Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Oct 24, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is a story made of stories. A good exploration of the limits of freedom in videogames.
  2. Oct 21, 2013
    A very unique experiment with you at the center.
  3. Oct 28, 2013
    We also enjoy The Stanley Parable, but this isn't just a game meant to be enjoyed. I refuse to believe something like this is just meant to be something we goof around with for a couple of evenings and dumped into our hundreds-strong Steam libraries, never to be thought of again.
  4. CD-Action
    Dec 13, 2013
    Is it worth it to pay for a new version of a an old free mod? The visuals are of course better, but it’s not important in a game with the story as a centerpiece. And the topic that was fresh in 2011 doesn’t have such an impact nowadays. [13/2013, p.66]
  5. Oct 17, 2013
    Where so many games that aspire to be more than games end up less than any form of art, Stanley Parable strives, and then succeeds, to be every game ever created. Even so, holding the game to the standards of any other title is simply not going to be correct.
  6. Oct 18, 2013
    The Stanley Parable has this provocative and perpetual elusiveness that aches to break whatever system it’s applied to. Perhaps it's part of a weapons-grade disinformation campaign appointed to destroy all videogames, or maybe it was commissioned to wreck game criticism. Through any interpretation The Stanley Parable is equally hilarious and genuine, and if nothing else it’s going to merit inclusion in any serious discussion of its medium.
  7. Oct 31, 2013
    There is a lot more to The Stanley Parable, but to reveal the many wonderful surprises and twists crammed into the three hours it takes to see just about everything would be foolhardy. So instead, you'll have to trust us. But you'll be hard-pressed to find a funnier and more delightful game than The Stanley Parable this year.
  8. Nov 6, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is brave. It’s brave because it offers the freedom to define the parameters of your experience. It’s brave because it’s willing to explore the ways in which games manipulate players, and to extrapolate that point into a discussion of the way we are all manipulated by the structures of real life. It’s brave because it’s willing to make fun of itself.
  9. Oct 17, 2013
    Familiar but consistently surprising, this new Parable even fits beautifully into the existing game - a game that took its power not from a single narrative but the interaction of all its possible narratives, super-positioned and entangled.
  10. Oct 28, 2013
    Maybe I already told you too much about The Stanley Parable, maybe I should just tell you that you absolutely have to play this curious little gem of a game. Even though it really is playing you and not the other way around.
  11. Nov 10, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is an interactive comic sketch, smart and brilliant, that every videogames fan should try.
  12. Nov 5, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is the “Being John Malkovich” of video games, a complex and shapeless digital creature, that we will play over and over again, sometimes staying with raised eyebrows and a sea of questions, with the only certainty of having experienced something as much surreal as poetic.
  13. Oct 22, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is built upon a single, simple premise, and only offers a few hours of entertainment. That said, they were a few hours unlike any I've experienced playing games before. If you're a fan of experimental indie projects or just in the mood for a fun detour from your typical gaming adventure, look no further.
  14. Oct 18, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is a game which isn’t really applicable to the standard rating system. It’s a game that achieves what it has set out to achieve perfectly, and though it could be longer and have more endings, it doesn't need them. It’s a thought-provoking and intelligent game which should be experienced by everyone, and one which will be referenced for a long time to come.
  15. Oct 22, 2013
    No need to try to be more absurd, funnier and more disturbing than The Stanley Parable, let's just say that it's an adventure to live and relive, relive and relive again... and never get rid of this feeling of having missed something. Never.
  16. Oct 17, 2013
    This is a thought experiment of sorts, and in comparison to some of its hordes of first-person peers, it may even be said that there’s not much of an actual point to the gameplay. But keep in mind that if that’s your conclusion, there’s a strong danger that you’re exactly the type of complacent player The Stanley Parable’s criticisms are aimed at.
  17. Jan 23, 2014
    It's one of those games that tries and succeeds in making a bold statement. Be prepared for something really special.
  18. Oct 28, 2013
    For gamers looking for something intellectual about their medium, in their medium, The Stanley Parable is the only choice available – and thankfully, it’s a good one.
  19. Oct 17, 2013
    The Stanley Parable analyses, comments on, laughs at and loves games and their narrative ambitions. The result is this phenomenal meta game that makes you laugh and think at the same time.
  20. Nov 11, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is a fun, charming and mind-boggling adventure that continue to amaze across its many endings and playthroughs. It’s a short experience though, and once you’ve seen most of what the game has to offer, you don’t feel inclined to take a second look at it.
  21. Oct 28, 2013
    As with any piece of good art, it is as much a game as a mirror; the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But what is The Stanley Parable, and what does it want to say? Not even the narrator could tell you that.
  22. Games Master UK
    Dec 25, 2013
    Step away from this review and play it now. Or don't. Whatever you do is already ordained. OR IS IT?! [Jan 2014, p.83]
  23. games(TM)
    Dec 17, 2013
    Compelling and rarely pretentious. [Issue#142, p.118]
  24. Nov 11, 2013
    A unique title making fun not only from the game production but above all from us, the gamers. And it succeeds in it fabulously. The Stanley Parable is an extremely intelligent, humorous, and fitting game for those, who are hard to please. A game you wanted so madly, without even knowing you really want it.
  25. Oct 17, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is both a richly stimulating commentary on the nature of choice in games (and in other systems, too, like our workplaces and our families) and a game that offers some of the most enjoyable, surprising, and rewarding choices I've ever been confronted with in a game. Going the wrong way has never felt so right.
  26. Oct 25, 2013
    You’ll feel a bizarre motivation to uncover each of more than a dozen endings, even when the game is openly mocking you for doing so. The insults speak to a larger truth and may make you question what it means to play games at all. This introspection, however, will have you laughing the entire time.
  27. Oct 20, 2013
    It works because it's fun to explore the limits of the scenario and see which bits they've written smart, well-delivered dialogue for and how many different "endings" you can come up with as you play around.
  28. Nov 25, 2013
    The Stanley Parable doesn't pack a punch as great as Portal did, but my time in the office turned out to be very enjoyable. Galactic Cafe has made one of the best parodies ever, a game that is funny, and makes fun of other games with style. You should definitely try it out, because it's a very original product that doesn't pretend to be your friend. All of this doesn't matter, because it's just a game. But what a game it is!
  29. Oct 17, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is many things all at once, and all of them are clever and fun. It’s a story made of stories, an exploration of the limits of freedom in gaming, a battle between narrator and narrated, and a giant self-referential meta feedback loop.
  30. Oct 18, 2013
    All its different plotlines and personalities overlap and combine to create something that’s intriguingly opaque, but always entertaining, and genuinely funny. Whatever it is, it’s worth playing.
  31. Oct 18, 2013
    It's this bouncing between serious tone and irreverence that makes The Stanley Parable so special. You never know what to expect and the thrill of discovering something new is reinforced by great narration and often capricious events. But more than anything, it's this choice at the center of it all that makes The Stanley Parable a game about self-discovery.
  32. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Nov 25, 2013
    Basically a variation on the concept of a Russian doll, with some of the layers containing unexpected satirical diversions. Although if you had the chance to play the original mod, this overhaul has less new ideas than one would hope for. [Issue#236]
  33. Oct 21, 2013
    There might not be any slow motion door breaches but this is the smartest and funniest first person game since Portal, with an interactive script that is as a profound as it is constantly amusing.
  34. Nov 6, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is a meta-videogame which reflects on the nature of the medium itself. It's a masterpiece.
  35. Oct 22, 2013
    The Stanley Parable might not prove that videogames are art, but it is an intriguing - and original - game that plays around with the tried-and-tested tropes of player choice in gaming.
  36. Oct 25, 2013
    Effortlessly inventive, frequently surprising and consistently hilarious. The Stanley Parable shows how to make a story about game stories.
  37. Pelit (Finland)
    Mar 11, 2014
    The Stanley Parable is many things. It's an interactive comedy, an existential riddle and an experiment in storytelling. Most importantly, it's pretty good. [Nov 2013]
  38. Oct 17, 2013
    For a small commitment in terms of time and money, it delivers a ton of laughs and just enough thought-provoking commentary on the nature of narrative in games. Getting everything you need out of a game in a few hours might just be the ideal format for comedy.
  39. Dec 13, 2013
    To make fun of video games, just like they do it in The Stanley Parable, you have to love them with all your heart.
  40. Dec 6, 2013
    On the surface, The Stanley Parable can be enjoyed for its personality, jokes, and references. If this rambling review has whetted your interest, then this brief game is worth the experience, but not at full price.
  41. Oct 17, 2013
    The infamously obtuse The Stanley Parable trailers (and ingenious, unique demo) suggest that the game cannot be defined; suffice to say that even if The Stanley Parable could be described, it shouldn't be. Or then again, perhaps I've just described it perfectly.
  42. Nov 5, 2013
    Some may laugh, some may think, some others may yawn, but every gamer should try The Stanley Parable eventually. A bizarre, peculiar, extraordinary experiment about life, gaming, and the perpetual link between effect and cause. So, a tiny mod of Half Life 2 can explain all these important things in a such peculiar way? We say yes, and we not say yes...
  43. Nov 12, 2013
    To me, it feels more like an existential horror story, a deliberate blurring of the lines between the creator and the consumer, in order to tell a really good story.
  44. Oct 21, 2013
    It’s just a terrific experience, somehow managing to gratify with choices that seemingly mean nothing, achieving this feat with a phenomenal central performance, expert writing and ceaseless creativity.
  45. Oct 18, 2013
    By turns hilarious, disturbing, witty and poignant, The Stanley Parable is a successful experiment in the video game medium's inherent interactivity and how this can affect an author's story -- for good and for ill.
  46. Oct 21, 2013
    It's like a hipster game. It manages to make you think about narrative in video games, and maybe something else. Sometimes fun, sometimes clever, but always unique. One of those games you either love or hate.
  47. Dec 4, 2013
    The Stanley Parable is a great experience that you need to experience if you love videogames. It makes fun of popular ways of storytelling in games, and does it in a way that is fun to see and to play.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2289 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 17, 2013
    I won't say a damn thing about this game. Every little thing I may talk about it will be a spoiler and this game is all about those spoilersI won't say a damn thing about this game. Every little thing I may talk about it will be a spoiler and this game is all about those spoilers eventually. SO if you want to know why this game is 10/10, go buy it now Full Review »
  2. Oct 18, 2013
    I'm very disappointed, how did this score so highly?? According to Steam it kept me interested for 67minutes, until I realised I had in factI'm very disappointed, how did this score so highly?? According to Steam it kept me interested for 67minutes, until I realised I had in fact played through almost every ending available and there was literally nothing left to do. I feel completely ripped off as there is ZERO re-playability. You choose a path and listen to the narrator for 5-10 minutes... Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2013
    Not a particularly brilliant game. Some jokes were amusing, but quickly became old and boring with each "replay". Easy to get all endingsNot a particularly brilliant game. Some jokes were amusing, but quickly became old and boring with each "replay". Easy to get all endings within a few hours, and game quickly becomes pointless and worthless thereafter. Definitely not worth its overinflated reviews or price. Wait for a sale. Full Review »