On February 25, 2013, Iggy Pop announced that The Stooges fifth album Ready to Die would be released on April 30, 2013, saying: "My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal. It's just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group, when they're an older group, they also make fucking records. They don't just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money. And then go, "oh! It wouldn't be as good!" This is not the fucking Smashing Pumpkins, we've got the bald guy and whoever. No. The only thing I really have left to say is the Stooges are a real group." In July 2013, in an interview with Guitar World, Iggy Pop spoke about the song titled "DD’s", saying: "It’s funny that that song gets a lot of attention. If it was as bad as some people say it is, it wouldn’t be getting noticed. But it’s getting noticed as much as its subject gets noticed."James Williamson, who produced the album, spoke about Ready to Die being compared to Raw Power, saying: "It’s impossible for this new album not to be compared to Raw Power. That’s the benchmark that everybody’s looking for. And we didn’t necessarily want to make another Raw Power. We already did that. But the goal I had was to make us sound like us. That’s what I think you’re hearing. It’s just hard-charging guitars, big drums and vocals."
Ready to Die was met with generally favorable reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews and ratings from mainstream critics, the album received a score of 66, based on 35 reviews. On April 28, 2013, in the first major review of the album, authorized Stooges biographer Jeffrey Morgan wrote on his website: "Strangely believe it, this new 40th Anniversary Edition ain’t all that bad. I could continue waxing euphonic about how fantoonie this sonic sizzler is, but your time would be far better spent spinning it instead - if only so you can hear the singer rhyme “friendship” with “death trip” on the final track. And they call Dylan a poet."Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album four out of five stars, saying "Liberated from the weight of their history, they're just ready to rock while they still can, and that's why Ready to Die is, against all odds, a terrific Stooges album." Ryan Bray of Consequence of Sound gave the album three and a half stars out of four, saying "Ready to Die is another torrid tour de force from a band built for speed, not comfort. Roughly half a lifetime after the band’s legendary 1967 debut, The Stooges still sound thrillingly vital, no small feat for a bunch of hardened rock vets jockeying for position against scores of up and comers roughly a third their age. But the band continues to earn its keep and then some. In the end, Ready to Die offers all the necessary proof that the band is still alive and well."
Tim Stegall of The Austin Chronicle gave the album four out of five stars, saying "Ready to Die finds the quintet on Fat Possum, making them indie artists for the first time, and they give their new label the best produced, loudest, and slickest – without sacrificing any primal grit and drive – Stooges disc yet." Jason Heller of The A.V. Club gave the album a C, saying "Luckily there are enough high points on the album to mark it as a clear improvement over The Weirdness. With Ready To Die, Iggy And The Stooges have begun to spring back to life. Or at least shown signs of becoming convincingly zombified." Julian Marszalek of The Quietus gave the album positive review, saying "Ready to Die does much to atone for the sins of its predecessor, and its highlights will doubtlessly sit comfortably in their ongoing and still combustible - if physically damaged - shows. It's not going to replace the band's first three peerless albums in your affections, and the chances of frequent revisits after its initial satisfying of curiosity are low. But that those occasional visits will elicit far more pleasure than pain is, at this stage in the game, no bad thing." Jamie Fullerton of NME gave the album an eight out of ten, saying "The most significant thing about the album is the return of guitarist James Williamson following the death of Ron Asheton in 2009. Williamson was responsible for the licks on 1973's Raw Power, and on Ready To Die he brings a similar dirty vigour."
Kitty Empire of The Guardian gave the album three out of five stars saying, "Obviously, RTD is no sequel to Raw Power. But there is an oomph to it. Despite being crass and ill-judged, RTD is actually fun in parts, retaining vestiges of the band's visceral youth, but leavened with the perspective more behoving of men of a certain life-stage." Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine gave the album one and a half stars out of five, saying "The odd duck here is the surprisingly gentle "The Departed," a slide guitar-laced burble which compares Iggy Pop to the yellowed pages of a photo album. It's honest and introspective, and has no place whatsoever on a Stooges album, a fact that only serves as a reminder that a new Stooges album has no real place in the year 2013." Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune gave the album three out of four stars, saying "Though it is nowhere near as indelible as the Stooges’ first three landmark albums, Ready to Die is much stronger than the band’s 2007 comeback, The Weirdness. A lot of the credit goes to Williamson, who joined the retooled Stooges for their third and best-known album, Raw Power, produced by David Bowie in 1973." Jon Young of Spin gave the album an eight out of ten, saying "Ready to Die is a weirdly exhilarating gem, thanks to Iggy's fiery eloquence and the Stooges' still-raw power. Apparently rock'n'roll can be an old man's game after all."