Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. Multi-vehicle races that involve parachute jumps, speedboats and fast cars are the most enjoyable however, combining GTA's strongest elements into pulse-pounding races that are a genuine highlight.
  2. 100
    Despite the grim set-up, The Ballad Of Gay Tony is an altogether more upbeat affair than The Lost And Damned. The location is far more glamorous as most of the DLC's action forsakes Liberty City's dour ghettos and docile suburbs for the glitzy island of Algonquin (or Manhattan to you).
  3. The Ballad of Gay Tony is not only an over-the-top action game with tons of great missions, it's also the perfect way to conclude the Grand Theft Auto IV storyline.
  4. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    It's GTA IV - only perfected. [Christmas 2009, p.116]
  5. The Ballad of Gay Tony is a monumentally satisfying GTA experience, and with a few more missions could have probably stood alone as its own game. It shows that Rockstar really cares about GTA fans and wants to give them more of what they want.
  6. Excellent gameplay, superb storytelling, a ridiculously open world and the best damn writing you’ll find today.
  7. 95
    As DLC, The Ballad of Gay Tony is an incredible offering, but when combined with The Lost and Damned in 'Episodes From Liberty City' at retail, it's irresistible.
  8. This superb downloadable episode for GTAIV would be easy to recommend even if it were a full retail product selling for three times its actual price.
  9. The Ballad of Gay Tony is more than just a bargain expansion: it's the single best game add-on available on Xbox Live.
  10. No doubts about the fact that The Ballad of Gay Tony is the best DLC ever created.
  11. Overall, The Ballad of Gay Tony is an outstanding package offering tremendous value. As an “expansion pack” it offers more gameplay, features and fun than many full-sized retail titles.
  12. What the Lost and the Damned pulled away from, The Ballad of Gay Tony embraces. Going out in a bang TBOGT is a larger than life rollercoaster ride into the dangerous underbelly of Liberty City with Gay Tony as your guide.
  13. It's still GTA IV, but there's plenty that's new and plenty that’s fun to do. This is a ballad worth listening too...
  14. While I preferred the tight-knit story of brotherhood and betrayal in The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony delivers more explosive weapons, death-defying missions, and off-the-wall characters. Don’t miss your chance to close out the GTA IV experience in style.
  15. 93
    Thanks to the new possibility's, GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony will bring you even better content than GTA IV: The Lost and Damned. And when you decide to buy GTA: Episodes from Liberrty City, you will get them both on one disc.
  16. 92
    The Ballad of Gay Tony is the perfect way to close out the GTA IV saga.
  17. 92
    Like The Lost and Damned before it, The Ballad of Gay Tony redefines expectations of downloadable content, but this new episode does so much more beside. It’s the perfect send-off for one of this generation’s definitive titles, it takes the Grand Theft Auto IV experience and injects it with the spirit of the series’ past, resulting in a game that can be mentioned in the same breath as San Andreas or Vice City.
  18. It doesn't so much reinvent Liberty City as it does re-skin it, but for a truly enjoyable way to end the GTA IV party right, The Ballad of Gay Tony fires on all cylinders.
  19. The GTA IV trilogy ends with a bang, with a strong come back of the verve and over the top adventures that made most of the best GTA moments. Seeing this episode, makes you believe that Rockstar could go on producing expansions forever, or at least till the new hardware generation will surface.
  20. In the end, The Ballad of Gay Tony serves as a cork popping celebration for Grand Theft Auto IV, and I couldn't think of a better send off.
  21. Featuring a number of new features, a likeable protagonist and some new kickass weapons, this latest episode is a great reason to return to Liberty City, especially if you haven’t made the trip in a while.
  22. The Ballad of Gay Tony is one not only one of the best of the two episodes but it’s also one of the most awesome Grand Theft Auto games that is more than able to stand on its own. With a thrilling story that seldom sees a dull moment, you will find yourself going back into Liberty City and loving every minute of it.
  23. Even though the gameplay doesn’t re-invent anything and the visuals aren’t as impressive as they once were, Rockstar manages to give you so much for such a little price that seeing past the little nuisances won’t be a difficult task. Both The Ballad of Gay Tony and the standalone disc Episodes from Liberty City are great expansions and we can’t do otherwise than recommend.
  24. Pelit (Finland)
    Once again extends Rockstar's epic Liberty City saga. Although it's just DLC, it could easily be sold as an separate sequel. On the bad side there are few really annoying flying missions and the shooting sequences still feel quite numb. Even with the few missteps the game is really enjoyable and addicting combination of adventure, action and driving. [Nov 2010]
  25. 91
    GTA IV's final expansion sends itself off in style in some of the most ridiculous ways possible; I think that's why I like it so much.
  26. Unlike Lost and Damned which suffered from an overly familiar missions structure, the second 360 exclusive episode manages to rekindle the highs of GTA IV's greatest missions (we're thinking Four Leaf Clover) and in sheer absurdity leapfrogs them entirely.
  27. This ballad is a love song to Liberty City and you return with Gay Tony to this amazing town once again. You might see its intense lifestyle from a new angle.
  28. Rockstar approaches the darkest side of nightlife, telling a story of loyalty in a world where everybody has a price. It contains about 12 hours of intense main missions, tons of extra content, including club management, drug wars, cage fights and hitting on girls. Not to mention helicopters, parachutes, more powerful weapons, multiplayer action and an outstanding soundtrack in this masterpiece of how to release episodic content.
  29. The Ballad of Gay Tony takes again the cheeky and impossible spirit of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, and brings it back to life with the fantastic technology from GTA IV. An amazing opportunity to revisit the always amazing Liberty City.
  30. 90
    What The Lost and Damned did with grime and grittiness, Gay Tony does with glitz and glamour, and I love the colourful, Algonquin-led carnage in this series finale.
  31. 90
    The Ballad of Gay Tony is the perfect ending of the GTA IV "saga", and one of the best acquisitions available on Xbox Live Arcade.
  32. 90
    I'm going to recommend Gay Tony but only to GTA-fanatics who are willing to gloss over the still persistent faults; it's with them in mind that I award the game a high score. But gamers who've already given up on GTA won't find anything here to change their minds, so save your MS points for something else.
  33. A top-notch expansion that nearly surpasses GTA IV itself for sheer fun and replayability, The Ballad of Gay Tony puts a fittingly explosive, over-the-top coda on the story that Niko Bellic started.
  34. This is the old-school, full-bore ultra-violence that many people felt was missing from Niko's adventures. It's less a brooding crime epic and more a particularly ludicrous episode of Prison Break.
  35. Despite some radical style changes for what concerns storyline and mission structure, The Ballad of Gay Tony doesn’t fail our expectations, proving to be an engaging, unpredictable and funny DLC that will undoubtedly assure hours of all-out action to anyone willing to visit Liberty City once more. As for GTA IV, we really couldn’t ask for a better conclusion.
  36. It's easy to see some fans being frustrated at this expansion's direction. The tone of the story is, after all, quite a departure from the franchise's previous two outings. However, the amusing dialogue, fun gameplay, and delightfully absurd missions make this a must-buy for everyone, whether by download (in which case it requires a copy of GTA IV to run) or on disc with The Lost and Damned.
  37. 90
    The writing is top-notch, the characters are awesome, and the extra activities will keep you busy far beyond the 10+ hours it takes to beat the story. Most impressive (at least to me) is the way the game portrays the relationship between the two male leads. They genuinely care about each other, even while bickering and arguing like an old married couple. If that isn't the true definition of friendship, I don't know what is.
  38. While Niko's adventures were drab and often lacked thrills, The Ballad of Gay Tony is a return to classic over the top Grand Theft Auto destruction.
  39. The voice acting continues the Grand Theft Auto trend of excellence, even with weirder characters like Yusuf. ("I seem to have forgotten my pants.") The dialogue is excellent, even if it is laced with enough slurs and profanity to make a senator cringe.
  40. A great addition to GTA IV and The Lost and Damned. The trailer made us think that the fun, over the top gameplay of San Andreas was making a return, and while the end result doesn’t offer that, the story, characters, humor and the unbelievable amount of detail are still to be topped in any other game.
  41. 90
    The Ballad Of Gay Tony is the most enjoyable by simply upping the ante a notch, reminding us that even in a city 'where the money is making the plan', you can still have a little fun.
  42. In parallel with the superlative Chinatown Wars, The Ballad of Gay Tony restores a sense of playfulness to the GTA franchise, cementing Rockstar's status as King of the DLC.
  43. It may not be a ballad in the classical sense, but you're likely to find yourself singing praises for The Ballad of Gay Tony.
  44. It’s a glamorous, larger-than life finale to a wonderful trilogy, taking the lessons Rockstar learned with the previous two games and expanding upon them to create something fabulous.
  45. games(TM)
    Rockstar North hasn't lost its grip on its capacity to take the GTA template and invent interesting twists on its design, ensuring that every mission is as amusing and explosive as the last, right up until the bombastic finale. [Dec 2009, p.122]
  46. An excellent story, great new characters and everything you love about GTA IV help make The Ballad of Gay Tony as good, if not better than its predecessor.
  47. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Slightly less satisfying than last time around, but only to the tune of being the second-best piece of downloadable content ever created for a console title. Not bad then. [Issue#52, p.84]
  48. Fun in spades, slightly easier and quicker to complete than previous episodes but with plenty of new stuff to bring a new sheen to those grubby city streets, The Ballad of Gay Tony is worth the 1600 points it’ll cost you, and if you’ve previously ignored the preceding tale from Liberty City, The Lost and Damned, you can buy both as a handy boxed catch-up package (probably a wise move if your broadband connection is as crappy as mine).
  49. The Ballad of Gay Tony is a fantastic add-on. The game delivers a great story, strong characters and cool missions. Furthermore the game is coming with new weapons and a solid playtime. For twenty bucks your busy for a while.
  50. Once you have finished the main structure there are still remaining reasons and complementary objectives to continue playing. Liberty City continues to fascinate.
  51. 90
    Although the graphics are perhaps a little rough around the edges, the sprawling cityscape is as appealing as it ever was, the NPC population just as lively, and the renowned in-car radio broadcasts swing between a bonanza of musical styles and fabulously written politically incorrect talk shows and discussions that are laugh-out-loud funny.
  52. It takes itself seriously, but presents a much more laid back sensibility to the player, giving them a chance to have a bit of fun in between the gritty reality of gangsters and money.
  53. At the end of the day, this is easily the most fun we've had since GTA III and although Niko Bellic was a little lackluster as the central character, Lopez provides that carefree attitude who will be more relatable to the broader audience.
  54. Grand Theft Auto IV The Ballad Of Gay Tony is a five-star add-on. The storyline is simply ravishing, some of the old graphics glicthes have been repaired and even the aim system has been finally improved. Actually, it would have deserved to be sold on shelves as a complete game, such is the amount of things to do.
  55. However, despite the story and characters being a bit dullish and uninteresting, GTA gamers are given a definitive reason to see this three-part story to its conclusion with the core GTA gameplay – replete with the standard vehicle manslaughter opportunity gamers have come to know (and in many cases love) ? remaining as gratifyingly volatile and as ever.
  56. A good expansion to mark the end of GTA IV, but not the best.
  57. I’ve always been fond of GTA for the story, as ludicrous as it may be, because it closely resembles all the great combat and intrigue of a summer blockbuster. What’s different about this is that, while full of gun, porn and explosions, there’s a complex and mature story beneath it all.
  58. Perhaps Tony Prince does nothing to drag the series forward - somewhat fittingly for a man with his head stuck in the eighties - but the episode Rockstar has named in his honour is a colourful and pleasingly unpredictable adventure that gets better throughout and ends on a high.
  59. Generously-sized expansion, which despite increasingly rough edges has some of the best missions yet.
  60. It’s an eight hour thrill ride with only a few poor missions and GTAIV’s dated gameplay holding it back. For the relatively cheap price it should be a must buy for any GTA fans, particularly those with a fondness for either Vice City or San Andreas.
  61. The Ballad of Gay Tony is much more entertaining than Lost & Damned, which should be enough praise for this great game.
  62. The Ballad of Gay Tony is the colorful climax to the GTA4 trilogy and it really makes Rockstar's latest part in the series go out with a bang. Rockstar has really nailed the concept of episodic gaming.
  63. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Excellent DLC add-on can beat even retail games by its performance ratio. Almost everything is perfect – atmosphere, playability, humor and sound & graphics. [Issue#186]
  64. Nobody makes DLC like the team at Rockstar and The Ballad of Gay Tony is no exception. Like The Lost and Damned before it, The Ballad of Gay Tony offers up an 8-10 hour campaign for only $20. That is amazing value.
  65. Funny and boring, exciting and annoying, beautiful and ugly, The Ballad of Gay Tony is as dissonant as the strange relationship between Louis and Tony. But still, Rockstar North is head and shoulders above its competitors.
  66. Time and expectations have taken a certain toll on Grand Theft Auto IV, but all that aside, the bottom line for The Ballad of Gay Tony is that it's just not as good as the GTAIV experiences that preceded it. It feels like Rockstar has run out of tricks, and it has got its work cut out for it with whatever comes next for Grand Theft Auto.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 297
  1. BrianB
    Nov 1, 2009
    The fact that this DLC is barely holding down a Universal Acclaim rating is somewhat of a mystery to me. The game costs $20. You get SO MUCH The fact that this DLC is barely holding down a Universal Acclaim rating is somewhat of a mystery to me. The game costs $20. You get SO MUCH game out of that investment. The story is awesome, there's a ton of new stuff to do (including basejumping!!), and I haven't been able to put down the controller. That's an unquestionable 10 in my book. Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2012
    Best DLC this gen. Period , the graphics are better than normal GTA IV, combat is improved , and the game is really fun. I think its anBest DLC this gen. Period , the graphics are better than normal GTA IV, combat is improved , and the game is really fun. I think its an amazing even if it was released as a full game. Full Review »
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    10/10 = Masterpiece = Why doe this only have an 89 metascore!? This is my favorite piece of DLC for any game EVER!! The amount of content and10/10 = Masterpiece = Why doe this only have an 89 metascore!? This is my favorite piece of DLC for any game EVER!! The amount of content and story here is enough to be a new GTA game altogether!! Excellent atmosphere here as well. Full Review »