Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
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  1. A very entertaining mech combat title with lots of options and missions to keep you going for many a night.
  2. The tough control won't convert the blasphemers and the look needs a facelift, but the action, longevity, depth and style still make this the Liege Lord of mech games on the Playstation and Playstation 2.
  3. 82
    The game hasn't changed drastically since its leap to the PS2, but two years of minor tweaking has made this the most accessible title of the franchise.
  4. A specialized game that fulfills the obsessive compulsive need for options in us all.
  5. Cheat Code Central
    May not be the easiest game to learn but taking the challenge will pay great dividends.
  6. Game Informer
    Outside of a few peripheral additions, AC3 plays exactly like its predecessors. [Sept 2002, p.80]
  7. 80
    While it's very much an evolution of the preceding Armored Core games, it's certainly an improvement, and there's enough new here that players of the older games won't feel ripped off.
  8. A solid and entertaining mech game with an unprecedented customization system that mech-fanatics will totally get off on.
  9. The game's unspectacular presentation and its dated design do interfere with its success, though.
  10. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Fans of the series won't be disappointed, unless they're expecting online play - it isn't in it. [Oct 2002, p.179]
  11. There’s more of everything that you’ve come to expect from the series, but nothing revolutionary.
  12. 73
    I just wish the series would commit to more than gradual improvement. At this pace, it looks like I'll be able to give an unqualified thumbs-up round about "Armored Core 5" -- say, four or five years from now.
  13. One of the best PS2 mech titles in the market today, one that stand head-and-shoulders above better-publicized competitors like TDK Mediactive’s “Robotech: Battlecry” and Bandai’s “Gundam: Federation Vs. Zeon."
  14. netjak
    The Armored Core franchise will never be something for the casual gamer. It simply requires more thought and creativity than most people want to employ for a videogame.
  15. Everything that surrounds the gameplay is strongly polished, but when you're battling, everything beyond your bot will be visually disappointing.
  16. 70
    This isn’t a reinvention of Agetec’s half-arcade/half-hardcore mech battlin’ series, it’s just another step…and a rather small one at that.
  17. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The best Armored Core yet. [Oct 2002, p.142]
  18. PSM Magazine
    It's very similar to its predecessors in both strengths and weaknesses. [Oct 2002, p.30]
    With no improvement of note this one is for hard (armored) core fans only.
  20. Rather than something new (I’m really yearning for mechs that are a bit easier to control) it’s just the same thing again. Fans of the original will love it, but it’s not really reaching out to a new audience at all. I’m not seeing a lot of innovation.
  21. The series that once had me completely addicted has now become so stale that it barely even registers as enjoyment.
  22. 60
    It keeps most of the basic gameplay elements intact, but a little bit of polish (along with a few additional features) could have made this a spectacular title, rather than a merely solid one.
  23. The sense of scale is also slightly lacking, with cars and tanks actually looking like teeny tiny cars and tanks instead of making your mech look huge.

Awards & Rankings

#48 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
#56 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Feb 24, 2022
    I am so glad I picked this series up again, because it's impossible to find a game these days that gives you this experience. Definitely inI am so glad I picked this series up again, because it's impossible to find a game these days that gives you this experience. Definitely in contention for best mech franchise of all time!

    The story here is a re-boot of sorts, taking things to a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has been forced underground. It doesn't matter that much, except that we are still working for Raven while choosing what corporation's to run missions for. And the choices still matter in regards to what mission you go on as it effects weapon/parts availability, rewards and the outcome of the narrative.

    The game-play runs the same as AC2, except that the difficulty has been toned down a little. And that's not a bad thing. Controlling your AC is still responsive and feels appropriate depending on your load out. The load out being the main draw for these games. Building up your mech to your taste is really fun, especially as you have to adapt towards the different scenarios that are tossed your way. Not to mention the graphics, sound and level design help keep things fresh from start to finish.

    The formula may be exactly the same as the previous titles, but the little tweaks to the overall experience are improvements. If you are new to the series, this is a great title to start on. But for fans, it's a must own for sure.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 10, 2014
    Excellent game. I've spent hundreds of hours with my Mechs powering through waves of enemy MTs and Ravens. I loved the story and was able toExcellent game. I've spent hundreds of hours with my Mechs powering through waves of enemy MTs and Ravens. I loved the story and was able to keep up with what was going on perfectly. Once the campaign was over (or during), it was time to clear the arena, which was also a ton of fun, and gave you people to look up to. I thought Ace and BB were so cool, and it actually felt great to be at the top of the ladder. I played many hours of multi-player with friends and had over 200 wins with my top core. If you wanted, you could put some time into your color scheme and emblem to add a bit of flair to your core, which I did as well. I even had a rebuild of the core that won the AC3 tournament in Tips and Tricks Magazine, which performed well. Would recommend this game to anyone that is a fan of faster paced mech combat. Full Review »
  3. MelvinC.
    Sep 29, 2003
    This game is one of the best. i hope they make a vr type.