Asphalt 9: Legends
Top Critic Average
A fun game at its core but can't decide if it's an arcade racer broken up with commercials, or a commercial broken up by an arcade racer.
Asphalt 9: Legends is a free and surprisingly fun arcade racing game with mobile microtransaction free-to-play gubbins that could potentially ruin the experience for you, unless you've played enough mobile games to know how to ignore it. The reasonably priced Starting Racer Pack significantly lessens their impact, making it feel more like a 'normal' premium product, so if you try the free version and enjoy it, this – and this alone – is the sole purchase you should consider.
The graphics, the driving mechanics, the tracks, the vehicles, and the play time in Asphalt 9: Legends are all very good. The game is fun to play and challenging enough to keep the player engaged. However, the micro-transactions and some frame-rate issues do interfere with the overall experience.
Nothing redeems Asphalt 9. It's shallow, inferior game that has been built with the exclusive purpose of getting suckers to throw more money at it. This stuff should be left on mobile platforms or, better yet, never made.
In Asphalt 9: Legends splashy visuals come first, collecting unlockables comes second, and skill proves to be a distant third. Having said that, it's tons of fun, at least, if not in search of realism, and despite the lack of decent variety, not to mention the fact that it's an always-online product. Moreover, this can definitely be enjoyed in its original, free form, or by simply spending a bunch of pounds to purchase the Starter Pack if you need to save yourself from more than 10 to 20 hours worth of grinding, but beyond that, the game won't really force you to do anything more besides from playing it.