Guitar Hero

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
Guitar Hero Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Addictive rock 'n' roll party for tweens and up.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 29 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

Song lyrics contain sexual innuendo, references to drinking and drugs, and some occult-ish imagery.


Players play the songs of real life bands. Showcases Gibson guitars. Players can purchase special guitar-shaped controller to play.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this rhythm game plays the rock 'n' roll scene for fun, but the lyrical content still includes some mild references to drugs and sex (though these cover versions omit the rare cursing present in the originals). The imagery of the game is likewise invested in a silly version of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, and presents some drawings of smoking and bottles of alcohol. The game celebrates the commercial bands whose songs it features, as well as Gibson guitars.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDrummerdude13 November 24, 2014

Guitar Hero Review

This is a fun-filled game for sharp-minded children/teens and even adults! Music is for everyone and should be shared and enjoyed in many different ways. I beli... Continue reading
Adult Written byBilly Shears April 9, 2008

If you've got the money, buy it for sure.

Incredible fun. As stated in the Common Sense Media review the game requires a special guitar controller that is packaged with the game, and it really makes the... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byIPlayGuitarHero March 23, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written bygrantfulton January 29, 2017


This is a good way to foster a love of guitars at a young age. Sure, there are ban lyrics but little kids won't get it. There is a Gibson guitar advertisin... Continue reading

What's it about?

This energetic, fun rhythm game lets players feel like they are on stage along with some of the rockin'-est bands of the last 35 years. GUITAR HERO uses a special guitar-shaped controller that lets gamers play along with authentic-sounding cover versions of popular rock songs by following colored circles on the screen that scroll by in time to the music. The controller is simple to use, but feels surprisingly close to playing a real instrument.

Is it any good?

The gameplay is simple and addictive, and the range of difficulty is such that it should welcome non-musicians as well as push seasoned guitar shredders past their limits. The sound is excellent, from the electric hum of the amps to the cheers of the crowd when players unleash some successful rocking.

Some of the songs are a little off-color, but they are all tunes that are played on the radio. Since this is rock 'n' roll, players will encounter some occult imagery, lyrics about drinking, and some fairly blunt sexual innuendo, but in most cases anything that might be considered offensive really seems more cartoon-ish. These cover versions even omit the rare cursing present in the originals. All in all, it's quite a rush holding that silly little guitar and feeling like you're right up on stage with the Grim Reaper, strumming fast and furious along with Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the creative premise here. Which way is the industry going? Are games becoming more creative (such as Guitar Hero and Karaoke Revolution Party), or less creative (run-of-the-mill first-person shooters)? Families may also want to discuss some of the racier elements of the rock 'n' roll image. Do songs about drinking and sex encourage kids to emulate them?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 2
  • Price: $79.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Red Octane
  • Release date: January 6, 2006
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: T for Mild lyrics
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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