Guardian's Scores

  • Games
For 308 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 46% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 49% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 75
Highest review score: 100 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Lowest review score: 20 Shaun White Skateboarding
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 308
308 game reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Halo: Reach, simply, is Bungie's masterwork, and if you own an Xbox 360, you'd be an idiot not to buy a copy – even if you're not a fan of first-person shooters, it will still make you marvel at just how good a game can look and feel.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A hugely accomplished reinvention of a franchise that was showing signs of dotage.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The map, though similar-sized to Fallout 3's, seems more jam-packed than ever – New Vegas is less a sandbox game than whole beach to play around in.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's perfectly designed for DS and something the whole family can get sucked into.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Treyarch's game is exhilarating and beautifully orchestrated, but it feels like a full-stop, it needs to be a full-stop, because toward the end of the campaign, bombardment fatigue begins to set in.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Hot Pursuit, like the high-end vehicles it fetishises, has been crafted with genuine care, with great insight, with technical brilliance. Gran Turismo 5 will grab the headlines and the purist vote, but it surely won't live like this game does; it will be an austere cathedral to Criterion's joyous modernist structure.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    That's what makes Mass Effect 2 great. Not the outstanding action, the compelling story, the huge depth of interaction, or any of the other ways in which the game demonstrates its outrageous surfeit of quality. It's because this is a game so coherent, you start to believe that you could actually live in it.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Valve has created a masterpiece in Portal 2. The depth of content, the mind-bending mechanics and fantastic experience are almost certain to satisfy ardent fans of the first game; and to all newcomers to the series, it's as simple as this: prepare to have your mind blown. Over and over again.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Ever since it first worked out how to assemble pixels so that they resembled something more recognisable than aliens, the games industry has dreamed of creating one thing above all else – a game that is indistinguishable from a film, except that you can control the lead character. With LA Noire, it just might, finally, have found the embodiment of that particular holy grail.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I wonder how anything will ever better Ocarina of Time in its small but vital corner of this bloated industry.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Quarrel is just a lovely, skilfully-crafted joy. Denki's genius is in making you feel that hours in the game's company have been educational rather than a time-killing indulgence. That is the loftiest aim of all word games. Few really achieve it.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It comes packed with visceral gun-battles, ear-splitting explosions, bucketloads of blood and you use a good old-fashioned control-pad to play it. Oh, and it's also one of the best games released all year.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a rare game that can make you love the thing you're supposed to be killing, but then there really isn't anything else like Ico and Colossus.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Absolutely reeks of effort, of care, of love for the sport. Blast EA and its peers for the way they run their businesses if you want to, but recognise this: with friends, with practice, with a will to re-think your approach to defence, Fifa is an absolute joy to play.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Stands head and shoulders over its previous efforts. Despite facing stiffer competition than its predecessor, Batman: Arkham City is easily the best Batman video game of all time.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Uncharted 3, perhaps for the first time, represents what we all hoped games would eventually evolve into. Its production values are sky-high, and it puts you at the centre of a gloriously rich and irresistible world, controlling a character who is heroic, but also convincingly human. It's also mildly didactic, and feels less dumbed-down than any mainstream movie we've come across in years.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Infinity Ward engine is far from cutting edge – the overall look of the game has not moved on enormously since MW2. But the vision, the choreography, the sense of scale and detail – they are awe-inspiring at times.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Skyrim is one of the most gargantuan undertakings gamers will experience all year. The sheer size of the adventure, both in terms of its environment and in the amount of activities available to the player, is mind-blowing.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Whether or not it's the best ever Zelda game is open to debate, but it's certainly up there. However, nobody could argue that it's anything less than a masterclass in the art of crafting video games.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The meticulous craft that has gone into its ingenious design is enough to warrant admiration from even those players who have no time for the portly plumber. As for the rest of you – and we're assuming you're Mario fans – you're in for a real treat.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It may lack the precision of, say Witcher 2's combat, but it makes for a style that can be picked up in seconds, customised to your own particular style of play and crowned with impressive arcade-style finishes... Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is a triumph that makes the prospect of a future MMO based on the same world and engine all the more enticing.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More than ever, the Mass effect universe pulls off the masterful trick of feeling huge and yet believable – the game's production values are through the roof, and its third-person shooter controls incredibly precise, responsive and accurate given Mass Effect's immense scope. It really does feel like a TV sci-fi series in which you play the central character.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I Am Alive uses its post-apocalyptic environment far more effectively than many other games that share its nightmare vision of the future. I Am Alive joins games such as Fallout, RAGE and Left 4 Dead in its setting where a some horrendous event put paid to civilisation as we know it, but in truth, it's far closer in its atmosphere and aesthetic values to Cormac MacCarthy's grim post-apocalyptic novel, The Road.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Journey's visual and sound design sets new standards for interactive entertainment. This alone makes it an extraordinary work, but it's the way that these aesthetic elements come together with beautifully subtle direction and storytelling to create a lasting emotional effect that elevates this to one of the very best games of our time.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fez
    Here is a keen reminder of gaming's ability to provide we who live in a world charted by satellites and Google Maps with new frontiers, with the unfettered joy of discovery, with the sense of our own psychical and mental horizons being expanded.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The key to the game is the pitch perfect control system. A customisable auto-targetting system lets players select between hard or soft auto systems, the latter subtly guiding your reticule rather than aggressively yanking it toward specific enemies. Both are smart, seamless and intuitive, allowing newcomers to acclimatise to the turbo-charged pace.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Pandora feels more like an actual place than a virtual battleground, thanks to Gearbox's attention to detail in this game...I mean, when was the last time you cared about the name of any gun manufacturer in any shooter you played recently? Listen, I've played the heck out of the COD: MW titles, and I've used a TAR-21 more times than I care to mention, but I couldn't tell you who manufactured it... The gun-makers in Borderlands 2 don't even exist, for goodness sake, and I'm already brand-loyal to one of them.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    In tuning the defensive systems and the attacking AI, the development team has unlocked the potential that Fifa 12 only hinted at, creating a game that, at last, seems to invite improvisational play, a game in which your own skill as a player comes to the fore.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This a game without the bloat of the modern blockbuster – no co-op mode to allow two friends to assassinate hand-in-hand; no lip-service multiplayer to distract the development team and divert their budget; no upgradable hub to grow or furnish; no open world to impress and weary. Rather you're given a series of handcrafted missions, each with its own optional twists and turns, each with a start, a middle and an end, the plot written by a designer, the script penned by a scriptwriter and the narrative transcribed by you.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For those players who can exercise a little patience and restraint, it's quite simply one of the best games you'll play all year.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Criterion has done it again, setting a new standard for arcade-style racing games which won't be surpassed until the next generation of consoles has been on sale for a while. It actually leaves one feeling a bit sorry for Forza Horizon, which is a very good game, and infinitely superior to its predecessors. But Need For Speed: Most Wanted is, by whatever criteria you may see fit to apply, a great game.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Football Manager 13 is the most in-depth, detailed and complex football management simulator ever made. But I must admit, I've bitten my tongue as I've written about most of these new features. The last thing I personally wanted was a new set of variables to worry about as I play the game, and for even more hours to have to be invested just to get through a season.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Angry Birds Star Wars is the best Angry Birds game yet, and the best Star Wars spin-off in a long time. It's going to be big, and deservedly so.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every so often, a game comes along which is so irresistible that it leaves you wondering whether sequelitis might actually be a good thing. Far Cry 3 being a classic example.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It crosses demographic and gaming boundaries as easily as Guy Dangerous hops over dangling footbridges. An excellent sequel.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Proteus is beautiful, a beautiful thing. And it makes me happy – happy because it is so intrinsically interesting and emotional; happy because we live in an age in which things like this can be made and distributed to everyone with a computer.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Metal Gear myth has never before appeared so agile, fresh and youthful, but more than the setting its Platinum's virtuoso coders that shine throughout, the object slicing a marvel of high-speed 3D manipulation. A technical masterpiece, Rising offers a funfair ride approximation of Konami's brooding series, but one with more than enough capacity for the Bayonetta veteran to express their dexterous expertise.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    BioShock Infinite is a hell of a lot of fun to play. That really should be the only quality it needs to exhibit. The fact that it holds much more feels like an advancement of an art form. Just remember that nothing in BioShock Infinite is an attempt to be cute. Just let it tell you its story.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Last of Us is visually arresting, mechanically solid, maturely written and by turns heart-rending, tense, unnerving and brutal. Check your ammo. Grab your shiv. Just try your best to stay alive.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    New Leaf is a world on a cartridge slightly bigger than a stamp, one full of beautiful, wise and hopelessly optimistic observation of humans as social animals. It is a magical creation.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    An enthralling, at times near-classic adventure.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The genius of GTA V is in the sheer seductive force of its vision. The visuals are astonishing – just astonishing. Surely pushing this ageing hardware to the limits, we get the dense downtown with its soaring skyscrapers and murky, rubbish-strewn back alleys. But then out into the country, we have rolling grasslands and desert stretches, coyotes roaming, the shadows of eagles swooping overhead...The world drags you in. It begs you to explore – and then it rewards you.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Like its predecessor, it does an excellent job of staying faithful to the Star Wars universe, right down to the sound effects. Even the way the much-maligned Jar Jar Binks feels like a wry nod to fellow fans.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's a game that's been meticulously crafted to keep you moving. Every jump leads precisely onto the next water-drenched slope which slides down to zip-line before the checkpoint. At times it moves with the agility of a slickly produced Sunday morning cartoon, when in actuality it's a video game. A video game that leaves others looking like dead sharks.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    To some, Super Mario may appear tired: a mascot whom Nintendo trots out every few years to sell another console with repackaged but fundamentally stale ideas. Super Mario 3D World is a fierce rebuttal to the accusation. Mario and his makers once again assert their dominance of spatial navigation games, displaying a rude abundance of ideas to delight, surprise and celebrate innocence and playfulness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Left Behind does nothing new with The Last of Us' tense and exhilarating gameplay rhythm; you're always either in intense danger, or fearfully anticipating the next moment of intense danger. But it tells a different story, one that's more compact and more affecting for it, and it shows that Naughty Dog has serious emotional range. Rarely have I played anything as powerful.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Dark Souls II is an extraordinary game. If it stops short of fulfilling something precious within the soul, it certainly has the heart, mind and fingers covered.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It is surprising, and not a little depressing, that all people want to talk about with this game is the running time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What Nintendo's designers do with this new spatial freedom ranges from amazing to even more amazing.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    F1 2010 is an extremely accomplished game, which blends enthusiast-level nerdiness seamlessly with an admirable playability, and even if it is a little on the brutal side, it deserves its place on the podium of great driving simulators.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whether or not you choose Fifa 11 over Pro Evolution Soccer is more likely to be a matter of taste and tribal loyalty, but Fifa fans will be even more delighted with this year's offering than they were with Fifa 10.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Enslaved provides a rollercoaster adventure wrapped up in a brilliantly told story, which sees you grow as attached to the characters as they do to each other.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    MoH is certainly better for its shift from WW2 to modern warfare, but veterans who recall the salad days of the series may be expecting more.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Vanquish isn't going to change the face of gaming, but it's impressive to behold, satisfying to play (as long as you're reasonably hardcore) and shot through with humour (look out, for example, for the robots dancing to a ghetto-blaster which transforms into a mobile gun).
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The combination of gaming styles – action, role-playing and strategy – works wonderfully together and there are some real consequences to your decisions. It may be too accessible for hardcore RPG fans but Fable 3 is hugely enjoyable and the perfect game to play on a cold winter's evening.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For our money, this is the best rhythm-action game money can buy – it would be a travesty if it failed to find an audience this time around.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But it has a sheer appreciation, and love, for cars and driving that is difficult to resist. At times it feels less like playing a game and more like indulging in a hobby.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Its only drawback is a somewhat unhelpful camera – a typical failing for platform games – although it seems to be at its worst in the earlier stages. Overall, though, Epic Mickey proves satisfyingly original, fun and absorbing – it's a pleasant, and at times interestingly twisted world in which to immerse yourself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    I've never been wholly impressed by the "sport", you have to give the developers credit for producing an epic and highly competitive experience you'll probably still be enjoying with your mates long after Christmas.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The game may look like Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, but its philosophy is unforgiving, with painfully limited ammo and a foe that can only be taken down with a headshot.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For now, it's the single player campaign – filled with stunning cut-scenes, music and voice acting – that prove the most compelling reasons to play this excellent sequel.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It manages a pretty impressive balancing act: non-gamers obsessed with Tron will love its ambience and authenticity, and may even discover they like games more than they thought. Yet it contains enough clever ideas, and is well-enough structured, to keep hardcore gamers interested, particularly given that it takes place in that seductive Tron universe.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But DKCR is a colourful, creative romp with one of Nintendo's oldest creations, and with all the hidden levels, bosses and treats thrown in, you'll still be playing it after Christmas.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    When the hype settles, the new GoldenEye will probably not be as epoch-defining as the original. However, its pick-up-and-party multiplayer, and audacious and satisfying single-player mean that Goldeneye 007 on the Wii may wear the name with pride.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    EA MMA is clearly a painstakingly researched, precisely realised game. Surprisingly impressive.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sadly, the game has one glaring flaw: the camera has an annoying tendency to zoom in too close, particularly when you're fighting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    First time out, it scored four out of five, mostly for originality. This time round it scores the same purely for gameplay. That's definitely a (pin-striped ostrich) step forward.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throw in some surprisingly nuanced storytelling, some boss battles that can only reasonably be described as mega, and what Namco have produced here is something of a masterpiece of the beat-'em-up genre. Splatterhouse is a vulgar, noisy, shallow, juvenile, gruesome gem of a game that never forgets to be fun, even when going out of its way to be as appalling as possible.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It goes without saying that, yet again, Sports Interactive has released the best football management sim ever. It's just very hard work at times.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thanks to a bevy of pre-loaded Setlists and Road Challenges, you now have an attractive and instant alternative to World Tour – which is still there and as rigorous as ever.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the last game impressed with the variety of enemies, TFUII takes a "less is more" approach, reducing the variety but upping the intelligence. The result is a frequently challenging (if disappointingly linear) journey to some truly epic boss battles.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    And while it doesn't have the universal appeal of its more mainstream counterparts, the potential of its online feature means it could well become a huge sleeper success.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Battlefield games are very much designed for the cognoscenti, and those in the know will rush to download Vietnam.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Traditional it may be but Divinity 2 Dragon Knight Saga is an excellent RPG that is up there with the very best on the Xbox 360.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Most disappointingly, for all the worlds he visits or challenges he overcomes, Sackboy never really develops past his minimal original powers, meaning LBP2 retains its two-button gameplay from start to finish.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    But much of Dead Space 2's impressive scariness derives from more mundane devices, such as vents that unexpectedly blast you with steam, and gloriously chilling music, lighting and sound effects.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Serious puzzlers will plough through the levels in a matter of hours (although there's some family-pleasing, inter-generational mileage in the two player option) but, for the price, it's hard to grumble. It's also hard to grumble about any game that can leave such a big, goofy smile on your face.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Traditional it may be but Divinity 2 Dragon Knight Saga is an excellent RPG that is up there with the very best on the Xbox 360.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those looking for a one-stop masterclass in elementary game design could do a lot worse than study this.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stacking is right up there with the likes of Braid and Limbo as an absolute must-download.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Stacking is right up there with the likes of Braid and Limbo as an absolute must-download.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Online, Killzone 3 isn't going to cause mass outbreaks of tumbleweed on CoD and Battlefield servers but, once again, it improves on Killzones 1 and 2.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Casualty levels of gore, Itchy and Scratchy levels of violent humour and many, many hours of multi-player testosterone-fuelled fun, if Bulletstorm's not a classic in the making, it's not far off.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The improvements do now leave the actual battles in conspicuous need of a visual overhaul (something for the imminent 3DS to tackle, perhaps) but at least fans will have plenty to occupy their time until that happens.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The improvements do now leave the actual battles in conspicuous need of a visual overhaul (something for the imminent 3DS to tackle, perhaps) but at least fans will have plenty to occupy their time until that happens.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dragon Age 2 has its flaws, but none of them are big enough to obscure the vast, absorbing whole of the game. This Hawke the slayer is definitely not rubbish.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Yakuza 4's production values are through the roof, its plot is gripping and quirky, it's often very funny indeed, and it would undoubtedly sell in millions if it was published by Rockstar rather than Sega.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In the end a faithful MotoGP sim will probably have limited appeal to those not already interested in the sport, but those who do give it a try should find plenty here to keep them entertained.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Shogun 2 is a magnificent looking game with huge play and replay value. In terms of ambition and progression for the series, it arguably takes half a step back, but the huge leap forward in graphics and gameplay more than makes up for it.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Its look and feel when you actually play a match is more akin to what you would expect to find on the Xbox 360 or PS3. Which is mightily impressive – the only compromises that PES makes in order to fit onto the 3DS affect the least important aspects of the game.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nintendogs + Cats isn't massively different from its predecessor, but its subtle enhancements mean it will prove even more irresistible to dog and now cat lovers, and that it towers in an even more colossal manner over other pet sims, no matter what their platform.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nintendogs + Cats isn't massively different from its predecessor, but its subtle enhancements mean it will prove even more irresistible to dog and now cat lovers, and that it towers in an even more colossal manner over other pet sims, no matter what their platform.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nintendogs + Cats isn't massively different from its predecessor, but its subtle enhancements mean it will prove even more irresistible to dog and now cat lovers, and that it towers in an even more colossal manner over other pet sims, no matter what their platform.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Super Street Fighter IV 3D, despite being a beat-em-up, is one of the most grown-up-feeling games we have ever encountered on a handheld console. It is commendably lacking in compromise and makes good use of the 3DS's unique abilities.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Neither of the two controller layouts felt particularly comfortable – particularly mapping Fire to the L/R1 buttons rather than the more comfortable/conventional L/R2. Also, compared to the open-plan nature of the original, Crysis 2 is decidedly more linear. It may focus attention on the action, but it's a pity the total freedom of Far Cry, compromised for the original Crysis, continues to be constrained here.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It looks fabulous, the control system is exemplary in terms of both the control it gives and its flexibility, and the addition of both the Masters and the caddie system should make it more or less irresistible to golf nuts. While the player whose name it bears may still be making his comeback from a disastrous period, his video game at least still towers above all its peers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Impressively executed, infinitely slicker than its predecessors, and reveals the horror interspersed with periods of tedium that characterises modern warfare in a startlingly believable manner. Which will surely earn it cult status in the future.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Brilliant; cute as a button, ingenious in its design and as addictive as any core title you could mention, this is one of the best investments you will make all year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Frustratingly, though, you cannot see what feature you are paying for until after you have bought it – meaning that all your hard work will often wind up buying you a rubbish extra music track instead of something rather more exciting, like a new fatality.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's not their best film-themed moment, but Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is still a hugely enjoyable, family-pleasing diversion.