Tekken 5, despite it's prehistoric formula, is quite possibly the best fighting game on any current console.

User Rating: 9.3 | Tekken 5 PS2
Although a decade has passed since Tekken charged through the gates and made its famous debut, but Namco still hasen't gotten rusty. In fact, Tekken 5 is arguably their greatest achievement yet in the long-running franchise. Despite using the same formula that they've blindly followed by for their fifth installment, you'll likely have a much better time with Tekken 5 than you will with nearly every other fighter on the market. It's that good. Tekken 5 starts out with Kazuya and Heihachi duking it out with a horde of mechanical bots in a temple. Its a slick, extremely well-presented cinema that you'll want to watch more than once-not only for its fast-paced entertainment, but also for the fact that you may not believe your eyes when the temple is suddenly blown to oblivion...with Heihachi still inside. Read it again if you have to. The game follows the traditional story mode, in which you follow a single character for a series of rounds. In-game cut-scenes occasionally intrude before certain fights, but they never occur too often to get tedious. And, of course, if your the impatient type, simply skip right through them and get down to the action, which is nearly perfect. The characters have an assortment of moves that are effective, yet also satisfying in every way possible. The game is also quite friendly towards both vet's and novices, as the combat is deep and complex, yet simple enough for new gamers to approach without caution. The assortment of different players to choose from is absolutely huge, and they each have a unique fighting style to fit anyone's needs. The gameplay itself is fast-paced and highly addictive, yet quite challenging at times. The A.I., although not dazzling, is exceptional, and you will occasionally have your ass handed to you on a daily basis, if your not careful. It's vital to take a different approach with each character you come up against; Brute force and impatience will hardly ever work against Jinpachi, but elegance and grace may just waste time against someone like Law or Jin. One obvious highlight is the graphical quality, which is among the best for the PS2. The character models move with a fluid grace with is just stunning to behold, and are detailed to a meticulous degree. The environments are equally breathtaking-you will constantly be in awe of the sheer beauty this game dukes out, especially on aging hardware. In fact, one would ask how Namco could have possibly tweaked the hardware to such a degree without dropping the framerate or bringing in long load times-both of which are nowhere to be found in Tekken 5. The audio is almost equally impressive. Namco has done a great job in keeping the soundtrack diverse and varied, and the music is just perfect for fast-paced action. Even more amazing, though, is the voice-dialogue. It's not the fact that the voice-acting is above-par, which it is, its the fact that each and every character speaks in his or her own native language....including some of the more....absurd characters. Loads of replay value can be found within Tekken 5. Not only does the huge assortment of characters bring you back for more, but you'll also find many different features and modes that keep the gameplay from getting stale. A mode known as "arcade", sets you up with a never-ending role of ranked fighters. As you progress, your character's rank increases, as does his "gold". Gold can be earned to actually customize your characters in a style similar to Virtua Fighter. From their hair, to their shades, to different costumes altogether, you'll find all kinds of ways to make your character completely unique. If that wasn't enough, then Namco even added not only the first Tekken, but the second and third one also, so you can duke it out with the oldies (but goldies) as well. Anyone even moderately interested in the genre will likely have a great time with Tekken 5. It delivers in every area, and packs in so much that you'll be coming back for more countless times. It's hard to find many flaws in Tekken 5, other than the fact that net play is MIA. its disappointing-especially considering how amazing the game is WITHOUT it-but not to a degree where you'll feel cheated. In fact, by the time you really get immersed in the game, net play will probably go right out of your mind. As will everything else. All there will be is you, your opponent, and the distance between your fist and his face. So stop reading this review, and quit wasting time. Experience one of the best fighters ever made. Experience Tekken-in all it's wondeful glory.