Tekken 3
STORY:  Set fifteen years after the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2, the story starts with Jun Kazama, who has been living a quiet life in Yakushima with her young son, Jin, who is the son of Kazuya Mishima. Heihachi Mishima, meanwhile, has established the Tekken Force, an organization dedicated to the protection of the Mishima Zaibatsu. Using the company's influence, Heihachi is responsible for many events that have ultimately led to world peace. However, while on an excavation in Mexico, a squadron of Heihachi's Tekken Force is attacked and vanquished by a mysterious being. The only surviving soldier manages to relay a brief message to Heihachi, describing the perpetrator as an "Ogre" or a "Fighting God". Heihachi and a team of soldiers investigate, with Heihachi managing to catch a glimpse of the culprit. After seeing the Ogre character, Heihachi's long dormant dream of world domination is reawakened. He seeks to capture Ogre to use him for this goal.

Soon after, various martial arts masters begin disappearing from all over the world, and Heihachi is convinced that this is Ogre's doing. In Yakushima, Jun starts to feel the presence of Ogre approaching her and Jin. Knowing that she has become a target, Jun tells Jin about Ogre, and instructs him to go straight to Heihachi should anything happen. Sometime after Jin's fifteenth birthday, Ogre does indeed attack. Against Jun's wishes, Jin valiantly tries to fight Ogre off, but Ogre brushes him aside and knocks him unconscious. When Jin reawakens, he finds that the house has been burned to the ground, and that his mother is missing and most likely dead. Driven by revenge, Jin goes to Heihachi and tells him everything. Jin begs Heihachi to train him to become strong enough to face Ogre again. Heihachi accepts.

Three years later, Jin grows into an impressive fighter and master of Mishima Style Karate. On Jin's nineteenth birthday, the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 3 is announced, and Jin prepares for his upcoming battle against Ogre. He is unaware, however, that Heihachi is merely using him and the rest of the competitors as bait to lure Ogre out in order to capture him. Eventually, the tournament leads to the final confrontation between Jin and The God of Fight. Paul Phoenix was successful in defeating Ogre, however, he leaves after winning the match. Unknown to him at the time, Ogre is able to transform into a much more powerful "true" from, known to the players as "True Ogre". When Jin arrives, he is confronted by this True Ogre form and begins the fight. The battle rages for hours, until Jin finally emerges the victor and Ogre completely dissolves. Moments later, Jin is gunned down by a squadron of Tekken Forces led by Heihachi, who, no longer needing Jin, finishes the job personally by firing a final shot into his grandson's head.

However, Jin, revived by the Devil Gene within him (because after Jin's mother had gone missing following an attack from Ogre, Devil returned, branded Jin's left arm with a mark, possessing him), reawakens and makes quick work of the soldiers, turning his attention to Heihachi and literally smashing him through the wall of the temple. Heihachi survives the long fall, but Jin, in mid-air, sprouts black, feathery wings and strikes Heihachi one last time. He then flies off into the night, leaving his bewildered grandfather staring after him.

Largest Tekken roster to date! Ohh, and best looking!

The third installment to Namco's hand-to-hand fighter takes place an entire 15 years after Tekken 2... with many of the veteran Tekken characters looking notably older. Tekken's gameplay hadn't changed a whole lot from Tekken to Tekken 2, but Tekken 3 introduced some key gameplay elements that enhanced the classic the gameplay, including the God-send known as the "sidestep".... Finally, Tekken not only looked 3D, but played 3D as well.

Badass cyber Ninjitsu VS fluid Capoeira! 

Along with improved character control and noticeably smoother animations, the most notable addition to the core gameplay this time around is side stepping, which allowed for a new way to dodge attacks. Tapping up or down on the D-pad allows fighters to move around the 3D environments and dodge their opponent's attacks if timed properly. The sidestep truly re-invented Tekken's combo oriented gameplay system, and opened up new strategies like the hard-hitting "side throws" (which were exclusive to each character). The side throws differed depending on if you caught your opponent on their left or right, and were some of the coolest (and most painful) looking moves in the game... can you say ouch factor?

Heihachi learns TaeKwonDo the hard way.

Now that the core gameplay was evolving from a 2D plane into a 3D plane, the character development was also able to take a noticeable step forward in Tekken 3. Several intricately designed new fighters have joined the cast, each representing their own unique brand of authentic martial arts. The new characters include a young Tae Kwon Do expert Hwoarang,  a cool Capoeira martial artist Eddy Gordo, and a fast and agile Chinese female, Ling Xiaoyu... and finally, Jin Kazama took the place of his father Kazuya, fighting very similar to his old man, but sporting his fair share of unique moves. Even though several characters from the prequels were sadly missing, Tekken 3's character selection was the most balanced, and most impressive roster to date.

The console version of Tekken 3 also featured some great bonus modes such as Tekken Ball (a volleyball type game where you can use any of the characters) and Tekken Force mode (a 2D beat-em-up style game with four levels). The bonus modes were very innovative modes for a fighting game, and offered a nice break from the intense arcade & VS mode battles. All in all, Tekken 3 was one of the best (if not the best) console fighting game ever made at the time of it's release.

FUN FACT: TEKKEN 3 on PS1 sold 8.3 million copies, making it one of the highest selling fighting games of all time.


Page Updated: February 23rd, 2017
Developer(s): Namco
Publisher(s): Namco
Designer(s): Masahiro Kimoto    (Director)
Katsuhiro Harada   
Hijame Nakatani    
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, PSN
Release Date(s): Mar. 20th, 1997        (Arcade)
Mar. 26th, 1998        ( PS1)
Apr. 29th 1998
           ( PS1)
Sept. 12th, 1998
        ( PS1)
Dec. 21st, 2011         ( PS1)
Characters Jin Kazama, Ling Xiaoyu, Eddy Gordo, Hwoarang, Lei Wulong, King, Nina Williams, Forrest Law, Julia Chang, Paul Phoenix, Yoshimitsu, Gun Jack, Kuma, Panda, Bryan Fury, Ogre, Anna Williams, Tiger, True Ogre, Heihachi, Dr. B, Gon, Mokujin

Featured Video:

Related Games: Tekken, Tekken 2, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Advance, Tekken 4, Tekken 5, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection Online, Tekken: Dark Resurrection, Tekken 6, Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 7, Tekken Revolution, Street Fighter X Tekken

Gameplay Engine  9.5 / 10
Story / Theme  9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.0 / 10
Innovation  9.0 / 10
Art Direction  9.0 / 10
Customization  8.0 / 10
Options / Extras  10 / 10
Intro / Presentation  10 / 10
Replayability / Fun  9.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  9.5 / 10
Characters  9.5 / 10

 9.6 / 10

 Review based on Arcade / PS1 versions    


Final Words:

Tekken 3 was no doubt the definitive Tekken experience at the time, improving on all aspects that made the prequels so memorable. Presentation-wise, Tekken 3 is regarded even by "mainstream" gamers as one of the best fighting games of all time. The gameplay system was rock solid, paving the way for many future Tekken titles to come.

Worth mentioning, Tekken 3's PS1 intro is still among my all time favorite video game intros. It flowed brilliantly from beginning to end... and the music & visuals were top stuff at the time. The characters themselves backed up how cool they looked in the intro with deep movelists and authentic fighting styles. The FMV character endings were equally visually impressive but also well thought out, fleshing out Tekken's cool characters even further. 

Two years after Tekken 3's arcade release, Tekken Tag Tournament was released - which used an updated formula based around Tekken 3's gameplay & graphics. 
~TFG Webmaster


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