Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    While kids will love the bright and colourful characters and graphics, adults will love the subtle nuances of collecting, decorating, Feng Shui, natural history lessons and sheer delight of pleasures as simple as catching a huge bass in the nearby river.
  2. 100
    A highly addictive and entertaining game, with hundreds of hours of depth available. The animals are cute, with their own personality quirks. And if they annoy you, just remember they can't read.
  3. For fans of the genre, Animal Crossing can best be explained as a mix between "Harvest Moon" and "The Sims," and it's just so damn fun.
  4. netjak
    Addiction... The answer to the PC's hit simulation "The Sims," however you've got kooky little animals instead of real life looking people, and it's also a whole lot more fun.
  5. Game Informer
    It's like a simple "Sims"...but it's a lot of fun, I swear. [Oct 2002, p.86]
  6. Perhaps the deepest and most immersive game I have ever played. The community aspect is on a par with any MMORPG you care to mention, which is a hell of an achievement for an offline console game.
  7. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Sounds stupid, I know. But once you start playing, you won't be able to stop. [Oct 2002, p.196]
  8. 91
    It's an extremely satisfying experience...and the inclusion of the Game Boy Advance connectivity is absolutely brilliant and should not be missed.
  9. Extremely addicting. This is the type of game that you get up early and stay up late for just to see what will happen next.
  10. GameNow
    It looks plain on the surface, but once you've established yourself in your new town, you won't be able to put the controller down. Not for everyone, but very good. [Oct 2002, p.38]
  11. GMR Magazine
    The game that never ends... So why is it so much fun to play? [Feb 2003, p.96]
  12. It's easy to see why everyone in Europe was importing this from the US; there is simply nothing else like it.
  13. A beautifully designed game that will appeal to all ages, and offer great opportunities for cooperative play between family and friends.
  14. The game is so cute, so catchy, and so compelling, that its appeal is truly universal.
  15. Amazingly addicting, completing charming.
  16. This game does some things really poorly, and others exceptionally well...Just be careful... it could take over your REAL life.
  17. The game is intended to be played every day, usually only for an hour or two, as opposed to the multi-hour sessions that are usually devoted to videogames.
  18. 90
    It's in real time, so if you go a week without visiting your town, a week will have passed there and your neighbours will ask you where you've been.
  19. One of those classic games that could have only have come from Nintendo, and we loved every bit of it.
  20. 90
    The word "charming" never described a game more aptly. You could play Animal Crossing 30 minutes a day, every day for a year, and still not discover everything the game has to offer.
  21. 90
    One of the most outstanding features, though, is that Nintendo has tucked away some classic games in Animal Crossing, such as "Mario Brothers" and "Exibike."
  22. Ultimately, what makes Animal Crossing stand out is its sense of personality.
  23. Having played this game for a relatively long time, I have to warn that even though you will get your money's worth and many, many hours of play, it does end up getting very tedious after a couple of weeks.
  24. Nintendo Power
    You could play this game for years and still see new and different things. [Oct 2002, p.193]
  25. You see, like The Matrix, no one can be told what Animal Crossing is. But if you take the time to experience it for yourself, you'll undoubtedly understand why AC is a must-have game despite its technically limited presentation.
  26. If you want a game you can play for an hour or so a day for the rest of your days, then this is the game for you.
  27. Unlike most developers Nintendo can take an ingenious and unusual idea and turn it into an inventive game of discovery and fun. This, you might say, is the Nintendo difference.
  28. It's a peculiar addiction when you spend most of your days looking for a toilet to put in your basement and writing letters to the hippo next door.
  29. 84
    Although the game is technically lacking and isn't for everyone, it's one of the most original and engaging titles on the market.
  30. It's a breath of fresh air to have a nonviolent place you can bring kids to without any misgivings. Maybe they'll learn about the importance of debt reduction as well.
  31. The sheer replay-ability and open-ended nature of Animal Crossing is what makes it so much fun to play. There are so many different things to do, so many bugs and fish to catch, and so much interior decoration.
  32. Very much a game for a family or someone looking for a change of pace, and for that audience it provides an enjoyable, relaxing experience with a long life span.
  33. One of the most innovative games to grace the GameCube. But its unrestricted style of game play isn't for everyone. Younger players may prefer video games that pack more action.
  34. But here it's sickeningly addicting because it's completely yours, a customizable hub of adorable animal shenanigans.
  35. Playing Animal Crossing feels like the gaming equivalent of watching 70s/early 80s children's TV. Think Bod, think Magic Roundabout, and try not to smile while you're playing.
  36. Harmless fun, highly addictive and somehow appeals greatly to both the post-Pokemon generation and grizzled hardcore gamers like myself equally.
  37. It's certainly not perfect and isn't for everyone; however if you're looking for something suitably different, something that you can just whack on and enjoy for a few hours here and there and more importantly something so Nintendo, then you may just end up devoting your life to Animal Crossing.
  38. 80
    The biggest drawback to the game is that it relies heavily on multiplayer. The single-player tasks are fun, if benign, but the AI is pretty rudimentary and your behavior has no real long-term effect on your relationship with other residents.
  39. Cheat Code Central
    To touch on how huge this game is would take an entire book to explain all you can do and add.
  40. The graphics in Animal Crossing can be out done by the GBA. It has a very low frame rate, and has horrible looking grass. The graphics suck.
  41. Entertainment Weekly
    The game is habit-forming but crawls along too slowly to have the legs of a "Sims"-like blockbuster. [20 Sept 2002]
  42. Play Magazine
    Certainly not for everyone, this "life simulator" seems tailor made for the younger set. [Oct 2002, p.83]

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2002
#9 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 162 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 162
  1. Feb 11, 2012
    I was never disappointed by the game. It took a year of waiting for the DS version to come out to get old. The game thrust me into colorfulI was never disappointed by the game. It took a year of waiting for the DS version to come out to get old. The game thrust me into colorful characters, events, and randomness. It was an amazing experience and I love the customization. The newer games are great, but the originals are always the best as they introduce the true meaning of the series. Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2013
    Besides been the first life simulation other than the Sims that I have played. Animal Crossing was really enjoyable, the town you live in isBesides been the first life simulation other than the Sims that I have played. Animal Crossing was really enjoyable, the town you live in is really innocent, the towns people have emotions like actual people. The goal of the game is simple, the whole game is just trying to collect bugs, fish, fossils, and paintings that are all around your town. Things you collect go to the Museum first and anything you have left over goes to tom nook who runs a town shop. Tom nook is who gives your house upgrades and tools that you can use for cutting down trees, fishing and a net for bug catching. The game also has a lot of events that happen through out the year, also the real world and the in game time are both the same. They will have forth of July parties, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and any other holidays you can think off. The game has a lot to give, with more than one hundred hours of game play this game is worth a look at. Full Review »
  3. Nov 15, 2010
    Honestly my husband was begging me to play and i always told him not yet or not now then suddenly one day i played and i figured out thisHonestly my husband was begging me to play and i always told him not yet or not now then suddenly one day i played and i figured out this game it's very real and exciting, you don't have any idea how much make me sit and play for hours.This is the GAME you need to play and share it with your kids. i give this game 10 Full Review »