Generally favorable reviews - based on 80 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 80
  2. Negative: 1 out of 80
  1. May 14, 2012
    It maintains the mechanics that made the prior games great while modernizing them to excellent effect. Between the arcade mode and multiplayer, there's enough substantive content to keep you hooked for some time.
  2. May 14, 2012
    The key to the game is the pitch perfect control system. A customisable auto-targetting system lets players select between hard or soft auto systems, the latter subtly guiding your reticule rather than aggressively yanking it toward specific enemies. Both are smart, seamless and intuitive, allowing newcomers to acclimatise to the turbo-charged pace.
  3. May 14, 2012
    A technological tour de force that will have you screaming "Dear lord!" more times than midnight mass. The performances are top notch, the action plays out with unrivaled fluidity, and the multiplayer is deep and rewarding. Silly distractions aside, Max Payne 3 is an action lover's wet dream that also happens to employ some of the slickest direction and transitional trickery this side of a David Fincher box set.
  4. May 23, 2012
    The story and presentation rival that of a summer blockbuster. Throw in some smart dialogue, fantastic gameplay and addicting multiplayer, and Rockstar has hit the ball out of the park again.
  5. May 14, 2012
    A great game that manages to be on par with other third-person action games like Gears of War and Uncharted, keeping part of the personality of the first two games in the series and adding great new mechanics that will surprise every player. It also tells a very good story thanks to the charming and complicated personality of Max.
  6. May 14, 2012
    Rockstar has yet again delivered a very high-grade production, with unique and cinematic storytelling, a deeply involving and intense gameplay experience and a very satisfying and original multiplayer. A must buy: you'll be entranced.
  7. May 16, 2012
    Max Payne 3 is a violent thrill ride with an action hero that does not know at times that he is the hero. With slick visuals, and blood spraying violence it may not be for everyone. For those fans of Max Payne, and those action film fans, I think this one is for you.
  8. May 15, 2012
    It's surreal. Altogether, the impression is of a work that feels like an addled and hazy reflection of the truth. It's far removed from what we know, but unlike so many games there's a real sense that our world and our lives are just beyond the horizon.
  9. May 15, 2012
    With Max Payne 3, Rockstar Games proves that the studio masters action games in the most brilliant way, despite Max Payne 3 not being an open-world title. If there were no doubts about narration, the gameplay system also remains very atttractive thanks to the perfect introduction of the bullet time and the Shootdodge abilities, two strong aspects players are already familiar with. Rockstar Games offers a great experience, full of details, and depicts an amazing trip through Brazil and its favelas. A masterpiece in which Rockstar Games excels at introducing a tortured character whose adventures will surely give you the chills.
  10. May 14, 2012
    Max Payne 3 makes you feel like the man with a very particular set of skills. With a good story, jaw-dropping action and fantastic graphics, it's a must-experience game. It's an homage to some fantastic movies, it's a step forward for Rockstar games and it's a satisfying continuation of the Max Payne saga.
  11. May 14, 2012
    Max Payne 3 gives exactly what it promises: An awesome, cinematic and greatly-paced experience. A new standard for third-person shooters in this gen. Just amazing.
  12. May 15, 2012
    The cutscenes, while possibly too numerous, are seamlessly integrated into the overall narrative in a way that often makes you forget when it's time to take control of your character.
  13. May 20, 2012
    It's safe to say that Max Payne 3 is a fantastic game and with a hefty single player and extensive multiplayer it will keep you entertained for hours and hours. The story is gripping and will have you wondering what happens next, and with the integration of crews to the multiplayer there is even more reason to make regular visits to the city of São Paulo.
  14. May 14, 2012
    The coolest multiplayer mode offered is Gang Wars. This mode pits two teams against each other and incorporates story threads from the campaign to shape the five rounds. How a round ends dictates what the next objective will be, a design that keeps the battles fresh.
  15. May 14, 2012
    Max Payne 3 is one of the most important third-person shooters of this generation. It's frenetic and with a good replay value campaign, and has a direct and effective multiplayer and an incredible physics engine.
  16. 93
    A true cinematic gaming masterpiece, Max Payne 3 is not just another triumph for Rockstar, but it's also testament to what the developer can do when it turns its hand to linear storytelling. Max Payne 3 might be a stylistic shift for the series, but it's also a raw and brutal portrait of a man pushed to the edge that deserves a place alongside Rockstar's superlative open-world efforts.
  17. May 22, 2012
    Max Payne 3 is a triumph; an action game that is supremely polished, filled with adrenaline pumping gunplay and several memorable milestones.
  18. May 18, 2012
    Max is back and in top form. Rockstar takes the helm resulting in one of the best action games I've played in a long time, and easily one of the best this year.
  19. May 20, 2012
    But the truth is, Rockstar know their onions. They understand the importance of a gritty story, concise controls, cinematic visuals, balls-out action, and genuinely fun (albeit not 100% balanced) multiplayer. But above all, they carry with them a sense of style across all of their presentation. Max Payne 3 is yet another fine example of their prowess.
  20. May 16, 2012
    Max Payne 3 dismisses its well known noir-style, but retains the mature storytelling, and enhances the classic shooter mechanics to adapt them for the needs of this generation of gamers.
  21. Jul 8, 2012
    A compelling, down and dirty bullet basket populated by real characters and visceral gunplay. [July 2012, p.55]
  22. Jun 26, 2012
    The presentation is top-notch, the game feels like you want it to never end while you're playing it, and the multiplayer gives it longevity that will stick around for a good while.
  23. Jun 13, 2012
    Max Payne 3 has an action-packed and long-lasting single-player campaign driven by an expectedly solid single-player story that is a Rockstar trademark. That combines with very entertaining multiplayer that will have gamers playing long after the single-player campaign is complete.
  24. Jun 4, 2012
    The story wraps up nicely, and it's interesting to see Max in a game with a much darker tone, especially when, for the most part, the grim elements are handled extremely well.
  25. May 31, 2012
    The gameplay is simple yet satisfying, but it's entirely in the service of a strongly-authored narrative.
  26. May 27, 2012
    Sublime shooting with narrative/multiplayer masterclasses, but will divide opinion. [July 2012, p.63]
  27. May 26, 2012
    Rockstar knows how to tell a compelling story and even included awesome flashback sequences to a Max that is more recognizable to us longtime fans. Max has become even more hardened over the years and is pushed to the edge; Rockstar tells this tale in fantastic fashion, even without the comic book panels that we're accustomed to. Max Payne is stylish as ever, even with his shaved head and tacky Hawaiian shirt.
  28. May 26, 2012
    Probably helped with the strong cinematographic treatment, you really can feel what being in Max's shoes is all about, and wish that he can finally find the peace that has aluded him for so long.
  29. May 24, 2012
    Rockstar does it again. The new Max not only reminds us of his old tricks, but shows some new as well. Every minute you spend with Max Payne 3 gives you lots of fun and thanks to modes making you want to play again and a solid multiplayer the game won't become boring too soon.
  30. May 23, 2012
    When the game is actually Max Payne, when you've set up the perfect shoot-dodge and you're sailing through the air putting holes through people, everything lines up and it's the greatest game in the world: amazing graphics, great voice acting, a funny and deftly written script, a memorable soundtrack, the whole nine yards. It's just a shame about all of this other extraneous modern crap that Rockstar's bolted onto it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 755 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 238
  1. May 15, 2012
    well,the main thing a person looks in any product is that it should be a fun experience worth playing. Max Payne 3 is all of that and much more.It is a game more focused on story as all the previous max Payne's have been and packs satisfying gunplay to boot.It may not be THE BEST third person shooter out there but max payne 3's gameplay and story lives up to expectations with multiplayer being a riot. So if you want to play something fun with a serious storyline as well as gr8 multiplayer,max payne 3 is the game to get. Full Review »
  2. May 15, 2012
    This is truly a fantastic game. Max Payne 3 is a great shooter with an extremely fascinating script and storyline that totally succeeds in delivering a perfect noir tale! The pacing is just the right speed and I personally had no trouble playing this game nonstop for more than a couple of hours. The graphics, full of detail and constantly very colorful and at times and very beautiful as well. The characters, brimming with interesting personality traits all while delivering quick, intriguing, and sometimes very funny lines. The action and gameplay, a huge amount of fun that never grows tiring and always works well and correctly. And Max Payne himself, as engaging and engrossing a character as ever while also being voiced wonderfully by James McCaffrey. With an endlessly fun multiplayer and an incredibly involving story this comes up to make this game is yet another triumph to add to Rockstar's list! Full Review »
  3. May 15, 2012
    Why do I keep getting interrupted during gameplay for a cutscene. There is no way to become immersed if if every two minutes I'm stopped to watch cuts for sometimes longer than I just played. The gameplay is frustrating, the gun mechanics are not great, and the bullet time is way too short. Full Review »