User Score
8.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1572 Ratings

User score distribution:

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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 thingsA 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. Expand
  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. 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 ofThis 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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  4. 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 andAn 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. Collapse
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 withThis 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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 canGreat 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
  10. 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 ofBioware 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
  11. 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 areMass 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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  12. 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,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
  13. 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 theThis 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
  14. 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.
  15. MattA
    Dec 4, 2008
    9
    An excellent narrative of epic scope. I'm not the biggest of RPG fans...but this was different. I felt very attached to my character, as well as my team. I ended up spending almost 30 hours playing, and it very significant for the most part. The missions seemed varied, and motivated. The NPC were interesting and provided an excellent backstory. This game is almost perfect. If there An excellent narrative of epic scope. I'm not the biggest of RPG fans...but this was different. I felt very attached to my character, as well as my team. I ended up spending almost 30 hours playing, and it very significant for the most part. The missions seemed varied, and motivated. The NPC were interesting and provided an excellent backstory. This game is almost perfect. If there weren't a few glitches such as getting stuck in odd places, and maybe a better auto-save feature would have made this game a perfect ten. The story and production values, however, make up for any shortcoming in gameplay. The combat was fun and felt almost like an action game and not an RPG. That was what i was most happy about. Great game, and i give it one of my highest recommendations. Expand
  16. Zenjamin
    Dec 26, 2007
    10
    all of the legitimate complaints, come from technical issues. well, I havent had any technical issues. but perhaps this is because my 360 is new? All i know is, no game has ever come close to invoking this much emotion in me. and i dont think another will untill the trilogy continues. i just dont understand why some of the Users give it such low reviews, FAR lower then ANY critic. I all of the legitimate complaints, come from technical issues. well, I havent had any technical issues. but perhaps this is because my 360 is new? All i know is, no game has ever come close to invoking this much emotion in me. and i dont think another will untill the trilogy continues. i just dont understand why some of the Users give it such low reviews, FAR lower then ANY critic. I really think it is either PS3 fanboys or RPG haters, I can understand going into yellow for technical issues (which i could not find), but there is no honest reason why anyone should rate this in the red. Expand
  17. NancyS.
    Jun 26, 2009
    10
    Great game. One of my all-time favorites, and this is coming from a semi-hard core gamer. I loved the combat and the story and the dialog choices...I have played through this a good five or six times. The dlc isnt bad either. All in all, an almost perfect game. Those elevator rides are basically my only complaint.
  18. MaxM.
    Dec 24, 2007
    10
    I just love the whole sci-fi exploring planets-shooting lasers theme of this game. The lighting effects are amazing, the scenery of every planet is fun to look at, and the replay value makes Bioshock look like a piece of crap.
  19. ScottW
    Dec 17, 2009
    10
    Quite possibly the best game I've ever played. Nearly perfect in every way. Worth every penny of the cost.
  20. 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 theOne 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
  21. 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
    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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  22. 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 orAmazing. 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
  23. 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 alsoPersonally, 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
  24. 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)
  25. Dec 15, 2012
    9
    Never had a sci-fi/rpg/fps been so beautifully done. Starting your journey, you get to choose your character through a decent amount of customizable features and soldier styles. The story is as unique as I've seen in a game but what really makes for exciting gameplay is the decisions you make along the way. You can choose to be a paragon or renegade by helping or hurting others throughoutNever had a sci-fi/rpg/fps been so beautifully done. Starting your journey, you get to choose your character through a decent amount of customizable features and soldier styles. The story is as unique as I've seen in a game but what really makes for exciting gameplay is the decisions you make along the way. You can choose to be a paragon or renegade by helping or hurting others throughout your experience. You also have options when it comes to upgrading your character's skills/abilities. Without spoiling anything, this was one of my favorite gaming experiences when I played it in 2010. Expand
  26. Dec 26, 2012
    8
    The first game I ever played on x-box 360. And was surprised at how I've never heard of this game before. It was simply great. The characters, the decisions, the classes, the story, and combat made me enjoy it very much.
  27. 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 heavyMass 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
  28. Rem
    Jul 11, 2013
    8
    Mass Effect is a shining achievement in video game storytelling with the journey throughout the galaxy of Commander Shepard. This trek is not without technical problems, but past that is one of the greatest video game stories ever. Bioware has a legendary status with its games such as KOTOR and Baldur's Gate, but tacking such a vast and ambitious idea is chilling. Space has never been moreMass Effect is a shining achievement in video game storytelling with the journey throughout the galaxy of Commander Shepard. This trek is not without technical problems, but past that is one of the greatest video game stories ever. Bioware has a legendary status with its games such as KOTOR and Baldur's Gate, but tacking such a vast and ambitious idea is chilling. Space has never been more beautiful in this game, and simply exploring the galaxy and reading up on the planets and codex is enough to keep you immersed and engaged. However the ambition of this carries over to how the game performs. The framerate drops in almost every battle I encounter due to the high quality and scale of the game. Speaking about the game, the combat, while feeling similar does enough to feel fresh. What's most amazing is how it actually feels like you are actually playing a sci-fi roleplaying game. The skill trees are deep and customization of your own Commander Shepard is fun, if not messy at times. However what stuck with me most was the characters. These are some of the most believable characters I've ever seen with spot on facial animations and a deep lore. It did enough for me to feel for the characters. Most importantly, the game puts choice not only into gameplay, but into story. Your actions alone can determine the fate of someone's life in an intuitive and clever dialogue system and in one where the main character can speak in. What holds this back from a 9 are some annoying glitches, chugging framerate, rigid Mako physics, and messy inventory screen. BUT play this game. If you enjoy storytelling of any kind, you owe it to yourself to play Mass Effect. Expand
  29. Jun 3, 2013
    8
    Mass Effect is one of those games that’s kind of in its own genre. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of RPG, action and choice elements. I also loved the ability to explore planets (which they sadly took away in Mass Effect 2). Things like a horrible inventory system stop it from reaching greatness, but it’s a thoroughly entertaining experience, even today.
  30. Jun 3, 2013
    8
    This game takes a lot of time to get used. The combat is a bit awkward, the cover system isn't any better. The story and dialogue are beyond that of any game of its time. There's an enormous and imerssive universe to take part in. Once you're in, it's hard to get out. You'll find yourself exploring planets, getting to know other characters, fighting using either guns or powers or both.
  31. Nov 7, 2010
    0
    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 andAn 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. 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]