Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 55
  2. Negative: 1 out of 55
Buy On
  1. 94
    If the phenomenal storyline, eye-popping CG cinemas and soulful orchestration weren't enough, the plethora of gameplay nuances and player diversions are sure to make the most jaded gamer giggle like a school girl.
  2. A game for gamers and not just RPG gamers. With a carefully blended mix of strategy, intense real-time combat, customizable characters and weapons, and a rich sci-fi universe to explore, there is literally something here for everyone.
  3. I'm very grateful that Square Enix decided to release the Director's Cut version of the game, and not the original (maybe I should thank the bugs for that?). Maybe now tri-Ace will get the respect it deserved since "Valkyrie Profile."
  4. It's literally an achievement worth every penny. There's an abundance of strategic flavor in the battles, well articulated graphical feats, an apt cementing in sounds, and a nice collection of extras for the truest of role-playing fans -- deep enough to go overboard with more than 80 hours of gameplay.
  5. This is a great game from the first minute on, and you’ll not want to put this game down if you allow yourself to be drawn into the plot.
  6. 90
    What proves the game's true claim to greatness is that Star Ocean allows its players to take from it whatever they wish; Be it a quick 40 hours of story-based adventure or a full 80-hours of "find everything you can" exploration.
  7. The storyline does an amazing job of slowly expanding in scope (though it does bog down a bit in the middle of the game, most of the stuff it trudges through stays relevant well after the scope of the game has outgrown the smaller conflict), and the twists will absolutely knock you on your ass, while battles are fast, interesting and offer a nicely customizable way to trudge through the grind of leveling up all your characters.
  8. Cheat Code Central
    Due to the variety, the solid gameplay, the interesting story and the sheer length of this game, RPG fans shouldn't hesitate to purchase Till the End of Time. It's a great value.
  9. Even without the jaw dropping visuals of "Final Fantasy" or "Knights of the Old Republic," the deceptively deep but instantly accessible gameplay proves that Star Ocean can hang with the big boys as more than just a niche title, but as a top-tier franchise.
  10. It's original, action-packed, and boasts a story that is on par with even some of the Final Fantasy series.
  11. Hardcore RPG fanatics might want to try this before a buy solely because the real-time battles may not be as appealing to them.
  12. A by the numbers RPG with plenty of leveling up, a great battle system and superb presentation. It doesn’t do anything particularly innovative, but should provide great fun for RPG fans.
  13. This game has one of the best battle engines I have seen in an RPG and it would be an absolute shame for you to miss it!
  14. One of the most epic games you’ll play, and dare I say (oh the fanboys will kill me) it’s better than even the "Final Fantasy" games of late. Here’s looking to number four.
  15. Star Ocean 3 lays out one of the most fun, intriguing and overall best role-playing games not only from just this year, but in any time recently.
  16. The fact that it's the first PS2 game to actually use two DVD discs shows that it's a much larger game than any before it, but it still doesn't live up to what it could have been.
  17. It has an amazing soundtrack, decent enough story and a pretty compelling fight engine. Some novices may find the experience daunting at first but with a little perseverence they'll also find the experience ultimately rewarding.
  18. The game has a strong tendency to drop you in some town or dungeon with no clear idea of where you should go. Coupled with the fact that enemies respawn whenever you exit a room, and navigating becomes quite the chore.
  19. The story kept me interested to the end of the game, and the battles were fast and furious for the sixty-five hours I happily put into it.
  20. netjak
    A blast for most of the first disc, and then quickly tapered off as the game pulled a "Xenogears," Disc 2 and turned into a movie with button presses. It’s not quite as bad as Xenogears, but still, when you have a story and dialogue that isn’t exactly going to knock your socks off, gameplay is what saves your game’s proverbial bacon.
  21. 84
    If you’re looking to invest more than 60 hours in front of your television and enjoy a deep and complex storyline, then look no further; Star Ocean won’t steer you wrong.
  22. 83
    A great RPG that does a great job filling the void that is the sci-fi RPG genre. Combining tried and tested RPG elements with new tweaks like the combat system and mapping system, Star Ocean fully satiated my RPG hunger.
  23. Thanks to the memorable characters and undeniably fun battle system, I still found myself enthralled by Star Ocean. [Aug 2004, p.98]
  24. 83
    It's not perfect, but it's just what you need to keep you warm for the winter.
  25. An innovative battle system and plenty of secrets that can be unlocked makes Star Ocean appeal to even the largest RPG detractor.
  26. A solid space faring RPG with mind blowing graphics and addictive storyline. The game also spans two DVDs so keep your calendar open for a while.
  27. 80
    The biggest issue in the Ocean is boring and repetitious town and dungeon designs...The battle system is out of this world - the rest of the game is a little more grounded. [Sept 2004, p.108]
  28. The battle system, the storyline, and even the aesthetics manage to impress, culminating in a game that’s quite highly thought of by Gamer Archive.
  29. The pace on the battle system was perfect, and more games should be moving towards the real time battle systems.
  30. And fair warning to all of you obsessive-completist types out there: Your lives, as you know them, are over... at least for a while.
  31. A brilliant, if somewhat belated, RPG with a gripping, unique story and one of the best combat systems of any RPG.
  32. A decent game with a lot of twitch style role-playing action that button masher fans are going to love –and a lot of hidden baubles and activities (like a versus fighting mode for two players) that role-playing fans can sink their teeth into.
  33. The best PlayStation 2 RPG that I've played in the past two-years.
  34. 80
    If you like an RPG with an element of sci-fi and don't mind being smacked around a lot in battles, then Star Ocean is certainly an RPG for you.
  35. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    At first, this combat exhilarates, but A.I. flaws appear soon enough...Fighting also gets frustratingly hard, which annoyingly necessitates battles solely for leveling up. [Sept 2004, p.91]
  36. 80
    While it's lacking in the qualities necessary to convert the haters, it's nonetheless a game that will please the faithful.
  37. This is a quality game, in terms of both presentation and design. It's traditional, but within its genre it represents a considered and intelligent take on those traditional rules. [PSW]
  38. Star Ocean isn't a game that everyone will instantly like, thanks to the real-time battle system which is likely to divide opinions significantly, but it's a game which has moments of absolute genius, wrapped up in a solid, competent but not particularly remarkable whole.
  39. While some design choices mire aspects of this futuristic game in the dungeon-slogging role-playing-game past, the end result is an enjoyable experience, even if the game does not boldly go where no game has gone before.
  40. Even though its flaws are few and petty for the most part, the length of the game accentuates them to a point of some frustration. Thankfully, though, the story and unique elements are enough to ensure extended play.
  41. Some huge balancing issues really mar this title. In a trait that seems to be a carryover from "UNLIMITED Saga," the game is incredibly unforgiving.
  42. 75
    It's not impossible to ignore the the aggravation on offer, but it's also hard to ignore how much better this Star Ocean could have been.
  43. Play Magazine
    Personally, I found the game laborious by design but so engaging of character that I couldn't put it down, although, admittedly, I'm not absorbing the half of it. [Sept 2004, p.66]
  44. PSM Magazine
    The type of game that'll bless those patient players who persevere. [Dec 2004, p.84]
  45. The combat is fun and there's a lot to do, so expect to invest a number of hours before you're done.

Awards & Rankings

#24 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#11 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    Along with Rogue Galaxy this has to be one of the most severely underrated games (by the critics). It deserves much better! There is SO muchAlong with Rogue Galaxy this has to be one of the most severely underrated games (by the critics). It deserves much better! There is SO much to do in this game. The plot is great (though a bit cheesy at times) with plenty of surprises along the way. The gameplay is challenging and there are plenty of side quests and secrets to uncover/explore. The environments are so neat and original and the music is fun. Full Review »
  2. KennyM
    Jan 26, 2009
    An engaging storyline, a brilliant soundtrack, loveable characters and 80+ hours of epic gameplay are what Star Ocean 3 bring to the table.An engaging storyline, a brilliant soundtrack, loveable characters and 80+ hours of epic gameplay are what Star Ocean 3 bring to the table. I've always been a fan of Final Fantasy and Star Ocean, and I would have to put this title on a par with FFX.
    Negatives? The leveling up can become monotonous further on into the game. Especially after the story has finished if you choose to undertake the bonus dungeons. I put so much time into completing Sphere 211 that it could have been put onto its own disc.

    Bring on Star Ocean 4!
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 4, 2015
    One of the most difficult and frustrating games I have ever played. Story is good. I liked the characters but the combat is f***** horrendous.One of the most difficult and frustrating games I have ever played. Story is good. I liked the characters but the combat is f***** horrendous. Enemies are extremely difficult and even the most common little s*** can kick your ass if you're not careful. Whats funny is that the boss fights are very easy. I breezed through them like it was nothing only to get my ass kicked by some random monster on the way to the next location, WTF!?. I actually grinded like an idiot in the mountains before moving on to disc 2 and when I was done I had money, power and a pair of badass women and then I inserted disc 2 only to realize it was all for nothing *sigh*. Full Review »