Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
Buy On
  1. 100
    Games rarely have things this interesting to say or approach them from this outlandish a vector. Listen up.
  2. 100
    The game hits the mark on virtually every point and its unique blend of fashion savvy, fast paced combat, OCD inspiring item management and audiovisual presentation should not be missed.
  3. TWEWY is definitely the current reason to own a DS right now, and you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you choose to not check it out.
  4. Addictive gameplay and stylish content make this the perfect handheld complement to your all-night Grand Theft Auto sessions.
  5. Don't let The World Ends With You pass you up as it is easily the best DS title released in the last two years.
  6. The World Ends With You stands tall as both a compelling piece of interactive art and a brilliantly designed and executed game.
  7. It's rare to find an RPG for a handheld system with this much content. There's so much video game joy here that you it should satisfy just about any RPG gamer.
  8. Not only is the gameplay built from the ground-up for the DS, but the story is actually about something – not just orcs and elves.
  9. 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.
  10. One of the most fun, addictive, out-of-the-box RPGs since Earthbound. If you can handle the hardcore learning curve, the payoff is terrific.
  11. The World Ends with You is a game that every RPG fan who owns a DS needs to have.
  12. If you’ve been craving something different and unexpected, do not pass this offering up
  13. 91
    This is going to be the cult-hit DS game of 2008. Jupiter and Square Enix have developed a game that nails just about everything it tries – and it tries quite a lot of new or carefully lifted ideas.
  14. 91
    This is a game that works precisely because it's something new and different, and deserves to be celebrated for its originality...and for making its more banal moments as compelling as the inventive ones.
  15. With its frantic dual-screen battles in a dense little city, The World Ends With You is a surprisingly hardcore, impossibly ambitious DS title. This pint-size powerhouse might sadly intimidate a few DS owners and their Pokeymans. Don’t get scared off; put down your Zeldas and your juice boxes for two minutes and try taking on The World.
  16. 90
    The briskly moving plot and the unique battle system adds up yet another winner for Square Enix. [May 2008, p.82]
  17. As far as handheld RPGs go, it doesn’t get much more original than this.
  18. Nintendo Power
    Thw World Ends with You may not have a big name like "Final Fantasy" or "Kingdom Hearts" attached to it, but it certainly deserves the same kind of success. [May 2008, p.87]
  19. 90
    Few games make it into the "amazing" category in our opinion, but with a game that sets as many standards, breaks down as many walls, stomps as many preconceptions, and offers as much depth and versatility as The World Ends With You, we simply can’t consider it anything but exactly that.
  20. The World Ends With You is an amazing marriage of style and gameplay. The dual screen combat further stretches what the DS can achieve in gaming that is far from a lame gimmick.
  21. The World Ends With You is a compelling and immaculately presented RPG from start to finish, and is a great way for Square Enix to kick off a new franchise.
  22. Play Magazine
    I celebrate this game, and congratulate Square for having the courage to localize a piece that is so thoroughly Japanese. [May 2008, p.64]
  23. 90
    And while it all seems a little hokey or emo (as the kids call it these days) at first, The World Ends With You is actually one of the most interesting and gratifying experiences I’ve had with an RPG in years.
  24. Nintendo Gamer
    The most exciting ds game we've played in ages. [June 2008, p.56]
  25. The Worlds Ends With You is a deep and multifaceted adventure with clever combat, innovative features and a worrying shop-till-you-drop addictivity.
  26. 90
    The World Ends With You is a very unique and stylish RPG that all DS users should try out, at the very least.
  27. It's a convoluted story, but with intriguing characters, inspiring visuals and a stellar soundtrack, it's a journey worth your time.
  28. The World Ends With You is one of the best games of the year without a doubt. A fantastic plot with an amazing cast of character bring this virtual Shibuya to life in a game you’ll definitely want to see through to the end.
  29. The World Ends With You is hands-down one of the best DS games yet. It's fun and unique, and every DS-owning RPG fan needs to pick this up.
  30. games(TM)
    The greatest strength of The World Ends With You is that, in spite of its genre-bending innovations, not a single new element has been introduced just for the sake of it. [June 2008, p.110]
  31. AceGamez
    The hardcore will love its every moment, but casual gamers looking for a gateway drug into the role-playing genre won't give it a second look; like an arthouse favourite or a good long book, it's slow to pick up but impossible to put down.
  32. The World Ends With You is definitely not a game for everyone. It takes chances, it's bizarre, it's different, and it's difficult to even explain. However, it's also one of the best new RPG experiences I’ve had in the last few years.
  33. I commend Square-Enix on bringing over a very niche title and taking the gamble with both the game mechanics and the audience.
  34. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Square Enix proves that J-RPG doesn’t have to stick with a pre-formatted formula, offering a modern environment, a combat mechanic free of random encounters, and a adjustable difficulty that maintains the challenge to the player. Essential to all DS owners. [June 2008]
  35. n-Revolution Magazine UK
    Thrillingly inventive, dazzlingly original. Makes all other handheld RPGs look stale and uninteresting. [Issue#23, p.76]
  36. Even if you dislike Japan, J-Pop or anything that has to do with this country, The World Ends With You will appeal to you.
  37. Fantastic visuals, a wonderful soundtrack and original and compelling gameplay make this a must-have gem for the DS.
  38. 89
    Indeed, the game's appropriation of real-world themes and issues are at the heart of its success.
  39. Games Master UK
    A punchy young upstart like this is just what the staling RPG world needs. [May 2008, p.68]
  40. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    A highly original RPG that oozes class through the screens and speakers. The unique battle system is a great idea, despite being let down occasionally by iffy controls. [May 2008, p.87]
  41. It is a great example of innovative gameplay, and though it might take a while to get a hold on the actual battle mechanics, once you get going, you won't be able to stop!
  42. The World Ends With You is a game that's really hard to get into at first because of its bizarre presentation. However, the strangeness of the game is what really makes it stand out from any RPG—or rather, any game, that's come out before it.
  43. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    It's not perfect, but it's refreshingly original. [May 2008, p. 88]
  44. 86
    My final thought on The World Ends With You is that it's a grower. I was not initially sold on the game, but as I sunk more time into it, the more it grew on me.
  45. 85
    The World Ends With you is easily one of the best and undoubtedly one of the most unique experiences available on the Nintendo DS. Despite a tough learning curve, we highly recommend this one-of-a-kind title.
  46. Simply put, TWEWY is not perfect, but it brims with a style, depth and richness unmatched by any other RPG on the portable platform.
  47. This is the stuff cult hits are made of. [May 2008, p.98]
  48. From it's setting in modern Tokyo to its fast paced enemy encounters, The World Ends with You stands out as a daring and innovative franchise for Square-Enix, in spite of the main character's struggle with amnesia.
  49. 82
    All that said, this is a game that doesn't pander to the casual gamer. Those that persevere will however find a very accessible experience bubbling under the teen angst.
  50. When control is wrested from the narrative, the action mechanics are deep and interesting, making unique use of both of the DS screens at once. [May 2008, p.94]
  51. Its intense battles combined with the unique graphical look and equally unique soundtrack makes The World Ends With You one of the most interesting titles to grace the DS right now. If you're patient enough to handle the somewhat complex gameplay and the text heavy dialogue, this is a title you definitely don’t want to miss out on.
  52. 80
    The beautiful world, smart controls and surprising depth kept us coming back for more.
  53. It's bold, inspiring and bubbling over with dozens of ideas, any one of which would be cause for celebration in most games, but the over-reliance on a daunting sink-or-swim combat system that will leave many players gasping for breath ultimately counts against it. A truly brilliant game, it's just a shame that it couldn't ease off on the information overload and make that brilliance easier for everyone to appreciate.
  54. It will please fans of all things Japanese the most and probably alienate others, but there's something about TWEWY that makes it just a little bit special.
  55. 80
    If you're looking for something different in an RPG then do yourself a favor and give this game a shot.
  56. netjak
    Overall, The World Ends With You is a shining example of what could be done on the DS.
  57. 80
    But the eclectic mix of a new take on traditional RPG values, thoroughly modern settings, a funk-filled soundtrack and a completely unique battle mechanic pays off considerably, making the venture one that should not be missed by fans of the genre and newcomers alike.
  58. It's ironic, then, that the monotony of the new battle system still ends up being redeemed by a great story. And if great stories are your thing, The World Ends With You will warm your heart. If you are all about gameplay, you'll probably get bored fairly quickly.
  59. It ultimately suffers from trying too hard to be innovative and forgets the important part of being user friendly.

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
#4 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 346 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 346
  1. Sep 12, 2010
    Square Enix, with its unfortunate tenancy to publish almost anything that comes through the door, has lost my respect as a publisher. ThatSquare Enix, with its unfortunate tenancy to publish almost anything that comes through the door, has lost my respect as a publisher. That being said, they are one of the few publishers that would take the risk of publishing this game, so rich in things that have not been done before, and for that, I am grateful. Innovative, with an excellent plot, with twists I never saw coming. Worth playing, and for me, worth a 10/10. Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2011
    Absolutely awful. I read all the great reviews, and I tried to give it a chance, but it was so amazingly boring that I had to put it down.Absolutely awful. I read all the great reviews, and I tried to give it a chance, but it was so amazingly boring that I had to put it down. The text went on and on - I kept wanting to play the game, but I wasn't interested in what the people were saying. By the time I tried to play the game I was so bored that I didn't care. This is the most overrated game I have ever played. Play Zelda instead. Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2010
    The most important thing i can tell you about this game is that it's a grower. I wouldn't say i hated the game when i first played it butThe most important thing i can tell you about this game is that it's a grower. I wouldn't say i hated the game when i first played it but because of the steep difficulty curve, off the wall gameplay and slightly irritating characters i certainly found it hard to get into. It wasn't until i'd been playing it for nearly a week that the gameplay suddenly made sense. All of a suddern i found i could appreciate the finer details of the item management, run through chain battles with ease and was having a jolly good time thank you very much! Even the music and characters seem to get less annoying as the game progresses.
    I'm guessing most of the people who gave this a low score probably gave up after a couple of days. I'm not going to pretend that this is a game that everyone will like but genuine innovation and originality are pretty rare in todays games so THEWY is a must but if you're looking for something different.
    Full Review »