Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. Mar 22, 2019
    It’s hard to find much fault with Spirit of Justice. Dramatically improving upon its predecessors’ storytelling and varying the familiar gameplay elements, this game gives the trilogy – and series, for now – a more-than-polished conclusion that engages the brain as well as the heart.
  2. Oct 9, 2016
    It might, for better or worse, feel like Apollo Justice 2 to some, but the way the story unfolds over the five cases is magnificent and leaves players - new and old, alike - hungry for much more.
  3. Sep 9, 2016
    With improved visuals, new mechanics, and a more intuitive design- Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice already has a lot going for it. Factor in a story filled with intrigue that’s as exciting to watch unfold as the best of what the series has to offer thus far and you’re left with an exceptional visual novel and a return to form for the series as a whole.
  4. Sep 8, 2016
    The new settings, intriguing characters and a fresh take on familiar faces all combine to make an extremely memorable adventure, especially when you consider the amount of plot turns and twists you go through.
  5. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice expands further the Ace Attorney world, with new mechanics, a better investigation system and a lot of old acquaintances that most of the fans missed in the last games.
  6. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice’s new setting and characters really are enough to make the game feel fresh, even if most of the gameplay is what we’ve seen before.
  7. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright's latest adventure is every bit as brilliant as his earlier escapades, with phenomenal writing, satisfying gameplay, and tons of irresistibly clever courtroom drama.
  8. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice is yet another fantastic game in the Ace Attorney series. The gameplay is better than ever, and the stakes have never been higher, all of which only helps to make one of the best stories in gaming even better. Play this game — you won’t regret it.
  9. Sep 8, 2016
    While Ace Attorney has had its ups and downs since the original trilogy came to a close, Spirit of Justice amounts to the fresh start Phoenix Wright needed to break away from his past. A great setting, fantastic mysteries, memorable characters, and a consistent, thoughtful theme make this a must-play for anyone interested in Ace Attorney's anime-infused take on Law & Order.
  10. 90
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice manages to reinvigorate a series in its sixth main entry by introducing several smart new features while also bringing back mechanics that had been cast aside.
  11. Sep 8, 2016
    Capcom could just keep making these with different time periods in new regions and I'd keep playing them. As long as it employs a good writing crew and delivers satisfying scenarios, I'm in. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, you made this aspiring lawyer's day.
  12. Games Master UK
    Nov 9, 2016
    Can't topple the original trilogy, but as a straight-up mystery game, Ace Attorney has never been better. [Nov 2016, p.66]
  13. Sep 26, 2016
    Spirit of Justice has every quality and every flaw of the Ace Attorney series. On the western edge of far East you'll find a great story, amazing characters and that sense of humor we all learned to love. But you'll also find a linear game with very few changes. A solid visual novel overall.
  14. Sep 15, 2016
    The new episode of this peculiar series continues on the winning path undertaken with Dual Destinies. The undoubted charisma of the characters helps to support a strong and well-written script, and the process that accompanies the resolution of cases in consistency with very few holes in logical steps.
  15. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice has an even balance of good writing, new gameplay design and fantastic presentation. Bringing back familiar faces to push the story and containing a healthy dose of difficulty, which is what most fans of the series adore, only helps its overall case. Definitely a worthy addition to the Phoenix Wright family.
  16. Nintendo Force Magazine
    Nov 7, 2016
    Spirit of Justice recaptures the true spirit of the Ace Attorney series to deliver a story both triumphant and heart-wrenching.  [Issue #24 – November/December 2016, p.18S]
  17. Oct 11, 2016
    Despite being a game whose potential makes it frustrating considering how little is actually accomplished, Spirit of Justice still is the best among the most recent games in the series.
  18. Oct 4, 2016
    Spirit of Justice doesn't take risks and presents us with a very familiar gameplay, but maintains the quality of Dual Destinies and delivers fascinating new cases and characters.
  19. Sep 19, 2016
    It lacks novelty, but in the end nobody will care: the sixth episode in the Ace Attorney series is just as good as the others, and moreover shows an improved care for style and direction. It is incredible how this team always manages to write stories of amazing quality and to convey them in an excellent way. Another adorable gem in the visual novel genre.
  20. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice is a new entry for the Ace Attorney series, one that lacks any innovations but that offers more of that fabulous formula that has distinguished the franchise. Although there are no surprises in its gameplay, what the title gives you is another chapter where you can find the fun of being a lawyer.
  21. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice is a satisfying and appropriately crazy end to the second trilogy of Ace Attorney games. It retains a few of the persistent annoyances I have with the series, but the story is just as insane as ever and the cases are tough, lengthy and fittingly absurd turnabouts.
  22. Sep 8, 2016
    Khura’in is a compelling setting, and Spirit of Justice does a good job of building a world rich with history and lore. Learning about the culture and what led to its corrupt legal system is both fascinating and riveting. While Spirit of Justice brings little novelty to the series and relies on a familiar gameplay system, it nonetheless offers a story full of intrigue and puzzles that are satisfying to solve.
  23. Sep 8, 2016
    The Wright Anything Agency is back in action, and this time, it’s an entire country that needs help. With some fresh spins on the investigation formula, abominable name puns, and an increasingly convoluted series of wacky murders, Spirit of Justice is a strong entry in the Ace Attorney series—though perhaps not the best game for a first-time sleuth.
  24. Sep 8, 2016
    A variety of fresh mechanics, some excellent music and writing, and a generally entertaining cast of characters and scenarios help remind us why we fell in love with this bizarre little series back in 2005.
  25. Oct 4, 2016
    Yet another worthy Ace Attorney successor. It’s ultimately not the series at its highest peak, but it’s hardly the nadir, and that it continues to feel this fresh in light of its flaws already has me hungry for the next turnabout. No objections here, Your Honor.
  26. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice shows everyone once again why the graphic novel genre is underrated. The narrative's quality and the twists and turns during the court sessions are immersive and put genuine pressure on the 3DS users. The new mechanics and defeating prosecutors while demonstrating why justice prevails are some of the arguments that still put Phoenix Wright among the best Capcom franchises in existence.
  27. Feb 14, 2017
    Another addition to the series of legal detective stories. Very solid game with the established pattern boosted by several pleasant news.
  28. CD-Action
    Jan 13, 2017
    Spirit of Justice does little to refresh the series but it neatly rounds up ideas from previous Phoenix Wright games. [01/2017, p.74]
  29. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Jan 12, 2017
    Another add-on to the series of juristic detective stories. Solid game uses the established patterns and adds some nice new features. [Issue #270]
  30. Oct 17, 2016
    Another great entry for the lawyer, building on past titles and upping its arsenal of mechanics to keep players hooked.
  31. Oct 12, 2016
    It can be too predictable at some points and its longer lifespan feels unnecessary at some moments but the overall result is still on par with the high standards that the series has left its players used to.
  32. Oct 11, 2016
    This episode won't disappoint fans. Even if there's only one new element added to the mechanics, the formula is still efficient, thanks to great writing and characters, and some solid visuals and audio.
  33. Sep 26, 2016
    Spirit of Justice is a must-play for fans of Phoenix Wright’s continuing adventures. Though some minor mechanical quibbles remain, this is, by far, the most intuitive and visually engaging entry in the series. The amount of innovation and genuine humor found throughout paint a rosy picture for the future of the franchise and make Spirit of Justice the freshest courtroom since the first.
  34. Sep 22, 2016
    Spirit of Justice does everything you’d expect from a sequel, and whilst some issues from the past linger you’ll be too engrossed to be bothered. A great instalment for series fans and newcomers alike.
  35. Sep 19, 2016
    Another brilliant episode of Phoenix Wright, another title that fans shouldn't miss: not much has really changed since Dual Destinies, but the gameplay and the riddles to solve are still entertaining. Let's hope the next episode will shake the formula a little bit more, maintaining this level of quality.
  36. Sep 16, 2016
    One of the best entries in the Phoenix Wright saga. The new gameplay mechanics such as the Divination Séance are really nice.
  37. Sep 15, 2016
    A rock-solid new addition to the series, with the usual funny cast of characters, entertaining gameplay and some minor script issues.
  38. Sep 14, 2016
    Kudos to Capcom. In the umpteenth iteration of the quirky attorney I wouldn’t have expected such a progress on almost every level. Humorous, challenging, entertaining.
  39. Sep 13, 2016
    This isn’t the pinnacle of the Ace Attorney series like fans wanted, but it’s a perfectly enjoyable entry nonetheless.
  40. Sep 12, 2016
    The latest episode in gaming’s most endearing soap opera has some minor script problems, but it’s still a joy to catch up with old friends and new enemies.
  41. Sep 9, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice is sure to please fans with its engaging story and sharp humor, but the gameplay formula is starting to show its age.
  42. Sep 8, 2016
    The first game in a long time that I just could not put down. No matter how tired I was, I was determined to get through just the next witness testimony before bed.
  43. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit Of Justice gets the balance between ridiculous and serious spot on and is the best game in the series for some time.
  44. Sep 8, 2016
    A solid addition to the franchise. At times, it feels like it's more of the same and just spinning its wheels, but even at that point, it's charming and fun to play. The cases are strong, the characters are funny, and the visuals are delightful. It doesn't reinvent the wheel or drastically change up the series, but it doesn't need to. The title provides enough satisfying payoff for long-term subplots that it carries itself through the weaker moments.
  45. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice has some flaws in its testimony, but it’s ultimately a winning entry in the prolific series, and a welcome return to form. No objections here.
  46. 80
    Spirit of Justice is the follow-up to Dual Destinies in every single sense. It’s ostensibly that game but with a new, better story, a new gimmicky mechanic, and some fan service to boot. The game is finally starting to show its age fifteen years and ten games later, but the fact that it has taken this long is nothing short of a miracle. And make no mistake: a solid Phoenix Wright game with a strong story is still a game that demands one’s attention.
  47. 80
    Like with the rest of this continually growing franchise, this game likely isn’t going to change anybody’s mind that didn’t like past entries, but there is no question that fans of the series will absolutely adore Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.
  48. Sep 8, 2016
    Where other franchises are demonised for failing to constantly evolve, Ace Attorney is one that benefits from remaining untouched, propped up by lovable characters and some superb writing.
  49. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice strikes right to the core of what makes Ace Attorney games great: bold, dramatic narrative, a ridiculous sense of humour, and outstanding writing. The first truly superb AA game in years.
  50. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice takes the Ace Attorney series to new heights by treading old ground. The breadth of tools available to crack cases and the wealth of character drama keep you entangled--it's genuinely difficult to put down the 3DS in the middle of case, what with such colorful witnesses and piles of complex lies to sift through. This is courtroom drama--and the series--at its finest and most fun.
  51. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice is probably the most effective game in the whole series. It provides an engaging story that answers most of the questions from Trials and Tribulations. Despite its flaws, a remarkable purchase.
  52. Sep 7, 2016
    The atmosphere, music and overall writing of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice are spot on. While there are a lot of callbacks to previous games, it never feels like they are there just for nostalgic purposes, yet the experience seems reminiscent of the original trilogy in the best of ways. The game is not recommended to those who have never played the Ace Attorney series.
  53. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Oct 21, 2016
    Despite change of scenery, at its core Spirit of Justice is the same as its predecessors. Phoenix Wright has to gather evidence, find contradictions and shout “Objection!” at every opportunity – only to watch case grow more and more complicated as each additional fact is brought to light. [Issue#213, p.60]
  54. Sep 19, 2016
    Spirit of Justice is exactly what you're expecting. The merits and the flaws the series is usual to embody are massively present, so you know what you're going to buy.
  55. Sep 8, 2016
    If you've enjoyed Ace Attorney's adventures before, this is yet another good episode, even though we've felt it's not as well planned as others and the experience has too many ups and downs.
  56. Oct 5, 2016
    Phoenix Wright might not offer a lot of innovations, the funny story lines filled with odd characters make up for it. It might not be as surprising, but it definitely has personality.
  57. Sep 9, 2016
    The frustration that comes with fumbling with redundant evidence and testimony when you know the solution is very real, and it often works against the feeling of satisfaction that solving a case should deliver. But muddling through the occasional poorly designed riddle to experience all that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice executes on well is worth it in the end. It gets the important things right, even if the occasional clipboard or contract still slips through the cracks.
  58. Sep 8, 2016
    Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice has some bumps along the road, but there's a twisting and thrilling story worth the occasional struggle.
  59. Nov 14, 2016
    There’s a wonderful nugget of a game in Spirit Of Justice. The writing, as always, is gripping and clever – even if the puns aren’t – and the series hasn’t looked this special since the intricate sprite art animations of the first three games. It’s a shame that it’s wrapped up in what feels like nervousness – the worry that a visual novel can’t compete with the big boys.
  60. 70
    I hope the next Ace Attorney game has more structure in its overarching narrative and the developers actually have the cases flow naturally from one to the next. Even with its flaws, Spirit of Justice is good fun, through, and another quality example of a narrative from the ever-growing stable of visual novels we are now getting translated into English.
  61. Sep 23, 2016
    Considering just the gameplay alone, it’s incredibly fulfilling – and at times, quite tricky.
  62. Sep 21, 2016
    Spirit of Justice is yet another enjoyable entry in a cherished franchise, which doubles-down on the delightfully zany aspects of the series to great effect. The back-and-forth courtroom disputes suffer from a weak presence on the opposing bench and several decade-old mechanical flaws, but none of its sins are egregious enough to quash the divine character work and enchanting anime style. An imperfect, but nonetheless victorious, return for Capcom's distinguished defence attorney.
  63. Sep 8, 2016
    Fans know exactly what they're getting from Phoenix Wright, and Spirit of Justice doesn't disappoint.
  64. Sep 8, 2016
    Spirit of Justice, the sixth game in the Ace Attorney series, is really starting to show some franchise fatigue. The puzzles and the technical systems behind it have improved, but the writing has begun to suffer.
  65. Sep 8, 2016
    There’s enough snappy dialogue and silliness in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice to satisfy long-term series fans, and the conventional courtroom sequences still feel rewarding when you get on a roll and a witness starts to unravel. But the heavy-handed mysticism of its bloated middle act and the general lack of innovation makes for a less than essential entry in the Phoenix Wright saga on the whole.
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  1. Oct 19, 2016
    There’s just something about these games—the logical threads, the ridiculous courtroom antics, the outlandish plot twists—that makes me really happy. Spirit of Justice is no exception. I hope Capcom never stops making these things.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 134
  1. Sep 14, 2016
    I finished the game today, beating all the cases but the DLC one, and I have to say... This game is absolutely amazing. I see people complainI finished the game today, beating all the cases but the DLC one, and I have to say... This game is absolutely amazing. I see people complain that it doesn't innovate much, that it is almost the same old formula as the first Ace Attorney, but, honestly, is that a bad thing? Because I think it isn't! I just want more of the same with different stories and a few innovative additions, that's it! If something works, why does it have to change?

    About the game, it just never disappoints. The first case is cool, as it is a very deep case for being the first. It introduces the amazing mechanic of the Divination Séances, in which you witness the victim's final memories, and the Defense Culpability Act, which creates a lot of tension because it means that if your client is declared guilty, so is the one that defends it and he will receive the same penalty. The guitar witness was a bit annoying in this case, though, because he spoke extremely slowly sometimes.

    The second case is fantastic, with a very entertaining investigation part due to the troubles Apollo and Athena face during it. The trial and the way the victim died are also excellent, a very original plot, with a lot of magic!

    And in the third case we at last get to see Mystic Maya! The reunion between her and Phoenix was a great moment. And the plot of the case is once again very very good, extremely mystic and very well set in the Kingdom of Khura-in.

    The fourth case is in my opinion the worst case in this game. It's a bit odd and unrelated to the rest of the game. That doesn't mean it's boring, though, I liked it, Athena deserved her moment of glory, and the appearance of Simon Blackquill is good. Besides, the witness Uendo Toneido is extremely hilarious. It still feels too apart from the rest of the game, though.

    And well, the fifth case is absolutely amazing. I don't want to give spoilers, just tell you that the first trial day is unforgettable due to the circumstances that surround it. And well I was very surprised to have it focused on Apollo. I actually think that Apollo was a quite dull character in his own game, with almost no charisma, but Dual Destinies and mostly the last case of this game take us to know him a lot better and like him a lot more.

    I want to highlight just 2 more things, the first one is the development of the character of Rayfa. She becomes a very profound character despite being very young, for me she is one of the greatest characters ever the saga has given us. And the second one is the characters' names. Khu-rainese people have so clever names! For example, your first client is named Ahlbi Ur'gaid, which comes from "I'll be your guide". Heck, even Minister Inga's full name, Inga Karkhuul Haw'kohd Dis'nahm Bi'ahni Lawga Ormo Pohmpus Da'nit Ar'edi Iz Khura'in III, has a meaning! (How could this name be any longer or more pompous than it already is?")

    All in all, this game is a must-play for fans of the series, in my opinion much better and memorable than Dual Destinies. Perhaps not the best game to get started in the saga, though, but well, it's perfectly playable and enjoyable even if you haven't played the others (c'mon, play them, they are not hard to get!)
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2016
    This game lives up to the hype, the cultural influence, the story, the entirety of the game is amazing, the game feels and looks like duelThis game lives up to the hype, the cultural influence, the story, the entirety of the game is amazing, the game feels and looks like duel destinies but really feels like i am playing the older games. The voice acting and soundtrack are on part. You can investigate almost anything and everything, and the comedy is there as well. definitely worth the 30$ Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2016
    Phoenix Wright is back! The series has definitely made a step in the right direction. Great music, animation and humor. Rest assured,Phoenix Wright is back! The series has definitely made a step in the right direction. Great music, animation and humor. Rest assured, you'll get your money's worth Full Review »