Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree is the highest-rated release of 2024 so far, beating JRPG hit Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and roguelike darling Hades 2

Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree
(Image credit: FromSoftware / Bandai Namco)

Early reviews for Shadow of the Erdtree have landed, and they're absolutely glowing - to the point where FromSoftware's latest expansion is already the highest-rated release of 2024, ahead of what's already been an incredible slate of new games both big and small.

In our own Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree review, Joel Franey wrote that the DLC "had a lot to live up to, but gorgeous vistas, superb boss fights, and a range of fun new gear sweep you through a massive expansion that feels half as long as it is. At this point, it's almost getting boring praising FromSoftware every time."

Joel gave the game five stars out of five, and it seems other critics are on the same page. The expansion holds an aggregate score of 95 on Metacritic and 94 on OpenCritic, putting it ahead of major new games such as Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and even beloved indie hits like Balatro, Animal Well, and Hades 2. In fact, Shadow of the Erdtree ranks as number 36 among Metacritic's top games of all time, sandwiched between Baldur's Gate 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

This is all a bit apples and oranges, of course; review scores are just markers of subjective opinions, and you can't necessarily directly compare an evaluation of an expansion pack to that of a full new game. But these scores do give you an idea of just how great early players think Shadow of the Erdtree is, and we're now in very rare critical territory.

Now this is Shadow of the Erdtree prep: Elden Ring mad lad turns every enemy (and animal) into DLC gatekeepers Mohg and Radahn, still beats the game in 9 hours. 

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.