Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. The best Rally game on the market, bar none.
  2. The truly amazing thing here is that the game is only $19.99, a ridiculously low price for such a solid game.
  3. As a standalone product it’s wonderful and offers (save for an official license) everything a rally fan would desire: brilliant handling, sumptuous visuals, deformable cars and much more besides. But if you’ve played the last game to death there may not be enough of a difference to make you want to buy it.
  4. 90
    With high frame rates that won't quit, 52 stages set across eight different countries, an impressive array of environmental effects, multiplayer options in every mode, and all of the strengths of past installments of this series, Colin McRae Rally 04 is a worthwhile pick for any avid Xbox racing enthusiast.
  5. It boasts so many new gameplay modes that any review is in danger of reading like a press release.
  6. 90
    Visually, Rally 04 looks much better than previous versions. [May 2004, p.67]
  7. Quite possibly the best rally racing game available for the Xbox thus far, Colin McRae Rally 04 is the game to buy if you’re looking for rally racing done right.
  8. Simply a great pickup if you like rally racing games or racing games in general. The only huge blunders are no music and the lack of Live online play.
  9. Minus the online racing, Colin McRae 04 is a flawless video game replication of rally racing. The graphics, car physics and attention to detail are on par with any console racer currently on store shelves.
  10. You musn't let the budget price tag fool you into thinking the game is in any way lackluster. Colin McRae Rally 04 is every bit as good as its most recent predecessor, and in many ways, it's quite a bit better.
  11. The car selection is by far not as spectacular as the one in games like "Gran Turismo 3," but I can say for sure that the car feel is awesome, even with a regular controller.
  12. 87
    Everyting we've always loved about the series, stunning graphics and marvelous physics, is still there and worth the price of admission. It's not as feature-rich as the upcoming "Rallisport Challenge 2," but you're getting a well-made and entertaining game for the price.
  13. Whether the criteria is length, diversity, excitement, or challenge, I know no better courses than those in this game. [Apr 2004, p.106]
  14. Racing fans interested in a quick fix of adrenaline probably won't find what they're looking for in McRae 04, but autophiles will adore the game for its physics, handling, and depth of play. [Apr 2004, p.81]
  15. Those that are hardcore and want a no-frills title with great execution of what really matters in rally, then jump in your recee and high-tail it down to your local gaming store.
  16. And think about this, it's $20; a tank of gas, the price of a DVD. You don't get a game of this quality for $20 unless it's been out for a year. It's got awesome graphics, and it's still that Colin McRae super gameplay.
  17. Along with top-notch handling and car physics, you'll find a meaty championship mode, wicked terrain, and dazzling weather effects (tackling the Japan course during a torrential downpour is especially impressive) under McRae's hood. [Apr 2004, p.122]
  18. The speed and control in Colin McRae Rally 04 is unbelievably noticeable.
  19. This is officially a budget title. Despite its small problems and lack of online play, that’s just insane. This is a well-rounded game that would still be recommended if it cost full fare, so race to the store and pick up a copy before they come to their senses and sell it for what it’s worth.
  20. The best game ever launched at $19.99? Most assuredly. [Apr 2004, p.63]
  21. Car handling and physics are spot-on, and real-time damage has been enhanced to the point where you wince every time you hit a rock or other obstacle, as the dents and dings rack up.
  22. Another excellent outing for Codemasters' rally team, but one that has possibly taken the series to its structural - and commercial - limits. [Nov 2003, p.104]
  23. Possibly the wisest tweak is the balancing of the gameplay, which with a bit of practice ought to see players able to compete with Colin and co. within the matter of an hour or so. Previously the barriers to entry seemed to be set inexplicably high.
  24. We love our Colin McRae at TVG and truly believe that it offers one of the finest racing experiences ever created. That said, it’s a hard purchase to recommend unless you’re a rallying fanatic or didn’t pick up last year’s version.
  25. For under twenty bucks, it's the best racing game, ever, in its price range. The gameplay is balanced in such a way that the game feels like a sim but is as easy to control as an arcade racer.
  26. 80
    This is a very serious rally game, much more so than RalliSport Challenge -- tackling a turn incorrectly, or having the wrong tire and suspension setup for the track at hand, will destroy your stage times. As a result, both your driving skills and your car-configuration know-how will be tested at every stage of the game.
  27. While the sound leaves much to be desired, the graphics more then make up for this one negative aspect. What really impressed me about this game was how the controls changed based on the customization of your car.
  28. Set the damage mode to high and tires explode, windshields shatter, and fenders crumple, all dependent on your lousy maneuvering.
  29. 80
    What this title does, it does well. But to introverted Yanks like us, it makes about as much sense as putting mayonnaise on french fries.
  30. The fact that the game looks as glorious as it does and plays wonderfully makes Colin McRae Rally 04 a must-have. The fact that it's available for a small $20 price tag would pretty much say it's a crime not to own it.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. JaceN.
    Dec 7, 2005
    Near impossible thanks to everything in sight being locked until youve progressed through the game. How am I supossed to beat the worlds best rally drivers...first time...on tracks they know like the backs of their hands...while I cant practice any? Add to that...cheats you have to PAY FOR...and a unique code system where your purchased cheats wont work for anyone ese...or theirs for you...and youve got one big, hard slap in the face. Full Review »
  2. Uter
    Jun 18, 2004
    This would be an awesome game if Rallisport Challenge didn't exist. But with such stiff competition, it doesn't hold up all that well. Still, it's a great deal for 30$ cdn. Full Review »
  3. JugsterJam
    Mar 22, 2004
    Stunning Graphics give Rally sport run for its Money.