• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Sep 8, 1999

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
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  1. CheckOut
    I guarantee you'll be amazed at how phenomenal this game looks, and you won't be able to put it down.
  2. CNET Gamecenter
    It blows away every 3D fighting game I've ever played (even "Virtua Fighter 3," and by a much bigger margin than I expected!), so go buy it when you get your Dreamcast, or feel like a total fool when it's sold out the next day.
  3. 100
    This is - or was - bleeding edge technology; the 'Sole Calibre' of Dreamcast's Distinction, and it shall remain so... until Namco's elite inevitably trump themselves.
  4. Antagonist
    The great gameplay, large variety of options, and the absolutely astounding visuals combine to make this game near perfect.
  5. Da Gameboyz
    A technological masterpiece that is also a great enjoyment to play. All I have to say is run, do not walk, to your video game store and buy this work of art, for if you do not, I will send the final character from the game, Inferno, to influence your purchase decision.
  6. If "Soul Calibur" (is) not perfect, it is without question the closest thing to it.
  7. 100
    The number one reason to buy a Dreamcast.
  8. 100
    For sheer adrenaline working in tandem with eye-melting graphics, nothing could touch it.
  9. Daily Radar
    This is the most beautiful fighting game ever to grace a home console.
  10. Polished to a piercing gleam, considered beyond mortally tangible thought, it's the best beat 'em up we've played in years.
  11. 100
    Let's just put it this way, if you have a Dreamcast and there isn't a "Soul Calibur" Disk sitting close by then you're getting ripped off.
  12. 100
    Stunning 3D backgrounds, convincingly animated (to put it mildly) characters and superfluous effects are carried out in fine style with no hint of slowdown, all the while running in glorious high-res.
  13. 100
    Without a doubt the best looking fighting game ever, with nuances like muscle rippling, facial expressions of pain, fear, and anger, and caustic lighting effects that dazzle the eyes.
  14. Gaming Age
    With increased detail running at a higher resolution and maintaining the same frame rate, it quite literally leaves the arcade version for dead. That's 640x480 at a constant 60fps.
  15. AllDreamcast
    The only thing missing is internet multi-player capability, but you can't have everything, can you...
  16. Game Fan
    "Soul Calibur's"only detectable flaw... while professed SC masters may think that they can manhandle any selectable character, the ugly truth is that some of the game's characters are completely over- and under-powered.
    If you like fighting games, "Soul Calibur" on the DreamCast is without a doubt, better than any fighting game on any console or in the arcades. Period! Need I say more? I don't think so.
  18. Sega X
    Visual presentation, with the fluid motion and beautiful fighting styles is the games strongest aspect.
  19. The graphics, particularly the character models and animation, are stunning. The fighting is both strategic and intense, fun to watch and fun to play.
  20. The sound is good, but not good enough to be noticeable when combined with jaw-dropping graphics.
  21. You won't touch your PlayStation or N64 again.
  22. Total Video Games
    This really is a staggering game with so much effort obviously put in to it, you just have to be impressed.
  23. "Soul Calibur" revolutionizes (3D Fighting) with amazing graphics, intriguing characters and an incredibly smooth 60 frame per second game engine.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed Dreamcast Game of 1999
#1 Most Shared Dreamcast Game of 1999
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 383 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 383
  1. NikkiH.
    Jul 8, 2003
    The best fighting game I've ever played by far! It's got everything; eye-candy graphics, great characters & some of the most The best fighting game I've ever played by far! It's got everything; eye-candy graphics, great characters & some of the most amazing moves I've seen in a long time. It even seems to have a plot (of sorts) which I really like; the characters have real depth & even a personal history. The thing I like about it most of all are all the hidden extras you uncover when you complete the game. It gives you a real added incentive to carry on playing. I would personally recommend this game to anyone. Full Review »
  2. Nov 16, 2018
    [Originally Written in 2017]
    After playing tons of games i have finally gotten around to playing the 2nd highest rated game of all time
    [Originally Written in 2017]
    After playing tons of games i have finally gotten around to playing the 2nd highest rated game of all time SoulCalibur, i thought to myself it couldn't possibly live up to the hype surrounding it, especially since it game out nearly 2 decades ago but i was wrong.


    Have you ever had a feeling when you're playing a game and the controller almost becomes an extension of your hand? Soul Calibur did that for me. You have three main buttons: Horizontal attack, Vertical attack, and kick. There is also a button for guarding and a pseudo powerup known as a ''Soul Charge'' Obviously, depending on the combination of buttons you press, you will perform certain things-that is the basis of fighting games. What sets Soul Calibur apart is that everything just seems to flow unlike any other fighting game before it. With the 8-Way Run feature (a feature in which you can move around the ring in 8 different directions) the fluidity is unmatched, as no game has been able to duplicate the smoothness of the 8-Way Run. The lack of mobility has always been a complaint of mine since I became a fighting game fan, but Soul Calibur changes all of that. Once you've learned the control basics-it's time to get into the game modes. The mode you will spend the most time is most likely Mission Mode-in which you go along playing different missions earning points in order to buy Art. The art you purchase will lead to the unlocking of most of the games extras-and there are quite a few extras to unlock. Mission mode will take most gamers a few hours to complete, and while it gets difficult in some missions-it is not impossible to beat. Of course, there are the normal modes as well. Arcade mode-this is the mode that simulates the arcade experience, and it is also the medium that you will use to unlock the extra characters. Survival, time attack, and team battle are also included. Versus mode will keep you busy as well, especially if you have rivalries with friends. You can sit down and play 50 matches, and not even think twice about it-it is extremely fun to play. Our good friends at Namco have also deemed to have a ''Museum'' section of the game. Now contained within this museum section is something never done in a fighting game before-and that is exhibition mode. Now exhibition mode allows you to watch each character do a demonstration with their weapon, and it is a sight to behold. Another unlockable feature is the ability to edit the opening movie of the game-and yes you can get some hilarious combinations.


    The graphics are flawless in this game. It plays smooth, and it looks smooth. I have encountered no slow down at all, and the load times are very good as well. Even after playing Persona 5 on the PS4 for a while I went back to Soul Calibur and I did not really notice much of a difference. For being a launch title, Soul Calibur set the graphical bar extremely high. Each arena is wonderfully detailed and each has a unique feel to them. The characters are just amazing. When performing moves, clipping is non-existent, and the wardrobes of the characters move with the environment. If it is windy, your character's hair will blow in the wind-it is that detailed.


    The Soul Calibur series contains some of my favorite game music, and for good reason. Soul Calibur contains a very well orchestrated soundtrack-almost epic in magnitude, and it really makes you feel like you are at war with your opponent. The sound effects are awesome as well. Each ding and clang of the weapons can be heard, and you can almost feel a hit when a certain move is performed and you hear that snap or crunch of the unlucky character getting broken. The voices (in Japanese) are extremely amazing as well. Basically, this is how every fighting game should sound.

    Replay Value

    Let's see...I've logged in over 40 hours into this game just this Week alone, and I am still not tired of it, I guess that speaks for itself. But in all actuality, this game will keep you busy for a very long time. It is very easy to pick up and learn the basics, but to get very good and to the point of mastery takes a very long time, and depending on the character or characters you chose to play as, it may take a very long time (i.e. Ivy, Cervantes). With all of the extras to unlock, the massive mission mode, and setting records on the other game modes-this is the epitome of replayability.

    This game is a 10/10 in every meaning of the word, simply perfection, i am now deeming this game the standard by which all other fighting games should be measured. I urge all of you play this **** masterpiece
    Full Review »
  3. Tony
    Jul 21, 2004
    What is it with people drooling over this turd? Soul Calibur is an awful game, even if it looks great. I agree with the guy who says Project What is it with people drooling over this turd? Soul Calibur is an awful game, even if it looks great. I agree with the guy who says Project Justice is much better! Full Review »