The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, and Super Mario each found new life on the Nintendo Switch, and following those games in kind is Animal Crossing: New Horizons: An expanded, polished, next-generation reboot of a classic Nintendo game. Perhaps most importantly, like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is full of surprises. I cannot wait to see what’s to come: Seeing cool custom islands from the community, special events, season changes. It took too long to get to the most exciting part of my island renovation (until I cheated), but now that all of New Horizons is spread before me, I have plenty to do, big plans for my island, and so much to look forward to.
The review embargo for Animal Crossing: New Horizons has lifted this morning bringing an avalanche of reviews for the highly anticipated game from a variety of sources!
Of course, not every opinion can be easily grouped together, but we would categorize the reviews for Animal Crossing: New Horizons to be extremely positive with many going as far as to consider this the best Animal Crossing title in the series so far.
It can be hard to keep track of everything out there, so we’ve rounded up a collection of Animal Crossing: New Horizons reviews from around the internet, with an intentional range of scores chosen to reflect different opinions. (although there literally aren’t any negatives ones to include for this game…)
Nintendo Life – 10/10
Animal Crossing: New Horizons takes Animal Crossing and not only drags it back onto home consoles, but improves upon every single facet imaginable. There’s more to do, more to see, more to change, more to mould, and more to love; fans and first-time players are going to find themselves losing hours at a time gathering materials, creating new furniture, and making their island undeniably theirs. Every moment is unashamedly blissful, with excellently-written characters that truly feel alive and an island paradise that gives back infinitely more than you put in. Back when Animal Crossing: New Leaf hit the shelves all those years ago and created a whole new generation of fans, many people were wondering how Nintendo could possibly top it, but here we have our answer. This is a masterpiece that has been well worth waiting for.
VG247 – 5/5
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is everything I hoped it would be, and it’s yet another stellar release that showcases a confident Nintendo at its best. It is excellent, and is easily another must-own Switch title – at least, if you can understand and embrace Animal Crossing’s uniquely lazy pace.
God Is A Geek – 10/10
I won’t apologise for sentimentality in a world that is ever increasingly moving towards anonymity and the cold. If you are looking forward to Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a long term fan, know that this is everything you could have hoped for, which is to say it’s more Animal Crossing with quality of life improvements on what might be the best console Nintendo’s ever put out. It’ll sell millions, earn new fans, and top play counts for years to come. Knowing my family will be playing this together for a long, long time, makes me feel like everything is going to be alright, and goodness, what more could you ask for?
Game Informer – 9/10
New Horizons has a lot to see and do, and much of the joy comes from discovering it on your own. I still get a kick out of the real-time elements, such as how a construction project that takes a day to complete takes a real day’s time to finish, or how the various merchants keep actual store hours. That little hook keeps me excited to check back in later when I end each session. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has something new to experience every day, and, best of all, it’s built on a foundation of joy and earnestness that’s all too rare. If the tradeoff is that I have to craft a few fishing poles, I guess it’s worth it in the end.
USGamer – 4.5/5
Animal Crossing: New Leaf remains the pinnacle of the series, but New Horizons brings with it a bunch welcome quality of life changes, such as terraforming the island to your every whim. The addition of crafting isn’t a burden as I worried it would be. In fact, it becomes a fun objective to work toward, effectively diversifying the usual chores of selling bugs and fish to pay your never-waning debts to that rascally raccoon. With real-world headlines more harrowing than ever, there’s never been a better time to go on vacation within Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
IGN – 9/10
GamesRadar – 4.5/5
This is an Animal Crossing game through and through, and although that comes with some time-based frustrations, that urge to just spend ‘five more minutes’ on your island deepens with every passing day. As your island evolves and starts to drip-feed fresh things to discover and see, you’ll have the urge to check up on your toe bean-boasting critters on a daily basis more than ever before. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has perfected the gameplay loop the series is famed for, and somehow manages to keep its steady pace relevant in a world where there are plenty of genre rivals. Prepare yourself for spending many a year to come with Tom Nook and co.
Destructoid – 8.5/10
Honestly, 18 days is far too little time to generate a comprehensive assessment of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. There is still much I don’t know about this game, including how in-game purchases will ultimately be incorporated. But based on what I have been able to experience, it’s what I’ve wanted Animal Crossing to be for many years. While it fumbles its camping-inspired opening, New Horizons makes a nice recovery with a strong focus on player accomplishment, creating a potent sense of achievement in this idyllic piece of escapism.
Nintendo World Report – Pending
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a whole new approach to the series. While it has created some downsides, I can’t understate how great this game has come together. The overall flow has been expanded with Nook Miles goals, DIY projects, and very lively animal friends. What I’m impressed by is how I was never left without something to do, and how I could see the world improve around me. There are a few things that New Horizons could have explained better, but they are also part of the more free flowing future that the franchise wants. Even after all these years, there is a daily routine that I hold dear and makes me adore the various elements that glue this game together. It has been sharply dialed up to eleven, without disagrading any newcomers.
Read the complete Nintendo World Report review here. Screenshots used in this article are sourced from them as well.
EuroGamer – Eurogamer Essential
He’s a keeper, and so too is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, probably the best this series has ever had to offer and therefore one of Nintendo’s very best games to date. It presents a world absurd in its mundanity yet shot through with magic, offering an escapism that’s reassuringly dependable. I just hope you weren’t planning on playing anything else this year.
Polygon – Polygon Recommends
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a respite from the current state of the world. I find my general anxiety slowly subside as I run through my town, water my plants, and build furniture for the sassy chicken gentleman living down by the beach. It’s exactly what I need right now.
There are moments when I look up from a long session and realize that I’ve been ignoring everything around me. Then I take a look around at what actually is going on around me, and realize that maybe I’d better stay in my island paradise for a little while longer.
GameXplain – Loved
If I haven’t made it clear through this review already, I absolutely love Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It takes the concepts pioneered in the original and reinvents them in new ways that make it feel like a completely new experience. I’ve been playing for weeks and I don’t see anything that will make me stop anytime soon. New Horizons is by far the best entry in the series.
There’s also some interesting new information and screenshots to discover throughout the reviews and we plan on writing another article soon going over some of the most exciting new tidbits, so look out for that. (thanks Nintendo World Report and Daan Koopman for photos used here)
What do you think of the reviews for Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Are they in line with what you expected to see, or did the game fare better / worse than you thought it would? Let me know in the comments below what your thoughts are.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons launches worldwide on March 20th! Pre-order the game here, the official guide here, and check our release date countdown here. Stay tuned to Animal Crossing World for more news as we approach the release!