Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. Experimenting with Black Hole Bombs and other special weapons is great fun in Mega Man 9, a welcome departure from recent entries in the series, where an enhanced Mega Buster made other weaponry less relevant.
  2. Buy it, finish it, love it, because if this takes off we’re going to see a renaissance of new-old games. And if that happens, a whole new batch of gamers will grow up learning why rock-solid gameplay, not tera-flipping flop-bib shaders, make games truly exceptional.
  3. Who knew agony could be so much fun? [Dec 2008, p.100]
  4. Without doubt, this is a download for the true hardcore, but anyone who dares will be treated to one of the greatest games yet on Live Arcade. [Issue#38, p.114]
  5. It's damn near impossible, but you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment if you manage to beat the final boss. The replay value is high, thanks to additional challenge and time attack stages, along with promising downloadable content.
  6. Those that cringe at the site of the arcade or 8-bit style of games on XBLA need to stay far, far away from Mega Man 9; the difficulty and overall replay value will not sit well with you. But for those that are simply in love with the Mega Man IP, or those that continually pull out the NES for old time’s sake, Mega Man 9 is one is a rare treat– a tasty morsel likened to the decades-later discovery of a previously unreleased recording from Zeppelin, or similar rock gods.
  7. I can't imagine any casual gamers getting much out of Mega Man 9. It requires and tests a skill set that you only tend to have these days if you've been playing games for the last twenty years.
  8. 90
    Overall, this game is a dream come true for an old school, 8 bit gamer like myself. From the difficulty level, to the nostalgic graphics and sound, it's everything I could want from a new Mega Man title.
  9. Mega Man 9 was probably created for retro-freaks like me, however any gamer who loves a challenge will feel right at home with Mega Man 9.
  10. Mega Man 9 is an extraordinary accomplishment through and through and has come at the right time.
  11. With his roots buried so deeply into the 8-bit era, Mega Man nearly has no problem whatsoever with turning back the clock in this installment.
  12. 86
    Mega Man 9 is exactly what hardcore gamers were hoping it would be, as Capcom has come out of the gate with a game that's full of nostalgia and fan-service, but also one that truly does rival the best in the franchise's 8-bit roots.
  13. The original blue bomber returns in an all new adventure that will bring you back to the good old days of incredibly hard but simple games.
  14. The game encapsulates everything that made the franchise great in the late 80s and early 90s and recycles it for the current generation. Mega Man 9 is a worthy addition to any gamer's digital library.
  15. This definitely caters to the hardcore gamer who wants to experience the original Mega Man titles again. Mega Man 9 does a fantastic job of this, and for at $10, it's a steal.
  16. Mega Man 9 is definitely a challenging game and designed for the hardcore gamer that remembers a simpler time consisting of two button controllers, cartridges and 8-bit graphics.
  17. It is as true as possible to the franchise's humble beginnings, which is a good and bad thing. In my opinion, it's a good thing because I love a game that can put me through the wringer and back-but still be fair about it.
  18. 83
    After having a chance to check out all three versions, we recommend picking up the Wii version and playing with the Classic Controller -- it's got a much more natural feel than the other two consoles' controllers, especially the wonky Xbox 360 D-pad.
  19. Mega Man 9 is going to give you your money's worth in the long run.
  20. This is a full-sized 8-bit title, complete with a time trial mode. Playing through the story once can take between six to eight hours, but you could easily spend twice this amount of time with the game and still be having fun.
  21. Capcom has crafted a love letter to its own past, and its own fans, that is both effective and generous in satisfying its peculiar niche audience.
  22. The unrelenting, incredibly hard levels are in complete contrast with everything else on the market. [Dec 2008, p.127]
  23. The vibrant, retro look reinforces the game's charm even further.
  24. Hardcore enthusiasts who are looking for a serious challenge will not be disappointed in the least.
  25. At the end of the day there is really nothing here to convince a newcomer that the 8-bit era was great, but for those who remember any of it, Mega Man 9 is the experience of the year and is hopefully only the first of many more to come.
  26. I may die a dozen times in as many minutes, but the simplicity of the controls and game mechanics and the great level design make for an experience that can be equally rewarding and damning.
  27. How am I supposed to warn people who choose to play that they may end up with a urge to smash their controller with a sledgehammer due to the intense anger this game may cause? And crucially, how am I supposed to tell them that it is all truly worth it in the end? I really do not know!
  28. From its quirky mechanical enemies to its strident strains of deliciously lo-fi music, this run-and-gun platformer honors the 8-bit era.
  29. A title to please fans, retrogamers and players in search of a real challenge, but most new generation gamers will find it difficult to bond with this game.
  30. All this said Mega Man 9 has a lot going for it. It isn’t terrifically expensive but you can have hours of fun with it, trying to master the stages and the Robot Masters.
  31. Too hard to be fun, too mean not to frustrate, but challenging enough to be rewarding. [Christmas 2008, p.92]
  32. Really, though, there’s nothing wrong with the game itself, and it will appeal greatly to the legions of longtime fans. The franchise has always been difficult, and dying a lot has always been a part of getting through the games. Yet ultimately, Mega Man 9 is so difficult that it gives newcomers very little reason to pick it up.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 47 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Roger
    Nov 7, 2008
    I'm sorry, but this game is completely sub-par. If this is really what the original Mega Man was so applauded for, the original I'm sorry, but this game is completely sub-par. If this is really what the original Mega Man was so applauded for, the original apparently stunk too. I'll excuse people who liked the original though, they didn't know better at the time. But in this day and age, it is ridiculous for such a poorly designed, tiny game to be so popular. This trades in advanced AI for cannons that you have to wait, count to 2, jump shoot, wait, count to 2, jump shoot. That isn't challenge, thats just boring drivel. This game completely abandons all of the advances in games, and I don't mean the pretty graphics or sound. I mean the invention of open worlds where multiple paths can succeed, the invention of strategy and tactics in games, that actually make you think and test your skills. And before you say this game requires skill, no it doesn't. Figuring out that jumping at this point to kill this enemy is not skill, I do the same thing when I try and figure out the way to open my new box of Oreos (with the seal on top) or when I first tried to open a packet of ketchup from the wrong side. Once you know how, you know how. And timing your button presses and jumps right does not constitute fun in my book. That counts as pointless repetition and joyless mimickry. If there was a way to return XBox Live titles, I would have returned this game by now. Full Review »
  2. Feb 16, 2014
    I'm old enough to have played Mega Man games since the original, so I thought I'd love this. The magic is gone for me with this game. It's notI'm old enough to have played Mega Man games since the original, so I thought I'd love this. The magic is gone for me with this game. It's not even that it's too hard, but it's certainly too cruel. I can learn to complete most of the levels without taking much damage, but they overuse spikes. It's just frustrating to play a level perfectly only to have to make an awkward jump and end up dead. The 360's controller isn't exactly good for this kind of precision in a NES style game, either. The d-pad on all my controllers is just awful. Full Review »
  3. Dec 22, 2011
    This is a must have for anyone who remembers the good old 8-bit era. The game plays very well without framerate issues or screen writingThis is a must have for anyone who remembers the good old 8-bit era. The game plays very well without framerate issues or screen writing problems from the old NES days. It feels like what the game creators wanted to make then, but obviously lacked the system resources to do. The difficulty is still there, too - it has not been dumbed down for the current generation of gamers. The game will be very nostalgic because it feels and plays exactly like any 8-bit Mega Man. In fact, it's almost as if a few game developers were cryogenically frozen in the mid 80s and then unfrozen just to make this game. You probably won't beat levels the first time, and won't be handed any achievements. This game will actually challenge you, and when you walk away victorious with a smile on your face, you will know it was earned. Full Review »