Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 2,531 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 9% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Assassin's Creed III
Lowest review score: 20 SPOGS Racing
Score distribution:
2531 game reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s not perfect, but it’s as close as it’s going to get for this Deus Ex, and that’s impressive in its own way.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A combination of fun, fairness, beauty and joy, Mario Kart 8 is absolutely brilliant.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Super Mario Maker is a special video game, period. You could include all of the lengthy, metaphor-laden nonsense that your little brain can come up with as to what is and isn’t perfect about it, but at the end of the day, this is a title that allows you to create and play Super Mario Bros. levels for as long as your thumbs can handle.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ori and the Blind Forest was great when it first came out and it’s still great in the Definitive Edition.
    • 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
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration is a joyous occasion that properly commemorates the evolution of Lara Croft and her franchise.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    NieR: Automata is an absolute masterpiece from beginning to end (or ends, to be a bit more accurate). Even for what was our most anticipated game of the year, I still didn’t expect to be blown away that much, but this was an absolute thrill ride in every area, from just running through a gorgeous wrecked city with wild boars roaming around to surfing down sand dunes in a desert in a cool little touch to fighting off an army of twenty-some robots vomiting corrosive material with some of the finest combat in recent video game history (oh, not to mention the actual thrill ride at one point). It is an addictive, joyous, haunting beauty with a surreal mystery at the center of its captivating world to uncover, and like the best games of its kind, you’ll find yourself diving back in for as much as you can.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels less like a true game of the series and more of the spin-off that it is, trading the methodical and tactical pacing of the franchise mainstays for a more fast-paced and action oriented shooter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Last of Us: Left Behind captures everything that is great about The Last of Us and distills it down into a tight two hour journey.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels less like a true game of the series and more of the spin-off that it is, trading the methodical and tactical pacing of the franchise mainstays for a more fast-paced and action oriented shooter.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the story could've been better told, an addictive combat system and array of side quests make Torchlight II a dungeon crawler of immeasurable size, offering an awe-inspiring adventure that will have players coming back for more.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    From highly customizable characters to deep and meaningful combat that has been improved over its predecessor, there’s a lot here to like, at least on paper. Unfortunately, this is only when it all comes together properly.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dishonored 2, with its refined mechanics and expanded gameplay following suit, personifies what a sequel should be.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Perhaps the best compliment that one could pay Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is that it is absolutely Divinity: Original Sin in every sense of the name.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a great game and worth a try if you're brave and/or a masochist. [July 2007, p.64]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While the flow of battles are definitely slower by today's gaming standards, the strategic depth is still far better than most games released today. [Nov 2007, p.60]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon X and Y makes the classic series feel brand new.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s rare to see a game with stunning visuals and excellent gameplay, but Ori and the Blind Forest does exactly that. As long as you’re prepared for a serious challenge, then this is one game not to miss.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When Blizzard announced they were making a digital CCG, we all expected it to look and sound beautiful, and there was little doubt that it would be well-balanced, but I don’t think anyone anticipated this level of sophistication and subtle brilliance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Civilization VI takes all of the elements from the Civilization franchise, improves on them and produces one of the most unique games in the series. It innovates heavily without removing any elements that players have come to expect.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is about as casual as a tower defense game gets and seems to have been designed for the individual that found Plants Vs. Zombies too complex. However, while this is a fairly basic and simple tower defense game, sometimes you can find brilliance in simplicity, and Castle Doombad comes very close to achieving just that.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    An excellent conclusion to Blizzard’s trilogy. While one can get impatient with the familiar mission structure, it’s impossible to argue with the excellent faction balance and action.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    With easy-to-pick-up controls and stunning graphics, Fight Night Round 4 is a fantastic experience with plenty of replay value and tons of unlockable content to keep any boxing fan busy for months.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Legion injects excitement into a game that for the past year has survived on being better than most. With the addition of features such as Artifact Weapons and cinematic story driven content, World of Warcraft’s sixth expansion raised the bar back to where it should be while at the same time adopting ideas that will take it into the future.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Aside from just being one of the best indie platformers or retro throwbacks in recent memory, it’s easily just one of this year’s best games, period. Aside from playing like a dream and having flight-based gameplay that’s an absolute delight, it evokes the old quote of “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry” through an absolutely astounding and moving story with several lovable characters and a fascinating world to discover.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition is a fantastic package of two great first-person puzzlers.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although it’s told through the lenses of cute cuddly woodland creatures, Night in the Woods‘ narrative themes of isolation and insecurity are nothing to shake a stick at. Despite its pitfalls Infinite Falls’ story about the declining heartland touched me more than any game has any abject right to.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nioh solidifies the status of roguelikes and their relevance in today’s gaming landscape. Never in my countless hours with the game did Nioh feel like the knock off Bloodborne it might look like at first glance. Instead it enhances and develops the genre in new and interesting ways, building and adding a fresh layer of varnish on a previously-established framework. Although it doesn’t carry its charm completely in its later stages, developer Team Ninja deserve a mess of credit for making a game that goes about enhancing a beloved genre without tarnishing the work it’s emulating.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Plants vs. Zombies is a huge game with a great sense of humor, and while it tends to play itself once a strategy is completed and the field of fire constructed, putting it all together and experimenting with the possibilities stays fun for a long, long time. [Summer 2009]
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Halo 4 isn't quite the revolution everybody has been waiting for, but it's on the right track. 343 Industries have done a superb job in replicating what fans love about the franchise while adding their own distinct style to it. With a meaty and well told single-player campaign, multiplayer that will keep gamers engaged for months, if not years on end, and a bustling community to engage with, Halo 4 is an immeasurable value that will not disappoint.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is a solid add-on to an already outstanding game. While it fails to try anything new and is relatively short, the bosses make this something worthy of trekking through, especially for existing fans.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Injustice 2 is nearly everything you’d want a sequel to be. It’s bigger, badder, and filled with more content than a typical fighting game has at launch. Players will have lots to do as they strive to master the 28 playable fighters through the Multiverse, online multiplayer and local versus matches. Then there’s the Gear system, which gives players infinite ways to customize and outfit their characters. Still, it’s not a perfect sequel. The story treads water in the middle and NetherRealm still hasn’t found a way to make to make the battles not feel contrived, hampering the excellent beginning and end of the game. It’s also difficult to shake the feeling that the Gear system was only introduced as way to facilitate microtransactions. Even so, Injustice 2 sets a bar for the amount of content and depth a fighting game should have at launch. With a strong roster, lots to do, and a combat system that can be enjoyed by new and masterful players, Injustice 2 is the hero we deserve.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Witness is a game that can easily cause players to eclipse the one hundred hour mark and the vast majority of that time is going to be spent engaging with hundreds of brilliantly designed puzzles. While it won’t have the industry-shifting impact that Braid did in 2008, The Witness will influence video game puzzle design for years to come.
    • 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
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The single player campaign once again feels tacked on. It’s more like a glorified eight-hour long tutorial, training players for multiplayer by throwing them in tanks and planes rather than telling a cohesive story. In the end, it’s the multiplayer that matters most, and Battlefield 1 excels at giving players the Battlefield experience they love in an era they probably won’t be all that familiar with.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An exceptional expansion that unfortunately refuses to take any risks.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Without a doubt, the raft of online features elevates Black and White to the height of pre-3DS Pokémon greatness. This is the biggest game in the series, and brings a wealth of tertiary additions that fans have been asking for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Pokémon X and Y makes the classic series feel brand new.
    • 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
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    At the end of the day, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 feels less like a true game of the series and more of the spin-off that it is, trading the methodical and tactical pacing of the franchise mainstays for a more fast-paced and action oriented shooter.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Steins;Gate is one of the best visual novels on the market.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Crypt of the NecroDancer is a phenomenal dungeon crawler.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pokémon has been a classic series for twenty years and with 2016 being its 20th, Pokémon Sun and Moon is a perfect way to celebrate such a milestone. It still holds all the charm and fun from the original titles yet creates an entire new world to explore. It’s a must-have for fans and a worthy place to begin for newcomers. The future of the Pokémon series shines bright like Pokémon Sun and beautiful like Pokémon Moon.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    In the end, Heavy Rain is a revolution in video game storytelling offering an emotional thrill ride. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite hold up on the gameplay end of things.
    • 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.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Swapper is a wonderfully clever game that’s as smart as it is atmospheric.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With a world that is as intriguing as it is creepy, it becomes hard to put the game down. Getting wrapped up in the visuals, audio and puzzles is something that just happens as you play.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A dense and enthralling action-adventure game with a winding, if predictable, story that does make you feel like the Batman both inside and outside the Batmobile. There are too many Batmobile gameplay segments, however, making this predominantly similar in theme to that Batmobile-focused Batman arcade game.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pokémon has been a classic series for twenty years and with 2016 being its 20th, Pokémon Sun and Moon is a perfect way to celebrate such a milestone. It still holds all the charm and fun from the original titles yet creates an entire new world to explore. It’s a must-have for fans and a worthy place to begin for newcomers. The future of the Pokémon series shines bright like Pokémon Sun and beautiful like Pokémon Moon.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We’re getting to the point where denying the greatness of the Forza franchise is borderline ridiculous. The saddest part about Forza Motorsport 6 is that it will likely be brushed away by critics and gamers alike as a fantastic racing game rather than a fantastic game in general. Make no mistake, with all of its meaningful content and rock solid gameplay, Forza Motorsport 6 is one of the best games to come out in 2015, period.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s nothing that gets your blood boiling and your heart racing like a hardcore strategy-RPG with perma-death, and Fire Emblem Fates fits that mold to a T. It’s a shame that the overall experience is separated into three different packages, removing the significant choice near the beginning of the game in favor of what’s inside of your wallet.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Just about every Vita feature is fully utilized and combined they offer a unique and engaging adventure. Unfortunately, the adventure is quite short and the replayablity isn’t there. Once you finish the game and find all the collectibles, the only choices are to start over or move onto the next game.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Zack & Wiki is a brilliant use of the Wii's strengths, and easily one of the best games available for the console. [Dec 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though some elements haven’t aged well, the level design and music are still superb, and ultimately 3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is likely the best way to experience an irrefutable classic.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Instead of being content with slapping a new year on the box and updating rosters, SCE San Diego Studio continues to add numerous improvements that bring the series closer to feeling like the real thing. MLB 13: The Show is the most realistic baseball game to date and remains the sport’s premiere video game experience.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Stardew Valley brings a mix of farming and life simulation to the Switch and the platform is absolutely perfect for it.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    With easy-to-pick-up controls and stunning graphics, Fight Night Round 4 is a fantastic experience with plenty of replay value and tons of unlockable content to keep any boxing fan busy for months.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though the first game in the franchise didn’t have a clear direction for itself, Dirt 2 is outdoor racing across various types of racing events tied together under a cohesive extreme sports presentation.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A Disgaea veteran who is interested only in the new content may find AoD to not be worth the purchase, but it's a must-buy for any PSP owner who's been yearning for an engrossing strategy RPG. [Nov 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Raw Data is absolutely the game that every VR owner should play.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With individualized players, explosive tactical potential and unparalleled realism, PES 2016 redefines what a soccer game can be.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Without a doubt, the raft of online features elevates Black and White to the height of pre-3DS Pokémon greatness. This is the biggest game in the series, and brings a wealth of tertiary additions that fans have been asking for.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A JRPG combined with an action platformer setup seems like a strange marriage, but this is a perfect example of how to pull off a seemingly unlikely combination. Vanillaware took an already great game, revamped it to feel more contemporary without losing any of its charm and made improvements across the board.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Put on your +1 cape of adventure and go pick up Divinity: Original Sin now, because it would be a sin to miss out on something this good.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By and large, though, this is a game that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who appreciates Sega and/or gaming experiences of the late 80s and early 90s.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Though the first game in the franchise didn’t have a clear direction for itself, Dirt 2 is outdoor racing across various types of racing events tied together under a cohesive extreme sports presentation.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    All in all though, I’d recommend giving this game a few days, playing through any initial frustration, and experimenting with this extremely well crafted sandbox.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Yes, basketball fans will likely have a great time playing NBA 2K16 for hours on end, but there are too many small steps back here that can’t be ignored. The good news for fans of sports games is that the first misstep in this great franchise is still a very good game, which speaks to how truly fun its gameplay is.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Pikmin 3 is the answer to the question “what’s on the Wii U?” It may not be a killer app, but it’s a wholly satisfying title that quite simply can’t be had on any other console. Imaginative, challenging and visually gorgeous, Pikmin 3 has one of the highest fun factors of any game this year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The handheld mashup of "Bejeweled" and RPG has finally hit the TV screen. and it's just as addictive as ever. [Dec 2007, p.69]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For disillusioned former veterans and newcomers alike, Warlords of Draenor is the time to pick up a new WoW expansion; it’s just that good.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Don't overlook this game based on descriptions alone, because you'll be missing out on an experience that is unlike anything else. [Sept 2007, p.58]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you have someone who you’ve always wanted to experience video games with but never could convince them to play, give Tales from the Borderlands a shot. This story, these characters and this product are simply too good for only a small segment of the population to enjoy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With its ingeniously implemented seasonal puzzles, graceful platforming segments and immersive environment, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias has successfully triumphed over the faults its predecessor, elevating it to a near-masterpiece.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Anybody who’d like to replay the series or experience it for the first time before the looming release of Unharted 4 have no reason not to pick up The Nathan Drake Collection; it’s simply the best way to experience three great games.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If the gaming world doesn’t talk about Tales from the Borderlands as one of 2015’s best offerings, then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    F1 2017 is the best representation of a complicated sport that Codemasters has offered. Offering its deepest and most authentic career mode, it draws players into the sport like no other F1 game ever has.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Witcher: Enhanced Edition is a remarkably deep title filled with decision making tasks that actually have an effect on the story itself.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Killer Instinct Season Three offers up the best incarnation of the reboot to date.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rise of the Tomb Raider’s PC debut is nothing short of phenomenal, and provided you have the PC to back it up, it can look and run substantially better than its Xbox One counterpart.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While many Total War fans might scoff at playing with elves when they could be conquering Europe or Japan with historically accurate techniques, Total War: Warhammer II is the best place for the typical gaming nerd to start. It succeeds on that long promised, but never really delivered idea of taking part in battles akin to Lord of the Rings.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mushihimesama is a phenomenal arcade game and an indispensable addition to any shooter fan’s library.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Capcom’s execution isn’t always perfect, and the lack of quest variety may wear on some, but Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is just about everything it strives to be: a sprawling adventure full of charm, customization and a whole lot of monsters.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Titanfall has some noteworthy shortcomings, and yet the accessible gameplay makes it an easy recommendation not only for FPS veterans, but those who normally avoid the genre as well. As a result, Titanfall is the best gateway FPS ever created and is a must-buy for anybody with an Xbox One.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tomb Raider is not just a reboot, but a revelation in a series that had long passed its prime.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- serves as a worthy expansion/sequel to Sign in many ways.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It has its issues with Vaan being one of the most lackluster protagonists in Final Fantasy history, but the combat is fun, versatile and highly addicting. It helps that Square Enix has put in an on-the-fly button to enable the High Speed Mode, which cuts down on unnecessary grinding of items, license points and experience significantly. The game has also been masterfully remastered, with beautiful 1080p visuals and some added visual techniques such as bump mapping applied to the environments.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Trials HD is a whole lot of of fun. It seems simple enough, but there’s an incredible amount of skill needed to be good at it.

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