Five years later, No Man's Sky finally has positive Steam reviews

No Man's Sky expeditions
(Image credit: Hello Games)

It's not exactly controversial to say No Man's Sky had a rough landing. But five years of free, massive updates later, the game's Steam reviews finally reflect what the objectively correct among us have been saying all along—that No Man's Sky is good, actually.

While we'd hate to admit it, the small Steam reviews tag can have a huge impact on your first impression of a game. But after years of sitting with "Mixed" overall reviews, Hello Games founder Sean Murray yesterday shared the news that No Man's Sky had finally crossed the threshold into "Mostly Positive", meaning that at least 70% of Steam reviews rated the game positively. 

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To be clear, No Man's Sky has been viewed relatively highly for some time. The game's recent reviews sit at Very Positive following the launch of settlement management update Frontiers, though sentiment took the biggest turn when Hello finally added multiplayer back in 2018

But it's hard to understand just how hostile the response to No Man's Sky was at launch, the developer assaulted with accusations that it had deceived fans with a grossly unfinished game. That reputation stuck with the game for years, as evident in it taking a full half-decade for the game to reach a positive consensus despite years of massive updates that fundamentally reimagined what No Man's Sky could be.

That said, it's also a little bittersweet for those of us who fell in love with what No Man's Sky was at launch—a lonely, meditative experience where every sight felt truly your own. I'm glad No Man's Sky found the audience it deserved, it just stings a little that the game had to utterly reinvent itself as a live, settlement-building social sandbox in the process.

Thanks, Kotaku.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.