Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Mar 6, 2013
    100
    By virtue of how it stokes more parts of my brain than any game of the past decade, I’m inclined to consider XCOM: Enemy Unknown one of the most important titles of this generation. This game will test your disaster-management skills, levy you with suffocatingly difficult choices on how to spend your resources and cause you to grow so fond of your chess pieces that each skirmish takes on the flavour of a Whedonesque drama.
  2. Nov 12, 2012
    100
    It's [a] tough and punishing game, but in the best way possible. Every loss compels you onward in the war and the story. Where most games are frustratingly punishing, XCOM delivers a masterclass in challenge and escalation.
  3. Oct 24, 2012
    100
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a wonderful game, which, despite being based on a near 20-year-old release, feels somehow fresh and stands apart from its rivals. It's deep, engaging, intuitive and inclusive, and is likely to invade consoles and PCs for quite some time.
  4. Oct 18, 2012
    100
    Despite some of the tough love that XCOM: Enemy Unknown dishes out, it's a game that definitely, absolutely should not be missed.
  5. Oct 16, 2012
    100
    The cleverest part of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is how it bundles up all of its complexities and interdependencies and presents them in a package that, while not easy, is at least easily digested. It's often overwhelming, but in the best way possible.
  6. Oct 11, 2012
    100
    For those players who can exercise a little patience and restraint, it's quite simply one of the best games you'll play all year.
  7. 95
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is not just the best strategy game this year, it's the best strategy game this generation and possibly the best ever strategy game on consoles.
  8. Oct 15, 2012
    95
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is challenging, satisfying, and heartbreaking. It's also one of the best strategy games this generation, and potentially of all time. If you're itching for a game that will either last you a long time, or challenge both your mind and your fortitude, this is it.
  9. Oct 5, 2012
    95
    Both of XCOM's layers present life-or-death conundrums to which there is no right answer. No matter what you pick, something or someone is going to suffer for it. This kind of tension and terror rarely occurs within mainstream gaming, and almost never with this level of skill in the execution. Don't let the "turn-based strategy" moniker scare you off; XCOM is a singular achievement that every gamer deserves to experience.
  10. Oct 10, 2012
    91
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the best approach in delivering deep strategy to the consoles without dumping down the level of complexity we've seen so far. Literally every step you make in XCOM is linked to a tough decision with direct consequences. If you're even slightly interested in turn based strategy, XCOM is the best thing to spend your money in many years.
  11. 90
    It's like The Sims, but with much shorter life expectancies. [Issue#91, p.66]
  12. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    Thankfully the combat controls are simple and intuitive.
  13. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Firaxis has created an excellent update of this classic franchise, producing an addictive and solid strategy game that should be considered as one of the finest releases of 2012.
  14. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Don't be fooled by low-fi visuals: XCOM's as strategically sound as Advance Wars. [Dec 2012, p.68]
  15. Oct 14, 2012
    90
    A rare gem, especially in the console environment: a demanding but highly satisfying game that will fully please every strategy lover. A must buy.
  16. Oct 11, 2012
    90
    Whether it's letting China succumb to public panic as you divert resources to cover the American continent, or sending in a rookie to soak up damage on a suicide run so that your veterans don't die, XCOM will give you a scary appreciation of the harsh realities of being a leader in a time of crisis.
  17. 90
    Not just one of the best strategy games of all-time but one of the best video games of any kind – and one that excites your emotions just as much as your brain matter.
  18. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    An alien invasion is coming. We are in charge of XCOM, a military organization that will put end to this extraterrestrial assault. XCOM: Enemy Unknown offers a full package tactical turn-based strategy game, with tons of options for single-player which uses a mind-blowing squad customization system, and interesting modes in multiplayer. Old school meets new age.
  19. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown will have you swapping horror stories at the watercooler, and loving almost every minute of it.
  20. Sophisticated, unnerving and reliably unforgiving, XCOM: Enemy Unknown isn't just Xbox 360's finest strategy experience - it's also a strategy game which changes how you think about strategy games. Go into it expecting a deadening flow of unlocks and build queues, and you'll get a nasty surprise. Approach the game as you would an odd noise in the basement, and the Earth might just have a fighting chance.
  21. Oct 8, 2012
    90
    It's a game that should absolutely be played by anyone interested in a more strategic take on the cliched alien invasion story--so long as you're not afraid to lose a fight once or twice.
  22. 90
    At the end of the day I just get this sense that XCOM: Enemy Unknown is one of those sleeper hits in the latter half of 2012. The smooth interface, sharp looking visuals, and surprisingly tense tactical turn-based gameplay are simply a blast.
  23. Oct 13, 2012
    88
    Very simplified re-imagining of a true classic. Now it is scripted, very fluid, very fast tactical turn-based action game, and luckily not a bad one at all! I'm still waiting for a technically modernized carbon copy of original UFO, thank you very much. [Oct 2012]
  24. Nov 10, 2012
    87
    XCOM is something we don't get too often nowadays; a challenging, different, bold game that is not afraid to try new things and also a successful reboot. Yes it has some issues but not nearly any bad enough to stop you playing. And yes, it is hard but that should be commended. No one said saving the world would be easy.
  25. Oct 22, 2012
    85
    XCOM can be a cruel, vindictive mistress, but she is one that can be tamed. With an investment of time and patience, players can gain access to a true tactical masterpiece, unlike anything we've seen in the past decade.
  26. Oct 11, 2012
    85
    Enemy Unknown is more than a worthy successor, and will definitely appease fans of the genre while roping in a few newcomers for sure. If you enjoy this type of game, I cannot recommend it enough. It takes the series, and genre to new levels, and sets an entirely new bar for quality.
  27. Oct 9, 2012
    85
    Though it's more on the tactical side than straightforward action, Enemy Unknown brings plenty of challenge, along with thoughtful gameplay and more-than-acceptable management options. Developers, take note – this is how you bring a franchise back.
  28. Oct 8, 2012
    85
    Enemy Unknown packs dense amounts of dramatic tension into each turn. And so it's time to eliminate the alien threat, commander. Select a location, build your base…and save humanity.
  29. Oct 8, 2012
    85
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown brings the memorable turn-based alien invasion classic gracefully into to the modern age, but comes just short of fully reinventing the genre. While tactical, squad-based combat has never felt so effortless and rewarding, the strategy component takes just enough away to make the game as a whole feel like two slightly disjointed halves. One of those halves just so happens to be one of the best and most artfully-designed strategy games in recent memory.
  30. Oct 8, 2012
    82
    The absolute best aspect of XCOM is the sense that there's never enough time or resources to do everything that needs to be done.
  31. Oct 19, 2012
    80
    Despite some camera issues, the remade XCOM: Enemy Unknown is every bit as good as the original and a faithful version that will be played for a long time.
  32. Oct 18, 2012
    80
    XCOM Enemy Unknown is a fine introduction to the genre of turn based tactical strategy games for the console gamers or the younger ones, and a satisfactory re-introduction to some PC veterans. Any comparison with the glorious past of the series loses its meaning since Firaxis' effort is a really challenging and a marvelous game by itself.
  33. 80
    On the whole, XCOM will keep fans spellbound with its depth, but it could've used a little more time in the cooker to add that something extra.
  34. Oct 10, 2012
    80
    Ultimately, though, you're going to be playing XCOM: Enemy Unknown for its unforgiving strategic gameplay. If you can ignore the lame story and the sub-par visuals, there's a lot here to enjoy.
  35. Oct 23, 2012
    70
    While I still call myself an XCOM fan and was thrilled to see the property return after so many years, I couldn't commit to XCOM: Enemy Unknown wholeheartedly. Although I appreciate the update for modern audiences, the game comes off as a bit undercooked and stumbles on things which should be airtight. On the other hand, it's still a very welcome addition to a genre that's gone a bit stale-just be prepared for a little probing when dealing with these creatures from another world.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 330 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 95
  2. Negative: 7 out of 95
  1. Oct 17, 2012
    3
    First off, this is really not an X-Com game and if you go in looking at it as a new IP then you will be a lot better off. The game is heavily streamlined/dumbed-down from its origins and rather than a turn-based strategy game like the original X-Com games, you are buying a turn-based ACTION game, like a turn-based Gears of War. You are limited to 4 squad members to start, you cannot build or manage new bases, the maps are pre-done rather than random (and can repeat through a game), and virtually all of the strategic portions of the original X-Com have been deleted. I suspect this was done to "attract the CoD/GeoW audience" but it just makes the unsuitable for any true strategy gamer and its slow pace will certainly keep away the FPS fans. Now this is not specifically a "bad" game, and if you are the type of gamer who thought "wouldn't it be cool to command a Gears of War squadron (dressed in Mass Effect armor) in a turn-based game but without all those unnecessary strategic elements, new base building, and micro-managing" then this is the game for you. X-Com EU has loses the overall strategic gameplay, and is all turn-based action with Mass Effect armor and guns. Not for me, but who knows, there might be an big undiscovered market for this game type. Full Review »
  2. Oct 10, 2012
    10
    Firaxis has definitely delivered with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, as it's as polished as you could ever want it to be across all three platforms.

    New players to the game will soon find themselves becoming indulged in the decision making process of the game. Should I invest in better armor? Should I help China or USA? Each decision comes with it's own rewards, which greatly benefit your fight against the alien menace.

    The control scheme on all systems is excellent, even though the original XCOM was a PC game, they fit on both consoles too.

    The story of XCOM is long and rewarding, and the loss of teammates only spurs you on to fight harder.

    Overall, a superb game, I have yet to find anything bad about it.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 31, 2012
    9
    XCOM is a beautiful game that has taken elements of two distinct genres. First there is a fluid turn-based shooter that is seamless in its frame rate and that delivers both integrated cinematic and large degree of creativity in the strategy it allows players to explore. Then behind the scenes is an in-depth management system that provides users with the ability to tailor their experience to fit their desired strategy. There is incredible depth in this management system. You can decide to spend money and man power in building new facilities, or focus on upgrading your field units in order to best utilize the different classes available, or you can focus on trying to mitigate the outcries of nations who you are not able to help. XCOM even allows you to trade on the black market and provides an easy to understand balance sheet that tracks your revenue and expenses (Yes I Know those are Income Statement Items). On top of that level of management XCOM has added a small yet incredibly effective element in that you can personalize your squad. This adds a level of emotion rarely brought to games. Being able to tell your friends they have been promoted or killed in action is a unique conversation point that drives word-of-mouth exposure for XCOM. Overall addictive, strategic, unsympathetic, and worth your money. Full Review »