Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars Xbox


Mixed or average reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 26
  2. Negative: 2 out of 26
Buy On
  1. 100
    A no-holds-barred chariot racer full of originality and pee-in-your-pants combat.
  2. Circus Maximus isn't the best game for the X-Box, nor is it the most fun - but it certainly is innovative, and you might find yourself playing for hours despite your objections.
  3. Players who are able to overlook the games graphical problems will be well awarded with a deep and satisfying game.
  4. CM earns laurels for putting players in simultaneous control of a driver and a passenger who can use a whip or a sword to turn opponents into Caesar salad.
  5. Play Magazine
    I can honestly attest that Circus Maximus does for racing what "Mortal Kombat" did for fighting – before it got pimped out like a cheap hooker. [Apr 2002, p.54]
  6. While the game might not sport earth shattering graphics or a detailed storyline, the fun factor of this game will slowly grab you and you will become more addicted the more time you spend playing it.
  7. 76
    A fun game, but it could've benefited from more polish and a little more imagination.
  8. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how fast this game played. I never expected a game about chariot racing to be so fast and exciting.
  9. You mostly-thumbs types will find single-handedly controlling the chariot (while ever watching the pace meter) a bit of a nightmare on the medium and hard levels, but it's all the more reason to bring a friend in for some co-operative race combat.

Awards & Rankings

#90 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2002
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Apr 4, 2017
    Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars = Pure awesomeness.

    Go through the first few Academy stages to begin, there is a brief learning curve. After
    Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars = Pure awesomeness.

    Go through the first few Academy stages to begin, there is a brief learning curve. After all, you will be driving a chariot mostly along winding hazardous roads while simultaneously wielding a weapon via the warrior on back. Literally every button has a function, and most of them are necessary at some point in a race. For example, you may need to pull left trigger for that tight left turn, or pull the left stick back to duck under a low handing branch.

    If you want to dial back the complexity at any point you can 1) set difficulty level to Novice (easy), and the chariot will not tip over around sharp turns (tipping is avoided by leaning your warrior into the turn), 2) turn on auto-pilot during the match, so you can focus just on attacking with your warrior, 3) in multiplayer, have a buddy control driving or fighting with their own controller while you do the other. Regardless of your starting method, I've little doubt you'll wish to control more as you progress. The more you familiarize yourself with the game controls, the more fun you'll have attempting to juggle them throughout the race.

    Of course the graphics will lack compared to today's games but they are plenty good, and you'll be too engaged in the action to care. All of the interaction between chariots, road hazards, warrior attacks delivered and received, all feel very fair. If a chariot wipe-out leaves you confused as to the cause, the fun auto-replay of the crash likely clues you in as to what it was. Very rarely does the chariot seem to crash for no clear reason. The chariot wipe-outs are hilarious, with horses, chariot, and occupants all tumbling, sometimes flying.

    The core experience I've had with this game is one which rides a nice balance of challenge, entertainment, without being overbearing. I found myself consistently seeking to improve my ability to drive and fight at the same time, because I feel rewarded for doing so. Taking out an opponent in mid-race feels great, winning the race feels like an accomplishment. Even crashing or losing the race feels exhilarating because it's so much fun and there's a feeling that your controller skills progressed a least a bit more. You want to go back in and put those skills to the test.

    I bought this Xbox game many years back in a bargain bin and it is still a blast to play, solo or with others. You can play up to 4 at once (2 driver/warrior tandems fighting head to head). It can be played on Xbox 360. I'm not familiar with it's availability on other platforms.

    Nowadays everything is online, so the dream would be to have this game remade with that capability, as well as more tracks, along with customized and upgrade-able chariots/horses/drivers/warriors.

    I've seen some videos in recent years of people playing this on a whim, and then discovering what a diamond in the rough it truly is. I can't say enough about this game and hope that somehow it gets resurrected. It's a shame that it got a significant amount of negative reviews from some seemingly high profile critics who obviously did not go through the tutorial or read the user manual.

    If you have the slightest inclination to drive a chariot at high speed while simultaneously engaging in melee weapon combat on the back portion of said chariot, then you seek Circus Maximus: Chariot Wars.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2015
    No lo disfrute cuando era pequeño imagínate a hora jaja . juego muy simplon , cutre , ridículo y que al principio haces dos o tres carreras yNo lo disfrute cuando era pequeño imagínate a hora jaja . juego muy simplon , cutre , ridículo y que al principio haces dos o tres carreras y después ya te aburrías . Juego bastante malo Full Review »
  3. BenT.
    Nov 15, 2004
    This is truly the worst game i've ever played. Seriously. Its no fun at all. Good idea wasted. Too bad.