Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 80
    The battle system helps make the rest of the game come even closer to Final Fantasy X, and this time, that's a compliment. The result is a game that's faster and a little more fun to watch.
  2. This is a phenomenal achievement on virtually every level.
  3. An excellent storyline that challenges players to understand the philosophy of life, existence, and religion, backed with solid, if a little too easy, gameplay.
  4. The long awaited conclusion to a lengthy saga; stellar graphics; awesome battles; fantastic voice acting in cut scenes.
  5. If you hated XenoSaga before – the long story segments, the sparse gameplay in the first 10 hours or so – then XenoSaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra, won't necessarily convert you, but for most who at least liked it, or loved it, Episode III is a great payoff for sticking with the series for all three installments!
  6. Xenosaga's long, strange trip comes to an early yet oddly satisfying end with this climactic finale. [Oct. 2006, p.112]
  7. Xenosaga’s third episode is an outstanding game; it's one of the best games to surface of late amid a sub par crop of PlayStation 2 role-playing games, though it’s bittersweet to see the series come to an end prematurely after the second episode feel so far below expectations.
  8. This is a saga that has clearly been tugged and squeezed, compromised and spoiled by many, many cooks.
  9. 60
    Besides the fine graphics and well-balanced combat, Episode III does a lot of little things right, details in the interface like pop-up balloons for conversations (to make chatting in towns easier) and a thoroughly hyperlinked shop menu for quick and simple equipment updates.
  10. Episode III, while flawed, does provide a nice conclusion to the story, and provides enough decent gameplay to make the overall experience rewarding.
  11. Xenosaga Episode III has many more successes than failures. But taken in context with the trilogy as a whole, Episode III is the worthy conclusion to an epic that I hadn't dared hope it could be. [Sept. 2006, p.90]
  12. The bridge between familiarity and innovation is thin and slippery, and Xenosaga Episode III sits precariously in the middle, demanding a fee.
  13. While these days many RPGs are attempting to change the old-school formula and divorce themselves from traditional RPG lineage, XS EP3 stays true to the formula but through fantastic dungeons, two great and very different battle systems, and a fast-paced 30 hour adventure that’s lacking in filler (so you basically get the same story that’d be in a 60-70 hour normal RPG with random filler plots), it creates a game that’s every bit as fresh as the best non-traditional RPGs. [JPN Import]
  14. An extremely polished role-playing game, it doesn't necessarily do anything new for the genre, but what it does is handled well.
  15. Easily the best title in the series and it’s most likely the result of having to cram content in to the final episode.
  16. 80
    A deep and engaging title that makes a worthy capstone to the epic series. Like Return of the Jedi, it brings the trilogy to a satisfying close; here's hoping that they don't mess it up by releasing a bunch of prequels.
  17. It’s a hard, fun, and fulfilling finale to one of the better RPG epics out there. It may not have the workings of a classic like Xenogears on the PlayStation, but it legitimately tries to offer that same blend of religion, psychology, and mythological stories that make the gamer ask questions instead of just sit there like a vegetable taking it in.
  18. Xenosaga Episode III manages to wrap things up in dramatic and mostly satisfying fashion for the memorable main cast and the universe that they inhabit, while simultaneously leaving the door open for a continuation.
  19. 70
    It does manage to be a solid RPG, but to get there, you have to grind through some monotonous stuff that really detracts from the game.
  20. Ambition may have outstripped ability, but there's no doubt that fans of the series will find much to love about this entry, flawed as any of the rest of them. That's the best we could have hoped for.
  21. If you have played a part in the Xenosaga series then you’ve already made your decision on Episode III, and it will meet your expectations if you’ve been eagerly anticipating it. But if you’re on the sidelines, it’s a game you’ll have to put serious effort towards understanding and completely enjoying.
  22. It's sad that Xenosaga Episode III is as good as it is – had they made a game as polished, accessible, and fun as this one the first time around instead of getting all complicated on us, the series might have somehow been able to make it to six games.
  23. Considering that Namco Bandai Games and Monolith Soft originally intended Xenosaga to be a six-part story, this third and final episode manages to efficiently cap the vast majority of unanswered questions and plotlines from the first and second games.
  24. 80
    Sure it may not have the greatest battle system or be the most technically brilliant, but at the end of the day it manages to keep you glued to your seat with complicated theme and mature subject matter -- that's no easy feat.
  25. For all other RPG fans looking for something turn-based to play, checking out the series is something worth doing, but playing the first two games is a must before considering getting into this one.
  26. 79
    It's hard to say why Episode III is an improvement over Episode II; it's kind of like trying to explain why a roast beef sandwich is better than a sucker-punch to the crotch.
  27. Unrepentantly intelligent, epic, and approachable, this is one of the best RPGs available today and the Rubedo of the Xenosaga series. [Oct. 2006, p.82]
  28. The town and dungeon environments are among the most beautiful ever to grace the PS2. [Sept 2006, p.58]
  29. The beautiful, fun RPG that we always wanted to see from the series, and it brings the epic storyline to its dramatic conclusion. [Oct 2006, p.78]
  30. 89
    Where this game really shines, though, is in the fun gameplay and excellent music and voice acting.
  31. The last scenes are quite interesting, sometimes very moving and reasonably informative, but they also highlight problems inherent in Xenosaga’s narrative approach.
  32. The classic comedic saying that you should always leave 'em wanting more has never rung more true in an RPG. After more than a few missteps, Xenosaga recovers beautifully, and the result is one of the must-have RPGs for the PlayStation 2, without a doubt.
  33. They fixed what was broken, and that should be enough.
  34. Series fans -- and while it's a fine game, it's unlikely to appeal much to anyone else -- will lap it up, happy that such a well-loved saga is coming to a satisfying conclusion. What more could you ask?
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 14
  2. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. JackieS.
    Oct 4, 2006
    Love at first sight. This game is great and the story line is awsome! The characters new looks are great and the battle system was perfect. Love at first sight. This game is great and the story line is awsome! The characters new looks are great and the battle system was perfect. Best game ever! Full Review »
  2. Mar 4, 2013
    This series was one of the few games that I've ever actually felt was damn near a "2nd job". Slogging through the 3 games was something that IThis series was one of the few games that I've ever actually felt was damn near a "2nd job". Slogging through the 3 games was something that I never knew I was going to end up doing when I played the first one. Constantly mired in endless cutscenes and cinematics, it almost felt like I was more of playing a mini-game during a very preachy, self-absorbed story line. The constant references to philosophy and such doesn't make a game "smart", it makes it pretentious at best. This all combined with a nerfy combat system just didn't do it for me. Yes, Kos-Mos is an awesome character, but even her attacks left me wanting more. Full Review »
  3. Jan 20, 2012
    The most emotionally captivating game I've ever played - never cried before in a video game, not even close. But thisThe most emotionally captivating game I've ever played - never cried before in a video game, not even close. But this game........yeah............glad I was alone. hahaha. Just an overall fun game and it tied up all loose ends well. Man, was sad when this was over - Xenosaga is such a great story ride. Full Review »