Sid Meier's Pirates! (Xbox)

Common Sense Media says

Pirate adventure is fun and family-friendly.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players can sack cities and towns, attack enemy ships to plunder them and betray friends and foes alike. However, the game takes a very light-hearted approach to all of these activities and appeals to the sense of adventure and action rather than dark, violent deeds.


Players can partake in duels and battle it out with other ships; however, characters are never shown being killed on screen.


Some of the barmaids and governor's daughters wear low-cut dresses.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Although the player frequently goes to the tavern to speak with various characters, they do not consume any alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although there's some violence (duels, sinking ships), there's no blood or on-screen death. There are scantily clad barmaids, and the protagonist frequently goes to the tavern (though he doesn't consume any alcohol). The game doesn't deserve its T rating and can even be educational.

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What's it about?

The Xbox version of SID MEIER'S PIRATES! is rated T, whereas the PC version is E. The differences are minor and driven primarily by gameplay options, rather than content.

As in the PC version, players traverse the Caribbean plundering enemy ships, rescuing governor's daughters and doing all things piratey. Players can duel enemy captains, sink enemy ships, and plunder cities; however, death is never a part of the onscreen action.

Is it any good?


There is very little difference between the Xbox and PC versions -- and most of the differences are driven by gameplay options, rather than content. Really, this game should have been rated for everyone. There are accurate warnings on both versions for violence, alcohol references, and suggestive themes, and there is no blood, gore, or depictions of death. The player repeatedly visits taverns but no characters are shown drinking; while some female characters wear low-cut dresses, the sexual content is minimal.

The biggest difference is that the Xbox version has multiplayer capabilities, but they seem to be more of a tacked-on Mini game than a full addition. Otherwise, the differences are related to making the game easier to play on a console system, which has less screen resolution and fewer buttons for controls (no keyboard). The thrust of the PC review stands: This is an excellent and family-friendly game, and a worthy addition to your video game treasure chest.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the real pirates the game describes. Parents may want to talk about why this game would be rated differently than the PC version. How would you have rated this game? Are you more attracted to titles that have higher ratings, like T or M? Why or why not?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PSP, Xbox
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Take Two
Release date:July 12, 2005
ESRB rating:T for Mild Violence (PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360)

This review of Sid Meier's Pirates! (Xbox) was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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