• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 9, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 77 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
Buy On
  1. 91
    Let me reiterate: this is a fantastic game, with so much fun to throw your way you'd think you were playing wide receiver with Santa Claus as QB.
  2. Yakuza 3 is workmanlike and archaic in many ways, barely taxing the graphical horsepower of the PlayStation 3, but it's also unique. Most games make the big city a playground for the absurd. Yakuza 3 is only as absurd as an actual big city.
  3. Its old-school design may turn some people off, but the more open-minded among you are in for one hell of a ride. Besides, any game that can make running an orphanage seem fun has got to be doing something very right.
  4. No other Japanese PS3 game to date provides quite such a vivid game-world in which to play. [JPN Import]
  5. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    An impressively huge game. [Apr 2010, p.111]
  6. A deep, involving, endearing adventure with heart. And ?sts.
  7. Ryu Ga Gotoku 3 (Yakuza 3) is that place where games and films make sweet music together. Stick around for the climax to this outstanding cinematic adventure and you'll go away with a big smile. [JPN Import]
  8. Whether shockingly real or fiercely dramatized, the experiences of Yakuza 3 are wholly Japanese, completely riveting, and absolutely worth the price of admission.
  9. Yakuza 3 combines visual splendour with superb sound design to create an unparalleled atmosphere.
  10. If you're in the market for a sandbox game that's more RPG than GTA, but still want just a smidge of that GTA craziness, Yakuza 3 would be a great a choice, long as you can handle the slow beginning.
  11. Games Master UK
    A smart crime caper with incredible variety and slick fighting mechanics. [May 2010, p.66]
  12. Those who can look past such things and embrace Yakuza's very Japanese brand of oddity will find a game to make them laugh, make them cry.
  13. As an action game it holds up very well, as an RPG it will keep the average quest junkie enthralled, and as a fishing/karoke/arcade sim, it also manages to tick each of those apparently mutually exclusive boxes with a defiant stroke. As a whole, and, more importantly, as a game, it works.
  14. 90
    It's tons of fun to play whether you're working to actively advance the story or just spending a few hours goofing off and running errands for others.
  15. Yakuza 3, in short, is worth every penny. It contains a compelling story, intense beat-em-up action and more fun than most games dream of providing.
  16. Yakuza 3 is an astounding success in bringing the Japanese culture over in a great package of emotions and raw combat.
  17. 88
    If its "only English" status is not a problem and you like Japanese culture, Yakuza 3 becomes a must-buy for a PlayStation 3 owner.
  18. If you can get over the fact that there was quite a bit of content removed from the North American version of the game, you'll find that Yakuza 3 is a very high-quality title.
  19. While I hesitate to call Yakuza 3 a sandbox game, it certainly provides you with an open game where you can participate in a huge number of minigames and side quests. It also offers a fairly lengthy and intriguing main storyline.
  20. North American gamers are getting a more streamlined game, however, as key features in the Japanese version have been cut for fear that Western audiences wouldn't understand them. Still, the core of the game is here, and even with some of the extras missing, there's more than enough content for would-be Japanese mobsters to sink their teeth into.
  21. 85
    A great experience. The story's cool, the fighting's fun, and there's so much to do.
  22. Yakuza 3 is the best game in the series thus far. It fixes a lot of the issues present in the first two, and adds a wealth of new mini games, side missions, and a deeper and more personal story that will reel you in.
  23. 85
    Finally the third part in the franchise is coming to the west. Even though it is a bit different then Western games, it's still a very good game. It's got a great fighting system, a strong story and a lot of hours to play because of the many side-quests. Yakuza 3 is mostly like it's two predecessors, but nevertheless it still contains at the same level of quality fun and its Japanese oriented gameplay.
  24. After years of playing second fiddle in the action-adventure genre, Yakuza 3 finally makes some waves with an engaging, cinematic experience that will punch you right in the face, but in awesomely brutal fashion.
  25. 85
    Yakuza 3 excels thanks to an irresistibly likeable hero, a world pulsing with life, brutally fulfilling battles, and a good 30 hours of core story missions and secondary character tasks.
  26. Walk a mile in the Yakuza's shoes and buckle up for a wild, weird and wacky experience only Japan can deliver.
  27. 85
    It's great fun all the way through and it proves that Sega is still a game company even if their Sonic games suggest otherwise. Absolutely check this one out and spread the word.
  28. If you liked Shenmue, you will love Yakuza 3.
  29. There's this strange lack of weight to Kazuma's movement. It almost feels as if you're gliding around the pavement when exploring, and this sort of transfers into the combat, too. It just doesn't feel like a tight, finely honed mechanic, which brings the entire experience down a few notches.
  30. Yakuza 3 is a good game, it depicts Japan as no one game has done before, but its mechanics and its visuals sometimes are too old school, like the game was a blast from the past. But its biggest flaw is the pace, the game starts a little bit slow and the continuous random combats in the city could be a little bit tedious.
  31. In the end, tons of content, lots of things to see and do, and a fighting system that really makes you feel like you can take on the world come together to make a great game that offers a lot of play.
  32. Pelit (Finland)
    A quite entertaining beat 'em up in a sandbox environment. The cities are detailed and realistic. Too bad the missions are a bit samey. [Apr 2010]
  33. Play UK
    Tells a good story and is a fun game. [Issue#191, p.74]
  34. What remains is a relentlessly enjoyable action-RPG, which offers a unique insight into Japanese culture despite its exaggerations. The Western version of Yakuza 3 might have suffered a few heartbreaking cuts, but it's still intriguing at every turn and shouldn't be missed.
  35. Yakuza 3 is a great game witch represents in a perfect way the ambiguity of the modern Japan. The contradiction between the awesome story, the great selection of characters and the high production value, and the old style gameplay give to the game a nice touch, and a strong demeanor.
  36. Yakuza 3 sets its own pace with its heartwarming story about modern day Japan. And beyond the lovingly created Shinjuku pastiche lies a well-crafted fighting game that can hold its own. Colour us impressed.
  37. A big, exciting martial arts film wrapped up in one of the most brilliantly stupid and consistently entertaining game worlds you'll ever find. Graphically, it might be a bit last-gen, but we doubt you'll care when you can beat men to death with bikes.
  38. Finally comes one of the greatest adventures from Sega exclusively for PlayStation 3. It has been a long way, but the new Yakuza's episode arrives to the Western after Japan launch one year ago. New street fights, more research, a great plot and love for detail are the trademarks of the new proposal from Amusement Vision. It's really worthy; a nice price with a nice extra content.
  39. Yakuza 3 brings together enough different gameplay styles that it's more or less pointless to assign it to one particular genre. It's the way it combines these individual parts and invests you in its world that really matters.
  40. Yakuza 3's compelling story, great atmosphere, and abundance of extracurricular activities make it the best game in the franchise so far.
  41. Yakuza 3 is still a great game, in spite of the fact that it’s a whole year old, as some aspects of its gameplay and graphics sporadically show. The wait was worth it.
  42. There is a lot to like about this bizarre world, but beware: Yakuza 3 is an acquired taste that you will either want spit out, or have another sip off.
  43. Great production values and attention to detail, but its slow pace and complexity can be a problem for many players.
  44. It may take a little more patience than other games in the sandbox and beat ‘em up genres, but you’re rewarded with one of the most interesting stories, characters, and fun to use combat in gaming today.
  45. The sheer amount of content and all the different activities you can partake in makes Yakuza 3 a great value for it's price tag. Despite the massive amount of mini games and activities the diversity doesn't diminish the quality of the overall experience. This game does require a healthy dose of patience though, but for those who commit to this title the reward is a long and entertaining experience.
  46. 80
    Yakuza 3 is a delicious serving of bone cracking action with a dash of RPG sensibilities to boot. Those looking for a good dose of brawling action to sink some hours into should look no further.
  47. While nowhere near as technically accomplished as its Western peers Yakuza 3 nonetheless deserves to be experienced for the depth of its central character and its peerless depiction of contemporary metropolitan Japan.
  48. AceGamez
    Will Yakuza 3 prove the break out hit that Sega hopes it will be? Probably not – It will however remain a cult game adored by those who embrace its quirky but wholly undeniable charms.
  49. Once again Sega delivers a fascinating adventure. The action is over the top, the story very well written and Tokyo offers an infinite amount of adventure. Sometimes you notice the game is a bit old, but it doesn't change the overall experience.
  50. 80
    Yakuza 3 has more depth to it than the Titanic and although this strange combination of gameplay elements might deter a lot gamers, you just can't help but admire it at the same time.
  51. 80
    Yakuza 3 has tons to offer for RPGamers of all kinds, and if nothing else, you can at least kick loads of gangster ass while taking names.
  52. If you like your games huge with a sort of sandbox feel to them then you definitely can't go wrong with Yakuza 3.
  53. Nice japanese action game. Yakuza 3 lacks the diverse cars of the GTA series but provides a better combat system.
  54. If you have the patience to stick to it, this game can be loads of fun. The action bits of the game are brilliant and the boss battles are epic.
  55. Taking advantage of what Yakuza 3 has to offer in individual progression, campaigns accessories, objectives, mini-games, you will play tens of hours. If you bet only on completing the main quest of Kazuma, will always have between ten to twenty hours depending on the speed with which you untangle.
  56. 76
    Yakuza 3 has become a decent game. The graphics are a bit outdated and the movements of the characters don't always feel natural. The story on the other hand is truly amazing en there is plenty to explore in virtual Japan.
  57. A complete lack of innovation and old graphics make this game suitable just for who is looking for an atipic and subtly weird game. It's full of subquests and funny things to do, but gameplay sadly feels completely unpolished.
  58. There's so much optional content involved that you'll be able to keep yourself busy for a long time, and most of the mini-game like activities, like the approach to golf found here, are actually well implemented and fun.
  59. Yakuza 3 manages to stay loyal to its predecessors but also knows the same highs and lows. The story is interesting and complex but is of to a slow start and the best parts are most definitely the Yakuza boss fights. In the end Yakuza 3 is a game of traditions who in this modern age seem kind of dated.
  60. 74
    Yakuza 3 does a couple of things quite well. The cutscenes are nice; it’s a atmospheric Japanese game and there’s plenty to do. Still, the game carries tads of problems along, despite / because its one year delay. In-game, the graphics and the depiction of the story are lamentable, especially compared to what recent games have accomplished. Some stuff needs to be re-examined so that the series is up to speed with the current standard in games.
  61. If you're expecting a Japanese take on GTA, guess again. If you want pure action, you'll be bored to tears by the lengthy cutscenes. If you're hoping for complex, RPG-like leveling mechanics, you'll be disappointed. Yakuza 3 is a quirky hodgepodge of various genres that rewards the patient japanophile looking to kick a little ass.
  62. A really good story, some nice voice acting and a couple of nice fighting sequences make for a decent action game that unfortunately seems somewhat aged.
  63. Yakuza 3 arrives in Europe with an unforgivable delay and few cuts. Plus, it inherits from the second chapter an old gen structure and repetitious fights. Just for fans.
  64. As rough and ready as the previous games but a fascinating tour of Japan's seedy criminal underbelly.
  65. Yakuza 3 is another strong entry in a series that deserves your time.
  66. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Pre-canned cutscenes suddenly give way to in-engine sections where the characters continue to converse, only silently – via slabs of text you need to click through instead of pre-recorded speech. There doesn't appear to be any real rhyme or reason as to when this will happen – it just seems like a cheap way of extending the cutscenes. All it does it undermine the atmosphere – the game goes from a modern, cinematic action-drama to a static, dusty old RPG in the blink of an eye. [Apr 2010 p.70]
  67. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Strictly Japanese style with all its pros and cons – adult story, childish episodes, plenty of text to read, piles of minigames and somewhere in the middle you'll find a fighting game. [Issue#189]
  68. Not much has changed since the first game in 2006. Fortunately, the foundation is still very solid, with an entertaining and beautifully brutal combat system, a great sense of freedom between the missions and satisfying role-playing elements.
  69. A gripping, violent and intense gangster epic, held back by weeping orphans and frustrating hold-ups in the story. Could have been a truly great game, but its many flaws make it merely good.
  70. Not exactly groundbreaking, but enjoyable none-the-less, rarely can a game be summarised with the terms 'camp' and 'ultra-violent', yet Yakuza 3 manages to pull it off with ease.
  71. Feb 21, 2012
    Don't get me wrong; Yakuza 3 is still a good game that offers a uniquely Japanese experience and dramatic content an order of magnitude more mature than most of what's coming down the pike, but it just doesn't match up to the first two entries. I hate to say it, but the Dragon of Dojima's gotten soft in the middle-it's time for Kazuma to cut back on the yakiniku and get his ass back to the gym.
  72. Yakuza 3 certainly has its flaws! However it does possess a certain charm and offers quite a bit of variety that make it quite enjoyable, however some may not be able to stick with it that long.
  73. Yakuza 3 does offer an involved, lengthy story for those with the patience to wade through the repetition and annoyances.
  74. Edge Magazine
    A functional, pared-down JRPG and a feisty but flawed translation of the side-scrolling beat 'em up into the third dimension. [Apr 2010, p.94]
  75. Hardcore gamers who grew to love grand adventure games from a decade ago will have a blast. The game mechanics are tired, but there's nostalgic value to it. Fans of the series will also enjoy learning more about the characters. None of this negates the fact, however, that a fresh coat of high definition paint can't mask the fact that the Yakuza series needs to end or change with the times.
  76. games(TM)
    If you just mindlessly consume the thing, it's not entirely unpalatable. But when you pick it apart and consider the ingredients, it isn't hard to see it as a bit of a mess. [Apr 2010, p.116]
  77. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Yakuza also suffers from an almost debilitating yappiness. [May 2010, p.76]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 18 out of 197
  1. JohnS
    Mar 16, 2010
    Thoroughly enjoying my time playing this game. Having never played the previous two Yakuza titles, It was the PSN demo that persuaded me to Thoroughly enjoying my time playing this game. Having never played the previous two Yakuza titles, It was the PSN demo that persuaded me to give Yakuza 3 a chance. I'm really glad I did because it has been surprisingly addictive. This game has great atmosphere and is very cinematic. I love the combat, the storyline, the weird and wonderful characters, the cut scenes, sub quests and mini games. Superb value for money. Full Review »
  2. jayn
    Apr 13, 2010
    For someone who loves Japanese culture and wants to experience living there, this game is definitely a must have. Of course there are lots of For someone who loves Japanese culture and wants to experience living there, this game is definitely a must have. Of course there are lots of absurd and unrealistic situations but it's all fun. Gameplay is similar to previous titles but loading is faster in the PS3 so the game is more enjoyable. Fight mechanics are good, mini-games great. People like to compare this with GTA because of the free roaming atmosphere but this game is more like Shenmue (also from SEGA). Full Review »
  3. May 27, 2011
    Who would've thought being a message boy could be so fun? I didn't expect much from this game, but I have to say it held his own pretty well.Who would've thought being a message boy could be so fun? I didn't expect much from this game, but I have to say it held his own pretty well. The combat is intense and visceral, it may be clunky at first, but once you aquire more skills and moves it gets the depth you were waiting for. Never since the day of the final fight/double dragon era has a beat em up game given me such fun. The game starts incredibly slow, and in the first hours you just ache for something interesting to happen, story feels boring and cheesy, combat is lacking, and you can only wonder why do such banal sidemissions exist? (teaching a dog tricks? making banana juice? do shopping?). But before you know it, yakuza gets it's claws on you, you develop an addiction to finish sidequests, just for the sake of seing what will happen next; characters become charming and likable; story becomes interesting (although it remains cheesy); and the combat becomes the most rewarding skull bashing parade I've seen in years (with some minor annoyances). It has many rough edges, and many will hate it, but I can almost say that if you can get past the first few hours you won't be able to leave it before finishing it. Full Review »