Tekken 5 Review

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Namco's legendary beat-em-up series has returned to top form


After ten years, four sequels and two generations of home consoles, it’s surprising Tekken hasn’t lost its crown as the undisputed king of console brawlers. But even after a decade of bloody noses and broken bones, Namco’s series still remains untouchable.

Unlike Tekken 4, whose slew of new attacks weren’t embraced by hardcore fans, this instalment adopts a back-to-basics approach — no sloping floors, no fussy moves where players swap positions, only satisfyingly brutal hand-to-hand combat that’s simple enough to hook in newbies, but has enough depth to give Tekken obsessives fractured thumbs all over again.

Fighting aside, Tekken’s charm still lies in its colourful characters; from the Wesley-Snipes-in-Blade-style Raven to Asuka and her kinky schoolgirl uniform, the stylish selection of scrappers has something for everyone, and as you can win cash to buy accessories such as shades or jewellery for your combatants and make them your own, you’ll be playing for months.

To top it all off, this edition also includes arcade-perfect versions of Tekkens 1, 2 and 3 — something that could easily have been sold as a compilation disc — and the bonus mini-game Devil Within, where the heroes smash robots in a series of twisting corridors, offering a welcome break from the frantic fisticuffs of the main event.