Generally favorable reviews - based on 80 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 80
  2. Negative: 1 out of 80
  1. May 31, 2012
    The gameplay is simple yet satisfying, but it's entirely in the service of a strongly-authored narrative.
  2. May 14, 2012
    With its gripping narrative, brutal violence, and fantastic implementation of Max Payne's bullet-time ability, this is a distinctive and outstanding game through and through, and it's easily a worthy successor to the Max Payne games that preceded it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. May 15, 2012
    You can't escape the feeling that Rockstar just isn't as good at a pure third-person shooter as it is with the open worlds of Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption, and in this linear context it's much harder to put up with its usual missteps in mechanics and difficulty.
  6. May 23, 2012
    My only real gripes come in single-player action. Max has a very annoying habit of automatically switching to a handgun any time he's about to enter a cinema screen despite the fact that he might be carrying a perfectly usable assault rifle. There were some occasions the strongest rifle I was carrying in my arsenal practically disappeared after a bit of storytelling. This sometimes put me in precarious positions where I had to pull out a ridiculous combination of Bullet Time, rolling and melee (not always Max's strongest suit) to reach a weapon with more ammo in it. That led to a few expletive-laden moments, but it wasn't enough to get me to stop playing.
  7. May 16, 2012
    Max Payne 3 is yet another amazing Rockstar game. It's worth your money and your time, especially if you enjoy competitive multiplayer. Still, know that you'll get the most out of the single-player if you pace yourself.
  8. May 27, 2012
    Sublime shooting with narrative/multiplayer masterclasses, but will divide opinion. [July 2012, p.63]
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. May 18, 2012
    Despite some minor issues (and a couple that aren't so minor), Max Payne 3 still manages to be a first-class third-person shooter and is thus one of the better games of the year. More importantly, it's a welcome return for one of the shooter genre's better series. The years may not have been kind of Max, but it seems he hasn't missed a beat.
  14. May 14, 2012
    A surprisingly conservative game from Rockstar. Its absorption of cover mechanics makes Payne feel more familiar than he should, but even then his signature tricks are over a decade old. This is a game about a world-weary killer doing the only thing he knows how to, and for all its spectacular action beats there's something apt about Max's fatigue.
  15. 80
    Seemingly cognizant of how tough it can be, the game gives you an extra bottle of health-restoring painkillers for every few times you restart at the same spot, but the situation is gratingly exacerbated by Max Payne 3's erratic checkpoint system. More often than not, you'll have to replay painfully long stretches of white-knuckle sequences, turning levels into chores, not treats.
  16. 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.
  17. May 14, 2012
    Ultimately, none of the story beats or polish mask the fact that Max Payne 3 is very much a refinement of an old formula, and if you're looking for something brand new or revelatory it just isn't here. However, what is amazing is how Rockstar has fallen back on its trademark production values and sublime attention to detail to update the franchise in a compelling way. Factor in some impressive multiplayer offerings and it's still head-and-shoulders above most of its trigger-happy ilk.
  18. May 14, 2012
    In Max Payne 3 the risk of death and restart is often too great. Why do something that makes you look and feel like an action hero, when holding back behind cover means you're more likely to survive? The shame, then, is that the difficulty encourages over-cautious play.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. May 14, 2012
    We have waited ten years to have the third chapter of Max Payne saga, but Rockstar brings us another masterpiece. Great story, lot of multiplayer modes and nice graphics do the rest. Don't miss it.
  22. May 31, 2012
    Max Payne 3's bold and different direction from series' norms has resulted in a lackluster narrative and infuriating gameplay difficulty. A well-polished presentation and hectic gun battles aren't able to redeem the lack of a memorable and worthwhile narrative, an aspect that's defined the Max Payne series since its creation. Even with Max Payne in the game's title, the actual content couldn't be further from the truth.
  23. May 23, 2012
    Rockstar took their time with this title, and it shows. Rebuilding not only the universe, but the characters in it, they managed to capture what we loved about the previous titles and matured it for this sequel. The multiplayer is a good addition to the series, enabling players to experience the world Remedy created with the staple bullettime modes intact.
  24. May 14, 2012
    It's damn good fun, creating an environment of chaos and thrilling combat. The new Rockstar Social Club features allow players to team up easily in Crews, pairing them up with players on teams who are members of the same Crew, and it makes it easy to get into a game with people you might actually want to play with.
  25. May 22, 2012
    If you are a fan of Max Payne, this game must be played. The gameplay is very fun and it's easily the most cinematic Max Payne game yet. The story clocks in at about 10-12 hours of gameplay and the game has several unlockables. There are many reasons to go back and play the single player mode and the game offers many extra multiplayer modes as well. It's truly a crime to miss out on this one if you've followed the series up until now. Max Payne 3 is just as pleasing as the other games overall and has the best gameplay out of the series so far!
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Jun 20, 2012
    Max Payne 3 is a great action-movie experience with life-like characters that Rockstar is famous for. It does fall a bit flat on the actual action part, however. The controls on consoles are confusing and hard to get used to. Still very much worth a play-thru. It's also one of the best looking console games in the current generation. [June 2012]
  29. May 14, 2012
    Max Payne 3 mixes the old and the new Max and brings the series in the new generation of consoles. A strong story mode and a deep multiplayer are the highlights of this game.
  30. May 14, 2012
    As a shooter, Max Payne 3 belongs to the highest ranks. Due to the fantastic animations and amazing action every confrontation is one to look forward to. And if the atmosphere, dialogue and narrative turn out to be of a 'Max Paynian' level, there's really nothing that can go wrong regarding this third entry in the series. If you have even the slightest love for virtual liquidation, then the purchase of Max Payne 3 is a bullet you can't dodge.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 789 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 39 out of 243
  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 muchwell,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 inThis 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 toWhy 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 »