• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Oct 25, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 57 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 57
  2. Negative: 0 out of 57
Buy On
  1. Namco went all-out and put forth a tremendous effort, showing onece again why the series continues to remain at the top of the genre. [Nov 2005, p.80]
  2. 100
    The Soul Calibur fighting system is back, and it's the best it's ever been.
  3. PSM Magazine
    Simply the best fighting game on PS2, even topping our beloved Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution. [Holiday 2005, p.74]
  4. This is, without a doubt, the best fighting game available today for PS2 and may be one of the best ever made. Period.
  5. 95
    Similarly to the graphics, the sound of this addition is also phenomenally done.
  6. This is Soul Calibur at its best. Any fan of Soul Calibur is going to love this game, I am assured of that.
  7. Everything about the core gameplay and fighting engine has been tweaked and refined and taken to the next level. Soul Calibur III is the definitive fighting game on the PS2 mixing up martial arts, weapons, and more levels, characters, and game modes than you can shake a giant sword at.
  8. There's no denying that Soul Calibur III is the most refined, most feature-rich, and most artistically pleasing fighting game ever released for a home video game console.
  9. The new features and modes aren’t mind blowing and even appalling in the case of Chronicles of the Swords mode, but they don’t take away what Soul Calibur does best: amazingly detailed fights.
  10. Namco runs its formula dry with an expansive campaign, but the action keeps the soul burning. [GamesMaster]
  11. Pelit (Finland)
    A beautiful, balanced and technically solid beat 'em up. The character editor and the light strategy elements are nice additions. Too bad the game does not save versus statistics. [Dec 2005]
  12. In the end, what makes SC3 stand out is the great replayability that it contains.
  13. At least the second best 3D fighting game on PS2, and possibly the best. If you like graphics, fighting, or even just dressing up paper dolls, buy it.
  14. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Calibur makes every other fighting game feel outmoded. Only our reservations over the new strategy element prevent a perfect score. [Dec 2005, p.114]
  15. 90
    Playing a new Soul Calibur is like embarking on a two year (or however long it takes Namco to release the next game) journey into personal mastery, constantly pushing yourself and your friends to become better players. That's the mark of a transcendent fighting game, and Soul Calibur III has the makings of a classic.
  16. 90
    When all's said and done, it's the combat that matters -- and in that regard, Soul Calibur III most certainly delivers.
  17. Massively addictive gameplay. Intricate move sets, responsive control, and creative characters (all three newcomers are keepers) make SC3 a tough beast to put down, especially once you and your buddies graduate to high-level play.
  18. For prior fans of the series, or just fans of fighting games in general, it doesn't get much better than Soul Calibur III.
  19. It's Soul Calibur. Even with the words mushed together and a few tag-along modes that probably should never have been included, it's still the best two-player fighting experience on consoles, and it continues to be refined.
  20. AceGamez
    Perhaps Soul Calibur III was developed with the hardcore, technical players in mind who do memorise everything and for them the game will be a dream come true.
  21. It has a superb cast of characters with a great variety of moves, a unique (though flawed) single player experience, and the given multiplayer fun.
  22. Soul Calibur III's crown jewels - its unrivalled blend of accessibility and multilayered combat - remain as dazzling as ever. If anything, it's a touch faster and smooher, and maybe even sharper. [PSW]
  23. Right up there with "Tekken V" in our pantheon of fighting game greatness.
  24. I only wish that Namco would have allowed customizing a character’s move set in the character customization.
  25. Game Informer
    The combat is just as fast and smooth as we fanboys demand. [Dec 2005, p.170]
  26. Combines excellent fighting action with innovation; packs plenty of content and rightfully holds its place in a series that still burns in many fans heart – check it out now.
  27. Play Magazine
    Soul Calibur 3 represents the ultimate evolution in weapons-based fighting. [Dec 2005, p.57]
  28. If you already have "Soul Calibur II" then it’s a much harder call. You’ll get a few new characters, a create-your-own character mix-and-match style feature and, basically, almost exactly the same fighting game as before.
  29. Computer Games Magazine
    The last great fighting game of this generation. [Jan 2006, p.92]
  30. The third iteration in the famous franchise continues to domintae the weapons-based fighting genre with the even larger cast and smoother gameplay engine.
  31. It's the best fighting game I've sampled on the PS2 – better than the "Virtua Fighter" series in my opinion.
  32. Personally, I would have preferred they left out the new modes and added online play. The new modes were poorly executed, and online play would have made a great game even better.
  33. An extremely good fighter; just don’t expect it to reinvent the wheel.
  34. Everything in this game is just right (even the weak single-player modes are forgivable), but the absence of multiplayer and no arcade version is not; and as a result, I don't see this game surviving on the market for any decent amount of time, even though I love it and it will have its rightful place along Soul Calibur 1 and 2 on my shelf.
  35. 85
    The additions to Soulcalibur III aren't very good, but the refined base game that was previously so excellent is still quite great.
  36. netjak
    And while I'm tempted to tell you that Link is unlockable deep within the game, he isn't. I know, you're sad, I'm sad, we're all sad. And sorry, still no nude codes for Ivy or the rest of the female cast. Freakin' perverts; go back to the Gamefaqs boards. Tira's practically a nude code herself, anyway.
  37. Even though it isn’t a major evolution in the series, Soul Calibur III fills the void of what was missing in "Soul Calibur II" - a deep single player experience.
  38. 85
    A game that you must play at all costs.
  39. It's odd new modes and lackluster character creator leave something to be desired and the game still isn’t playable online. Hopefully the next blade will be a bit sharper.
  40. Soul Calibur III is one of the best fighting games around. But it earns this distinction largely by playing it safe while most of the competition simply dropped off.
  41. The beefed-up single-player content is worth the asking price on its own, it's still a fantastic multiplayer game (that's maybe not as perfectly balanced as it once was), and yes, it's shame there's no online play, but that's no excuse to pass up on a hugely enjoyable, addictive, rewarding title that'll last months.
  42. games(TM)
    For many, the new modes won’t be enough to call for another purchase; as a standalone package however, Soul Calibur III offers more than could ever be asked of a fighting game. [Christmas 2005, p.96]
  43. 80
    We can gripe about colors and crummy modes till the ninjas come home, but the simple fact is that Soul Calibur III is still a top-tier fighting game.
  44. 80
    A complicated beast. Is it the best Soulcalibur game ever? You bet...but not by as huge a margin as you might have hoped.
  45. It's not so different from the last one if you just consider the core gameplay to be the main attraction. The new features are just like icing on the cake. If you can live with that and know that going in, SC3 will provide with a healthy challenge.
  46. 80
    The fighting engine is the tightest in the business.
  47. I don't see it as being a better fighting game than "SC2," but it is a newer one, and to some, that's all that matters. It's still way better than most anything else out there.
  48. Edge Magazine
    You need a decent stick (or a god among pads) to facilitate the split-second Just Impacts, Ukemis and sidesteps that consistent victory demands. This, more than the abundant content is the game's defining improvement - one to snap you out of the sleepwalk by which most Namco fighters are conquered in singleplayer. [Christmas 2005, p.103]
  49. A turn-based strategy mini-game called Chronicles of the Sword is a little dry, yet hypnotically addictive.
  50. SoulCalibur has entered the realm of the ordinary. The soul certainly still burns, but the legend has died.
  51. So while Soulcalibur III is a fighting game that measures up in every way to its predecessors, its failure to truly evolve in gameplay or online support – coupled with its under-developed single-player modes – makes it a lesser game than its elder outings.
  52. A solid, professional product that just doesn't take a big enough step forward. That's true in many ways, but the lack of online play, which would really bring this title to life, is what should make you fighting mad.
  53. A very pretty game, gorgeous in fact, with plenty to do and see. But ultimately it just doesn't quite seem new enough. It's an example in safe game development and taking the easy path, but while it lasts, it's a fun path.
  54. I can accept but no longer appreciate the conventions of the past that Soul Calibur III upholds and I look forward to a game that embodies the newer and more reality-based ideals of competitive fighting.
  55. The combat is just as good, if not better, and the graphics are beautiful given the platform and its limitations, but some of these extra modes, such as Tales of Souls and Chronicles of the Sword aren't so hot, and the AI is at times cheaper than my grandma.
  56. The new modes are weak, there is no online play, and with only 3 new characters, the game will begin to feel too similar after a few short hours of game play.
  57. It really does little better than Tekken or DOA. Possibly time would have been better-spent working on a PS3 title rather than releasing this. It’s time for the genre as a whole to move forward.

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#39 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 146
  1. May 15, 2012
    The best of the series so far: has great single player contents, massive longevity even without versus mode, and it adds at last the characterThe best of the series so far: has great single player contents, massive longevity even without versus mode, and it adds at last the character creator, one of the best I've ever seen in a fighting game. It's hard in here to find flaws though and, in general, the main flaw is probably the absense of online feature, and to "compensate that loss" they made a lot of content for the single player instead. And we can only thank for that. Other flaws maybe are, actually, the chronicles of the sword campaign: it's not a bad addition but it feels like a rushed strategy mode, and so it can be a bit disappointing. The plot in the campaign also isn't anything special but it's decent and, again, it's more content for the single player and a good practice for you (some bosses takes a lot of time, as they are harsh to beat). There is also a GREAT arcade mode, where you also have paths to choose! Yes the ending often is the same, but the ways to go are many and it can always be different if you really want to. The creator also is vast and offers many combinations, and on top of that you can use both the official styles of the main characters AND original styles made for them specifically. They aren't as strong as the standard ones, but it gives variety and everything can be unlocked by buying them with (In-game) gold and playing the campaign mode (a good time where dlc weren't dominating us....). That's it, nothing else to say: this game alone is gonna last a lot of time and, unless you prefer or only like Tekken (like my pals back then), there's almost no reason to skip this game. Except if you don't like fighting games with weapons. Full Review »
  2. Dec 4, 2016
    Ridiculous AI and terrible balance ruins this game down to the core. There is no redeeming this piece of trash with it's stupid psychic AIRidiculous AI and terrible balance ruins this game down to the core. There is no redeeming this piece of trash with it's stupid psychic AI that will never fail to block EVERY SINGLE **** ATTACK you throw at it. 100%. It is programmed to **** you up. Full Review »
  3. BryanM.
    Nov 21, 2006
    If you own soul Calibur II then don't even bother. This game is just a rip off of both 1 and II. But if you do not then wait until it If you own soul Calibur II then don't even bother. This game is just a rip off of both 1 and II. But if you do not then wait until it goes down in price. Full Review »