Guardian's Scores

  • Games
For 699 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1.6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 76
Highest review score: 100 The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
Lowest review score: 20 Hatred
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 49 out of 699
707 game reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Writer Alan Wake searches for his missing wife while tackling a malevolent force disguised as darkness in this clunky but atmospheric reboot.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Artful Escape is, Galvatron has said, a 17-year-old’s conception of what it is to play in a rock band: musical transcendence meets universal adoration beneath the hot lights. But behind the shimmer, this is a touching tale of how to break free of the creative expectations of others. There is little traditional challenge here, but as a left-field power fantasy, few video games are so immediately stylish or so gratifying.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fifa 22 is absolutely unmistakably a Fifa game – it has the sophistication and polish we’ve come to expect, with all the player likenesses, authentic stadia and recognisable commentators we see every year. But right at the core of it is a match engine that feels more surefooted than ever, at a time when the game’s more tactically complex rival Pro Evolution Soccer has been relegated to a free-to-play existence with all the compromises that will inevitably entail. If you can live with the loot-box trickery of Ultimate Team, this is a gigantic, rewarding simulation that offers a ton of variety and scope, and many, many moments of exquisite goalmouth drama.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Death Stranding remains kind of ridiculous: a bloated prog rock album of a game created by a man with a large film collection, an indulgent publisher and a budget few creators could ever dream of. But out of such ostentatious ingredients, astonishing moments can occasionally arise. If you were looking for a PS5 game that informs us that, yes, near-photorealistic visuals can lift a work in more than a surface aesthetic sense, this is it. The image of the dead rising as twisted smoking shadows above the gnarled countryside is something that will live with me for a long time. It all goes to show that sometimes, it really can take a £500 games console and a multimillionaire developer with an Ultravox fixation to make magical things happen.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The things is, you don’t have to think about anything if you don’t want to; you can just enjoy the adrenaline rush, blasting symbolic victims of player violence (enemies even disappear in a whirl of multicoloured light when shot, a self-reflexive reference to the sheer disposability of non-player characters). But a darker subtext is always there, if you want to look beneath the gleaming surface...In this way, Deathloop gets to have its cake and eat it – over and over again. And it is, to be fair, absolutely delicious.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Interactive possibilities make this dorky tale about a small-town psychic musician strangely absorbing.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The update makes elegant use of the PlayStation 5’s controller’s quasi-magical properties. Tilt the controller to guide a note along a musical stave and play a mournful lament on the flute. Wearing the appropriate outfit, haptic buzzes will guide you toward hidden valuables, the force of the pulse quickening the closer you are to the treasure. Despite the intermittent violence, this is a beautiful world to explore, lovingly crafted and compellingly framed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Uncover a grim conspiracy and sweet-talk snooty bears in this genre-hopping indie game.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    This peaceful circuit is perfect for the kind of person who tries to observe traffic laws when playing Grand Theft Auto.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like the best punk records, No More Heroes 3 is a grower. Its messy and unpolished gameplay can be completely offputting, but a scrappy, anarchic joy courses through it. For those with a love for gaming’s weirder side and nostalgia for a time where most games were endearingly unpolished, this will suit nicely. For many modern gamers, though, reaching the best sections will require more patience than it’s worth.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    I’ve rarely played anything that is so unashamedly itself. Each hour is different, each character distinct and memorable, each new psychic playground full of surprises. There are a few things here that belong back in 2005, such as an obsession with collectibles and a redundant tree of upgrades that only confuses the array of psychic powers. But this is a standout title that reminds us why 3D platformers were once gaming’s most popular genre.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a jokey concept, but this dating game/dungeon crawler deals with everything from stalking to polyamory with admirable frankness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Twelve Minutes is not the first game to explore the concept of the time loop. Zelda, Ephemeral Fantasia and Returnal have all been there. However, as a stylish, twisted take on movies such as Rear Window, Eyes Wide Shut and Chinatown, it is an engrossing experience that marries noir sensibilities and puzzle gameplay into a dense Freudian nightmare.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There are a few technical hiccups that are to be expected (and forgiven) of a game produced primarily by three people. Textures have a habit of popping in, or in some instances not loading at all, and it’s easy to get stuck behind an innocuous piece of scenery, though I reached the end credits without a proper crash or hard reset. Despite that, The Forgotten City is a tremendous achievement, a labyrinthine little sandbox packed with interpersonal mysteries – some ghoulish, others dorkishly domestic – that unravel further and further with each pass. For me, the moment that it got its hooks into me was when I used my foreknowledge of an impending accident to ensure that an assassin met an unfortunate end without my having to raise a finger. After that I was sunk, and the credits arrived too soon. Tempus fugit, indeed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The Ascent is an atmospheric power fantasy, a cinematic cyberpunk escape where you can disengage your brain and indulge in copious virtual violence. If you’re a Game Pass subscriber, it’s worth a try – at £25, it’s harder to recommend.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s a triumphant study in how to explore and exhaust the creative possibilities within a set of tightly defined creative parameters.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    All of it comes together in a finale that ties everything neatly together and, even compared to its predecessors, simply astounds in the sheer audacity of who and what exactly you are facing. If asked, therefore, whether The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (as a complete package) is the best game in the franchise, I can really offer no objections. I rest my case.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Cris Tales isn’t without some endemic role-playing game frustrations – grinding, uneven difficulty, overly simple puzzles – and it’s not a landmark revitalisation. But it exudes so much authentic passion and character that it’s easy to forgive a few relics from the past.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Nintendo has done an unconvincing job of trying to position this remaster as a kind of prototype Breath of the Wild, and it sets newcomers up for disappointment – and undersells Skyward Sword’s unique charms. It’s hard to think of two Zelda games less alike: one a celebration of unbridled freedom and emergent thrills, the other an on-rails rollercoaster built by Nintendo’s brainiest puzzle architects. Somewhere in the middle there is a potent compromise – and the skydiving in the forthcoming sequel to Breath of the Wild suggests it may have been found. But until then, Skyward Sword is doomed to feel less ambitious. After Breath of the Wild, though, what game isn’t? A backward step it may be, but Link still holds that sword arm high.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    A game as unexpected and compelling in its message as in its moment-to-moment challenge.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    It’s been a while since I’ve played a game that fostered such gentle intimacy between characters – and there’s cooperative multiplayer, too, if you fancy recruiting real-life friends as fellow adventurers.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The innovation of players running around after their shots is fun but you may find yourself longing for a leisurely stroll over the course.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Filled with lovely details, perfectly constructed and often genuinely funny, Game Builder Garage is another excellent Nintendo creative tool, which quietly teaches you why its games are so good. It’s a totally closed experience, so you only have access to the materials it provides, but that makes it safe for families, and forces you to be imaginative in how you employ (and break) the rules. You won’t learn how to code in C from playing this game, but you will begin to understand how games are designed and how the logic of a game program works. If these are things you want to know about, there is no better teacher than Nintendo.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Overboard! allows us to imagine what would have happened had Agatha Christie seen Groundhog Day and written a whole new type of mystery novel as a result. Its mobile format also works in its favour – as a Switch or smartphone game, it feels like carrying a little detective paperback around with you, except here you are the lead character, author and reader. As an experiment in fast, story-based game development it is – unlike most of my own mariticidal plots and alibis – a quite scintillating success.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Humour has always been a defining feature of Ratchet & Clank, right back to its origins on the PlayStation 2, but it doesn’t try too hard. It’s funny in a laid-back, undemanding way, and the story is similarly easy to digest. Rift Apart did not exactly challenge me, but it entertained me immensely. It’s just such a lot of fun, and so gorgeous I still can’t quite believe it. If this is an indication of how the new generation of consoles can infuse familiar-feeling games with new wonder, we’re in for a great few years.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With air-dashes, balletic pirouettes and the ability to curl yourself into a ball for a teammate to hurl, this is a long throw from the official sport that hopes, one day, to enter the Olympics. Games are just as taut and competitive, however, with lots of scope for showboating. No competitive online game in 2021 can be merely a competitive online game, however, and, like Fortnite et al, Knockout City has an entire superstructure of unlockable items and progress meters, with an eye to turning the game into an enduring entertainment platform. Whether or not it hits that elusive target, beneath the capitalist carapace this is wonderful game-making.
    • tbd Metascore
    • Critic Score
    PowerWash Simulator is currently in early access (you pay a reduced premium to play a game not yet finished), but even now this is an irresistible example of so-called “playbour”, and further evidence that a shit job often makes for a sublime game. [Early Access review]
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Hang in there through the repetition, though, and it turns out that there’s more to this than internet dog jokes and fetch quests. The combination of wandering and postmodernism put me in a contemplative mood anyway, presumably by design, and the wistful conversations with Krista, in which the couple gently nurture a long-distance relationship, have tenderness and pathos that kept me coming back. As a joke game, this has the expected issues, but ultimately it’s a flight I’m glad I didn’t miss.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The thing with Capcom Arcade Stadium is that this isn’t just a nostalgia exercise – many of these games hold up today. Designers including Tokuro Fujiwara and Akira Nishitani crafted beautiful 2D play spaces filled with energy, challenge and luscious choreography, and these elements are still inspiring today’s shooters, metroidvania adventures and roguelikes. Back in the day, when you put 10p in a Capcom machine, you knew that, even if you only survived for 27 seconds, you would see wonderful places, effects, enemies and surprises. That feeling is captured here once more, for all to experience.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It seems Ibrisagic has partly conceived the game as a satire on intergenerational angst and society’s treatment of old people. In that respect, Just Die Already is about as convincing as one of its own physics interactions. However, as a juvenile, tasteless and problematic co-op party game, it’ll provide as much guilty pleasure as Goat Simulator. And it’s going to be all over Twitch for the next few months, you can be sure of that.

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