Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34
  1. The steep cost of admissions is the only real downside to this entire package.
  2. Van Halen deserves better. [Jan 2010, p.79]
  3. If you’re cool with just the DLR years and you can hang with the weird faces Dance the Night Away, but if you’re looking for a comprehensive VH compilation and accurate portrayals you might as well Jump, back into GH5.
  4. Guitar Hero stays Guitar Hero stays Guitar Hero. Another update of the popular music game . No innovations, but a very challenging setlist featuring the songs of Metal legend Van Halen.
  5. If you got this as a freebie ,good for you, if you find it in the (heavily) discounted bin then try it out (it should be there by Friday).
  6. Guitar Hero Van Halen is fun, just not the best in the series. The song selection will keep you and your friends happy (just skip Third Eye Blind) and the options are acceptable. Still, with a little more effort, this could've been on the same level as GH Metallica. The band deserved better.
  7. The unfortunate thing about Guitar Hero: Van Halen is that it really had the potential to shine, but there just seemed to be too much working against it. The ongoing band feuds have eliminated not only a large section of the group's catalog, but a founding member as well, and laziness on the part of all parties involved means that there's nearly nothing added to the game to give it the extra content we saw in the Aerosmith and Metallica editions
  8. Guitar Hero Van Halen may not feature the greatest selection of tracks that will appeal to general fans of the franchise. However, it does provide those looking for a more interesting challenge, giving you access to one of the most intense collections of songs to grace a Guitar Hero game for sometime, definitely one just for hardcore Guitar Hero’s.
  9. Its existence is puzzling, its release an admittance of surrender, and its song selection showcases one singer while snubbing another... yet because Guitar Hero remains fun, Guitar Hero: Van Halen comes away as a decent diversion.
  10. 65
    The song list is great if you love classic Eddie and the guest bands while not relevant, offer a solid mix. Not being able to export the songs into GH 5 or download any new tracks really hurts, but the lackluster presentation hurts even more.
  11. This game can only be recommended to true Van Halen fans. Graphics are worse than in other Guitar Hero games and there is no real career mode.
  12. 64
    I can't help but feel that perhaps this game should have been left as downloadable track packs for Van Halen fans and not a full-fledged release with a high price-tag.
  13. Activision could have done a lot better, and I think Van Halen, and its fans deserve better. As a free promotional game, it is passable, but as a full out release, we are expecting a little more.
  14. It plays like every Guitar Hero game, but you can't call it success. Only for die-hard Van Halen fans.
  15. 62
    This game isn’t worth a full release. The best Van Halen songs could’ve been offered as DLC. The whole game feels old and unpolished. It feels like a quick buck for Activision, without a deserving game for the fans in return. Compare this to Rock Band: The Beatles or even Guitar Hero: Metallica and you can’t deny it’s an inferior product. Only for fans who truly can’t wait. Everyone else, wait for the budget version.
  16. The lack of bonus content, or a meaningful game structure, really lets the collection down. [Issue#56, p.88]
  17. A hastily put together product that lacks the overall quality of other band-specific games like Guitar Hero: Metallica or The Beatles: Rock Band. Thank God for Ice Cream Man, Eruption and Panama.
  18. If you were lucky enough to snag a free copy from the Guitar Hero 5 mail-in promotion, you'll likely be pleased with this adequate iteration. But we can't imagine any non-hardcore Halen fans feeling good about dropping $60 on this half-hearted effort. [Jan 2010, p.76]
  19. Unless you are an absolute die-hard Van Halen fan there is no way you should pay full price for a game that only offers half the content. If you really want to play it, wait until this game lands in the Bargain Bins in a few months time.
  20. Plainly put, if you've played any other band-specific Guitar Hero games, you know what to expect, and that is a game that isn't as good as the others.
  21. 55
    Guitar Hero: Van Halen hasn't become an exceptional game. It plays like every Guitar Hero game, but you can't call it success.
  22. One of the most underwhelming rhythm-action games in some time. [Issue#93, p.132]
  23. Loss of (creative) control. [Mar 2010, p.96]
  24. Whilst deep down I will always carry a torch for Guitar Hero, I just can't recommend the weakest offering in the series to date.
  25. The worst exploit of this franchise so far.
  26. 50
    Pride, squabbling and calamitous design decisions have ultimately left the game a meagre shadow of its potential self. Its biggest problem, outside of its lacklustre design, is that you and the band have to ask yourselves, in the midst of a music game session, "shall we bother fumbling around the shelves looking for that copy of Guitar Hero: Van Halen?"
  27. Even for absolute die-hard fans, I simply can’t recommend this game. The track listing is lacking, the gameplay is outdated (by its own predecessor), and the fun factor for this game just isn’t there.
  28. 49
    No effort was put into making it good. It's a step backwards for the franchise and a totally unnecessary release.
  29. This is a huge step backwards for not only Guitar Hero, but the music genre in general!
  30. In 2010, Guitar Hero: Van Halen should have never been released in stores at full price. It's absurd. We'd rather applaud you to wait for the release of Guitar Hero 6, since Guitar Hero Van Halen has the same lack of content as it has lack of love for our frettapping guitar legend. Or as Eddie would probably put it: Aint Talkin' Bout Love.
  31. The worst Guitar Hero spin-off yet with a half-hearted tribute to a band who barely deserved one anyway.
  32. Jamie's not the only one who's crying. [Apr 2010, p.100]
  33. There's so much about this game that falls flat, and so much that feels like a quick cash-in attempt using the band name attached, that I can't suggest picking this up, certainly not at a full price point.
  34. In a world where The Beatles Rock Band exists, the paltry effort put into Guitar Hero: Van Halen is, quite simply, deplorable. If you're going to devote the time, money, and effort to developing a band-themed game in this franchise-then do it right. Don't embarrass yourselves by passing something like this off as a legitimate, full-featured game.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 6
  2. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. NathanielS
    Jan 10, 2010
    This game is far less quality than any Guitar Hero game. Even if you go back to Guitar Hero 1 or Guitar Hero 80s you cannot find this low of quality. It is a giant step backwards in the genre. Why isn't this DLC? Sam Hagar is missing and somehow bands like Weezer and Third Eye Blind are in the game even though they sound nothing like Van Halen and most Van Halen fans would not be interested in those bands. My brain tells me that this game simply happened to lock VH in a exclusivity deal so they wouldn't work with Rock Band. Eddie should be embarassed. Full Review »
  2. JeffW.
    Dec 23, 2009
    This game does nothing to move forward the music game industry. It does nothing to compensate for the fact that it was released months after Guitar Hero 5 made leaps and bounds in this genre of video games. Besides that, the game has no narrative to compel you forward nor does nothing to explain Van Halen's significance to the music industry or anything. The game is also inconsistent with itself in the song choices, since the songs that were chosen do not at all relate to Van Halen's musical style nor their influences nor how they influenced the music genre. The only reason this game gets a 2 is because it has "functional" game play and some "decent" song selections. Still, no Van Hagar, no import, and no hope of future DLC for the game make it completely unacceptable. Do not buy this game unless you have just way too much money on your hands and do not mind wasting money on a game with some good songs but more than half of the set list is bad. Full Review »
  3. Oct 9, 2013
    Well that ends my enjoyment for David Roth songs. It's like he doesn't care about his fans think he's better by not singing any Sammy Hagar songs. His way of doing that made Activision only Used 78-84 songs. This is the worst Guitar Hero game yet. So way to go David. If Guitar Hero ever comes back there should be a remake of that game where there songs from the all singers including Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. David Roth has no dreams about fans, he'll never be on top of the world, and right now, he is the messed up member of the band if maybe not Eddie Van Halen. Full Review »