Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
Buy On
  1. As a confectionery item, Sid Meiers Pirates lasts about as long as a packet of Cadbury buttons or an Easter egg in the hands of a 10 year old. Like too much chocolate, you might get sick of it after a while, but you’ll come back to it sooner or later.
  2. A very simple game, but it is also very entertaining. It is easy to whittle away hours chasing galleons, seeking buried treasure or raiding ports. Meier seems to have a way with making games that are hard to stop playing.
  3. While the repetitive nature of the sub-games is what really keeps this away from true greatness, what leads to an increasing sense of the game being a chore is something as simple and ethereal as a wind.
  4. Edge Magazine
    60
    Elements such as marching onto an island, or talking to a governor, seem flat and underdeveloped. Islands are sparse and awkward experiences, while their governors are often illogical and nonsensical in their responses. [Jan 2005, p.88]
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 245 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 245
  1. S-P
    Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Having just finished my umpteenth playthrough, I figure it's a good time to write a short review about this underrated gem.

    I've been a
    Having just finished my umpteenth playthrough, I figure it's a good time to write a short review about this underrated gem.

    I've been a gamer for over 20 years. A relatively passionate one, and not one to generally like strategic games as much as the more action-y titles. The first time I was introduced to Sid Meier's Pirates was with this 2004 remake, in 2004/2005. Played through it, loved it, and sort of forgot about it. Since then, though, I've felt the urge to play it again and again. Sometimes it's after a year, sometimes a year and a half. But it always happens. That is a rare quality in a game, as most titles you beat once and forget about afterwards.

    It rarely happens with any game, and almost never with games that are this flawed. Pirates is repetitive, relatively shallow for a strategic game, and because it's rated E, it can be obnoxiously childish in tone as well. Plus some of the minigames are just downright tedious, the worst offender being ballroom dancing, that can luckily be skipped with a trainer.

    But none of the flaws overshadow the fact that Sid Meier's Pirates is FUN. Bringing criminals to justice, forcing that one unfortunate nation off the face of earth (for me it's usually Spain or France), plundering ships and towns, creating the strongest pirate army the world has ever seen, and retiring a legend.. With a bit of imagination, your journey truly becomes legendary -- if not for anyone else, then at least for you. And that's what counts. You start playing, and suddenly, nine hours have passed, and you have to fight against speaking in a pirate "slang" if you manage to somehow exit the game and actually venture outside your apartment for long enough to actually meet real humans. Actual humans, who never seem to have appreciation the struggles us pirates go through during the days after the game again draws you back for a new playthrough.

    And it will, faults and all. For me, Sid Meier's Pirates wasn't all THAT special when I first played it. But during the years, it's slowly brought itself up from behind, and joined the five games that I can honestly say I've loved during the 20-some years I've been around video games. A feat that almost rivals my latest career as a pirate, having retired as a 36 year old Governor of Campeche, with 180640 gold pieces, 37650 acres of land and a beautiful wife.

    I did everything that can be done in the game.. Except I only found eight hidden treasures. Which is undoubtedly something I will have to surpass on my next playthrough, in a year or so.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 27, 2010
    9
    I have been playing this game on and off for about five years now, and it I still love it. It's probably the second greatest RPG ever made.I have been playing this game on and off for about five years now, and it I still love it. It's probably the second greatest RPG ever made. The story is pretty dumb, and the graphics aren't THAT great (but decent) and the sounds are fairly low quality at some points, but the sheer fun and addiction of the gameplay surpasses all of that. The main problem with the game however, is that is never really fresh. Once you have completed about three different quests or so, you've completed every quest in the game since every quest is practically the exact same thing. Full Review »
  3. Kopschmigger
    Oct 22, 2008
    3
    Its a good game .. but it gets REALLY REPETITIVE after some time ! the story line is just about doing the same thing over and over again Its a good game .. but it gets REALLY REPETITIVE after some time ! the story line is just about doing the same thing over and over again until you get all the parts.... I liked it in the beginning. Please don't rate this game if you havent playied for more than 3 days or so ( it gets repetitive before that .. but whatever ). Totally overrated Full Review »