Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 30
  2. Negative: 2 out of 30
Buy On
  1. Cheat Code Central
    Playing this game is like walking into a real horror movie. It's well thought out and you never now exactly what is behind the next door.
  2. Play Magazine
    The best looking light gun game I have ever seen. This thing is astounding. [Nov 2002, p.94]
  3. There's more under the hood than a simple half hour of shooting. Sure, the game is short, but with all of the extras included, the shelf life of this game extends longer than many other releases on the market.
  4. It could be the best 50 (game only), 90 (game + 1 gun), or even 120 (game + 2 guns) dollars well spent, depending on your appetite.
  5. 81
    A good, straight-up, mindless shooter, HOTD III does something unique in that you don't really need a light gun to enjoy it...The game's biggest drawback is the length, which is too small even for a shooter.
  6. Running at a rate which manages to put "Time Crisis" to shame, HOTD3 is an accelerated, highly detailed, classic arcade shoot-íem-up which will keep you in a constant state of high alert verging on panic, right through to the final frame.
  7. A no-brainer for fans of the genre. Those new to light-gun games will enjoy it too. However, for the longtime gamer who's tried of the genre, The House of the Dead III won't offer anything new to hook them.
  8. 80
    More variety in the levels and mini-games would have made it an absolute must-have.
  9. The best-looking House of the Dead game to date. It’s cartoony, gory, and downright gorgeous. And there’s never a hint of slowdown.
  10. A good game. It just has no longevity and should just be a rent unless you are really hard up for a shooter.
  11. It really gives the sensation of an adrenaline rush as you play this game.
  12. Fantastic short-term shooting jollies with superb atmosphere, but the size of the thing makes it difficult to recommend. [GamesMaster]
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    There's a good and varied crop of creeps to slaughter, but, sadly, using the Xbox controller with its imprecise analog stick to blast said creeps is more chore than it is pleasure. [Dec 2002, p.250]
  14. New to this series is the ability to mow down multiple enemies at once, enhanced graphics, a variety of endings and new creatures.
  15. Xbox Nation Magazine
    Everything here blows up real well, and it's oddly beautiful to witness the rich pageant of the undead splattered in a magnificent hail of hot video lead. [Winter 2002, p.91]
  16. GMR Magazine
    A fun ride that ends far too early. [May 2004, p.94]
  17. Fans of the genre (who will definitely buy a gun) should get a couple hours of enjoyment.
  18. There's something truly cathartic about blasting hordes of zombies, and that just never gets old. Zombies may not get any respect, but they sure do make great gun fodder.
  19. 70
    Just like some of its zombies, this game lacks meat.
  20. Official Xbox Magazine
    A hard game to review simply because it's so very, very good in almost all the right places except for its length. [Dec 2002, p.105]
  21. GameNow
    The man with the lightgun is king, and the man without it is zombie chow. [Dec 2002, p.62]
  22. I wish it had gone for more stuff, particularly given the power of the Xbox (like how about highly destructive environments, instead of blasting the odd box?), and given that House of the Dead II is probably the better game. But hey, why complain when you get two games in one?
  23. Game Informer
    But after spending a mere 30 minutes to complete the adventure, you'll soon discover that there's too little sustenance to provide a satisfying portion of gameplay.[Nov 2002, p.138]
  24. If you're already worn out on the gameplay of other rail-based light-gun games, you'll find little to draw you back in House of the Dead III.
  25. The game does up the Zombie count to an immeasurable level, whilst the levels are extremely large and full of scenic touches.
  26. 60
    What brings this game down is its completion time. Most players will finish the game in half an hour.
  27. Great looking zombie-splattering will have the girls and other casual observers fighting for control of your lightgun, but real gamers will chew quickly through this light zombie snack.
  28. The entire game can be completed within 30 minutes, roughly translating into five minutes apiece for each of the game’s five chapters and prologue.
  29. 40
    If you can get graphics this good in real-time, why settle for a shooter-on-rails?
  30. It's the shortest game ever, and that's not acceptable for a full price release. And no matter how 'pumped' we feel after playing it, it's a minigame. It should be a tenner - not forty quid. [Rating at £10 = 80]

Awards & Rankings

#70 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2002
#18 Most Shared Xbox Game of 2002
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Jul 28, 2014
    If you like rail shooters, this one is a definite pick-up. Mow down zombies as fast as you can with your shotgun, and also a complete versionIf you like rail shooters, this one is a definite pick-up. Mow down zombies as fast as you can with your shotgun, and also a complete version of The House of The Dead 2 is included (which I'm sure must have hurt The House of The Dead 2's sales after 2002). Really fun game I've played for many years. Excellent. Full Review »
  2. BryanS.
    Jul 14, 2006
    Intense game that keeps you wired long after you finish. HotD2 is also a great addition. Great game.
  3. DustinB.
    Jun 13, 2003
    Lots of blood good graphica. nice design./ good guns. looks like the best game ever.