Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. 91
    Simply put, every time the Director brings down a swath of Infected, who then pound me into hamburger, and every time my team and I manage to survive against incredible odds until the end, and we hoot and holler about besting the Director, I do the same thing: I jump into another lobby and wait for a match to start. I love this damn game.
  2. If you’ve got Xbox Live then Left 4 Dead is a definite 9. As it is, with the limitations and occasional annoyances, the lone gunman will find we’re obliged to keep the score down to cater for this offline review. However you play though, there’s nothing quite like slaughtering zombies and Left 4 Dead is one of the most intense, exciting, frantically paced and simply-good-old-fashioned-fun shooters on the market – and a game that you’ll find very hard not to love.
  3. Left 4 Dead is one of the most pleasant surprises of this final quarter of 2008. Without making too much noise it brings a very interesting set, in which the cooperative campaign is its main breakthrough. Short, thrilling and intense.
  4. Fun, frantic, fresh, innovative, stylish and addictive, Left 4 Dead is a game that you will enjoy when playing alone and fall in love with when playing with friends. It's what survival horror is all about: teamwork, desperation and endurance - and in terms of crafting an atmospheric, pulse-racing FPS experience, Valve have absolutely outdone even themselves.
  5. While playing offline or split-screen isn't as fun as playing with a two or three friends online -- Left 4 Dead thrives on camaraderie -- so that's probably your only consideration when purchasing the game, because everything else is too awesome to miss.
  6. Left 4 Dead is largely successful at bringing players a uniquely exhilarating, arcade-like zombie shooter. The eye toward multiplayer fun is definitely appreciated, and the accessibility is great. However, the experience is best taken in short bursts, as the repetitive action gets monotonous after awhile.
  7. Left 4 Dead is a fantastic game. Not exactly flawless, but tremendous fun. And by tremendous fun, I mean the equivalent of riding the best roller-coaster in the world, whilst eating the best piece of cake in the world, whilst the most beautiful woman in the world does unspeakable things to you.
  8. Left 4 Dead proves that zombies don’t have to be dumb and slow! The game’s definite pro is its brilliant versus mode. The campaign mode is nice to have, but nothing more.
  9. Left 4 Dead transcends the black and white of 'single player' or 'multiplayer' – suddenly there's a realisation that four players have amalgamated into a single, unified body during play. It's an incredibly exhilarating feeling, and other games offering co-op modes that amount to little more than running and gunning together suddenly appear a little juvenile. Left 4 Dead has indefinitely raised the bar for true co-operative play.
  10. 100
    Every aspect of Left 4 Dead has been refined and tweaked to perfection. It’s addictive and atmospheric, and it contains undoubtedly the best co-op gameplay we’ve seen yet.
  11. When you're playing with a good team, against another good team or just the AI, it is exquisite. There just simply isn't enough of it, especially when the the elements all seem to be there to expand the versus mode.
  12. Valve has taken something unscripted and dynamic, and seeded it with the right amount of narrative flavour, pacing and spectacle. [Christmas 2008, p.82]
  13. L4D is one zombie apocalypse I completely and utterly embrace. [Jan 2009, p.84]
  14. Left 4 Dead is a great addition to the zombie game genre. It’s a complete other direction from Dead Rising, which is a good thing since Left 4 Dead is one of the best co-op shooters around.
  15. 100
    Fast zombies? Check. Non-stop tension and intensity? Check. The quality of gameplay we expect from Valve? Check. When it comes to co-op multiplayer, Valve is consistently ahead of the curve and excellent at making games that force players to work together.
  16. If you are even thinking about playing this game, pony up for the Xbox Live Gold membership. It’s just as necessary as the controller. While light on content, Left 4 Dead needs to be in everyone’s library, not only because it innovates in ways that will shape the future of gaming, but also because it’s so damn fun.
  17. Unless you're genuinely lacking anyone to play it with though, Left 4 Dead is easily one of this year's must-have games.
  18. The only thing missing from the game is a decent story for the single-player mode. I understand that this is a game made for online play, but you get this really great animated opening that kind of lays down a general plot and that’s it.
  19. Yes, shooting hordes of zombies is fun, even more so with three other friends. But the game doesn't have anything to offer beyond that simple activity, and it most likely stop being relevant the moment someone makes a zombie FPS with a little more depth.
  20. Although we zipped through the four "movies" in less than five hours, we can't stop playing co-operatively with friends via online play and competing against others in the thrilling Survivors vs. Infected, a four-on-four multiplayer mode where monsters attempt to slaughter their gun-wielding adversaries.
  21. Even though you can finish all four chapters in just over four hours, the amount of replay value is immense. Weapon and ammo stations change, zombies will pour out of one area the first time through and another the next time and if you stay still you will get swarmed by a ton of zombies. This is a must buy for any action fan.
  22. Valve's much anticipated Zombie game is a co-op experience not to be missed. Although a few more levels would have been nice, the AI is smart enough to provide a unique game each time around. This one is highly recommended!
  23. 90
    All in all, I can't recommend Left 4 Dead highly enough.
  24. It comes down to this: Left 4 Dead is a hell of a lot of fun to play.
  25. Left 4 Dead is one of those games like Madden NFL or Rock Band that is a lot more exciting and fun to play when played with friends.
  26. When playing with friends, Left4Dead gives the best cooperative experience in gaming, hands down. Nothing compares. The game is lacking a bit in terms of content, and more weapons and locations would definitely add to the experience, but nothing can take away from the sheer enjoyment value. Valve’s newest might be one of their most masterfully crafted, and the attention to detail is impeccable.
  27. A brand-new breed of first-person shooter that absolutely everyone should try. [Jan 2009, p.61]
  28. Valve has put together a wonderfully unconventional game – a taut FPS multiplayer that retains the same unease felt in the likes of Resident Evil. [Jan 2009, p.114]
  29. The online-focus and lack of plot are sure to rub some people the wrong way, but FPS-fans and zombie aficionados have never played anything quite like Left 4 Dead. It is a near-perfect mixture of decayed ambiance and relentless pacing that pushes the boundaries of sanity to the breaking point.
  30. Between the tense campaign and the frenetic Versus mode, Left 4 Dead offers two distinct flavors of multiplayer action that are equally delicious when enjoyed with friends. The single-player experience (and the marginally better but somewhat sluggish split-screen mode) isn't as tasty, simply because the friendly AI can't compare to a human teammate.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1249 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 205
  1. Jun 6, 2011
    Anything that Valve's touch becomes platinum, Left 4 Dead has a lot of similarities with Counter Strike in every aspect. Non stop action,over the top violence will be found in here, laugh out loud coop , and nice campaign. Tho, this is not a game for everyone,as i said this campaign is hell of a fun experience but is very short, and especially for offline users, they will not get more content on it. Also L4D lacks in weapons, there's not many variety. Those minor flaws doesn't deteriorate the excitement , and you can get good use for it. So pick it , ( get L4D2 it has more stuff ) but, get in mind that less dont get everything right , even if it has zombies. Full Review »
  2. Sep 3, 2011
    Left 4 Dead is a blast to play, it can easily consume hundreds of hours of your life, it has tons of awesome multiplayer modes, awesome co-op, and Zombies! this game is a pure adrenaline rush, at times hundreds of Zombies will swarm you at once, and it's awesome! while the game is built for co-op play, it's still fun to play by yourself, although you'll have the most fun with four friends and difficulty on expert and watching the craziness unfold, all the game modes rely on teamwork, and there's one gameplay mode where you can play as either the Zombies or the survivors and have to effectively communicate in order too win, and it has extremely high replay value, this game comes so close to getting a 10, but it does have some flaws, there are long load times, there are only four short campaigns with five levels a piece, and if you don't have multiplayer, it wont last you forever, but this is still a fantastic game online or off, and is just shy of perfection, a must own. Full Review »
  3. Dec 14, 2010
    I hardly ever re-sale my X360 games but after a couple of weeks I immediately brought it back. It's interesting how valve tried to make a game that's made to be repeated but it doesn't work like that. The campaigns last around an hour each at most, versus is dull, and although the "Director" changes zombie and horde spawns, it doesn't do much else. Not so impressive when it's put like that, is it? Gunplay is pretty bad, just hip-firing forever. Characters have some charm, but Francis? No. Hate him. This game isn't worth your time. Poor gameplay. Poor plot. Poor graphics. Get out while you still can. Full Review »