Circus Maximus is a video game set in Ancient Rome featuring chariot racing. Players compete against other chariots, each with a horse and a gladiator, and compete in death matches where players use their gladiator to fight others to the death. The game takes its name from the building in Rome.
Circus Maximus is most remembered for excellent interactive game play that offered a combination of realistic Roman history and chariot driving with enjoyable combat sequences. It is sometimes referred to as the leading chariot simulator in the gaming industry. Although Circus Maximus is regarded as a colossal commercial failure, it has a vast cult following of players who annually have a tournament on Xbox Live known as 'Maximus Week: The Maximum Circus Maximus Experience!' The tournament involves a large elimination process until the final two chariot teams remain, and they do duel in Circus Maximus! The game has also received a great deal of criticism from gaming critics for the incorporation of Team Fantasy, a very flamboyant and surreal team of chariot racers. Critics believe that this is one of the greatest issues with the game, citing that it expanded the games parameters from a seemingly realistic chariot racing battle to fantasy fairy tale where elephants could be locked in mortal combat with dragons in the streets of Rome. In spite of this flaw, the game is still ranked on numerous gaming websites as being one of the greatest Xbox games ever developed, rivaling some of the most popular games such as Halo, Fable or Star Wars Battlefront.