Tekken 8 Review – A Leap Forward In Fighting Games

Does this game pack a punch? Check out our Tekken 8 review to know.

Tekken 8 is finally here – the newest and highly anticipated installment in the iconic fighting game franchise of Tekken. Since Tekken 7 was released on PS4, Windows, and Xbox One back in 2017, Tekken 8 is now available for the generation of PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. This has brought a lot of attention to the title – not just from veteran players looking to get back to the arena, but also from newbies who want to dive into the lore of Kazuya, Jin, and some sweet throwing-someone-off-a-cliff action. Does it live up to the hype and justify its price tag? Here’s our Tekken 8 review that may help you decide.

Tekken 8 Review

During the age of arcades, fighting games used to be mainstream and all the rage. Over the years, though, the arcade machine culture seems to be slowly on its way out, but the rage for Tekken lives on.

Tekken 8 Story – Good vs Evil

Continuing the conflict of Tekken, Tekken 8’s story mode (The Dark Awakens) is all about the rivalry between Jin Kazama and Kazuya Mishima and the consequences of past events. Jin is hell-bent on taking down his menacing father Kazuya, who is well on his way to achieving total control of the world.

kazuya showing detailed character models and graphics in tekken 8

If you’re jumping into this franchise for the first time and have no idea what happened before – don’t worry! There’s a whole recap in the game that you can watch to understand everything you need to know about the Mishima family from Tekken 1 to 7.

tekken 8 starting cutscene

Note that the story will only make its intended impact if you know what happened before; so watching recaps is a must. This is because it’s crucial to know the influence of Jin’s mother, the Mishima bloodline, the Devil Gene’s impact, and how it intertwines with each character’s personal agenda. The story on its own isn’t complex or confusing — it’s the classic good vs evil formula, but one that will stay with you if you love the characters.

Tekken 8 starts with an exciting fight in a city street but soon, the conflict escalates with all fighters being involved in the war. Who fights on whose side? You’ll have to play the game to find out every character’s motivations.

The whole saga of 15 Chapters is over in around 3 to 4 hours, which feels short, but it will make you hyped for Tekken 9. And yes, this includes some riveting twists and turns.

tekken 8 graphics and gameplay review

It’s an addictive story that will make it hard for you to pause — each fight is more interesting than the one before. During the King of Iron Fist Tournament, you choose your fighter, as you try to defeat others and get the coveted top spot. And just when you thought you’ve seen it all, the 1v1 fights turn into a ‘1 vs manybattle, which was a lot of fun, albeit sometimes hard to control.

lili in tekken 8

The story, overall, is immersive, the characters are interesting, and I’d like to give a special mention to the dialogues – they’re effective and intriguing. However, I am still not sure how they understand each other as they speak their native languages. Is there an implanted translator at play or are they just that talented and multilingual?

Overall, the story will keep you hooked till the end, and while not perfect in comparison to some of Tekken’s previous campaign modes, it surely doesn’t disappoint.

Tekken 8 Roster – A Fighter for Every Playstyle

tekken 8 full base roster

The Tekken 8 roster of fighters vying to be the King of Iron Fist is pretty amazing. Among the 32 characters in the base roster, there are new fighters like Reina and Azucena with most being returning characters like Leroy, Hwoarang, Yoshimitsu, and many more. There’s someone to master for every playstyle.

tekken 8 story mode review

For example, you have the popular Nina Williams, the Irish assassin, skilled in various fighting styles, Paul Phoenix, the American martial artist, known for his flashy and powerful moves, Jack-8, the cyborg fighter, and Victor Chevalier, a cybernetically enhanced soldier with unknown allegiances. We can’t forget Panda and Kuma, they’re there to not only add diversity to the roster but also smash you into the ground with pure brute force.

reina new character in the roster

My favorites to play with are Jin, Victor, King, Yoshimitsu, Azucena, and Reina but as of now, I’d consider myself a Jin Kazama main because I guess I’m always rooting for the brooding hero.

Ultimately, this blend of old and new promises to satisfy both returning fans and those seeking fresh fighting experiences. Each character has a unique personality, style, and as the youngins say these days – rizz.

Players who’ve been on the journey since the first game are going to be wowed by how things have evolved and improved to date; in graphics, gameplay, and innovative features.

The Customization will Blow your Mind

Tekken and customization are almost synonymous at this point and Tekken 8 continues that legacy, getting it even better than Tekken 7. There are loads of custom outfits and accessories you can get for fighters by spending Fight Money – even making them look like characters from other games.

Here are our videos that showcase some of these awesome creations that are possible.

There’s a LOT to Play in Tekken 8

At first glance, Tekken 8 impressed me with the sheer amount of content available to play. Right from online ranked matches, to offline Arcade quests, you won’t find a moment to be bored.

While competitive online battles remain the core focus, Tekken 8 expands its offline offerings. The story mode delves deeper into the Mishima saga, promising cinematic action and character development. Arcade mode offers a classic experience, while Practice mode provides in-depth tools for honing your skills. These diverse options cater to players of all experience levels.

The Ghost mode is a trailblazing feature in my opinion. This is where you can battle ghosts of your own fighters, CPU, or even other players so that you can rectify your errors, learn counters, and understand how to master the character you’re playing. You can watch other players’ matches and see how high-ranked players get their wins or if you’re feeling brave, take them on yourself.

Tekken 8 Gameplay is inclusive for beginners and veterans

The core gameplay retains the essence of Tekken’s strategic 3D fighting but introduces exciting new mechanics to spice things up. The Heat system empowers fighters with enhanced abilities after landing specific attacks, adding a layer of risk-reward decision-making and explosive moments. Matches can be exciting from start to end, as you throw consecutive punches and block incoming attacks successfully (or sometimes, not so successfully).

kazuya mishima rivalry with son

Rage Arts return, offering powerful cinematic finishers that shift the tide of battle. These additions increase offensive pressure and create more dynamic matches. It can be thrilling to see that you’re about to lose BUT a well-timed Rage Art sends your opponent flying, breaking walls and eventually getting you the win.

Tekken 8 is a game with complex mechanics, but newcomers need not fear because the Special Style controls will help you out. Reminiscent of Street Fighter 6’s Modern Controls, these are an accessibility feature that will help beginners and casual players get those attacks in, without feeling overwhelmed by the complicated inputs.

two azucena dancing before fighting

The buttons for Power Crush, Heat Burst, Rage Burst, Specialty move, Air Combos, and Low attacks will be shown on the screen, helping you land the shots and potentially get wins, even in relatively tougher-to-play characters. However, there will always be something amiss in button-mashing if you compare it to the actual combos because the simple controls do limit your moves.

Of course, practice makes perfect and whenever you think you’re ready for the traditional button combos, you can easily switch to them in offline and online battles. There is no shortage of modes to practice with and that’s what Tekken 8 does very well – it gives you a lot of opportunity to improve.

When you watch replays, you can even see the moves that the fighter should have done to block/counter and avoid getting hit. The tutorials, practice modes, and replays are all features that will ensure you stay practicing night and day and enhance your skills.

If you want a break from these hardcore battles, the game lets you have some fun too. The Tekken Ball mode is where you must attack your opponent with a giant ball and snag a win. You can’t directly attack the opponent and you can’t miss your counters or let the ball fall to the ground. It’s intense and competitive but a hell of a time.

Aside from all of these modes, of course, there’s local PvP to show off your prowess to your friends and the Tekken Fight Lounge to fight more online enemies.

Tekken 8 makes sure to please hardcore fighters and casual players alike. The base game comes jam-packed with all the fight stats like frame data, and it is completely free! Frame data is a game-changer for competitive balance and accessibility. It now provides players with the information they need to master their skills and truly adjust their fight styles. Not only does it help newcomers ease into the game but also shows respect for the fan community, who don’t really like paying for the data in Tekken 7.

Character Episodes are super fun

jin kazama in character episode

After The Dark Awakens story mode, if you’re still hungry for story-telling, the game has something more for you too. The Character Episodes are exciting story bits to give you some more time with a particular fighter.

They unravel the personal stories of each member of the roster – many of whom only made fleeting appearances in the main story mode. These episodes allow players to delve deeper into the lives and motivations of these fighters and quite well, might I add. There’s a unique cutscene each time with some hilarious moments and situations sprinkled in too.

The Graphics are staggeringly impressive

jin kazama in fight scene against his father

Tekken 8 is a significant evolution in the iconic fighting game series visually. It boasts a vibrant, new visual identity powered by Unreal Engine 5, showcasing detailed character models, dynamic environments, and flashy particle effects. Seeing the game physics and how the characters’ hair and clothes react to wind and other elements in the arena was a delight, proving how far the series has come graphics-quality-wise. It’s worth noting that we now see 3D models of characters instead of still images during the character select screen, so that was quite an upgrade.

This visual overhaul breathes fresh life into the iconic stages and fighters, immersing you in the heat of the battle.

kazuya mishima with red eye on main game screen

As soon as you load up the game, you see Kazuya’s detailed face, as one blindingly red eye stares back. It could send a shiver down your spine because this dude is intimidating.

Special Mention – The Sound and Music are amazing

The soundtrack does complete justice to the environment and setting of the story as well as map-specific sounds for one-on-one battles. You might even find yourself being more hyped up in-game after listening to the bomb beats. While it’s mostly EDM/Dubstep now, it does balance things out with other genres for sections like the Character Customization screen, Avatar Customization, and Gallery.

arcade mode avatar customization

Tekken 8 Review – Verdict

Tekken 8 gets everything right. From stunning visuals, 4K graphics, smooth animations that show every detail in the expressions, and memorable environments to a complex but fluid fighting system that takes time and practice to master. The characters in the story mode are stylish and so is the soundtrack. Getting back-to-back slams, winning matches and unleashing Heat and Rage Bursts just feels very cool, even for someone who hasn’t played any Tekken game before.

Reina is easily one of the more impressive new characters. And while Azucena only talks about coffee, her fighting style makes her a formidable force. Should you buy Tekken 8? Yes, if you are willing to immerse yourself into the world of this fighting game and make the most of every mode. If you’re a veteran fan of Tekken, you should definitely not miss this installment. This game pushes the envelope in the gaming industry and we can’t wait to see what comes next in its journey, with this as a foundation.

For more game reviews, head over to our dedicated category on Gamer Tweak.

Exceeds expectations

Tekken 8 is a Masterpiece in the Fighting Games Genre

With a compelling storyline, engaging fighting system, solid game modes and mind-blowing graphics, Tekken 8 manages to balance the arrival of new players and retains the attention of veterans effortlessly.

  • Story 9
  • Gameplay 10
  • Graphics 10
  • Sound 10