Battle Arena Toshinden 3 (1996)

by Christopher
7 minutes read


With its fast-paced action, strategic combat in closed-in arenas, and a rich roster of characters, Battle Arena Toshinden 3 (1996) is a significant contribution to the fighting genre, offering both visual and gameplay depth that set it apart during its release.


In its third iteration, Battle Arena Toshinden takes the fighting genre to new extremes with enhanced graphics, gameplay mechanics, and an expanded roster of fighters, making it a standout title in the mid-90s fighting game scene.


“Battle Arena Toshinden 3” is the third installment of the Toshinden series, a 3D weapons-based fighting game. Released in 1996, it was developed by Tamsoft and Takara and published for PlayStation. Unlike its predecessors, Toshinden 3 was not ported to other platforms.

The game’s plot revolves around the aftermath of the defeat of the Secret Society in Battle Arena Toshinden 2. A new group of villains, known as the Organization, emerges with a sinister plan. They wish to use the Toshinden fighters as blood sacrifices for a ritual to summon their dark god.

Toshinden 3 radically changes the series’ gameplay. The arenas are now enclosed, allowing players to launch opponents into the walls and ceilings to juggle them with further attacks. The combo system has also been reworked, with every character possessing a preset list of combos.

The game features 14 starting fighters, with an additional 18 unlockable fighters, bringing the total to 32. However, most of the unlockable fighters are mirror images of the original 14’s fighting styles.

Toshinden 3’s Arcade Mode is unique. The opponents that the player faces depend on their selected character. If the player chooses one of the 14 starting fighters or “Heroes”, then the computer-controlled opponents will eventually be Organization members. Conversely, choosing an Organization member will have the player facing off against the “Heroes” themselves.

The game’s progression involves facing off against various bosses. Nagisa and Vermilion serve as the first bosses to their opponents’ sides, followed by the specific playing character’s sub-boss. After that, Sho arrives as the third boss (doubling as the final boss for any Organization member). Once Sho is defeated, the player will then face off against the Organization leader Abel, who serves as the normal final boss of the game. The former leader of the Organization whom Abel imprisoned, Veil, then later Kayin Amoh’s adoptive daughter, Naru can be fought after defeating Abel within the hardest difficulty levels of the game.

The U.S. and European releases of Toshinden 3 feature several gameplay differences from the original Japanese release. For instance, blocking high or low is automatic; pressing back blocks both high and low attacks. In the Japanese version, one had to press back and down to block low attacks. Practice and Survival modes were also added.

The game concludes with the deaths of both Veil and Abel, resulting in the complete destruction of the Organization. The world is miraculously saved from the malevolent wrath of Agon Teos. However, Eiji soon discovers that Vermilion had somehow survived and escaped the Organization’s destruction while completely disappearing without a trace.

“Battle Arena Toshinden 3” is a significant entry in the Toshinden series, introducing new gameplay mechanics and an engaging plot that keeps players hooked till the end.


With over 30 fighters, including 12 new faces, each character comes to life with their own weaponry, fighting style, and special moves. This diverse cast adds depth and replayability to the game.


The gameplay of Battle Arena Toshinden 3 is noted for its smoothness and responsiveness, supporting both 30 and 60 frames per second. Players can utilize the environment to their advantage, executing multi-hit combos, and discovering new strategies within the game’s 10 new arenas.


Battle Arena Toshinden 3 stands as a memorable chapter in the fighting game history, cherished for its dynamic combat, strategic depth, and the visual spectacle it brings to the PlayStation. It captures the essence of what made the mid-90s fighting games so compelling.

Review Score



Cover Art


Fan Art

Fan Art Style: Normal

Fan Art Style: Retro

Fan Art Style: Modern

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More