review "deftly blended management, tactics and the sort of gut-level, throaty encounters usually reserved for fast-paced action games."
- Edge (90/100): "Charting a course through Earth's imminent destruction is as unashamedly difficult as it was in 1994's X-COM. It's possible, through bad planning and bad management, to doom the planet early on, making the game feel unfair. Get it right, however – survive the stresses of management, and the strains of aliens – and you'll feel like world's greatest hero."
- Eurogamer (90/100): "So much craft has gone into its atmosphere, into innumerable small details that together add enormous depth and flavour to the world: the occasional conversations overheard while fiddling around in the base; the mission loading screen, which gives you a view of the troops inside the carrier, fidgeting and tapping their feet in transit; the ridiculously cute touch of soldiers acquiring nicknames like 'Longshot' or 'Odin' after a few missions; the memorial room for fallen warriors, with a cork board of photos on the wall, which records their names - and the fact that visiting it triggers, after a few seconds, the sound of a bagpipe march. "
- Destructoid (90/100): "I was disappointed EU didn't have a great story, at first. But, somewhere along the way, my own story played out through the game's intense missions and grueling decision making back at the base. My story is about an unlikely group of space heroes. After months of waging a seemingly impossible war, my elite squad of XCOM soldiers died."
- Polygon (85/100): "While tactical, squad-based combat has never felt so effortless and rewarding, the strategy component takes just enough away to make the game as a whole feel like two slightly disjointed halves. One of those halves just so happens to be one of the best and most artfully-designed strategy games in recent memory."
- IGN (82/100): "Recently Firaxis has been very willing to try new things with its franchises, and it's great to see both the revival of the XCOM franchise and the extension of strategy games on the consoles. You're still likely to want a bit more depth and surprise in the tactical game, but the campaign is full of tense moments that are sure to keep you coming back for more."