Universal acclaim - based on 75 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
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  1. Game Informer
    While playing God of War, I honestly found it difficult to resist the urge to simply genuflect and be humbled to be in the presence of such digital divinity, this god among games. [Apr 2005, p.122]
  2. 100
    One of the few games out there that is equally fun for 10 seconds or for 10 hours.
  3. People do not play games because they break new ground. People play games because they are fun. And fun is God of War's greatest strength... This is not a perfect game, but it is a great one.
  4. 100
    I feel totally comfortable saying that God of War is the best action game ever to grace the PS2. The gameplay, graphics, sound, production, presentation, and story are excellent. It all adds up to an epic Greek adventure where you can execute some of the slickest moves in gaming.
  5. And when you tire of solving puzzles using human sacrifices and petrifying foes with Medusa’s severed head, button-mashing mini-games let you unwind by propping Hydra’s jaws open or massacring the Minotaur.
  6. 100
    Seriously, we did more cool things in God Of War in the first 20 minutes that we do in the entirety of most games.
  7. 100
    It is my firm belief that almost every mature gamer out there will find a lot to love in God of War. It never talks down to the player and the presentation is near flawless.
  8. Every once in a while a game comes along that pushes the boundaries, that takes risks and innovates without losing the qualities that make games so enjoyable – God of War is one of those games. It’s a “best of system” quality game, game of the year material, and more.
  9. Many things in this game leave me thankful: the dark presentation of ancient Greece, the innovative and simple fighting style, the horrific finishing attacks, the depth of the challenges, a great mood-setting score of horns and drums and a point-of-view camera that pans automatically to give you the best view of the action.
  10. The complete package, and I believe it’s the best game on the PS2. The gameplay is gripping and the story is so good, my wife wouldn’t let me play through the end of the game without her present.
  11. 100
    An epic, movie quality score works in concert with elaborate, awe-inspiring scenery to blow you and whoever happens to be sitting in front of the television away.
  12. Computer Games Magazine
    A spectacular exercise in cinematic excess, accessible gameplay, and bleeding-edge technology. [June 2005, p.87]
  13. The game's stunning locations include a war-torn Athens, a storm-swept desert and a temple chained to the back of an awe-inspiring titan. The approachable controls allow players to instantly feel thunderously powerful, performing dazzling strikes, blocks, grapples and jumps.
  14. Simply astounding. Combining all the best things about Action/Adventure games and mastering everything it attempts, Sony’s Santa Monica studio have crafted a true work of genius.
  15. One of the best action titles on the PS2, God of War stands out as an ultraviolent masterpiece.
  16. It has raised the bar and raised our expectations of what an action/adventure title can be. This is one instance where the inevitable copycats from other developers will not only be welcome, they are highly encouraged.
  17. Not only is the control system comfortable, easy to use, and intuitive, but battling enemies is actually enjoyable. Heck, the more the better.
  18. 98
    If you like to kill freaky things with your giant serrated knives, you'll love the s*** out of this... This videogame features sexual situations, bare breasts and excessive brutality. Good with that? Excellent!
  19. God of War's control and combo scheme is as much a work of art as the game's presentation, which rivals a Hollywood sand-and-sandals epic. And you rarely find puzzles this clever and well integrated in other hack-n-slash adventures.
  20. Beautiful and stylish with an engaging story line.
  21. 98
    Simply put, God of War is just about the best action game to date. The combat is astounding. The puzzles are well thought out, and the sound and environments create the perfect setting for it all.
  22. One of the darkest, angriest, most action packed adventure platformer ever. The result is a game that literally turns the stereotypical revenge story upside down, with a complex plot, an expansive setting and an anti-hero that you’ll love and hate at the same time... I can’t even explain how beautiful this game is.
  23. A phenomenal bit of storytelling, immersive and a truly incredible videogame in terms of graphics, sound and gameplay.
  24. 97
    Blending the fast-paced “kill ‘em all” style of "Devil May Cry" with some enigmatic puzzles reminiscent of classic adventure games like "Zelda" or "Prince of Persia," God of War simply takes the best of these genres and packages them together in a blood bath of entertainment.
  25. An absolute must-buy for anyone into Greek mythology or who enjoys the action/adventure genre. It’s beautiful, plays smoothly, is absolutely epic, and will please anyone with a taste for a dark atmosphere.
  26. Finally, someone has taken all of the elements every game in this genre needed and combined them into a beautiful masterpiece.
  27. One of the best combat systems ever created.
  28. God of War matches its lavish settings, gorgeous graphics and high style with solid game mechanics. Everything is well thought out, from the responsive controls to a checkpoint system that makes sure you almost never have to replay too large a chunk of the game if you die.
  29. All of the dialogue is easy to understand, the imagery is excellent and the entire storyline comes together nicely thanks to a masterful piece of storytelling.
  30. God of War should be played by everyone on the planet. Why? Because if you do not like God of War, you do not like video games. Plain and simple.
  31. Play Magazine
    The game contains so much energy and conviction, so much skill and spirit. There came a point where I was totally lost to it, in the way you are to a great movie - to any powerful art form. [Apr 2005, p.50]
  32. The blood, gore, and blatant nudity will be enough to attract any mature gamer, but the action and detailed storyline will keep any gamer addicted.
  33. PSM Magazine
    The solid, stay-fresh gameplay and captivating story make for an almost perfect game. [May 2005, p.66]
  34. Everything from the game screams high production values. The visuals are amazing, the audio is remarkable, and the gameplay is top-notch. It all comes together in a rare package.
  35. A highly polished gore-fest that is easily the best game that I have played on the Playstation 2 this last year.
  36. A superbly designed and executed action adventure game that is among the finest ever made.
  37. 95
    With superior graphics, outstanding control, and easy to use combos, you should be playing it just for the enjoyment of playing a well made game.
  38. God of War is a stylish, gory and challenging action game that rewards you for skill and persistence. One of the best action titles to be released on the PlayStation 2 so far.
  39. 95
    Without a doubt one of the best Playstation 2 games ever. It puts the average action-adventure game to shame.
  40. Not only does God of War have great gameplay, but the developers have done an awesome job with the graphics and flourishes of detail, and the sound, speech and music are all of the highest quality too.
  41. It is so much fun, so well-paced, that hours will flow by leaving you with a grin on your face, enveloped in this divine virtual game experience. It is the will of the gods that you buy this game.
  42. Possibly the best first-party game to ever come out on the Playstation 2. That’s a tough thing to say with Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper and Gran Turismo out there, but it’s simply the truth.
  43. An in your face, kick butt, super game that offers some of the best graphics, sound effects, and action ever made in a game to date. The art direction is amazing, and the game is facilitated by a story that will recapture audiences.
  44. There's no getting around it, God of War is definitely not for kids. The game features nudity, sex, and a whole lot of blood and gore that make it a no-brainer why it was branded with an M rating. God of War is one of the bloodiest games I've played in quite some time, but also one of the best.
  45. God of War is a must-have for any action gamer. It's a remarkable experience with plenty of depth, great graphics, intense and rewarding combat, and one of the biggest badasses you'll ever get to take control of in any action title.
  46. It's simply a marvelously executed experience that's fun from beginning to end, and anyone with a taste for mature content and the action adventure genre would be foolish to pass it up.
  47. Gaming Target
    The amazing levels don't contribute to the game's magnificence alone. More so, it's the way in which the moving characters are all just right on the money.
  48. Pelit (Finland)
    looks stunningly beautiful, sounds fantastic, plays like a dream, and has a great atmosphere. Even with the jumping-rotating-knives-hell nightmare in the end, it is still one of the greatest action adventures ever. [July 05]
  49. Greek Gods, lots of blood guts and gore, bad ass weapons and spells and lets not forget the well endowed topless women, what more could you want from a game?
  50. netjak
    From the elegant battle system to the beautiful graphics and excellent sound, everything just comes together beautifully to grab the player from the very beginning and not let go until Ares has been sent to Hades.
  51. While it’s not perfect, it was definitely worth the wait and successfully melds several different kinds of gameplay together and binds it all up with an open-ended storyline that doesn’t quite end as you might think.
  52. The game balance is well done and the average gamer will find a lot here to enjoy.
  53. 90
    As impressive as the combat is, the story is even more so. When was the last time you felt a complex set of reactions to an action hero? Kratos will inspire awe, revulsion, and pity as players learn his sad tale.
  54. 90
    The inconsistent camera (that destroyer of other games) takes its toll as it makes seemingly simple tasks like navigating lengthy catwalks more perilous than it should be, and some of the puzzles rely excessively on split-second timing and result in repetitive trial-and-error.
  55. Cheat Code Central
    With virtually no load times this game rivals some of the best Xbox games. The character models are excellent and really excel at instilling a sense of awe at the gargantuan proportions of some of the enemies and Gods.
  56. While the game may be brimming with the kind of content and challenge that may make younger and weaker gamers cringe, those hungry for something with meat on its bones will feast on the fantastic gameplay, breathtaking presentation, and impressive extras.
  57. Although I have extreme reservations for the nudity incorporated by the developers, which I hope won't carry over to the sequel, God of War provides an engaging storyline, backup with by a stunning graphics engine and solid gameplay elements.
  58. games(TM)
    Sony leaves the gamer lost in one of the most immersive, reality-grounded worlds we can remember. And that’s taking into account the amount of otherworldly hokum on display. [June 2005, p.118]
  59. God of War isn't just violent; it's gratuitously violent, and the sex, while certainly a part of the era depicted, just serves to reinforce the notion that this is an "M"-rated title for very good reason.
  60. Pelaaja (Finland)
    Even if God of War has a Pandora's box worth of small glitches, at it’s core it’s a supremely smoothly rolling action game. The game succeeds in everything it tries to achieve: there’s a constant onslaught of visually stunning action on the screen – and shameless amount of bare breasts and gratuitous violence too. [June 2005, p.54]
  61. Certain hardcore gamers may look down on God of War: it's short, it's linear, it's showy and it's accessible. But it's also a towering achievement of game design and attention to detail that even manages to make recent hits like Devil May Cry 3 look rusty in places. [PSW]
  62. 90
    Superb graphics. Arguably the best on the PS2, with beautifully detailed environments, excellent character models and a silky framerate that pictures could never do justice.
    It's a remarkable achievement and watching Kratos zig-zag throughout ancient Greece destroying everything in his path is a surprisingly empowering experience.
  64. Stands out as an absolute colossus that towers over the competition - on any format.
  65. Every factor is so well designed; the combat, graphics, animation, music (brooding symphonic score a la Wagner), sound effects, puzzles etc. Even the voiceover is fine, not great, but fine.
  66. Don't miss out on this at any cost. If you need a bit more convincing, just remember: you get to have a threesome.
  67. On top of the fun factor, GoW is also a delightful treat for the senses with its artistic rendition of ancient Greece.
  68. It may not have the most complicated gaming plots ever, but the game makes up for it with some insanely fun and engaging gameplay and a ridiculous amount of blood and gore to boot.
  69. I can't help but think that a little more depth and soul underneath Kratos' untouchable repertoire of fatalities would have lifted the game into true super-stardom.
  70. 80
    Sadly, God of War is rather short and capable of being completed in around 10 hours. However the game packs so much excitement and roller-coaster thrills in that timescale, it really does feel like a much longer experience and is certainly worthy of a replay.
  71. The game follows a fairly linear path and is plagued by a few invisible boundaries, but otherwise has plenty going for it, thanks to its nearly non-stop combat and reliance on more than just button mashing to dispatch each enemy.
  72. From the near-pornographic money-shot that occurs during the slo-mo moments of certain vicious attack combos, to the ludicrous events that send the player travelling down a monster's throat, God of War is made from the stuff of legend, to become the stuff of legend.
  73. AceGamez
    There isnt' quite enough variety to make this classic and after the ten to fifteen hours it takes to beat the game, the monotonous fighting feels overly arduous.
  74. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Heart-in-mouth joy from this frantic and bloody hack-fest. [Jan 2007, p.106]

Awards & Rankings

#2 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#2 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2082 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. TomL.
    Jan 31, 2009
  2. Feb 2, 2013
    I was reading the negative reviews of this game and its just like... Oh this game's music is horrible. Then turn the music off. "It's too hardI was reading the negative reviews of this game and its just like... Oh this game's music is horrible. Then turn the music off. "It's too hard and there is so much blood..." First of all games dont suck because there hard and this is god of war, there is tons of blood. No that that done with we can review this awesome game. The story is good but the game lacks a lot of cutscenes so you will find you self a few hours brefor something happens. The game presents it self well though. The music is awesome not much to complain about, The gameplay is superb and the QTE's can be hard but are extremely satisfying. The blades of chaos are extremely good but late game you will prbabaly ditch them for the artemis sword. The puzzles will get you thinking. The magic isnt really that notable becuase you use it when its needed. The graphics are ok but its ps2 game y'know? Kratos is an extremely deep and badass character while the supporting characters, um support. The only notable characters are Kratos, athena, and Ares who has an epic flame beard by the way. The game is worth renting, as its not that notable but if you really like it buy it. The bosses all have a puzzle to solve in order to beat them, like the hydra boss you have to impale each head when you down it. However ares is the boss you really want to fight. The diffculty isnt to bad but the part in underworld is frustrating as hell. The art design is completly good, you will feel like your in ancient greece. And did i mention theres is a sex minigame and boobies! So if you like boobs, sex blood and gore, hack and slash, and flame beards than this game is for you Full Review »
  3. Sep 20, 2012
    (Translate from Portuguese into English)O começo do que seria a melhor trilogia que já joguei,tudo é perfeito nele (para(Translate from Portuguese into English)O começo do que seria a melhor trilogia que já joguei,tudo é perfeito nele (para a época),a batalha final é épica,Kratos conquistou uma legião de fãs com este jogo,acho que foi o jogo que mais vezes zerei. Full Review »