say on it really other then  if your on the fence with this on, just trust me you won't be let down! Full Review »
  2. Sep 20, 2011
    10
    If you're a fan or a newcomer to the Gears Universe, the end of the trilogy has something for everyone. The gameplay is the same tried and true formula that you know and love, but it's even smoother now. The campaign simply seeps epicness from it's very core, with an interesting story that's pleasing yet accessible. The same goes for the multiplayer, which'll feel great to anyone who has played Gears before, and introduces new players well. Those two modes alone would be enough to warrant a high score, but the loads of additional content Epic has added is what makes Gears 3 a nearly flawless game, more than worthy of the proverbial 10 out of 10. Full Review »
  3. Sep 20, 2011
    9
    Unsurprisingly excellent on all fronts.Though there is a feeling of deja vu surrounding this game,it really doesn't matter much as you will be too busy kicking serious butt to care.If you take pure action and add a slice of cheese,you get the magnificent Gears Of War 3. Full Review »