Tekken 8 Review – Fighting Game Perfection

Photo Credit: Steam / Capcom

Tekken is a fighting game series with a storied history and a surprisingly enjoyable narrative. It began in 1994 with the original Tekken on the PlayStation system. After a the

Now, 30 years later, Bandai Namco is back with Tekken 8, and it does not disappoint. The next chapter begins on all next-generation consoles and PCs with some old and new features.

Tekken 8 Packs A Serious Punch

The triumphant return of the Tekken franchise is packed full of goodies. There are sixteen battle stages, thirty-two playable characters, and eight different play modes to experience. The story mode follows Jin as he tries to control his devil powers while fighting Kazuya. Our story continues shortly after Kazuya defeats Heihachi Mishima in his bid for global domination.

Aside from this, each character in the game has their own story battles. Each story battle contains five battles to go through with their own narrative. Some of the main modes are Arcade Quest, Ghost Battle, and Tekken Ball. The rest are basic online multiplayer and practice modes. Arcade Quest allows you to play Tekken with your avatar while earning coins to buy your new cosmetics. You can also complete missions that are given to you. Ghost Battle allows you to play against an AI ghost created based on your skill set.

It takes about three matches for the AI to learn how you play. Tekken Ball, originally introduced in Tekken 3, is back as well. For those unfamiliar, it involves hitting a ball into your opponent to do damage. The person with no health left, or the smallest amount when time runs out, loses.

Photo Credit: Bandai Namco.

Regarding presentation, Tekken 8 is a cinematic gem. The level of detail in the characters, levels, and movie cut scenes is some of the best I have seen in recent fighting games. Some of the details are in the swag. The entire game just oozes personality from each character’s appearance, clothing, and behavior. The soundtrack is very good as well, adding another level of swag. The Juke Box feature allows you to choose which soundtrack you would like to listen to as well. You can pick songs from any of the other titular games in the series. Together, it’s a nice touch that ties a nice ribbon around an outright stellar presentation.

For those looking to maximize your customization, you can purchase new clothes for your characters and avatars. Clothes, accessories, and other swag are also purchasable with coins earnable through modes in the game. I received The Ultimate Edition for the purpose of this review. The Ultimate Pack gives you quite a few extra clothes, accessories, and even some specific avatar skin packs. I use Jin as my avatar skin. Details on each fighter that are changeable include hair, clothes, and accessories. Certain pieces of clothing will only go with other clothes that match its grouping. It will ask you to remove everything that isn’t going to work with it.

Tekken 8 Delivers Some Of The Most Intense Combat The Franchise Has Ever Seen

Fighting is intense within the constructs of the Tekken universe. It is no different for Tekken 8. If anything, it feels more intense. With an improved fighting system and a new Heat System, you will find your hits making more of an impact against your opponents. Once activated, the Heat System allows stronger normal hits for a short time while also giving you a Heat Smash attack that does bonus damage if properly landed. Once your rage reaches a maximum level, you are also afforded a Rage Art attack, delivering even more firepower to your enemies. It also hits with a few normal blows and then one big final blow for massive damage.

For those new to Tekken, Tekken 8 offers a system that will help you ease into the experience. Instead of learning the intimidating combo movesets, pressing L1 on my PlayStation 5 allowed me to preload these combos on my screen. I could use these with ease, delivering powerful attacks to my enemies. It makes for a much more welcoming experience. 

How does the gameplay feel compared to other recently released fighters such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat? I feel like the movement in Tekken is a bit more sluggish than I prefer, but you can’t argue with the powerful hits this game employs. It’s a trade-off, for sure, but the AI learning in Ghost Battles I mentioned earlier helps out here. You have something that learns from your tendencies to counter your attacks, making it imperative that you change how you fight. It should help you improve your fighting skills if it works out the right way.

Photo Credit: Bandai Namco.

Wrapping Up

I had a lot of fun playing through the story and was very surprised with how good it was. It makes me want to go back and play the rest of the titles I missed in the series. Even multiplayer mode in the Tekken Fight Lounge has been fun. Complete with leaderboards, crossplay, and some netcode rollback options, giving you the ability to choose between fluidity and response.

Bandai Namco has made great strides with every new chapter of its storytelling and the mechanics to back it up. Graphically, it is a great platform for next-gen gamers to play at the peak of their systems, whether PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X(S), or PC. The soundtracks are a nice touch, especially with the ability to listen to all of the other soundtracks from the franchise as well. Being able to change your characters and avatars as you see fit is a big bonus for gamers who like to go all in.


Tekken 8 Review – Fighting Game Perfection
Fighting game fans continue to be eating well. Tekken 8 isn't just one of the best games in the series, but one of the greatest fighters ever made.
Visually appealing in all aspects
Engaging soundtracks
A very in depth fighter
Movement is a little bit choppy on the PlayStation 5


  • Chris Bowman

    RPG/Shooter/Platform Lover, who writes about anything and everything especially when it relates to Final Fantasy, Star Wars, or Star Trek. Also a streamer who plays some of these games online.

Chris Bowman

Written by Chris Bowman

RPG/Shooter/Platform Lover, who writes about anything and everything especially when it relates to Final Fantasy, Star Wars, or Star Trek. Also a streamer who plays some of these games online.

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