Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi Game Poster Image
Anime fighting game replaces skill with luck.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is a fighting game and although the story mode explains that players are fighting for good, not evil, there is the ability to play the game without going through the story and thus eliminating the context for the constant battling. Even in the story mode, the story is winding and confusing, and the line between good and evil appears blurred at times.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are several characters presented in the game as heroes and role models, although the story focuses mostly on constant conflict and combat rather than highlighting strong moral interaction between the hero characters. There is a slight level of ambiguity between good and evil at some points in the story, but for the most part players will easily align themselves with the good guys and learn that their mission is altruistic, despite involving a lot of violence.

Ease of Play

Unlike most other fighting games, this title relies heavily on chance. To perform a powerful 'melee' move, players engage in a "rock, paper, scissors" style of attack. Thus, someone with no fighting game experience could manage to knock out a much more powerful opponent, and even the most veteran players may end up unable to execute successful attacks. Other, less powerful attacks do rely on players' ability to press the correct button combinations and perform strategic offensive and defensive moves.


This is a fighting game. The only gameplay mechanic is attacking other characters, specifically in one-on-one, protracted battles. Although the battles contain frenetic action, frequent shouts and cries of pain, and close-range attacks, everything is depicted in a highly fantastical context. The most powerful attacks come in the form of magical fireballs, lasers, etc. In addition, characters never show signs of damage during the actual battle sequences. Instead, damage is depicted in detached 'life meters' that deplete as characters get hit. There are, however, images that appear after battles that sometimes show characters with bloody wounds and scars.


There is some cussing in the dialogue, including the word "hell."


This is a game based on a world created in a TV show.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is a fighting game based on the long-running cartoon anime series Dragon Ball Z. As with most other entries in this video game franchise, this game is comprised of little more than constant battles between characters from the anime. Players can relive intense moments from the TV series in the game's story mode, or just fight against any other character in the game, with no context or story background. While there is no blood or physical signs of damage in the battles themselves, some of the images that appear after battle include characters with bruises or bloody scars. The dialogue also contains some mild cussing. Kids playing online can play with open chat, so they may be exposed to unpredictable language and inquiries.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHot Fuss December 10, 2011

Ultimate Ten...KAI!

Common Sense, you have no common sense. Hell is not a bad word. Just some mild violence that could raise eyebrows. The only flaw in the game is that there are n... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old May 18, 2013

dbz review

Really good but really violent.
Teen, 14 years old Written byGamersnews32 June 26, 2019

Ultimate Nostalgia!!!

This was the pinnacle of Dragon Ball Z games. The Tenkaichi series glorifies the 3D landscapes, and amazing environments. Violence is over the top and frequent.... Continue reading

What's it about?

DRAGON BALL Z: ULTIMATE TENKAICHI follows the story of the Dragon Ball Z anime series and lets players live out some of the most memorable battles from the TV show. In the story mode, players engage in battle after battle, with short cutscenes interspersed between the action. There is also a mode that allows players to compete in battles without the story or cutscenes. During the one-on-one battles, players dole out a variety of attacks, some of which include hand-to-hand kicks and sword slashes though the more powerful attacks are fantastical combination moves that use magic spells and huge bursts of color and light.

Is it any good?

A game like Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi is no doubt geared to a specific audience. For the most part, only players who have played another game in the Dragon Ball Z series, or at least some other anime-inspired fighting game, will gravitate to this title. As such, it comes off as rather frustrating that the traditional skill-based fighting controls have been replaced with a system that focuses on luck. There is no strategy to performing a melee attack, since the outcome is played out like a game of "rock, paper, scissors." While this gameplay mechanic somewhat evens the playing field and allows novice players to have a better shot at winning, it will no doubt provide some frustration to the more seasoned fighting game aficionados.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the persistent fighting in this game. What drives these characters to violence?

  • Is there a sense of camaraderie among the hero characters?

  • Do you prefer playing as a good guy or a bad guy? Why?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Price: $59.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Namco Bandai
  • Release date: October 25, 2011
  • Genre: Fighting
  • ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Mild Blood, Mild Language
  • Last updated: November 19, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love lots of action in their games

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