Universal acclaim - based on 74 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 74
  2. Negative: 0 out of 74
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  1. Personally, it's the best game I've ever played, but even if you're not a hardcore sci-fi nerd like me, Mass Effect is a transcendent experience, the new standard-setter for what a game can be. You have to play it, and that's why we're kinda jealous of you. Even if you memorized all the previews and trailers, you're not ready for how awesome this game is. [Holiday 2007, p.58]
  2. 100
    It's a rare thing when a game comes along with the power to move a player emotionally... Mass Effect takes interactive entertainment to breathtaking new heights.
  3. VideoGamer
    Mass Effect is a triumph. A triumph for the science fiction video game, a triumph for the action RPG and a triumph for next generation gaming. And it sets up the sequel perfectly. I want to know what happens next.
  4. 100
    The production values are incredible, with breathtaking worlds to explore, a huge cast of memorable characters (Wrex is awesome) and hours of missions and side quests to delve into. When it's all over, you'll go through it again and find something exciting and new. Mass Effect sets a new standard for sci-fi gaming.
  5. I have had an excellent play time with Mass Effect thus far, and although the basic plot of the game's story is somewhat cliche for sci-fi, it's the execution that really has to be commended.
  6. 100
    All of these elements blend together perfectly to deliver the most cinematic gaming experience since "Metal Gear Solid" on the PSOne. MGS was the only other game that I have played that I felt like I was actually playing a movie.
  7. 100
    A towering achievement that surpassed my expectations on every level. While aspects of the game may feel familiar, this is the game that all the other before it only hinted at. Do not plan to play it just once. The world created here is to be explored different ways to find all the amazing goodness tucked away in its corners. Thirty hours after I began, all I wanted to do was build a new character and start again. It’s just that good.
  8. AceGamez
    Mass Effect certainly has a few flaws, but it's easily the most enthralling space adventure that's ever been created for a video game platform. It honestly makes the Halo narrative look like amateur hour!
  9. An incredible effort from any perspective, Mass Effect sets the new standard for story-driven games, and has unquestionably surpassed all others to become the preeminent science fiction franchise today.
  10. X-ONE Magazine UK
    A game of such rare emotion that we became attached to our characters to the point of missing them now it's all over. [Issue 27, p.76]
  11. There's a ton of variation throughout the entire game, and an amazing amount of detail to be explored. I'd say it's an absolute must buy for anyone that loves gaming, and I hope you'll get as much out of the experience as I have.
  12. Absolutely - bar none - THE must-own game of 2007 on ANY platform. Mass Effect is damn near perfect!
  13. It's an adventure that is so captivating that you'll be counting the days for the sequel. It takes interactive storytelling to new heights, and brings the player closer to content than ever before. It's easily one of the year's best titles and one of the most impressive games to date. [Nov 2007, p.151]
  14. I can honestly say that the universe Bioware created is the best I have encountered since George Lucas created Star Wars. Never have I been compelled to find out everything there is to a storyline as I did with Mass Effect.
  15. Other than the AI issues, graphical glitches, and insanely confusing equipment screen Mass Effect is the perfect video game. The storyline is right up there with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and we are can barely hold back our excitement to see what happens in the next two games.
  16. If I could only choose one game this holiday season, it would have to be Mass Effect... If you're looking for a title that tells a great story, is loaded with content, has a surprising amount of re-playability due to customization, and will keep you glued to your couch, Mass Effect is a great choice.
  17. One of the most cinematic games of all-time, something that's definitely helped by a fantastic story, great writing, movie-quality direction, and strong voiceover work.
  18. Involving, ambitious, and beautifully executed, Mass Effect is a powerful experience that has a lot to offer anyone who plays games as more than a casual diversion.
  19. Bioware has made another successful role-playing game that will please fans of the genre, science fiction advocates and any gamer who is looking for an engaging new experience.
  20. Pelit (Finland)
    Looks like a movie and plays like a great sci-fi novel. The shooter-based combat system might feel simplistic at first, but it's really a boon that great enhances the pacing of the game. The action is quick and you constantly feel that you're on the move. Mass Effect is just about the best 30 hours of video gaming you can get in 2007. [Dec 2007]
  21. 95
    The title's greatest strength is the way it completely wraps you in the main protagonist's skin, which is something more RPG games should strive to do. The game's staggering depth and complexity is also impressive, as is its accessibility.
  22. It's one of the best hybrid RPGs I've played, as well as a serious game of the year candidate. It's the video game equivalent of "Battlestar Galactica" or "Babylon 5": a space epic that reaches for the stars and manages to hit most of them.
  23. Don't pass on this one. It's more of an experience than a game, and if you own an Xbox 360 it's an experience that absolutely cannot be missed.
  24. All in all, Mass Effect is every bit a great as we were promised. The story is fantastic, the graphics are unbelievable, sound is fairly good and the music is wonderful, but weird difficulty changes, ridiculous length and a failed ‘run and gun’ battle system keep Mass Effect from its almost perfect score.
  25. Role-players, put your lighters up in the air. This is every bit the sci-fi rock concert it was meant to be, with an unbeatable cast, an impenetrable storyline, and an undeniable gravity making Mass Effect impossible to escape.
  26. It’s a game that’s accessible to players who aren’t familiar with traditional RPGs, but above all, a real treat for sci-fi lovers.
  27. With its faultless audio, ambitious graphics, incredible digital characters and compelling storyline, Mass Effect feels like you are playing though a sci-fi blockbuster with a bottomless movie budget.
  28. 94
    The cinematic design is nothing short of masterful. This is a game that takes the aspects of film that make cinema so compelling and crosses it with the interactivity of games with unprecedented success. Linear storytelling feels quaint by comparison.
  29. This is a huge, beautiful game that will draw you in, immerse you in another world have you talking about it with friends. It can be a beast at times, but once tamed, will serve you well. Even now we’re thinking of new ways to play and new things to try and desperately looking forward to BioWare throwing us an add-on shaped bone.
  30. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Far from being a ponderous sci-fi exposition, Mass Effect boasts a dynamic, well-constructed story with a broad emotional range. [Holiday 2007, p.82]
  31. It may be difficult for some to overlook the new combat system, but once you get a grip on it, and look past the shoddy vehicular combat, you’ll find a game worthy purchasing.
  32. 92
    Mass Effect is an amazing game, one that will be remembered for a long time to come.
  33. The unprecedented level of cinematic quality, the fun combat coupled with the customary insightfulness of writing is what makes this game a must-have. It's what makes BioWare still stand out as one of the top in their field.
  34. Mass Effect is a gorgeous, thought-provoking adventure that is as captivating as action-packed. While it hasn't undergone the polish it deserves, that doesn't prevent it from emerging as one of the best examples of the artistry to be achieved in the development of a game.
  35. Truly massive, with enough material for at least three all-nighters. . . the first time through.
  36. Is this Bioware's best game? No. But Mass Effect is still a damn fine game with a huge scope, dozens of hours of play from beginning to end, and it's got just about everything that makes sci-fi so compelling in the first place.
  37. Never before has storytelling been so competently ingrained into a videogame, and never before has a player had so much freedom to dictate the course of a linear storyline. Mass Effect isn't the laser-spewing monolith of a game we expected it to be, but it is far, far, far from a disappointment. [Christmas 2007, p.56]
  38. When we finished Mass Effect the first time, the very next thing we did was start it all over again. It's clear that this is the beginning of a fantastic franchise, and we're already salivating over the possibilities for "Mass Effect II."
  39. The astounding vistas of each planet combined with swelling synth chords and the cheesy sci-fi plots of Babylon 5, make this a game for lovers of sci-fi and RPG everywhere. Roll on the sequels!
  40. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    Mass Effect is a rare example of a game that shouts about how many things it can do well for years and then actually delivers upon its promises on release. Every bit as good as it ever could be, this is right up there with the best of what the Xbox 360 both is capable of and has to offer.
  41. 90
    I suppose the brilliance is that, however many times I watched a scene or fought a battle, Mass Effect never truly lost its magic.
  42. 90
    It's the very definition of "widescreen sci-fi," with its alien vistas, far-out music, and giant ideas. It begins with an ominous opening and ends with a fantastic finale that expertly intercuts between your individual actions with a massive space battle. It's the rare title where the first thing I did upon finishing was to select "new game."
  43. 90
    Flawed though it is, Mass Effect is a tremendous ride. Sure, it overreaches from time to time, but better that than a game that toes the same, tired old RPG line. Nothing's sufficiently amiss here to prevent you from enjoying Mass Effect's class-leading gameplay, and it deserves to be remembered as the first truly great role-playing game of this generation.
  44. Games Master UK
    A strong, robustly put-together RPG that for every shortcoming has a magical moment too. [Christmas 2007, p.56]
  45. 90
    BioWare have set a new standard in storytelling, and if you have even the faintest interest in RPGs or science fiction, then this game simply demands to be played. While there are some technical issues and awkward gameplay decisions that are hard to ignore, when it comes down to it, Mass Effect is so compelling that most people will be able to push the issues aside and immerse themselves in one of the most detailed game worlds every created.
  46. But in the end it really is the gameplay and story that counts here, and Bioware has wonderfully combined both in such a way that any of the minor complaints can be ignored.
  47. games(TM)
    The time we spent with Mass Effect ranks as one of the most rewarding experiences we have had this year, and with the medium in such rude health that is quite a compliment. [Chrismas 2007, p.102]
  48. Though it has the odd rough edge, Mass Effect pushes BioWare's trademark character development, dialogue and storytelling to new levels.
  49. 90
    Mass Effect has, for me, lived up to my expectations and in some ways exceeded them -- doing slowly what KOTOR did. Drawing me into its world and making me feel comfortable; a place where everything just seems right.
  50. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Those who expect to find the new "Knights of the Old Republic" might be a little disappointed. The story lacks some real depth – once again it’s the old 'save the galaxy' cliché – but it might gain another dimension once the trilogy unfolds. But it’s still a fabulous RPG, one that any fan of the genre can’t possibly miss. [Dec 2007]
  51. The more time you spend interacting with the characters and the world around you, the more you will enjoy the wonderful experience it has to offer. This is a galaxy truly worth saving.
  52. In spite of its issues, Mass Effect is still a completely entrancing blend of two completely different genres, the likes of which we really haven't seen on the consoles since Deus Ex.
  53. 90
    If you pick up this title, you'll get a face full of space opera, with decent combat and lots of character interaction, and if that's your thing, snatch up this game pronto!
  54. This isn't for action fans, but instead, those who are looking for an entertaining gaming experience from beginning to end.
  55. Mass Effect certainly has flaws, but it’s easily the most enthralling space adventure that’s ever been created for a video game platform. It honestly makes the Halo narrative look like amateur hour.
  56. If you can’t wait to run to the next store and buy Mass Effect now, you should be aware of one thing: Its luxurious graphics need a luxurious PC.
  57. Overall, Mass Effect is a game that requires a serious investment of time to pay off – casual arcade gamers may initially be put off by the learning curve and the amount of time that’s needed to get the story rolling.
  58. Not that it isn’t fun, but aliens are a little -too- human, even the really really weird ones. These problems are thankfully not nearly big enough to drag Mass Effect down, as in reality, they amount to little more than petty but necessary gripes about an otherwise great title – it’s a fantastic experience.
  59. All this amounts to Mass Effect being much more of a lover than a fighter: a beacon as a sci-fi storytelling, heavily cinematic experience whose brilliance only brings light to the relatively predictable, plain combat that runs in parallel.
  60. The graphics and sound are inconsistent, the vehicle controls feel like they lack actual testing, and the inventory system is sloppy. But when it comes down to it, none of that detracts much from the overall experience.
  61. It's surprising that so many small annoyances and glitches made their way into a game of such general high quality. Still, most players will be able to look past them and enjoy Mass Effect for what it is: A terrific role-playing game with great production values and fun, exciting action.
  62. Play Magazine
    As a strict role-playing adventure, Effect fares much better. [Dec 2007, p.64]
  63. Mass Effect is the epitome of a double-edged sword. It’s good enough to be worth playing, but you must be willing to accept the fact that while it gives with one hand it takes away with the other. Then it pats you on the head, scratches behind your ear, and pokes you in the eye. You just can’t go any significant length of time without being annoyed by something, and it really sucks because there are parts of this game that are so good they’ll make you cry.
  64. 85
    Take 1 cup of Star Wars, blend in 2 tablespoons of Firefly and mix thoroughly. Mass Effect might not create as much of a stir as KOTOR did, but it's an undeniably good game that manages to showcase the incredible talent and dedication of the BioWare team.
  65. The diversity allowed by Mass Effect's character creation and leveling system is also a superb addition to the squad-based combat and keeps thing fresh as new character are introduced or removed from your squad.
  66. Despite the rough gameplay and idiotic AI, Mass Effect is still a very good experience when taken as a whole.
  67. Hardcore Gamer
    As it is, it's merely very good on several different levels, and is more or less a must-play for RPG fans. It will drive shooter fans completely up the wall, though. [Dec 2007, p.56]
  68. Where it doesn't quite hit the mark for me is in the action stakes. Although it underpins the game with all sorts of excellent ideas that ought to make it a deeper, more intelligent and immersive experience, the simple truth is that the minute-to-minute combat simply isn't as intense and involving as you'd expect from a game in 2007.
  69. Had it finished cooking for another few months and released next summer, Mass Effect probably would have been one of the best games ever created. What we have now is very good, but it leaves us looking forward to their next offering rather than our next play-through with this chapter.
  70. 80
    Mass Effect has the yearnings to be an epic and it almost achieves it.
  71. Edge Magazine
    Mass Effect is still enjoyable enough to warrant 24 hours of play (completion with sub-missions), and the stops it makes en route are visually stunning. It just doesn’t find what it goes looking for: the myth and exotica to accurately follow Star Wars. [Christmas 2007, p.86]
  72. Mass Effect is a good game which will disappoint nearly everyone who plays it. Immensely flawed in its design choices, but absolutely fantastic in its attention to character and atmosphere, Mass Effect is enjoyable, but not a masterpiece; entertaining, but not revolutionary; epic and emotionally involving, but disappointing. It is not a great game -- but it is, generally, a good one.
  73. Mass Effect feels like the first two acts of a great space opera, and the main villain and the most intriguing parts of the backstory have been saved for a sequel. The non-player characters that hang around with you have also taken a major step back, with less dialogue and none of the spontaneous clashes (and subtle flirting) of BioWare's past high-water marks, "Baldur's Gate II" and "Knights Of The Old Republic."
  74. netjak
    Mass Effect is a serviceable game and there is plenty of fun to be had, just be prepared to be frequently slapped in the face by how inconsistent everything is. Mass Effect is a resoundingly average game in every aspect, which is a complete letdown given BioWare’s history.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1972 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Sep 1, 2010
    A tear comes to my eye as I think about how best to express the pure joy this game brings. That sense of joy can come from climbing to theA tear comes to my eye as I think about how best to express the pure joy this game brings. That sense of joy can come from climbing to the top of a mountain on a world at furthest reaches of the galaxy and witnessing an alien sunrise, the stunning and original story line, and even looking down at your feet as you board a cargo ship and see the entire universe below you. All these things can only begin to explain the wonders of this game. Yeah, it's good. Full Review »
  2. Mar 20, 2012
    This gets a 9 simply because of the mako exploration of planets. I cannot get over how many times I got stuck in some rut and had to restart.This gets a 9 simply because of the mako exploration of planets. I cannot get over how many times I got stuck in some rut and had to restart. Also, there essentially is no autosave; you pretty much reset to the beginning of the mission. That being said, the scale of this game is amazing, and the remainder of the trilogy is even better from here. Full Review »
  3. Mar 22, 2011
    bioware pretty much nailed this one for the most part. being able to travel in space to different planets uncovering a great mystery backed upbioware pretty much nailed this one for the most part. being able to travel in space to different planets uncovering a great mystery backed up with a great story and solid voice acting makes this a solid RPG . the combat system is pretty good kinda gears of war style . alot of places to explore and some great diolouge choices you can make . going good or evil was done very well . the game is about 18-25 hours to beat so its alittle on the short side for a RPG but not short enough to where it bugs me but close . i wish they added space combat in your ship would have been great . also the planets are all pretty empty i wish they made exploration of the planets much more intresting . that aside its still a very solid RPG . Full Review »