Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Not only surpasses the Budokai series up to now, but shows us some new and great additions.
  2. This is easily an instant pickup for Dragon Ball Z fans. Fighting game fans should take a look at this title as well, as the amount of customization and number of characters mixed with strategy brings up DBZ: BT to a higher level over other fighting games.
  3. The best DBZ fighting game I've personally played to date, and it's one that I'll gladly play alongside my repertoire of "dedicated" fighting games.
  4. I really liked how the developers of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi went “outside the box” when creating this game and didn’t stick to the formula that the other Budokai set up.
  5. 82
    Throw in a massively deep list of modes and features, more than 50 playable characters, and customizable goodies for your fighters and you have everything necessary to please both Dragon Ball diehards and fighting game curiosos alike.
  6. It has a suitable cel-shaded look to it and reproduces the vibrant colors and crisp lines of the series quite well.
  7. Features a staggering amount of features despite the shortcomings of the gameplay.
  8. What a nice surprise! A 3D beat 'em up that is both loyal to its license and fun to play. Technically impressive, too. [Dec 2005]
  9. A wonderfully fun and addicting experience, offering tons of characters, modes, and everything else you could want in an anime-based video game. Just as its television forefather, this game has the makings for something great.
  10. With more drama than Tekken and more guts than Dead or Alive, Tenkaichi literally has more balls than any beat-'em-up released in the last 12 months. [GamesMaster]
  11. There's got to be a better control configuration. [Holiday 2005, p.82]
  12. Amazing graphics and incredibly fun multiplayer.
  13. 80
    The fourth Budokai game is the most accurate videogame rendition of Dragon Ball Z to date. It doesn't get much better than this.
  14. It’s novel, it’s a good fighting game and it’s extremely well presented, but Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi is still one for the fans.
  15. The programmers used music from the anime and TV series but it’s a shame that some tunes didn’t make it in. The addition of English and Japanese voiceovers makes the experience great for the fans.
  16. The difficulty level is very high, even on baby-mode and the AI is no slouch on mixing up the special attacks. Fans will love the new additions and enormity of the game, although some might be put off by the pared down attacks but those new to the series may be put off by the rock hard difficulty level.
  17. Hardcore DBZ fans would be happy with the new flying skills and bigger environments to traverse, but be mindful of its basic and shallow combat system.
  18. It has little in common with previous Budokai games, but there's still enough here to keep DBZ fans entertained.
  19. What Dragon Ball Z: Sparkling ends up as is a good game for the millions of Dragon Ball fans out there even though it doesn’t have the general appeal of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3.
  20. 70
    If you're just a casual fighting game, or more specifically, a fan of Dragon Ball Z, Budokai Tenkaichi may be exactly what you're looking for.
  21. Tenkaichi is a genuine attempt at capturing the Dragon Ball essence, but in the end the complex, clunky gameplay and lack of previously offered features prevents the unlocking of any true potential.
  22. 60
    Tenkaichi succeeds in all the areas that DBZ fans love: brilliant, innovative graphics, a gajillion (more than 60, actually) playable characters from the beloved anime series, and (everyone together) Saiyans!
  23. 60
    The visuals hit the mark, and there’s a huge roster of fighters here, but the odd camera work and control issues don’t work in the game’s favor.
  24. The gameplay is a bit awkward and quite repetitive, but no game has captured the feel of Dragon Ball Z quite like this. [Jan 2006, p.92]
  25. Given its level of difficulty, and general synaesthetic terrorism, my mind and body were woefully unequipped to deal with what Bandai had unleashed on me.
  26. Closely in tune with the spirit of the DBZ universe, which must be brilliant for some gamers, but if that means nothing to you then neither will this game. [Dec 2005, p.124]
  27. The game just fails to capture the energy of a true fighting game, and runs amuck of too many problems to really be considered as a purchase, unless you live DBZ and named your kid Kakarot.
  28. 40
    Although Tenkaichi does offer genuine enjoyment, if only briefly, it comes as small consolation for the relative merits of recent prequels, and while eager young gamers will be enthused, those looking for a more brain-busting and evolutionary experience shouldn’t expect too much.
  29. So the single player game is boring and the multiplayer is mundane and bland. What is left to enjoy about Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi then? Not much at all I'm afraid.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 55 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 2 out of 25
  1. Nov 8, 2013
    Bad game..very bad game. I mean..if you want a good DBZ Budokai Tenkaichi game then play the 2nd one. The characters are I mean...seriously...they look like Minecraft blobs on crack. The gameplay and story alike are just wow. It's good...but not that perfect. The camera sucks, the controls are easy to maneuver and the best this game can do is give you a good Character Introduction mode. All in all...this game sucks. Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2012
    DBZ BT2 conducted in 2006 with a good story mode which follows almost cartoon fashion with several that are part of the game that makes fun of the person who plays, Spike has not really his game rate. Full Review »
  3. Jul 29, 2011
    In my first day (years ago), DBZ got what it needed ,improved in the way we always wanted to, destructibility , the clothing messed up , etc. Replaying then, i don't see the logic of the sense, the wacky fighting, weird structure , unnecessary new entry whatever. Spending 50 bucks wasn't reasonable. Full Review »