The New York Times' Scores

For 293 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 3.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 Half-Life 2
Lowest review score: 35 Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 293
293 game reviews
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    No other game does as many things as well as Half-Life 2; I had so much fun that I can forgive the game its abysmal ending. I was continually enthralled and amazed.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Takedown is nearly flawless, with crisp graphics, a rousing punk-rock soundtrack and smart level design that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is not just the best driving game I have ever played, but one of the best games of any genre this year.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Takedown is nearly flawless, with crisp graphics, a rousing punk-rock soundtrack and smart level design that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is not just the best driving game I have ever played, but one of the best games of any genre this year.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 96 Critic Score
    God of War matches its lavish settings, gorgeous graphics and high style with solid game mechanics. Everything is well thought out, from the responsive controls to a checkpoint system that makes sure you almost never have to replay too large a chunk of the game if you die.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    A remarkably deep and complex game. It is as though the designers sat around thinking of every possible feature you could have in a role playing game and then managed to squeeze them all in.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 95 Critic Score
    The best sequel [to "KOTOR"] that is not really a sequel that I have ever played.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    A game so vast and varied that it would probably take hundreds of hours of play to see and experience everything, if that is possible at all.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    While BioShock has an intriguing back story, the game’s episodic, mission-based structure lacks the propulsive momentum of games like "Half-Life" or "Max Payne." The story is better than that of many action games, but BioShock’s gameplay and visuals are so utterly brilliant that it is a shame it fails to reach the same level of greatness in its storytelling.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    This game is so visually striking, so original and so well done that most other game designers should look at it and then hang their heads in shame. It is proof that the important thing in game design is not the graphical processing power of the game console but the power of the designer’s imagination.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    A game so vast and varied that it would probably take hundreds of hours of play to see and experience everything, if that is possible at all.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    With the new features and the improved interface of the DS added to the virtually perfect game mechanics that have always distinguished the series, Dual Strike is arguably the best Advance Wars game to date, although the almost perfect nature of the previous games makes that a tough call.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 92 Critic Score
    While BioShock has an intriguing back story, the game’s episodic, mission-based structure lacks the propulsive momentum of games like "Half-Life" or "Max Payne." The story is better than that of many action games, but BioShock’s gameplay and visuals are so utterly brilliant that it is a shame it fails to reach the same level of greatness in its storytelling.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    I spent most of my time getting my Sims to seduce one another. Sims are bisexual, fickle and intensely jealous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The most entrancing of the Myst games, an immersive experience like no other.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    F.E.A.R. is as thrilling and involving as "Half-Life" but lacks its narrative panache: I was never quite clear on what was going on in the game. I knew my goal - track down a psychic, escort a corporate executive's daughter out of danger - but I didn't ever care who these people were nor did I understand their motives.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the oddball stories are played for laughs, the constant plot twists and surprises are as effective as those of any John Grisham novel.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The controls feel less random and demand some extra skill, particularly in the countering system that allows one to block a punch and use its momentum to throw an opponent. The game lacks the intuitive feel of similar fighting series like Tekken and Soul Calibur, but it is still tremendous fun.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The illusion that you are playing in a band is slightly marred by the very un-rock 'n' roll clicking sound of the strumming mechanism, but as your fingers hammer out complex rhythms you feel as close to being Eric Clapton as you are ever likely to.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is remarkable how skillfully the gameplay and graphics have been transported to the smaller platform.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With imaginative levels on snowy landscapes or inside whales, LocoRoco uses charm and simplicity of design to create something near perfection. But it’s a small perfection, charming in its childlike whimsy but as insubstantial as a summer breeze.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The new control scheme is beautifully integrated into the game, and it feels perfectly natural to start waving your hand like a maniac whenever danger approaches.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Skate has some small flaws (it would have been a good idea to make your skater translucent whenever he blocks something important on screen), it is rare to find a game that comes so close to doing everything right.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While Skate has some small flaws (it would have been a good idea to make your skater translucent whenever he blocks something important on screen), it is rare to find a game that comes so close to doing everything right.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It is remarkable how much Chains plays like its big-console forebears.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Tools is, very simply, the best game to come out for the PlayStation 3 since it was introduced last year.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The creepy atmosphere remains, but puzzles, alas, are few and far between, and so easy that they function only as lulls in the action. Yet the game is so riveting that this is forgivable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A sequel to one of the most original and well-designed games of all time, Pikmin 2 adheres to the ''if it's not broken, don't fix it'' philosophy, repeating the same formula with some minor tweaks and the addition of way too much product placement.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 89 Critic Score
    It is remarkable how many clever things one can do with portals.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Canvas Curse is tremendous fun.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    An ingenious multiplayer game.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Orange Box reminds me of those knife sets sold on late-night TV, where if you act now you get a vegetable chopper and a cutting board. Besides Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2, the package includes the original Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode 1. But no cake. If someone tells you the Orange Box comes with cake, remember that whatever else you choose to believe, the cake is most definitely a lie.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Touring in single-player mode is disappointingly pared down, as though the designers couldn’t imagine anyone would play the game alone. This was disappointing, as my friends can’t come over every day to play.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Touring in single-player mode is disappointingly pared down, as though the designers couldn’t imagine anyone would play the game alone. This was disappointing, as my friends can’t come over every day to play.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    The Orange Box reminds me of those knife sets sold on late-night TV, where if you act now you get a vegetable chopper and a cutting board. Besides Episode 2, Portal and Team Fortress 2, the package includes the original Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode 1. But no cake. If someone tells you the Orange Box comes with cake, remember that whatever else you choose to believe, the cake is most definitely a lie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    Touring in single-player mode is disappointingly pared down, as though the designers couldn’t imagine anyone would play the game alone. This was disappointing, as my friends can’t come over every day to play.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Critic Score
    This approach is similar to chess, but there are far more variables.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    The movie construction system is impressive.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Shadow of Rome's gameplay glistens, but its presentation is somewhat lackluster.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Kingdom Hearts II is in many ways superior to its predecessor. Battles are more exciting, the game is much longer, and unlike the original, it allows one to skip the beautifully animated story scenes, saving the player from watching a two-minute introductory sequence to a difficult battle five times in a row. What the sequel lacks is the narrative momentum of the original.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    There's nothing especially original in Dragon's old-fashioned gameplay, but it does it all beautifully.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    While it has modernized the gameplay mechanics, Legend feels like a walk down memory lane, recreating the feel of the original games. This is somehow comforting; no matter how many times Lara misses a ledge, is crushed by a boulder or dies in a hail of bullets, you feel she will always be there for you.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    While it has modernized the gameplay mechanics, Legend feels like a walk down memory lane, recreating the feel of the original games. This is somehow comforting; no matter how many times Lara misses a ledge, is crushed by a boulder or dies in a hail of bullets, you feel she will always be there for you.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Wanted's story won't win any awards, and the game would still be tremendous fun without it, but it gives your racing added significance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Wanted's story won't win any awards, and the game would still be tremendous fun without it, but it gives your racing added significance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    While it has modernized the gameplay mechanics, Legend feels like a walk down memory lane, recreating the feel of the original games. This is somehow comforting; no matter how many times Lara misses a ledge, is crushed by a boulder or dies in a hail of bullets, you feel she will always be there for you.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    While its old-school design is unlikely to win many new converts to the genre, it is still, flaws and all, the best adventure game to come out in several years.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Jeanne d’Arc’s story and gameplay are both first-rate, but they are essentially separate entities; you watch some story, fight a little and keep doing that until the game ends.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    The complex chesslike game play is as terrific as ever, but what sets Ruin apart is a radical change in tone. The previous games all had a cutesy style and a negligible story, but Ruin details a grim post-apocalyptic world where survivors struggle to find food and avoid a deadly parasite that turns people into flower-bedecked corpses.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    The game is essentially a burlesque of every game featuring cute forest creatures. It has the sort of platform-jumping, rope-climbing, monster-whomping challenges seen in many of these games, but adds foulmouthed animals, scatological humor and gallons of vividly scarlet cartoon blood.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Wanted's story won't win any awards, and the game would still be tremendous fun without it, but it gives your racing added significance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    While it has modernized the gameplay mechanics, Legend feels like a walk down memory lane, recreating the feel of the original games. This is somehow comforting; no matter how many times Lara misses a ledge, is crushed by a boulder or dies in a hail of bullets, you feel she will always be there for you.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 87 Critic Score
    Wanted's story won't win any awards, and the game would still be tremendous fun without it, but it gives your racing added significance.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    The game is easy to learn and immediately engaging, but also offers more complex features like the ability to break down refuse into component parts for making armor. The game's graphics are gorgeous, with grand ruins set in ravaged deserts.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Missions are quite interesting, as you seek out holy relics or protect besieged cities. They can also be very difficult, and there were times when after an hour of desperately trying to wipe out the enemy my army would be decimated and my general slain, forcing me to start over with a fresh approach. Fortunately, the varied strategic choices can make a mission play out quite differently a second time.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Retains most of the original's brilliance, though it isn't quite as funny.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Daxter, developed by Ready at Dawn Studios, is far closer in spirit to the original game than "Jak II" or "Jak 3," with wacky humor and imaginative puzzles and action that are challenging without being torturous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Part of The Darkness’s charm is its wealth of extravagant, often irrelevant detail.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Part of The Darkness’s charm is its wealth of extravagant, often irrelevant detail.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    The commentary is fascinating, and shows an attention to detail that puts many other games to shame. Every game designer should own Episode One — along with Richard Rouse III's book "Game Design: Theory and Practice" (Wordware, 2001).
    • 77 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    Most video games use up all their gameplay ideas in the first few hours, but Universe is always offering something new. While all three races perform the basics of strategy games — gathering resources, building weapons and finding and destroying enemy bases — the way they approach these tasks is quite different.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 86 Critic Score
    I was less impressed by Episode 2’s story. While it sows a few seeds for the final episode of the trilogy, the game lacks the driving force of the previous episode.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Gears of War shows that intelligent game designers can use high-powered consoles for more than just making prettier versions of existing games.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Grandia III's story isn't tedious, but neither is it memorable. It begins well but never gels.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    One is simply awestruck that so much can be squeezed into such a tiny package... Dark Mirror is everything a PSP game should be — an extravagant interactive movie with intricate gameplay and an elaborate story.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    It’s a startling change that the game emphasizes by having the aliens cover the island with snow. It feels as though Crytek created two games and jammed them together, and while the last third is still pretty fun, it feels like a pale imitation of "Halo 3."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Arenas are wonderfully bizarre...I was especially taken by an arena based on the Wario Ware games, where combatants periodically take breaks from battle to dodge objects or chisel statues.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Often hand-held games feel as shrunken in gameplay as they are in visuals, but Core seems unrestrained by its small screen, with a lengthy story, an interesting weapon-crafting system and e-mails that tell you more about the game’s world and offer you side missions that can be used to build your strength when enemies are too fierce.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    I have a very low frustration tolerance, but in spite of my string of infuriating crashes and last-place finishes, MotoGP kept me playing, partly because I was drawn in by the game’s exhilarating sense of high velocity, and partly because every once in a while I would hit a turn just right and realize that if I could figure out how I did that, I could win a race.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    Team Fortress 2 is a beautifully designed game with a visual style reminiscent of old Warner Brothers cartoons, and battles that combine strategy with frenetic action. The only real flaw is the documentation, which is far too skimpy to be of any help at all in learning the intricacies of each soldier class.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 85 Critic Score
    The second season has increased the difficulty with each episode, and Beelzebub has some really tricky puzzles.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Perhaps Sam is just getting older, perfecting his skills while losing some feistiness. His games are following the same path, with increasingly sophisticated, deep gameplay but a little less flair.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Perhaps Sam is just getting older, perfecting his skills while losing some feistiness. His games are following the same path, with increasingly sophisticated, deep gameplay but a little less flair.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    While Fantasy has a captivating and ingenious battle system and thriving, beautifully designed cities set in an imaginative, fully realized world, it doesn’t have much of a story. The best narratives of political intrigue frame it as a personal struggle, but Fantasy is too concerned with the grand sweep of politics to bother with giving its cast interesting personalities.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    This may disappoint Metal Gear fans used to the lengthy, elaborate missions of previous games, but it is ideal on a console you use while waiting for the train.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    While not quite as brilliant as the series’ best episode, "Virtual Reality 2.0," a parody of video games that concludes with an inspired tribute to old-style text adventure games, Moon is still a wonderful way to end a season.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Perhaps Sam is just getting older, perfecting his skills while losing some feistiness. His games are following the same path, with increasingly sophisticated, deep gameplay but a little less flair.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Wildly entertaining.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 84 Critic Score
    Perhaps Sam is just getting older, perfecting his skills while losing some feistiness. His games are following the same path, with increasingly sophisticated, deep gameplay but a little less flair.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Actions are beautifully animated, and it is thrilling when you manage to throw your opponents straight up in the air and keep them there with a series of well-placed kicks.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Like the gameplay, the story also picks up, mainly because of an ingenious structure in which it is told not from the perspective of one hero but from the points of view of consecutive protagonists.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    One advantage of dancing in a karaoke game is the music is better. I would rather dance to "Play That Funky Music" than to the grating songs that riddle games like Dance Dance Revolution.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Agents is a great mix of purposely nonsensical story and engaging gameplay.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Justice is a terrific game, but it suffers in comparison with the previous one. This time around the plot twists aren’t quite as unexpected (you usually know who the real killer is fairly early on), and some of the puzzles in the last case are rather unreasonable.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    With sardonic humor, a cool jazz score and engaging 3-D graphics, Culture Shock has even more style and wit than the original game. Unfortunately, the fun ends far too soon. This is not a full game but simply the first of six chapters, and you can finish the whole thing in four or five hours.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Puzzles are fiendishly intricate, and it is a thrill when you finish a circuitous, mind-bending route to the exit.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The game does ask the player to make choices, but they seem best decided by a coin toss, as there are no practical or moral reasons to choose a particular path. While a theme of duality runs through the game, it is more narrative conceit than game-play enhancement.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The game does ask the player to make choices, but they seem best decided by a coin toss, as there are no practical or moral reasons to choose a particular path. While a theme of duality runs through the game, it is more narrative conceit than game-play enhancement.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    Plague is wonderfully engrossing, especially as Philip begins to lose his mind, exploring a surreal dream world where hands grow from walls and acquiring an inner voice that sounds like a Runyonesque gangster and wryly encourages Philip to take lethal risks.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    One advantage of dancing in a karaoke game is the music is better. I would rather dance to "Play That Funky Music" than to the grating songs that riddle games like Dance Dance Revolution.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    The sense of immersion is increased by the game's first-person perspective and an absence of on-screen clutter. There is no health gauge blocking your view; if a dinosaur bites you, your vision blurs, indicating that one more bite will kill you.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 83 Critic Score
    One advantage of dancing in a karaoke game is the music is better. I would rather dance to "Play That Funky Music" than to the grating songs that riddle games like Dance Dance Revolution.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Sly is so much fun that he overshadows his gang, and as entertaining as the other missions are, you can't help wishing there were a little more Sly and a little less of everyone else.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The story is generic, and perhaps is present not because the developers had a story they wanted to tell but just because they thought one was obligatory; you tolerate rather than enjoy it. The gameplay, on the other hand, is a blast. Action is nicely varied, with all sorts of interesting enemies and levels.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    The visuals are grander and Lara has some new tricks up her sleeve, but no effort has been made to flesh out the negligible story.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Paradise isn’t my favorite Burnout game, but it is well worth playing; the only major aggravation is being forced to listen to Guns N’ Roses’ intolerable song “Paradise City” every time you start playing. Couldn’t they have named it Burnout Suffragette?
    • 87 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    Paradise isn’t my favorite Burnout game, but it is well worth playing; the only major aggravation is being forced to listen to Guns N’ Roses’ intolerable song “Paradise City” every time you start playing. Couldn’t they have named it Burnout Suffragette?
    • 68 Metascore
    • 82 Critic Score
    No game so desperately needs the input of an experienced writer as much as The Experiment, which creates an intriguing world but fails to create an intriguing character or a satisfactory conclusion.