Mafia III

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Mafia III Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Mature violent adventure has tech issues, yet still fun.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No positive messages. Most missions have you assassinate targets; you can kill innocent civilians, police officers; other unlawful behavior frequently shown.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main protagonist, Lincoln Clay, is a Vietnam vet. Players may sympathize with why he wants to target an organized crime syndicate, but he kills many people to accomplish his goals.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.


Very violent, many scenes of killing, blood, gore. Gamers can use handguns, machine guns, shotguns, explosives, knives, bare hands to kill targets. Players can sneak up on enemies to strangle, stab them, or perform execution-style assassinations, including head shots, placing a gun in someone's mouth to shoot them. One scene shows a man getting limbs cut off.


Contains nudity, sexual acts. There's a sex party, where one woman performs oral sex on a man (act itself isn't seen). During a pornography shoot, topless women are dancing, caressing each other. Men have sex in a bathhouse (not seen explicitly). You can collect unlockable Playboy magazine centerfolds, which show breasts, buttocks.


Strong profanity including "f--k," "c--t," "s--t," "c--ksucker," "a--hole," others.


Game will have downloadable content (DLC) for purchase. Some recognizable brands, including Playboy, Corvette, others.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drug references, visuals. One scene shows a man snorting white powder, presumably cocaine; some missions tied to heroin, LSD.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mafia III is a mature action-adventure game. It's a visually graphic tale about going after a criminal syndicate in New Orleans in the '60s, with players eliminating enemies through assassinations with guns, knives, bombs, bare hands, and more. There's lots of blood, along with scenes of torture and gore. There's also lots of nudity, sexual imagery, and implied sexual acts, including oral sex. The game has very strong profanity. There are many drug references, scenes of illicit drug consumption, and missions related to drugs.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDrHoritor January 27, 2020

Some very dark philosophies

I have already made a review that strongly urges everyone to stay away from the GTA games because there is simply no way that these games are safe and do not ma... Continue reading
Adult Written byCPTaylor July 6, 2019

Definitely for adults

I loved the first Mafia, skipped the second one and am enjoying Mafia 3. It's very adult though. I was amazed by the reviewer who said the language is infr... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byeg16707 February 22, 2020

Not worse than super mario

I think supermario because super mario is all about killing animals while this game is most about killing humans (you might shoot a dog or 2 but its not that ba...
Teen, 13 years old Written byShadowgang March 13, 2019

Not that bad

I got this game a year after it came out it’s all not that bad. The little sex thing everyone talks about the magaizines show a little thing for girls but if yo... Continue reading

What's it about?

MAFIA III is a gritty organized crime drama set in a fictional New Orleans (called New Bordeaux) in 1968. It's a third-person action-heavy open-world adventure starring Lincoln Clay, a disenfranchised Vietnam veteran returning from combat. Initially, Lincoln is looking for a sense of belonging, but that soon turns to revenge after his family is betrayed and slaughtered by Sal Marcano and the city's Italian mob. These gangsters are responsible for much of the city's illegal gambling, drugs, and prostitution, as well as keeping corrupt police and politicians paid off. Clay, and other criminals he aligns himself with, wages a war against the Marcano family, which in turn shakes up the balance of power in New Bordeaux's underworld. On foot or by car, you have a large open world to explore, many missions to accept, and colorful characters to interact with.

Is it any good?

The ambitious open-world game has a great story, excellent characters and dialogue, and strong production values that make the city very immersive. This world is big, believable, and interactive. Similar to games such as those in the Grand Theft Auto series, you can explore freely, and the narrative takes you in different directions based on what missions you accept and when. You can see what the game developers wanted to achieve with this third-person, action-heavy adventure. But Mafia III suffers from repetitive play, technical problems, and some other assorted issues. Much of the third-person driving and shooting missions feel like a bit of déjà vu after a while. Plus, there's no way to jump from one place on the map to another, so there's a lot of commuting on the New Bordeaux city streets (at least the music is great). Some technical issues also can hamper the gameplay experience.

Consider it a B-grade game for fans of these open-world shoot-and-driving games but especially those who love a good mob story, with memorable characters. Perhaps with a little more time to add some variety to the missions and iron out the code to be a bit more stable, Mafia III would be one of the year's best. But as it stands now, it's a really good but not great game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Do games such as Mafia III glamorize mob life and desensitize us to real-world violence? Are these games a harmless piece of entertainment? Are there double standards with video games?

  • Discuss the portrayal of women in the game. Females are depicted as prostitutes, strippers, or nude models and are frequently subservient to the men in the game; how does this affect your playing experience? 

Game details

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