Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 67
  2. Negative: 2 out of 67
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  1. It plays like a dream, blurring the lines between both genres that it covers much more than any other game. And it looks the part too, as it is easily the best looking handheld game you'll see to date, along with God of War.
  2. GamePro
    It's so hard not to like Crisis Core because it does so many things right. [Apr 2008, p.76]
  3. 94
    What makes Crisis Core so great isn't just one thing, it is many things. The presentation is the best I have seen on the PSP; the gameplay is simple and addictive with a great twist on the traditional JRPG, and the story is emotional and fulfilling.
  4. Just like saying you wouldn't date Cindy Crawford because of her mole, refusing to play Crisis Core based on these small issues amounts to simply being overly nitpicky.
  5. It doesn't matter who you are, if you own a PSP, you owe it to yourself to pick up this title. And if you don't own one, yes, Crisis Core and a few others will certainly make it worthwhile.
  6. Games Master UK
    With an incredible plot and accessible gameplay this is an instant classic. Brilliant. [June 2008, p.66]
  7. Not only is Crisis Core one of the best looking PSP games on the market today, but it also marks the best spin-off Final Fantasy title that has come out of Square's big Final Fantasy VII Compilation effort, easily blowing away such dredge as "Dirge of Cerberus."
  8. 90
    It's taken far too long for non-American, English speaking gamers to get their hands on Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. But the good news is, largely Square Enix has managed to live up to incredibly high expectations.
  9. The familiar soundtrack, environments and fleshing out of back story will delight the game's fanatical army of followers. More importantly, however, is that Crisis Core's overall quality makes it a must buy for all PSP owners, whether you're into your materia or not.
  10. As opposed to previous spin offs in the Final Fantasy series, Crisis Core is actually a fantastic adventure in it’s own right. The presentation is amongst the best you’ll find on a portable system, as is the story and characters. As a prologue to the events in FFVII this is as much a fan service as it is a great place to start for the uninitiated. One of the best games to grace the PSP platform so far.
  11. This is the kind of game that makes us think, “why aren’t there any more PSP games as stunning as this”?
  12. 90
    Crisis Core is a triple-A tour de force with enough panache and stylistic flavor to infuse your PSP with enough mako energy to last you ten lifetimes.
  13. Play Magazine
    Crisis Core is a full, complete, dignified game. [Apr 2008, p.65]
  14. Crisis Core is more than a nostalgia trip for FFVII fans - it's a fresh and exciting game in its own right, and arguably the single most impressive application of the PSP's power.
  15. Even without the Final Fantasy VII moniker, Crisis Core would still be a great action-RPG game on the PSP. However, the game actually adds to the original’s universe, making it a title that fans will definitely want to check out.
  16. The simplicity and the gambling factor of the DMW are what make the gameplay so appealing. It’s fast, easy, addictive and perfectly suited to a portable experience.
  17. PSP fans, rejoice. This is the killer-app that you have been waiting for; the game which will send PSP units worldwide flying off the shelves - just like what Final Fantasy VII did for the original PlayStation.
  18. An exciting and poignant journey that every fan of role-playing games should take.
  19. 90
    Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a game that every PSP owner should go out and buy.
  20. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Those who aren't alread obsessed with Final Fantasy VII may disagree, but I for one am grateful for the depth Crisis Core has added to the FFVII universe and wholeheartedly recommend it to fans and newcomers alike. [May 2008, p.64]
  21. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a game that should surprise everybody whoever plays it for all the right reasons. It’s terrific fan service to those who love Final Fantasy VII and the series in general.
  22. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best games on the PSP and possibly the best-looking.
  23. With amazing graphics, an intriguing new combat model and one of the best RPG stories I've experienced in years, Crisis Core may just be the game that makes you completely forget about God of War: Chains of Olympus!
  24. I was starting to get worried that maybe Final Fantasy VII just shouldn't be revisited with some of the previous games, but Crisis Core blows any doubt out of the water. Get this game, and then join us in praying for a PS3 remake.
  25. Crisis Core stops being a simple Final Fantasy spin-off immediately and may stand as one of the best releases for the series on a handheld.
  26. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    It may have its pros and cons, but its pros are so wonderfully abundant tht it really doesn't matter. A fine, fine game. [June 2008, p.90]
  27. It is a must buy for all Final Fantasy fans and a terrific starting point for anyone who hasn't been lucky enough to play the original Final Fantasy VII.
  28. Play UK
    An excellent RPG. Incredibly well paced with a touching and sometimes amusing story, and a great levelling-up/combat system, though you do get the feeling you'd enjoy it more if it was on the PS2. [Issue#167, p.90]
  29. Crisis Core has everything a Final Fantasy VII fan would ever want: reams of backstory and exposition about Zack, hours of fun gaming in a familiar universe for a handheld console that causes horrible hand cramps, and most importantly of all, a decent excuse for everyone to revisit Midgar.
  30. For me Crisis Core was the only reason to get a PSP. And I wasn’t disappointed: Crisis Core is the best followup to Final Fantasy VII yet. Only the sometimes boring side missions and the stubborn camera have to be criticized. Buy and enjoy!
  31. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Core defines "great portable experience." [Apr 2008, p.86]
  32. It is a title that almost everyone, even those who traditionally abhor the series, will thoroughly enjoy despite its mild quirks.
  33. 85
    Whether you’re a Sephiroth obsessive, or whether you couldn’t tell your Aerith from your Angeal, Crisis Core is an excellent action RPG, and it’s certainly among the best the PSP has to offer.
  34. 85
    If your PSP has been gathering dust in the corner for some time, it's time to dust it off, grab a copy of Crisis Core and experience one of the truly great titles to ever grace the PSP.
  35. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core ranks up there with the best, showcasing the PSP’s audio-visual capabilities and delivering an RPG experience we won’t forget in a hurry.
  36. Pelit (Finland)
    A good, solid action-RPG with gorgeous presentation. It doesn’t quite have the depth to be a true classic but for the fans of the original game it’s a nostalgia-dripping must-buy. [Aug 2008]
  37. 85
    Issues aside, Crisis Core is a great PSP game -- no question. It honors Final Fantasy VII's legacy. Even the game's music, while not composed by Nobuo Uematsu, is charming and fits the overall style of the world.
  38. The game is solid for fans and non-fans alike. The voice acting, sound, video, and graphics are downright amazing for the PSP. The battle system was unique, but really got old fast, with little to keep a player engaged. Of course the story is great.
  39. Often hand-held games feel as shrunken in gameplay as they are in visuals, but Core seems unrestrained by its small screen, with a lengthy story, an interesting weapon-crafting system and e-mails that tell you more about the game’s world and offer you side missions that can be used to build your strength when enemies are too fierce.
  40. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    With many details about the FF VII group being revealed, the huge amount of cinematics transform Crisis Core in a kind of interactive movie, thus constraining the exploration and combat phases. It could be perfect, but it keeps itself as “just” an excellent game. [June 2008]
  41. The gameplay is a bit of a hybrid, but its open enough for exploration without getting lost. It’s obviously a game for fans, and it succeeds, but it’s also a good game for a portable platform that anyone can get into.
  42. 83
    Were it not for the plot and the special significance of Final Fantasy VII this game would invariably fail to stand out in a crowded genre, brimming with innovation and quality. Still, this is Final Fantasy, and that still counts for something.
  43. 83
    It's a game designed to feed on your nostalgic memories of Final Fantasy VII, and in that regard, it never falters.
  44. This rounds out a lot of the mysteries of the events leading up to FF7 and it is a fun treat for a fan to go through and remember a lot of the flashbacks from the original game being fleshed out in this installment.
  45. Again, it’s nice to see the duality of the FFVII games, (it is Zack that falls into Aerith’s church this time), and a genuine attempt to develop the universe so many of us love, but simplifying the battle system, story and general style of discovery and transport leaves Crisis Core being a welcome spin off, but no replacement for a real sequel.
  46. For any fan of the Final Fantasy games, or Japanese RPGs in general, Crisis Core is a must play purely for how well the story is crafted.
  47. AceGamez
    Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a better game for Ishimoto's reassuring work and, despite its faults, the overall experience is well worth your time.
  48. Despite being an uneven experience, the battle system is sure to offer fun. This is a game that despite having several limitations, truly comes trough thanks to its high points. An obvious choice for fans of the game that chronologically came before it and an interesting proposition for any PSP owner.
  49. 80
    It succeeds on its own merits while also serving as a powerful tribute to one of modern gaming's most beloved adventures.
  50. 80
    The FFVII diehard should snag this post-haste (this really does make up for Dirge's mediocrity, honest), and even if you don't recognize the significance of playing Zack as opposed to Cloud, this is a worthy Japanese action-RPG.
  51. A truly new adventure, and deserves to be treated as such. As much as it will likely be enjoyed by fans of FFVII, I can also imagine gamers who missed that game playing this could become genuinely curious about going back in time to meet those old characters and learn about how their histories are connected.
  52. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    The story is charming and enjoyable. [June 2008, p.105]
  53. Crisis Core has a pretty good story that is aimed squarely at the people who still think FF7 was the best game they ever played.
  54. Crisis Core will make all mako energy-loving fanboys giddy with nostalgia, swoon over the sweeping soundtrack, and ingest every last detail of the story. Most everyone else probably won’t understand what all the hooplah is about.
  55. How much do you love "Final Fantasy VII"? If your answer is anything more enthusiastic than "It's okay", then you absolutely need to play Crisis Core. [Apr 2008, p.96]
  56. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Incredible polish, great visuals and slick combat eclipse the random battle wheel and repetitive environments. Just. [June 2008, p.82]
  57. The impenetrable story makes it a no-go for younger gamers who might be more willing to forgive its adolescent excesses. But for the twenty-six, twenty-eight, thirty-year-olds who it's aimed at, the game has little to offer beyond polished sentimentality.
  58. games(TM)
    Despite its flaws, it is one of the best-made experiences on PSP. [Aug 2008, p.104]
  59. Spiky-haired hero seeks action RPG with flawed character development mechanics covered up by gorgeous graphics and comprehensive gameplay. Would prefer a Final Fantasy VII fan.
  60. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is a cinematic masterpiece, an orgy of exquisite full motion video sequences, beautiful music and quality vocal performances. As such, it's not a movie. It's a video game, and as a game, Crisis Core is good, not great.
  61. Whilst the weight of the FFVII hallmark gives the game an undeniable sense of gravity, at times it feels as if it also smothers it.
  62. 70
    Despite the repetitive and fiddly combat - which de-harmonises the experience and impacts on the enjoyment factor somewhat - ardent, die-hard fans of the series will have a fulfilling and fun time with the revisited universe.
  63. 60
    Crisis Core has an addictive quality about it because you really need to know what happens next, and you’ll most certainly want to see the next glorious cutscene.
  64. "One for the fans" might be a lazy summary of any game, but it's quite an apt one here. Without the emotional connection of Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core is a somewhat half-hearted game lacking in substance, for all its polish and production.
  65. Edge Magazine
    Crisis Core gets arguably the most important thing right: its story is often expertly engineered and delivered, and despite the odd misstep (Genesis becomes especially tiresome as the game wears on) is some achievement in itself. [June 2008, p.86]
  66. 40
    The dialogue frequently doesn’t make sense, then, and the plot often makes even less.
  67. If the words "the death of Aeris" don't bring a tear to your eye, then dropping $40 on Crisis Core certainly will.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2008
#2 Most Shared PSP Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 784 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 68 out of 784
  1. Sonnorcteer
    Mar 7, 2009
    This is the most awesome handheld game i have ever played ever, probs even with Patapon. This game is incredibly addictive and everything This is the most awesome handheld game i have ever played ever, probs even with Patapon. This game is incredibly addictive and everything about it is awesome. can't see what people don't like about the story. the battle system is great and the end emotional. Amazing, beats Gods of War easily in my opinion, no conest. Full Review »
  2. DP.
    May 19, 2008
    The graphics are gorgeous. The gameplay - not so much. From annoying controls, a camera that gets stuck on walls, to literally random The graphics are gorgeous. The gameplay - not so much. From annoying controls, a camera that gets stuck on walls, to literally random advancement via a game mechanism that steals control during combat, the gameplay just isn't up to par. It could have been so much better. Full Review »
  3. Jan 20, 2012
    I like Zack Fair. It has great graphics and gameplay. Controls are very smooth. I often laugh about Zack's crushes in the game. Aerith andI like Zack Fair. It has great graphics and gameplay. Controls are very smooth. I often laugh about Zack's crushes in the game. Aerith and Tifa were so young and beautiful back then. Full Review »