Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 47
  2. Negative: 1 out of 47
  1. 100
    For gamers who've mocked their PS3-owning friends, it's time to suck up to them and hang out at their crib for this one. One taste of this, and it's going to feel like a long, long wait for the summertime release on Xbox 360.
  2. Fantastic animation, incredible art design and an intensely challenging fighting system ensure Virtua Fighter 5 is a game PS3 owners will be proud of for months to come.
  3. Virtua Fighter 5 kicks everyone's ass up and down the block. Sure some fighting series like "Soul Calibur" and "Tekken" distract you with all kinds of extra modes and, uh, bowling, but VF5 rises above the pack thanks to the sheer depth of its gameplay. [Mar 2007, p.84]
  4. I think Virtua Fighter 5 was the game that the AM2 development team was dreaming of when they created Virtua Fighter. [Mar 2007, p.48]
  5. 95
    It succeeds based on the merits of its infinitely replayable, highly finessed fighting engine. While "noobs" might be content to knit the same canned combos over and over, veterans will relish the ability to improvise, discover, and master new moves, combos, and strategies, day after day after day.
  6. While it may not offer the amount of extras that Tekken does, it does offer the most well thought out fighting mechanics a fighting game could have, and that's more important than having a bunch of mini-games.
  7. As an intelligent and masterful 3D beat 'em up experience, this is as pure as it gets. [JPN Import]
  8. If you enjoy really digging into a fighting system and mastering its intricacies you'll be astounded at the depth on display here. The lack of online play is a huge disappointment and it's definitely light on the modes, but Virtua Fighter 5 is still the gold standard that other fighting games will be trying to top for years to come.
  9. To complain that Virtua Fighter 5 isn't accessible enough would be like complaining that a black and white film isn't colourful enough, or that a vegetable dish isn't meaty enough. VF5 sets out to create the world's best beat 'em up for beat 'em up aficionados, and it succeeds.
  10. From the moment I picked up this game I can honestly say I was just floored by how amazing the gameplay really was.
  11. All talk of complexity aside, VF is still brilliant. The new characters are excellent, the fighting's just different enough to force long-time players to tweak their styles and the new moves are a definite improvement. [Apr 2007, p.80]
  12. Sure, the game is lacking online play, but when a game is as masterful as VF5 is, we can survive without it. [Apr 2007, p.68]
  13. While some fighters try to blow you away with the number of characters or some other new gimmick, VF5 brings a high caliber fighter with more substance than most other games in the genre.
  14. 90
    Despite AI-related complaints and the lack of an online mode, it’s with great ease that Virtua Fighter 5 can be declared the greatest 3D fighting game ever created. Its depth is unparalleled, and the diversity of its fighting styles overwhelming (in a good way).
  15. 90
    The lack of any online component is a heartbreaker, but one that can be overlooked if you truly enjoy the deep combat to be found within. The Quest Mode will keep you enthralled for hours on end, but not being able to put your custom fighter up against your buddies via memory card will hurt this game’s longevity.
  16. While the barebones gameplay options and lack of flash may make VF5 seem like a stripped title, that couldn't be further from the truth. While we don't get beautiful cinematics, dozens of characters or a bunch of gimmicky modes to keep us busy, we do get the solidest fighter we've had in a very long time, and what may be the best single player mode in any fighter to date.
  17. 90
    "Virtua Fighter 4" was easily the best in the series, and also one of the best hardcore fighting games ever released. While it doesn't represent as huge a step up as say, "VF4" did over "VF3," it can still claim the crown as the best Virtua Fighter to date. It's a rousing success on all fronts.
  18. Virtua Fighter 5 is a rock solid entry into the series, and a must-buy for your PS3. [Mar 2007, p.64]
  19. The closest Sega has come to creating the perfect Virtua Fighter sequel. Virtua Fighter 5’s fast-paced, in-your-face combat harkens back to the original.
  20. 88
    It offers one of the most intuitive and robust fighting systems ever assembled and the customization options and quest mode are great fun. Granted, its AI isn't very good, it has a couple of interface issues and the lack of online is a major negative, but the mechanics here are so amazing, that it doesn't hurt the overall package as much as it would in other games.
  21. It’s still quite tough on beginners, though, if you’re willing to give it a chance this is PS3’s first (time limited) exclusive third-party killer app.
  22. Virtua Fighter 5 is, quite simply, about the art of fighting. Not destructible environments, super power moves or jiggling breasts, but technique, speed and strategy. As such, this is a game you have to be willing to work at to enjoy, and certainly won’t enjoy if you don’t.
  23. A very good beat 'em up that nonetheless feels more like evolution than revolution. The lack of internet play is a definite minus. [Mar 2007]
  24. Virtua Fighter 5 is downright incredible. Its a near perfect port from the Arcades and features some of the most engrossing gameplay and visuals ever to grace a home console. [JPN Import]
  25. The lack of a difference from "VF4" and the absence of online play is a disappointment. Because of this and the sober approach to fighting it's hard to warm up to VF5, but that seems to be the price Sega pay for making this the purest fighting game around. [Mar 2007, p.72]
  26. Best scrapper ever? Perhaps, but VF5 is such an acquired taste. Great, but not one for all. [Mar 2007, p.64]
  27. All of the aspects of the game seem to have been developed with care, including the most important: graphics, music, and gameplay.
  28. Virtua Fighter 5 may not go down as the most charismatic fighting game around, but it gets it done in the gameplay department, which is what matters most anyway.
  29. Virtua Fighter 5 is a deep, beautiful fighter, but the depth of gameplay is undercut by a shallow offering of modes and a complete lack of online support. The Virtua faithful will likely swoon over the expanded roster and move sets, but the casual crowd may be disappointed with what is largely an incremental upgrade rather than a full-blown evolution of the franchise.
  30. 83
    Despite the obvious quality of the piece, it's something many of us simply can't get the most out of, and without a good deal of effort, it's something of a chore. It's time for the dreaded, "one for the fans." [Issue #150, p.60]
  31. The game features a very deep gameplay system that you and your friends will truly enjoy. The AI lacks intelligence here though, limiting the single player experience.
  32. Fighting enthusiasts will love the new characters and moves, along with the finely balanced Vs. play. Newbies to the series or genre, will appreciate the eye-pleasing high-def visuals at first and then most likely be sucked in by the deep gameplay and the enjoyable Quest Mode.
  33. Though the mode selection hasn't evolved much over that of Virtua Fighter 4, this fifth installment builds upon its predecessor's fighting system and is a better overall fighting game...A great fighting game that's specifically geared toward players who have experience with the series.
  34. Even in this compromised form, Virtua Fighter 5’s depth and beauty are unrivalled, and it can finally take its rightful place as the only game in town. [Apr 2007, p.76]
  35. As a fighting experience Virtua Fighter 5 is unsurpassed, where the series goes from this point is open to debate. It is crying out for some form of online functionality or a decently implemented career mode. However while that fighting system is still in place it will remain a worthwhile, challenging and prolonged experience.
  36. Online mode or not, Virtua Fighter 5 is still the pinnacle of 3D videogame fighting. The engine is flawless, demonstrating the difference each combat style can have on a bout, and allowing for a level of mastery absent in its competition. [Mar 2007, p.100]
  37. Virtua Fighter 5 is exceptional. It's just a shame that with a few extra modes (Sega, please get an online mode running for the 360 version!) this could have been a masterpiece of pure gaming gold.
  38. It's just a massive disappointment that this PS3 port is so bare bones.
  39. Even without PlayStation Network support, Virtua Fighter 5 deserves a place in every fighting fan's library. Not only does it provide hours of fun, but also the presentation finally gives PS3 owners something to "ooh" and "ahh" about.
  40. While I would love to give this a higher score, its lack of online play and dearth of innovation hurts its entertainment value. Fans will enjoy it, but there isn't much else here. [Mar 2007, p.100]
  41. Virtua Fighter 5's greatest strength is the depth of its incredible fighting. Unfortunately, the lack of online features and not-that-impressive graphics make this one only really worth it if you've already got a PS3 and love fighting games.
  42. It's just a shame that Sega chose to conform to the fighting game mold rather than breaking it with something totally extraordinary, because that's what it's going to take if we're ever going to see this genre back at the top of the video-game food chain.
  43. VF5 makes a faulty attempt at simulating the online experience with its Quest mode. You can roam through a virtual city of sorts making stops at arcades and competing against virtual players complete with virtual gamer tags and even minor virtual trash talk. It's a virtual waste of time.
  44. A gorgeous graphical update and two new characters are more than enough to satiate the appetites of ardent followers; however, there really isn’t much here that significantly sets this fifth installment apart from previous efforts. This, along with the glaring lack of online features, makes Virtua Fighter 5 limited in its appeal.
  45. Though it is more approachable than previous versions, Virtua Fighter 5 still takes a lot of work before it becomes fun, and sixty dollars aside, it may be too big an investment for most casual gamers.
  46. Looks nice but doesn't really bring anything new to the party to make it essential. [Mar 2007, p.57]
  47. It overwhelmingly asks the question: “Why fight?” It can’t be for the rewards, which are boring. It can’t be for the story, which is non-existent. And it really can’t be for pride, since without any online multiplayer, you are confined to fighting only people who probably have never played before and who might not enjoy coming over to your apartment solely to get their ass kicked.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 18
  2. Negative: 5 out of 18
  1. Apr 1, 2014
    This is one of my favorite fighting games of all time for many reasons. What makes it different from Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter is the realism in the game. In Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter they have fireballs and other projectiles that don't exist in real life. In Virtua Fighter, each fighter is known for their specific martial art (ie. Kickboxing, Judo). The arcade mode is fun and the final boss is pretty tough, even on normal. But what really makes this game stand out is the Quest Mode where you can create your own gamer profile and rise in rank to become a force to be reckoned with. They use the 'Dan' system in it which is correlated to Black Belt ranks in real martial arts and the opponents really do get hard the higher you go, not to mention if you put it on hard. In this mode you are also able to customize your character and win items, emblems, and other cool stuff that really allows you to give yourself your own unique identity in the game.

    What I would have liked to see in this game is the ability to create your own character but I know it did come out in 2007. I also bought it because I found it used for $4.99 in the bargain bin at my local video game store. And I had played Virtua Fighter 4 and Virtua Fighter 4 EVO a lot with my friends back in the day.

    My personal favorite characters are Lei-Fei, Kage Maru, and Jacky. Each character has it's own learning curve so you can be somewhat successful if you are a beginner by using the 'beginner' characters but even if you are an expert, the 'beginner' characters can be used effectively if you know their moves/combos.

    I recommend this title highly for Dad's who need a game to play with their middle school kid casually since there is no blood and gore and it can teach some sound martial arts techniques.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 28, 2012
    Well this is my favorite fighter ever. I learned Lau. I bought the stategy guide. I wouldn't be a fighting game fan if it weren't for this. The flow and the technicallity. Just play It. Just play It. Learn it. Full Review »