Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. If Links 2004 isn't the finest golf game on the planet, I'll wear golf shoes to next year's E3... The curvature of terrain is truly exquisite, and the detail and lighting is utter perfection. [Nov 2003, p.108]
  2. If you are having a tough time choosing between Links 2004 and "Tiger Woods 2004," my vote is with Links 2004.
  3. A great, yet somewhat short, Career Mode, a bevy of online features, a fantastic Challenge Mode that will drive you crazy with replay factor, great looks, great courses, and the strongest simulation engine that I've seen on a console, will keep this title in your Xbox hours and hours per week.
  4. It has an overwhelming amount of golf goodies including a stellar reproduction in video game form of some of the world's most famous courses. But Links 2004's green-jacket winning feature is the strong Live gameplay that makes this the champion of golf games on the Xbox.
  5. The obvious staying power is in the multiplayer potential whether you gather some friends over for a local foursome or take your skills online for an Opti-Match or enter an XSN tournament.
  6. The game's real genius is in its presentation - mega options and a clean interface are backed up by mostly cool and occasionally superb, graphics. [Dec 2003, p.146]
  7. This is the most genuine representation to the genre on a console yet. Casual fans that've fell in love with Tiger's bottle-feeding approach, may want to steer clear of this title. Simulation buffs need only apply.
  8. The fact that you can hit a decent round without having to rely considerably on spin or other advanced techniques means that new 'uns to the sport can almost pick up and play Links, whereas veterans can revel in more realistic gameplay than that of the competition, and feel right at home going after the number one spot on Xbox Live, whilst handing out helpful tips and strategies to people like me.
  9. But Links 2004 on the Xbox is pure relaxation for the video gamer. No high-pressure, adrenaline-soaked gaming here, just the pure satisfaction of a perfectly executed swing and the resulting well-placed plop of the ball on the green.
  10. A treat from the past with enough new features that somehow makes you feel like you're playing it for the first time while making it a worthwhile game of golf with plenty of competition.
  11. "Tiger Woods" will remain the top golf game on the Playstation 2. But on the Xbox, Links is the way to go. Presentation and gameplay are very much equal between the two, but online gameplay is what sets Links apart. It deserves to be your golf game this year on the Xbox.
  12. Not as deep, feature-wise, as "Tiger Woods," but more realistic, and with a community aspect that Tiger's Xbox version can't match.
  13. Despite the staid atmosphere, Links is the fairway to hit if you're just in this for a round of golf. Especially if you want to play that round online... with voice and three of your friends.
  14. 89
    Stupid observations like "It's important to hit your shot in the fairway on this hole" and "A birdie will help here" makes you want to throw your clubs at them.
  15. While there are some issues with subtly repetitive gameplay modes, the difficulty level problem, and the occasional cheap computer AI, the overall game is an extremely solid first effort by Microsoft Game Studios.
  16. It is really a wonderful online game and the fun factor just goes into the stratosphere in my opinion. Highly recommended for online play, but pass by it for single-player.
  17. Although Links does not have all the official tournaments or cups, and lacks the most popular golfers in their rooster, the game remains addictive and a real joy to any fan of the genre.
  18. Blends sterling graphics with solid animation and golf dynamics to make for an enjoyable outing on some of the nicest-looking courses in the genre.
  19. A good golf game, but it may disappoint gamers looking for some challenge. The online support is excellent, so if you're looking for some tournament action against live gamers you can't go wrong with Links 2004.
  20. 84
    Although this game is not the greatest golf game I have ever played, it is one of the deeper ones I have cracked. With a fun yet challenging offline mode and fun Xbox Live action, this game will be in my console for a few months.
  21. Offers an experience that will entertain those looking for an easy to pick up golf game but lacks the depth Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 offers.
  22. Online play affords Links players an option "Tiger" simply can't compete with. [Dec/Jan 2004, p.94]
  23. Visually, each course is stunning and finished with sublime attention to detail - even during online play. Nothing has been omitted; trees, luscious environments and realtime shadows simply enhance the addictive gameplay.
  24. As with "Amped 2," it looks like the developers have sidelined the game feel in favour of faithful sporting recreation, and all things considered, the game benefits greatly.
  25. 80
    Links 2004 has something for everyone.
  26. A highly addictive simulation that should please good and bad golfers alike.
  27. For this game to lift the championship trophy there is some fine tuning to be done in the gameplay and commentary areas.
  28. Despite the game's uneven presentation, Links 2004 is still a good choice, especially for Xbox owners to whom online play is of paramount importance.
  29. 75
    Overall, I definitely appreciate a few of the things Links 2004 does; for example, it allows you to roam in free camera and study the lie, and the green, which makes the short game a little more interesting. But its style, complete with Matrix-style bullet-time effects on good shots, puts it in a different realm than Links originally set out to explore.
  30. 75
    Beats "Tiger 2004" in exactly two respects: prettier graphics and Live support. Every other category goes to Tiger in a Governor Ahnold-esque landslide.
  31. So long as you don't mind that it's not quite the stellar production that's emerged from EA's stables, you'll have a great time with Links 2004, especially online. It's just not a hole in one.
  32. 8 / 6 / 7 / 7 - 28 [Vol 798; 2 Apr 2004]
  33. What really wins this skins match is multiplayer: "Tiger" doesn't do it on Xbox, while Links not only offers multiplayer tourneys, but also the promise of new downloadable courses. [Dec 2003, p.82]
  34. But however good a game this may be, it's still left falling off the shoulders of a true giant, and even without online play and custom soundtrack options "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004" still hits the clubhouse well ahead of its rival.
  35. The problem is that it just doesn't play right. The physics system for the ball is out of whack. There is often no predicting what it will do. [Nov 2003, p.171]
  36. Not a bad game by any means-it's simply one that tries to be many things to many different people and it doesn't quite succeed at any of them.
  37. Create-a-Golfer is utterly underwhelming, and...simple shot challenges don't amount to exciting minigames. [Dec 2003, p.226]
  38. Its online play is unique to the genre on the Xbox and the gameplay itself is decent. But the lack of compelling game modes, the underwhelming Career and the somewhat bland delivery make this old classic just look old.
  39. There's plenty to do and see (within the golf spectrum, naturally) but at the end of the day, there's just not enough real magic to keep you coming back for more. [Christmas 2003, p.125]
  40. 60
    Takes golf videogames back to the '80s when it was a boring, elitist sport. It looks to have completely disregarded the shifting of the guard that took place when a certain tiger-striped phenom stepped onto the scene.
  41. After getting used to the motion, it became too easy to hit straight/long shots. However, I will say that the short-iron part of the game (especially wedges) left me guessing how to gauge distance. This added a certain difficulty to the game, especially at higher levels when the game didn't kibitz.

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