As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy. Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!
User reviews: Very Positive (5,365 reviews) - 94% of the 5,365 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: 28 May, 2008

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Recommended By Curators

"It might just be the Star Wars of videogames: a tale of epic proportions with an unforgettable cast and rich lore."


"One of the best role-playing games in recent memory... Makes you feel like the badass warrior you were meant to be... The refined PC version is your best choice for experiencing this excellent game." - GameSpot: 9/10 | Editors’ Choice

"Raises the bar for the role-playing genre... Mass Effect's greatest strength is the quality of the narrative… Mass Effect takes interactive entertainment to new heights and is wholeheartedly recommended." - GameSpy: 5/5 | Editors’ Choice

About This Game

As Commander Shepard, you lead an elite squad on a heroic, action-packed adventure throughout the galaxy.

Discover the imminent danger from an ancient threat and battle the traitorous Saren and his deadly army to save civilization. The fate of all life depends on your actions!
  • 2007 New York Times Game of the Year
  • A Stunning universe with high resolution graphics and textures
  • Controls and interface optimized for PC gamers
  • Includes free additional content — face off against the horrific Batarians
  • Customize your character and embark on a pulse-pounding adventure in an immersive open-ended storyline
  • Incredible real-time character interaction
  • Thrilling, tactical combat as you lead an elite squad of three
  • Interplanetary exploration of an epic proportion

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® XP with SP2 or Windows Vista*
    • Processor: Intel P4 2.4 Ghz or faster / AMD 2.0 Ghz
    • Memory: 1.0 GB RAM or more (2.0 GB for Vista)
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compatible, ATI X1300 XT or greater (ATI X1300, X1300 Pro, X1600 Pro, Radeon 2600 HD, and HD 2400 are below minimum system requirements); NVidia GeForce 6800 or greater (7300, 7600 GS, 8500 are below minimum system requirements)
    • Hard Drive: 12.0 GB or more free hard drive space
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    * WINDOWS VISTA OR WINDOWS 7 USERS: Launching “Mass Effect” from Steam requires the setting “Run as Administrator”. If the User Account Control feature of Windows Vista is enabled, launching “Mass Effect” from Steam will result in failure. For users with User Account Control enabled, launch Steam using the “Run as Administrator” option or launch from the windows shortcut.
Helpful customer reviews
83 of 90 people (92%) found this review helpful
62 people found this review funny
19.1 hrs on record
Posted: 9 September
I'll be honest and admit that I very rarely finish the games that I purchase. I usually play them until I get bored or see something else that grabs my attention.

Not Mass Effect. I've finished all of these games several times, ME2 probably being the best of the bunch. They are all good and well worth playing. I'm a 35 yr old physician and I was waiting in line with teenagers at midnight for the release of ME2 and ME3 at Gamestop. I had a great time.

10/10 Would debate Miranda's cup-size with emo hoodlums again
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242 of 319 people (76%) found this review helpful
336 people found this review funny
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: 20 June
This is a great elevator simulator! The sci-fi mini game is pretty good too.
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53 of 56 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
78.7 hrs on record
Posted: 13 July
Ah, Mass Effect... how do I make this review and not sound the slightest biased at all?


Mass Effect is one of those cult classic games that gained recognition due to its advertisement of being a spiritual successor to Knights of the Old Republic. To some degree, yes it is. As soon as you start the game it just screams Star Trek or at the very least any old corny 80s sci-fi TV soap opera or like some people like to call it "a space opera". This is definitely one of the charms of this game. It's more about talking and finding resolutions to problems rather than pulling out your plasma rifle and shooting every space-fiend you come across.


Just to get this out of the way, overall the voice acting in this game is great. There wasn't a moment where I went "jeez that was... yeah". Although high quality voice acting is kind of already expected from a studio like Bioware. Anyways;

This being the first game of the trilogy the story aspects are still based on foreshadowing while following a basic narrative focus on an objective. In this game the main objective is trying to catch a rouge Spectre (Mass Effect equivalent of a Grey Warden or Jedi) named Saren and bring him to justice for the crimes he commits during the game. Without going into spoiler territory, the game does a great job of keeping narrative cohesiveness no matter which mission order you decide to play the game in which is something dearly missed in the next two sequels that feel disjointed at times.

As far as the companions go they're some of the best Bioware companions only slightly falling short of the Dragon Age cast but surpassing a lot of the KotOR cast.

All in all, the storytelling in this game is great and always seems to be interesting, whether it be random chatter in the background or the actual dialogue and pacing.


Now let's get to the actual mechanics. The overall shooting in the game is above average at best. The guns feel very "pew pew" and have very little impact or satisfaction using. The main saving grace for the combat are the powers. Like any Bioware game, it wouldn't be complete without a pause button for tactical awareness, borrowing from the fact that Bioware usually specialize in turn-based real time games. In conjunction with all these powers and the overall shooting there is much to enjoy from the combat as it gives you a sense of command while not relying heavily on RNG and dice roll mechanics since it's a third-person shooter.

What about the role-playing? Unlike previous Bioware games where you had a long list of stuff to pick they added in a dialogue wheel which would later be a staple for all Bioware games to come after DA:O. The idea is ingenious as it allows for a much more convenient experience compared to something like KotOR. As good as the dialogue wheel is the actual role-playing suffers from something I like to call "meta thinking", I'll elaborate on this later. Like KotOR you're presented with two sides of a black and white world, Paragon (basically Light side) and Renegade (basically Dark side). Like any RPG there's a persuasion mechanic but unlike most RPGs this persuasion mechanic isn't improved by leveling up your persuasion skill/talent etc. You have two persuasion skill trees called Charm (unlocks the blue ultra Paragon options) and Intimidate (unlocks the red ultra Renegade options.). This mechanic would be fine and all if the amount of talent points you can put into them wasn't capped by how much Paragon and Renegade points you accumulated throughout the game. This whole management of morality points just to get the best possible outcome is where this game really falls short. This talent point cap encourages you to only play as a Paragon or only play as a Renegade instead of mixing choices up for a more honest playthrough of what YOU would actually do. If you're planning on playing a mostly good guy you won't be facing most of these problems since getting Paragon points is relatively easy to the point where doing normal sidequests will randomly give you Paragon points out of thin air simply because you played the game. But if you're planning on doing a hardass/jerk/badass while still having good intentions (mostly choosing sarcastic lines while still playing for Paragon outcomes) kind of playthrough you're really going to struggle without "meta thinking" and planning out which options you have to be a Renegade about or a Paragon about. There were some choices I regretted doing simply because I need more imaginary morality points to advance my persuasion talent instead of actually playing the game how I wanted to play. Still, it's a little bit of a nitpick that I can't immerse myself in my character and rather go all meta and minmax what mission order I have to do.

Another concern this game has is the whole Mako sequences that take place when you land on a random planet and you take control of an exploration vehicle called "the Mako". The physics feel odd to say the least and the planets that aren't story mission related are bland and not interesting even if the sidequests on the planet are. When you first play the game it probably won't be a problem at first but if you have played this game to death and beyond like I have these sidequest missions can be a little bit of grind since controlling the Mako up long steep hills isn't the most fun thing to do.


Despite all the ♥♥♥♥ I've thrown at this game, it's still one of my favorites to replay every year or so just to re-experience the joy of how it influenced the type of entertainment I consume today. This will always remain a timeless classic in my eyes.

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20 of 26 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
181.0 hrs on record
Posted: 7 October
One of the best games in sci-fi rpg genre.
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40 of 62 people (65%) found this review helpful
58 people found this review funny
33.8 hrs on record
Posted: 4 June
Rode an elevator, then another, then one more. Then tried to open inventory whilst in elevator and got stuck, reverted to save from hour previous and did it all over again.
Elevator Simulator 2183.
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