Rock Band

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Rock Band Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
A fantastic music game for the entire family.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 35 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

This is a great game to play with friends because you become part of a rock band. If one player is struggling in a song, the other players can bail him out.


Some suggestive lyrics, such as "You know she was a dancer...she moved better on wine" (Mountain's "Mississippi Queen").


A few bleeped out lyrics such as "You're so f--king special" (Radiohead's "Creep") and words like "ass" and "damn."


Partners include musical instrument companies like Fender and Ludwig.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that even though there are some mildly offensive lyrics, this game is appropriate for players 10 and older (despite the "Teen" rating). Some songs have offensive words bleeped out, while other lyrics are kept as-is, such as The Hives' "Main Offender" ("I'm stuck in ways of being an ass"). This game is best for social settings since players get different instruments to play. It can also be played online, which Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for anyone under age 12.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTom_Gamer_Tom June 22, 2010

Less Mature than Guitar hero.

Rock band being a music game is obviously going to have Violent, Sexual and full of language music. Its easy to play when you get used to it. Making it much bet... Continue reading
Adult Written byAnnoyedteenguy June 10, 2010
This game is actually very good. The only problem is if your parents look at the RB2 review, your in for trouble. Getting the game only might be a good financ... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMusiclovergig September 5, 2020


First game in the series still holds up.
Teen, 14 years old Written byFlaming Pencil April 28, 2012

Best of its time

You will hear Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun," Radiohead's "Creep" (censored), and many other great songs.

What's it about?

Similar to the Guitar Hero games, ROCK BAND players form a band and work their way up from rags to riches by pleasing fans and racking up points, and then unlocking bigger and bigger venues. In front of the animated band performing on stage is a kind of giant guitar fret board with a camera that sails down it as the song plays to show players which notes/drums to hit at certain points in the song. Color-coded buttons on the guitar neck and drum pads must be hit at the correct time, while the singer must follow the karaoke-style lyrics to hit the right note at the right time, for the proper length of that note. Play well and the virtual crowd cheers you on, but fumble too many times and you might just get booed offstage.

Is it any good?

The soundtrack in Rock Band is extraordinary, featuring nearly 60 classic and newer rock songs, mostly from the original bands. Highlights include The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," David Bowie's "Suffragette City," Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper," The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop," Nirvana's "In Bloom," and Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive." Adding to its replayability, new songs can be downloaded each week for a couple bucks apiece. You can go with the pre-built musicians or use the integrated tools to create your own by selecting from hundreds of options.

Rock Band is the ultimate party game, best enjoyed with a group of friends. It's one of the most accessible and enjoyable games in recent memory, for all ages. Music fans, run -- don't walk -- to pick up Rock Band today.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the developer built on a popular concept -- Guitar Hero -- and expanded on it by adding drums, bass, and vocals. What does this game teach you about being in a rock band? Does it seem easy or do you have a new appreciation for the work that goes into becoming a good rock band?

Game details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate