Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 74
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 74
  3. Negative: 0 out of 74
  1. Mar 6, 2012
    95
    In many ways, Mass Effect 3 has set the bar even higher as the worthy conclusion to one of the finest stories ever told in gaming history, even if it's still admittedly imperfect.
  2. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    A remarkably satisfying conclusion to a beloved trilogy, and a poignant and memorable role-playing action game in its own right.
  3. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    As bleak as this story is, it's offset by war sequences so large in scale and beautifully animated that you cannot help but look upon them in awe.
  4. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    As with any game that dares to be ambitious, deconstruct Mass Effect 3 into its constituent parts and of course there are flaws, but taken as a whole this is arguably the first truly modern blockbuster, a game that transcends the genre boundaries of old and takes what it needs from across the gaming spectrum in order to finish its story in the most compelling, thrilling, heartbreaking way possible. Few gaming sagas come to a definitive close, but this one signs off in breathtaking style.
  5. Mar 20, 2012
    100
    The Mass Effect trilogy will undoubtedly go down as not only some of the greatest games ever made, but may go down as one of the best trilogies ever to exist in any form of media, and for that Bioware, we thank you.
  6. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    The technical and gameplay prowess of the long-awaited Mass Effect 3 cannot be denied. The improvements in combat, graphics, and multiplayer are definite, though that may have detracted from the last third of the game, which feels slightly stiff and rushed compared to the first two-thirds where uniting the aliens races under a common goal brings a welcome resolution. Mass Effect 3 is like a comet: It may not last as long as you'd like and its trail may not be as brilliant as its coma, but it is a sight that no one can forget.
  7. Apr 3, 2012
    91
    A heart-pounding, exciting, tragic, daring, but blemished conclusion to Mass Effect. [May 2012, p.69]
  8. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    Even if the end destination of this final chapter isn't quite as magnificent as we hoped for, we'll never regret the hundred-hour, three-game journey we took across the galaxy to get there. Mass Effect 3 is an incredible experience that rewards you for those years of investment and devotion to its stratospheric tale.
  9. Mar 7, 2012
    95
    An outstanding final chapter for a magnificent saga, Bioware simply surpasses itself with a killer ending and great gameplay. We already miss Captain Shepard and Normandy crew.
  10. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    What is so unique in this game is how the presence of its conclusion feels like the existential dread that infuses the characters that make up its universe. The paradox of the game becomes painfully prescient as it draws inexorably towards its conclusion.
  11. Mar 7, 2012
    97
    Mass Effect 3 greatly closes a trilogy that will be remembered for years. Although it is more action-focused than the previous game, the game will please fans of the series and is a serious candidate to be the game of the year.
  12. Mar 6, 2012
    91
    In the end, though, none of this simplification really matters all that much. Sure, this smaller scope may diminish the game's scale, but it doesn't diminish its impact, as Mass Effect 3 is ultimately only slightly - and not always that noticeably - less fun than Mass Effect 2 (and is still a slight bit better than the original).
  13. 95
    From the visceral combat to the excitement of finishing Shepard's 100-hour fight, Mass Effect 3 is a rare, magnetically engaging treat that'll compel you to stay up well past your bedtime to do "just one more quest." Safe travels, fellow Shepards. See you starside.
  14. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    Mass Effect 3 is about as good of an ending as anyone could have possibly hoped for.
  15. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    While it's not a total triumph, the core of what Mass Effect 3 achieves is an engrossing, fabulously put together piece of work, regardless of an ending that will delight as many as it dumbfounds.
  16. Mar 6, 2012
    93
    Mass Effect 3 is a great conclusion of an incredible saga. No other games offer up as much as this worthy series climax with a perfect story and amazing action sequences.
  17. Mar 6, 2012
    95
    The epic conclusion of an amazing saga. Has some annoying visual bugs and the narrative doesn't quite reach the fantastic peaks of its predecessor, but it's still an incredible production that will be remembered.
  18. Mar 6, 2012
    99
    Whether it be friends you've made along the way, or long-time companions, everyone is at risk...Very few games pull me in like this.
  19. Mar 29, 2012
    94
    No matter your feelings on how things turn out in the end or the addition of multiplayer, Mass Effect 3 is the trilogy-capper we've been waiting for, and its an experience that can easily be recommended to nearly anyone.
  20. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    Mass Effect 3 is an action game with a side-helping of dialogue, and the finale might frustrate fans who have stuck with the series since the beginning - some might even consider it lazy. It's hard to knock the actual game; it's a great shooter and the dialogue is well acted and (mostly) well-written. Mass Effect 3 is one of the best marriages of shooter action and storytelling around, and it's up to the fans to decide if that's what they really want.
  21. Mar 21, 2012
    98
    Mass Effect 3 is a milestone in the history of video games. It is an absolutely fantastic end to an amazing SciFi saga and tells an absolutely enthralling story. The characters are authentic and the synchronization is great. The gameplay stayed mostly the same, though there are a few improvements in Shepard's sprinting and the cover system. The complexity of the Mass Effect universe and the variety of scenes in the game are simply stunning. This is a must-buy for everyone who loves video games.
  22. Mar 13, 2012
    92
    Mass Effect 3 is a fitting conclusion to one of the best RPG franchises ever. The story is gripping and gameplay-wise Bioware has fixed many of the errors they made with the second game, most importantly the renegade/paragon points work properly again and you are free to actually role play as you see fit. It doesn't quite reach the greatness of the first Mass Effect game, though. Still, a great game and a great end to Shepard's story. [March 2012]
  23. Mar 6, 2012
    95
    Mass Effect 3 is one of the best experiences of this generation. Fantastic character design and an immersive story define a game that everyone must have.
  24. May 12, 2012
    95
    Mass Effect 3 is an emotional rollercoaster ride with lots of tension and moving moments. The threat of the Reapers make every decision a hard one and your relationship with other characters will be tested. This, in combination with tight gameplay, makes this the complete experience.
  25. 90
    A great ending to a landmark trilogy. A near perfect mix of action and storytelling, where the personal drama is as engrossing as the galaxy-spanning battles.
  26. Mar 6, 2012
    95
    Improves many of the series' individual elements, and provides finality to a saga in which numbers of us have invested dozens of hours. But despite this success, it's unable to reward the effort and investment of players in the same way previous games did. Still, it handles its subject matter in a way that invites you to care, and the addition of multiplayer does add another dimension to the game. When all has been said and done, there's a very good chance that you'll feel something.
  27. Mar 14, 2012
    90
    Mass Effect 3 is a fantastic game and an even greater achievement upon the landscape of video game that is only held back by some small gameplay issues and its own grandeur. Honestly, the worst part of the game is knowing that there will be no Mass Effect 4 to import my Shepard into. It's like saying goodbye to a friend and it is an experience that, while sort of heart aching, every single person who plays video games should have. But it's nothing without its predecessors. So do yourself a favor, start with the original Mass Effect and see this story through to the end. There is nothing else quite like it.
  28. 100
    Mass Effect 3 is brave enough to threaten to destroy its very own legacy. Everything you've worked for is genuinely at risk, and horrifying things are going to happen because of some of the choices you've made. If you've spent as long as we have with these characters, the impact of this final journey will be one you don't forget for years. Brave, thrilling, and incredibly emotional, Mass Effect 3 is a sci-fi masterpiece.
  29. Mar 19, 2012
    90
    In conclusion, this game has not let the series down. Opinion will differ with the actual story, but with the amount of different options available in the game, that is bound to happen. It just can't be stressed enough that this game will only give half the pleasure if it is played without prior Mass Effect experience.
  30. 90
    Mass Effect 3's job is one of refinement, and BioWare polishes its ideas to a mirror sheen. [Issue#83, p.72]
  31. Apr 18, 2012
    96
    The storytelling itself, the more refined combat, the voicework, the visuals, et all, stand as a fine example of some of the best this industry has to offer, and with my minor complaints aside, there's no doubt that Mass Effect 3 will be deservedly at the top of everyone's list come this year's award season.
  32. 90
    To put it plainly, there is an odd disconnect between this game and Mass Effect 2. In fact, there are more ties between this game and the first game than there are between 2 and 3, and sometimes we can't help but feel Mass Effect 2 never happened.
  33. 100
    An epic conclusion of a masterful trilogy. This one has it all.
  34. Mar 21, 2012
    90
    Mass Effect 3 is a brilliant final, epic and extremely strong in the series.
  35. Mar 8, 2012
    100
    Preserving the importance of a personal story against the backdrop of a galactic catastrophe, Mass Effect 3 respects its foundation as much as it understands and indulges in the player's choices. And it does it better than anything else.
  36. Mar 19, 2012
    100
    I've never been privy to a game that caused me to wonder, question, and embrace humanity's place and purpose as greatly as Mass Effect 3. It is worth noting – BioWare attempts to tailor the game for new players, yet the experience is undeniably deeper and more rewarding if you have already played Mass Effect's previous games.
  37. Mar 9, 2012
    88
    Despite some of these glaring issues, Mass Effect 3 brings a decent and fitting closure to a long and involving sci-fi story about an epic intergalactic war.
  38. Apr 10, 2012
    90
    If you have played the previous games Mass Effect 3 is a must have title, and even if you haven't it's still worth checking out, even if it's just for the multiplayer.
  39. Mar 26, 2012
    95
    Mass Effect 3 is an utterly brilliant bookend for an outstanding franchise.
  40. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    BioWare couldn't have provided a more satisfying ending to the trilogy. Mass Effect 3 is more a work of iteration than innovation, but sometimes that's just the right path to achieve excellence.
  41. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    Whether you've been holding your breath since finishing Mass Effect 2 or just now looking to jump into a story-driven video game, Mass Effect 3 provides something for everyone from the single-player to co-op, it's just that f***ing good.
  42. Mar 12, 2012
    90
    The most epic trilogy of this generation ends in an almost perfect way. It doesn't matter whether you're a fan of the franchise or not. You owe it to yourself to save Earth.
  43. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    The less-than spectacular combat does little to diminish what is ultimately a spectacular experience. As a finale to Shepard's quest it's fulfilling, engaging and packing enough depth to keep you very much on the edge of your seat and wanting more from the universe.
  44. Mar 6, 2012
    98
    Without question Mass Effect 3 has now become the new pinnacle entry into the trilogy by introducing a plethora of new innovations and improvements on already solid aspects.
  45. 100
    Better fighting. A great story. Amazing multiplayer. A brilliant ending and a masterpiece from Bioware.
  46. Apr 11, 2012
    90
    Although Mass Effect 3 may be quite far from beeing the best role-playing or shooting game out there, it certainly concludes one of the most intelligent and epic science fiction universes shown in games. As both the best game in the series and an instant game classic, this is truly an experience no gamers should miss.
  47. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    While I don't think that this recent entry is the best in the series, make no mistake - Mass Effect 3 is still a really solid game that shouldn't be missed.
  48. Mar 10, 2012
    97
    Mass Effect 3 is a great conclusion, fully satisfying and highly spectacular, to BioWare's sci-fi trilogy. A must buy for every lover of good games and great, emotional stories, as well as the first real nominee to the title of GOTY 2012.
  49. 98
    Mass Effect 3 is a fitting conclusion to the trilogy that manages to put the best parts of Mass Effect 1 with the best parts of Mass Effect 2. Sure, it will never be as much an RPG as the title that started it all, but as a result the game is actually, surprisingly, more fun to play and feels like a very well put together third person shooter that is bolstered by an in depth customisation system for both your weapons and your skills.
  50. 96
    The perfect ending to a masterful trilogy that's gone from strength-to-strength with each title. It's the conclusion you're hoping for, with each decision demanding that you think twice before pulling the trigger.
  51. Mar 6, 2012
    95
    What you'll remember when you're done with ME3 is not the glitches, it's the adventure and the characters you shared it with. As a trilogy, it is one of the most well-realized pieces of science fiction ever created. As a videogame, let's just say I hope I'm alive to see a series of this scope again.
  52. Mar 12, 2012
    90
    While the individual parts of Mass Effect 3 aren't perfect, the whole is a remarkable achievement. It's an adage that's true of the entire series. Each game has its flaws and do not escape criticism as standalone titles. But the commitment to the long-game reaps its own rewards for BioWare, with five years of dedication from creators and players alike coming together for a suitably heart-wrenching end to arguably the finest video game series of this generation.
  53. Apr 12, 2012
    90
    Thematically, the end of Mass Effect 3 and the conclusion of Shepard's story is pitch-perfect. But upon closer inspection after the fact, the manner in which you arrive at your fate - through bare number crunching and a tenuous causal link between war assets - fails to convince. [May 2012, p.55]
  54. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    Mass Effect's brilliant story remains intact, and if you played the previous two games, the payoff's more than satisfying. Some cover and combat issues remain unsolved, though, and the idea of participation in a completely separate multiplayer mode potentially influencing your single-player ending is mind-boggling.
  55. Apr 26, 2012
    100
    As a bombastic action-RPG with no previous context, Mass Effect 3 is a dark, engaging game with great combat, a well-written story, and all the epic space-opera you could want. But for those who have played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, it's something much more.
  56. Mar 6, 2012
    93
    I can say that Mass Effect 3 is indeed an epic conclusion for Commander Shepard's role in the Mass Effect Universe.
  57. Mar 6, 2012
    90
    BioWare has crafted a fantastic game with Mass Effect 3. The shooting is improved once again, the RPG customization is deeper, and the story missions are mostly amazing, with the exception of the overall plot ending with a big letdown.
  58. 90
    The combat leaves something to be desired, which might diminish what you get out of playing it in 'Action' mode, but what Mass Effect 3 really sets out to do - wrap up one of the best space operas of all time - it does expertly.
  59. Mar 6, 2012
    98
    Never before has a game felt like so much was on the line.
  60. Mar 22, 2012
    90
    Overall Mass Effect 3 is a pretty incredible game and a nice way to finish Shepard's story.
  61. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    More than ever, the Mass effect universe pulls off the masterful trick of feeling huge and yet believable – the game's production values are through the roof, and its third-person shooter controls incredibly precise, responsive and accurate given Mass Effect's immense scope. It really does feel like a TV sci-fi series in which you play the central character.
  62. 90
    With a gripping story, fun combat, clever dialogue and a great cast of characters Mass Effect 3 is everything we hoped it would be: an epic conclusion to a highly acclaimed trilogy.
  63. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    While there is a definite finality to Mass Effect 3, the wealth of plot-based variables are likely to inspire second, third and fourth playthroughs, not just of the latest game but of the entire trilogy. Mass Effect 3 is truly unique in this respect, leaving no stone unturned and offering full closure, yet still leaving players with countless 'what ifs'. It's these unanswered questions that have driven the Mass Effect experience, and will motivate players to see their mission through to its glorious end.
  64. Mar 6, 2012
    100
    With its grand storytelling and enthralling gameplay, Mass Effect 3 doesn't just bring an epic trilogy to a close, it rivals the most revered space operas.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 3508 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Mar 6, 2012
    1
    I was such a huge fan of this series. Space opera? Sci fi? Really, it was everything I liked. This third edition severely disappoints and makes a mockery of the rest of the series. Bioware, as always, presents the illusion of choice, except in this game they make it obvious that it's an ILLUSION, and that nothing you do/did in the previous games actually matters. The lore established in previous games also gets overhauled. The graphics are mediocre at best - the pre-rendered cutscenes are well made, which is to this game's merit, but apart from that... No. This game includes many instances cheap emotional manipulation, and while I appreciate the attempt to be all-inclusive this game forcibly and unnaturally shoehorns in sexualities and gender issues which, if done well, would be marvelous! In this case, it is not done well. Overall, I am disappointed and upset. This series had so much potential, and I had such high hopes for this game. They have done to Mass Effect what they did to Dragon Age with Dragon Age 2. It's as if the makers of this game simply decided to go, "DING DONG WE WANT CALL OF DUTY'S AUDIENCE", and thus alienated their entire original fanbase. Well, it seems like they have achieved that, but they have also alienated anyone who would have been interested in player-driven RPG games, unlike the several we already have which follow Call of Duty's model. This is why this game gets a 1/10. It does not deserve anything more. It does not get a 0 because, to it's merit, the melee flows better, and as I said before the cutscenes are nice. The dialogue, character interaction, lore, backstories, and so-called player options did not achieve the same level of merit. Bad game overall. I am particularly bitter because I really liked this series. Full Review »
  2. Mar 6, 2012
    4
    I feel awfully betrayed that the series went from and expansive sci-fi space opera with consequential choices; to a fairly streamlined action adventure with RPG elements. Its attempts at emotional manipulation are slightly hamfisted, not ineffective but very clumsily implemented and unrelated to my character's background - which I imagine Bioware has forgotten about at this point. The writing and designs for some characters also seems out of place, Vega is expected to be a bulky man but not to the extent that he's a jersey Shore cast member, the addition of Jessica Chobot and redesign for Ashley also complement this lovely little tan-orange motif. My largest qualm is with the Day 1 DLC - which I strongly oppose - by all means create new characters that are not plot-integral. But when you create a squad member who is heaily tied to the universe's lore and mystique and then aim to charge an extra $10 for it on top of the game's already hefty pricetag you know you fit a stereotype.The romance system is fine, although I'd like to be able to talk to my companions without the intention of making out with them. I won´t claim this is a bad game, however compared to the first installment it has lost much of its former glory. Buy it if you want, but if I were you I´d either rent it first or wait for the price to drop. Full Review »
  3. Mar 6, 2012
    0
    Poor writing and poor decision-making all around derail the grand finale of this series. The main plot developments are insipid and the character writing - normally a saving grace in even subpar Bioware games - seems anemic. This is packaged together with minimal evolution of the setting and little in the way of combat improvements, although some of the revamped character progression system is welcome. Overall the game is mediocre and probably does not deserve the score that I have given it - it might even have deserved as high as a 6! - but Bioware needs to know that it can't get away with such slapdash work. Full Review »