Bethesda's Fallout 3 has become the latest game to smash its way onto Metacritic's all-time best games list – with both Xbox 360 and PC versions earning a 93 per cent average score, and the PS3 iteration picking up a 91 per cent ranking.
Leading US and UK games media such as Eurogamer, Official Xbox Magazine, 1Up and GameSpy give the title full marks.
Eurogamer reports: ‘Fallout 3 almost effortlessly succeeds in its central aim of reviving a much-loved brand to appeal to the vast majority of players.
'It's a thrilling, all-consuming experience that will absorb you for weeks, whether you're attracted by the action, the adventure, or the role-playing, as you fall in love with the relentless excitement, incredible atmosphere, sense of place and sheer choice...Bethesda has once again delivered a game of life-affirming brilliance that will be heralded as a classic, and talked about for years to come.'
1Up says: ‘Faults be damned, though; this is the kind of hugely ambitious game that doesn't come around very often, and when it does, you'd be a fool not to play it and enjoy the hell out of it and look forward to the day (next-next-gen?) when the fidelity of open-world RPGs takes another big step closer to the uncanny valley's far side.'
Elsewhere, IGN awards the game 96 per cent, while Official Xbox Magazine UK grants it 90 per cent – a score matched by Kikizo and VideoGamer.
The lowest score on the list is a very respectable 80 per cent from GameDaily.
Fallout 3 is released in Europe on Friday (October 31st).