25 to Life



Crude game is criminally bad -- adults only.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players will kill police officers and prison guards, use hostages as human shields, rob banks and casinos, spray graffiti, and participate in drug smuggling. The game features crooked cops and other anti-heroes.


Lots of realistic violence, including gunplay with a variety of weapons, and some beating with melee weapons. Lots of blood and some gore (heads get blown off).


The soundtrack lyrics include some profane sexual language.


Constant swearing from characters and on the soundtrack. F--k, b---h, etc.


In game ads for energy drinks and other Eidos games. Game soundtrack features licensed songs with on-screen reminders about artist and song name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some action in bars and drug dens. Players get involved in drug dealing both as the dealers and the crooked cops who steal from them. Song lyrics highlight drug use.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is set in a violent world of drug dealers and crooked cops: As criminals, players shoot scores of police, and as police, players shoot scores of criminals. The violence includes some gore and plenty of blood. The game also features swearing, references to drinking and drug use, robbery, graffiti tagging, and in-game advertising. Parents should also note that the game is designed for online play, which can expose players to creative streams of obscenity.

What's it about?

The plot of 25 TO LIFE features interlocking stories involving a family-man criminal attempting to go straight, a violent drug dealer, and the police (both crooked and upstanding) who try to stop them. Each of the 12 story chapters consists of a march along a linear path gunning down pretty much everyone in sight. With an assortment of guns and explosives, players blow away police, thugs, and civilians, spraying blood against walls and bits of brains on the ground.

The online action is more engaging than the single-player game: Gamers participate in 16-player, team-based matches, and can customize their characters with scores of unlockable clothing and appearance options. The action includes such staples as death match- and capture-the-flag-type play.

Is it any good?


The game's levels are short, repetitive, and ugly. The single-player game offers little surprise or excitement, just shoot, shoot, shoot. Spray-paint a wall, use a body as a human shield, and shoot, shoot, shoot. It's non-stop tedious gameplay.

Characters swear profusely -- in English and Spanish -- in the dialogue, and the soundtrack of licensed songs is filled with profane boasting. In the end, 25 to Life is overly gritty and badly executed. Even adult players should skip this one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the violent content. What is appealing about this content -- and when do game makers cross the line? How might constant exposure to violent games affect kids? Does violence make the games realistic or more exciting, or just attract attention in a crowded marketplace?

Game details

Available online?Available online
Developer:Eidos Interactive
Release date:February 7, 2006
Genre:Third-person shooter
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

This review of 25 to Life was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written bygooruman April 9, 2008

This game is a bag game, politically wise and gamer wise

The game is just running around killing and that can be fun for a while. Then the gamer starts to notice that being in a gang just cool. kids try to be ghetto but really they are just posing like this game. The game offers freedom but once you use some freedom they cut you right off. This game has social problems.
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 4, 2013

Don't bother

I dont like this game.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan July 1, 2012


Iffy for 14+
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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