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Early reviews put Baldur’s Gate 3 ahead of Zelda at top of Metacritic

Baldur’s Gate 3’s first reviews have seen it surpass The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom as the highest-rated game of 2023, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

At the time of publication, the game has earned a lofty 97 out of 100. However, this is based on 14 critic reviews, so the score could likely drop.

The number of critic scores is currently very low when judged against normal AAA releases. Zelda’s 96 score, for example, is based on 145 reviews.

This is largely down to the late availability of review code, and the game’s significant length. It is likely that as more scores are published, the number will be reduced.

But at the time of writing, that puts Baldur’s Gate 3 in rarified air alongside some of the highest-rated games in the history of Metacritic.

Baldur’s Gate 3 is currently in the top 25 highest-rated games ever, sharing its 97 score with 18 other games. The only games to score above it are Grand Theft Auto IV (98), SoulCalibur (98), Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (98), and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (99).

Baldur’s Gate 3 is off to a huge start on Steam, becoming the second-biggest launch of 2023 so far.

The game, which has been in early access for years, was officially released last Thursday on Steam, where it saw a peak concurrent player count of 427,000 according to independent Steam tracker SteamDB. 

The game then smashed this concurrent record, with over 800,000 players in-game concurrently over the weekend.

While impressive, it’s still not quite as high as 2023’s biggest Steam release to date, Hogwarts Legacy, which saw a peak concurrent player count of 879,308 during its launch period.

The game will be released on PS5 next month, but Larian has suggested that the Xbox version may not launch until 2024.