Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
Buy On
  1. Sep 26, 2012
    Overall, Dead or Alive 5 is not only the best entry in the series yet, but my favorite fighting game this generation. It's got the smoothest gameplay of anything out there now and delivers the goods online more often than not. It also raises the bar for graphics in fighters and has some great animation too. The story mode's a blast to play through and provides the right mix of drama and B-movie wackiness to make it fun to get through despite its epic length. If you've ever loved the series before, make this a part of your collection ASAP, and if you've been turned off by it before, at least give it a rental – I'm positive it'll win you over.
  2. Sep 25, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 has been a long time coming, but I definitely feel it was worth it. Fans of the series are likely to be satisfied with the amount of content within. The new characters are great, the guest characters are fun and the new mechanics create a new way to play without sacrificing familiarity. This is a supremely polished title outside of the questionable online portion. Hopefully, they can clean that up shortly after launch and continue supporting it with future costume and stage DLC. This game has legs if things come together, and being a fan as long as I have I can say, it feels good to be back.
  3. Dec 5, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 is a serious contender for the best fighter of the year with interesting characters, an in-depth fighting system which is easy to play yet hard to master so appeals to a wide range of players and also brings something new from its predecessor. If you're only buying one fighting game this year, Dead or Alive 5 would find a perfect space on your shelf.
  4. Oct 16, 2012
    Beneath the oversexualized surface with bouncing breasts and moaning girls, we can find one of this generation's best fighting games, no matter if you're new or old to the concept. Team Ninja has enhanced the mechanics in every single detail and it hasn't felt this good to counter-attack a well-placed punch as in this game. The really new stuff may seem to be few at the beginning, but they will have a strong impact when you have learned the difference.
  5. Oct 11, 2012
    You might not know it from the box, but Dead or Alive 5 is one of the most baffling games of the year. It's full of weird editing, ninja clones and large breasted women. And that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what makes this game so incomprehensible. Thankfully the solid gameplay and gorgeous graphics make up for the often disjointed story telling!
  6. Sep 25, 2012
    Give Dead or Alive 5 an honest chance, and you'll find a formidable, enormously entertaining fighter that will keep you busy for a long time to come.
  7. Sep 25, 2012
    Although very short on modes and true innovation, the title refines the proven DoA-formula and offers one of the smoothest fighting games of the current generations. The systems are easy to understand, hard to master and the visual presentation is better than ever before.
  8. Oct 18, 2012
    Dead or Alive is a series that knows what it does well and DOA5 doesn't deviate from the formula. Simple controls, fast gameplay, and reversals make it a solid fighter for veterans and beginners alike. Given the series' similar controls, the Virtua Fighter guests fit in quite well too.
  9. Sep 25, 2012
    A delicious surprise. While casual fighting game fans will be able to pick up and play, serious combatants will enjoy the rich and deep counter and hold system, as well as the tag team elements where unique match-ups can offer their own rewards. It's still not as technical a fighter as Tekken or Virtua Fighter, but it seems to be taking a step in that direction while still keeping what fans have loved about the series intact -- flashy characters, ease of play, and fan service. It's fun without being frustrating, the all-around fighter for everyone.
  10. Oct 13, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 suffers from stylistic schizophrenia; it switches between the semi-erotic style of Itagaki and the semi-realistic style of Hayashi. This gets on your nerves from time to time, especially for fans of the series. But even fans can't deny that the fifth part in the series is a damn good fighter; a fighter with possibly the best 3D fighting system ever.
  11. Oct 8, 2012
    DOA 5 could easily get overlooked in the deluge of upcoming titles, but it shouldn't. Despite the departure of Itagaki, Team Ninja manages to take DOA 5 up a notch. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel, the counter system adds a new layer of depth. Toss in the upgraded stages and the accessibility offered by the story-lead training and you can almost forgive said story for making almost no sense at all. The game remains accessible, pure fan-service, and most certainly the best looking fighter of this generation.
  12. Sep 25, 2012
    Overall, Dead or Alive 5 is an great fighter, and it's really nice to have another Tecmo fighter land on consoles this gen. It's fresh enough that it easily trumps Dead or Alive 4 in both style and gameplay, but at the same time faces some stiff competition from recently released titles like Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown.
  13. Sep 28, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 stays true to its origins, with its signature combat system satisfying both for casual and hardcore gamers. A good fighter, even if it could have dared a little bit more on the improvements side.
  14. Sep 27, 2012
    As to be expected, this is the top DOA to date.
  15. Sep 25, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 is more spectacular, balanced, has more fluid gameplay, and good in-game modes. Some laggy matches and too-hard CPU AI prevent it from being a great fighting game.
  16. Jan 16, 2013
    Dead or Alive 5's a very good game, but one that also seems slightly confused in its intentions-the neat new mechanics and impressive environmental interactions seem to be butting heads with Team Ninja's desire to make it a more competitive fighter-and by extension, a more traditional one. That said, it's still the best game in the series and incredibly enjoyable, regardless of whether or not it'll finally appease the hardcore fighting gamers out there.
  17. Oct 22, 2012
    DOA5 is fun to play, easy to pick up, and hard to master. Everything you want from a fighting game.
  18. Oct 4, 2012
    While there are some nice tweaks to the affair, DOA fundamentally remains the same. Considering the loss of its Lead Designer, though, that must be considered a victory. Combat is as enjoyable as ever and the game looks better than previous incarnations. It's a natural step forward for the franchise that should soon lead to a next generation leap.
  19. Sep 27, 2012
    For now I'll happily mock Kasumi for wearing next to nothing in Antarctica, roll my eyes at Christie creeping on boys in an oil rig bar, and question the practices of Helena Douglas, a supposedly French CEO who dresses for sultry cabaret and literally beats up her employees.
  20. Sep 26, 2012
    Kudos to Team Ninja for adding something a little more, and making the fights fair enough that anyone stands a chance, even against a pro that thinks he knows Kasumi inside and out.
  21. Sep 26, 2012
    DoA 5 comes back packing, setting itself right aside Tekken Tournament 2 with a serious effort in terms of 3D brawling, even though it doesn't match the best 2D-style fighting games. The content is a little light, unfortunately, but the fans won't be disappointed.
  22. Sep 25, 2012
    This new installment of this highly popular 3D beat´em up continues the same playability, look and feel of its previous incarnations. Nothing extremely fresh and new, but nonetheless entertaining.
  23. Sep 25, 2012
    A fun fighting game, that deepens the fast and spectacular gameplay of the series, but has still some catching up to do to become a real full fledged competitive title. Definitely a step in the right direction though. Also, boobs, lots of em.
  24. Sep 25, 2012
    There is no denying this Dead or Alive looks better than ever, but its improved fighting system is another step in the right direction. The game's story mode leaves much to be desired, however, but fortunately the game's other modes will keep you coming back for more once you finish. Ultimately, Dead or Alive 5's new fighting mechanics and flashy stage effects turn battles into an entertaining, over-the-top experience anyone can get into--with enough practice, of course.
  25. 80
    It's a solid, fun fighter for sure, but it also lacks that special something previous installments had. Dead or Alive is a series known for pushing the envelope in many different ways, and DoA 5 simply doesn't deliver that same sense of daring design that previous titles offered.
  26. Sep 25, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 is a deceptive game. The subtleties of its solid fighting mechanics are easy to miss under all the flashy visual effects layered on top. It is a game new players can pick up and enjoy without feeling overwhelmed by too many options, while still offering complexity to those who know where to look. It's a dynamic fighter that can be enjoyed by players of all skill types.
  27. 70
    Dead or Alive 5 is still enjoyable for the dedicated fans.
  28. Oct 22, 2012
    It's just a little too similar to previous iterations that it's hard to recommend fans rush out to buy it.
  29. Oct 11, 2012
    A fighting game for those who aren't into fighting games, offering plenty of shallow thrills and gorgeous visuals but little beyond that if you want to go deeper. [Issue#90, p.88]
  30. Sep 28, 2012
    This is no revolution for the series, in whatever direction. And with me that's alright, this time at least - and mostly because I largely ignored part 4. It does signify the current struggle of the genre, though. All is well and good, but also a bit boring. Still, I did have quite a bit of fun with DOA 5, especially offline.
  31. Sep 28, 2012
    There's nothing really wrong with DOA5 and it's certainly an improvement over its predecessors, but I was expecting more from the first Dead or Alive game to come out in nearly seven years.
  32. Sep 26, 2012
    If you're looking for a refinement and re-balancing of Dead or Alive 4, then Dead or Alive 5 will suit your needs just fine. It's also the most welcoming to newcomers, so if you've been curious to try DOA, this is the time to get in. If you're a hardcore DOA fan though, keep your expectations in check and don't hope for too much.
  33. Sep 26, 2012
    It'd take the most hardcore of fighting fans to put together an argument that this wasn't a decent fighter at its core and they'd struggle even harder to claim that it wasn't at least entertaining. On a base level, though, it's business as usual. It's a beat-'em-up loaded with increasingly damp and dirty scantily clad ladies whose breasts defy physics and one that has an Achievement for watching every questionably shot, moist, groaning defeat pose.
  34. Sep 25, 2012
    Whether you'll want to buy Dead or Alive 5 on day one depends on a number of things. If you're looking for a wealth of new and inventive content in addition to some truly ground-breaking mechanics, then this really isn't the next big thing. But if you have any love for the genre and want to lose yourself in a highly methodical 3D fighting game that tests your adaptive reasoning at about three or four potentially game-changing decisions per second - well, then Dead or Alive 5 is very easy to like.
  35. 70
    There's very little new in Dead or Alive 5. It's built on tried, true and perhaps tepid fighting game foundations, but given the depth it's difficult to fault it for that. Fighting game players in search of something completely new might be better off holding out for Persona 4 Arena. But if it's just a solid, technical fighter you're after, Dead or Alive fits the bill.
  36. Oct 2, 2012
    Almost seven years passed since Dead or Alive 4 – a long time in which beat'em ups progressed quite a bit. This progressed seems to have passed by Team Ninja. A little more action, a little less counter attack. The unique fighting system still is tremendously motivating and delivers. But that aside this T & A show doesn't have much too offer.
  37. Sep 25, 2012
    Considering it's been almost seven years since the last game Dead Or Alive 5 has shamefully few new ideas, and makes you wonder whether the series didn't belong in the big league after all.
  38. Sep 25, 2012
    Dead or Alive 5 can be a decent fighter when you're settling into a good match, but the overall package just doesn't deliver what a sequel should. New characters Mila and Rig are fun to control, and some cameos from Virtua Fighter are a nice bonus, but this series simply hasn't progressed in the same way that its peers in the genre have. This may have sufficed as a sequel in 2007, but Dead or Alive is getting lapped by its competitors in 2012.
  39. Sep 24, 2012
    Team Ninja fails to live up to the expectations in the latest Dead or Alive title. The breast physics and flashy backgrounds seem to have gotten more love than the actual fighting engine, and in the end Dead or Alive 5 is little more than mediocre.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 98 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 98
  2. Negative: 11 out of 98
  1. Sep 25, 2012
    it was exactly what I wanted... some balance tweaks... a broader story. still a little goofy, still fast paced. Thank you team ninja, afterit was exactly what I wanted... some balance tweaks... a broader story. still a little goofy, still fast paced. Thank you team ninja, after what you did to ninja gaiden, I see this as redeeming. I'll see you bama's in the ring! Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2012
    A nice addition to the fighting game genre. The game is faster paced than Dead or Alive 4 and overall is put together better. There is betterA nice addition to the fighting game genre. The game is faster paced than Dead or Alive 4 and overall is put together better. There is better balance and the story isn't as absurd or confusing as DOA 4. The best part of DOA 5 is definitely the graphics. Characters pick up dirt on their clothes when thrown to the ground and you can see sweat on the fighters. The game looks absolutely fantastic. This a good buy for fighting game fans and even novices to fighting games such as myself. Full Review »
  3. Sep 30, 2012
    Missing characters, Missing any acknowledgement to the past 7 years of inventive ideas in Fighting Games, Missing any redeeming qualities as aMissing characters, Missing any acknowledgement to the past 7 years of inventive ideas in Fighting Games, Missing any redeeming qualities as a fighter with dozens of bugs, issues, and missing features. Everything about this game defies the previous Dead or Alive games, never mind **** on what is widely regarded as the pinnacle of 3D fighting games, Dead or Alive 4. Dead or Alive 4 paved the way for almost every fighting game release in the past 7 years. Fighting games have adopted one thing or another from Dead or Alive 4 and incorporated them into their own design, be it the "bounce" combo mechanic, Online ranked lobbies and network inspiration, or even Motion Blur as a detail enhancing visual feature. In one way or another, nearly every fighting game made in the past 7 years has taken notes from Dead or Alive 4 in hopes to compete. Dead or Alive 5 doesn't aim to be better than, or even as good as Dead or Alive 4. It lacks features from previous DOA games, it lacks network capabilities from previous DOA games, it lacks balance from previous DOA games, it simplifies combat immensely by **** the **** out of Counter-Holds making them relatively useless, thereby ruining the "Triangle System" brand of combat that DOA is famous for. It's buggy, rushed, highly in favor to the over-sexualization of it's female characters (even more-so than previous DOA games) so much as to be called misandry. Dead or Alive 5 is the biggest fighting game scandal in the history of fighting video games. Please understand that the Team Ninja that made the previous four DOA games no longer exists. In 2008, Tomonobu Itagaki and over 36 key members of Team Ninja quit and sued Tecmo for business malpractice. leaving Tecmo's Team Ninja with a shell of what once was a development studio. The publicized departure of Itagaki and around 40 people caused a stir up that dissuaded prospective engineers, programmers, animators, artists, and designers from choosing to work for Tecmo/TeamNinja, and because of that - they could only end up hiring people who were not entirely capable. This game is as much of a bastardization to the Dead or Alive series and fighting games as a whole as Ninja Gaiden 3 was to the Ninja Gaiden series and action-adventure hack-n-slash games. Anyone who praises this game either doesn't play fighting games or is simply lying through their teeth. This is one of the cheapest Lie Detectors available, while still being the most expensive Fighting Game without content. Full Review »