Tekken 3

Moby ID: 3569
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Description official descriptions

Tekken Force, a paramilitary organization protecting the Mishima karate fighters, is nearly obliterated by the might Ogre. Heihachi Mishima's only hope is his grandson Jin Kazama, who lives with his mother Jun, unaware of his legacy. When Ogre attacks his home and presumably kills his mother, Jin seeks out his grandfather and learns the martial arts of the family. On his nineteenth birthday, Heihachi announces the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3, hoping to use Jin to remove Ogre out of his way.

Tekken 3 is a versus fighting game similar to its predecessors in the series. Differences include prominently featured side-stepping, allowing characters to retreat into the background and back during fights, new combo throws, and reduced jumping capabilities aiming for more realistic combat. Fifteen new characters have been added to the roster. Also included are two minigames, Tekken Force (a beat-em-up stage that unlocks a new character) and Tekken Ball, a beach volleyball variant where characters are hurt by the ball.


  • 铁拳3 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (Arcade version)

105 People (93 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Game Director
Motion Director
Motion Manager
Visual Director
Main Program
Game Program
System Program
I/O Program
LED Program
Stage Program
Effect Program
Enemy Program
Camera Program
Test Mode Program
Tool Suport
Motion Design
[ full credits ]



Average score: 94% (based on 37 ratings)


Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 120 ratings with 6 reviews)

Tekken 3 is King of Iron Fist!

The Good
A massively popular hit in Japanese and American arcades, many expected to be a bit disappointed with the home console port of Tekken 3, as the arcade technology had surpassed that of the aging PlayStation. And while the models have slightly fewer polygons and the backgrounds are again in rotating 2D, Namco threw in a plethora of extras and home exclusives, and while they were hit-or-miss, the hits more than make up for the slight drop in graphical quality.

Not that the game doesn't look terrific. One of the first last-generation titles on the PSX, Tekken 3 pushes the limits, sacrificing 3D backgrounds for some of the most detailed character design possible. The characters animate much more smoothly than the somewhat stiff, blocky motions of it's predecessor, and overall the controls are looser and more forgiving.

The combo system is also extremely deep, especially with King and Nina's linkable throws, and Lei's Funky Chicken stances or whatever the hell they're called. It takes a LONG time to master one character in this game. Namco has also fleshed out the secondary (unlockable) characters a bit more, in Tekken 2 they seemed to be blatant ripoffs of other characters within the game, sharing the same moves under a different skin. Now even Anna has a different set of moves then her twin Nina, and the only characters who still seem to be the product of incestous design shortcuts are Kuma (the bear) and Gun Jack (the android).

The techno music doesn't seem quite as good as the more sweeping instrumentals of the previous two, but it fits the darker mood of the game and the tracks are well suited to the characters.

All the standard Tekken modes you know and love are here, including Arcade, Vs., Team, Practice, and the fruit-bearing Survival, and Namco threw in three eclectic new modes to boot:

Tekken Force - A homage to Streets of Rage, Tekken Force lets you control one character in a series of side-scrolling, 2.5D streets. You fight lots of baddies, mostly Mishima henchmen with about one-quarter to one-half a life bar. It's a decent diversion, yielding a nifty hidden character, but it's not as good as Tobal's Quest Mode.

Tekken Ball - Quite possibly the most bizarre fighting game extra ever, Tekken ball is a very simple concept: do special moves on a ball to "charge" it and send it to the opponents side, where he can hit it with a special move and send it back to you with more charge, send it back with no extra charge by doing a standard move, or block it and then hit it. Let it hit you or touch the ground on your side and lose health. This mode is very fun and a blast in 2-player mode, but they didn't bother including a seperate AI for the Ball Mode, and so the computer is incompetent at best.

Theatre - Yes Yes YES! With this option, you can view any of the quality ending cinemas or listen to the music trackes. You can also pop in your Tekken 1 or 2 disc and view the media there. Very nice.

The Bad
The problem with Tekken is that it is very friendly towards button-mashers. There is not that much of a visible difference in the ability of beginners and good players and only a real master has noticeably better odds against a newbie. While Tekken looks superb when it's played like it's supposed to, it can be ugly watching a newbie mash for half the match only to figure out one move he likes, and then use it exclusively for the rest of the round hoping his opponent does not figure out how to counter it.

Namco doesn't help by including at least one newbie-friendly win-at-no-cost cheap character. It was Law in the first one, Lei in the second, now say hello to Eddy Gordo. Pity the coolest fighting style in the game is so cheesy.

Gon. G-O-N. Some cross-promotion with a Japanese comic resulted in this abomination. Do yourself a favor and don't unlock this character. He is ridiculously small, rendering normal character's mid-high attacks ineffective. You can't throw or counter him, making him ludicrously advantaged. When someone picks Gon, it just makes me want to put the game down. Sigh.

The Bottom Line
The graphics are the best you could expect from the PSX, and the numerous home extras make this another better-than-perfect arcade port.

PlayStation · by Anatole (58) · 2001

A giant step forward for the Tekken series

The Good
The gameplay is really great. Unlike the previous games in the series, which are quite clunky, Tekken 3 is very fluid and makes moves and combos very easy to execute. There's lots of ways of moving around, especially since this installment added a sidestep, some characters even have moves they can do out of a side step. One thing unique to Tekken is that the buttons are assigned to limbs rather than attack types like punch or kick. This puts the focus more on button combinations rather than complex joystick motions, which is great in my opinion. There's more to defending than your usual blocking or evading, it's possible for some character to parry or counter moves and some characters even have special parries in their moves, for example when Lei goes into drunken stance, he parries mid/high punches, while his panther stance parries low moves and his tiger stance parries mid/high moves. Some moves also have special properties, making Tekken 3 a really deep game, though not as deep as say the Virtua Fighter games.

Tekken also has a character for any type of player. Scrubs will pick Eddy and mash, but just as any other good fighting game, anyone who is proficient at the game can easily beat mashers. There are characters who are good for beginners like Paul, Jin or Law, characters who are for people looking for a steep learning curve like Lei or Yoshimitsu and middle of the road characters like King or Nina.

Players with different play styles will also easily be able to pick their characters, with powerhouse characters picking Paul or Gun Jack, pokers picking Nina, Anna or Xiaoyu, grapplers picking King who not only has a lot of throws, but along with Nina and Anna has quite a few chain throws as well. There's also the unique Yoshimitsu, who has a lot of unblockables due to having a sword, who can sit and jump around on his sword, fly short distances with his helicopter attacks, regain his health by doing a sitting dance and burp poison mist into their faces! For the most Yoshimitsu fun, I recommend teleporting behind your opponent and back throwing them OR doing his seppuku move which can take his opponent down with him! Most of these moves are impractical though, but when you do manage to pull them off however...

All characters also have a lot of moves, the most impressive move set being that of Lei Wulong, who has unique moves spread through 5 Animal stances, drunken stance, phoenix stance, 4 grounded stances and back turned stance.

The game also offers a lot of modes. Arcade and Vs modes being your standard modes, Team mode which allows for 8vs8 character fights, Survival mode which tests your skills to see how many characters you can beat with only one life bar, Time Attack which tests your skills to see how much time you need to finish the game, Tekken Ball where two characters battle it out by hitting a beach ball against each other that is powered by launchers and Tekken Force, which is a short beat-em-up mini-game.

The graphics are one of the best on the Playstation, with excellent animations, detailed fighters and arenas, even though the arcade version is slightly better in that respect. The CGI cutscenes are also very impressive for it's time.

The sound design is very well done, the sound effects really help make powerful moves seem powerful. The music, while in my opinion nowhere near as good as Tekken 2, is still very well done and songs fit their respective characters really well. You also have an option to switch from the rearranged music to the original arcade music, which I myself find better.

The Bad
The plot is your standard fighting game excuse plot, some god awakens and several martial arts masters go missing, so Heihachi organizes a tournament to find out who can beat him or whatever. Then again why would anyone play a fighting game for the plot? No seriously, if you want a good plot go play Silent Hill 2.

The Tekken Force mode, while it is very interesting and would lay a foundation for the sequel's similar modes, has it's faults. First of all you can't go back more than the position in which the screen has scrolled. Second of all, you can't choose which character to face, so if you get attacked by two guys from different sides, it's impossible to defend from the one behind you. Third and last of all, the boss at the end of the stage can go off screen, which means that you can't hit them there until they come back.

I also dislike the 2 extra characters that aren't in the arcade version, Gon and Dr. B. Gon, while short has slow and useless attacks which make him easy to beat and Dr. B is the only character the AI makes challenging because he can most of the time only be hit with moves that can hit grounded opponents and he's really slippery. Dr. B is also impossible to control yourself and I've yet to see anyone, in real life or on the internet, who can control him reliably.

The AI isn't too great either, it can be good when you're new to the game, but it's way too predictable and easy to punish once you master it. In the arcades, nobody wants to play against the AI, it's better just to learn from experience with someone else or if you really have to practice some moves or combos, there's practice mode. So the only time you'd play against the AI is to unlock all the characters. Speaking of which, Tekken 3 has the worst boss AI in the series, especially True Ogre who can easily consistently be perfectly beaten once you know how to punish the fact that he's a big guy.

The Bottom Line
Today, Tekken is considered one of the best the fighting game genre has to offer together with series such as Street Fighter, Virtua Fighter, MvC and Soul Calibur, but this game launched it to that status. The port is almost exactly the same as the arcade game, with only differences being slightly worse graphics, an enhanced soundtrack and more game modes. My suggestion is that if you haven't played the game, get it. It offers a lot of fast-paced action for beginners and experts with different play styles alike with it's simple control scheme, yet complicated game mechanics. Of course, it can't please everyone so if you don't find it to be your cup of tea, fine. Invite some friends over, get a couple of beers and see who's the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3!

PlayStation · by ToMegaTherion (6) · 2013

The graphics, cinematics, and gameplay are all excellent. But for total enjoyment, play DoA or the original Tekken.

The Good
Graphics: Probably the best you'll get on the PSX, Tekken's graphics are smooth, nice, and just excellent, the movements of the characters are excellent.

Cinematics: Wow! The cinematics are excellent, the character's movements are even smoother in the movies.

Gameplay: Fabulous, the controls are simple and easy.

The Bad
Overall Enjoyment: Less than the other Tekken games, the fighting isn't as fast moving as the original Tekken or Tekken 2.

The Bottom Line
If you're looking for technical perfection, Tekken 3 is the game for you. But if you want a fast paced game, play the predecessors, or the Dead or Alive series.

PlayStation · by Jim Fun (207) · 2002

[ View all 6 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Tekken 3 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


One of three games to be emulated on the short-lived bleemcast! PlayStation emulator for Dreamcast.

Western versions

In the Western versions of the game, Anna's ending video was cut and changed. A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).

References to the game

This game is referenced in the Eiffel 65 song, My Console.


  • EGM
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #8 Best Arcade Games of All Time
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Arcade Game of the Year Runner-Up
    • March 1998 (Issue 104) - Arcade Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)

Information also contributed by Ace of Sevens


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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Grant McLellan.

Arcade added by The cranky hermit.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, J. Michael Bottorff, Alaka, DreinIX, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added April 2, 2001. Last modified February 23, 2024.