Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
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  1. 100
    The epitome of an addictive multiplayer game that has just the right amount of action and team strategy to make it worth every cent to play online.
  2. 85
    Possibly the best game currently available for Xbox Live. Conversely, the single-player game offers very little gameplay and thus the title will likely not be too attractive to offline gamers. But what the game sets out to achieve, it achieves quite well.
  3. This is one of those games that leaves you feeling like you’ve actually be there after the game is over, and even then you'll find yourself replaying the action in your head...preparing for the next time you pick up the controller.
  4. There's no denying that the Counter-Strike formula still works and as such, is still a load of fun. It’s just a shame that Xbox owners are only getting a slightly upgraded game that’s over five years old.
  5. A must-have for Xbox Live subscribers, Counter Strike for Xbox far exceeds expectations with outstanding online multiplayer matches exuding intensity, competition, and pure fun.
  6. Edge Magazine
    Thankfully, the conversion from keyboard and mouse to pad has been made with rare judgement - movement is smooth and aiming is easy. The classic gameplay has made the transition too, and is as rewarding as ever. [Jan 2004, p.110]
  7. I wish I can say that this is the closest to online gaming heaven you’ll ever get but it’s small faults are just too hard to ignore.
  8. If you don’t have Live, you shouldn’t be buying Counter-Strike.
  9. I'll be definitely playing it online, and I hope to see you. But that's really all this game is. And it's all you should expect out of it.
  10. Easily one of the best on-line titles for Xbox and is still one of the most fun and addicting games out there. Valve could have done a lot more with this title, specially in the off-line modes, but as it is, it is still a fine game, assuming you have XBL.
  11. Mastering Counter-Strike is no simple task, as there’s a wide variety of highly detailed maps to learn. The graphics could’ve used more attention, but those looking for the ultimate in team-based gameplay need look no further.
  12. 80
    While the game doesn't look as good as it should, the gameplay and online support is terrific, and the focus on team play puts it in a class by itself.
  13. 79
    A decent game if you take it for what it is. However, I couldn't help but feel disappointed that neither Ritual nor Valve nor Microsoft Game Studios seized the opportunity to make the Xbox version of Counter-Strike something more visually impressive and worthy of our attention.
  14. The game is not easy and might leave some players mad and tired of constantly getting fragged while playing against skilled human opponents, but I guess that's what keeps the players striven to practice their skills off-line against AI and then taking it back on the real battlegrounds.
  15. The fast-paced and dynamic-yet-simple gameplay is guaranteed to keep people hooked for hours and hours on end. And as I am one of those fps fans who has Xbox Live, I would like to thank the guys at VALVe for providing me with another reason to keep myself broke just a little longer.
  16. A fantastic game and even a bare minimum of effort on the part of the developer can't take that away from it.
  17. Weekly Famitsu
    7 / 7 / 8 / 8 - 30 silver [Vol 798; 2 Apr 2004]
  18. If you have a broadband connection, but this game. If not, I highly suggest a rental. [Jan 2004, p.147]
  19. Fun, addictive and rewarding and it shouldn't have it's rich history held against it. It ranks right up there with any shooting game on Xbox Live.
  20. Official Xbox Magazine
    What's here is only half a game. Live play may be brilliant, but the single-player experience is sorely lacking. [Jan 2004, p.78]
  21. It's a bare-bones product that's a missed opportunity, offering no compelling reasons to make it recommendable over the PC version, except to someone with an Xbox Live account and a completely outdated PC.
  22. Xbox Nation Magazine
    An official disappointment on Xbox, yet the game's undying popularity defies critical analysis. [Mar 2004, p.78]
    Simply put if you do not have Live or do not intend on getting Live there is zero point in wasting money on Counter-Strike. This should have been a Christmas must buy but now it's nothing more than a stocking filler.
  24. Cheat Code Central
    A solid effort and enough to keep you interested but only if you're into the multi-player modes.
  25. 70
    As an Xbox Live game, Counter-Strike's only real competition is "Rainbow Six 3" -- and it's really a toss-up as to which is better online. "RS3" has a better selection of modes (not to mention a great co-op feature) and the graphics are a fair bit smoother, but CS is much more quickly paced, and this makes online play far more addictive.
  26. Hardly the social phenomenon on Xbox that it was on PC, but not a bad way to waste a few lazy hours on a Saturday, either.
  27. What's missing is any kind of plot-based campaign - what you play solo is the same as multiplayer, only with bots instead of blokes to back you up or blow you up. The one-player ain't fun, basically.
  28. 70
    The core gameplay, while striking less of an impact than in its heyday, is still a solid, addicting experience. The instantly accessible gameplay and well-crafted balance between arcade feel and realism make it a recommendable online game.
  29. Play Magazine
    As it stands right now, the game definitely has a "rushed out the door" feel to it, so let's hope for substantial downloadable content. [Jan 2004, p.66]
  30. 62
    Don’t get me wrong, this is still the same addicting CS we all know and love, but why shell out the extra $50 and Xbox Live fees to play a five year old PC game that has been free since its release? The complete lack of extras is pretty noticeable, and the single player modes do nothing for you.
  31. Should have been the next glorious chapter in that game's story. Instead, it's a mildly disappointing epilogue.
  32. It lacks a single-player offering worthy of the name (and simply is not worth buying if you don't have Live), is mystifyingly missing most of the PC maps and has been ported to such a disappointingly low grade standard technically that we can't help but feel like it's a huge missed opportunity and a disservice to hardcore followers of the machine - the very people this game is intended to excite.
  33. games(TM)
    Not only does this look nigh-on identical to the PC version, it still feels as though the two analogue sticks used to control your operative are but a placeholder for the mouse/keyboard combo that shot Counter-Strike to fame. One for Live players only. [Jan 2004, p.112]
  34. netjak
    The relative lack of multiplayer variety, coupled with a disappointing single player mode, make Counter-Strike difficult to recommend to anyone who is not already a rabid fan of the game, and downright impossible to recommend to anyone who doesn’t have a Live account.
  35. Essentially a straight port of the PC mod, only without the PC benefits such as mouse/keyboard play and downloadable maps to extend the gameplay. These lack of additions don't justify the $50 price tag.
  36. It's hard to recommend this incarnation to anyone who has already experienced the PC version, which is probably most of you since the game is so widely played. It's pretty much just the same exact thing. For those who missed out, you could buy Half-Life for half the cost of CS Xbox and download Counter-Strike PC for free.
  37. With a measly two play modes and no real solo campaign, it's hard to believe Microsoft expects anyone to pay $50 for what feels like one-third of a game. [Feb 2004, p.126]
  38. There are reasons why 24 year old guys don't date 67 year old women.

Awards & Rankings

#12 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
#4 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 58
  2. Negative: 11 out of 58
  1. Michael'sfather
    Nov 27, 2003
    OK my son michael is kind of stupid he doesn't know anything about games so don't listen to him buy this its the best online game OK my son michael is kind of stupid he doesn't know anything about games so don't listen to him buy this its the best online game ever made. Full Review »
  2. Feb 8, 2020
    Great port to xbox. While graphics haven't aged particually well the gameplay is addicting as hell. I thoroughly enjoyed this entry.
  3. SimonY.
    Feb 1, 2008
    This is great if you want to experience the greatness of Counter Strike, but don't have a PC suitable for gaming. Even if you don't This is great if you want to experience the greatness of Counter Strike, but don't have a PC suitable for gaming. Even if you don't have Xbox Live, the bots are still great to play against, lots of people play Timesplitters against bots and can still have fun. The bots are better than most players on Expert difficulty, and about as good as an average player on Professional. But if you have a decent PC, you really should get Counter Strike: Source, as it is superior, but if you are a Counter Strike fanatic, it might be worth getting it for the Xbox exclusive maps. Full Review »