Globox, a friend of Rayman, has placed the world in peril. By eating the Lord of the Dark Lums, Globox has enraged the Hoodlums, who plan to take back their master no matter what the cost to the world around them. It's up to Rayman to save the day and find a cure to rid the Dark Lord from Globox.
Just like its Game Boy predecessors, Rayman 3 is mostly a traditional side-scrolling platformer. The main goal is to reach the end of a level, but there are various items to collect which all count towards the 100% completion. Some of those items can only be collected by re-visiting the level with additional abilities which are learned during the course of the game. Additionally there are two 3D mini games involving jet skiing and kart racing.
New abilities, thanks to power ups littered around the levels, allow Rayman to use the likes of Heavy Metal Fist and the Shock Rocket to take down enemies around him, while the lock jaw allows Rayman to get to hard to reach places.
The GBA version can link to a GameCube via the link port, allowing players to play exclusive mini-games on both systems and download new levels to the GBA.
The Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3 largely follows the plot and design of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. Many of the Rayman 2 levels have been reworked, and the music and characters have been recycled. The Globox/Dark Lum aspect of the Rayman 3 plot has been retained, however, and there is an occasional appearance of a Hoodlum.