Hardcore Gamer's Scores

  • Games
For 2,031 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 50% higher than the average critic
  • 8% same as the average critic
  • 42% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Lowest review score: 20 Me & My Pets 3D
Score distribution:
2031 game reviews
    • 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
    • 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
    The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition is a fantastic package of two great first-person puzzlers.
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 90 Critic Score
    Crypt of the NecroDancer is a phenomenal dungeon crawler.
    • 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
    • 80 Critic Score
    Steins;Gate is one of the best visual novels on the market.
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This year’s most unique game is something that gamers far and wide should experience for themselves, be it as a pallet cleanser in between massive AAA releases or as something to show them the power of the medium itself.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In the past Nintendo’s reluctance to embrace new intellectual properties for release on the Wii has failed to produce new classics. However, their dedication to their established franchises has always seemed to result in fun games and Punch-Out!! for the Wii is no exception.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If you stick with the original runner or his female counterpart, don’t mind a bit of iffy 70s-throwback art, and can forgive the repetitious level backgrounds, the actual running/jumping/sliding gameplay rapidly gets under the skin, demanding more and better play.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    LYNE is a great game not only for its clever puzzles, but for the soul soothing elegance it emanates throughout the experience.
    • 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
    Oddly enough, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is more about the journey than the destination. It’s sobering, funny, heartfelt, and inspirational all at once, sprinkled with some real life lessons in between. If this is what Starbreeze Studios is truly capable of, then we’re ready to see plenty more — especially if it means more interesting experimental mechanics like the ones exhibited here.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Every element is perfectly in place with dynamic gameplay, inspiring level design, a fantastic Noisia/Combichrist soundtrack and an over the top modern tone that wholly compliments the series. Combine all that with a 15-20 hour campaign full of an emotionally resonant (and often outlandish) story, and all but the most jaded gamers will walk away satisfied.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Pony Island is a short game —we clocked in at around two hours for a playthrough— it is an achievement. Very quickly, Pony Island’s subtle ominousness becomes a journey into utterly fun madness.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With fluid combat, huge areas to explore, dungeons to conquer, loot to lust over and friendships to be strengthened or destroyed by an able co-op mode, it’s surely the best of its kind on consoles. Diablo III was good when it launched in 2012. Now, it’s great.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    You may get a sense of deja vu as you play, but GRAW 2 is still a game that's worth having in your library. [May 2007, p.52]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While there has been an influx of open world games over the last few years, Crystal Dynamics have been able to find a perfect balance of cinematic action and strong adventure elements...Rise of the Tomb Raider is an adventure like no other, giving players a twenty hour experience that will have them engaged from the moment Lara comes on screen.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While technical hiccups are a shoe-in with any game as complex as Rocksmith, the ones found here don’t mar the experience much. Since every facet of gameplay has been given a nice thick coat of improvement in Rocksmith 2014, issues that the original title was known for have either been removed entirely, or overhauled beyond recognition.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    That being said, DJ Hero is a quite fresh approach to the rhythm genre despite the areas where it obviously falters. It’s certainly an expensive game to grab, but its unique style of play and well-done mashups do a good job towards warranting it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    One of the most versatile racers on the market, Forza Horizon 2 fires on all cylinders.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The combat can feel a little repetitive in long play sessions because it essentially is, but overall SteamWorld Heist is an excellent merger of role playing and turn-based combat.
    • 86 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It may not have the best soundtrack, but Dance Central 3 is polished, packed with content and utilizes the Kinect better than any other dance game.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s amazing that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn managed to turn a generally detested game into a great one, but this is proof it’s possible. Playing on PS4 is quite the experience as well.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Dark Moon is a likable if flawed journey through an enjoyably spooky world, and while it may not hold up to a long-term residency, it’s certainly worth a weekend getaway.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    I got a gang of friends together to test it out and we spent hours unlocking songs and fooling around, but, because some of us are guitar heroes and some are guitar zeroes, having a truly quality time is a tougher than it should be. It's still well worth a look. [Nov 2007, p.63]
    • Hardcore Gamer
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Taken King has come and he’s brought a much-improved experience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With an absolutely stellar presentation, some of the most memorable tracks picked from the last game, an arsenal of modes to play, and one of the lengthiest stories in a fighting game, Persona 4 Arena has everything a fighter should have, plus more.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Much like last year’s treatment with Grim Fandango, Double Fine have successfully restored one of the true classics of the adventure game world and it is glorious indeed. While not as deep and story-rich as last year’s offering, Day of the Tentacle more than makes up for it in humor, style, unique gameplay and a truckload of charm.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Once again cementing its status as a JRPG masterpiece, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a game you owe it to yourself to experience.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD brings one of the Zelda franchises most beloved games to a contemporary platform, revamping some of the features and making room for amiibo functionality. While flawed in some ways, it gives longtime fans a good reason to replay it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It might not be the most essential or comprehensive inclusion for the game, but it’s still great where it counts: pure, adrenaline-drenched, space-blasting fun.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~ is an excellent story with creative, likable characters.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is hands down the best JRPG this year — and that’s saying a lot considering how many great ones have come out in the past twelve months. But what it has that most of those others don’t is heart.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Killer Instinct Season Three offers up the best incarnation of the reboot to date.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Talos Principle expects you to be smart and knows you’ve got the brain to figure it out, and the reward for it being right is the a sense of satisfaction at solving something properly tricky.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Codemasters have crafted an almost perfect racing game with Dirt Rally.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    An action RPG that is designed to consume your life. With countless quests that can be tackled solo or with friends, it is easy to sink hundreds of hours into Generations, but this should not surprise anyone who is familiar with the franchise. Doing all the training missions makes everything get off to a slow start, but given how much there is to do here it is a worthwhile endeavor since they take all the complexities of this title and break them down to their simplest components.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This mixed with AI problems, some glitches and an over-reliance on played-out concepts makes Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch a great JRPG, but overall, only a good game.