Universal acclaim - based on 86 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 86
  2. Negative: 0 out of 86
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  1. A beautiful and graceful fighting game that lets imagination loose, and winks before slapping Dante, Kratos and every other hero back to the drawing board. [Christmas 2009, p.90]
  2. 100
    This is as good as action games get. It controls like a dream, is extremely well balanced (not terribly difficult on Normal and incredibly challenging on Hard), has tons of variety, features great retro game references, contains tons of unlockables and challenges to keep you busy after you finish the story, and when it comes down to it, is the best game Sega has published in years.
  3. The best beat 'em up we've played since God Hand, a game that not only lives to its hype, but surpasses it.
  4. It’s an almost flawless exhibition of gaming greatness, which can effortlessly make even the most ham-fisted of gamers feel like they’ve got elite skills. Bayonetta is already an early contender for GOTY for 2010.
  5. 100
    Bayonetta’s unashamedly a video game, but it’s also unashamedly Japanese, a celebration of the unique exuberance that characterises the country’s long-standing approach to video game craft. What’s the phrase? “Only in Japan?” Sometimes that’s true, and the rest of the world can only look on in envy.
  6. Play Magazine
    Bayonetta’s across-the-boards perfection can’t be measured by any scale. It’s simply in a class by itself. This is where games need to go for my money. Platinum knows no bounds. A modern-day masterpiece.
  7. Bayonetta is an action masterpiece. All you action fans out there should run out and buy it, and just about everyone should give it a try on Very Easy mode at the very least.
  8. AceGamez
    It’s perhaps fitting that Bayonetta should be released on the first launch day of 2010 because not only does it raise the bar for action games for the rest of the year to come it is already, without exaggeration, a firm contender for game of the year.
  9. Bayonetta is undoubtedly a masterpiece and the best action game in recent years.
  10. 100
    Bayonetta is a stunning orgy of sadistic mayhem that surpassed even my unreasonably high expectations, and proved that violence can be beautiful.
  11. It's such a fantastic game to start off the New Year with, and while I haven't been fully in love with Platinum Games previous efforts, they really knocked this one out of the park for me.
  12. 96
    Bayonetta flies so astonishingly close to perfection. While in essence it’s cast from the same mould as Devil May Cry and the games that followed in its wake, Platinum Games have flourished that template with an imagination that’s impossible not to be charmed by, with Bayonetta’s first five hours enthralling and its latter seven absolutely mesmeric.
  13. It’s only January and this game easily chalks itself up as a heavy contender in 2010 for Best Action Game. If you’re even remotely interested in action games, this is a must-have. Bayonetta is candy for the eyes and a pleasure for the thumbs.
  14. Sexual overtones or not, there’s never been anything quite like Bayonetta.
  15. 95
    The 360 version is vastly superior to the PS3 version on a technical level, so PS3 owners fortunate enough to own a 360 should absolutely avoid the PS3 copy.
  16. Bayonetta is truly a masterpiece of the action genre, a fresh, funny and spectacular stylish game also very deep in its gameplay. Platinum Games has definitely made a title that put Devil May Cry and every other action game in shame. Must Buy, period.
  17. 95
    Bayonetta is the new Queen of action games, making other games in the genre feel redundant by comparison. Kratos, Dante and Ryu… eat your heart out because Bayonetta is here.
  18. With its blend of cutting-edge action and scintillating adventure, Bayonetta comes across as an explosion of ideas that Kamiya and his crew may have had since their work on Devil May Cry. In many ways, Bayonetta is the culmination of that effort. It's the wildest ride yet.
  19. It has been a while since a game of this quality has kicked off the year, but Bayonetta delivers on every front, even managing to draw in players that would normally give this genre a miss, thanks to the superb presentation, humour and charm. The game pretty much lures you into multiple playthroughs too, thanks to that ‘one more try’ mentality to surpass yourself, which is a rare feat indeed. It may be that Japan will not make them like this anymore and that would be a tragedy, so do yourself a favour and enjoy this game.
  20. 95
    The game is far from perfect, but its few faults are buried deeply under a game that shines brightly with its strengths.
  21. Extreme, provoking, enthralling, adrenalinic and a bit kitschy. Bayonetta is the new queen of stylish action games, with inspired and flawless graphics and a beautiful and crazily irreverent main character: it's always a pleasure fighting the magnificent enemies thanks to a perfect control system and a very balanced difficulty. A perfect game to kick off 2010.
  22. 94
    Visually stunning and beautiful, full of imagination and charming details, and excellent gameplay-wise, Bayonetta is a dream come true for those who consider Devil May Cry a milestone of the past generation.
  23. Bayonetta is a step further in the hack 'n slash genre, a genuine explosion of fun in which Hideki Kamiya discovers his feminine side: a witch killing angels and dancing to the beat of Fly Me to the Moon. In other words, we love you, Bayonetta.
  24. Games Master UK
    The first truly "next generation" action game and the standard everyone else has to follow. [Christmas 2009, p.70]
  25. 93
    Bayonetta is the kind of game that makes me appreciate why I love videogames. It really defines a time when things were not taken too seriously and the focus was more on style and gameplay than anything else. The outlandish boss battles and over-the-top action really make this game stand out amongst its peers.
  26. This is one of the best action games on the Xbox 360, and it comes from the likes of Japan; go pick up a copy as soon as you can.
  27. Bayonetta is a fantastic single player game which offers a unique and compelling experience throughout. This is a title not to be missed.
  28. An undeniably enjoyable game that mixes lighting-fast action and deeply satisfying combat with outrageous character design, inspired storytelling, and exceptional visual presentation.
  29. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    The first hack-'n'-slash game which genuinely belongs to this gen, Bayonetta also sets a new standard. [Jan 2010, p.94]
  30. Bayonetta is a superb action title that gets props for still being very challenging for the hardcore action crowd, but accessible enough for less-skilled players to play – the forgiving systems in place allow for minimal frustration, which usually leads to said player becoming much more skilled than they were before.
  31. A game that exemplifies so much of what commentators claim has died in the Japanese game industry. A blast of creative brilliance, both technically accomplished, strategically deep and infused with rare imagination, Bayonetta represents the pinnacle of its chosen niche. [JPN Import]
  32. Official Xbox Magazine
    Astonishingly, every one of these dazzling battles is thrilling without overstaying its welcome - and also challenges you without being cheap. [Jan 2009, p.66]
  33. 90
    Even after suffering through the grueling battles, the repeated deaths, the campy dialogue and the head-numbingly bad plot, I still had a hell of time thanks to the immensely satisfying combat, the inspired level design and the memorable boss encounters.
  34. When you’re chaining combos together, switching between weapons, and punishing otherworldly opponents, Bayonetta is the epitome of its breed. It isn’t so much an evolution of the genre as a well-tuned and highly polished culmination of its history.
  35. Bayonetta is a great game, in every possible aspect: great visuals, superb OST, incredible gameplay, fun, deep storyline, several difficulty levels for both newcomers and hardcore gamers... It's easily one of the best games in its genre, and it sets new standards of quality.
  36. This is pure videogame from start to finish - escapism at its finest. It reminds you of a time you didn't question why, you just went along for the ride. There's only one question: how the hell do you top it? [Jan 2009, p.92]
  37. games(TM)
    Ping-ponging from the sublime to the ridiculous with sass, style and a potty mouth, Bayonetta is a ten-hour journey into both the obscenely brilliant and the brilliantly obscene, but you'll still be playing it for its wealth of extras long beyond that. [Issue#91, p.102]
  38. One of the finest hack 'n' slash games I've ever played. It's fast, thrilling, gorgeous, punishing, rewarding and tremendous fun. It's an old-fashioned game at heart, will test your skills to their limit, and more than lives up to its billing.
  39. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Tough for the many but heaven for the few, Bayonetta soundly trumps the Devil May Cry franchise as the Xbox 360's prime hack-and-slash action game. We eagerly wait for more. [Issue#54, p.74]
  40. Bayonetta is simultaneously gratuitous, ludicrous, and marvelous, but that's precisely why it's such a wild and fun adventure.
  41. 90
    The combat is sublime (even the dodging is fun), the environments are bizzarre and the action incredibly intense. Bosses are spectacular, many and varied and there's lots of it to go around.
  42. One of the best third person actioners of all time manages to make Dante and Kratos look like amateurs.
  43. Bayonetta is as good as it gets when it comes to action games. The combat system is the work of masters, and the whole production is vivid, bold, and imaginative. It's also a hugely substantial experience that sustains and encourages repeat playthroughs.
  44. Bayonetta sort of resembles Devil May Cry, and the PlayStation 3 version isn't up to par with the superior Xbox 360 edition. Nevertheless, Platinum Games and Hideki Kamiya built an inventive, stylish and wild action game that gets 2010 off on the right foot. Sequel, please.
  45. The sexiest virtual lady in the videogame industry is no longer Lara Croft. Bayonetta is a well packed game that mixes a beautiful, semi-naked, woman, tons of crazy action and a stunning artistic and graphic package. Platinum Games gave life at the greatest "pure" action game in this generation.
  46. The story and world of Bayonetta don’t make sense in any way, but that’s the point. It’s a chain of strange, spectacular moments in incoherent surroundings. It’s a parody of other action games, but it also sets the new standard for those same games. It’s that good.
  47. A superb design, compelling gameplay (easy to learn but hard to master), and a good storytelling make Kamiya's return much appreciated. Rest in peace Dante, we all fell in love with a (much more) beautiful witch.
  48. Nothing short of a hardcore gaming masterpiece.
  49. 90
    Bayonetta manages to (handily) surpass the high expectations from fans. The action is fluent and over-the-top, the images you see are very nicely done and sound-wise, the game is up there with the best. Combining a comical story with visually interesting settings and competitive online leaderboards will give you a game that every action fanatic should at least have tried. Highly recommended.
  50. The fights are the best in the genre but everything else feels out of date and the design is disgraceful. Luckily, the game is all about the battles.
  51. Bayonetta is the perfect evolution of Devil May Cry. The controls are awesome and we love the combo's. And let's not forget the bosses, which are perfect examples of the quality of the game!
  52. The Action game Bayonetta lavishly provides ravishing graphics and a bunch of fearsome enemies.
  53. Bayonetta is an assured, impeccably well-crafted game overflowing with enough offbeat ideas to fuel a million action games, and if we were doling out medals of our own, we'd award Platinum Games with the highest possible accolade. Simply put, Bayonetta is worthy of nothing less than pure platinum.
  54. Bayonetta is a completely OTT game with singular vision, containing ideas that make sense only in the mind of Hideki Kamiya – the game’s creator. It’s an insight into what he thinks games should be about, and a love letter to the uniqueness of the medium he works in – with no misgivings to end-users that do not share his mindset.
  55. At the end of the day, Bayonetta is easily one of our most original gaming experiences that we have enjoyed in a long time and even though at times, it feels like a bad 70’s action movie, the story, characters and quirkiness of the gameplay is pure ingenious.
  56. Bayonetta is a solid action game that is filled with dark humour, sex appeal, silliness, plenty of action and enough cinematic quality to keep you well entertained even when you're not slicing up demon butt.
  57. It certainly is one of the best action titles to release for a long time.
  58. Bayonetta may not be the easiest game to follow or be to everyone’s taste, but is full of original ideas.
  59. Bayonetta is a fantastic game. Aside from a difficult late game and a wacky, confusing narrative, it manages introduce a deep, fun combat system that is silky smooth and easy to learn.
  60. 90
    In an age of endless bald space marines, colour pallets that know nothing beyond brown and grey, and gritty urban sandboxes, Bayonetta is a breath of fresh air.
  61. Bayonetta is a spectacular game. The combat is truly exceptional, taking the baton from games like Devil May Cry and Ninja Gaiden and blowing them out of the water.
  62. With its addictive, fast-paced gameplay, smooth controls, slick graphics, and excellent soundtrack, Bayonetta is an easy recommendation for any action fan.
  63. Bayonetta is an unique title that exhales life back into the action hack-n-slash market.
  64. Bayonetta is made for the hardcore gamer. Its sensationally over-the-top style may turn a few players off but underneath all that flash, style, and madness is one of the most engaging, satisfying combat systems in action games today.
  65. Bayonetta knows how to blow the audiences minds. Lollipops have been never before licked so nicely in a video game and man that girl knows how punch a face. The great and weird story really gets you into the game and will never let you go.
  66. 85
    Bayonetta has become a very good game which offers plenty of diversity. Everything looks good and the game contains a fine dose of humor. Put this game on the list of Kratos and Dante. This game is a must have for everyone!
  67. Bayonetta is a refreshing and somewhat surprising addition to an already extensive catalogue of action games. A must-buy for any anime gaming fan, and an excellent representation of the genre.
  68. It’s easy to overlook the flaws because there are so many good things to pay attention to, although it’s still not perfect. Having it a little shorter and not repeating the enemies so much would be a start. Still, it’s hard not to recommend because there is just so much here for the player to do and doing it all is awesome.
  69. Bayonetta is an exceedingly challenging action game and there's no doubt you'll spend a lot of hours playing it. Every so often it does become too chaotic for the average player.
  70. Bravo, PlatinumGames. You've made a game and created a heroine that gives Dante a reason to cry.
  71. Take away some of its flaws, and the bar would've been raised higher than most games could ever hope to surpass. In lieu of that, we have Kamiya's latest, a breakneck, top-tier example of the 3-D action brawler.
  72. Pelit (Finland)
    A positively over-the-top beat 'em up -adventure. The battles are simply stunning - sexy, bloody, brutal and above all: fun. [Jan 2010]
  73. The gameplay really is excellent, and though the story leaves much to be desired, the excellent combat more than makes up for this shortcoming. Between epic boss battles, beautiful environments, and one badass heroine, Bayonetta is definitely the first knock-out action game of the new year and is a great title to shake off those winter blues.
  74. An action game fan’s wet dream. Despite a derivative structure and a few technical stumbles—like occasional slowdown and frequent screen tearing—Bayonetta takes everything that’s good about every other combo-heavy action game, cranks up the intensity, fine tunes the combat, and bundles it in a single, sexy, “au naturel” package.
  75. Bayonetta was a cult game since it was still just an embryo, and as such it is a controversial title. Fully based on an oriental approach to the gameplay and a hectic rhythm, in a bizarre mixture of graphical marvel and technical flaws, it is either love or hate at first sight. Actually, we quite liked it!
  76. No doubt about it: Bayonetta is currently one of the best action games on the market. Platinum Games has in fact done a great job, providing not only an excellent gameplay, but a thrilling and spectacular experience that will surely appeal both newcomers and fans of the genre. An absolute must buy for anyone searching for some real action.
  77. Should I judge it for the hours of fun I had and its frequent brilliance, ignoring the commensurate hours I sat through some of the most self-indulgent pseudo-intellectual mumbling masquerading as a cutscene since Metal Gear Solid 4 (and the fact that the game drags on approximately five hours longer than it should?)
  78. Its crazy-quilt story is balanced by stellar gameplay and visuals that sometimes clutter the screen, but usually do so with style and beauty. Bayonetta might not be the kind of girl you bring home to meet you mother, but she's a lot of fun to hang out with, flaws and all.
  79. Ultimately, Bayonetta is a great game that fans of hardcore Japanese action games should be incredibly satisfied with. It looks amazing and can feel great to play when combos are rolling, Torture Attacks are earned and giant demons made out of hair are summoned to crush bosses.
  80. For as many different games as Bayonetta specifically recalls, there's really nothing quite like it. It carries a certain amount of the same technical appeal as Devil May Cry, while marrying it with the deliberate quirk of something like No More Heroes. It's definitely going to be a divisive game for many, but whether you like it or not, I have a feeling that the developers made exactly the game they wanted to.
  81. 80
    But just like Clover Studio's God Hand -- from which I'm convinced Kamiya took some pretty big inspiration -- it's a flawed-yet-brilliant masterpiece that deserves to be played in spite of several glaring weaknesses.
  82. The action is fun, fast and varied and makes for an enjoyable romp fans of the genre would be foolish to pass up.
  83. Bayonetta is a bizarre game that some will love, but many will hate.
  84. It’s tough to assess a game that swings so wildly between two poles. In its more focused portions, Bayonetta is kinetic bliss that makes hand-to-hand violence into an act of love. But too often, the game devolves to its button-mashing, raunchy norm, adopting the puerile sensibility that is making Japan a less relevant voice in a slowly maturing medium.
  85. Maybe Platinum Games had deliberately pushed the game so far over the top it became ridiculous and stupid, not out of an attempt to circle on round from stupid back to awesome in that out-there-crazy-no-holds-barred-explosion way, but as a direct parody of all of the previous games which have tried to do that. Maybe Bayonetta isn't a terrible game, but is in fact the pure utilisation of irony to mock both the game manufacturers and its fans!
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 753 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 97 out of 753
  1. RyanG.
    Jan 12, 2010
    Honestly this is 1 of the best games ive ever played...and if you think this game is crap you are either crying for attention or have a Honestly this is 1 of the best games ive ever played...and if you think this game is crap you are either crying for attention or have a slight case of retardation. Full Review »
  2. BGrant
    Jan 11, 2010
    Japan really needs to stop doing the same thing over and over again. This game feels like I should have seen it in an arcade 10 years ago Japan really needs to stop doing the same thing over and over again. This game feels like I should have seen it in an arcade 10 years ago minue all the camel toe. I am so confused by the high ratings, is this a joke on me? If you are an 11 year old with no access to porn this is your game, otherwise stay away. Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    This game is absolutely amazing. This is what devil may cry 4 should have been. The amount of combat control is just mind boggling there isThis game is absolutely amazing. This is what devil may cry 4 should have been. The amount of combat control is just mind boggling there is just so much you can do. Also factor in you can switch on the fly a different weapon set up to mix up very varying combo styles. Rocket launchers on the feet is somehow full of awesome when you pull off amazing feats of combos. You can also activate a matrix bullet time slow mo (which is called witch time in this game) when you narrowly dodge enemy attacks, this is used to unleash and plan very destructive combos. Also in other games you see fancy epic choreographed CGI cutscenes well in bayonetta there is so much depth and control you can pull off amazing CGI choreographed styled fights in game, that's what sets this game above other hack and slash action games. If you're the type of gamer that wants more then just button mashing bayonetta can give you that control if you are willing to learn it. Also this game is the return of epic boss battles which the last 2 are some of the best in action gaming history. Doesn't hurt the game runs silky smooth at 60 FPS, which makes all those combos look phenomenal. The sound track is very nice as well with very atmospheric pieces and the choir chanting just races your adrenaline. With that bayonetta does have some awkward jazzy tunes like a japanese "fly me to the moon" jazz rendition when bayonetta is just being sassy and comical. But when things get serious that's when the real highlight of the OSt breaks out. If you love pure action games then this game is as good as it gets to being perfect gameplay wise. A must try for pure action enthusiast that love sexy smooth gameplay and who like lots of depth in combat options. Full Review »