• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
  1. 85
    A great experience. The story's cool, the fighting's fun, and there's so much to do.
  2. Yakuza 3's compelling story, great atmosphere, and abundance of extracurricular activities make it the best game in the franchise so far.
  3. If you're expecting a Japanese take on GTA, guess again. If you want pure action, you'll be bored to tears by the lengthy cutscenes. If you're hoping for complex, RPG-like leveling mechanics, you'll be disappointed. Yakuza 3 is a quirky hodgepodge of various genres that rewards the patient japanophile looking to kick a little ass.
  4. Yakuza 3 does offer an involved, lengthy story for those with the patience to wade through the repetition and annoyances.
  5. What remains is a relentlessly enjoyable action-RPG, which offers a unique insight into Japanese culture despite its exaggerations. The Western version of Yakuza 3 might have suffered a few heartbreaking cuts, but it's still intriguing at every turn and shouldn't be missed.
  6. 90
    It's tons of fun to play whether you're working to actively advance the story or just spending a few hours goofing off and running errands for others.
  7. If you can get over the fact that there was quite a bit of content removed from the North American version of the game, you'll find that Yakuza 3 is a very high-quality title.
  8. There's so much optional content involved that you'll be able to keep yourself busy for a long time, and most of the mini-game like activities, like the approach to golf found here, are actually well implemented and fun.
  9. Its old-school design may turn some people off, but the more open-minded among you are in for one hell of a ride. Besides, any game that can make running an orphanage seem fun has got to be doing something very right.
  10. 91
    Let me reiterate: this is a fantastic game, with so much fun to throw your way you'd think you were playing wide receiver with Santa Claus as QB.
  11. Yakuza 3 is a good game, it depicts Japan as no one game has done before, but its mechanics and its visuals sometimes are too old school, like the game was a blast from the past. But its biggest flaw is the pace, the game starts a little bit slow and the continuous random combats in the city could be a little bit tedious.
  12. A smart crime caper with incredible variety and slick fighting mechanics. [May 2010, p.66]
  13. A big, exciting martial arts film wrapped up in one of the most brilliantly stupid and consistently entertaining game worlds you'll ever find. Graphically, it might be a bit last-gen, but we doubt you'll care when you can beat men to death with bikes.
  14. If its "only English" status is not a problem and you like Japanese culture, Yakuza 3 becomes a must-buy for a PlayStation 3 owner.
  15. Yakuza 3, in short, is worth every penny. It contains a compelling story, intense beat-em-up action and more fun than most games dream of providing.
  16. A functional, pared-down JRPG and a feisty but flawed translation of the side-scrolling beat 'em up into the third dimension. [Apr 2010, p.94]
  17. If you just mindlessly consume the thing, it's not entirely unpalatable. But when you pick it apart and consider the ingredients, it isn't hard to see it as a bit of a mess. [Apr 2010, p.116]
  18. Will Yakuza 3 prove the break out hit that Sega hopes it will be? Probably not – It will however remain a cult game adored by those who embrace its quirky but wholly undeniable charms.
  19. Yakuza 3 combines visual splendour with superb sound design to create an unparalleled atmosphere.
  20. A complete lack of innovation and old graphics make this game suitable just for who is looking for an atipic and subtly weird game. It's full of subquests and funny things to do, but gameplay sadly feels completely unpolished.
  21. While I hesitate to call Yakuza 3 a sandbox game, it certainly provides you with an open game where you can participate in a huge number of minigames and side quests. It also offers a fairly lengthy and intriguing main storyline.
  22. Yakuza 3 arrives in Europe with an unforgivable delay and few cuts. Plus, it inherits from the second chapter an old gen structure and repetitious fights. Just for fans.
  23. A quite entertaining beat 'em up in a sandbox environment. The cities are detailed and realistic. Too bad the missions are a bit samey. [Apr 2010]
  24. Whether shockingly real or fiercely dramatized, the experiences of Yakuza 3 are wholly Japanese, completely riveting, and absolutely worth the price of admission.
  25. Yakuza 3 is a great game witch represents in a perfect way the ambiguity of the modern Japan. The contradiction between the awesome story, the great selection of characters and the high production value, and the old style gameplay give to the game a nice touch, and a strong demeanor.
  26. If you liked Shenmue, you will love Yakuza 3.
  27. 80
    Yakuza 3 is a delicious serving of bone cracking action with a dash of RPG sensibilities to boot. Those looking for a good dose of brawling action to sink some hours into should look no further.
  28. 76
    Yakuza 3 has become a decent game. The graphics are a bit outdated and the movements of the characters don't always feel natural. The story on the other hand is truly amazing en there is plenty to explore in virtual Japan.
  29. Once again Sega delivers a fascinating adventure. The action is over the top, the story very well written and Tokyo offers an infinite amount of adventure. Sometimes you notice the game is a bit old, but it doesn't change the overall experience.
  30. As rough and ready as the previous games but a fascinating tour of Japan's seedy criminal underbelly.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 129 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
  1. JohnS
    Mar 16, 2010
    Thoroughly enjoying my time playing this game. Having never played the previous two Yakuza titles, It was the PSN demo that persuaded me to Thoroughly enjoying my time playing this game. Having never played the previous two Yakuza titles, It was the PSN demo that persuaded me to give Yakuza 3 a chance. I'm really glad I did because it has been surprisingly addictive. This game has great atmosphere and is very cinematic. I love the combat, the storyline, the weird and wonderful characters, the cut scenes, sub quests and mini games. Superb value for money. Full Review »
  2. jayn
    Apr 13, 2010
    For someone who loves Japanese culture and wants to experience living there, this game is definitely a must have. Of course there are lots of For someone who loves Japanese culture and wants to experience living there, this game is definitely a must have. Of course there are lots of absurd and unrealistic situations but it's all fun. Gameplay is similar to previous titles but loading is faster in the PS3 so the game is more enjoyable. Fight mechanics are good, mini-games great. People like to compare this with GTA because of the free roaming atmosphere but this game is more like Shenmue (also from SEGA). Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2011
    Who would've thought being a message boy could be so fun? I didn't expect much from this game, but I have to say it held his own pretty well.Who would've thought being a message boy could be so fun? I didn't expect much from this game, but I have to say it held his own pretty well. The combat is intense and visceral, it may be clunky at first, but once you aquire more skills and moves it gets the depth you were waiting for. Never since the day of the final fight/double dragon era has a beat em up game given me such fun. The game starts incredibly slow, and in the first hours you just ache for something interesting to happen, story feels boring and cheesy, combat is lacking, and you can only wonder why do such banal sidemissions exist? (teaching a dog tricks? making banana juice? do shopping?). But before you know it, yakuza gets it's claws on you, you develop an addiction to finish sidequests, just for the sake of seing what will happen next; characters become charming and likable; story becomes interesting (although it remains cheesy); and the combat becomes the most rewarding skull bashing parade I've seen in years (with some minor annoyances). It has many rough edges, and many will hate it, but I can almost say that if you can get past the first few hours you won't be able to leave it before finishing it. Full Review »