Generally favorable reviews - based on 56 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 56
  2. Negative: 1 out of 56
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  1. 70
    Many of the new inclusions feel like forced additions that have only been added to the mix because they worked in competing games, and because something new apparently has to happen. It's still a romp against friends on the couch, but you need to take the time to bend the game to your will first.
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    SoulCalibur V was a disappointment to me. Not because it lacked polish, but more because it felt like it didn't take any steps forward to advance the series. Everything here feels old-hat and reused. I was expecting more from a series that has defined itself over the years as being progressive. Still, if you are in it for the solid fighting mechanics and awesome create-a-fighter, this game has more than enough to warrant your purchase dollars. You could literally spend months online mastering the ins and outs of the system. If you were expecting the next evolution of the series, though, you might come away a little disappointed.
  3. Jan 31, 2012
    I'll never have the kind of relationship with SoulCalibur 5 that I did with SC2, but I still plan on the two of us spending as much time as possible together. I love this game, I'm just not in love with it.
  4. Jan 31, 2012
    SoulCalibur V is definitely a step in the right direction for the maligned series. Despite plenty of changes and improvements, however, the game is still too complex to be casual and too flawed to be taken seriously. Soulcalibur V might have forged its own soul, but it's not burning brightly just yet.
  5. 70
    Where the second through fourth games were exceedingly well-padded, the fifth is SoulCalibur hacked to a sliver, with very little between you and that fiery core. Admirable as that may sound, the result is a dangerously light single player game that's hard to recommend to anybody save SoulCalibur obsessives - or newcomers in search of a populous (because it's recent) online fighter. Notoriously fleet of foot, the series needs to put a bit of weight back on.
  6. Feb 10, 2012
    The series is in need of a heavy overhaul, but SoulCalibur V isn't the installment to deliver it.
  7. Feb 3, 2012
    It's still a really solid fighting game and still pretty easy for newcomers to pick up and play, but it's not everything that I want out of the game. As much as I loathe paying for content that should have been on disc in the first place, I do find myself hoping that DLC will alleviate some of the issues I have.
  8. Mar 29, 2012
    Unfortunately for those returning after an absence (like me) or who are brand new to the series, Soul Calibur V does little to bring a player up to speed with the new characters and mechanics beyond throwing them into the fight and letting them wade through as best they can. Factor in the scarcity of offline single-player content, and this means that multiplayer is the only thing granting Soul Calibur V any longevity; players looking for long-term offline play will be better served with Soul Calibur IV.
  9. Feb 13, 2012
    SoulCalibur V, in its current state, only possibly succeeds as a fighting game (admittedly, this goes a very long way), yet already fails as a product. This is the worst scenario for an entry in this series. In one fell swoop, it's cut off most of the gateways people used to become fans of the series in the first place and provides a harsh climate to even the hardcore, who are now the only audience for this game, and that's a downright shame. There's still quality here, but it takes a lot of perseverance to find it.
  10. Feb 3, 2012
    Soul Calibur V still brings an unmatched clash of swords with its weapons-based brawls, but its paltry single-player content is an absolute insult to the series' substantial legacy.
  11. 60
    SoulCalibur V closely resembles the Modern Warfare of fighting games with an instantly forgettable story line in its single player campaign paling before a more robust multiplayer and online component. Ignore the story mode and delve deeper into the arcade, character creation and versus modes for the best experience. It's not even close to the finest incarnation of the series but it looks quite pretty and is still reasonably solid.
  12. Feb 2, 2012
    SoulCalibur V fits the bill if you want a quick duel against a friend via the online or offline mode, but to be honest the unbalanced character roster, bugs and lazy design is offputting. Project Soul promised us so much more, but the end result is disappointing.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 142
  2. Negative: 30 out of 142
  1. Feb 1, 2012
    The worst entry in the series to date. It's a bare bones minimalist title that excells at multiplayer at ONLY multiplayer. No characterThe worst entry in the series to date. It's a bare bones minimalist title that excells at multiplayer at ONLY multiplayer. No character endings, cutscenes, or even a vague idea of why most of the cast is even in the game. The campaign is the only storyline in the game and it only features a small portion of the roster and some only have a single line of dialogue. Speaking of the would think stripping away every single extra feature or mode would make them focus on making the campaign good right? Sadly it's quite terrible, scribbled drawings with naration and a few 5-second cutcenes here and there. I'm not sure what Team Soul was thinking. This game offers nothing to single player oriented fans, the only thing left to do after the campaign is...collect clothing. Which have no properties as armor and weapon stats are gone as well. This is a RENT. You can litteraly do everything this game has to offer in one nights work. Full Review »
  2. Feb 2, 2012
    I'm confused at most of these reviews. The combat has not improved. It's actually been dumbed down to the point that one of the buttonI'm confused at most of these reviews. The combat has not improved. It's actually been dumbed down to the point that one of the button combinations (horizontal and kick; one of the style-switching combinations) has been removed. I'm not necessarily complaining about the changes in familiar move sets, because that actually makes the learning curve interesting. I'm complaining about the way in which the combat and gameplay have devolved since Soul Calibur 3.

    Soul Calibur 3 took all that was right with SC2, improved it, and supplied a treasure chest of single-player modes including the best campaign a fighting game has ever seen: "Chronicles of the Sword." Soul Calibur 4 dumbed down the combat by dumping the fake-out "jump-delays," removed the campaign, and made story mode brisker. These aren't such bad changes, but remain questionable with the amount of content an HD game should have compared to a PS2 classic. Soul Calibur 5 removed A+K (stunting Ivy's entire move-set), reduced story mode to a single narrative, kicked out the Museum, and transformed mission-mode into "extreme-difficulty arcade-mode."

    Soul Calibur 3: Arcade, Versus, Story, Campaign, Missions, Customs (personality-building, main roster colors), Museum (movies, art, music, battle theater, profiles with full dialogue, demonstrations)
    Soul Calibur 4: Arcade, Versus, Online, Story, Missions (Tower: staged-Ascend and laddered-Descend), Customs (RPG-traits, main roster costumes), Museum (movies, art, overview of series)
    Soul Calibur 5: Arcade, Versus, Online, Story (single narrative), Missions ("Legendary Souls": Europe, Asia, both), Customs (superficially, more stuff)

    There's also the lack of stun-recovery that I find baffling. Usually, you're given a slim chance to avoid a juggle, but this entry has removed it entirely. The parries (Guard Impact) have been changed to work dependently on your power-meter, the thing you're trying to save for your "super combo." It reminds me of how frustrating it was in Mortal Kombat (2011) to have the combo-breaker rely on a "super combo" meter instead of allowing you two chances in a match like previous entries. Parrying has been altered to the benefit of no one. Newcomers will find no reward in practicing and performing it because it now depletes from the action. In the case of parrying, it really should have added to the meter than subtract.These are huge steps in the wrong direction.

    I welcomed the new characters openly, as the two previous games were two cluttered with clones. However, some of the outcomes don't make sense to me. You end up with five random select options once you've unlocked all the hidden characters (two others are just alternate weapon types for the main characters). Older, male characters that ought to be replaced have held out longer than younger females (most devastating: Talim). Mitsurugi makes sense in this regard, Maxi and Raphael (whose intended replacement is nowhere to be seen) do not. The majority of the new characters are more replacements than fresh additions, the exceptions being Viola and ZWEI who each have such unique play styles as to rival that of the SC3 additions.

    I want to give this a lower score, but technically it's still a good fighting game. Any fighting game that gives you a full-range of movement to actually explore its arenas has done something right. I'm also loving the Creation mode, which allows me to move three items wherever I want them (when stickers are simply not enough). Multiplayer is fast and hopefully draws a lot of attention, however I'm still displeased to wait for a single match to finish while myself and a number of others wait patiently. Couldn't it be a couple of matches at the same time in a room of five? Otherwise, the ping hasn't interrupted any of my matches thus far. The addition of Brave Edge and Critical Edge is a welcomed one as each has a specific strength that a mastered player can triumph over the proposed "army of button mashers these games cater to."

    So, 7 seems appropriate for now (SC4: 8, SC3:10) and I do hope stun-recovery is patched into this game because "Legendary Souls" mode (the game's one and only "mission") is such a hassle without it. To be completely honest, this is a good entry game for the series. I just hope that means people will be inclined to purchase Soul Calibur 3, if it ever ends up on PSN or Xbox-Live, or even Soul Calibur 4 for all its content and a much better approach to customs than "we balanced everything out so you can make people in bikinis tough."

    Side-note: For everyone saying the games went downhill after Soul Calibur or Soul Calibur 2, you missed out on two much better games.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2012
    First of all, I'm going to make it clear from the start of my review: a lot, and I mean the vast majority of reviewers, have given SCV a lowFirst of all, I'm going to make it clear from the start of my review: a lot, and I mean the vast majority of reviewers, have given SCV a low score (for example IGN and gamespot) because they thing the singleplayer is not great. Perhaps it isn't, but attacking it so vehemently is just completely wrong; it's a competitively geared fighting game. It was made to be the most valid entry in the series for tournament play. Anyways, on to my review:

    The graphics, although not a huge leap from SC4, don't have to be. They were already pretty amazing in SC4, and the fact that they are better (and noticeably) means SC5 is is a beautiful, beautiful looking game. Ezio is a more appropriate guest character this time around, compared to Yoda and Vader. It's still too early to say if the game is more balanced. All I know is that Siegfried, my main (who I am pleased to know looks pretty badass this time around), is nerfed a bit. Some of his moves that were safe in SC4 aren't safe anymore.

    The real crowning achievement for SCV, in my opinion, is the absolutely incredible online and lobby mode.The netcode is absolutely excellent. Players can choose their preference for connection quality, and there is regional matchmaking. You can even choose to match up with some japanese gosu if you feel like getting your ass whooped. Of course, there will be lag if you live in America or europe. With the regional matchmaking, you'll get 4/5 bar connection, which means almost no lag at all. SC4 was tainted with lag abuse online... and you'll never see it again here.

    The lobby system is on an entirely different level to other games. Up to 6 people can join into a lobby in player matches, for people watching two others duking it out. What makes it amazing is that players can actually text chat with each other. PC players might scoff at this... but for people who primarily play on consoles, that's pretty damn awesome. It's great to see the "gg"s floating about the lobby. The game also records automatically records your last 8 matches.

    The other feature of SCV which will leave your jaw firmly glued to the floor is the new Create a Soul (CaS). Think of SC4's CaS (if you played it), then multiply it by a factor of 10... now you've got SCV's CaS. The original characters of the series can have their armour/clothing customized ad infinium, as opposed to a single monochrome colour base from before. You can even fiddle around with the colour saturation. Every character has more weapons to use than before. There's a staggering amount of weapon and armour unlocks. The possibilities really are endless this time around. Have a favourite character from a book/film you like? You can create it easily. I created a very accurate replica of Guts from the manga "Berserk" with ease. So there you have it: The best online mode, netcode and lobby probably ever seen so far in a fighting game, absolutely beautiful visuals, and a staggering amount of customization.

    I think many people will be turned off by these so called "professional" reviews that completely fail to focus on the important parts of a fighting game, instead focusing on paltry tings like story mode, and "lack of a tutorial mode (gamespot.... it's called training mode ffs).
    Full Review »