Metascore
82

Generally favorable reviews - based on 51 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51
  1. Aug 6, 2018
    96
    The moving, fitting climax of a true epic. The Banner Saga took four years to complete and is living proof of what a strong vision, flawless artistic direction and well-tuned game mechanics can achieve when working in perfect synergy. If the screenshots speak to you, you will find here a game that is truly in a league of its own.
  2. Jul 26, 2018
    95
    In the end you experience emotional exhaustion, relief and light sadness at the same time. This is normal when you complete any great journey, even if it has happened in a video game.
  3. Aug 1, 2018
    92
    This is a tight trilogy with so few slow parts that I could barely tell I had sunk 13 hours into the third episode by the time I was finished with it. I could easily see myself returning to the series at episode one just to experience the story from an entirely new perspective. If you've played the first two games, I have to wonder why you're reading this. Quickly, save the world from the dark! Or you know, some other choice betwixt saving the world and desolation.
  4. Edge Magazine
    Aug 16, 2018
    90
    Ferocious and heartbreaking, this is storytelling with serious clout: against the odds, Stoic has stuck the landing. [Issue#323, p.108]
  5. Aug 6, 2018
    90
    For what is worth, The Banners Saga 3 is a fitting end for a great adventure that's meant to highlight the qualities and downsides of the human spirit: sacrifice, love, heroism, friendship vs. malice, hate, thirst for power, cowardice. The story and the objective in The Banner Saga 3 doesn't change, it only becomes bleaker and more intense. On top of that, the sense of hopelessness and despair is present now more than ever, making The Banner Saga 3 a journey full of angst and melancholy.
  6. Jul 30, 2018
    90
    I will miss this series; but this final instalment brings it to a worthy conclusion. I also imagine that, as with the Mass Effect trilogy, I will replay it many more times throughout my life, revelling in the worlds that my cumulative decision making will create. The Banner Saga has made some moments that will stay with me a long time.
  7. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    A fitting end to the trilogy, and fans of the series so far will not be disappointed with the new gameplay features or the excellent storytelling.
  8. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    Even if the battles can sometimes feel tedious, The Banner Saga 3 is largely a fantastic resolution to the trilogy. It’s bleak, it’s desperate, and you’ll finally see the end of the stories for these characters you’ve followed for three games. Whether it’s a happy ending or not, though, you’ll have to see for yourself.
  9. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    The trilogy reaches its eventful climax. If you like tactical roleplaying games it doesn’t get much better than with this epic entertainment.
  10. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    One of the best tactical and adventure saga comes to an end bringing to the table the usual stellar production values in narrative, choices and tactical battles. A must have, and play.
  11. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    A daring, exciting and bleakly powerful payoff that handsomely rewards your investment in its characters.
  12. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    Like closing the final chapter on a thousand-page-long fantasy novel, The Banner Saga 3 delivers a dark and thrilling conclusion to remember.
  13. Jul 26, 2018
    90
    Basically, it’s George R. R. Martin rules here. The stakes are stupidly high and no character is safe. You may be paying for a full front-row seat to watch one of the most well-realised worlds since the original Mass Effect trilogy, but you’ll only ever need the edge of your chair.
  14. Sep 5, 2018
    89
    With a sigh of excitement, a frustrated scream and a sad sob you will arrive at the ending of this art-y, pitch black trilogy. We won't give it our coveted Gold Award, because there hasn't been a lot of innovation through the years (part 1 was from 2014), but the trilogy as a whole definitely deserves cold gold.
  15. Jul 26, 2018
    88
    If you've played the first two, The Banner Saga 3 is impossible to ignore. In this final chapter, everything is broken and mended and broken again. I was never sure if there would be--or even could be--any kind of happily ever after to this massive mythology Stoic Studios has built. It's an excellent uncertainty.
  16. Jul 26, 2018
    88
    What makes The Banner Saga 3 fantastic is the feeling of its predecessors. The whole series is traversed by a certain despair and sadness, which belong to the inevitable end. The finale drives this melancholy to the extreme, motivating me through struggles and decisions but at the same time to continue.
  17. Jul 26, 2018
    88
    Tougher strategies, higher stakes, and high production values are the order of the day. By the time the Saga is coming to a close, you’ll look back and feel your growth in an epic warlord.
  18. 87
    As the final chapter of the trilogy, The Banner Saga 3 should not be bought with the hope of finding some kind of gameplay innovations, but to savor the last part of an epic journey in search of safe place and truth.
  19. Aug 11, 2018
    85
    A thrilling final chapter.
  20. Aug 3, 2018
    85
    In a despairing atmosphere, the story of The Banner Saga finally meets its end. Your choice matters, and every move of the battle matters, so choose carefully. It has some issues in some ways, but overall, The Banner Saga has become an important part of the SLG family, with its very unique art style and strategy design.
  21. Jul 31, 2018
    85
    Beautifully hand-drawn artwork coupled with turn-based strategy and meaningful decisions.
  22. Jul 27, 2018
    85
    A nice climax to put an end to this tactic system until Stoic surprises us with a brand new one.
  23. Jul 26, 2018
    85
    This is a wonderful end for a wonderful trilogy. If you’ve been playing the series, this final episode won’t disappoint you. If you haven’t, maybe now is the right time to start.
  24. Jul 26, 2018
    85
    Good news: The Banner Saga series will offer you an amazing ending that does the franchise right. Everything fits together perfectly and that makes for a very emotional ending of this beautiful adventure.
  25. Jul 26, 2018
    85
    The Banner Saga 3 ends one of the most exciting and mature epics that the world of videogames has given us in recent years.
  26. Aug 31, 2018
    84
    The Banner Saga 3 is a good game, but if you have to take a step back and look at the trilogy as a whole, you will truly appreciate the whole greatness of this saga.
  27. Jul 26, 2018
    83
    Combat can be a bit of a chore once you find your footing, and the story ends all too quickly, but The Banner Saga 3 is a rich and powerful experience and a worthy end to a breakout trilogy.
  28. Jul 26, 2018
    83
    The Banner Saga 3 is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, offering a solid end to the narrative with inventive ways to keep the gameplay fresh. This last chapter is a great game on its own, but it also completes a series that has been exceptionally consistent in quality, which is worth appreciating.
  29. Jul 26, 2018
    82
    Overall, I'm happy with the third part, which is mainly due to the epic plot and the strongly drawn characters.
  30. Jul 26, 2018
    82
    The Banner Saga 3 ends the epic tale by Stoic Studios, bringing once time again the same inspired visuals and narrative. There is nothing really new in terms of gameplay, but if you liked the previous entries it will be fine.
  31. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Dec 31, 2018
    80
    A successful ending to the trilogy, which is also the best game of the series. Stoics managed to finish the entire saga marvelously. [Issue#288]
  32. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Sep 26, 2018
    80
    It’s Part 3 of the trilogy, so if you’ve missed the previous two, there’s no reason to play this one first. But if you’ve been anxiously awaiting the finale of the story that began 4 years ago – The Banner Saga 3 won’t disappoint. [Issue#232, p.58]
  33. Aug 7, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 is both heavy and beautiful. The characters that you get to know throughout the Trilogy are not invincible heroes but ragged, flawed, and incredibly vulnerable. It’s melancholy and fraught with distress, yet even its darkest moments tend to have some form of silver lining. In every struggle, as you question whether you’ll live or die, there’s a sense of satisfaction that at least this is a life worth living.
  34. 80
    The Banner Saga 3 is the compelling conclusion to a saga that first captured hearts in 2014 with its masterful hand-drawn art, gut-wrenching decision-making, and satisfying turn-based combat. The final installment is everything it was expected to be and more, and while it may not be particularly welcoming to newcomers, it’s a fine reason for everyone to dive back into the Viking saga once again.
  35. Aug 4, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 brings this amazing series to a close. As we had expected, Stoic Games delivers an epic ending: there’s so much mastery in each element of the game you couldn’t ask for a better way to say goodbye to the Saga.
  36. Aug 1, 2018
    80
    As a standalone game, The Banner Saga 3 is the weakest of the bunch. As a conclusion, it does its job well, marrying beauty to melancholy and making me think long and hard about what sacrifices I was willing to make for the good of the world.
  37. Jul 30, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 is a perfect finale to The Banner Saga. While it’s not the most well designed game on the market, it’s one of the most well written games I have ever played.
  38. Jul 27, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 is a true epic ending.
  39. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 fails to deliver the complexity of choice some were hoping for, but the compromise allows for a deep narrative enhanced by intelligent combat additions, excellent art direction, and its melancholic soundtrack.
  40. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 is a great game, and crushing enemies both small and large, human and supernatural is still just as fun.
  41. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 closes the epic journey created by Stoic. However, its condition of being the ending makes the game a constant rush and, in the end, the decisions and climaxes lose their purpose.
  42. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 wraps up its six-years-in-the-making epic in poignant, gripping style. The game’s tactical battles still have some issues, but their rough edges have been sanded down to the point they no longer detract from the game’s stellar writing. The Banner Saga 3 deserves to be held high as a prime example of both video game storytelling and a crowdfunded project done right.
  43. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 won't have the same kind of meaningful impact if you haven't experienced the rest of the series. But if you've taken the time to journey with these characters from the very beginning, this finale is a worthwhile and cathartic end to your long journey.
  44. Jul 26, 2018
    80
    The Banner Saga 3 closes the book on an incredible saga of turn-based action and dark, haunting storytelling. It’s hard to make player choices and branching narratives successfully payoff over the course of three games, but Stoic Studios have done just that. It’s a shame that they never tried to revamp or update the sluggish combat speed along the way, but that’s a small price to pay for a once in a lifetime narrative experience like this.
  45. Games Master UK
    Aug 9, 2018
    79
    The saga ends. While it's never quite great, The Banner Saga 3 is a very good turn-based tactics title. [Issue#333, p.62]
  46. games(TM)
    Sep 6, 2018
    70
    Not a glorious end, but a great package. [Issue#204, p.78]
  47. Jul 27, 2018
    70
    Not a good standalone game but a fine ending to the trilogy, that manages to make three games feel like one.
  48. CD-Action
    Dec 4, 2018
    60
    With its dated, slow combat system, no intention to evolve the series, bugs, and no tension, The Banner Saga 3 is sadly just a game you tick off to get closure, not a spectacular finale. [10/2018, p.82]
  49. Aug 29, 2018
    60
    Bad Japanese localization prevents the player from getting invested in the story, but both in gameplay and story Banner Saga 3 is a worthy conclusion to an epic trilogy.
  50. Aug 6, 2018
    60
    The Banner Saga 3 does nothing we haven't seen before, and becomes the weakest entry in the series through its lack of suspense, and the abrupt and unfulfilling ending that gives no closure
  51. Jul 27, 2018
    60
    We’ve seen our characters in a perpetual state of ‘fight or flight’ the entire series, barely pausing to catch their breath before hitting the road again. I don’t feel like I know these characters, which makes it all the more difficult to care about them when the entire world is collapsing in on itself.
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This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
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  1. Jul 26, 2018
    Stately, vivid and tragic, this brooding epic finally reaches its climax. [Recommended]
  2. Aug 3, 2018
    But there’s just something missing, a spark that elevates them from sound concept to truly gripping encounters, and so a few hours into this third game battles felt like a bore, no matter the new enemies and dramatic context.
  3. Whether you have a satisfying ending or not is very much down to your choices, and yours alone – which, for a game like this, couldn’t be more fitting. Yes, it runs the risk of being a massive anti-climax if you make a few duff decisions, but even that has a kind of poetic justice to it – it’s just another tragic tale to be woven into your ever-eventful banner...Overall, I think you will have a good ending – and one worth the pain you’ve had to endure over the. course of these collective 40-odd hours
  4. Aug 1, 2018
    While there are a couple of places where it feels like the difficulty ramps up too quickly, or where major plots twists unfold with barely a moment to react or comment, my fundamental reaction to The Banner Saga 3 is one of vindication. It turns out this was a journey worth taking, and a world worth keeping in my heart for the last few years. In the end it has justified its stylistic and narrative choices, and surpassed the hopes I had for it back when I played the first part of the trilogy.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 48 out of 76
  2. Negative: 8 out of 76
  1. Jul 29, 2018
    5
    What a letdown.

    When the original game came out, I was a massive fan. Beautiful music and art style, simple, but well crafted turn-based
    What a letdown.

    When the original game came out, I was a massive fan. Beautiful music and art style, simple, but well crafted turn-based fighting, challenging resource management, great story, meaningful choices, many options to take. Then the second game came, and it was noticeably weaker. Gone were the managing of food, morale, units reached the soft level-cap, stopping any real advancement, making the fights easy. It still had the art, the fun combat, and had huge enemy variety, but it also featured false choices. You could refuse somebody, but she tagged along for the journey anyway - so why ask my opinion about it? The lowest point was the mustache-twirling villain: Rugga. He was so obviously evil, he could have tattooed it on his forehead, yet he was so cunning and devious, he somehow always cut in front. But the story took a good turn: it started flirting with the idea, that the kind-hearted mage couple might just hide some pretty evil secrets. It ended on a massive triple cliffhanger, but I was still ready to tag along to see the ending.
    And I walked away massively disapointed.
    Every sequel stripped features from the original: this time, there is no resource management, or morale. They are gone. The caravan is now moving across blighted, dead land - so the art-style, while still impressive, has to show you dull, featureless landscapes. Choices are much less meaningful, characters are forgotten, plotlines are dropped. The battles come around being challenging again, by facing overpowered enemy, who also outnumber you. This time there are no WAR options - but if you win a fight, you can face another wave - for that you can deploy a new team.
    Rugga is such a comical villain, that I fully expected him to kidnap poor Alette, and tie her in front of a speeding train, while laughing maniacally. His deviousness is almost comical - and everyone is powerless to stop him, for some... reason... Also Oddlief turnes dumb, Iver turnes nice and optimistic, Eyewind turnes... evil for two seconds.

    Mild spoilers!

    The worst, however, was the ending. It is one thing, that the game shies away from the more mature ending, instead, the two magicans were just long suffering good guys, not villains at all. Okay, no biggie. But the ending itself is so abrupt, I couldn't believe it. Sure, it brings an end to this story, and it is largely up to you, how it plays out. But you don't actually get to know, what will happen 5 minutes after the end credits roll. What happened with Bolverk? What happened with Alette or Rook, if you kept them alive? What happened with the other 100 people I saved?

    End of spoilers

    Also a smaller complaint is the fact, that every game takes 5-6 hours to finish, totaling to 16-17 hours of gameplay. 40% of it is you, watching people slowly march across beautiful landscapes, doing nothing. There is no reason, to release it in three parts, other than to make 3 times as much money. But I like Versus Evil, so I hope they will use the money to make more games.
    If I were to rate the series as a whole, it would total into a 7/10: a good game, that any fan of tactical turn-based games should try. But individually, the first game is by far the best. That is an 8-8.5/10, the second is 6-6.5/10 - that leaves me with the third one. And due to it's bare gameplay, stripped features, the most annoying villain ever, and an unsatisfactory ending, I rate it a 5/10. An average game. Certainly the weakest in this otherwise good, high quality series.

    5/10 - average
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 26, 2018
    6
    The first one still the best. Ending choices of the second game dont matter. Canary betrayal plot is dropped. Ludin and Vognirs death plot isThe first one still the best. Ending choices of the second game dont matter. Canary betrayal plot is dropped. Ludin and Vognirs death plot is dropped. Alette is still a Rambo and wins battles duo with the scald. Ivers battles can give you a pause until you figure out that stonesinger and strength buff + mender and armor restore can net you 20/50 monsters. And with the heroics? An overkill. Rivers of renown you dont know who to spend on because the rest dont matter. In the first game everyone mattered because you had not that many characters and after dealing with second waves and its randomness while being half dead, you could have injuries, possible limited supplies and had to rotate your squad. Full Review »
  3. Jul 27, 2018
    9
    What an incredible ending to an amazing story. This is how you finish a trilogy!

    Your decisions from two games weigh heavy, new mechanics
    What an incredible ending to an amazing story. This is how you finish a trilogy!

    Your decisions from two games weigh heavy, new mechanics complicate existing tactics and the visuals and soundtrack have been kicked up to 11.

    Stoic should be proud of this fantastic game.
    Full Review »