Universal acclaim - based on 72 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 72
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 72
  3. Negative: 0 out of 72
Buy On
  1. 100
    To be honest, Rock Band is way too expensive. But is it less fun because of the price? No! The concept works perfectly, the story mode is motivating ‘till the end and the diversity of songs is excellent.
  2. 100
    It provides more game modes, off and online, than you could shake a stick at. There are so many ways to play and/or compete online, an ample character creator, cool venues and ready-to-release downloadable content that makes the whole package worthwhile even if you shell out for the all-in-one bundle. But regardless, you will have fun with Rock Band. We guarantee it.
  3. The experience is well worth its $170 asking price (for a guitar/drum/mic/game bundle, which is the only way you’ll be able to buy Rock Band for months anyway) and makes for one of the most rewarding co-op events you could ask for. This is the perfectly polished, logical extension of what Guitar Hero started and where the music genre needed to go. It just rocks.
  4. 100
    It's an experience like no other in videogames, and it's amazingly realized considering it's really the first time anyone's tried it.
  5. 100
    If anything, Rock Band serves as an almost perfect example of a game that caters to everyone, provided there’s interest in playing virtual instruments.
  6. 100
    There’s just nothing out there that comes close to what this game can deliver with three friends. And don’t even get me started on what will happen if you break this out at a party.
  7. The carnival atmosphere makes Rock Band a total blast to play, or to even just watch, waiting for your turn. Even with the high price of admission, Rock Band is well worth purchasing.
  8. I can’t imagine myself ever not playing Rock Band at least for a few hours each week.
  9. Give up everything else. This is your life now.
  10. 100
    An unparalleled, one-of-a-kind experience that represents the very best that gaming has to offer.
  11. 100
    With so much on disc content, and plenty of downloadable content being rolled out, Rock Band is an investment that will keep you and your friends rocking for a long time to come.
  12. It’s addicting to spectators, you may have friends and family who will start off just wanting to watch, but I’ll guarantee they will eventually be jockeying for position to get in the mix.
  13. This is a great game all around, and the few gripes really don’t amount to much. Get some friends, get this game, and get rockin’!
  14. Rock Band is certainly the most ambitious music game yet and largely succeeds.
  15. 95
    Indeed we have waited a long time for Rock Band, but it’s now here, and it’s fun. Really fun. Sell-your-grandmother-to-afford-the-$320-price-tag fun. This is the party game for all of those who have thrashed Guitar Hero and SingStar to their death.
  16. Rock Band is the ultimate role-playing game - the only way to win is to completely commit as a guitarist, bassist, drummer, or singer and do your part for the fellowship of meta-musicians sharing the virtual stage. And if you can lower your shield of shyness to let the game in, you're richly rewarded as the collective joy of making music pours back out. Unlike other games, the Rock Band payoff isn't visceral or technical; it's emotional. [Holiday 2007, p.34]
  17. Rock Band also doesn’t go where Neversoft took Guitar Hero III; namely, it doesn’t have any boss battles with celebrity rockers or frantic weapons-based multiplayer mechanics. Harmonix, however, outperforms its former franchise when it comes to the graphics.
  18. Rock Band is a must-have game. It's fun for even the most musically challenged, and it's a great game to play with friends and family. It may have a steep price tag, but you get more than your money's worth.
  19. Once everything gets updated and the new online features are available this game will only get better. There is already a thriving Rock Band community out there and plenty of information to digest. Rock Band is not a cheap investment but if played correctly can end up being one of the best social games ever played, and to me it was just that.
  20. 95
    The reason Rock Band works so well, aside from the instrumentation, is the intangibles that permeate throughout the entire game.
  21. Xbox Live support is great here as well. Online play is great, and you can jam with a band halfway across the world, which is seriously technically impressive. The downloadable content support is fantastic as well, even this soon after the game’s been released.
  22. In the company of friends who are willing to take the plunge and hop into a role, there's absolutely nothing that comes close to it on the market, be it in the music/rhythm genre or otherwise.If you're ready to rock as a group, I can't recommend the game enough. And if you're not sure if your friends are going to be down to jam, make some new ones -- the experience really is that good.
  23. Rock Band is an incredible evolution of what Harmonix has been doing for years.
  24. At the end of the day (or night even), Rock Band is easily one of the best party games ever made and one of this generation’s best, most enjoyable experiences.
  25. Picking up Rock Band and starting out is such an easy and enjoyable experience. You will feel like you are actually in a rock band, without playing thousands of dollars for equipment.
  26. 94
    While Rock Band doesn't offer the insanely intense (and perhaps impossible) challenge of "Guitar Hero III," it's a game that everyone will have fun playing. This may just be among the best party games ever released.
  27. I've spent hours and hours playing Rock Band and feel as if it's not possible to have as much fun when I go back and play Guitar Hero III. It's not even a question of whether you're a fan of that genre or not — if you own an Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 2, you need to pick up Rock Band.
  28. Pelit (Finland)
    The best party game ever. It takes the mechanics from Guitar Hero and takes it to the next level. There is just something magical in the feeling when everybody is playing well and the crowd starts to sing along. The only downside is the questionable durability of the instruments, especially the bass pedal breaks up quite easily. [Mar 2008]
  29. It’s a tool set that will be revitalized every time a new song pack is released, and with all the improvements over the Guitar Hero formula, one that will eventually become the de facto standard in music and rhythm games. For those who can foot the bill, Rock Band delivers a gaming experience that’s simply like no other.
  30. Rock Band is the best music game ever made... It’s immensely fun and consistently rewarding. Nearly endless replay is bolstered by the promise of a musical catalogue that will have already dramatically expanded by the time you read this.
  31. While the build quality of the bundled peripherals feels a little flimsy and the whole thing is a bit pricey for many gamers’ budgets, the game is a wholehearted recommendation for any fan of music-based games.
  32. Rock Band not only sidles right up to Guitar Hero on the excellence scale, but in some social respects rocks right past it. A few minor issues exist, but for a first outing, Rock Band deserves a serious encore
  33. Rock Band's longevity will last as long as it has support for it.
  34. The key is that the game supports people playing together, which is the definition of a party game. If you pull Rock Band out among a gathering of friends, you can be sure that almost everything else will become secondary to the “I’m up next” chant and the sweaty smell that’ll permeate through your place.
  35. All in all Rock Band is thoroughly enjoyable experience and could easily become one of the top party games of 2008
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    "Guitar Hero" is still the way to go for lone wolves, but if you have the space, the manpower, and the means($170), Rock Band unquestionably, unequivocally rocks. [Jan 2008, p.92]
  37. netjak
    There is just no way around it. Rock Band is, to date, the single best music game on the market, and not merely because it's the four best instrument simulation games available, either.
  38. Rock Band provides long-term motivation and fun for up to four players, provided that you don’t get caught in the pile of cables, which are necessary to play the game.
  39. For the bundle price of 170 dollars you do get plenty of bang for your buck and I can't give Harmonix credit enough for doing what was once only hopeful dream.
  40. When it comes down to it, Rock Band is a definite must buy game. If you’ve got friends to play with, it’s an amazing multiplayer game that is as much fun to play as it is to watch.
  41. While not as solid as a single-player game, the game's multi-player experience is better than just about anything else released this year. You must buy Rock Band ... and then you must rock!
  42. Games Master UK
    Party games don't come much better. The best of "Guitar Hero" and "SingStar" with drums. [July 2008, p.76]
  43. Problems are present, such as the inclusion of a few foreign tracks in mystery set lists during the World Tour (not the easiest of songs to jump into without having any prior experience) and we still prefer the guitars included with Guitar Hero, but these aren't enough to hurt what is a unique gaming experience.
  44. It is essentially 3 games in one, as well as including the ability to play as part of an online band, if there is one game out there to tear you away from GTA IV then this is it.
  45. Even though it feels more like a party game than playing in a band it's still one of the best experiences you can have with your friends. The guitar isn't on par with the Guitar Hero-equivalent when it comes to quality, but what it lacks in hardware quality it makes up for in a far superior track list. The microphone works just as well as the Singstar one, although the difficulty is more lenient here. The major feature is of course the drums and it's just a blast to learn how to play your favorite songs on the new instrument. A steep price tag is the one major caveat, but if you can muster up the green you'll be treated to one hell of a party experience.
  46. 90
    Actually feeling like a rock star -- for most people under 40, the next best thing to a superhero or a T-Rex -- is transcendently entertaining. "Guitar Hero" is still the way to go for lone wolves, but if you have the space, the manpower, and the means, Rock Band unquestionably, unequivocally rocks.
  47. Rock Band has one thing going for it: the necessity to having friends to play and the willingness to work together. It may not be enough for everyone to drop 170 bucks on the game and equipment, but I can say if you even remotely have thought about this game, it is worth it.
  48. Rock Band does a superb job of bringing out the wannabe rock star in all of us, and creates one of the best party-game experiences of all time.
  49. The online mode could use some work, and we wish the controllers were wireless, but even that new tangle of wires in our living room can't keep us from living this virtual rock 'n' roll fantasy.
  50. Rock Band may be the perfect party game. Solo play doesn't stand on its own, but with a little help from your friends, getting the band back together is a blast.
  51. AceGamez
    Rock Band may not have changed the landscape of rock gaming to the level that, at times, it seemed like it would do, but it certainly altered the perception of what the ultimate rock party game should be.
  52. Edge Magazine
    Minor gripes aside, Rock Band with four players in the same room is quite something to be a part of, a game not only an evolution of the genre but of the social side of gaming itself. [Jan 2008, p.80]
  53. 90
    Rock Band may not be the type of game that defines a generation, but it's definitely the kind of game that raises the bar in its respective genre.
  54. The best music game in the world...ever! [Jan 2008, p.79]
  55. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    Well, it’s pretty much everything we expected it to be. And given the massively high expectations we had for Rock Band, that’s damn good going. Not only are the individual parts a joy to play but the sense of camaraderie, of accomplishment and of ultimate success you get when it all comes together is just incredible.
  56. While the lack of online tour mode is a huge letdown and the song selection is geared too much at younger generations, Rock Band is still above and beyond anything the Guitar Hero series has offered as of late.
  57. X-ONE Magazine UK
    A dream come true for music fans and gamers alike. If you've recently won the lottery, it's a must-buy. [Issue#29, p.88]
  58. Rock Band is an excellent addition to the Xbox 360 line-up of games, and I'm sure Harmonix and EA will make good use of the equipment for future titles.
  59. 90
    As it is, we're still wowed by Rock Band's ambition, while the Band World Tour mode is truly groundbreaking.
  60. If you want to have a blast over the holidays, go out and buy it. Rock on!
  61. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    The best bits will match any adrenaline high a game's ever given you. [Mar 2008, p.62]
  62. Overall, I feel Rock Band is a great game that will please many a music fan. The available songs and the vast amount of promised downloadable songs in the future will ensure that you play this for a long time to come.
  63. Touring in single-player mode is disappointingly pared down, as though the designers couldn’t imagine anyone would play the game alone. This was disappointing, as my friends can’t come over every day to play.
  64. Far more than the sum of its parts. With tight integration between all four instruments, fans that sing along when you do well, and various other touches that add up to a very polished product that’ll should only get better with a few patches.
  65. Rock Band is an incredibly entertaining party game that really shines when you get a group of four people together. Unfortunately, the single player career mode is somewhat tame and a bit of a letdown.
  66. Rock Band is more than a simple video game, it's a highly interactive social experience. There's enough depth and fun here to keep you and your friends entertained for months. A must-have for the festive season!
  67. If the world of gaming has an “all-for-one, one-for-all” philosophy, the multiplayer landscape definitely has the “one-for-all” attitude down pat. Getting people to work as one towards a common goal is rare, but Rock Band makes it common. There really is no room anymore for the cliché that a gamer is just some unkempt teenage sweating in some lonely basement filled with loose cables and empty water bottles.
  68. Rock Band is so close to being a must-have game for any self respecting, music-loving gamer, but unless you’ve got money to burn and friends on tap, Rock Band isn’t half the game it could have been for half the cost [Say again, Bilbo - Ed].
  69. Rock Band is like a new graphics card. The card has fantastic power and has everything you'd want, but the incredible high price in Europe makes for a difficult choice. Will you go on with the purchase and rock out this summer or wait a few months for a better version?
  70. Karaoke and guitar specialists certainly won't want to throw out their SingStars and Guitar Heroes, but with the peripheral set-up now established and regular infusions of downloadable content, the future's bright for Rock Band - and the present's pretty rocking too.
  71. It may however still end up being my game of the year; 8/10 for a £180 game is still a pretty incredible recommendation.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 181
  1. RaffiC
    Aug 7, 2008
    Overrated by most, overpriced by anyone's standards. The controllers/instruments are of poor quality and design. Gameplay is so-so. I Overrated by most, overpriced by anyone's standards. The controllers/instruments are of poor quality and design. Gameplay is so-so. I much prefer the fret board of GH2-3, and even their bango-sized guitar, over RB crap. I'll give them points for graphics and character customizability, as well as endowing the additional instruments for song play. Speaking of which, their song list isn't bad, about the same as GH3 in overall quality nd enjoyability. Overall, i thoroughly regret the purchase and would not recommend it to any soloists. It's, IMO, intending for those wanting to play with their friends or family 90+ percent of the time. Full Review »
  2. Apr 21, 2011
    What a fun game this truly holds tight a family reunion and shows endless hours of full entertainment . Guitar Hero did it first and wasWhat a fun game this truly holds tight a family reunion and shows endless hours of full entertainment . Guitar Hero did it first and was original, meanwhile this broke my expectations . It gives a personality on what instrument you want to use and actually more variety because (obviously) there are more instrument just like the guitar,drums and vocal totally a kick ass. Full Review »
  3. Mar 24, 2011
    this game is best as a party game if you have some friends to play with it can be a blast . playing by your self is pretty dull and not asthis game is best as a party game if you have some friends to play with it can be a blast . playing by your self is pretty dull and not as good as guitar hero 3 . the song list also isnt as good . the rock band guitar also sucks ass compared to the guitar hero one . but being able to play drums , sing and play bass give this game more dimension then guitar hero . the graphics also suck and look like the belong on the PS2 but this kind of game isnt made by the graphics . its a good entry by harmonix who did much better with rock band 2 which if you havent played any of them skip this one and get that and only get this if you wana pay $5 for a license on the xbox store to get all the songs off the first one on to the second. also a much better selection of DLC songs got to be enar or over a 1000 songs by now . Full Review »