• Publisher: NCSOFT
  • Release Date: Apr 26, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
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  1. We were overwhelmed by the huge range of top-quality gameplay that's available here for $49.99 (USD) with no online fees.
  2. Computer Games Magazine
    The look of Guild Wars is magnificent. [Aug 2005, p.84]
  3. 98
    A revolutionary title that has completely redefined the possibilities contained within this oversaturated and rather tired genre.
  4. Guild Wars will be in my hard drive for a very long time. I anticipate that this game probably will pull quite a few people away from the pay-per month MMORPG’s that are currently out there and will develop a very strong following.
  5. Anyone looking for an engrossing online RPG experience without a monthly fee draining your wallet, Guild Wars is the game you simply must own.
  6. The success of Guild Wars lays in the lack of a monthly fee as well as in its core principles and game mechanics. This has attracted an important number of casual players, which are very happy that they can play PvP without having to invest a lot of time into repetitive actions, focusing instead on learning and developing new tactics and strategies.
  7. Guild Wars is all about the gaming experience and that experience is one of absolute pleasure from moment to moment. [PC Zone]
  8. One of the best MMORPGs on the market today. Whether you are drawn in by the unique guild system, the intense PvP battles, or the even the visually stunning graphics, any gamer can find a reason to play Guild Wars.
  9. A thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced adventure in a wonderfully rendered world. Guild Wars does a lot of things very right, including some of the best PvP in a current MMO, and does so with a flair and style that is addicting and a joy to play.
  10. Everyone can enjoy the easily accessible combat, the deep-as-you-want-to-go strategy elements of the skill and spell system and amazing visuals.
  11. netjak
    Guild Wars is an incredibly immersive and addicting gaming experience, and with new quests being added to the game and the promise of expansion packs for the game, it looks like we’re all going to be hooked for a long, long time.
  12. It innovatively and successfully combines many of the best, most addictive properties of action RPGs, online RPGs, and competitive multiplayer games in one beautifully produced package, which offers a tremendous lasting value yet none of the monthly fees typically associated with online-only games.
  13. Masterfully blends the best of MMORPGs and collectible card games into a unique and enjoyable online gaming experience.
  14. Pelit (Finland)
    A great online RPG with no monthly fee. Requires real skill unlike its competitors. [July 05]
  15. Guild Wars is extremely pretty, with some amazing art design, an excellent graphics engine, and a unique glow system.
  16. PC Format
    Nearly perfect drop-in, drop-out fantasy fun. Top-notch stuff. [July 2005, p.91]
  17. While you're trying to decide whether or not to throw down the $50, I'm going to keep thanking ArenaNet for making such an exceptional game and raising the bar on other developers, particularly in terms of the graphics engine, patching and content streaming.
  18. You just really need to know that it plays brilliantly, like an action-orientated version of more traditional MMORPGs. The scope of the PvE alone would justify the price, but the PvP aspect truly sweetens the deal to the point where you really can’t say no.
  19. It’s impossible to describe the joy playing Guild Wars offers. It isn’t particularly deep, but it’s highly rewarding nonetheless. A friendly design and interface, and the simple, elegant combat, are bound to appeal to a wide range of gamers.
  20. 90
    If tedious leveling up, dull combat, or uninspired player vs. player gaming are your quibbles with today's massively multiplayer offerings, Guild Wars is the cure.
  21. 90
    Few games of this nature began their life so smoothly, as even the massive influx of players on launch date and beyond did little to disrupt the enjoyment of the game.
  22. 90
    Aggro is aggravating, and party organizing could use a tune-up, but combat, travel and general smoothness are excellent.
  23. The graphics, sound, playability and diverse atmosphere make it one of the more compelling RPGs we’ve played to date. It does a decent job of being a lot of things to many and does so with ample amounts of grace.
  24. 90
    It's totally new and different. There's nothing else like this on the market. And it's a PvP fan's dream. But the big thing that pushes Guild Wars into must-have territory is the fact that there's no monthly fee.
  25. I said it before but I’ll say it again, not having monthly fees is awesome! That way I don’t feel compelled to have to play it as much as possible to get my money’s worth.
  26. The array of character builds and focus on warring guilds makes it a dream for those who enjoy online rucks. The more off-line adventurer has a huge world and extensive plot to fight their way through.
  27. Cheat Code Central
    Guild Wars is my kind of MMO RPG game. It's as though my complaints have been addressed and someone has crafted an almost perfect example of an online, multi-player, role-playing game.
  28. The game does look quite good, especially considering that it’s not very taxing on your computer.
  29. A great game. It has a few problems, but the gameplay is fun, the PvP combat is balanced and refreshing, the storyline is engrossing, and the entire experience is superb.
  30. While it is unquestionably about fighting other guilds after you reach the cap, there is also a very solid PvE (player vs. environment) game as well.
  31. AceGamez
    Everything about this game is slick and snappy, so there's never a dull moment. If the quest you're on gets a little boring, sign up for some PVP action and kick some human ass.
  32. Play Magazine
    You don't need to be an experienced MMO player to have fun with this game, and you don't need a beast of a PC to run the game smoothly. [July 2005, p.80]
  33. The world of Kryta is still evolving, as is the game of Guild Wars. This first Guild Wars falls short of legendary status, but from what I’ve seen the Guild Wars series may yet find its place in the PC Hall of Heroes.
  34. The player economy, crafting aspects, and general sociability aren't nearly what they are in a full-fledged MMORPG, and even ArenaNet labels Guild Wars a "competitive RPG." Still, for less-social gamers thirsting for high-octane, real-time online action without a monthly fee, Guild Wars is a solid choice.
  35. 90
    The graphics in this virtual world are amazing. The characters are rendered beautifuliy, and they move and interact with the environment perfectly. The system requirements for this game is low but the graphics are still spectacular.
  36. Pelaaja (Finland)
    Guild Wars is a beautiful product on every level. It’s technically faultless, the plot is exciting and the many small improvements to the genre, which are too many to name here, help make this a game that comes highly recommended to all fans of online RPGs. And there’s not even a monthly fee to pay! [July 2005, p 73]
  37. To not buy this just because you don't 'see the point', want to 'use guns and rockets and stuff' is just cutting your nose off to spite your face. You will have fun playing this, and with no monthly fees, you can afford to.
  38. You won’t experience the same feeling of immersion that you’d get from playing World of Warcraft or EverQuest II as the game loads you and your party to areas separated from the rest of the players online every time you leave town, which makes playing Guild Wars feel more like a 3D version of Diablo II at times.
  39. What really makes the game work so well is the pacing of the combat, coupled with a story that one actually wants to experience.
  40. Game Informer
    Just don't go into it expecting to satisfy your raging leveling and loot addictions. [July 2005, p.124]
  41. 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.
  42. And because much of the content streams directly from the servers, it is also endlessly flexible, completely modular and ripe for future developments. It's going to be one of the most important games of this year and years to come. [PC Gamer UK]
  43. It manages to balance player vs. player and co-operative modes far better than its competition, simply by having two types of character.
  44. PC Gamer
    A superb multiplayer RPG that moves the boundaries of what an MMO can be. [Aug 2005, p.64]
  45. 84
    It does succeed at offering something very unique: a cross between team-based action and RPG elements. It simply depends on what you’re tastes are.
  46. The character creation flexibility is a real strong point in an overall solid title, one that I hope other developers take note of.
  47. Guild Wars represents a continued refinement of the staple concepts that the genre is built around; it may not shake the apple-tree, but the experience does feel refreshingly different to other games in the genre.
  48. 80
    One area where Guild Wars sets itself apart from other MMOs are the environments; they are flat-out the most impressive, especially when seeing that even lower-end rigs can run the game at a respectable frame rate.
  49. The classes are well balanced, and there is an impressive list of spells and skills available to players to pick and choose from.
  50. 80
    Casual gamers can feel free to jump in and play for a few hours a week without worrying about getting their money’s worth, while more dedicated players can spend hours and hours earning abilities for their characters through quests and recognition for their guild through tournaments.
  51. games(TM)
    Although it may lack the sense of immersion that titles like World of Warcraft and City of Heroes provide, it’s a classic example of an ‘easy to pick up, hard to put down’ title. [July 2005, p.120]
  52. The story isn’t compelling, the PvE gameplay isn’t deep and it definitely won't feed you grapes, but this double-edged sword mostly cuts the right way.
  53. Edge Magazine
    At its best only when the structure is there to support it. Find eight people to play with regularly, and invest in voice communications to streamline tactical discussions, and Guild Wars offers an intelligent and demanding thrill - bringing the best of the skill and strategy of FPS deathmatches to the grandeur of a role-playing world. [Aug 2005, p.88]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 490 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 490
  1. Dec 22, 2011
    One of the best games I have ever played in my life. The company (ArenaNet) took some chances with this game. They went for a bit of aOne of the best games I have ever played in my life. The company (ArenaNet) took some chances with this game. They went for a bit of a different skill/attribute set and a lot of other things. They really stepped out of the comfort zone and threw away the traditional MMORPG **** And guess what, it worked well. There were a few dull areas but those were overthrown by the glorious rest of the game. The missions were fun and enticing, the gear was visually appealing and could parts mixed and matched. The graphics were very good for a companies very first game. At release this game was magnificent, the cities were overflowing with people and the PvP arenas was a place to be. Now, not so much. The game has aged and the majority of players can be seen on the later expansion packs or winds of change one of the newer updates. So in all honesty, I wouldn't purchase the game based on those facts. Wait for Guild Wars 2, which still has no monthly fee. That game will be well worth the wait. Full Review »
  2. GeorgeS.
    May 4, 2005
    Guild Wars sports _the best_ fantasy PvP bar none. It takes a little bit of time to figure out your prefered playstyle or even how to play Guild Wars sports _the best_ fantasy PvP bar none. It takes a little bit of time to figure out your prefered playstyle or even how to play effective PvP but once you have got it the game just clicks. Tons of action and very little downtime. PvE can be taken at your own pace. Heck if you're feeling anti-social you can invite some decent NPC's to help you quest. The fetch quest PvE content is sometimes bland but the main storyline quests are very good. The music is good enough but the sound effects sometimes are wanting. *clang* doesn't always cut it these days. Graphics are very good and GW runs well on older computers. The interface is great. You can make your own to suit your needs in game with very little hassle. ArenaNet makes updates, patches etc, very painless and you hardly notice. The technology behind the game is quite awesome. There are some gripes. Targeting needs to be improved. And sometimes you can get tripped up on invisible geometry. No jumping sadly. If you enjoy PvP there is no reason you should not check Guild Wars out. Everything else is icing on a very sweet cake. Full Review »
  3. May 19, 2011
    I had previously scored this game a 0, which was a bit hasty of me. Now, after having spent much more time with this game I have found it toI had previously scored this game a 0, which was a bit hasty of me. Now, after having spent much more time with this game I have found it to be a very good game overall, with a very very bad death penalty system. Taken as a whole this game and all its additions (3 campaigns, linked as smaller parts of the bigger story and one expansion to the larger story) is very well done. The engine is old, 6 years and counting, yet the graphics are still decent and when compared to the king of MMO's (Warcraft, terrible game that it's become) they are better. Landscapes often look like art, as if you are exploring a giant painting. The characters are very nicely modeled and no two look alike. This game allows a player to fully customize their appearance through the use of gear and dyes so you can look exactly how you want to. There are also optional costumes for purchase should one so desire. The quests are typical of any MMO or RPG and should be easily recognizable to anyone who has ever played one. One thing I particularly like about this game is the monsters, of endless varieties, are not pushovers. Combat is actually challenging. You have to think before you pull, do it wrong you die. But, then enters the worst thing about the game...the death penalty. You die 15% is taken off your health and mana. That pretty much stays unless you kill A LOT of mobs or have some potions (which I'm told exist, but have yet to see one). Kill a world boss, you get 2% taken off the 15...not much and the bosses are that much harder. Death in what are called "missions", the larger quests that actually tell the story reset the entire mission and could waste an hour or more of your time. Dieing in this game sucks, period. The abilities and different "builds" you can create are vast, allowing you to choose from a pool of tens, if not hundreds of combat moves and spells. The possibilities are really endless. The guild and communication interfaces could use a modernization and the UI doesn't give as much info as I would like, but those are minor things. The game would score a 9 or best MMO type game available from me, except the death penalty really really pisses me off. Played carefully, its a great game. Oh, and for around $40 you can get all the content the game has and there's no extra cost necessary, ever. Best MMO style game value in the industry, hands down. Full Review »