It's a fine version of a classic, but there's little that's "ultimate" about Tetris Ultimate.
For a downloaded game of garbage-stacking, sending, and essentially systematically deleting, Tetris Ultimate worked wonders. For the asking price and in the lineup of current and retro Tetris versions, this falls somewhere in the middle given its reliably well-tread handling.
With a very cheap price tag, Tetris Ultimate is not a bad option for someone looking to play some classic Tetris, but the game certainly does not provide anything to truly shake up the typical formula.
Tetris hasn't changed much over the years, but it is always a sign that a generation has started when an iteration finally lands on that console. XB1 and PS4 owners finally have the classic puzzle game on their platforms, albeit with a lack of explanation on new features, and some online lag. Still this is Tetris, and those looking for that experience will not be disappointed.
Framerate fluctuations render Tetris Ultimate almost unplayable, and while these issues only seem to occur when online, disconnecting tends to strip the title of much of its appeal. Assuming that it's eventually patched, there's a no-frills version of an all-time favourite here – but while the multiplayer is well integrated, the overall experience is far too ordinary to really recommend.
While I'm not sure that I would call Ultimate Tetris the ultimate version of Tetris, it certainly is an adequate version of the classic. They nail the basic concept of the classic game but fail to really take it anywhere new. Plus, the online issues are just plain horrendous.
Though there are some annoyances, Tetris Ultimate preserves the core gameplay that has kept people hooked for three decades. Unfortunately, it does very little to differentiate itself from the norm.
Tetris Ultimate proves that the classic formula still works, and perhaps should be left be. The best features of the new game come from four-player versus, co-op, and things like leaderboards and an activity feed. Unfortunately, with technical issues abound and some design choices that grate on the player over time Tetris Ultimate just doesn't feel like it does the title justice. It doesn't ring as the "Ultimate" version of the old Russian puzzler. The game still functions as it should, and some new modes are halfway interesting, but the sum of the parts just doesn't add up to a great version of Tetris. If you've already got a version of Tetris, you're better off sticking with it, as Tetris Ultimate will really only show value to those craving the 4-player experience, or if you're truly hungry for the latest Tetris release. Otherwise if you're on PC and want a Tetris game, you can literally play it free on the official Tetris website.
While this version of Tetris doesn't go leaps and bounds over the others, it's quite enjoyable, especially if you've got other Tetrimino-maniacs to compete against. The gameplay clicks, the presentation is about where we expected it to be, and the additional modes will truly test your line-dropping skills.
After playing this game for more than just a few hours, I couldn't believe that somehow Ubisoft had managed to screw up Tetris.
A classic in every sense of the book, 'Tetris' remains as strong as ever in its 'Tetris Ultimate' incarnation. 'Endless' provides the most fun (and the most hardcore frustration) with its neverending appeal to just get a slightly better high score, and playing online (and comparing replays and scores) is a presumably welcome addition to the 'Tetris' mythos that sadly didn't work at the time of the review, for lack of co-players. A game for the ages: yesterday, today and forever. Highly recommended.
Tetris Ultimate is decent, but if you've ready access to any other version of Tetris, then there's little reason for a purchase.
After all these years, Tetris is still a challenging but fun game.