User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1464 Ratings

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  1. Sep 1, 2010
    10
    A tear comes to my eye as I think about how best to express the pure joy this game brings. That sense of joy can come from climbing to the top of a mountain on a world at furthest reaches of the galaxy and witnessing an alien sunrise, the stunning and original story line, and even looking down at your feet as you board a cargo ship and see the entire universe below you. All these things can only begin to explain the wonders of this game. Yeah, it's good. Collapse
  2. Mar 20, 2012
    9
    This gets a 9 simply because of the mako exploration of planets. I cannot get over how many times I got stuck in some rut and had to restart. Also, there essentially is no autosave; you pretty much reset to the beginning of the mission. That being said, the scale of this game is amazing, and the remainder of the trilogy is even better from here.
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    9
    bioware pretty much nailed this one for the most part. being able to travel in space to different planets uncovering a great mystery backed up with a great story and solid voice acting makes this a solid RPG . the combat system is pretty good kinda gears of war style . alot of places to explore and some great diolouge choices you can make . going good or evil was done very well . the game is about 18-25 hours to beat so its alittle on the short side for a RPG but not short enough to where it bugs me but close . i wish they added space combat in your ship would have been great . also the planets are all pretty empty i wish they made exploration of the planets much more intresting . that aside its still a very solid RPG . Expand
  4. Feb 18, 2011
    8
    This game is at the top of my list of favorites, alongside Metal Gear Solid 3, Battlefield: Bad Company, and Gears of War. It's a space opera (and I'm not claiming that phrase). It takes the best of the sci-fi genre from film and television (e.g. Star Trek's lens flares and strange high pitch soundtrack that creeps you out in that deep space kinda way) and sprays on a shiny new coat of paint and performs it like a true epic, something on par with Greek tales of heroes and side-quests. It's not overplayed, it's not pretentious. It's entertaining and meaningful at once. I played it during a period of convalescence because otherwise I wouldn't have had the patience. This is due to the inability of Commander Shepard to run, preferring a light jog instead. Match this character flaw with the future's architectural fetish for LARGE, open spaces and you have a test of patience. The HUD is unnecessary. All the information could be conveyed through character animation and in-world effects or placed in the Menu. The radar is cheap, the "target everything" reticule is distracting, and the upper title bar is insulting. If I can still remember people from high school I can remember characters in a game. The human brain is incredible. Mechanics feel like a group of RPG nerds were put to the test of building a shooter to get more people to play their nerd game. It works. I played it. But I wasn't impressed. Targeting is floaty and unsatisfying. There's also the obligatory grinding (ughh) in the form of traveling to unknown planets and bouncing around in a rover that is delightfully hard to roll.

    None of these factors take away from the greatness of Bioware's achievement with this game. However they do ruin my wish to replay it.
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  5. Nov 7, 2010
    9
    An amazing adventure. Mass Effect captures the epic sci-fi atmosphere of movies like Star Trek, Star Wars and the Alien series while still offering tons of new content. Some people might not like the amount of information gathering that has to be done in the early parts of the game but I found them interesting anyway, and even if you personally don't like it there's enough action and freedom to satisfy you if you have a little patience to play through those parts. The only gripes I have with the game would probably be that managing abilities in combat can be a little tricky, and that the NPCs could be a little smarter while fighting. But even with those complaints, Mass Effect still has enough fun in it to satisfy just about anyone. Expand
  6. Nov 19, 2010
    10
    Excellent story, voice-acting, dialogue, RPG elements, world-exploration, graphics, replay value... one of the best console games of all-time. As a long-time fan of Bioware games, I have to say that this may be their finest achievement to date, and may remain so for years to come.
  7. Nov 5, 2010
    9
    This truly is a great game. Great graphics, great music, great story, great characters, and good gameplay. The world is so well developed and you can tell that so much thought went into developing the Mass Effect universe. Mass Effect is very dialogue heavy, so for gamers who prefer constant action, this may not be the game for you.
  8. Nov 24, 2010
    10
    WOW, Mass Effect was an experience in gaming I have never had before. The depth of the game, the immersion that comes with the story, and the massive world of play, not to mention the space opera story, kept me playing this game for days and days on end.
  9. Nov 25, 2010
    8
    This game has such an amazing story and it sets up an entire universe (pardon the pun) that is rich and dynamic. Every interaction has its own feel and style and your actions impact the course of the game directly. What is frustrating, however, is the lackluster combat and the sluggish, hard to use menus. I give it props for having a new game plus option though, which expanded my time with this game quite a bit. At the end of it all though, I felt like it could be more. Then Mass Effect 2 came out, and now I am perfectly content. Expand
  10. Nov 26, 2010
    10
    Bioware is the company we must thank for all you RPG fans!! They have given us so much and yet they still prevail. This game makes me cry when i realize the time and effort put into this game. The gameplay, customization, and story is flawless. This game is a obvious buy you will put hours into in more than one playthrough. Bioware has failed to disappoint me.
  11. Dec 11, 2010
    9
    Great game. The shooting combat is nice with plenty of side quests and an enthralling story. The RPG elements have been melded very well with the 3rd person shooter combat, and the choice you make mean something, and its not just right or wrong, there can be a lot of grey here, meaing you can really be yourself, not just pure good or evil. As for the elvator rides, yes sometimes they can be boring but the banter that goes on inside it can be quite amusing and interesting. My only real gripe is the inventory system and the boring vehicle sections, but apart form that its great, with a huge amount of cusomization available, a great story and amazing graphics. Expand
  12. Mar 6, 2011
    9
    Bioware has once again created a great RPG experience, you will notice it shares resemblance with another Bioware title Star Wars Knight of the Old Republic, but that aside this is truly a unique title, the story and the way you interact with others is great and kept me hooked, and the new talking system is game changing, and truly spectacular move for them, while this game is ahead of it's time with those features, the frame rate issues, clunky targeting system, and other bugs keep this from being as smooth as I would like, those flaws aside if you like the company's other titles or RPGs in general this is one I recommend. Expand
  13. Mar 9, 2011
    9
    Mass Effect is impressive, compelling, addictive, rewarding and fun. The main storyline is fascinating and will leave you wanting more. Combat is challenging, multi-faceted and engaging. The characters are well-developed, and the voice acting is superb (although I can't talk to Kaidan Alenko without seeing Carth Onasi in my head). There are myriad side quests, many of which are relatively well-developed and woven neatly into the main plot or other ongoing subplots. Planetary exploration is fun, once you get the hang of driving the Mako. The level system is well thought out, as well.

    There are some problems, however. I think there are a total of only 5 or 6 "dungeons," which get recycled over and over and over. There is a side quest for almost every star system, and there are a LOT of star systems. You'll run through the same dungeons (populated by different enemies) time and time again....but you'll still enjoy it. Your party AI is also not very good, specifically on higher difficulties. The inventory system is overwhelming and somewhat annoying. Controls can be a little off, at times. Going in and out of cover isn't always smooth, which will result in more than a few needless deaths on higher difficulties. The mechanics are generally good, though. Overall, this is a really great game with a few elements that will annoy you just enough that you'll have to stop playing it for a few minutes once every 8 hours or so.
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  14. Jul 15, 2011
    9
    Sometimes it can be irritating, and the storytelling ( i mean the cut scene the story is perfect) can get annoying, but in same way en-joyful to see your doppleganger interact which rich worlds . The graphics are in par with most of the games nowadays. The combat, is for me , lacking, the only flaw and the thing that infuriate me. But the decisions the best part, changing every path, whit-out even knowing . Best buy for RPG fans. Expand
  15. Aug 24, 2012
    7
    I enjoyed Mass Effect, though I wrestled with the interface (particularly the inventory) and controls at times. It's a decent, semi-hard sci-fi space opera that is definitely worth your time.
  16. Feb 26, 2012
    10
    This is a spectacular game!! Rich, deep story line, and a vast and very realistic universe. I enjoyed the variety of weapons and environments and enemies. There is so much to explore! This game is immersive and addicting! I enjoyed the ability to characterize and customize. The weapons are awesome, and the gameplay is great! This game is fun!! The story is truly unique. I loved the decision making, and the plot twists. Great game play, great game. Totally worth multiple play-thoughs! Great job Bioware!! Expand
  17. Mar 22, 2013
    10
    One of the best game worlds of all time. Its pretty insane how they created this universe. Feels like a very real futuristic place.
  18. Dec 7, 2011
    7
    Although the combat isn't as good as the sequel, the story is top-notch. The upgrade system is overly complex than what is necessary, and the FPS isn't constant at all. I was also annoyed how I had to find an old save to play the DLC because I couldn't return to the ship during the end - and most of my recent saves were from the end mission. This led me to have to play the DLC with terrible upgrades (from early on), which made the combat turn out to be a much greater challenge. In conclusion, a great game, but lacking in comparison to the second installment. Expand
  19. Mar 12, 2012
    9
    Should I play Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 before Mass Effect 3? Does playing through the first two games make the wait worth it? I would play through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 numerous times before playing through Mass Effect 3. I absolutely love the series so far. Here is how Mass Effect felt to me. I hope you enjoy.

    If I had one word to describe my experience with Commander
    Shepard it would be wow! From touching the Prothean Beacon on Eden Prime to the final battle with a Saren "like" creature. I hate that I am just now finishing it, because I am already on Mass Effect 2. Hopefully, I will get to Mass Effect 3 some time this summer (ha-ha). I have been playing this game since 2009, and due to a couple of "Red Ring's" I had to put-off the game for some time.

    This is probably one of the best stories I have ever experienced in over two decades of gaming. Every planet, mission, and side quest told intricate details to flush out the Mass Effect universe even better. The only reason this game lacks the one point needed for the perfect score would be due to two factors. First, on the side mission planets Commander Shepard drives around an SUV like vehicle called a Mako. Unlike the shark the vehicle is named after this Mako is clunky and difficult to drive up mountains (which seem to be in abundance in every planet). The clunky mechanics make it difficult for a completion-ist (like myself) to scavenge every single piece of the world looking for loot. I still did this to most worlds, but near the end of the game the story was so amazing I just did the side quest on the planet and stopped looking around for more loot.

    Loot in Mass Effect comes in the form of weapons, weapon mods, bullet mods, armor, medical mods, medi-gel (used to heal the mako, party members, and even Commander Shepard), and grenades. Fun to collect, but by the time I got near the 45-50 hour mark I rarely found anything better than what I already had. The second reason to hold off the perfect score would be world creation. For three of the headlined side quests (where you help your party members) Commander Shepard finds himself in the same bunker. The same bunker appears in about a half dozen planets, and there are others which get recycled in a couple different areas. For Bioware to make a game this large in 2007 means sacrifices like this probably had to be made. I finished it in 2012 where bunkers (dungeons) can be artificially built by AI. I would not say the combat is bad, though I would not say it was great either. Probably due to the year Mass Effect came out, I am comparing it to games years past its time.

    It must be saying something where I am comparing this game with titles which have came out in the past 12 months. I loved every bit of the story. I yearned for every second of cut scene I could get.

    I have not even spoken about the fact where Commander Shepard's decisions have a lasting effect in the Mass Effect universe. The decisions made in Mass Effect carry over to Mass Effect and Mass Effect three. Also, the characters who die in the first game are dead in the next two. Mass Effect 3 in now in stores, and according to some web sites sold over 800,000 in its first 24 hours. Bioware's publisher EA (Electronic Arts) has shipped over 3.5 million units worldwide. It is no doubt everyone is wanting to play Mass Effect 3.

    Without a doubt I would absolutely play Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 before playing Mass Effect 3. Which is why I am now playing the second game with every spare second to finish before I crack into the third entry. Game Informer gave Mass Effect 3 a perfect 10, and IGN gave it a 9.5. I want, with every inch of my being, to go pick up Mass Effect 3 and play for 24 hours straight.

    However, Mass Effect 3 will only be a perfect game by bringing in my own save files which make my decisions matter in the "final battle."

    I hope this helps you if your trying to debate playing the first two games before starting the third. This series is worth every minute of the hundreds of hours you will spend playing it!
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  20. Aug 6, 2012
    10
    Amazing. What can be said about this game which hasn't been already? As a kid raised on Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers etc. I remember longing for the day when I'd be off exploring space in a starship and as puberty hit you realize that day will never come. Mass Effect however get's me as close to that experience as a young kid could wish for (without the hassles of work or death either) and as a game it's a boat load of fun to boot. Does it have flaws? Of course, but they are so minor when compared to the overall experience that I'm not even going to mention them here. If I were to list all the plus points of the game this review would be 100 pages long. A sheer joy to play and a must-buy for anyone with an Xbox 360. Expand
  21. Dec 21, 2011
    9
    Personally, I love Bioware just like I loved KOTOR, I really wasn't expecting much when I bought this game but something new has come in the RPG genre. The 3rd person real-time combat is just great and exploring the world is also awesome, unfortunately, this side quests are really boring such some of the vehicle missions, that didn't drive me into the experience any more. The story is also absolutely wonderful and the characters are strong (at least most of them). Overall this game is amazing and it will really satisfy RPG and 3rd-Person-Shooter fans, this is totally worth your money. Expand
  22. Mar 6, 2012
    10
    One of my favorites of all time, top 3 games. Really fun game, great choices, interesting cast of characters, and a compelling story. Still occasionally pick it up and play. By far the best of the 3 (not that it says much anymore)
  23. May 23, 2013
    8
    Mass Effect has an amazing universe and unique characters. But the first time playing this is... odd from the other Mass Effects. As you have inventory and equipment which is just there by the truck loads. The shooting mechanic is workable, but cheap. Biotics and Tech felt the same as it did. Armor classes sucked as people with light armor had to use more squad tactics, but heavy armor users felt like chargers and punishers. It gave me the feeling that I wasn't the 'Commander' I need to be, but i guess it's to mix gameplay and roles between everyone's different Shepards. Had a few glitches, but that's about it. Expand
  24. Jul 11, 2013
    8
    The Mass Effect franchise is one of the most well-established RPG’s of this age, and this is a title it is certainly deserving of. It all started with Mass Effect, which includes the most customization of any of the games in the series however it also includes the most flawed gameplay. The characters and the interesting sci-fi universe are the best part of this game. While the story itself is nothing new, the voice acting is superb and you’ll find that the best moments in this game are when you are chatting with a friend rather than duking it out on the battlefield. In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say the combat is boring and uninteresting.

    Therefore it’s such a shame that the battlefield is where you’ll spend a majority of the game It isn’t that the combat is broken- it is just boring. There is nothing new to it. But that isn’t even the worst part of the combat- the biggest flaw here is the autosave. You’ll often play for 30 minutes and then die and have to go all the way back to the beginning. You’ll have to learn to save on your own but even then if an enemy is remotely nearby you can’t save. This means you may have to go through the same 30 minutes to an hour of boring combat multiple times so you can progress the story. The only reason I trudged through the missions was so I could get back to the ship and advance my relationships with the other characters and learn about their histories and backstories.

    Not only does it have boring combat, but it has these broken and horrendous driving moments using a vehicle called the Mako which haunts me in my dreams to this day. So then, how could I give this game an 8.5 if I have all these complaints? Honestly, as I mentioned earlier, it is the characters that make this game. You play as Commander Shepard, a character whom you shape. Shepard can be a boy or girl, black or white, blonde or brown (or any other hair color) and on and on. There is no canon Shepard and you can play as him/her on a good (paragon), bad (renegade), or neutral path. Or you could just go crazy and pick whatever options you want. There is no right playthrough however I’d recommend deciding on whatever you would do/ whatever you think is right for your first playthrough.

    You can choose how to advance Shepard’s skills as well as his class, so its up to you whether you want him to be a charismatic leader or a violent over-powered man. This is something which was unfortunately dumbed down in the sequels and is another way that this game immerses you in. You can also upgrade your squad-mates skills but this is optional.

    Mass Effect is one of the best games I have ever played, which feels so unusual for me to say considering I found the actual gameplay itself boring. It looks great despite being a few years old and has brought the RPG genre the attention it deserves. Everyone will experience this game in a different way and walk out with a story to tell, and as long as you are patient enough to make it through the monotonous combat sequences then you are in for a real treat.

    Full score: 8.5/10
    You can also check out my second opinion at: http://binarymessiah.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/mass-effect-9-510/
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  25. Oct 29, 2012
    9
    BioWare did it again!!! One of the most cinematic games of all-time, something that's definitely helped by a fantastic story, great writing, movie-quality direction, and strong voiceover work.
  26. Oct 8, 2012
    10
    I've played a lot of Science Fiction games during my lifetime. I can honestly say that Mass Effect is the best game in the genre. The opening backstory "Mass Effect" is not so amazing to start off with, but then you see the impact of the backstory right before your eyes as you progress through the game. The story keeps getting stronger and more exciting from there, and more emotional.

    The game was so good that I couldn't wait for Mass Effect 2: an amazing game that while being great, lacks some of the feel that I felt when playing the first Mass Effect. Play Mass Effect. If you haven't, you should. This is the kind of video game not meant for gamers. This one is based around character development, story and moral choices that are hard to achieve in this gaming age.
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  27. Aug 29, 2010
    10
    One of the best games of this console generation. Maybe ever. This masterpiece by Bioware does admittedly contain a few combat errors, but once you get a hang of it the fun is endless. I played through this thing at least 10 times, and could still go again. Most bad reviewers complain about "boring exploration" and what-not, but that is only because these people are used to the high-octane, nonstop action of FPS's and other linear games. My only criticisms come from a few story disappointments (why can't I save the thorian? And leave the rachni to the council?) . Otherwise, don't hesitate to go buy this amazing game. Expand
  28. Aug 31, 2010
    10
    Have yet to play mass effect 2 but simply put this game is amazing. It has sci-fi, guns, dialogue trees, Seth Green and an amazing story. A must buy for anyone who owns a 360.
  29. Apr 24, 2011
    8
    Mass Effect is a very impressive game, with great RPG elements and solid third-person shooter gameplay. The story, characters and sci-fi setting are what stand out in this game among all the other games. It is a superb game, let down slightly by its graphics engine and occassionally tedious Mako planet exploring sections. I could write a lot about this game, but I'm going to sum it up. The characters are wonderfully intelligent and well worth getting to know, the main story arc is very good with numerous side missions; you'll get well over 40 hours of play if you explore it all. 4/5, fantastic. Expand
  30. Sep 3, 2012
    9
    Begins the fantastic Mass Effect series with a new style of Action RPG's, taking themes and designs from KOTOR. A flawed masterpiece mass effect struggles with combat, level design, and of course the Mako. But underneath all the flaws is one of the greatest video games I have played.
  31. Sep 1, 2010
    0
    A tear comes to my eye as I think about how best to express the pure joy this game brings. That sense of joy can come from climbing to the top of a mountain on a world at furthest reaches of the galaxy and witnessing an alien sunrise, the stunning and original story line, and even looking down at your feet as you board a cargo ship and see the entire universe below you. All these things can only begin to explain the wonders of this game. Yeah, it's good. Collapse
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
  1. It's an adventure that is so captivating that you'll be counting the days for the sequel. It takes interactive storytelling to new heights, and brings the player closer to content than ever before. It's easily one of the year's best titles and one of the most impressive games to date. [Nov 2007, p.151]
  2. Far from being a ponderous sci-fi exposition, Mass Effect boasts a dynamic, well-constructed story with a broad emotional range. [Holiday 2007, p.82]
  3. As it is, it's merely very good on several different levels, and is more or less a must-play for RPG fans. It will drive shooter fans completely up the wall, though. [Dec 2007, p.56]