Polygon's Scores

  • Games
For 447 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 55% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 71
Highest review score: 100 Mass Effect 3
Lowest review score: 10 Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 447
447 game reviews
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    As a bombastic action-RPG with no previous context, Mass Effect 3 is a dark, engaging game with great combat, a well-written story, and all the epic space-opera you could want. But for those who have played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, it's something much more.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Games this thoughtfully crafted don't happen very often, and the care that Blizzard has taken with Diablo 3 shows in every facet of its design and execution. It might not be perfect, but after 45 hours, I'm not sure where it missteps, and after 45 hours, I feel like I've only scratched the surface of what it has to offer. Diablo 3 is almost evil in how high a bar it's set for every PC action RPG to follow, and I wouldn't be surprised to see that bar remain for a very long time.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    We may be playing Spelunky forever...Spelunky is more than a platformer. It transcends the genre, creating an experience easy to pick up and difficult to master, each session unlike the last.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It's the tightest, best-written, and most must-play game Atlus has ever created. Persona 4 started as a strong, singular RPG; with Persona 4 Golden, it is a masterpiece.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    For everything it has to say, for all the questions it asks —many of which have no easy answers — BioShock Infinite's big thoughts and complicated narrative don't obscure the brilliant action game that carries those messages through.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Gone Home proves that a game focused on story and exploration, starring a decidedly non-traditional cast of characters can be utterly thrilling. With excellent writing and environments that made me want to explore every nook and cranny, Gone Home simply, effectively drew me in.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Between its friendly design and its flexible approach to a free-to-play economy, Hearthstone has successfully pulled me into a genre that I didn't care about in the least. But even more incredibly, it's kept me rapt longer than any games I've played in years, and shows no signs of letting up.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Everything about the game - its preposterous storyline, its madcap multiplayer modes - peels away at the inherent, inextricable humiliation of dancing in front of your peers. To start a dance battle in one of those modes, you have to high-five your opponent in real life. Rest assured, you are in very, very good hands.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Halo 4 is most like the original Halo, where the novelty and wonder of exploring something really alien and different is a key factor. While Halo 4 continues the series' tradition of iteration on its own design more successfully than any one of its predecessors, that sense of awe, of discovery, has been light since the first game, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I played Halo 4.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Visceral hasn't just avoided screwing up its game with co-op — it has made it feel natural and at home, and has done it without impacting the single-player experience in any negative way. That alone would be enough to make Dead Space 3 an achievement. But the new crafting system and bigger, more open level structure join co-op to make Dead Space 3 one of the best action games in years.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    A near-perfect fusion of the classic simulation game with modern social and online play elements. It is in every way the fully realized evolution of the franchise and a much welcome iteration, perfectly engineered to dispense the maximum amount of fun in the most efficient way possible. [Editor's Note: this quotation and score are from the original Polygon review. Metacritic, per long-standing site policy, only accepts a publication's first review/score for a given game.]
    • 97 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Rockstar has expanded and improved upon so much of what's special about video games as mainstream spectacles, from the playful use of characters to the refined take on world design. The developer's progress makes the aspects of the game left in cultural stasis — the poorly drawn women, the empty cynicism, the unnecessarily excessive cruelty — especially agitating.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Everything about Pokemon X and Y instills a feeling of adventure that extends far, far beyond its campaign. It lets you take ownership of so much — from your wardrobe to your meticulously groomed team — and then lets you take that identity onto a global stage.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Pokemon X and Y made me feel like I was back on the middle school playground, vying for real-life superiority in battle and communing in trade. I didn't think games could still make me feel that way — but I'm so glad to be proven wrong.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    At once accessible and incredibly deep. It displays a stunning fearlessness. Tweaking and completely redefining the basic concepts of the series might have been risk enough. But Nintendo has been shockingly cavalier with one of the most beloved games ever. The result is the sequel I never knew I wanted — and one of my favorite games of 2013.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    From cover to cover, Tearway is an engrossing, spellbinding experience.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    I can say, without an ounce of hyperbole, that I have never shouted, cheered or laughed so much playing a game in my life. TowerFall Ascension is designed to evoke these reactions in every single match, and it always, always does.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Reaper of Souls is a Blizzard expansion through and through, an example of the developer's willingness to re-examine every decision to make a game that old players can find new again, and new players can get into just as easily.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Complex yet approachable, nostalgic yet modern, cliché-ridden yet strange and singular in so many ways. It captures the feeling of a classic '90s PC RPG but simultaneously turns each assumption about plot, setting and combat mechanics on its head...one of the deepest and most unforgettable games I've played all year.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    Shadow of Mordor is that ultimate rarity. It tells a fun little story that would be enough to hold up most games on their own. But it also provides all of the tools to ensure that the most interesting tales to come out of the game will be the ones that were not scripted.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I know retention is a big problem for episodic games, but I wouldn't miss seeing how my story plays out for anything, and I suspect you'll feel the same way.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    So finely honed that it should be appreciated by a massive swath of people, from hardcore 2D platforming fans to racing fans to editor junkies to, well, douches who like rap/rock remixes and Ed Hardy tees.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I'm infatuated with how these characters, these brilliant mechanics, were molded from crude, 8-bit blueprints that are older than myself. And now, I want more.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's a game with so much baggage that I'm stunned that it's come together so well. This is the first time Rockstar has made a game that excels best as just that, supported and expertly augmented by the production values and attention to small details that its games have always been known for. It is uncompromisingly excellent, with a sense of focus that has secured Max Payne's legacy once again.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gods & Kings feels like what Civilization V wanted to be all along. It doesn't so much "expand" the game as evolve it. Strategic combat finally feels strategic, and the diplomatic game, enhanced by religion, espionage and a few new tweaks, finally matters.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To have a game that not only focuses on story but tells one compelling enough to keep thinking about once the console is off? That's something no one should miss.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dyad is one of the best pure arcade experiences to come along in years, and for players who fall prey to the siren song of its leaderboards, it might just devour their summer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even without the content creation mode, Sound Shapes would be something unlike anything else on the Vita, or even on consoles. While some might complain about Sound Shapes' willingness to be finished and enjoyed, I dare anyone to go through it remaining non-transfixed by exactly what Queasy and their musical and artistic partners have assembled. Sound Shapes is video game pop music, and those don't need to be dirty words.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you viewed the first Darksiders' borrowed gameplay beats as a potential sign of laziness from Vigil Studios, Darksiders 2 provides hearty evidence of a team with genuine skill and ambition. It doesn't always nail the pacing or polish, but Darksiders 2 adds so many valuable ideas to the series that a path to its future seems clear for the first time. For Darksiders, Death brings a much-needed spark of life.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The disappointment of flying - or driving - solo notwithstanding, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron's relentless iteration on its own design and its constantly expanding scope set it apart from other third-person shooters.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The best thing on the Vita to date, a perfect fit formed between the hardware and the franchise. But it doesn't just succeed on a conceptual level; it's polished, addictive, and precious. In every imaginable way, LittleBigPlanet Vita is a knockout.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Most playthroughs of FTL end the same way, but this pulse-poundingly vital, consistently surprising game manages to make death feel like merely the beginning of another great adventure.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The player-on-player and player-on-ball interactions, along with the AI improvements, sell the look and feel of true human interaction on the pitch. The infusion of real-life soccer developments throughout the game makes the experience come alive; you feel like you're part of a vibrant, passionate community of soccer fans.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Dishonored succeeds as an ambitious game not content to take one thing and do it well. It demands more than most games ever will of its player, and gives more to players than most other games will ever manage.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Under no circumstance should these hiccups keep you from this incredible, gut-wrenching, dark, unprecedented experience.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    When the story isn't standing in its way, Far Cry 3 sees enormous success with its wide-open world and all the numerous things there are to do therein. Ubisoft has created a mechanically ambitious, exciting game.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even Antichamber's most punishing designs can't bring you down if you've got a sense of good humor, which its dramatic, shifting world instills in you at every turn.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Platinum Games has done something incredibly rare: honoring a beloved series while successfully broadening its reach into a whole new genre.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's easy to point out the many ways that Tomb Raider borrows bits and pieces from other popular games of the last five years, but Crystal Dynamics has blended these disparate strengths into something remarkable. It's cinematic yet open, intense yet laid-back, fresh yet polished.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The team at Drinkbox has studied the greats, but they've forged their own path with a consistent, engaging art style, and meticulously perfected controls and level design. This passion for Drinkbox’s influences has produced more than homage; Guacamelee is remarkable on its own.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The challenge level is spot-on and the individual stages are cleverly built. These are the hallmarks of great puzzle game design, and Minis on the Move demonstrates them handily.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Monster Games' 3DS version further tweaks the formula, with better controls and a new difficulty mode that feels just right. This is the best version of a densely packed, fast-paced and beautifully designed platformer.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Other western games may better capture the grandeur of the American West, but pure, outlandish spaghetti western gunfights have never been more thrilling than they are in Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Animal Crossing: New Leaf's addicting, ceaseless progression is all in the service of creating an identity for yourself and your surroundings. The expansion of the series' multiplayer capabilities — a vehicle for you to actually showcase that identity — is one of the best things New Leaf has going for it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Gunpoint isn't a long game - for $10, it doesn't have to be - but it's a delightfully lean experience. From the mechanics to the artistic direction, any trace of bloat has been done away with (if it was ever there to begin with).
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A fantastic puzzle game because its best riddles are the ones that can't be solved.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Rogue Legacy rewarded my patience and tenacity; that's a lesson any developer can take from its twisted family tree.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A wonderful little anthology and a heartening reminder that, even in a world that has been thoroughly mined across countless media, Telltale is still able to unearth new stories.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Brothers tests the limits of what games are capable of communicating and, in doing so, strengthens the medium as a whole, if only a little. The game's final moments moved me to tears in the act of pressing a button. Not because it triggered some heart-wrenching dialogue or sorrowful music, but by the implications of the mechanic itself.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's not sophisticated or subtle, nor does it want to be. And the game's open stance on character customization and gender let me play the way I wanted to. Saints Row IV made me feel superhuman — and that's what this kind of game is all about.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The resulting game is stunning — its colors are muted just a shade or two from the Gamecube original — it's tidier and more organic. Wind Waker looks and feels like a living cartoon, with its bold colors and clean lines, and the animation is expressive and fluid.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Final Fantasy 14 is a great MMO; perhaps more meaningfully, it's the first Final Fantasy game in years to capture the energy and joy that made me fall in love with the series.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even in this initial release, even after a dozen hours of review play, I don't feel bored with Eldritch.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    For a small commitment in terms of time and money, it delivers a ton of laughs and just enough thought-provoking commentary on the nature of narrative in games. Getting everything you need out of a game in a few hours might just be the ideal format for comedy.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With improvements to the game's flow and excellent second-screen support, the Director's Cut of Human Revolution is the definitive version of an excellent game.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    On the whole, Enemy Within plays like someone, somewhere kept a list of every minor thing they imagined, while playing Enemy Unknown, would make that game better — and then made those changes.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It gets the balance right between nostalgic touches and clever new twists, and never once let me down with a boring boss or too-familiar retread. In all my years of playing with the Mario gang, I've never been quite so happy to hurl myself into the unknown, and 3D World delivers challenge, surprise and joy in almost every moment.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forza 5 is beautiful, sure, with a stunning, light-filled world of engines and tire smoke. But with the introduction of aggressive, convincing AI that makes every offline race feel like a multiplayer competition, Turn 10 has charted a course for the future of the series — and created the Xbox One's first must-own game.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A massive, passionate game and a fitting final lap for the PlayStation 3.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Broken Age may be unfinished, but it's also delightful, beautiful, utterly charming and you really should play it right this second.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    From reminding me how much I loved last season to investing me in what happens as this season progresses, "A House Divided" succeeds on every level.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sliding the spectacle and holy shit moments of an epic campaign among bold, fast multiplayer that steals unlikely elements, Respawn has made them shine like they belonged there all along. Titanfall may not mark the same kind of sea change that Modern Warfare started but the pieces are all there in a game that delivers on its potential as the next big thing.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The Souls games have rarely been about fun, but Dark Souls 2's smart tweaks and concessions brought out positive emotions even amidst the pain and exhaustion. It's still a stressful experience, but it's easier than ever to recognize the brilliance in those moments of triumph that make it more than worth the struggle.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Monument Valley features brilliant design, with puzzles that somehow always made perfect sense, even though I was playing as a wall-walking princess in a pastel-hued world. The experience was short and sweet, but it stayed with me like a dream I didn't want to forget.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Sportsfriends hardly feels like a video game, and that's what makes it so special. It's an experience that anyone can enjoy, regardless of their gaming experience, totally irrespective of their specialty at sports or team-based games.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Its gorgeous looks and tightly developed sense of speed ensured that I was never left unhappy after a race, even when I blew it and came in near the end. What more could I ask for than a game that keeps me smiling even when I lose?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The New Order’s got all the workings of a classic shooter. But in their trip back to the well, Machine Games has brought all of its talents to bear. The New Order is held together, even rocketed beyond the basic sum of its smart levels and effective mechanics by its characters. That humanity takes what would be a good shooter and makes it something truly memorable.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I was new to the franchise when I began playing Pushmo World, but it didn't take long to convert me into a fan. I discovered a constant trickle of "A-ha!" moments that made me feel like I was never far from progress, even when things got tough. That's exactly how I want to feel playing a puzzle game.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Shovel Knight is so much more than a love letter to the genre — it is, in fact, the kind of game people write love letters about.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the first time since Madden NFL 10 where I've had that a-ha moment where all I want to do is go play Madden, and it's not because of some role-playing device in the career mode, or a nifty collection of throwback uniforms, or the fact there was a military flyover before the Super Bowl...It's because the gameplay is focused to raising my knowledge and skill rather than accommodating or minimizing the lack of it.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Velocity 2X could have taken the easy route, sticking with proven mechanics for a predictable sequel. Instead, it makes a big bet, adding on-foot gameplay to already-sharp ship gameplay and the entire game is so much stronger for it.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The fourth Super Smash Bros. is more than just brawling; a lot more, in fact. I've spent far more time collecting loot, doing Classic mode playthroughs, participating in Smash Runs and pushing my high scores in various minigames than I have actually fighting other people.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you have the three or four hours to devote to it and care about the future of games as a storytelling medium, Ethan Carter is must-play.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    One of the smartest games Square has released in the FF line in some time. It pulls players in right away but hides a great amount of depth and bonus content. It pays reverence to the past but tries something new and isn't above making a joke or two at its own expense.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's encouraging that Traveller's Tales has finally made some big, worthwhile changes to its formula.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    From a value perspective it'll absolutely stretch your three dollars over a dozen hours and many, many boring meetings. It's not to be missed.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It rewards skill and variety rather than mindless grinding. And it does all of this in a massive, persistent world without asking for a subscription fee.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Mark of the Ninja feels like Klei's coming of age game, a more mature adventure that salvages the gore, guts, and grime that defined its previous work, and scraps the rest in a surgical maneuver - the work of game design ninjas.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The new skating physics and player AI don't just deliver a more accurate simulation of hockey; they elegantly convey the complex interactions - blade on ice, right winger versus defenseman - that are at the heart of the sport.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's new, in the sense that it wasn't in Torchlight, but it's hardly different. What you're playing, beneath all the polish, is essentially the same. Torchlight 2 is clicky nirvana. But Torchlight 2 isn't is a step beyond the familiar. The game feels like the cumulative work of perfectionists intent on making the action role-playing game of their dreams.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    XCOM: Enemy Unknown brings the memorable turn-based alien invasion classic gracefully into to the modern age, but comes just short of fully reinventing the genre. While tactical, squad-based combat has never felt so effortless and rewarding, the strategy component takes just enough away to make the game as a whole feel like two slightly disjointed halves. One of those halves just so happens to be one of the best and most artfully-designed strategy games in recent memory.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Make no mistake: Telltale has done some amazing things with The Walking Dead, and one episode away from the end it's already a landmark moment in interactive storytelling. I'm just hopeful that with the next series of episodes, the studio is able escape the corners that its experiment with malleable narrative has painted it into.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Hotline Miami is exceptional not because it's violent, but because it's violent for a reason.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Need for Speed Most Wanted is marred somewhat by a fussy, restrictive and self-defeating interface. But it's one of the best racing games of 2012 regardless. And if Criterion's track record of post-release support with Burnout Paradise is any indication, it will only improve over time.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A respectable sequel, one that both incorporates the fiction of the brand, but also improves on previous games, progressing the franchise.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    What separates New Super Mario Bros. U from its "New" predecessors: It adds something to the Mario formula. It's exciting and full of inventive ideas.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's not as cerebral as Hitman: Blood Money. But that doesn't stop Hitman: Absolution from being a smart, unique action title, and a hell of a lot of fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Here are all of the great songs and stars, flush with bright colors and silly in-jokes. It's all of my fond memories without any of the overwhelming disappointment of actually revisiting them.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Developer Intelligent Systems has added just enough to the time-tested Fire Emblem formula to bolster its challenges without cutting away its roots.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Bit.Trip Runner 2 uses a simple premise, a beautiful universe and a giddy set of songs to conjure an overwhelming sense of happiness. It's a game everyone can play.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    MLB 13 is remarkable in that it is almost uniformly excellent. Annual sports games consist of numerous discrete pieces, but they rarely come together as well as they do here.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Taking an elaborate collection of blocks and engineered something special with it, The Behemoth has created a player experience far more sophisticated than the goofy theme belies.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It's a hand-wringing, apologetic shooter that offers great gunplay alongside more peaceful options. Last Light has every opportunity to be bloated and inconsistent, but it never succumbs to the pressure of its own expectations — and that's worth tolerating a few frustrating technical hiccups.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    By tying so many systems together with tough choices and the constant spectre of death hanging over it, Undead Labs has created something singular. Small complaints notwithstanding, State of Decay is one of the most cohesive, terrifying and engaging open-world games I've ever played.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    A refreshingly upfront experience, right down to the title. A game that shoves players into a complex, harsh world with little explanation, it can be tough to parse at first. But little by little, Don't Starve reveals itself via deep mechanics and an ever-evolving world. It started strong and got better.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Firaxis could have played it safe and simply layered on more changes of clothes. Instead it took the strategy gaming bit between its teeth and launched the venerable franchise into some startlingly new territory, while keeping it fun, engaging and — remarkably — approachable.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It doesn’t revolutionize Splinter Cell, but it manages a sharp trifecta of achievements — it’s open to new players, accessible to players from the series' major departure installment and a welcome invitation back to series regulars who missed the stealth focus that peaked with Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    While Madden NFL 25 does an admirable job of catering to those with little use for, say, the ability to make 14 changes before each snap, it stays true to its ethos to give you as much control as you could possibly want. Asses and all.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Legends proves developer Ubisoft Montpellier's mastery of the genre. With impressive variety, excellent stage design and gorgeous art, Legends is sure-footed, only stumbling when its considerable challenge level spikes out of control.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Rain is an anxious emotion — something that pulled me in with a setting so charming that I wanted to spend time there even when I was on edge.