Official Xbox Magazine's Scores

  • Games
For 2,521 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 58% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 69
Highest review score: 100 Mass Effect
Lowest review score: 10 World War II Combat: Road to Berlin
Score distribution:
2,521 game reviews
    • 98 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If it were up to us, we'd have included a few better missions, weapons, and cars earlier in the game - if only for a temporary taste. That would definitely improve the pacing (while leaving plenty of surprises for later), and it'd have ensured that ADD players don't stop early without seeing the brilliant content that's down the road. [June 2008, p.40]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    From skydiving and submarine exploration to bounty-hunting and watching animated shorts, GTA V is absolutely crammed full of things to do, and it looks amazing while you do them.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Surpassed the hype completely. [Dec 2001]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Play it, talk about it, experience it--a game like Bioshock won't happen again for a good long while. [Nov 2007, p.80]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The Orange Box packs so much quality content into one $60 title that it sets an almost dangerous precedent for all other developers and publishers. [Dec 2007, p.58]
    • 96 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Mass Effect 2 overcomes its few gameplay weaknesses with a fantastic weave of dynamic combat, lavish presentation, and engaging character and weapon customization. But for all the myriad improvements that make Mass Effect 2's visuals so appealing and its combat so exhilarating, it's ultimately the way it moves us that makes it so memorable. [Feb 2010, p.56]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Skyrim is the kind of game you can completely lose yourself in for at least a hundred hours, even if you somehow manage to complete the main quest in fewer than twenty. If you aren't normally drawn to role-playing games, get over it - to miss out on this extraordinary gaming experience would be positively criminal.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Whether you've played them or not, the pair of masterpieces contained in the Grand Theft Auto Double Pack are too good to pass up, especially when it's a two-for-one deal. [Holiday 2003, p.97]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 95 Metascore
    • 97 Critic Score
    You'll be surprised and stunned by some of the turns that not only imbue the story with great depth and meaning, but indelibly impact the actual game you're playing... Halo 2 is the single greatest achievement on the platform. [Dec 2004, p.44]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 95 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Portal 2 isn't dessert - it's a delectable multi-course meal at a five-star restaurant. Make your reservation now.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A week after beating the main campaign (at which point, we dove right back to side missions), its final image is lodged in our heads. And that's okay, because every time we think of Arkham City, we smile.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No longer a covert operation, Epic's sci-fi shooter Gears of War has finally emerged, and it's pretty much everything we hooped it would be, as well as a few things we didn't expect. [Holiday 2006, p.41]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Take heed when staring at Oblivion on a store shelf: Your $60 will go father than it ever has, but prepare to get hooked for the long haul. [Apr 2006, p.69]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Simply put, Call of Duty 4 does everything right and nearly nothing wrong. But where it elevates itself above even the best 360 shooters is how all of the good stuff is ludicrously good. The campaign never lets up, while multiplayer is a triple-A affair in itself. [Dec 2007, p.36]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This 10 is based on the fact that Bungie has successfully raied the level of what to expect in future shooters and how much stuff you can cram into one game with a high level of polish and expertise--and not as an afterthought or as padding. [Nov 2007, p.50]
    • 94 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Black does what the original did best, and hits the elevator button and ascends to an even higher level. [Nov 2005, p.134]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 94 Metascore
    • 99 Critic Score
    Between the compelling gameplay of the single-player missions, the value of the versus mode, and the perfect integration of co-op play over Live, this is the definitive Xbox game. The zenith of the platform... An utterly spectacular accomplishment. [Apr 2005, p.72]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 94 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Powersliding through a curve at 75 mph and missing a tractor trailer by a hair's breadth should prompt a few calls to your cardiologist. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll scream until you giggle. The pure visceral experience of Burnout 3 is as intense as racing gets. [Oct 2004, p.58]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 94 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Modern Warfare 2 is easily one of the year’s best games. Because it’s more iterative than innovative, though, it’s not quite as perfect as we’d expected, but it is a terrifically fun, nerve-wrackingly intense spectacle that you’d be crazy to miss.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Nothing short of breathtaking... The "Star Wars" game that fans of the movies have been waiting for since 1977. [Sept 2003, p.74]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Superior to the original Splinter Cell in every aspect: gameplay, graphics, sound, presentation, and to a degree, innovation. [May 2004, p.70]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    In fact, it's the opposite: a cranked-up and damn near hypnotic high-energy sprint across a flashy, ever-shifting psychedelic racetrack. [Feb 2011, p.79]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Simply more of the same, but better. That's hardly a complaint, though, since that's what we begged for all along. [Apr 2002, p.71]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    As fun as its combat is, BioShock Infinite’s real strengths are its weirdly lovable characters, its richly realized world, and its story, which stays addictively convoluted from its eerie intro to its lengthy, jaw-dropping ending. It may not always be quite as inventive as the original BioShock, but it’s just as — if not more — unforgettable.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Braid is absolutely a game you shouldn’t miss.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    If you're a novice, a training mode and eight levels of difficulty will help you find your way. If you're a pro, SFIV contains all the depth you've ever loved about the series, without compromise. Capcom simply got the feel of Street Fighter perfectly right. [Feb 2009, p.76]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    By fully intersecting its Xbox-caliber visual and audio presentation with wide-open stealth action gameplay, it submerges you in a gripping, nerve-pounding atmosphere that will leave you begging for more. [Dec 2002, p.50]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Games this captivating do not come along often. Between its engrossing story, ginormous world, well-crafted RPG side, and white-knuckle FPS combat, Fallout 3 completely, utterly gives you your $60 worth. [Dec 2008, p.52]
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Our favorite new addition to the Gears multiplayer family, however, is Horde. A fiveplayer co-op romp played on any of the 15 maps, Horde throws wave after wave of increasingly difficult Locust foes at you and your friends for 50 rounds, putting your teamworking skills to the ultimate test.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    From the visceral combat to the excitement of finishing Shepard's 100-hour fight, Mass Effect 3 is a rare, magnetically engaging treat that'll compel you to stay up well past your bedtime to do "just one more quest." Safe travels, fellow Shepards. See you starside.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    It's not only an achievement within it's own genre, but a landmark for the entire medium as well. [Nov 2010, p.64]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 93 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    It's just that brilliant. [Aug 2005, p.76]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    A stunning and rare achievement that makes you feel happy to be a gamer. [Jan 2004, p.56]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    The best football game on the Xbox (or any other system) this year. [Oct 2002, p.100]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Expect your non-gaming friends, family, and spouses to beg for the chance to bring the rock. That power alone makes Guitar Hero II a must-play. [Mar 2007, p.68]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Rock Band is the ultimate role-playing game - the only way to win is to completely commit as a guitarist, bassist, drummer, or singer and do your part for the fellowship of meta-musicians sharing the virtual stage. And if you can lower your shield of shyness to let the game in, you're richly rewarded as the collective joy of making music pours back out. Unlike other games, the Rock Band payoff isn't visceral or technical; it's emotional. [Holiday 2007, p.34]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    But the overall experience just somehow feels a tad incomplete, like a shiny Ferrari Enzo with an old Burger King wrapper on the passenger seat. [July 2005, p.80]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    The problem is simply that there's no online play, and that's huge considering that the other guys do it, and do it well. [Oct 2003, p.72]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    From Software’s latest creation is a completely unique experience with no real analogue, even if it only occasionally surpasses its predecessor. For players new to the series, it’s a much better entry point than the first game, but Dark Souls grognards who proudly bear their scars will find it a touch too familiar and/or streamlined.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    Not only is ESPN an outrageously inexpensive AAA-level game, it's also the best NFL title on the Xbox at any price. [Sept 2004, p.83]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    By far the deepest of the Big Three, but the choice to ditch online play really hurts. [Oct 2002, p.100]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    What makes Forza 3 so epic is that along with being an outstanding racing game, all this social and creative activity is so alluring for car people of all stripes. It's the kind of hub that people get lost in, and we'll be right there with them. [Dec 2009, p.95]
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Impeccable presentation from top to bottom. [Nov 2009, p.82]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    We had some minor issues with course design; there are simply too many "holes" in the geometry - places where your boarder can get stuck and has no reset... That said, you can learn 'em and avoid 'em. [Dec 2003, p.140]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    Crisp, tight controls, hilariously dramatic dialog, and oodles of options make Soul Calibur II an instant classic. [Nov 2003, p.128]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At its worst, Rock Band 2 feels like a massive expansion pack that fills in the gaps from the original game. At its best, it’s a rewarding and refined excuse to pick up your fake career where you left off — laughing and rocking with friends near and far for a group thrill that few other games can deliver.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Madden's AI is generally solid, but still way too susceptible to an aggressive passing attack. [Sept 2004, p.82]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even though Super Street Fighter IV lacks the impact of its predecessor, it's still engrossing, enthralling, and plain ol' fun. [May 2010, p.70]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    No new content, but Ubisoft's Montpellier team astounds us again with just how pretty games can be. [May 2014, p.71]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 91 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    What it has to offer is quite possibly the purest, deepest, most rewarding single-player action experience available on this current generation of hardware. [May 2004, p.66]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 91 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    No game, no TV broadcast... flat-out nothing I've ever seen has come close to re-creating the intensity of a real NFL experience like ESPN Football's First Person Football mode. [Oct 2003, p.73]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Unfathomably deep, customizable, user-friendly, and straight-up engrossing multiplayer modes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Personally, it's the best game I've ever played, but even if you're not a hardcore sci-fi nerd like me, Mass Effect is a transcendent experience, the new standard-setter for what a game can be. You have to play it, and that's why we're kinda jealous of you. Even if you memorized all the previews and trailers, you're not ready for how awesome this game is. [Holiday 2007, p.58]
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Put simply, though, no other car game on Xbox - and we'd dare say any other platform - even approaches Forza 4's depth, versatility, beauty, and community support. It's so comprehensive that there's probably nowhere for the series to go from here - except onto the inevitable Xbox 720. Until then, enjoy every minute of this ride.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The evidence is indisputable: Gears of War 3 is the ultimate realization of the Xbox 360 console, much in the same way Halo 2 was for the original Xbox. It maximizes the hardware's horsepower; boasts a fully featured, seamless online experience that serves up both competitive and cooperative gameplay; and it's enduringly replayable online or off. Quite simply, Gears of War 3 leaves no stone unturned - it's everything a triple-A blockbuster should be.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Don't let an uninspired online experience keep you from Far Cry 3, though. You'll have to go it alone to see all its wild thrills, but those unique situations and over-the-top conflagrations are undoubtedly worth some lonely time spent tramping through the jungle.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    It's a stunning achievement in design, playability, good old-fashioned fun, and in my humble opinion the best Xbox game this year. [Dec 2003, p.82]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    For a lack of extras and generally lower quality visuals, anyone who played Half-Life 2 on the PC won't have any need to pick this up. [Holiday 2005, p.88]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Dynasty mode in NCAA 2003 is better than any franchise mode in any of the pro games on the market. [Sept 2002, p.99]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Astonishingly, every one of these dazzling battles is thrilling without overstaying its welcome - and also challenges you without being cheap. [Jan 2009, p.66]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    So whether you're easily dazzled by superb graphics or are itchin' for some multiplayer-lovin', GRAW scores on both fronts as an impressive new chapter in the series. [Apr 2006, p.79]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Adding up the gorgeous visuals, extra coats of polish, replayability, multiplayer, track editor, and core gameplay that is both artfully scientific and scientifically artful, we'd say Trials Evolution is as close to a perfect download as we're ever likely to get.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The biggest sport in the world. And EA has done it justice with FIFA 12, improving virtually every aspect of last year's game.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    As features go, FIFA 10 is pretty short on significant upgrades, leaving most of the talking points on the field. [Dec 2009, p.81]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 93 Critic Score
    A stunning beauty with deep gameplay to match. [Nov 2002]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clever humor that'll have you chuckling for months. [Dec 2008, p.93]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    A landmark videogame baseball achievement. The lack of online play notwithstanding, it's brilliant. [Apr 2004, p.76]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Better graphics, better environments, more options, and most importantly of all, a massively overhauled gameplay structure, exactly what the old dear needed. [Dec 2002, p.138]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    And really, what the team at Playdead has achieved here--in their very first game, no less--is just tremendous. [Oct 2010, p.72]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Mark of the Ninja's brilliant approach to stealth hits all of the right notes throughout, whether you're silently slaying guards from the shadows and stashing them in crevices, evading laser tripwires with a well-placed smoke bomb, or using darts to lure enemies into their own traps.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    XBLA's best pure-2D platformer to date.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The nuanced tweaks and countless subtle refinements really ratchet up the atmosphere and make Dead Space 2 a richer, more streamlined experience...There's a sure-footed confidence this time around that gives the ghastly proceedings a level of character investment and polish that Dead Space never quite achieved. [Feb 2011, p.29]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A classic. [Dec 2001]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    We’re more than a little sore about the inexcusable lack of online play, but between the startlingly sharp neon visual aesthetic, the bumping new soundtrack, and smartly integrated Achievements, Retro Evolved 2 sets a new standard for arcade shooters on any platform, downloadable or otherwise.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    On the whole, XCOM will keep fans spellbound with its depth, but it could've used a little more time in the cooker to add that something extra.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With realistic-looking players, a full suite of edit options to let you tailor names to your liking, and core on-field action that plays just so smooth, Winning Eleven 8 is the way to go if offline soccer action is all you crave. [March 2005, p.81]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Yes, Forza 2 is a crazy mix of genius and B.S. [Aug 2007, p.70]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's easy to pick nits about the weird Achievement appropriation, the fact that the games lack HD detail such as animated hair and high-quality lip-synching, and that two of the franchise's best games are absent. But the fact that three of the best stealth games ever made look even better in a $50 Xbox 360 package should put this collection on your radar.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This game has it all – great gameplay, tons of depth, awesome AI, and plenty of gameplay modes...it sets the standard for all future basketball games. [Apr 2002, p.78]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    What's here is a smart, somewhat kinder, but no less addictive approach to the series' trademark challenge. And that's just the way we like it.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    NBA 2K12 is not to be missed, lockout or no.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's the surprisingly effective tweaks to the melee and grenade damage, however, that remove any shred of doubt as to the value of this expansion. [June 2005, p.34]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Borderlands 2 features an insane amount of content. Expect to spend at least 40 hours finishing the main story campaign, and much more than that to complete all the optional missions. Once you beat the campaign, you can replay the game in harder Vault Hunter mode with your veteran character for even better loot and rewards.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A nine-hour, tension-filled rollercoaster ride. [Holiday 2005, p.66]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 98 Critic Score
    Burnout Revenge changes the gameplay of its predecessors in small yet very crucial ways that make it more fun than the previous games, without making those games seem less fun. [Nov 2005, p.132]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rez HD hits a rhythm that feels absolutely right for those willing to try something perpetually new, no matter what year it actually debuted. [Feb 2008, p.74]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    If you've never set foot in the whip-cracking universe of the marvelously long and storied Castlevania series, Symphony is the best possible way to get your meet-and-greet on. [Mayt 2007, p.76]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Fable II is everything Molyneux promised the first time around. It's funny, deep, emotional, epic, and, yes, wildly charming. We are already eager for a second playthrough, and we're betting a lot of you will have exactly the same reaction. [Dec 2008, p.68]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    An undisputable improvement over its predecessor in every way, and it steals its own crown as best co-op game on the Xbox. It's chainsaw-twirlingly good. [Holiday 2009, p.64]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Left 4 Dead's simplicity offers purity of gameplay - the same reason that gamers keep returning to classic arcade games. Come to think of it, with a handful of levels and unpredictable events happening within them, Left 4 Dead has more in common with "Ms. Pac-Man" than just the eating. It's the same thing over and over - but when simple ingredients are perfectly prepared, what could be a mere snack becomes a feast. This one just happens to be on human flesh. [Holiday 2008, p.32]
    • 89 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    Smooth framerates directly translate into smooth gameplay. [Jan 2003, p.65]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 94 Critic Score
    Jade's world is its foremost strength. A fantastical mix of myths and pure fiction, you'll find it hard to put the controller down once you've been sucked in. [Apr 2005, p.40]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Few games have the intestinal fortitude to defy genre conventions and player expectations at the expense of enjoyment, but that's what hooked us. We obsessed over exploring every hidden area, slept less to slay dragons, and probably sustained a bit of psychological damage in the process. But it was worth it.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    Beautifully restyled graphics make a stellar first impression as larger, more realistic players stride with feline grace across courts that drip with lavish colors and lighting. But true beauty lies on the inside, and V3 has layer after layer to peel away. [Feb 2005, p.73]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Rocks the rink. [Jan 2002]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 91 Critic Score
    This is easily the most realistically simulated home field advantage in all of digital sports. [August 2004]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Fez
    For an experience that could've drowned in an overreliance on using familiar signposts from what's come before it, Fez succeeds in celebrating the past in a smart, joyous way that has us incredibly excited for gaming's future.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Any game that has seen nine iterations must have either required a phenomenal amount of improvement or honed a hugely successful formula. Chalk up this new Winning Eleven in the later category. [Mar 2006, p.74]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    It doesn't have depth, brains, or complexity, but it does have killer looks and loads of style. [Feb 2002, p.67]
    • Official Xbox Magazine
    • 89 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Burnout Revenge for 360 is a fantastic experience, capturing the essence of the series better than any of its predecessors. [Apr 2006, p.81]