Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 62 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 62
  2. Negative: 0 out of 62
  1. 100
    From the gorgeous arenas to the assortment of returning and new characters – even the Star Wars ones – found in the game, Soul Calibur IV is exactly what the series needed to step up and compete in the next generation.
  2. 100
    So with the classic, new-school, and infinitely customizable character roster at the ready, and with online play fully operational, it's not a stretch to say this might be 2008's best fighting game.
  3. 96
    Soulcalibur IV is the definition of how to make a sequel to a beloved franchise. Everything is dialed up and the amount of content will keep gamers occupied for months to come. The fighting engine is deep enough for hardcores to take pleasure in while easy enough for casuals to simply pick up and enjoy.
  4. It has an excellent game system that's been honed considerably for this release. It offers plenty of game modes, online play for those that want it, and it also looks and sounds great. Whatever system you get it for, you won’t be disappointed.
  5. It's not just a classic game, it's an essential purchase – no matter which version you decide to get it for.
  6. I can't gush enough about how excited I am that the Soulcalibur name has reclaimed its greatness in the annals of fighting titles.
  7. Soulcalibur 4 has its flaws, awful writing and stilted dialogue, but it is also the essential fighting game of the summer, if not the entire year. Well-balanced characters and endless customization will keep you coming back for more.
  8. The really great thing, however, is the character creation mode. Honestly, it’s brilliant, and about as close to a real character creation as we’ve ever seen.
  9. Soul Calibur IV just oozes quality. It is a very polished game that is crammed with a variety of different play modes. The game is an absolute must-have for every fan of the genre. Because it is easy to pick up and play, Soul Calibur IV is also suited for those unfamiliar with these games.
  10. The game is far from perfect, that is to be sure, and it does little to further the dwindling fighting game genre. That said, the additions that have been added work in the game’s favor and make it the best fighting game this generation.
  11. Next gen graphics and successful innovations in the fighting system make this one a strong part of the cult series.
  12. To our surprise (and relief), adding the diminutive Jedi master to the melee mix turned out to be more than just a Force-fueled marketing ploy. He controls like a dream, animates as acrobatically as his Attack of the Clones counterpart, and amuses when responding to the conceited cast with his backward-speak: "Once you start down the dark path, consume you it will."
  13. In the end, whether it's your first time touching a Soul game or not, it's hard to not appreciate what's been done here: beautiful, crisp and bouncy graphics mix well with a fighter heavy on a classic formula of strategy, timing and execution, with it all backed by inviting-yet-deep character customization and creation.
  14. In closing, in case I haven't been too obvious: Go buy Soul Calibur IV. It's worth every penny and is an Xbox 360 must have.
  15. No matter how you slice it, Soulcalibur IV is a great game--even for those who don't consider themselves hardcore fans of the fighting genre.
  16. SoulCalibur IV brings out all the best in the series, and at the same time polishes it with some pertinent additions that make it truly shine.
  17. 90
    Soulcalibur has never been broken, and while there is certainly room for some novel approaches in the fighting genre, I would argue that no game has of yet come close in terms of subtlety and inventiveness.
  18. As for total newcomers, welcome to what is, in my opinion, the most fun, fully 3D fighter on the market. [Sept 2008, p.76]
  19. Overall Soul Calibur IV is a must have for gamers in general.
  20. It's dumb enough for anyone to play, smart enough for anyone to master, and broken enough to keep the frame-counting Virtua nerds out - which is pretty much the whole package, really.
  21. One of the strongest aspects of Soul Calibur 4 is its sense of style. Meticulously detailed mechanical gnomes, lizard-people wielding oversized tableware, and titanic, lasciviously rendered breasts may not be to everyone’s liking, but there’s no denying it all makes an impact.
  22. The sheer amount of features, including the Star Wars characters, makes Soulcalibur IV worth its premium asking price for those that adore this franchise. But it’s the synergistic power of these parts coming together that makes Soulcalibur IV a good recommendation to any player looking for a fresher take on the fighting game genre.
  23. Frame-counters and other savants will probably have issues with some aspects of Soulcalibur IV’s gameplay, but the average player or fighting game enthusiast is well served by this title’s array of game types and tight weapon-based duels. I know I’m more than satisfied.
  24. A great addition to the franchise. There's a good amount of play modes, excellent character customization options, a strong character roster, smooth (though intricate) controls, and exciting online play.
  25. Soul Calibur IV is the ultimate evolution of the franchise to date, with gorgeous visuals, solid controls, immersive sound, and a deep character builder that will keep you involved with this game for months to come.
  26. 87
    The game runs well, looks beautiful, sports great music and obviously has enjoyable combat. The PS3 and 360 versions are just about identical (barring the differing guest characters), though I felt that the optional install on the PS3 made things feel even quicker and more polished.
  27. Even with the differences between the two versions, one thing is for certain among all hardcore fighting game fans in need of another Soul Calibur - you do not own Soul Calibur IV, Soul Calibur IV owns you and all of your spare time once it enters your house.
  28. Soul Calibur IV is a beautiful looking fighting game that pushes the long running franchise into some new ground while keeping the core gameplay near the same level.
  29. Unique fighting styles, weapons and characters coupled with very fluid and technical gameplay is really the formula for success in an ideal fighting game. Soulcalibur IV hits all those right on the head.
  30. This is by far the best fighting game out for the consoles at the moment, but it is not necessary great, hard core fighting fans will love this game.
  31. When all is said and done, Soul Calibur IV is a solid choice for any fan of the series and fighting games in general.
  32. Whilst some aspects are sorely missed, such as tag team battles, larger stages and no ability to fight the commentator (one more “ring out” and I snap the disk!); other aspects take the game to the next level with beautiful graphics, a deep and intelligent character creation and fantastic gameplay all around.
  33. The question, then, isn't whether or not you should play Soulcalibur IV, it's which version you should play.
  34. Bandai Namco did a great job with Soul Calibur IV creating an excellent fighting game for both casual players and technical masters.
  35. Soulcalibur IV is exactly what the fans expected it to be, and a bit more.
  36. The amount of characters and styles is huge but, the Story mode is greatly lacking, and the other modes can be incredibly frustrating at times.
  37. Although everything is not perfect in Soulcalibur IV it is still one of those games that every 360 owner should have in their collection.
  38. It still doesn't recapture the magic of the Dreamcast original, but Soul Calibur IV is still a great game with many hours of solid fighting action to offer.
  39. Soul Calibur IV it is still one of the best of its genre, but we can’t help to feel the absence of strong innovations. The online multiplayer is the lasting appeal lifesaver. [Sept 2008]
  40. A hugely improved fighting title that harks back to the excitement of the original. If you're a fan of this genre, you absolutely have to pick up Soul Calibur 4.
  41. SCIV certainly doesn’t break any new ground, but it continues to do what it does best by providing us with some of the best weapons-based fighting action in town. The character customization is worth the price of admission, and the online game will keep you coming back for more.
  42. As it is, Soulcalibur IV's new features and its ability to entertain both newcomers and fighting game experts make it a good buy - if not the revolutionary leap to the next level you might've hoped for.
  43. It's shockingly pretty, and has the gameplay to back it up - especially when gaming with friends.
  44. Soulcalibur is appearing increasingly stale, with each sequel becoming a reluctant carbon copy of its prior - but whilst we await the next step forward for the fighter, Soulcalibur IV manages to keep the key elements of the genre surprisingly fresh and, more importantly, fun.
  45. In reality, this is a reserved effort from Namco Bandai, and feels almost as if Project Soul has merely dipped its toe in the next-gen water for fear of causing too big a splash. It's gorgeous, and an essential purchase for any fighting game fan who likes aggressive counters and weapon clashes, but it's no fighting game revolution.
  46. Punishing artificial intelligence, unbalanced online play and annoying lag will have you chucking your controller. Those small issues aside, Soulcalibur IV is razor sharp.
  47. Visually stunning and wonderfully tight, SCIV is an unquestionably accomplished brawler. Questions still linger over just how much attention it will command for the solo gamer beyond simply rounding up weapons, characters and costume parts. But as far as multiplayer games go, IV triumphs in being that rare breed of fighter that can entertain casual and hardcore players alike.
  48. 80
    Ultimately SC IV is a great fighting game, it won't revolutionize the genre nor is it the best fighter currently on the 360, but it sure is a hell of a lot of fun.
  49. While it isn't the best fighter to come out in 2008, it does a lot of things well enough to keep fans happy and intrigue new-comers.
  50. 80
    I was never going to feel the same buzz playing Soul Calibur IV as I did the original: the core experience is too familiar. But the online play has been implemented impressively, and prevents this becoming a game that will sit on your shelf until your friends come round.
  51. 80
    Soul Calibur IV provides the same great quality of fighting gameplay and presentation as you'd expect. Just don't be surprised if it doesn't leave the same impression as the previous titles.
  52. SC: IV has seen some much needed tweaks to the fighting mechanics, the game looks as beautiful as ever, and the customization options available for of your characters opens up a lot of avenues strategy-wise.
  53. 80
    Despite the minor step backwards in single player depth, SoulCalibur IV remains a gorgeous, fast-paced, accessible fighter that also has enough depth for expert level play. While online is more of a novelty than a functional feature, players looking for a next-gen upgrade to the on-the-couch weapons clasher of the Dreamcast days will find the same addicting gameplay here.
  54. It's a solid production all around with some addictive gameplay and diverse fighting styles to tinker with. The addition of online play is key to the success of this title and it creates an unlimited arcade experience right from your sofa.
  55. 80
    It's fundamentally the same game as "Soul Calibur III", only with more fighters, an online mode, and more create-a-character customizations. It's remarkably well produced and visually sumptuous, but its appeal remains limited to hardcore fighting veterans and casual button-mashers.
  56. As it stands, I personally rank this a good bit below the Dreamcast original in terms of quality, but above all other installments.
  57. I really expected more from the Story mode - the storyline is rather substandard, almost non-existent, in fact. In a nutshell, the game's single-player portion feels a bit underdone, offering a slightly vague depiction of the characters, save for sporadic cut-scenes followed by a brief texts, explaining precious little.
  58. Soulcalibur IV plays a risky game by reducing the gameplay speed, rehashing characters and failing to introduce any game-changing mechanics. One-on-one multiplayer makes it entertaining, but if the fighting genre is going to survive, Soulcalibur V had better deliver a game of a much higher caliber.
  59. A fun 3-D fighting title. It's not going to re-invent the genre, and it has its own set of issues, including rather questionable balance between fighters and a massive amount of clone fighters even before you get into the Create-A-Soul feature.
  60. It’s hard to recommend this to people who aren’t fans though, because the single player is completely underrepresented and I see no value in it for someone new. Online play will give it some legs with the fans but really, I think this is a case of fanboy love gone too far.
  61. It's fortunate the series can now rest on the safety net of online play and character customization because, without it this would be a slender, anorexic package - a tad ironic, when you consider just how much attention Namco has lavished on its buxom babes.
  62. Overall, it's sort of hard to recommend Soulcalibur IV to anyone who isn't already a big fan of the series. It felt like everything I liked about the game (the actual fighting) was countered by something else (the meaningless story mode, equipment stats, Ivy's creepy-looking boobs) that made me want to take the disc out and put it away forever.
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 4 out of 19
  1. Dec 12, 2010
    10
    Soul Calibur IV is the best fighting game i've ever played!!! The arcade mode, story mode, tower of lost souls, online, character creation/customization.......it's got tons of stuff to do. And i beg of you, if you want a good fighting game get this and not the crap street fighter games!!!! 10/10! Full Review »
  2. May 12, 2012
    4
    Played Soul Calibur 3, loved it, enjoyed it for months, and been waiting for the next installment for a long time. I finally bought it, almost 2 year ago, and I still can't express my HATE toward this piece of joke. I'll skip the obvious graphics, because yes, they are improved, but I never judge graphics. First of, the story mode is ridicolously short: 5 stages, horribly made, with basically no depth into it: you play it for unlocking the characters (ah, and for unlocking Darth Vader via paid dlc, I have 3 words to express my opinion about it: ARE. YOU. KIDDING?). Next, instead of putting a campaign or a story mode, we have, a "tower" mode where you'll do challenges and defeat more enemies, and if you do them in the correct way you'll unlock chests (which usually contains clothes for your character creator). Still, this is one mode that adds basically more random fights, challenging yes, but random: it's not a good substitude for a campaign or a good story mode. At least the character creator is ok, and actually improved in some parts, and worsened in some: I mainly complain about the idea of putting stats on some armor pieces. It's not a bad idea, but I don't like to be forced into using specific pieces in order to be able to use a certain "skill" (increased by using a style more often). The online, eventually, makes the first appearence, but it's not that great either: I had hard times fighting due to the massive lag spikes and the match finder "didn't match" anything for me, making it useless. Huge downgrade from the third soul calibur, I can't believe how few content there is in here. In the end, this game has the bad habit of many games of this generation, and that is, to be focused on the online feature, and I wouldn't be a surprise if that was their big plan. After Soul Calibur 3, I expected a decent sequel with more content to play with. But this game, is not even close to it. Full Review »
  3. Mar 15, 2012
    2
    If you want a dress-up game masquerading as a fighter, you've come to the right place. If you want a balanced fighter with solid game play, look elsewhere. Full Review »