Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 1,505 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Grand Theft Auto V
Lowest review score: 20 The Letter
Score distribution:
1,505 game reviews
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fez
    It’s a charming, charismatic adventure that will leave you with a smile across your face for the duration of your play.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More importantly though, Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This quirky, spastic shooter has rightfully earned its seat at the Indie Game Round Table.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Red Star is an amazing game; it's fast, fun, and loaded with variety. [July 2007, p.52]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The incredible thing is how alive it all seems.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Wii U version of the title is practically the same as the other console versions, but unlike Wii U ports that originally came out months ago, it's possible that prospective buyers have still not purchased it. If that's the case, the Wii U version is as fine option as any, but those who have the game have absolutely no reason to buy it again. Still, forgetting its a port, Assassin's Creed III is the best game in the Wii U launch line-up and should be a must-buy for those yet to experience its incredible adventure.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's hard to talk about Fable III without heaping more and more praise on it. It's one of the best games of the year and one of the richest role-playing experiences to hit the Xbox 360. It begs to be played by anyone who appreciates a game that is expertly produced in almost every area.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Bravely Default is a flagship series in the making and worth exploring even for the uninitiated; its craftsmanship is simply too good a testament to the medium to pass up.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's exactly like Guitar Hero II for the PS2, but made even better by Microsoft's favorite son. [Mar 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It features arguably the best story of the series that’s greatly enhanced by the added dynamic of three contrasting protagonists.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    There's nothing like Mark of the Ninja on Xbox Live Arcade, and now, Steam. Others may taunt fast action stealth, but this is the true evolution of that concept with speedy and thought-provoking mechanics. Keyboard and mouse controls can take a while to get used to, but once you've got it down, you feel like a master assassin. Mark of the Ninja is a triumphant victory that is a must-buy for any and all stealth fans.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is equal parts daunting, accessible, beautiful and hideous, but every aspect combines in such a remarkable way that it’s nearly impossible to not give it a sweeping recommendation.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Kentucky Route Zero manages to cover fascinating new ground with each act, and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. More importantly, I can’t wait to see all the strange sights along the way.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s one of the most overwhelming experiences on the market, containing not only the best character development found in any RPG, but an open world that’s actually polished. The artistic and visual fidelity help with the immersion, but it’s the branching, player driven storyline and exquisitely layered combat system that create something special.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Play it, and be happy. [Dec 2008, p.57]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Metal Gear Solid 4 is by far one of the best games released so far this year.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More than just a gimmick, the first-person mode really does change how it’s experienced by adding a new layer of gameplay. It won’t be for everybody, but the sheer fact that the option is there is commendable. More still, multiple new vehicles, weapons and animals have been introduced. If none of that were enough, over a hundred new songs have been added to the already robust radio stations.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Go ahead and spend the points on this, regardless of if you have an older version, or even if you somehow haven't heard of Rez. [Spring 2008, p.60]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s worth a replay if you’ve already got the PS3 version, and if you’ve never played it before, then there’s no prettier way to inaugurate your new console.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Most importantly, Space Giraffe is pure addictive fun, constantly demanding one more round as the pulsing light melts your eyes out of their sockets. [Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Super Hexagon is an incredible game. Its simplicity makes it accessible, and its challenge level is rewarding when you learn to overcome it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the best kind of portable game, the best kind of adventure game and the best kind of sequel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is the definitive first-person shooter experience, a no-brainer purchase for the vast majority of gamers, and the first true system-seller of the new console generation.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    What I've been experiencing since first putting this game in my Wii is the culmination of several lifetimes of game design mastery by its creators. [Dec 2007, p.40]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Chock-full of replay value, the added content makes this the definitive edition. Challenging, but rarely frustrating, Super Time Force Ultra is a strategic run and gun.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It will take at least another year for the game's full depth to be discovered. [Issue#35, p.44]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Whether or not you enjoy first-person shooters is irrelevant. It is whether or not you want an experience like no other; one that will be left in the back of your mind for years to come.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Halo 3 is the combination of a thoroughly decent singleplayer campaign, a great multiplayer component, and absolutely incredible enhancements to each. [Nov 2007, p.52]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Virtue's Last Reward follows up on 999 wonderfully and delivers everything you'd want in a sequel. It's got the same kind of creepy soundtrack and cerebral gameplay 999's fans will love, but done far better. Part of that is due to it being more user-friendly, making VLR an easy recommendation for anyone who missed out on 999. Everything about how VLR plays is improved, resulting in a better experience in every way imaginable.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Assassin's Creed III is a beautiful, sprawling adventure that proves to be one of the most, if not the most, ambitious titles ever created. Just when you think you have it figured out, an entirely new element is introduced that enriches it further, rendering it one of the least repetitive experiences to be had with a controller.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Calling All Cars is to the PS3 what "Hexic HD" was to the Xbox 360. [July 2007, p.68]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    More importantly though, Mass Effect 2 is simply an amazing game from start to finish, regardless of the decisions you choose to make.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Fez
    As it remains, this is still one of the most charming, charismatic adventures you will have, leaving those who experience it with a smile across their face for the duration of their play.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's an all-new game with dozens of new mazes, and a timed score-run that's all about managing risk and reward. [Sept 2007, p.68]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    If you felt you have moved on from Halo and that it is no longer relevant, than you are truly mistaken. Yes, Reach is another Halo, but Bungie refined and tweaked the formula to make it stand its ground and make it as addicting as it was in 2001.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It will take at least another year for the game's full depth to be discovered. [Issue#35, p.44]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Super Mario Galaxy 2, just like the first, is one of those magical games that nobody is going to want to miss.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As far as single player goes, I think nothing will capture the initial highs you got from taking in Rapture for the first time, and the enormous twist the original delivered. However, the sequel’s story is just as intense and has its own narrative highs and a mean twist of its own, and I think the end payoff is a bit more impactful and sinks in better than the ending of the first BioShock.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Atlus has really created something special with Persona 4, because it still maintains the freshness of Persona 3, while also being different and in many ways superior.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If this were 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have to write 2,000 words explaining why Street Fighter is awesome, but since we’re here, stop reading this review and, for God’s sake, go out and buy this thing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    All in all, if you know from the start you are getting into a game that is entirely based around its cooperative multiplayer elements you are going to be rewarded with hundreds of hours of the best gaming experience you have had in years.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    In reality though, Etrian Odyssey is a challenging, ballsy, rewarding game that gives the otherwise stagnant RPG genre a swift, much-needed kick in the ass. [June 2007, p.62]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Simply put, God of War II is as good as it gets on the Playstation 2. [Apr 2007, p.44]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 75 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    It's awesome. Joker features the same style of RPG-lite storyline and team-based combat from the earlier "Monsters" games, only everything here has been prettied up. [Dec 2007, p.62]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As far as single player goes, I think nothing will capture the initial highs you got from taking in Rapture for the first time, and the enormous twist the original delivered. However, the sequel's story is just as intense and has its own narrative highs and a mean twist of its own, and I think the end payoff is a bit more impactful and sinks in better than the ending of the first BioShock.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If this were 15 years ago, I wouldn’t have to write 2,000 words explaining why Street Fighter is awesome, but since we’re here, stop reading this review and, for God’s sake, go out and buy this thing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    All in all, if you know from the start you are getting into a game that is entirely based around its cooperative multiplayer elements you are going to be rewarded with hundreds of hours of the best gaming experience you have had in years.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    An incredibly solid game that could fetch $30-40 as a retail copy.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    It's faultlessly fun, both solo and multiplayer. If you're releasing a competing title later this year... well, it sucks to be you. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.57]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As far as single player goes, I think nothing will capture the initial highs you got from taking in Rapture for the first time, and the enormous twist the original delivered. However, the sequel’s story is just as intense and has its own narrative highs and a mean twist of its own, and I think the end payoff is a bit more impactful and sinks in better than the ending of the first BioShock.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Between the new campaign and Firefight mode, Halo 3: ODST shows that the Halo franchise can have a Spartan-free title that can still rise up to the same level of entertainment that is to be expected from the series.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the most polished, most intense and most entertaining pieces of software out on the market.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Finally, console owners get to experience the entire "Half-Life 2" saga without having to load games off of several discs or tweak their PC just to get a decent framerate. [Dec 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even if you don’t have someone to play co-op with, this is an absolutely captivating experience from start to finish. Whether it’s taking on hordes of endless alien invaders or driving around with your homies, Saints Row IV is just pure, unadulterated fun.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sleeping Dogs isn't a groundbreaker so much as a hodgepodge of awesomeness. It is the satisfying culmination of years of open-world gaming. With hours of replay value, smooth combat and great voice acting, Sleeping Dogs illustrates the beginning of a successful franchise.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It might not be the most complex or most challenging title out there, but it is unique, clever, funny, and, most importantly, genuinely and remarkably fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    As an experience, it's one of the most unforgettable of the generation, and overall one of the best games on PSN.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a unique, funny, occasionally brilliant experience full of colorful characters and creative puzzles.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’re getting tired of swords and sorcery, or just looking for meaty tactical battles, few RPGs will satisfy you better.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Overall, Bangai-O is a fantastic shooter, and the sheer customizability of it is amazing. Still, if you like shooters, or puzzles in general, it is worth your time—oh-so-worth it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’re intoGuitar Hero, buy this game. It’s one of the most solid Guitar Hero titles yet and should keep you busy for a long time.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's rare to play an FPS with gameplay this creative and exciting. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.54]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Guacamelee! Gold Edition only helps to enhance the rich, fun, free-scrolling action platformer by strengthening the visual art style and adding a bevy of Steamworks features.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Intake is the arcade-shooter to defeat all arcade-shooters, both in play and style.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply put, if you own a Wii U and love Mario, then you should definitely pick it up.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    You may have noticed that we didn’t have much to say about Crimzon Clover: World Ignition that was negative. That was by design, though, as we can’t fault a game for flaws it doesn’t possess.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Guacamelee! is a rich, fun, free-scrolling action platformer with a fantastic fighting engine, some truly tricky platforming challenges, and a vibrant style all its own.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Terraria was utterly fantastic on PC, and has made a near-perfect jump to console.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you decided to wait for the PC version of Dark Souls II before jumping in, you’ve made the right decision. It’s not leaps and bounds better than its console counterpart, but the graphical enhancements aid the immersion.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every Vita owner needs to experience Murasaki Baby. By creating a personal and engaging story, all while wrapping it in a hypnotically original art design, Ovosonico have gone where most other developers fear to tread.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tembo the Badass Elephant is easily one of the most memorable releases of 2015 and hopefully the beautiful beginning of Game Freak branching out from Pokemon (and Nintendo) to deliver more pleasant surprises.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Lunar Knights is a game that manages to feel really fresh and original despite sticking to material that's as traditional as it gets in a video game. [Apr 2007, p.48]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Velocity 2X isn’t just one of the best games of the year, it might just be the best downloadable title exclusively available on the PlayStation 4.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The gameplay is fun, varied and challenging, and will test the skills of even the most hardcore platforming fans.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Stanley Parable is many things all at once, and all of them are clever and fun. It’s a story made of stories, an exploration of the limits of freedom in gaming, a battle between narrator and narrated, and a giant self-referential meta feedback loop.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Swapper is yet another indie coup for Sony, as it is very clearly one of the best puzzle games to come out in years.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clearly designed for and best experienced on the Wii U, it’s a rare non-exclusive killer app that should be purchased immediately to ensure its franchise lives a long and productive life.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those who missed out on the XBLA release of Spelunky and want a good tough rogue-like should pick it up from Steam. It’s a little more based on reflexes than most rogue-likes, but even if you find out you’re not that good at it, it is still a riot to watch friends try to get as far as the can before making the wrong step and getting crushed by a boulder.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Something about the Wii remote makes this game feel very immediate and real, leading to a more fun gameplaying experience. [Mar 2007, p.59]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With new content, minor balancing and smart new formula tweaks, Drinkbox has managed to improve their already fantastic Mexican Metroidvania title.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This episode has a fairly basic story, driven forward by great character writing and a compelling air of mystery, but it’s plain to see that there are many dramatic, earth-shattering moments yet to come.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the very definition of escapism, offering a mindbogglingly large amount of content. One could spend upwards of fifty hours exploring the world without completing more than a few introductory missions in the main story — which itself can offer over twenty hours of gameplay.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A year later, its still hard to say bad things about this compilation. Final Fantasy X is still one of the best installments in the franchise, and the fresh coat of paint is a delightful treat.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Swapper is a wonderfully clever game that’s as smart as it is atmospheric.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Kirby's Epic Yarn is one of the most enjoyable platformers out there. While some may balk at its ease, it does offer more of a challenge for those who come into it with an open mind.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Given its somber tone and grueling difficulty, I’m not sure if I should refer to Brandish: The Dark Revenant as the PSP’s swan song or its funeral dirge, but either way it’s among the system’s best RPGs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tales from the Borderlands isn’t just a superb entry point into what appears to be a captivating story, it has the potential to be Telltale’s best work since the first season of The Walking Dead.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tokyo Jungle is easily one of the best games this fall season, and is going to be cropping up in gaming conversations for years to come.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault is a standalone title in the venerable franchise that is wholeheartedly worth exploring.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Like The Walking Dead before it, The Wolf Among Us is at once a faithful adaptation and a great original story in its own right. Fables fans will be delighted to see more of the characters they know and love, and newcomers will find this to be a great jumping-off point into an expansive and fascinating universe.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While not a groundbreaking game like its predecessor Resident Evil 5 offers up one of the most fun co-op experiences to date. Any fan of the RE franchise or action games in general will find a lot of enjoyment in RE 5.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together is a phenomenal strategy RPG, and feels like a breath of fresh air for a genre that's felt a little stale lately.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's rare to play an FPS with gameplay this creative and exciting. [Vol 3, Issue 2, p.54]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    There's just the right mix of story and gameplay, with a couple of cool twists thrown into both for good measure. [Sept 2007, p.69]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's nice to play a game that manages to be fun for the hardcore and casual alike. [Summer 2008, p.48]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Through peerless cinematography and sound design, Dontnod imbues everyday moments like waking up or riding the bus with profundity.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you love point and click adventures, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is everything you could possibly want and more.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Aside from some spotty keyboard control implementation and limited online play, there’s little not to like here. Mount Your Friends is a wonderfully weird game best experienced with buddies.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Fallout 3 is the biggest accomplishment in adventure gaming since Oblivion.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We couldn’t have asked for anything better than Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. It comes packed with a staggering amount of content that will leave players overwhelmed in both quantity and quality. It contains a storyline that’s highly entertaining and rivals most RPGs in length, three new jobs that are more than welcome additions and flying mounts that help revolutionize traversal in Eorzea.