The Beatles: Rock Band

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
The Beatles: Rock Band Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Amazing band simulator features the biggest group. Ever.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 36 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about music, rhythm, cooperation, and the history of the most famous rock band of all time in this enticing rock and roll simulator. Alone or with friends as a band, players press notes on plastic guitars and drums in time with onscreen cues, giving them a sense of the precise timing and skill required to play real music. They're also provided trivia and historical snippets that paint a picture of The Beatles' career. It may not teach players how to play real instruments, but The Beatles Rock Band is still a great way to foster kids' interest in music.

Positive Messages

The Beatles lyrics contain some positive messages, such as those found in "A Little Help From My Friends" and "Love Me Do," but most tell stories.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Beatles are fairly good role models; but their drug experimentation in the '60s is widely known. The game does show some "trippy" imagery in the background, though. John Lennon also once famously quipped the band was "bigger than Jesus."



Ease of Play

The game has many difficulty levels, tutorials and a "no fail" mode so it is accessible for both newbies and seasoned players.


There are no overtly sexual lyrics in this game, though some might be considered suggestive innuendoes, such as "Come Together."


Some of the songs have some suggestive lyrics, such as in "I Am the Walrus" ("Boy you've been a naughty girl and let your knickers down") and supposed LSD drug references and imagery in "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds."


There are images of musical instrument brands, such as Ludwig and Gretsch. The game features music from The Beatles, which might be considered a marketing initiative to buy the band's newly remastered CDs which are releasing at the same time as the video game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The song "Get Back" makes reference to "California grass"; "Come Together" mentions a "choking smoker"; and "A Day in the Life," a downloadable track, talks about having a "smoke."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this historic game is a fairly clean music-based video game that only received its "Teen" rating because of some mildly suggestive lyrics (occasional smoking and sex references). In "A Day in the Life," the song includes the line "He blew his mind out in a car."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Written byAnonymous August 18, 2012
Teen, 15 years old Written byYAYAbinks May 22, 2019

One of My Favorite Games

If you let your kids sing Beatles songs in the car, then they can play the game. If you don't let them sing Beatles songs, then you're parenting wrong...
Teen, 13 years old Written bySpielberg00 July 25, 2011

A great Rock Band spinoff!

My rating: E10+: mild lyrics; alcohol reference

What's it about?

"Do you want to know a secret?" Fans of the Fab Four can now try their hand (or voice) as one of the legendary rockers in THE BEATLES: ROCK BAND, an extraordinarily fun music game. This ambitious interactive band simulator takes you through a magical mystery tour of 45 remastered tracks that span The Beatles' legendary career -- from their early performances at the Cavern Club in Liverpool ("Saw Her Standing There," "Twist and Shout") all the way through to their final show on the rooftop of Apple Corps headquarters in London ("Don't Let Me Down," "Get Back"). If you've ever played a song in Rock Band or Guitar Hero, you'll be familiar with how to advance through this new game. Depending on which instrument you're using -- the game ships with a guitar-shaped controller, as a complete "band in a box" or by itself if you already own an instrument peripheral -- you must strum, drum, or sing along with familiar songs and follow the onscreen prompts to hit the correct note or drum at the right time (for singers, it's karaoke-style lyrics that float across the top of the screen).

Is it any good?

This game is extraordinarily fun. Fans of the band to get the most out of it. Not only does this game include dozens of familiar songs, amazing locations, behind--the-scenes photos and videos of the band to unlock, but there are many multiplayer options, downloadable singles and complete albums, and, for the first time in the series, singers can harmonize and be rewarded for it (depending on the song, two or three singers, all on one microphone or separately, can try to hit harmonies to earn "double fab" or "triple fab" bonus points). Aside from a couple of song omissions, there's not much to complain about with The Beatles: Rock Band -- and you'll no doubt find yourself wanting to play this game "eight days a week."

This is a fabulous game for kids and parents to play together. Parents grew up with the music, and kids grew up playing Rock Band.

Online interaction: Players can jam together in different cities, regardless of which instrument they're playing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether this game is ideal for young gamers or their parents? Who likes it more -- parents who grew up with the music, or kids who grew up with Rock Band?

  • Did this game give you a good sense of what made The Beatles such a popular group? Can you think of other situations where popular media has crossed over into other mediums?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Subjects: Arts: music, rhythm, singing
  • Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, meeting challenges together, teamwork
  • Price: $60-$249
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: MTV Games
  • Release date: September 9, 2009
  • Genre: Music & Dance
  • ESRB rating: T for Mild Lyrics, Tobacco Reference
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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