The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel

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Percentile Rank

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is ranked in the 76th percentile of games scored on OpenCritic.

Rating Summary

Based on 53 critic reviews
Strong Man

OpenCritic Rating

79

Top Critic Average

69%

Critics Recommend

Based on 53 critic reviews

Score Distribution

Unscored Reviews

Kotaku
Unscored
Unscored
Jul 1, 2016

A hero sandwich that's way too heavy on the bread.

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USgamer
Unscored
Unscored
Jan 5, 2016

There are games where 30 hours seem to fly by in an instant, and there are games where I'll be playing for what seems like days upon end, only to find that I've only put in 10 hours. At the risk of sounding more negative than I'd like, The Legends of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has mostly fallen in the latter category for me.

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GameSoulz
Unscored
Unscored
Aug 1, 2017

Honestly, I could get Trails in the Sky 1+2 on Steam for that price and have a way better and longer time. For a game, that needs so long to develop into something hooking, yet never lives up to previously set standards, this price tag is just bad. In my opinion The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is worth 29.99, if you completed the Trails in the Sky trilogy, making a recommendation of this let-down a pretty hard one.

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Scored Reviews

Guardian
Jan 25, 2016

Trails… is a superb example of classic JRPGs done right.

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RPGamer
5 / 5.0
5 / 5.0
Sep 5, 2019

The game is a triumph in world-building and character-driven storytelling, and its combat system is versatile enough to support it through its mammoth eighty-plus-hour runtime.

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Bit Cultures
93%
93%
Jun 21, 2016

With this entry into The Legend of Heroes saga, Falcom created something truly special. The believability of the world and characters, the attachment to the people of the empire, and low key storyline build a memorable experience.

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PSX Brasil
92 / 100
92 / 100
Mar 26, 2019

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is one of the best RPGs of the last few years, with an amazing story and very well-developed characters, as well as a great combat system, being this the perfect chance to not let this marvelous game goes by unnoticed.

Review in Portuguese | Read full review

RPG Fan
90%
90%
Oct 8, 2017

This is without a doubt the definitive version of Trails of Cold Steel.

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NZGamer
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Mar 8, 2016

If you like JRPGs (and maybe even if you don’t), you’ll want to find time for this game, though. Falcom haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel, because they wheel doesn’t need reinventing. Instead, they’ve set out to make the most magnificent damn wheel they could, and have succeeded with flying colours.

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Hardcore Gamer
4.5 / 5.0
4.5 / 5.0
Dec 22, 2015

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is hands down the best JRPG this year — and that’s saying a lot considering how many great ones have come out in the past twelve months.

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GearNuke
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Apr 19, 2019

If you want to get into the Trails series then Cold Steel is a great first game that we can't recommend enough, as I mentioned earlier just put in the time and you'll be glad that you did.

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GamePitt
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Jun 18, 2019

For a simple remaster, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel looks and plays great. I say ‘simple’ because there’s not been that many enhancements outside of the visuals. Sure, we get a perfect 60fps, a crystal clear 4k, and the heavenly ‘turbo mode’ which makes traversing the world so much more satisfying, but there’s no extra content, no new chapters, no enhanced backstory, or platform-specific dungeons/areas to visit. However, a game isn’t as good as it looks, it’s as good as it plays; The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a bloody brilliant JRPG game which I’m quite ashamed I’ve never actually played before grabbing it on the PS4. The story is very interesting, with lots of separate stories and events going on which all combinate into an intriguing and exciting narrative, combined with very satisfying and strategic combat. The combat itself may look generic and simple from the outside, but once you’ve cranked up the difficulty to eleven, it’s time to turn on your little grey cells as you swap your students on the fly and link them together in order to maximise their efficiency.

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Twisted Voxel
9 / 10.0
9 / 10.0
Apr 6, 2019

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a classic JRPG that holds up well in gameplay despite some dated visuals. The story, world-building, and character development in the game is truly next level and should set as an example for other games to follow.

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ZTGD
9 / 10.0
ZTGD

Top Critic

9 / 10.0
Dec 23, 2015

In the early hours of Trails of Cold Steel, I was skeptical that it could live up to the lofty standards set by Trails in the Sky. However, after my first year spent as a student of Class VII, I can confidently say that it has, and knowing that this is just the beginning of a new series fills me with great anticipation.

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MMORPG.com
8.8 / 10.0
8.8 / 10.0
Mar 10, 2016

In many ways, Trails of Cold Steel’s JRPG trappings and gameplay struggle to remain relevant in an evolving genre.  Yet, paradoxically, it’s the game’s conventional approach that makes it appealing, a reminder of the formula that has made JRPGs so popular, with several ease-of-use additions here and there to make it more accessible in the contemporary milieu.  If you’re looking for something new to play on your Vita or PS3, you’d be hard-pressed to do better.

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Game Informer
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jan 14, 2016

With fun combat, interesting twists, and a cool social system, Trails of Cold Steel is one of my favorite recent RPGs

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PlayStation Universe
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jan 4, 2016

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has an old-timey feel to it while not getting lost in the novelty of that. Trails channels inspirations from the entire RPG timeline in subtle ways and brings it into a modern and progressive light. The PS3 and PS Vita are lucky to have this gem of an RPG in their library, even if it doesn’t push the hardware as it could.

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RPG Fan
85%
85%
Jan 13, 2016

If you like traditional JRPGs but Trails in the Sky was a little too dated for you, Cold Steel is exactly what you've been looking for.

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GBAtemp
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Jan 17, 2016

All in all, Trails of Cold Steel is a very solid experience. It takes the groundwork from other popular series in the genre, and although it doesn't do anything outstanding with that, it's still a great game.

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Gaming Gamma
8.5 / 10.0
8.5 / 10.0
Mar 26, 2019

The game as a whole is still great. If you’re like me and have played the original release but missed out on the PC release and need a refresher for what’s to come this fall by all means, transfer your PS3/Vita save right over for some extra bonuses. If you’re new to the franchise, this is a great place to start.

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NoesPaisparaFrikis
8.3 / 10.0
8.3 / 10.0
Apr 21, 2019

It's a title that may not call you because of its graphic aspect, which may result slow, very Japanese rhythm if I'm allowed to leave, during the first bars, and obviously, it puts a barrier for anyone who does not have the time or inclination to immerse yourself in all this that he proposes in perfect English.

Review in Spanish | Read full review

Video Chums
8.2 / 10.0
8.2 / 10.0
Jan 29, 2016

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a great RPG that any fan of the genre will enjoy.

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The Escapist
Jan 7, 2016

One of the best examples of how good the Japanese RPG can be, even if no single aspect sets the bar for the genre.

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Wccftech
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 2, 2017

The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel takes the best of the Trails in the Sky games and enhances it to new heights. While the school setting isn't particularly innovative, all surrounding mechanics have been masterfully implemented, resulting in a game that's incredibly engaging despite the slow pace and a few other minor issues. Additional, the wealth of PC exclusive features make the game one of the best consoles to PC port ever released.

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Gaming Nexus
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 2, 2017

Trails of Cold Steel is one of those games where you get out of it what you put into it. While it is playable for a rank newbie, there is far more depth available to the experienced player. There are some small rough edges, but it works very well overall.

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We Got This Covered
Aug 8, 2017

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is smothered in detail which creates a living, breathing world at the cost of some story and character development.

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RPG Site
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jan 23, 2016

While it takes some time to get started, the combat and writing in this game help push it beyond its boundaries.

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The Outerhaven Productions
Aug 8, 2017

A worthy follow-up to the PC release of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC that we received years ago.

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DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
Jan 25, 2016

While it does take its time to really get going (the story doesn’t feel like it properly kicks off until about 15-ish hours in), The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a really fun game to play. The story moves slowly, and can take a while to get through, and while not much about it feels new, it does a good job of taking already established elements and making them into something fun.

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DarkZero
8 / 10
8 / 10
Sep 4, 2017

In the end, Trails of Cold Steel is a game made for specific fans of the JRPG genre, but it also succeeds in nailing down all of its tropes and mechanics, rather than try to appeal to everyone with a bunch of pieces that don't fit cohesively.

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Blast Away the Game Review
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Jul 10, 2019

With more than 60+ hours of JRPG fun, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has a lot to offer. Whether it's the added depth to character growth, a slow-burning story that will eventually begin to come to a burning hot conclusion or the meticulously crafted world; Trails of Cold Steel is a diamond in the rough.

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SmashPad
Jan 19, 2016

Trails of Cold Steel is a superb game best experienced by those who’ve already immersed themselves in Trails’ lore. So while the game is still enjoyable without playing Trails in the Sky, I’d still wholly recommend picking those games up and finishing them before moving on to this one. You don’t need to, but doing so makes this good game great, and it’s a more affordable method of knowing whether this is the series for you.

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PlayStation Galaxy
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
May 30, 2019

Overall, Rage 2 is a fun game. Surprisingly a bit short for an open world experience as I was able to beat it at below 14 hours. But it is still worth playing if you are a fan of Doom.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
8 / 10.0
8 / 10.0
Aug 29, 2016

Trails of Cold Steel gets off to a slow start in order to find its bearings but once it gets going it delivers a solid experience. While taking a different direction from Sky which centered on Estelle and her journey, Rean and the rest of his class’ journey was just as enjoyable. With the second chapter coming out next week, there really isn’t much time to wait in order to continue on this newer tale of the Legend of Heroes.

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JRPG.moe
Aug 2, 2017

There might not be as much payoff as some may like but Trails of Cold Steel does a lot more than just setting up events for the sequel. I found myself immersed in an interesting industrial setting with a rich history, exploring the motivations behind a likeable bunch of characters and mediating the conflicts between the nation’s social classes. It's a lengthy game, especially if you feel compelled to talk to every NPC, but Trails of Cold Steel does a great job of rewarding this kind of obsessive behaviour.

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GamingTrend
75 / 100
75 / 100
Aug 15, 2017

Trails of Cold Steel doesn't lack for a pretty atmosphere throughout, and I enjoy the design elements quite a bit regardless of graphic quality. The music isn't anything mind-blowing, but it is still Falcom quality goodness.

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Movies Games and Tech
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Feb 10, 2021

Trails of Cold Steel‘s remaster might just be the best version of the game, but the developer’s barely passable effort makes it hard to recommend as a repeat purchase, with the Japanese audio being the only worthwhile addition. For anime and JRPG fans who haven’t ventured onto Class VII’s campus, it’s an easy recommendation with its excellently crafted world likely to inspire many to embark on the 4-game journey. While its niche appeal might deter a wider audience, those who do give it a shot are unlikely to come away disappointed, despite its rough edges.

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INVEN
7.5 / 10.0
INVEN

Top Critic

7.5 / 10.0
Apr 29, 2021

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is one of the chronicles of the "Trails Series" that connects the epic. Although there is a discrepancy in it, but it includes well-defined characters and great battles that make sense.

Review in Korean | Read full review

Digital Chumps
7.5 / 10.0
7.5 / 10.0
Mar 1, 2017

If you're looking for a JRPG on the PC, this one is certainly an option, but it would not be my first.

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Metro GameCentral
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jan 28, 2016

An ashamedly old school role-player that nevertheless does its best to attract new players and entertain existing fans.

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Destructoid
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Dec 22, 2015

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel follows a lot of classic JRPG conventions, and as a result, it doesn't do a whole lot of things that haven't been done before, and better elsewhere. But the combat system still holds up, and the characters are charming enough to see the story through until the end.

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TheSixthAxis
7 / 10
7 / 10
Jan 8, 2016

Despite my gripes with the game and the struggle to make it through achingly slow opening chapter, the care and detail that went into the game is clear to see, and I know there are JRPG fans that live to appreciate the kind of meticulous detail that this game contains. Trails of Cold Steel wants you to strap in for the long haul, and as the first of three chapters it’s not afraid to take its time. If you want a JRPG that isn’t afraid to soak you in story until you’re nothing but wrinkles, this is absolutely the game for you.

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High-Def Digest
Dec 22, 2015

While 'The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel' is definitely a good game, and one that JRPG fans are likely to get a kick out of, I do wish it could've been a little more noteworthy. The combat system is excellent, and the game has some really fun side activities that serve as nice distractions (the playable card game, Blade, is a major highlight) from the central adventure. Still, the wonderful gameplay mechanics don't gel perfectly story format, which leads to pacing issues that hurt both aspects. 'Cold Steel 2' is due out next year, and if that speeds things up just a little bit, it'll absolutely be worth your time, but as it stands, 'Cold Steel' is a pleasant game that I really wish I could've fallen in love with. It's worth a look, but there are a few hurdles to get over before things really start to get moving.

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Cubed3
7 / 10
Az Elias

Top Critic

7 / 10
Apr 2, 2016

It is a really slow one to get going, but no argument can be made against how much care Falcom has put into building and developing the world and characters throughout the opening stages of Trails of Cold Steel. It very much hits the typical JRPG checkboxes, but with solid and safe customisation, and a great tactical turn-based battle system that adds a little something extra to the standard formula, this is a title that JRPG fans cannot afford to pass on - especially PS Vita owners - and will most definitely last right up until the sequel hits Western shores.

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GameSpew
70%
70%
Aug 18, 2017

This is a game with a long, arcing story that takes some awkward, colourful teens through their turbulent teenage years with a fun and vibrant world to explore, charming characters to befriend and a turn-based combat system with a surprising amount of depth once you look beneath the surface.

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Gamer Escape
7 / 10
7 / 10
Aug 9, 2017

The repetitiveness of the school life portions is the greatest offender – the game really comes into its own when you’re out of the school environment and exploring Erebonia. Still, if you’ve been on the fence about giving this game a shot, the PC port is easily the definitive version.

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MonsterVine
3.5 / 5.0
3.5 / 5.0
Aug 18, 2017

Though it can be incredibly slow in both combat and story, the surprisingly active combat system keeps things interesting.

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NookGaming
7 / 10.0
7 / 10.0
Apr 4, 2019

This feels very much like a classic JRPG, with some extra features to bring it into the new age of gaming. This style of JRPG does require a lot of patience however, which is why I expect the turbo mode feature will be very appreciated by new and old fans alike. In the end though, it's the great story which kept me playing this game.

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CGMagazine
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
Jan 19, 2016

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel had my attention and lost it.

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GameSpew
6 / 10
6 / 10
Feb 16, 2016

Trails of Cold Steel looks very nice indeed thanks to its colourful and well-designed character and enemy models as well as a consistently smooth framerate, although you can’t say that it makes the most of the handhelds power

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GameSkinny
GameSkinny
ThatGamersAsylum

Top Critic

Aug 26, 2017

In short, the game is really held back by subpar storytelling.

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Chalgyr's Game Room
6 / 10.0
6 / 10.0
May 3, 2019

From a technical standpoint, the port to PlayStation 4 that supports 4k textures, is excellent; it is smooth (minus the wooden, garbage-like animations), bright, and full of intense colors and detailed hand-drawn textures, but a new paint job is not enough to fix what is wrong with The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel … and that is that it is old.

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IGN Korea
60 / 100
60 / 100
Jan 26, 2021

Whether you’re a hardcore Falcom fan or a diehard follower of the ‘Trails’ series, this is the right time to get started with The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel Kai. This may be the JRPG which may convert you into a fan in no time. Since the full ‘Trails’ universe promises to become much greater as the story develops, this series will let you know what kind of world you’re getting yourself into. Packed with content and plots to uncover, alongside plenty of side quests to complete as well. Please beware that you’ll eventually notice several repeated character animations and even cringe worthy production value, so take care of your eyes and mind to have enough capacity to absorb them with a grain of salt as you play through.

Review in Korean | Read full review