MX vs. ATV Alive

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
MX vs. ATV Alive Game Poster Image
Well-made motocross racer has some track violence.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While there's some mild violence, girls wearing skimpy clothes, and light profanity, the game is meant to mimic a professional extreme sport and does a good job at that.

Positive Role Models & Representations

As with most racing games, players don't get to know their riders very well. However, the cover of the game features 25 year-old AMA Supercross Champion James "Bubba" Stewart. Bubba -- who is also a reality TV star -- could be seen as a role model because of his success in motorsports. However, in March 2011, he was arrested in Florida for impersonating a police officer.

Ease of Play

The game is easy to play, especially for those who like racing games. The Controls screen covers the functions of the analog sticks and buttons, and an opening tutorial level leads players through racing basics.


Players take part in "full contact" racing. Riders can get rough with nearby opponents by pushing and shoving, sometimes resulting in nasty spills. Riders are wearing helmets. One intro video shows a dramatic wipe-out.


During most events players can see "card girls" who wear short skirts, short jean shorts, and tube tops. They're usually seen before the race begins, holding cards, and the camera pans in close to see them front the front and behind.


One or two songs on the soundtrack include the words "damn" and "hell." One of the all-terrain vehicles has a decal reading "Hell and Back."


Publisher THQ signed multiple deals with real-world brands to give the game some "authenticity." Companies featured include Yamaha, Suzuki, and Red Bull. Vehicles, apparel, and signs in the game all have familiar motocross brands splashed on them.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that MX vs. ATV Alive is a professional motocross simulation set mostly on outdoor championship tracks. Note, though, that this game might be more violent than past games as it now supports "bar to bar" full-contact action, meaning players can shove nearby riders. Also, players will see scantily-clad "card girls" and hear mild language in a couple of songs. Parents should be aware that this game supports open online play, a feature that Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for pre-teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 12 years old December 31, 2014

Great but a bit hard to master

I got this game free off Xbox live gold and really enjoy playing on it with my siblings. The only reason i would rate it for 9+ is because the controls are hard... Continue reading

What's it about?

MX VS. ATV ALIVE – the fifth iteration of THQ's popular off-road racing franchise – challenges players to climb onto all-terrain vehicles and motocross bikes once again. The sport of competitive racing is delivered via a realistic physics engine, real-time track deformation that continuously changes the ground beneath you as bike wheels shift dirt, and authentic events based on actual races and championship courses. Fans of the sport will appreciate the game's real-world tracks, riders, and competitions. As the title suggests, you can also race ATVs along with motorbikes, and perform high-flying stunts, too. Parents should note that this game is the first of THQ's \"hybrid\" games; discounted titles ($40 instead of $60) that rely on the sales of downloadable content (DLC) for digital upgrades.

Is it any good?

MX vs ATV Alive makes for a great time, especially if you're a fan of the series or like playing off-road racing games. Based on user feedback, the developers enhanced the control of both the riders and vehicles, and it shows. Controls are tighter and more responsive. Plus, the addition of the "bar-to-bar" system makes it possible (and fun) to trade bumps, pushes, and shoves with fellow riders as you race through championship courses, jungles, deserts, and mountains, vying for the finish line.

Two-time AMA Supercross Champion James "Bubba" Stewart graces the cover of MX vs ATV: Alive, plus his personal motocross compound has been recreated and offered as free digital download to those who buy the game. With its myriad of modes, smooth animation, and tight controls, MX vs. ATV Alive is a fun and relatively affordable racing game for high-def consoles.

Online interaction: This game allows players to play against others online, download new content, and chat with others via headset. Open voice communication with strangers means players may be exposed to inappropriate language and topics of conversation. Also, potential exists for players to share personal information.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about "subsidized" pricing. This game is $40 instead of $60, but downloadable content packs will come at a price of a few dollars each. Does this seem like good entertainment value to you?

  • Families can also discuss how racing games might affect real life driving habits. If so, should parents be as worried about a simulation of a professional racing sport as they might be about street racing games?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: THQ
  • Release date: May 10, 2011
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Mild Violence
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

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