Generally favorable reviews - based on 87 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 87
  2. Negative: 1 out of 87
Buy On
  1. 100
    Just remember, Fable is not "Project Ego." What it is, though, is a redefinition for RPG's. It takes out all the frustrating elements of the genre, and instead puts in a heap of fun options and possibilities. This is why; despite its disappointing conclusion, Fable is one of the most gripping and enjoyable games that has come to grace the console scene.
  2. By far, the best RPG I've played since "Final Fantasy 7."
  3. Given the extraordinary AI, deep soundtrack and exquisite graphics it looks like Fable may come close to living up to its billing.
  4. With its moving story and deft execution, Fable is quite literally the adventure of a lifetime. [Oct 2004, p.138]
  5. Who would ever thought you can run around with horns and a dress an punt chickens... lol The mojo is maxed out for Fable; there is so much to love and so little time.
  6. An outstanding work of modern art. Just about every other Xbox release this year pales into insignificance once you embark on your very own "fable".
  7. 95
    Day and night find their way into the world and anything bathed in light has a nice soft glow. The environments are breathtaking and painstakingly detailed to the point they will suck you in.
  8. Fable is not a game to rush through, though. I can almost guarantee if you hurry through it you'll have a terrible time. Fable is a game that demands to be enjoyed and savored.
  9. While some of the mission elements are a little more straightforward than most of us were hoping, and the competitive edge of other heroes throughout the land is all but gone, the final result is still a deep and engaging action RPG.
  10. Really, almost anything you can do in real life can be done in Fable.
  11. Sit down with fable, take it slow, and really enjoy all that there is to be seen here. I think fable isn't about genre defining gameplay, it's about creative invention. It pulls players in and makes you actually feel like you are a hero and not just controlling one arbitrarily.
  12. Peter Molyneux and Big Blue Box have proven that they are on the right path and a sequel for the next generation of consoles just might provide that breakthrough title that we are all pining for.
  13. The missions are fun, the environment rich, and the ability to really customize your character is very impressive.
  14. 93
    It's very difficult to enter this world without thinking about the promises made (but not kept), all of the things that once had everyone so desperately hyped for Fable, but if you can go in with an open mind, I think you'll find a game that will become one of your treasured Xbox favorites.
  15. If I had my time again; the chance to replay every side-quest, to change my appearance, my very morality (and something tells me that I will), I'd do it all differently - just because I could.
  16. I have seen what makes a hero, and what makes a coward. I will choose the path of a hero... always.
  17. My two biggest complaints are 1.) there are not enough quests in total and 2.) the choices you make do not affect the overall outcome of the story that much. Even though I truly enjoyed playing through Fable twice, I still can help but feel a little bit let down by the scope. This was an adventure that I didn't want to end, yet it did far too soon.
  18. A glimpse at the future of RPGs. A stunningly realised vision of everything that's good about story-driven swords and sorcer. [GamesMaster]
  19. Playing through the game a second time as the polar opposite of your first character can be fun, just to see how the in-game people react, but personally I didn't feel too motivated to do it, considering how the story had already unfolded in its entirety.
  20. 91
    The music, battling, and overall experience of Fable will leave any hardcore RPG fan begging for more.
  21. Those who enjoy experimenting with every possibility in their games will find enough in Fable to keep them busy for countless hours, while gamers who appreciate more objectives and a clear sense of direction will probably burn through the story quickly and have little reason to play through a second time.
  22. Play Magazine
    Once you leave the guild to embark on your personal journey, Fable becomes dependant on you...and let me tell you, this is the wave of the future. [Nov 2004, p.66]
  23. Fable both soars and sinks. It's wondrous and wearisome, a great step forward in the development of heroes in RPGs and a tremendous stumble over its own two feet. And in the rising and falling, it finds itself. [Oct 2004, p.88]
  24. In the long run, every RPG enthusiast would likely agree that Fable, though not as sophisticated or profound an experience as some other RPG's, is still as purely fun to play as any other title available on the Xbox.
  25. Voice acting is flawless with all the characters having a variety of accents, the score is grandiose and hits all the right notes, all held together by the polish and slick nature of the aesthetics, which can't be faulted.
  26. I really thought the developers did a great job of making a very easy yet complex combat system that allowed gamers to really let it loose and have fun.
  27. Without doubt Fable is one of the finest videogames yet that we've had the pleasure to play, in which your actions have a definite consequence to the progress of the game – it's all handled so naturally, that a lot of it passes you by without noticing.
  28. One of the coolest things about Fable is how your character's abilities and appearance change based on your choices. If you've been good, you'll look pure and sweet and innocent. If you've been bad, you'll look like you're touring with Marilyn Manson.
  29. It has some small flaws and is not quite the open, never-ending quest that the game's hype would have had us believe, but a play through is well worth the gamer's time. And perhaps at least two times through: once as the ultimate do-gooder and once as a tyrant that would make Hitler blush.
  30. Its world is not as wide-open and free as it would have you believe and you can still see repetition and patterns in its AI, but the game is enjoyable nonetheless and well worth your time to play.
  31. Cheat Code Central
    A well oiled adventure game that will more than satisfy gamers raised on Link, but will alienate RPG purists...Far from spectacular but highly engrossing and playable, which is really what matters most.
  32. It doesn't deliver on all fronts, has some dubious design choices, but is itself one of the finest RPG's on the Xbox and the most fun I've had with an RPG (a genre I'm not historically all that fond of) since "Kingdom Hearts."
  33. A very addicting, extremely fun and even thought-provoking game that will suck you into its world and keep you entertained till the very end … which just happens to be another one of its shortcomings. Right as you feel that you are starting to get into Fable, the game ends; the main quest and game can be completed from start to finish in as little as eight hours.
  34. The game's audio is magnificent. The entire package is excellent and really brings the game's presentation to first-class standards.
  35. Fable delivers an experience that isn't what some die-hard RPG fans might deem authentic. Instead, I believe that Fable provides a game for the rest of us that has the entire flavor of an RPG, but in a much more streamlined and accessible package.
  36. 90
    While the game is open-ended, the method of playing it is not. You can't roam vast maps as freely as you can in "Grand Theft Auto." Still, Albion is a big, and, thanks to the stellar graphics, a beautiful place to wander.
  37. Whilst not offering the same level of depth to characters or story as in "Knights of the Old Republic," Fable offers a much more experimentation and rewarding free form game play with a silent yet loveable lead character as a representation of yourself.
  38. If you let yourself become engulfed in the world and take your imagination for the ride, you'll dive into one of the deepest and richest experiences ever. If you ask too much from the game you'll find yourself sorely disappointed.
  39. 90
    The freewheeling surprises are where Fable really shines, but even within the surprisingly short main story there exists a diversity of challenging obstacles and enemies.
  40. Even just interacting with villagers is enjoyable, particularly when they bow down in fear, applaud your courage, or swoon at your handsome looks.
  41. Official Xbox Magazine
    Major kudos are in order for accomplishing the goal of creating an RPG where you truly have an immense amount of freedom. [Nov 2004, p.72]
  42. Weekly Famitsu
    9 / 9 / 8 / 9 - platinum [Vol 149]
  43. It's the personal interaction with the characters, the constant ethical decisions, that make Fable such an enjoyable game.
  44. Fable isn't always awe-inspiring, and its combat lock-on system can be frustrating, but what it introduces to the genre is fantastic. "Watching" gamers' playing tendencies and assigning experience points accordingly is ingenious, and it really makes players practice their skills.
  45. 88
    With better graphics, better sound, better gameplay, and a better story, Peter Molyneaux has created a game better than any other in the genre on the Xbox.
  46. 87
    Indeed, though Fable has been continuously compared to the likes of "Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind," this is not Morrowind. It is much more linear – more so than that title and even Bioware's 2003 hit, "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic."
  47. A well-put-together but standard action adventure, primarily consisting of lots of basic combat and running from point to point. Mind you, this is a decidedly great game, all in all. Its most interesting, riskiest features may lie at the fringes rather than at the core--but they're there.
  48. Fable really shines in the sound department. The game has a rich, evocative main theme by rock musician-turned-composer Danny Elfman, and the music throughout the game fits the various settings and adapts to befit the on-screen action.
  49. In the end, Fable is a really good game. It doesn't live up to the promise of "Project Ego," but, really, who cares?
  50. netjak
    Mark my words, just as "Grand Theft Auto III" was a glimpse into the future, so is Fable. Be a part of gaming history. Get the game, enjoy it for what it's worth and for the love of Master Chief... Take your time.
  51. 85
    Sadly the whole thing is a bundle of obvious cliches. If you simply look at the plot elements introduced within the first hour and try to imagine the most hackneyed twists you could come up with for them, you've probably guessed Fable's story. It doesn't even offer a satisfying resolution.
  52. Though the renown system is the game's main innovation, combat definitely holds up its half of the sky.
  53. 85
    Fable has its fair share of problems – the length of the main story, primarily – but it has so many fun and unique elements that will draw you deep into the world of Albion you can't help but love it.
  54. Much of what was supposed to make Fable innovative was ultimately cut out, but what's left still looks incredible and is amazingly fun to play.
  55. You have to appreciate the effort and craft that's gone into Fable, even if much of it is pretty shallow or not as well realised as it might have been.
  56. A very good game, though it isn't revolutionary in any way. The real-time aging and alignment modifying is great, but the game doesn't take advantage of it.
  57. While there are a few different ending sequences based on a combination of your alignment and one very large decision you make towards the end, you won't need to play through the whole thing again to see 'em because the game actually allows you to change alignment mid-stream by simply going to the good or evil church and making donations. Whoops!
  58. The innovative parts of Fable surround what is a very solid, if traditional, role-playing game, and the whole package comes together exceptionally well.
  59. Fable's a lot of fun, but at times, you can see the beginnings of something much cooler that was sadly abandoned.
  60. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    My biggest gripe is stil the size of the game - it's not tiny, but it's also not big enough to match the otherwise epic feel of Fable. The world might be as deep as an ocean, but it doesn't matter so much when it's only the size of a swimming pool. [Nov 2004, p.146]
  61. Big Blue Box and Lionhead chose to water down the original vision that was Project Ego; a daring, ambitious project set to revolutionize the way we role-play. The consequence is Fable; a shallow, superficial experience that pales in comparison to its potential and promises.
  62. Edge Magazine
    It's not so much a game with depth as one with width, a fat pool of possible ways to idle away your time between quests, allowing you to craft what feels like an unprecedented sense of social personality, in terms of colour and grandeur if not actual complexity. [Nov 2004, p.94]
  63. It's almost like a bawdy, medieval "Animal Crossing" for adults. But you lack true control; moreover, things don't change unless you change them, making the world feel shallow. Though you usually have the freedom to do as you will, important characters are often completely exempt from your meddling (or even exist only in cut-scenes).
  64. For those of us who understand that while true non-linear storytelling is never going to happen, personalising a linear narrative in meaningful ways according to your own inclinations is far from inconsequential, then it's another significant step into the future.
  65. games(TM)
    Fable is an intensely personal experience and one that's difficult to describe to someone else – you really have to allow yourself to become immersed within the boundaries of this twee little world to fully appreciate its magic and discover what it means to you. And, indeed, what it says about you… [Nov 2004, p.96]
  66. Both an exciting action RPG and an involving social simulation, Fable is a luscious folk-fantasy adventure teeming with clever details, hidden secrets, and moral possibilities. It may be too short but boy is it sweet.
  67. Fable doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does offer an enjoyable and focused modern gaming experience which is both streamlined and accessible to all. It may not be the best RPG ever, but it's certainly one of the best.
  68. AceGamez
    Fable's low points hurt the game quite a bit, especially the length of the game, which could be beaten in three days if you played it a decent amount. It's because of this and the poorly designed world that I would only recommend this game as a purchase if you're a true hardcore RPG nut looking for an epic feeling adventure with a great set of novelty features not found anywhere else.
  69. 80
    The experience it provides is completely engrossing, and all of its subtle elements were crafted with a careful hand. The resulting game feels like it's teeming with life, and genuinely responding to your interactions.
  70. 80
    The game really suffers from a lack of plot length, seeing as I spent over four times as long playing with the side-quests and mini-games than I did playing the main storyline. The gameplay that IS there is quite enjoyable.
  71. 80
    Playing Fable is like flying business class for the first time; it's a familiar experience that's of higher quality than you're used to. Just don't get too content, because you might be landing sooner than you'd like.
  72. 80
    Between the combat challenges, legendary weapons to be obtained, and numerous ways to screw with the heads of townspeople, it's the bits between the storyline that will keep players coming back to Fable.
  73. An unusual adventure game - an interesting concept competently carried off.
  74. We waited about five years for a beautiful, immersive, and imaginative roleplaying game, but were given something that doesn't deserve to lick the dirt off of "Morrowind's" feet.
  75. The idea of building a Hero that is dynamically affected by his environment and his actions is a great concept for an RPG and it's the best implemented feature in Fable. But backing that up with unfulfilling combat and a weak story really took the wind out of the sails.
  76. The game features a lot of loading, which is a little disappointing considering how linear and confined some areas are. Also, I would have liked to see more variety in the weapons and armor available.
  77. To say this game is short is too kind. I think the credits are longer than the game. I think the endless loading screens at Lionhead Studios are longer than this game.
  78. 73
    By far the largest issue Fable has is its length. Completing at least 50% of the sidequests, marrying, slaughtering an entire village, and buying three houses, I still only ended the game at slightly over eight hours.
  79. I really don't want to say that this game isn't a lot of fun. It is... Don't expect a world in which you can do anything you want, and the level design itself is very restrictive. You can buy houses and businesses for Christ's sake, you can even start a family, it just can be very shallow and simple at times.
  80. 70
    The interaction of your character with the world of Albion and its inhabitants is its most enduring and enjoyable quality; it's important this aspect of the game is understood and explored.
  81. It is interesting but not absorbing.
  82. The sense of freedom ultimately serves to highlight the inevitable limitations.
  83. The failure here is a general lack of content on nearly all fronts. It's too short, the world is too small, there aren't enough monster types, missions, NPC designs or dialog.
  84. The interesting aspects such as buying houses, marriage, and trading with merchants will keep you entertained. However, with four years of development, it boggles the mind to think that the developers couldn't come up with a more involving story, better character development and length.
  85. It succeeds. It's just a shame the world isn't terribly exciting... It's definitely a case of "love the world, but where's the game?"
  86. The result may be a shiny bauble of a new game, but under that thin veneer and Molyneuxite fan worship beats the heart of a truncated action title. Short on gameplay, long on flash. Short on true RPG depth and long on empty hype.
  87. For all its advertising about a virtual world governed by cause and effect, Fable is really just a terribly unambitious hack and slash game in a bad marriage with a personality simulator. The hack and slash works fairly well-everything else, not so much.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2004
#4 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 283 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 283
  1. Mar 3, 2014
    Ignore the low scores. Most people who give this game low scores has literally given every other great game low scores as well. This game isIgnore the low scores. Most people who give this game low scores has literally given every other great game low scores as well. This game is one of if not the most replayable game of all time. You can create so many different characters and choose different combat styles each and every time. I've played the same way through probably 5 times and still love it. I played it when it first came out and still play it now (2014). The combat multiplier is great and so is the fighting. It uses the "z targeting" that Zelda: Ocarina of Time implemented. I recommned this game to anyone. Give it a legitimate chance and you will love it. Full Review »
  2. Jan 6, 2011
    well this was suppose to be the end all be all of RPg's coming out back in the day. i remember hearing all the things you where gona be ablewell this was suppose to be the end all be all of RPg's coming out back in the day. i remember hearing all the things you where gona be able to do in it and how every story on this game was building it up saying 5 years in develpment and there is gona be so much to do! well it was all BS! what we got was a game that takes 10 hours to beat 12-13 hours if you do every thing in the game . a simplistic hack and slash combat system with a GOD AWFUL lock on system . a story that is pretty dull and 2 lame endings.a very small world to explore . the going of good or evil really means nothing out side of some rude gestures you can make and the way your charicter looks. the graphics do look good . the enchantments on wepons is cool as it also makes the wepon look sick and give it bonus damage . this game is playable dont get me wrong but its a piss poor mediocore RPG that looses alot of points for all the lies the develpores have spread on what this game was gona pull off. as far as RPG's go you could find alot more RPG;s that are far better then this . Full Review »
  3. Apr 8, 2013
    One of the best game I've ever played. Learning curve is very well balanced, the game bring you in the world of fun and you are then addictedOne of the best game I've ever played. Learning curve is very well balanced, the game bring you in the world of fun and you are then addicted to it. Graphic and voice are all immersive. You cannot miss this experience. Full Review »