Alpine Racer 3 is a downhill ski racing game. It is based on the arcade Alpine Racer series played on a cabinet where the player stands on a set of ski-like foot stands that are moved with horizontal motions to steer and taking corners while holding onto two bars for stability. This is the first game in the series made for a console system. The features and game modes are most likely not identical to the Alpine Racer 3 arcade game. A first for the series, it mixed skiing with snowboarding previously featured in the arcade game Alpine Surfer.
The main game mode is the Extreme Winners Cup that features cross races, slalom, one-on-one and time attack. These largely serve to qualify for the tournaments. There are eight characters to choose from (one initially locked) and several courses. Each character has different statistics based on speed, turning and power. By winning races credits are earned to upgrade the snowboard and ski gear. Next to steering an additional button can be used to crouch and gain extra speed, but this limits movement. The same button is used in the air to perform tricks. The game can be played competitively against another player through a split-screen. Some of the equipment in the game comes from licensed manufacturers.