• Publisher: Atari
  • Release Date: Dec 3, 2002
Metascore
67

Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
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  1. A Dragonball fan’s dream. It is the first "true" American game based on the series, and Infogrames really came through on this one.
  2. If you are a DBZ fan, this is a dream come true. The game does just about everything right. Go and buy this now (you probably would even if I told you that the only difference between this and a bag of manure was the bag). If you aren’t a DBZ fan, you might be turned off by the simplistic gameplay.
  3. Doesn’t have a lot of spit & polish, and at first glance would seem to be a pretty crappy game, but that’s only skin deep. Get underneath the hood, and you’ll find an enjoyable fight engine, lots of extra material, and an impressive amount of content for a fighting game.
  4. netjak
    83
    Officially the first fun Dragonball Z game to hit the market. While it has a couple problems in the lack of jump or flight and a few strange mini-games in story mode, this fighter is remarkably deep and entertaining.
  5. Dramatic, hilarious and impenetrable by turn, it's a cold heart that won't be warmed by this one, but hardcore fight fans may find themselves irritated.
  6. The authenticity will truly impress the fans of the series with the soundtrack and voice acting all wrapped up in one neat and tidy package.
  7. Between the terrific cinemas, TV voice actors, and perfectly re-created story lines, you'll really feel like you're playing the show. And isn't that what you've wanted all along? [Feb 2003, p.136]
  8. It doesn't always make sense, but it's so big, daft and loud that you can't help but join in with all the shouting. [PSM2]
  9. It's hard to find a Dragon Ball Z game that's fun, fast, and enjoyable. DBZ nuts should savor this one. For every one else - it's a solid rental at best.
  10. Game Informer
    73
    Fans of the show will drool over the voices, music, and perfectly replicated look of the animated series. [Jan 2003, p.96]
  11. If you can get past the pastel coloured craziness of it all, then Dragon Ball Z: Budokai provides a decent enough challenge – just don’t be expecting another Tekken 4 and this should find favour.
  12. If you are into DBZ and haven’t picked this game up yet ... do so immediately.
  13. 70
    Non–Dragon Ball Z fans, however, may have a hard time not only grasping the quirky DBZ story, but also wrapping their fingers around the repetitious controls.
  14. It flirts awfully close with being a mindless button-masher, but Budokai embraces its “Dragon Ball Z” license with a passion and eye for little details that’ll surely make hardcore fans of the series flip from joy.
  15. Fighting Game Fan: "I'll admit, I was surprised at how deep the game is, and I actually enjoyed the Story mode, despite the oddball characters." [Feb 2003, p.104]
  16. A fun, frantic fighting game tht completely captures the unique spirit of the show... A must have for DBZ fans. [Feb 2003, p.69]
  17. The rather simple fighting system in DBZ Budokai is really the key factor that's going to keep it from appealing to many people outside of the DBZ fan base.
  18. If you're an aficionado of the series, then you won't be disappointed with the quality of this title. However, as a fighter the game falls short of the top titles in the genre and will more than likely be too simplistic for fighter fans.
  19. 69
    As a fighting game, Budokai is mediocre at best and annoyingly frustrating at worst.
  20. Only bother with DBZ:B if you are a steadfast, utterly devoted fan of the series, otherwise steer clear of this title and getting your fighting game fix elsewhere.
  21. 67
    Slick cut-scenes. [Feb 2003, p.38]
  22. This game is basically made for the DBZ fans out there than don't mind putting up with some sub-par gameplay as long as they get to play as their favorite DBZ characters.
  23. 62
    A poor fighting game disguised by an excellent presentation.
  24. Entertainment Weekly
    50
    Features 23 characters who, while lacking artistic detail, still yell, grunt, and move almost exactly like their broadcast counterparts. [17 Jan 2003, p.87]
  25. Cheat Code Central
    50
    It's really quite one-dimensional. Did they pull this fighting engine out of a Game Boy Color?
  26. 40
    While it does have generally high production values, nobody would give this title a second glance if it didn't have the Dragon Ball Z license attached to it.
  27. For those looking for an actual fighting game and not a license, I would suggest extreme caution because this one is quite simply for the fans.
  28. PSM Magazine
    30
    In recreating the action of the cartoon show, the developers have gone the easy route, implementing automatic special attacks rather than an effective combination system. [Jan 2003, p.42]

Awards & Rankings

11
#11 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
25
#25 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 95
  2. Negative: 10 out of 95
  1. Nov 8, 2011
    8
    Each fight in the game is harder than the one before it so hardcore gamers will like the difficulty. The fighting is fast so a lot of buttonEach fight in the game is harder than the one before it so hardcore gamers will like the difficulty. The fighting is fast so a lot of button mashing is required. It follows the Dragon Ball Z storyline very well. If you like fighting games, then you just might like this game. Full Review »
  2. Mar 7, 2011
    8
    Dragon Ball Z: Budokai is a great fighter, with a great selection of characters, and a fun story mode, but is lacking in tournament modes andDragon Ball Z: Budokai is a great fighter, with a great selection of characters, and a fun story mode, but is lacking in tournament modes and replay value, but has some pretty good multiplayer, if your a fan of the DBZ Budokai series and you want to see where it began this is a great purchase. Full Review »
  3. Jul 15, 2021
    8
    There's way too many Dragon Ball Z fighting games that have the exact same story and this one is no exception, but in terms of gameplay, thisThere's way too many Dragon Ball Z fighting games that have the exact same story and this one is no exception, but in terms of gameplay, this is a really good one. I also like the graphics and art style more in this one than the sequels. It looks a bit weird, but it's still better than Cel-Shading. Anyway, I like this game. Full Review »