Hardcore Gamer Magazine's Scores

  • Games
For 1,106 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 41% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Mark of the Ninja
Lowest review score: 20 Double Dragon II: Wander of the Dragons
Score distribution:
1,106 game reviews
    • 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 Magazine
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    • 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 Magazine
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Steins;Gate is one of the best visual novels on the market.
    • 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 Magazine
    • 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
    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
    • 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 Magazine
    • 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
    • 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
    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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 Magazine
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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 Magazine
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 85 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 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 Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While it's an excellent game, it's hard to recommend Mass Effect 3 for the Wii U unless you missed out on the series before and only have the Wii U to play it on. Even with this 'special edition' including the From Ashes and Extended Cut DLC to extend the campaign, knowing that not all of it will be coming to this version hurts its overall value. It's hampered more by the upcoming ME Trilogy release coming to both the 360 and PS3 that will allow you to get all three core games (sans DLC) for the same price as this. Given that both the PS3 and 360 versions of ME 3 go for $25 tops now, it's impossible to recommend if you own either of those systems.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hotline Miami is an outstanding title that manages to stand out despite both retro-styled games and overhead shooters being crowded genres.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As it stands, I personally rank this a good bit below the Dreamcast original in terms of quality, but above all other installments.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As it stands, I personally rank this a good bit below the Dreamcast original in terms of quality, but above all other installments.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Not only is Forza Horizon a worthy addition to the series, but one of the most comprehensive racing experiences this generation.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With a ten to fifteen-hour playtime, hidden unlockables to look for in every level, and fleshed-out online mode, Logan's Shadow is one of the PSP's best games to date. [Nov 2007, p.57]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The PC version is also an excellent port, offering a steady framerate, crisp visuals and well-established controls. If you missed out on this grand adventure when it was on the Xbox 360, here’s the perfect opportunity to fix that.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is a fantastic experience, and one of the best games I've played this generation. Even with some graphical hiccups, it remains superior to the console counterparts, offering more content, better graphical options and a frame rate that is steady throughout. Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition is an experience like no other that will invoke a multitude of emotions while keeping you planted on the edge of your seat.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In what seems like commonplace lately, the PC version of DmC: Devil May Cry is the definitive version to play. While the mouse and keyboard controls aren't as precise as playing with a controller, the graphical upgrades and increase in frame rate make an already impressive game even more stunning.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To just put it bluntly: buy this game. Even if you’ve played both titles before, there’s enough here to warrant a purchase. Final Fantasy X, at least, should be played by anyone who considers themselves even the slightest fan of roleplaying games.
    • 85 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.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A high-score run on Super Stardust HD is more a marathon than spirit, but it's still the best thing running on the PS3. [Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cry Wolf serves as a satisfying conclusion to The Wolf Among Us, delivering on all the promise that previous episodes held.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    It's not perfect, but it is fun and addicting and really, who can ask for more than that? [June 2007, p.52]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This is a sweet, gentle, silly game for people who are still in touch with their inner nerdy child. [JPN Import; July 2007, p.71]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Episode 3 is an emotional thrill ride that had my jaw glued to the floor with spectacular ground-shaking events. If you thought the last episode was disturbing, you haven't seen anything yet.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    BattleBlock Theater doesn’t do anything particularly new, but that’s perfectly okay, because everything it does do it does without a hitch to speak of.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Yacht Club Games has delivered more than anyone ever could have hoped for, and created an experience that gamers young and old will thoroughly enjoy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Still, it remains the same great game as before, so those who have yet to venture out into the great unknown as Death are guaranteed a great launch title with the Wii U version of Darksiders II.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rogue Legacy is pure action platforming addiction, endlessly playable and fun from its low level beginning to high-powered end.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Anybody who loved anything The Behemoth has done before will dig this, as will platforming fans who were raised on Super Mario Bros. and enjoy a challenging game of Super Meat Boy from time to time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Critic Score
    Lords of Darkness is a solid action game that just gets better the farther in you go, loaded with content and high production values despite its barely-passable framerate, but it doesn't do much to earn the Castlevania name.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Virtua Fighter 5 is a rock solid entry into the series, and a must-buy for your PS3. [Mar 2007, p.64]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 85 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed playing Brave New World and would recommend it to anybody either currently playing Civ V or who’d like to play it again.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Sorcery! is one of the best games that this reviewer has played on the iPhone and iPad, offering a plethora of options and an excellent story.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you somehow missed the many opportunities to tryout Lara’s rebooted fiction, then the Definitive Edition offers a remedy for that.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Infamous is everything you could want in a single player experience, from its beautiful graphics to its amazing gameplay.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you're willing to put up with an obnoxious camera and an awkward control scheme, you'll find a portable title that sometimes brushes against greatness and regularly proves that size sometimes doesn't matter after all. [Apr 2007, p.55]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While a few more arenas would have been nice, this is the ultimate modern Bomberman, and one of the best multiplayer games around. [Oct 2007, p.66]
    • Hardcore Gamer Magazine
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Metro Redux doesn’t provide enough new content to be worth repurchasing except for the most die-hard fans, but if you haven’t experienced the masterful adaptation of Glukhovsky’s series yet, fix that mistake and get Metro Redux on the double.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    TxK
    Definitely take a look at TxK if you’ve ever enjoyed any version of Tempest. Heck, grab it even if you haven’t and give yourself a proper introduction to a truly great game.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Those seeking a satisfying, skill-testing platforming experience will love Rogue Legacy. It puts a fresh coat of paint on a variety of well-worn gaming genres and ends up a must-play gaming experience.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you are tired of recycled game play mechanics and just want to experience a downright fun soccer experience, Pro Evolution 2009 for Wii will deliver that and more.
    • 84 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.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    This game is tightly designed and coded, contains tons of abilities to take advantage of, and is just downright fun.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is arguably the definitive version of Trine 2, offering more content and the ability to draw and aim with a touchscreen. While some of those controls can be a bit finicky when in the heat of battle, it does offer a fun and interactive way to play this brilliantly crafted game. Trine 2: Director's Cut does the Wii U's eShop a favor in creating a platformer that's both luscious and well designed and could easily go as a standalone product in some capacity. Even if you own the original, this is definitely worth checking out to see the enhancements.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When it works, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty is a beautiful, quirky, and devious puzzle platformer that deserves a spot alongside the likes of LIMBO, Another World and the original Abe’s Oddysee in the gaming canon. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work nearly often enough.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While a bug-squishing patch would be nice, Civilization Revolution is an excellent revision of the series despite the trades it makes for accessibility over depth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    This game is tightly designed and coded, contains tons of abilities to take advantage of, and is just downright fun.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Criterion Games have once again proved that they're the pinnacle development team at Electronic Arts and will lead the Need for Speed franchise into a brighter future. While there are some shortcomings, such as poor map navigation and some rubber-banding issues, Most Wanted is an adrenaline-pumping racer that will leave you with sweaty palms.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Whether you’re a skater (like myself) or simply a gamer who likes to virtually tear it up, Skate 2 offers a fairly complex control scheme that rewards those who dig into the moves with one of the most bold, creative, and downright fun games, like evar.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If someone is looking for one of the most entrancing, addictive RPGs on the 3DS, then they should not hesitate to run as quickly as they can to their nearest game store to purchase Legends of the Titan; it’s certainly worth every penny of its price tag, and then some.
    • 84 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Resogun is an incredibly fun game, but not much more than that.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Shift shows a lot of potential for the series and will go down as one of the best racing games of 2009.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Whether you’re a skater (like myself) or simply a gamer who likes to virtually tear it up, Skate 2 offers a fairly complex control scheme that rewards those who dig into the moves with one of the most bold, creative, and downright fun games, like evar.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Do not dismiss Borderlands as “just another shooter.” Co-op play is all the rage in FPS games these days, and not only is it featured here, but it is encouraged.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    New Super Mario Bros. U plays it safe in the right areas while providing enough new things and challenge to make it worth not only playing, but coming back to for series veterans. Featuring tons of platforming fun, it plays wonderfully on both the GamePad and Wii Remote and has the best level design of any New SMB-series game to date. A notable improvement from NSMB 2, it does just the right amount of new things to seem different from past games, while still giving fans what they expect in a Super Mario Bros. title.
    • 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
    • 80 Critic Score
    Leo’s Fortune is conceptually, stylistically and mechanically one of the best iOS games on the market.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you’ve somehow managed to stay away from the phenomenon this entire time, then Ultra Street Fighter IV is the perfect gateway to becoming a World Warrior.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s a strong variety of unique puzzles, and with the gorgeous world that can be taken-in, Trine 2 ends up being a luscious adventure. If you haven’t had the chance to pick it up on the many platforms it has been released on, then now is the best time.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With a kickass, overcharged aesthetic and silky-smooth mechanics, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma is one of the finest fighting games available today.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On the whole, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D offers up one of the most challenging and rewarding platforming adventures in recent memory. Take note, developers, this is how a port should be done.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With Darksiders II, the franchise has cemented itself as an essential property among the likes of Devil May Cry and God of War. Even with the scale increasing in practically every area, the game manages to be less intimidating than its predecessor.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s a unique, funny, occasionally brilliant experience full of colorful characters and creative puzzles.
    • 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.