25 to Life

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
25 to Life Game Poster Image
Crude game is criminally bad -- adults only.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written byjadavia is the beast September 15, 2010
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bycall of duty4 October 12, 2009
Teen, 17 years old Written byTheTrillonaire July 4, 2013

Don't bother

I dont like this game.
Teen, 16 years old Written byUSCTrojan July 1, 2012


Iffy for 14+

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.

Talk to your kids 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

  • Platforms: Xbox
  • Price: $39.99
  • 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
  • Last updated: June 20, 2019

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