• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 2, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Somehow, developer Sonic Team managed to meld everything great about the previous PSOs (aesthetic beauty, and engaging online community, and the never-ending quest for better equipment) with a simple, addictive card game. [Apr 2004, p.128]
  2. 85
    A real testament of game design. It's as open ended as a card game can be. Sonic Team incorporated many things fans wanted (story and a worthy offline mode). If you're a PSO fan, don't turn your back on Episode III simply because it's a card game -- you might be surprised (I was).
  3. If you want your games to be more accessible and action-oriented, then you'd be better off sticking with "Episode 1 & 2"...If you're looking for a new challenge, or you just want a solid and surprisingly deep strategy-RPG experience, Episode 3 is for you.
  4. A very good game, but I just am not too much into the card scene. I am sure all of you who loves this type of game will love it.
  5. The AI itself makes a formidable opponent. While not perfect (it has problems using defense cards properly), it certainly will challenge you in many ways.
  6. I love the way it advances the story and expands on the world of PSO, and I love the card battling itself. It's basically a strategy game with the tension and excitement of a good poker hand. [Mar 2004, p.58]
  7. 8 / 8 / 8 / 8 - 32 gold [Vol 781]
  8. Though the visual and audio aspects of PSO III leave something to be desired, the concept and level of variability at its core (not to mention that it's one of these elusive online-enabled GameCube titles) is enough to make it a highly enjoyable and surprisingly addictive game. [Apr 2004, p.101]
  9. 80
    It takes a while for the card-based gameplay of Episode III to grow on you, but once it does, it'll get its hooks in as firmly as the other PSO chapters.
  10. 80
    An engaging and refreshing change of pace from the role playing escapades that we've become used to in the previous two installments.
  11. If you can look at the PSO universe with fresh eyes, like the Sonic Team designers clearly did, there's a lot of addictive gameplay to be mined from this new colonial frontier.
  12. Most card-battling games have mind-numbingly complex rules or are nauseatingly tedious, but PSO III avoids both traps admirably. [Apr 2004, p.120]
  13. 75
    Every element of it is solid but unexceptional. Card battling is done far better by PS2's "Culdcept"; story is done better by a host of other RPGs. In fact, the only area where I think it'd be truly difficult to compete with PSO III is music -- this soundtrack is almost too good for the game.
  14. The deciding factor should be whether or not you appreciate the Phantasy Star Online aesthetic and would be interested in playing a card battling game alongside and against other players in that universe. If so, then PSO will have plenty to offer you.
  15. 70
    Unfortunately, the focus on strategy has placed the RPG elements firmly in the back seat, and the story feels out of place and intrudes rudely on the pleasure of card battling. PSOEIII's attempt to infuse a decent card game with a rich plot only confuses matters.
  16. Unfortunately, one of the biggest flaws within PSO III becomes quite apparent once a battle begins. Everything takes an inordinately long amount of time.
  17. Aged environments and models are wheeled out and the interface is surprisingly clunky and obtrusive. There is a solid game here to prop it up, but it's indicative of the no-frills production that even the robotic announcer seems to be phoning in its performance. [May 2004, p.103]
  18. While PSO began as a genuine phenomenon, it ends with something more like a fizzled experiment.
  19. This sequel isn't as approachable. We also get the pheeling that you already know if you'll like this without reading the review.
  20. 60
    In the end, the cards were a good idea, but the dice wreck the curve by robbing the game of strategy. No matter how well you plan ahead, a bad roll of the dice can cripple you, sometimes for the rest of the match.
  21. The whole tone of the game has shifted; it's no longer a community, just a vast gladiatorial arena. [Aug 2004, p.118]
  22. I like the card game and find it addicting, but to me it's not really worthy of having an entire game created around it. I miss the RPG action. The turn-based card game gameplay would have made an interesting mode or mini-game. It's like making a main course out of the appetizer.
  23. This is a craply-plotted sci-fi novel meets a game of chess meets Industrial Light & Magic meets Yu-Gi-Oh!. Fanboys: silence.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. AndyE.
    Jul 4, 2005
    I liked it and it's more than challenging after the ARKZ attack the Piooner 2!
  2. ClelJ.
    May 19, 2004
    this game is one of the best, when I first got it I thought I'd wasted my money but after giving it a chance I play it more then the this game is one of the best, when I first got it I thought I'd wasted my money but after giving it a chance I play it more then the older series of PSO. Full Review »
  3. Dr.Ransom
    Mar 10, 2004
    Don't let the cards discourage you, it's a great new addition to the gameplay. Now you actually have to think to win instead of Don't let the cards discourage you, it's a great new addition to the gameplay. Now you actually have to think to win instead of just mashing on the attack button. Plus, the animated cut scenes are beautiful and really give the characters depth. Full Review »