Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 33
  2. Negative: 5 out of 33
Buy On
  1. 71
    Some of the celebrities in the game also make it interesting. Who wouldn’t try to get next to Carmen Electra or the celebrity playmates that make appearances?
  2. Cheat Code Central
    For the most part the game is dry and flat. It fails to capture the excitement and decadence that one would imagine is prevalent at the Playboy Mansion... [But] It's a brilliant glimpse into the inner-workings of the Playboy empire and the industry that it has become.
  3. Fans of the magazine will appreciate this pack of goodies dating from the magazine’s inception up until about a year ago. From covers to centerfolds, it’s all good and adds a little extra incentive to achieve all the goals set before you.
  4. If you don't mind the lackluster production and the somewhat simplistic gameplay, you may actually enjoy a bit of time with Cyberlore's title, assuming you didn't buy it to supplement your collection of items shipped in plain brown paper.
  5. It's neither the best management title on the market [nor] can it rival "The Sims 2," however it does throw up an enticing mixture, which can be enetertaining in doses.
  6. AceGamez
    Limited in engrossing gameplay and adult content; there is barely anything here to justify that 18 rating and it would have been more interesting if the game had taken more risks, showing more of what really goes on at the Playboy Mansion (and it's more than just photo shoots!)
  7. 69
    Suffers from a dire lack of sex appeal. It fails to grab the attention of Sims fanatics while failing to seduce the average gamer. The business aspect is the most entertaining part of the game, if only because it lets you do something besides try and bed a clone army of big-breasted bunnies.
  8. Unless you count the prospect of photographing a different playmate as enticing there is little to encourage you to play on. And the Playmates all look reasonably similar anyway.
  9. Not quite as creepy as "Singles: Flirt Up Your Life," not quite as frustrating as "Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude," but nowhere near as good of a game as anything from The Sims franchise.
  10. The lack of any real strategy or its ultimately repetitive gameplay, leaves me wanting more, a whole lot more.
  11. A well-meaning but often humdrum knockoff of "The Sims" and a tycoon-style business game that's not helped by its lack of a truly "adult" presentation.
  12. To be fair, it hasn’t broken any new ground, didn’t dazzle me with its graphics, and included that same annoying pseudo-speak that all of these games seem to integrate.
  13. Play Magazine
    I don't wanna sound like a perv, but the first time I got the "Have sex on a couch?" command, well... all I can say is buy a couch early on; Hef likes to get his groove on. [March 2005, p.58]
  14. Game Informer
    Unlike "The Sims," which allows you to build your own destiny from the ground up, Playboy: The Mansion is done in by the very fact that all you can do is be Hefner. [Apr 2005, p.117]
  15. Far from being an impeccably, unbroken, master of its craft. Barring that discrimination though, the busily scopic alternatives in the field to thrive past demanding circular sales makes up for some of the faults in this intriguingly orgasmic Playboy experience.
  16. Yet despite the bacchanalian context, this Sims-style strategy game comes off as cold and mechanical, capturing none of the devil-may-care attitude you'd expect and casting Hef's idyllic lifestyle as a hollow grind established purely for the sake of selling more magazines.
  17. 61
    It's a shame that Playboy relies so heavily on such repetitive gameplay tasks. The setting is interesting even if you have a social life and have seen an actual naked woman.
  18. 60
    As an eye toward where Playboy came from, The Mansion is a compelling lesson--even the loading screen factoids are fun to read. But as a game, the unpolished graphics and stale gameplay keep the title mediocre at best.
  19. 60
    Not only fails to re-create the Playboy lifestyle, it achieves the incredible feat of making it seem like living in a mansion filled with scantily-clad 20-something Playmates is about the most boring way you could spend your days.
  20. 60
    The game's sole bright spot, sadly enough, is managing the magazine. When tracking market trends to increase readership is more thrilling than talking a cotton-tailed hottie into straddling you in the Grotto, you know something is very wrong.
  21. 60
    As a history lesson it scores high. But as a game, it’s a slow starter with graphics that can’t hold a candle to The Sims. Still, watching history unfold makes it worth a go -- particularly on the PlayStation 2, where there are three more missions than in the Xbox version.
  22. Despite the bugs and flaws here and there, the idea behind making a magazine empire is quite compelling, and it’s actually pulled off well. Just be sure to proceed with caution.
  23. PSM Magazine
    As-is, you might prefer a used copy of "The Sims" and a subscription to "Playboy: The Magazine." [Apr 2005, p.78]
  24. 50
    Unfortunately, the enjoyment can't keep up, likely resulting in a premature ejection of the game from your console... but remember: It happens to nearly every gamer at some point.
  25. Sex and nudity often work well in movies, but video games laced with sex never rise above mediocrity, and Mansion seems decidedly underbaked.
  26. Sadly, as far as Sims clones go, it's actually one of the best... but you'd probably be better off going for one of its better expansion packs than spending money on this. It's just a little too slight a proposition for a full game.
  27. 50
    Average. Not exactly bad, but not any good, either.
  28. A frisky concept with limited thrills and not enough depth to challenge gamers.
  29. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Shooting centerfolds and putting together a magazine is halfway interesting, but the gameplay is nothing more than a third-rate "Sims" clone. [April 2005, p.114]
  30. Graphics are heavily influenced by "The Sims" but with fewer animations, while the repetitive gameplay makes playing the missions unlikely despite bosoms. The exposed pixels do not make up for a simplistic and tedious game - invest in the real thing instead. [GamesMaster]
  31. For a while, it is rather enjoyable to cruise by and experience the closest thing you’ll ever have to being anything like Hef, but you'll quickly long for deeper gameplay or a more real sense of progression. Use that $50 on 3 years’ worth of Playboy subscriptions instead.
  32. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    There's no challenge, and there's no variety. [Apr 2005, p.103]
  33. A lousy game through and through. Like “The Guy Game” it provides little more than a flimsy premise to hide the fact that all there is to do is see breasts on your Playstation 2. From both a game play and technical standpoint, this game is a mess.

Awards & Rankings

#55 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Dec 13, 2012
    This was far better than I expected it to be. It was interesting on seeing the inner workings of the Playboy empire. You know the businessThis was far better than I expected it to be. It was interesting on seeing the inner workings of the Playboy empire. You know the business side. At its core it's really just a an average business game with rather tame sex & nudity. Overall: An OK game worth a quick go if you're curious. Full Review »
  2. Jun 10, 2012
    It's kinda good, but it's not that great either. You know that nobody wants to be like Hugh Hefner in a Playboy video game. It's more like aIt's kinda good, but it's not that great either. You know that nobody wants to be like Hugh Hefner in a Playboy video game. It's more like a Leisure Suit Larry stripping party, but I'm still a fan of Playboy. Playboy Magazine, Playboy TV, even some former WWE Divas appeared on the covers and video game hotties like BloodRayne and Mortal Kombat's Mileena is kinda cool when they showed their funbags. And by the way, Hef's hair is grey (not black). Somebody please don't play "The Bunny Hop" song! I liked the idea of a Playboy video game, but I was disappointed on why this "Mansion" thing just wasn't the exact M-rated game I was hoping for. Both "BMX XXX" and "The Guy Game" were both messed up and tries to give the fans attention, but since the sales weren't any good, GameFly used to say in the tagline: "Never buy a bad game, again." Although sex in video games might be hella good like Mass Effect 2 and Saint's Row: The Third. But this sex in "Playboy: The Mansion" isn't for me, anymore! Full Review »
  3. D.
    Jan 23, 2005