Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 56
  2. Negative: 0 out of 56
  1. The game is non-stop action, with smooth, screen filling sprites, lots of color, expressive and often very funny animation and lots of challenge.
  2. Yes, it is short and not very complicated, but MS3 will present a difficult little game that will make you want to come back for more.
  3. No other frustrating game has given me so much enjoyment. In terms of frustration without being cheap, Metal Slug 3's closest competitor is an ancient PSone game called Einhander.
  4. 85
    A fantastic game -- it's easy to pick up and play, has great character and depth, and is even better with a friend.
  5. This game will work you over and then some, and even when you finally do finish, you'll keep it just to go back and play some more to see if you've still got what it takes.
  6. 84
    It's a great way to let off some steam while revelling in the power of pure, unbridled gameplay.
  7. Game humor aside, this is one tough game...If you can accept this "old-school" gameplay for what it is and not ask for more, then you will enjoy yourself.
  8. An old-school dream. It's this type of title that makes playing games an addictive and sweat-inducing experience. Only the hardcore and mentally tough gamers need apply.
  9. There's also this undeniable feeling of satisfaction that overcomes you when you wade through a hail of bullets to obliterate enemies, and that in itself just might be what Metal Slug 3 is all about: providing brief flashes of old school gaming nirvana that's hard to find anywhere else nowadays.
  10. One of the finest, purest, and most hardcore 2D shooter on any system to date. [July 2004, p.88]
  11. 80
    Played as it should be, with minimum lives and maximum difficulty, Metal Slug can provide jaded gamers with a sublime and simple gaming experience. Unapologetically tough, Metal Slug will remind players of a time when all games set this frustrating a challenge.
  12. It's ironic, then, that one of the most striking things you will find on Xbox today is stellar throwback to the halcyon days of 2D gaming. [July 2004, p.87]
  13. Gamestyle recommends this game to anyone seeking a violent, explosive extravaganza of gaming mayhem. Don't expect it to last forever, though.
  14. There is just something incredibly satisfying about a great 2D shooter. Metal Slug 3 may be a few years old and minus a dimension, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best action games currently on the Xbox.
  15. Talk about your pick-up-and-play games, Metal Slug 3 is the best. The left stick to move, one button to shoot, one button to jump/leap in and out of vehicles, and a button to chuck explosives.
  16. Even on the easiest setting, Metal Slug 3 is merciless in its attempts to crush your body and spirit. Not everybody will respond with "Thank you, sir! May I have another?", but I sure did. And yes, I may. [July 2004, p.119]
  17. It's tough in the way classic arcade games make you dump good quarter after bad - pitching you against waves of enemies, offering loads of alternate paths, and serving up some seriously demented import-centric humor. [July 2004, p.78]
  18. Greater diversity is always a good thing, and if there are more quality gems like this on the way, then I'll be quite happy holding a Controller S for some time to come.
  19. This game is simply fun to play and will make you remember the good old days of "Contra" (if any of you remember those).
  20. Metal Slug 3 is just plain fun. It's freaking tough, but fun nevertheless.
  21. Gaming used to be so simple like this. You started the game, and you had a good time just tearing into everything. No FPS controls to worry about, no complex puzzles or things like that. Just good clean fun. That's what you get with Metal Slug 3.
  22. Apart from Metal Slug 3's extreme difficulty and short storyline, I found everything was well-placed together.
  23. As lighthearted as this title is, it will mercilessly test everything you have as a gamer, and it will rest in your library quite a while before you beat it on your own and test out the extras.
  24. If you're a SNK NeoGeo fan, go purchase this right now since you'll enjoy the visual fidelity and bragging rights that come with Xbox Live.
  25. Holds up well, even after all these years. Plus, it's a hell of a lot cheaper to buy for Xbox than for Neo*Geo.
  26. 80
    It's not for people who want a graphical showcase and to be at the forefront of gaming technology. It's for those who want to be completely absorbed in the experience of a masterfully crafted game environment.
  27. 80
    The game is all about firepower. Rescuing tied-up hostages will get you power-up weapons like flamethrowers, heavy machine guns and a ground-hugging Iron Lizard missile.
  28. 80
    The Xbox version of MS3 is a brilliant translation of its arcade parent that, in some ways, surpasses the source material. [Aug 2004, p.66]
  29. But for those that love simple, arcade shooters that blister thumbs and leave permanent marks in your D-pad, this is the pinnacle of the genre. It's great, quick fun that can be played for five minutes just as easily as five hours, and the animation contains huge amusement value.
  30. Metal Slug 3 is hard. It's a bit outdated in comparison to the newest chapters. And it doesn't really look like a next-generation Xbox title. However, we can't help but recommend it because it just kicks so much ass.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. J.M.
    Jun 14, 2005
    Why do such good games go way overlooked? so what if the game is too hard, so what if it's too short (except for mission 5 which is Why do such good games go way overlooked? so what if the game is too hard, so what if it's too short (except for mission 5 which is impossibly hard I have to admit), it is still the same great Metal Slug game we all know and love, and that should be enough, and look at it this way, the XBOX can handle this better than PS2 (which sucks, so wait for PS3 which is much better). Top notch game that brings the arcade to you ( I know, that sounds lame and from the years of Atari). Full Review »
  2. Uter
    Jun 12, 2004
    It's a bit pricey considering it's an old port without many extras. But if you weren't to take that into consideration, really It's a bit pricey considering it's an old port without many extras. But if you weren't to take that into consideration, really this is a top tier xbox game definately worth owning. It could pass as a contra sequel for those unfamiliar with the series. Full Review »
  3. IliyunH.
    May 30, 2004
    Solid Game. Easily the top 5 best action 2D game. Fluid animation, sweet sound FX, and challenging ! I'm one happy gamer.