Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
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  1. Oct 15, 2019
    Minus needing an entire further game to get to the saga’s full conclusion, Trails of Cold Steel III is everything I want from an RPG with a world that fully sucks players in, amazing music and locations in which one can just sit and relax, and a twisting and fascinating story involving incredibly deep characters that are easy to get attached to. Erebonia once again gets some fantastic attention to detail that really brings its complex story and people to life, as the many threads that have been introduced throughout the series further intertwine and begin coming to a head. Combined with a further improved combat system and further quality-of-life improvements, it marks yet another step up for the rightly beloved series. Now all that’s left is just the agonising wait for the fourth and final part of the Cold Steel saga to see how it all ends.
  2. Oct 22, 2019
    There are a few bumps along the road, but Trails of Cold Steel III is yet another excellent entry in the Legend of Heroes series. Longtime fans will find a lot to love about this game, from the smaller but stronger core cast and the intertwining of plot threads from previous arcs to the refined battle system and quality of life changes. Personally, I'm still reeling from the ending, so I'm definitely going to need a few more playthroughs to tide me over until Trails of Cold Steel IV makes its way Westward.
  3. 90
    These games are enormous, and the developers and writers consistently delivering on the scale they do is impressive every time.
  4. 90
    Nihon Falcom has delivered yet another stellar entry in the Trails of Cold Steel series. If you're a newcomer, you'll need to start at the beginning to genuinely appreciate the whole package. However, if you're a long-time fan of the franchise, then you'll love every thrilling second of it.
  5. Oct 24, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is an absolutely massive game, as even with utilizing turbo a large portion of my playthrough, I still sunk over 90 hours into the game by the time the credits rolled. There's so much more I could talk about. Side activities like the new card game, Vantage Masters, which is absolutely a Gwent styled game on its own - with dozens of characters throughout the adventure willing to play a set with you - and more. At the end of the day, however, I'm just happy to see that the series appears to be in good hands with NIS America.
  6. Oct 21, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is the best game in the series so far. You're going to have to play the first two titles to get the full picture, but you'll be rewarded with one of the most enjoyable RPG sagas in modern gaming. This latest entry strikes a near perfect balance between story and gameplay, all while juggling an ever-growing cast of great characters and an in-depth, hugely rewarding battle system. Cold Steel III is JRPG joy from start to finish, and it sits alongside the likes of Persona 5 and Dragon Quest XI as one of the PS4's finest.
  7. Oct 18, 2019
    The latest entry in the Trails Series offers an excellent continuation of the saga, which presents a great escalation of the story, accompanied by new and old well-developed characters from the series.
  8. Oct 15, 2019
    After a long, grueling wait, the Legend of Heroes makes its triumphant return and I am more than happy to report that the wait has been worth it as Cold Steel III delivers on all fronts with improved visual fidelity, performance and a slew of meaningful new mechanics. Led by a cast of unforgettable characters and an intriguing story arc that will have you begging for more when the credits roll.
  9. Oct 15, 2019
    It may not achieve the same immediate and resounding brilliance as its predecessors, but The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is brilliant nonetheless. By modern design standards, albeit not a graphical showcase, one of the best examples of what JRPGs can be.
  10. 90
    Essentially, Trails of Cold Steel III is just more Trails of Cold Steel, but with a bunch of new characters, some new ideas for the narrative to explore, and some welcome design tweaks. I mean that as an absolute compliment, though—Cold Steel and Cold Steel II are two of the best JRPGs in recent memory, so having more of the same is hardly an issue. I'm still not entirely sold on the idea of the original Class VII being pushed to the background for much of this game, but the new Class VII are fantastic additions to the roster who bring a lot of new ideas with them.
  11. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is an important title for both Falcom and NIS. For Falcom, it's the penultimate entry in a story arc half a decade in the making - and an incredibly engrossing one, at that. For NIS, it's a step in the right direction after Ys VIII, and proof that The Legend of Heroes' localization is still in good hands moving forward. This is a continuity-heavy RPG with 13 years of video game history, and seven titles building up to it, but the combat and world are strong enough where even newcomers can enjoy the ride. Trails of Cold Steel III is the Erebonia arc at its best.
  12. Oct 16, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is a phenomenal RPG that genre fans need to play. After completing it and watching how it ends, I absolutely cannot wait to play the fourth and final game in this incredible series.
  13. Oct 26, 2019
    Falcom did it again: The Legend of Heroes Trails of Cold Steel III is probably their best work up to date, and on of the best JRPgs available for Playstation 4 and PC. The only downside is that you'll need to have played both Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 to better appreciate the writing and story.
  14. Oct 28, 2019
    With its solid gameplay mechanics, excellent world-building and character development, The Legend Of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III is an excellent Japanese role-playing and a more than worthy new entry in the long-running series. Some small flaws like slow pacing do not impact the experience as much as the lack of knowledge about the entire series do, which lessens the impact of several events and plot development. This makes Trails of Cold Steel III a game that must be played only after the previous two entries in the series have been completed.
  15. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel doesn’t want to revolutionize the series, only bring us a step closer to the end. And this isn’t a bad thing –it still is one of the best narrative-focused RPG.
  16. Oct 25, 2019
    Quotation forthcoming.
  17. 80
    The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is more of the same and that's not a bad thing. People who have yet to sample the delights of the series should start at the beginning but fans of the series, and JRPG genre, are sure to be drawn back in to Rean's tale before eagerly awaiting part four.
  18. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel 3 doesn't offer much in the way of gameplay innovations, but if you're even glancing in the direction of this game, you're not interested in new ideas. No, you're interested in continuing the dramatic, twisty-turny story of the Erebonian Empire's shenanigans. Trails of Cold Steel 3 resumes the series' magic-infused story of politics and scandal, and the unique battle system still holds up well.
  19. Oct 15, 2019
    If you are a JRPG fan, this series is a must-play. It’s one of the strongest running, second only to Persona in my opinion. It’s funny, charming, engaging, and occasionally heartbreaking. And it’s absolutely worth the investment.
  20. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III marches the long-running series ever closer to an explosive climax with satisfying combat, characters, and music.
  21. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses. While the story takes its sweet time to unfold, it offers a lot of shocking outcomes.
  22. Oct 15, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is a must play if you enjoyed the first two games in the series. The game is not radically different from the previous titles, so if you didn’t love them or just do not like JRPGs in general, it won’t change your mind. If you’re a newcomer to the franchise, I strongly recommend playing the first two games in Trails of Cold Steel series before getting into this one.
  23. Oct 15, 2019
    Featuring charismatic characters and a story that keeps getting stronger throughout the adventure, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 3 is a model of J-RPG. It's not flawless, but it's dense, rich and so well brought together that you can't help but have a great time discovering it all. The title skillfully mixes old school elements with more modern ones to create an exceptional role-playing game.
  24. Oct 21, 2019
    A few unfortunate backsteps make the first native PlayStation 4 entry something of a disappointment, but Trails Of Cold Steel is still one of the best old school JRPGs around.
  25. Oct 21, 2019
    If you're a newcomer, it's a daunting and probably foolish task to try and play this game. If you're a die-hard fan of the Cold Steel series already, you'll get plenty of satisfaction out of the continued plot development and engaging combat. Even the most dedicated of fans, though, are likely to be turned off by the dated visuals and confusing Legend of Heroes crossovers that mar an otherwise impressive story-driven JRPG.
  26. Nov 11, 2019
    A good JRPG with good fights, but the story is like a giant prequel to the fourth episode, with poor main issues, and the graphics are one generation late.
  27. Oct 23, 2019
    If you are already into the series then it is likely you will already know whether or not you’re getting this game. If you are not, I wouldn’t recommend you start here unless you like hours of frustrating dialogue with no pay off.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 95 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 95
  2. Negative: 9 out of 95
  1. Oct 22, 2019
    A worthy sequel to one of my favorite JRPG of this generation! Hopefully we could also get the fourth game next year.
  2. Oct 22, 2019
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Classic jrpg done good...great building and gameplay... alongside persona 5 and dragon quest xi is one of the great jrpgs of this generation Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2019
    Trails of Cold Steel III is my strong contender for the best RPG of 2019. This game pretty much answer my expectation in many aspect as aTrails of Cold Steel III is my strong contender for the best RPG of 2019. This game pretty much answer my expectation in many aspect as a follow-up for Erebonian arc, which i will breakdown here.


    I'm pretty sure most of you already know about the synopsis, so i want to discuss about the technical aspect of the story. It's a very linear and slow paced just like the first game, and that's something to be aware of considering every Trails game that starting of with a new arc is always trying to build up the story this way. But this is Cold Steel III and it's still covering Erebonia, so why the game have to be slow paced like this? The answer is because there's a pretty spacious timeline between this game and Cold Steel II that marks a new beginning for Rean's journey, and Falcom is also trying to ensure that old and new players could catch up with the story. Regarding characters from the old game that made an appearance such as Randy or Tio, you don't really have to play the old game first to appreciate them. I mean Trails is pretty much similiar with Monogatari anime. You can watch the anime in chronological or airing order, and the experience will be pretty much the same.


    It's pretty much the same but there are some noticeable changes such as the menu layout to the addition of Brave Order. Many people seems to complain about the gameplay being unbalanced, but i thoroughly enjoyed it without any issue. If i have to be nitpick, i must say that the short appearance of playable characters is probably my only issue with the game.


    "The music is hurting my ear" "It's not as good as the old game" Well you probably want to get your ears checked, cause Falcom Jdk still did an amazing job with the tracks.


    I actually notice that some reviewers is still complaining about the visual, where i'm here thinking that Falcom actually did a good job at revamping the environment and character design in a nicer look. I mean this is a Falcom game, graphics is never their strong suit or priority, but even so they still determine to keep improving their game. Remember, graphics is not everything!


    If you're a big fan of turn based JRPG with a strong story build up, interesting world, likeable characters and so on, then you definitely must try out Trails of Cold Steel III. It's okay if you didn't play the old Trails title such as Sky trilogy or Zero & Ao, but i strongly suggest that you at least play Cold Steel I & II. The remaster version of both game already released on PS4, and you can even get it on PC, so i guess there's no problem in terms of accessibility.

    So my final verdict for Cold Steel III is 10/10. I personally prefer to rank this as a whole series, cause Trails in general is just one gigantic game with a very complex story build up, world building, and character development. And even after 9 games, we still have plenty of places to be explored in Zemuria, including Calvard. Cold Steel III is just one game out of many other Trails title to come, but it manages to deliver the best quality that Falcom has to offer so far. It might not have the best story and can be a slow paced experience for many players, but i'm pretty sure JRPG lovers could see the shine of this game and truly appreciate it.
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