• 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
Buy On
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 83
  2. Negative: 10 out of 83
  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. Feb 25, 2018
    4
    Let's get this out of the way right now: I'm not really much of a fan of the "Dragon Ball" franchise. Not that I dislike the series, it wasLet's get this out of the way right now: I'm not really much of a fan of the "Dragon Ball" franchise. Not that I dislike the series, it was just never my cup of tea. As a kid, I was part of the "Pokémon," "Digimon" and "Yu-Gi-Oh" boats, but I never found a huge interest in "Dragon Ball Z," or "DBZ," as some call it. That said, I fully believe that a fighting game based around the "Dragon Ball" franchise is a match made in heaven...at least on paper, because while "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" has the right idea, it just doesn't execute it well.
    Off the bat, the game really captures the feel of the show pretty well (basing this off of what little I've seen, along with word-of-mouth from friends who watched the show). It really feels like I can watch these cutscenes and understand the plot of the show. I also appreciate how the game actually follows the different "sagas" of the shows, which makes it feel like it could be enjoyable even for people like me that have no experience with the franchise.
    Unfortunately, that's about where the positives end. Though it captures the feel of the show, it certainly isn't visually brilliant, and it's extremely easy (and rather fun) to just make jokes about the cutscenes being weirdly animated and poorly-acted. You'll also find yourself making jokes about the story and the dialogue, and worst of all, the gameplay is extremely frustrating. "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" has all the potential in the world to be a really technical, exciting, competitive fighting game, but unfortunately, the game is weighed down by some really poor controls that fall somewhere between "bulky" and "unresponsive."
    It's clear that this game hasn't aged wonderfully and, unless you're a huge fan of the show or you really need a good laugh, you'd be a smarter person if you invested your time and money into a more interesting fighter. "Dragon Ball Z: Budokai" had some great ideas going for it, but unfortunately, it's a disappointing fighting game.
    Final rating: 4 out of 10 "Bad"
    Full Review »