Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
Buy On
  1. The developers have done a fantastic job porting the game except for a few graphics problems although the online play was surprisingly tolerable even with the servers in Europe.
  2. This is the most tense and atmospheric tactical shooter available on the PlayStation2. So tense that it manages make you fear the opening of a door.
  3. 83
    The controls are pretty easy to pick up, and they have made good use of the whole controller.
  4. An admirable port. If you already have the Xbox version, you really don't need another one, but PS2 owners should pick it up in a flash...bang.
  5. The other major limitation comes about in online play; while the Xbox version supported 16 players, you'll have to make do with ten less in PS2 games, and with a total lack of co-operative online modes.
  6. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Though flawed, Rainbow Six 3 is simply the finest simulation of Close-Quarters-Battle (CQB) on PS2. [May 2004, p.94]
  7. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Squad-based shooter with a realistic edge and online missions. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  8. And while the genre may feel comparable to games like "SOCOM" and "Ghost Recon," this is truly a unique gameplay experience, both on and offline and the voice-command system is second to none.
  9. If I were to decide between Rainbow Six 3 and "SOCOM II," I would choose the latter simply because the online play is so much more solid and the lag time from the mic isn’t quite as bad as it is in Rainbow Six 3.
  10. RS3 has decent AI and plenty of scenarios, gear and gunfire. Definitely a great buy if you are a PS2 owner exclusively, and an avid FPS fan.
  11. 75
    I enjoyed the experience of both single- and multiplayer. From a feature standpoint, this version is missing a lot of the selling points of the Xbox and PC versions (smaller levels, less players available online, etc.), but if you haven't gotten immersed in those versions, ignorance is bliss.
  12. 72
    With the lack luster graphics, textures, lighting, and shadows being stripped from the port, the game suffers and doesn’t allow the full gaming experience of a Clancy title that we know in titles like "Ghost Recon Jungle Storm."
  13. If you’ve played the Xbox version and were waiting with bated breath for the port, you’re going to be very, very disappointed.
  14. 70
    If you're a Rainbow Six veteran, you'll be disappointed with the watered-down gameplay. But if this is your first time combating terrorists, you'll find that RS3 is adequate enough to appeal to your shooting instincts. [May 2004, p.63]
  15. But the big draw of the Xbox version is its online modes via Xbox LIVE, and this PS2 port doesn’t even approach getting close to its Xbox sibling.
  16. 70
    The two-player split-screen mode is OK, though not the equivalent to the same online option, and the loss of two online player spots (or eight, depending on your Xbox or PC connection), has quite a devastating effect.
  17. Yes, there are exclusives here (single and multi-player maps and offline multiplayer split-screen), but the shared maps are shorter - which can cut down the strategy of using your Zulu go codes. [Apr 2004, p.96]
  18. 70
    On the PS2, the game shows the limits of the system. For every impressive feature the developers were able to cram in the game, there is something else that holds the game back.
  19. It’s a solid game but the Xbox version is so much better that it makes the PlayStation 2 version feel pretty dated. Why are the levels shorter and less interactive? Why can’t you play co-operative game types online? Why is the game far less attractive visually? The answer to all these questions is simple: the PlayStation 2 has certain technical limitations.
  20. PSM Magazine
    If you don't own an Xbox, this is probably worth your while. If you do own one, get the Xbox version. [May 2004, p.30]
  21. This can still be an exciting and visceral game of realistic shooting action, and the online play is pretty well executed, if you can get past the loading times. However, if you have the means to play Rainbow Six 3 on one of the other platforms, then this version is best avoided.
  22. A relatively solid shooter with some great features that gamers won’t be able to find else where on the PS2. However, when compared directly to the other versions of the game, the PS2 versions stands out as a shoddy port and only a shell of what it could be.
  23. This game is simply sub-par to it's Xbox counterpart, and I would really like to hear from anyone who plays both games and disagrees with me.
  24. So while Ubisoft's dedication to bring its best-loved franchises to the PS2 should be good news, this time the developer hasn't got it quite right, and if you want some rooting-tooting tactical shooting on your PlayStation 2, we recommend you go for the latest iteration of Ubi's other uber-brand, "Ghost Recon," instead of this.
  25. But we can't deny reality, and when clearly superior versions of the same game exist, it's hard to recommend this one.
  26. You don't want to spend your hard-earned (or however you get it... don't ask, don't tell, right?) cash on a game that's just "good," do you?
  27. It is easy to see that the gap between Playstation 2 and Xbox is beginning to stretch. Rainbow Six 3 is a solid game, but in this shape and form a sense of disappointment is hard to avoid.
  28. Cheat Code Central
    Thanks to low-res graphics, simplified gameplay mechanics and a dumbed down AI, this offering is far less engaging than the Xbox version. For a tactical, squad-based shooter the nuances have been nullified to the point where this game just boils down to reflex twitch fest.
  29. It's not the Xbox version or even "SOCOM: Navy Seals," but this version of Rainbow Six 3 is decent, on its own merits.
  30. 60
    What you won't get is a lot that went with it before, like the hopelessly addictive online multiplayer options.
  31. Impressive graphics and sound effects add to the challenging gameplay to make this a fine addition to the Clancy stable, and one that is particularly suited to online gaming.
  32. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    If you have a PS2 and are interested in a solid, addictive squad shooter...get "SOCOM II." Oh, you say you really want to play "Rainbow Six 3"? Then buy an Xbox and play that version instead. [May 2004, p.94]
  33. It's a shame to see one of your favourite franchises shrivel up and dry out. Rainbow Six Three on the PS2 is in so many ways the dumbest version of the series yet.
  34. 50
    The PS2 version of Rainbow Six 3 lacks in nearly every department: graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, and weapons selection.

Awards & Rankings

#80 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#76 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Nov 12, 2011
    "Rainbox Six 3: is one of the best PS2 games I played and is out there. It's realistic, tense, and filled with kinetic energy. Not only that;"Rainbox Six 3: is one of the best PS2 games I played and is out there. It's realistic, tense, and filled with kinetic energy. Not only that; you can choose any weapon and allies to fight the enemy, which even makes the game better. A must buy!!! Full Review »
  2. Jul 19, 2011
    Tactical solid, only with failure and frustration. While some stuff works fine and well made. The campaign gets challenging but not so fun.Tactical solid, only with failure and frustration. While some stuff works fine and well made. The campaign gets challenging but not so fun. The bland graphics seem to get more old. Such a nice solid, strong positive ideas are here, only that show themselves very slow. Full Review »
  3. BryanH.
    Apr 26, 2005
    It's best game I ever had play on Rainbow Six 3. I am looking forward to play a new Rainbow Six 3: Lockdown