Saints Row: The Third

Violent open-world crime adventure earns its mature rating.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Do not look to this video game for positive messages. Players take on the role of a street gang member determined to destroy three other gangs. There is a lot of violence and blood in this game, as well as sexual imagery, profanity, and drug references. It suggests wanton violence and exploitation will lead to rewards.

Positive role models

The game does not have any positive role models. Players become members of an organization that wants to rule the streets and will do whatever it takes to take down other gangs. You can customize your character in a number of ways and even play "naked." You can also kill pedestrians and police officers.

Ease of play

This game isn't much different than past Saints Row titles. The console controller's analog sticks handle most of the movement and camera angles, while buttons are used to aim and fire weapons. Not too difficult, but those new to the franchise should play the intro mission to learn the mechanics.



This video game is extremely violent, bloody, and gory. Players can take chainsaws to enemies, resulting in copious amounts of blood and chunky flesh. They can also drive into people with vehicles and use weapons including pistols, shotguns, grenades, rockets, and swords to destroy both enemies and innocent civilians. Players can also kill police.


The game does not show full nudity but there is plenty of sexual imagery, references, and dialogue. Female characters show large amounts of cleavage, and the camera zooms in on their body parts, including breasts and buttocks. Prostitutes appear in the game and sex toys can be found lying around. Sexual intercourse takes place off camera, with moans and suggestive comments such as "how deep is it going in?" Some characters appear to be nude but genitalia is blurred out.




Expect lots of strong profanity throughout the game, with words including "f--k," "f--king," "f--ker," "s--t," "c--k," p-ssy," as well as slightly less offensive words like "hell" and "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

This game includes imagery and references to illegal narcotics. Players will see drug paraphernalia lying around (bongs, etc.) and hear stories about someone trying heroin or being on crack. Some characters smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol.

Privacy & safety

Privacy and safety concerns. This game can be played in co-op mode with someone over the Internet, which will require an Xbox Live subscription on Xbox 360 and PlayStation Network (PSN) account for PlayStation 3 gamers. Players can talk over headset with other players, which means they may be exposed to inappropriate language and topics of conversation.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Saints Row: The Third is a mature title that attempts to push the envelope. The story is about a fight between rival gangs, and revels in actions both depraved and violent. Players can use ranged and melee weapons to kill rival gangs, as well as police and pedestrians. There is blood and gore in the game, too, though it's not very realistic. The game also has sexual imagery, including scantily dressed escorts, nude men and women with blurred genitalia, and moans and groans associated with sexual intercourse. It has strong profanity and drug and alcohol references, as well. Parents should note that this game supports open voice communication in online play, so players may hear inappropriate language and conversations.


What's it about?

THQ's SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD is an over-the-top, mature adventure with the same amount of violence, sex, and irreverence that made its predecessors become more than just Grand Theft Auto clones. Having taken over the city of Stilwater, the Third Street Saints organization –- now a household name in the city -- has set their sights on Steelport. The problem is that three rival gangs already have their claws dug into the city. The main goal throughout the many varied missions is to crush the competition and take over Steelport.

After a short introductory mission to get players familiar with the controls, players can begin customizing their character in myriad ways, adding bizarre animal, alien, and monster-like features if they desire. They can then begin diving into the game's wealth of primary and side missions, which include the franchise's popular insurance fraud challenges that have players steering their avatars into traffic to cause as much bodily harm as possible to net a big payout.

Is it any good?


Saints Row: The Third is ridiculous and outlandish, ending up as an entertainingly silly sequel for adult gamers. There are so many customization options, non-repetitive missions, memorable characters, and other extras packed onto the disc that it's plainly evident a lot of work went into the game's making. The money and respect players earn can be used to buy and unlock new goodies for your character (outfits, weapons, vehicles), so there's incentive to take on as many missions as possible, going on violent adventures that see them taking out rivals, protecting a convoy in a vehicle, and stealing evidence from a police station. It's worth adding the single-player game can be played in co-op mode with an online friend.

Downsides include so-so-graphics, a few technical glitches and slow pacing. However, those who take the game for what it is -- an absurd adventure that doesn’t take itself seriously -- will no doubt enjoy the cheeky experience.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the game being over-the-top and purposely irreverent. Do you think this dark fantasy appeals to some players because it is so forbidden in real life?

  • Families can also discuss the portrayal of gangster life in video games.  Should the game include realistic consequences for killing innocent civilians and law enforcement officers? What is the impact of media violence?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Available online?Not available online
Release date:November 15, 2011
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language (PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 13 and 15 year old Written byDanielle72 March 25, 2012
age 13+

Saints Row: The Third, for 13 and up!

Rated M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language. The Blood and gore is the same as Red Dead redemption so it just has a few drops and then the body disappears. Drug References are made about a character possibly be high because of his way of acting. The violence is mainly in the cut scenes where there are dramatic fights, but these can be skipped by the player. The Partial Nudity is shown in the trailer. It shows a bosses two assistants helping him takeover a base well dressed with a tight top, which appears to give her slightly more cleavage, but these Partial Nudity visualizations are only seen in the cut scenes. (e.g. tightly dressed women in gun fights). Now, the strong language is in the cut scene dialogue, which can happily be skipped by the player. there are some mild curse words in the free roam version of this game, but with the audio menu, you can turn of Free Roam Dialogue and have a curse free environment. If you have seen the trailer of this game, it uses the song Power by hip-hop artist Kanye West. It contains some curse words, and in fact the song itself has more curse words and frequent cursing than the actual game. I am a parent of two boys, 13 and 15, and I say this game is okay for anyone from 13-20 who enjoys running around in a free, open world environment and engage in fun activities like driving, flying and the occasional bank robbery. I just let my kids free roam at the moment. But I can say that if you get rid of the in game dialogue and skip cut scenes, it is a T+ Rated Game!
Parent Written byItsGr8 December 30, 2011
age 11+

Get It!

This game is great for all kids 12 years and up. There's a lot of violence but the sexual references are just cleavage and bikinis the language is bad but 12 year olds and over are exposed to that every day. If your child is under 12 NO but at 12 possibly 11 they'll no the difference between the game and reality.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns
Adult Written byKingDriveBoiz November 15, 2011
age 17+


this games is only for teenagers 16 and older
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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