Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
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  1. If you have never played the game, then absolutely, Pirates is a must have for your PSP.
  2. Sid Meier's Pirates! is able to be played for just a few mintues or hours at a time. Your PSP will thank you.
  3. 90
    Everything that makes Pirates! what it is is here and in fantastic form. The most important elements, like ship battles, exploration and such are identical to what you 'd find on the PC, which is really what matters.
  4. 90
    A charming game and one that will have you playing for what you believe to be an hour, only to look up and realize five hours have passed.
  5. It's a port of a damn fine game - losing very little in translation and lending itself perfectly to a handheld frame of mind. Additionally, it retails for quite a bit less than your typical PSP release.
  6. A charming and very entertaining game that translates perfectly on the PSP. It’s easy to get lost in this game’s open environment and since there’s a lot to do in this game the replay value is extremely high.
  7. What's refreshing however in these times of relentless retro makeovers, is that despite the simplicity, there's considerable depth and longevity here, thanks to the varied outcomes of your every action.
  8. It's unashamedly one of the PSP's brightest, most endearing, beguiling and long-lasting games, and its protracted residency in our PSP slot this month speaks as a louder recommendation than any number of orthodox, adulatory adjectives.
  9. The combination of varied mini-games, relatively short and highly replayable campaigns, a save anywhere feature and an addictive 4-player ship battling mode make it a near-perfect fit for the system.
  10. Games Master UK
    Multi-player's a little lacking, but that's it. [Apr 2007, p.84]
  11. The captivating PSP version of this classic PC strategy game captures all the charming fun of being a pirate of the Caribbean.
  12. PSM Magazine
    Anyone who's played "Sid Meier's Pirates!" on the PC or Xbox knows that it's an open-ended pirate adventure that lets you roam the high seas as you please, and this recent PSP port holds true to that style. [Apr 2007, p.84]
  13. There’s just enough happening in each facet of pirate life to make it transcend the past days of simplicity, but not so much that you’d rather be playing it on your wide screen TV or monitor.
  14. Over-all if you can remember the original Pirates game from the 80’s then you will love what Firaxis have done to the game, bringing the latest graphics without destroying what made the title a great game to start with.
  15. 80
    Pirates!'s brand of potluck goofing around works outstandingly in portable form. Sure, it can get a bit repetitive over long sessions, but that's why a game such as Pirates! belongs on a stop-and-go handheld in the first place.
  16. One of the PSP's best games. The depth of this adventure will keep gamers enthralled for hours. Be it sword fighting, scoring hidden treasure or engaging in a massive multiplayer ship battle, the discoveries here add up significantly.
  17. Timeless gameplay, expertly ported, Pirates! is a game to savour throughout.
  18. The complexity of the game may not be quite where it needs to be but all in all this is a solid title that will transport you to world full of adventure.
  19. Pirates offers the same great mix of addictive minigames to which we sea dogs have grown accustomed.
  20. Pure Magazine UK
    A good conversion of a classic game, it's a shame they couldn't have spruced it up just a little for this new launch. [Mar 2007, p.79]
  21. 80
    Complex action games haven't proven especially successful on Sony's handheld but Pirates! succeeds by offering up simple yet intuitive controls and an easy to navigate interface. [Apr 2007, p.82]
  22. 80
    Sid Meier's Pirates is a shining example of how a game can be ported and made enjoyable for the PSP.
  23. PSM3 Magazine UK
    There's loads to do, and if you've enough mates there's a four-player Wi-Fi mode to get to grips with as well. [Apr 2007, p.87]
  24. AceGamez
    What makes Sid Meier's Pirates! a game that every PSP owner should at least seriously consider purchasing is its sheer depth and replay value.
  25. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    The charming rogue of handheld gaming, Pirates! is a blast to begin with, but it can get tiresome if you're with it for too long. [Apr 2007, p.98]
  26. Play takes a fair amount of dedication, but thanks to well balanced difficulty levels (and a higher share of the plunder being given to you to tempt you to try them) makes the game feel welcoming and deep, and it feels like the complete antithesis of many PSP games.
  27. The only thing you pretty much can’t do as a pirate is getting your own parrot, which is a shame but we’re willing to overlook it just this once.
  28. For Pirates! on the go, it's a very good effort and brings to the masses a franchise that was once only available to a select few with a decent spec PC, however the limits of the handheld market may annoy some.
  29. While it’s not flawless, Pirates! still delivers a lot of replay value and a lot of fun. And for my money, that’s a baarrrrrgain. Ahem.
  30. 73
    Initially, Pirates! feels extremely open ended and multi-faceted, yet its varied gameplay features soon lapse into the uncomfortable realms of repetition and borderline monotony - there's nothing on offer by way of expansion over its PC and Xbox counterparts.
  31. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Among clumsy PS2 ports and tedious retro collections, it comes as a bracing gust of sea air. [Apr 2007, p.103]
  32. When it comes right down to it, Sid Meier's Pirates for the PSP is a good game but a bad port.
  33. It’s the type of game that’s near impossible to put down once it’s been started and greatly encourages replay through the notoriety scoring system.
  34. A charming, refreshing change of pace for all PSP owners.

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2007
#13 Most Shared PSP Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 40
  2. Negative: 3 out of 40
  1. Sep 15, 2013
    My favorite PC game about pirates. Of course, I've tried it on PSP too.
    So, game is really cool and catchy but IMHO it's very short.
    My favorite PC game about pirates. Of course, I've tried it on PSP too.
    So, game is really cool and catchy but IMHO it's very short.
    Btw, PSP-Port is good to play too.
    Full Review »
  2. WeirdNeville
    May 15, 2007
    This is a good game, but the reason I find this so sad is that it could have been a great game with so little extra work. The basics of the This is a good game, but the reason I find this so sad is that it could have been a great game with so little extra work. The basics of the gameplay are very good. Sailing is kind of fun, and you have to 'tack' back and forth across the Carribean to fulfil your missions. You can make cash by sinking ships, although you quickly make enemies if you make a habit of this, of better still by discovering treasure or lost cities. There core of the plot is "the path to revenge" where you must locate the Marquis of Montalebans hideout... And this is really where my problems with this game begin. Being as it's the core of the plot this story line should have depth and intrigue. Instead it is a linear set of tasks leading to the simple revealation of the "jungle Fortress" and a showdown with the evil Marquis. There was potential here for so much more - plot twists, perhaps a treasure hunt style quest where clues rather than maps reveal locations. As it is you are repeatedly told that the Marquis has built a fortress, and then it's location is revealed. There's no suspense and no fun in that. The mini games show a similar lazyness and quickly become repetative. Dancing with governers daughters is sometimes very frustrating, but quickly gets boring, especially as it's often the only way to get information to further your career. The same goes for the sword fights. Little skill is required to win, until you get old when it becomes impossible to win as your character gets too slow to parry or swipe! This puts a major dent in your ability to progress in your quests at times. The treasure hunts and "escape from the town" sequences are filler, plain and simple and feel poorly thought out and executed offering no real challenge. The pitched battles show a slight improvement and actually require some skill and pre-planning to win, and can be quite fun but the opportunities to take over towns are limited unless you become real a scurvy pirate and force a whole antion into war with you. Overall this game is a dissapointment, not because of what it is but because of what it could have been. Richer environments, more character interation, better scripts (or any script at all!), the opportunity to engage in proper sea battles and to influence the wars between the nations could all have made this game great. It aslo should have had more availability to play an honest route, buying ships rather than having to take them by force and for the "merchant" path to be a more profitable one. I think this game really suffers from having been pitched at the 6-10 age range, twhen it could have offered so much more to a wide range of audience. There would have been no problem having a cut down easier option for young 'uns and a fully featured "hard" difficulty setting for those wanting to really get stuck in. If there were more strategy games out there for the PSP I would have given this a 5, but it gets a 6 because it is enjoyable in the most part, but shoudl have been great. Full Review »
  3. Mar 18, 2019
    Remember getting this game as a christmas gift from my mum, 12 years ago (man, the time flies). Just picked it up again yesterday, and GOD theRemember getting this game as a christmas gift from my mum, 12 years ago (man, the time flies). Just picked it up again yesterday, and GOD the nostalgia! The theme and setting is awesome. However, the game itself becomes pretty repetitive after a few hours. Full Review »