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Tekken 8 Review: A Resounding Uppercut To The Heart Of Franchise Fatigue

  • Deep and engrossing storyline
  • Revolutionary gameplay mechanics
  • Stunning visuals
  • Seemless online play
  • Absence of spectator mode

A PS5 review code for "Tekken 8" was provided to SVG for this review. The game is available now for PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Remember the days of mashing buttons on your controller, trying to unleash the perfect combo to send your opponent flying off the screen? "Tekken" was a religion, and we were all devout followers. If you found yourself drifting away from the series because it felt like you were just going through the motions, "Tekken 8" is here to reignite that old flame. It's not just a trip down memory lane. This iteration is a high-speed joyride into a future where nostalgia meets innovation head-on. We were wildly optimistic after previewing the game at PAX West 2023, and our expectations were easily exceeded.


"Tekken 8" picks up the Mishima family drama where it left off, but with a fresh coat of paint and some new faces to shake things up. The storyline is deep, pulling you in with the gravity of a black hole. The Mishima feud is at its boiling point, and with characters like Reina entering the fray, the plot thickens deliciously. Whether you're here for the next chapter in the Mishima saga or just to see Paul Phoenix get his butt kicked (again), the narrative delivers.

Get Ready for the Next Battle - with Style

The gameplay in "Tekken 8" is like your favorite rollercoaster: fast, thrilling, and with just the right amount of fear that you might not make it out alive. The introduction of the Heat System adds a new layer of strategy that makes every match feel like a high-stakes chess game — except the pieces are pummeling one another. And for those of us whose fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be, the Special Style mode levels the playing field, allowing you to unleash the fury with the press of a button.


The visuals in "Tekken 8" are so breathtaking, you'll want to frame every scene and hang it on your wall. Powered by Unreal Engine 5, the game sets a new standard for eye candy in fighting games. The character models are so detailed, you can almost feel the texture of Kazuya's gloves. But it's not all about looks — the seamless transition from cutscenes to bone-crushing action keeps you immersed in the world without missing a beat.

The online play in "Tekken 8" deserves a special shoutout for being as smooth as it is. With cross-play functionality, you can finally prove your dominance across platforms, bringing together the global "Tekken" community in a way never before possible. The Tekken Fight Lounge is a game-changer, offering a social hub that adds depth to the online experience. While the absence of spectating matches is likely a bummer for some, the overall online play is a solid right hook to the jaw of its predecessors.


New Modes That Are the Cherry on Top

"Tekken 8" doesn't just rest on its laurels. The Arcade Quest mode is a love letter to fans, blending the thrill of the fight with a journey through "Tekken" history. And let's talk about Tekken Ball making a comeback — because nothing says "nostalgia" like a return to form with the beloved mode that was originally released with "Tekken 3." These new modes add layers of fun and challenge that keep the game fresh, even for the most seasoned veterans.


Growing up with the "Tekken" series, drifting away felt like leaving an old friend behind for many fans. However, "Tekken 8" has reignited that spark, reminding us why we fell in love with the series in the first place. It represents a perfect blend of everything beloved about the old games, infused with enough new twists to keep fans returning for more. The balance between catering to veterans and welcoming newcomers is akin to a perfectly executed juggle combo — satisfying and seemingly effortless, demonstrating Bandai Namco's skill in engaging a broad audience while staying true to the franchise's roots.

The Verdict: King of the Iron Fist Tournament

"Tekken 8" is a triumphant return for a series that many of us thought had lost its edge. With its captivating storyline, innovative gameplay, stunning visuals, and robust online play, it stands tall as the champion in the recent resurgence of fighting games. "Street Fighter 6" and "Mortal Kombat 1" brought the heat, but "Tekken 8" comes out on top (bringing the literal heat), wearing the crown as the best fighting game of the past year. It's clear that Bandai Namco didn't just aim to match its rivals — it sought to outdo them. And outdo them it did. "Tekken 8" isn't just the best fighting game of the past year. It's a contender for one of the best in the series' history.


Scoring a perfect 10/10 isn't about being flawless. It's about delivering an experience that leaves you wanting more, even after hundreds of hours of play. "Tekken 8" does just that, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks, especially if that dog is a genetically engineered super-soldier with a penchant for throwing people into volcanoes.

Whether you're a "Tekken" veteran or a curious newcomer ready to step into the arena, there's never been a better time to dive into the world of the King of Iron Fist Tournament. The battle is raging, and we're all part of it.