Generally favorable reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43
Buy On
  1. The most exciting, immersive game you will play this year, and almost any other year for that matter. Hopefully, it will set the standards for future movie-based games much as the 1933 film set standards for future generations of film-makers.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    A stunningly atmospheric action-adventure that makes all the right moves. It is intense, scary, exhilarating and pure joy to play. One of the best games so far this year. [Nov 2005]
  3. The game captures the magic of Jackson's film (and steps a little beyond it), looks great and gives you a gameplay ride that is lots of fun.
  4. When the game starts giving you the opportunity to play as Kong, it's like Spinal Tap dropped by Ubisoft's studios and cranked it up to eleven.
  5. Official Xbox Magazine
    Quotation forthcoming. [Holiday 2005]
  6. There are countless tense moments playing as Jack and my only complaint is not playing as the featured star more than we were given the opportunity.
  7. 90
    It's a great example of a movie tie-in that is easy to play, it's a successful combination of a first-person adventure and a third-person beat-'em-up, and at times it even feels like a dungeon crawler. But at its core, it's an extremely good (and extremely simple) survival horror game.
  8. The production values are amazing with top-notch graphics and sound found nearly everywhere. Though the game runs a little short – we played a little over six hours – you'll have a blast every step of the way.
  9. Put simply, King Kong is going to the biggest thing this Christmas since Jesus invented presents. Better still, it's every bit as entertaining as its hairy star is huge. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  10. In the history of gaming, there are a few releases that warrant the cost of purchasing an entire system. 'Goldeneye' and 'Perfect Dark' for the N64 and the groundbreaking PS2 version of 'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City' are a few of those extraordinary titles. In my mind, based on its astonishing graphics and feral gameplay, you can now add 'Peter Jackson's King Kong' to that list of rarities.
  11. One of the most enjoyable if short-lived gameplay experiences. The game is practically a work of art, but that may not be enough for everyone.
  12. The most impressive element of the game, though, is Skull Island itself. Grand and gorgeous, the environments never repeat, and the adventure never slackens.
  13. An excellent movie adaptation that delivers one of the most immersive gaming experiences on the Xbox. While it isn't terribly challenging and perhaps a little too brief, exceptional art design and solid gameplay make Kong a game you don't want to miss.
  14. There simply is no other game that comes as close to not only recreating a film, but also making you feel like you're in control of the action rather than just a part of it.
  15. Minus the camera issues with Kong, whose gameplay is more of a "tension-breaker" than a titular role, Peter Jackson's King Kong on the current-gen consoles is definitely a must play!
  16. Game Informer
    Graphically, it's a masterpiece. [Jan 2006, p.136]
  17. 85
    These are some of the best graphics you'll ever see. Your first confrontation with the V-Rex (yes, that's what Peter J. is calling it) will be very, very memorable.
  18. Besides being way too short for comfort, the gameplay features suspense at every turn. I also liked the simplicity of the game such as the exclusion of a cross-hair and health bar.
  19. A definite thrill ride from beginning to end that relies heavily on its Hollywood-style presentation more than true gameplay. Hindered ever so slightly by repetitive enemies and puzzles.
  20. 84
    While the experience is short-lived, the seven or so hours of gameplay you get from it are truly amazing and for once, I can say a film-to-game conversion has successfully been achieved.
  21. The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you.
  22. Kong's controls are naturally quite sluggish, and the combat plays off like a jungle version of WWE, except instead of pinning your opponents, you grab their jaws and pound buttons until you twist their necks with a satisfying snap.
  23. By movie-to-game standards, King Kong is an instant classic. Just don't hold it to any greater standard.
  24. It won't take you long to blow through King Kong, but its sometimes thrilling, often tense, and always entertaining adventure is absolutely worth checking out.
  25. Edge Magazine
    This dazzling, determinedly populist experience was not made according to the standards other games are made by, and when judged – or even just described – by those standards, it might seem slender to the point of frailty. [Christmas 2005, p.101]
  26. Peter Jackson's midas touch spreads to the video game, as King Kong impresses us with its cinematic visuals and the great giant ape.
  27. 80
    A short but memorable game packed with high-level artistic aesthetics and production values. If you have a stereo system, be sure to play Kong through it. It sounds incredible!
  28. Certain aspects of the game work brilliantly although (such as the ecology) with the world of Skull Island coming to life quite naturally. It does tend to drag a bit in places and the pacing can be less than consistant but overall its a good title.
  29. If the environments were more open, if there was more variety to the puzzles, if the game lasted longer, if ..., then you could have had the best game of the year here.
  30. One of the most intense gaming experiences I've had in a long time, without being too difficult. The game is beautiful, innovative, and a fun run when you get right down to it.
  31. 80
    A unqiue, exciting and thoroughly enjoyable game that provides an experience that you won't get anywhere else. It also happens to be one of the best games based on a movie since "Goldeneye."
  32. A wondrous game. There is little to be upset about except its short length and no extra content, but the rest of the game is fantastic.
  33. For such a promising, daring game ultimately to play no differently at the end than it did at the beginning only underscores what a tremendous disappointment it is. As a pure cinematic experience it's absolutely unrivalled; as a videogame, it falls tragically short of the mark.
  34. The game has many chapters but considering you have an unlimited number of lives, you can easily finish this game within a few hours.
  35. Tedious gameplay kills the coolness of the "wow" moments and brings it all down to an average level.
  36. Coming it at around seven or eight hours, Peter Jackson's King Kong really does feel like a roller-coaster ride through the film, but once you get off, there's not much of a reason to ride it again other than to unlock some extra art and whatnot.
  37. Sure it looks good and sounds great, but not 'the next generation of gaming', in fact given the current availability and quality of FPS games I'm not sure in terms of gameplay it's even this generation.
  38. But it it's the most basic beat-'em-up you've ever played, often you'll find yourself simply holding the stick forward while Kong runs on invisible rails. It's beautiful, but oh-so-boring and unchallenging. [GamesMaster]
  39. With a rather abrupt final sequence it does seem to rush to its climax, but despite its brevity, this is an unforgettable trip through the realm of Kong.
  40. Beautiful but muddy environments, frustrating puzzles, repetitious opponents and clunky Kong controls.
  41. King Kong is short and still manages to be a flawed and redundant gaming experience. This isn't a bad game-just one that manages to underachieve in a lot of ways.
  42. games(TM)
    King Kong is perhaps a redefinition of the cinematic videogame – entirely based on peaks and troughs of excitement, and devoid of any sense of choice. Just like a movie, but interactive. [Christmas 2005, p.98]

Awards & Rankings

#90 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2005
#40 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Nov 10, 2013
    King Kong is one of the best licensed videogames out their. The graphics are some of the best on the Xbox Console. The gameplay is actuallyKing Kong is one of the best licensed videogames out their. The graphics are some of the best on the Xbox Console. The gameplay is actually pretty good, this games enemy A.I actually makes you think before you act, because one mistake could mean death. The T-Rex battles are awesome, playing as kong is a lot of fun. The story is pretty much the same as the movie, but this game adds a lot of more missions and scenes that are not in the movie which is great. I love the King Kong movie its one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time, and i also love this amazing licensed videogame. Full Review »
  2. Rick
    Feb 28, 2006
    A thoroughly enjoyable game. What there is of it. Its just way too short. By the time I was getting it to it, the damn thing was over. A thoroughly enjoyable game. What there is of it. Its just way too short. By the time I was getting it to it, the damn thing was over. However thats my only gripe. The blend of FPS and Kong fighting mixes up the gameplay well. I felt they could have done more with situation elements e.g. where you have to grab a spear from a certain point then back track to ignite the damn thing with fire, then go forward again to burn the hedges. Most of the time you look around the area you are in and you can see the fire you shoot or throw a spear at it, it falls to the ground, burns your path clear. Too easy and not enough brain power. The parts I did enjoy were the multi-threat elements where you have raptors and pteradactyls coming at you at in the same area. Speaking of which there just wasn't enough "open areas" the majority of the game you felt like you were on a narrow path. Overall very cinematic and they were on the right track, this could have been an absolute corker had the length been longer and as mentioned more situational elements thrown in...the gameplay is good just better attention to level design needed. They had the atmosphere and is a good movie to game title where most are poor. Its a hire game and can fill a weekend, at least a day anyway. Full Review »
  3. Don
    Dec 15, 2005
    A classic fantasy parable of great horror and beauty.