Metascore
68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 74 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 74
  2. Negative: 4 out of 74
Buy On
  1. 100
    Shenmue 3 won't disappoint fans of the first two. But that's almost secondary to the real story here. Shenmue 3's real strength is in the way that it suggests a different way of looking at the very storytelling of videogames. It challenges the idea that a game's value is in it aspiring to be "cinema", and it provides a pretty compelling argument for the alternative, too. On a personal note, as a fan of both theatre and Shenmue, this game is effortlessly my pick of what has been a very good 2019 for the creative side of videogames.
  2. Dec 13, 2019
    90
    The core of what made Shenmue so special before is retained, and Yu Suzuki’s ability to keep the story flowing seamlessly for 20 years is remarkable. If you loved the first games, get this as soon as you can. If you haven’t tried the series, then the remastered version is the best way to start and then grab this when you feel ready.
  3. Dec 1, 2019
    90
    The game fulfills a vision of steadfast humanity within the framework of a martial arts revenge tale.
  4. Nov 20, 2019
    90
    While the story's climax left us disappointed, Shenmue III is a precious game nonetheless. Feeling the lingering presence of your deceased father in a country far from home, sharing a roof with someone you love, and overcoming the teachings of a stubborn kung fu master are only a few examples of how this game portrays deep human relationships. Shenmue III also has a very addictive gameplay loop that makes great use of the attention to detail the series is known for.
  5. Dec 2, 2019
    85
    It's been eighteen years since the last one, but we're finally able to play Shenmue III. Guess what? It was worth the wait! Granted, the frequent framerate drops and numerous pop-ins are annoying shortcomings, but the authentic style, superb combat and worthy graphics more than make up for this.
  6. Nov 25, 2019
    85
    Shenmue 3 is filled with antiquated design choices, a whole lot of charm, and is ultimately a promise fulfilled. Fans got a legitimate Shenmue title in every way possible, warts and all. Nobody else is making 2019 games in the (hilariously named) “full reactive eyes entertainment” genre, but Yu Suzuki is. That’s a beautiful testament to the stubbornness that made this unlikely revival possible.
  7. Nov 25, 2019
    85
    Shenmue III feels like a remake of the Dreamcast game that never existed, for better and worse. It’s got everything fans loved about the Sega classics, along with some of their baggage. Still, the best of the series is the greatest it’s ever been. It can feel as bloated as the originals, and some mechanics feel unnecessary or are poorly explained. If you’re curious about that fabled Shenmue charm, though? This is the best entry to date.
  8. Nov 22, 2019
    83
    Exactly what franchise fans were hoping for: a thoughtful experience with a lot of adventure, some action and amazing attention to detail. A bit old-fashioned at times, but beautiful throughout.
  9. Dec 9, 2019
    80
    A direct continuation of a classic series that acts like it’s still the early 2000s, for better or worse! For returning fans this is precisely what you wanted. It’s possible for newcomers to enjoy but you should probably play the originals first.
  10. Dec 4, 2019
    80
    Shenmue III is not the best game of the year and it’s not even my favorite game of the year, but no title in 2019 brought me as much sheer joy and jubilation, and I can’t possibly imagine any fan of the franchise walking away disappointed. For that reason alone, I can only see it as a tremendous success.
  11. 80
    Shenmue IIII pushes its epic story forward while holding firmly onto dated concepts, game design, and narrative presentation, but it will likely please die-hard fans of the series. Everyone else, meanwhile, might wonder what all the fuss is about.
  12. Nov 29, 2019
    80
    If you played the first two games, the way Shenmue III uses modern technology to restablish the classic lore and gameplay may just bring tears to your eyes. It will certainly remind you of Suzuki’s genius. Certainly, it contains eccentricities that feel old-fashioned, but it also offers epic, immersive and calming escapism. For gamers of a certain age, it’s the ultimate nostalgia trip.
  13. Nov 28, 2019
    80
    With Shenmue III, we are offered a glimpse into a gifted mind, constantly turning the everyday into play.
  14. Nov 27, 2019
    80
    If you’ve never played a Shenmue game, that honestly might give you trouble. But if you have played Shenmue, then you’ll feel like you’ve come home with Shenmue 3.
  15. Nov 26, 2019
    80
    If you’re only after the latest technological breaks or think that gun oil smells better than a flower field in spring, Shenmue III really isn’t for you. On the other hand, in a world where the climate change is real yet stubborn and ignorant powers that be refuse to believe it and where narrow-minded right-wing populism gains a foothold and tries to hinder the progress towards equality in all things, we need a game that advocates the values we need to survive as species. Still, Shenmue III takes a certain state of mind because it’s unmistakably what Shenmue used to be, and not how it’s supposed to be now. I hope that there will be Shenmue IV to give closure to the story and like this, it will stay true to what it is.
  16. Nov 25, 2019
    80
    This particular revisit gave me a newfound respect for Yu Suzuki and his singular vision for what Shenmue is.
  17. Nov 25, 2019
    80
    Is Shenmue III dated? Absolutely, but the game proves that, like most genres, open-world adventures still have a thing or two to learn from the past. Shenmue III isn’t always as player-friendly as it could be, but its lively, uniquely-handcrafted world is truly absorbing. Here’s hoping this isn’t the end of Ryo and Yu Suzuki’s epic journey.
  18. 80
    Shenmue 3 is an uncompromising love letter to fans of the original games, make no question about it. If you weren't on board before, then this will do little to sway your opinion, as modern conventions have been largely ignored in favour of preserving a 20-year-old experience. While it's not perfect, Shenmue 3 is about as solid of a sequel as we could have expected after all this time.
  19. Nov 22, 2019
    80
    A magnificent, authentic, totally uncompromised sequel that crucially ignores virtually every gaming trend of the past 18 years.
  20. Nov 20, 2019
    80
    There is no doubt that it is not a game for everyone. However, Shenmue 3 is perfect in its own way, and it has been designed to offer a different experience to those who dare to give it a try.
  21. Nov 20, 2019
    80
    Shenmue III has some issues and it is not a game for everyone, but, if you enjoyed the two first games and you know what kind of game this is, it will satisfy you, as far as gameplay, setting and plot are quite good and remain loyal to Dreamcast era. It was worth waiting eighteen years. Now the question is: when will we be able to play Shenmue IV?
  22. Nov 20, 2019
    80
    Light in story yet heavy on atmosphere, basic in function yet more cohesive than previous entries, Shenmue 3 is a worthy sequel and exactly what fans have been waiting for.
  23. Dec 3, 2019
    78
    Shenmue III is a weird experiment that makes you feel like playing a Dreamcast game now a days. Yu Suzuki created an interesting game just for his fans.
  24. Nov 21, 2019
    76
    Shenmue 3 is polarizing: For some it is a dream come true, for others it is frumpy game design in a slightly prettier garment.
  25. Jan 7, 2020
    75
    It may not seem worth the long wait, but in the end, Shenmue III does more right than wrong and it belongs in your game collection.
  26. Jan 4, 2020
    75
    A miracle for fans, and kind of impenetrable for everyone else. Shenmue III is a game with a mission, bring us back to Dreamcast times and extend the story of Ryo so we can (hopefully) complete the story. There is no budget for more, and it shows.
  27. Nov 28, 2019
    75
    In terms of speed, gameplay, and storytelling, Shenmue 3 hardly matches the current spirit of the times. Everything in the game grinds and cracks on all sides - and that is precisely why it pays to dive into this epic by developer Yu Suzuki.
  28. Nov 25, 2019
    75
    Shenmue III is a game true to the past, perhaps too much. Yu Suzuki manages to attract die-hard fans of the original game, but will hardly conquest the heart of the new generation.
  29. Nov 24, 2019
    75
    Unfortunately, at the end of the approximately 30 hours necessary to complete Ryo's new journey, this third chapter is not enough to conclude the story that, at this point, in all probability will never reach its epilogue.
  30. Nov 22, 2019
    75
    Shenmue 3 is a game that remains true to itself, refusing any attempt to improve a formula that was revolutionary at the time but feels inevitably outdated today.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Nov 20, 2019
    A bewitching time capsule that transports us to late 80s China, and to turn-of-the-century video games. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  2. Dec 3, 2019
    Within the context of the series, Shenmue III feels more like connective tissue than a fully functioning organ. There are a few revelations about the larger myth arc, and a one-sided battle with Lan Di, but it’s hard to say that much actually happens until the very end.
  3. Nov 20, 2019
    It’s not the lack of elegant dialogue or the glitches that make this game so disappointing, but the idea that a series that was so obsessed with what would be possible from gaming in the future has turned into a way for people to attempt to revisit the past.
  4. Nov 22, 2019
    Shenmue III doesn’t push the Unreal Engine 4 to its limits yet, on the whole, there’s an enchanting aura about it. Yes, some character models look comically garish, but there’s a beauty to the game’s environments – spaces that you actually live in instead of racing through on a whistle stop tour. Where Shenmue previously captured the hustle and bustle of cramped urban areas, it manages to do the same with the vibrant and somewhat mystic Bailu village.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 995 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 19, 2019
    10
    what fans expected since shenmue II, classic gameplay, good graphics and the usual music
  2. Nov 19, 2019
    10
    It was worth the wait! After 18 years we finally have a game that is completely different from everything we have in the industry. Shenmue 3It was worth the wait! After 18 years we finally have a game that is completely different from everything we have in the industry. Shenmue 3 does not have the best graphics, however the game has the soul from the golden era, where games had a message to pass. Full Review »
  3. Nov 19, 2019
    10
    After 18 years, Shenmue 3 did not disappoint. Lives up to 1 and 2 and then some. Roll on Shenmue 4!!