Tekken 8 Review: Better Than Ever

Tekken 8 puts an end to the battle between Jin and Kazuya while adding a potential new “main character”. There are additions like Heat System and Arcade Quest but are they worth it? Read our review to get all the answers.


Tekken 8 is here. This is something older fans of the franchise have been dying to hear after a wait of nearly a decade. 2023 was a good year for fighting games with the likes of Mortal Kombat 1 and Street Fighter 6 making some interesting changes — and now, it’s time for Tekken 8.

Tekken 8

Rs 4,799















What Is Good?

  • Visual upgrades and significantly improved character models
  • Newly introduced Heat System
  • Arcade Quest mode is fun
  • Improved online experience

What Is Bad?

  • Character customisation options could be better and more diverse

Since the game carries a long-lasting legacy, the weights on its shoulders are heavy. It has a responsibility towards its loyal fanbase but also a goal to attract new-age players. Does it deliver on both these fronts or fall short somewhere? Let’s find out in this review.

Story Mode

Tekken 8 comes with a new story mode dubbed The Dark Awakens. It begins right after the events of Tekken 7 where Kazuya Mishima kills his father Heihachi Mishima and throws his body into a volcano. We already know Jin Kazama is on a mission to defeat Kazuya and that’s exactly what the Tekken 8 story is about. If this is your first time with Tekken, do not worry as the game provides you with a quick summary of the story so far. However, you need to play all the summaries of each Tekken game manually.

The current story starts with a battle between Jin and Kazuya in the middle of New York where the former loses. Kazuya goes on to announce a new King of the Iron Fist Tournament where fighters represent various nations. He adds nations represented by winning fighters will be rewarded and defeated ones will be destroyed. The twist in the story comes along with Reina, who is a new addition to the roster. She has her motives and also a connection with Jin and Kazuya.

One very integral part of the story revolves around Jin’s journey wherein he has to accept his devil side, while also gaining complete control over his powers. You will also see him invoke his Angel form as you move towards the battle against Kazuya for the showdown.

Once you complete the story, do sit through the credits for a mid-credit scene.

The Tekken 8 story has 15 chapters and lasts about three to four hours. It follows the same routine where tons of cut scenes are mixed with a few battles here and there. This is something we saw in Mortal Kombat 1 as well. The good thing is you get to play as different characters despite Jin and Kazuya being the protagonists. It also keeps the ball rolling with different activities which does not only include 1v1 battles.

Tekken story modes are usually cutscene-heavy, which makes it feel like watching a movie. This might not be everyone’s preference. That’s where other game modes come into play.

Game Modes

Character Episodes

This is an offline mode within the story section of the Tekken 8 menu. It lets you play mini-stories for each of the playable characters barring Jun Kazama and Reina. These two characters can be unlocked after completing the main story. You have to win five battles with each character to complete its mini-story aka Character Episode. The endings of the episodes are unique and funny. This instantly reminded us of the Tekken 3 days.

Arcade Quest

Arcade Quest is also an offline mode aimed at newcomers. If you are a Tekken veteran, this will remind you of the arcade shops and 1v1 combats against friends and strangers. I have spent a lot of time playing Tekken 3 and Tekken Tag growing up. This mode is a hark back to those moments.

You have to create a virtual avatar that can be customised anytime but do not expect extensive customisation options. Arcade Quest helps you learn everything you need to know about Tekken games. It is a fun spin on the tutorials about different characters, their fighting styles, and moves.

Super Ghost Battles

Super Ghost Battles is another way of getting better at Tekken 8 by fighting against ghosts.

There are three different types of ghosts: Your fighting style ghosts, downloaded ghosts of other players, and CPU ghosts. We all have different styles of fighting in Tekken which can further vary depending on the chosen fighter. It takes time to adapt to those styles and this is where Ghost Battles come into the picture. Fighting against ghosts will help you fight better quickly and easily.

Tekken Ball

Tekken Ball is an offline mode that will take you back to the Tekken 3 era. In this mode, you can damage your opponent using a beach ball. It is a fun spin on the otherwise intense Tekken battles packed with brutal moves.

Tekken Fight Lounge

Tekken Fight Lounge is an online mode where you can compete against players from around the world. Choose whether to have a Quick Match (unranked), Ranked Match, or Group Match. You can set filters to fight players based on skills and internet connectivity level. My experience during online battles was quite smooth and much better than what it was with Tekken 7.


Right off the bat, the game looks quite refreshing compared to previous iterations. The developers have taken everything that made Tekken popular and improved upon it in Tekken 8.

The menu page and user interface are neatly organised. The character models now look more realistic with good lighting and details. While at the core, the fighting animations are mostly the same, it now looks extremely smooth.

Tekken 8 has 32 playable characters you get from the first day.

Popular fighters like King, Paul, Nina, Law, Hwoarang, Panda, and Kuma return but Tekken 8 also introduces four new characters: Azucena, Reina, Victor, and Jack-8. I had a lot of fun fighting with Azucena and Reina. You can customise the look of these characters but the options are limited. You will have to rely on mix and match to create a truly unique look. I hope Bandai Namco changes this in the next release.

A Tekken game is incomplete without the mention of stages. You will get 16 different stages with Tekken 8 with each of them being a visual masterpiece. Some stages allow you to break and pass through walls and floors as you hit your opponent or vice versa. Background music across menus and fights is electrifying and gives you an adrenaline rush.

The game has a dedicated Jukebox setting from where you can choose your preferred music for different situations. If you want a quick nostalgic gush, you can head over to the settings and set music tracks from previous editions.


Tekken 8 introduces a new Heat System that encourages fighters to begin a fight aggressively. A blue bar right below the health bar is an indication of this. It’s essentially filled with “Heat” for each character whenever a new round starts. It means you can start the Heat attack right away if you want to.

When triggered, you will see your character performing some of the best visually appealing moves. These moves are different for each character. Your opponent will receive significant health damage whenever you land a perfectly timed Heat attack. Do note that if you block a Heat or some aerial attacks, you will still incur slight damage known as chip damage.

Heat System promotes aggression but using it at the right moment is the key. After all, you can activate it only once per round.

Rage Arts continues from the previous Tekken game but looks better. You will feel like entering a whole new dimension when this is in motion. While each character’s Rage Art has its charm, Yoshimitsu’s has been my absolute favourite. The sword skills of the Space Ninja are mesmerising to look at.

If you are a Tekken beginner, the game has a Special Style to help you go toe to toe against experienced players. This approach is similar to the modern controls found on Street Fighter 6 and will be accepted well by newcomers. It lets you map combos to a single button. This is an interesting feature for newbies but is likely to become mundane eventually as you are restricted to the same move every time.


When you take a hiatus for as long as nearly seven years, the expectations are bound to be higher for the next release. The good thing is Bandai Namco has delivered with Tekken 8.

Tekken 8 will appeal to all types of gamers. There are plenty of options like Character Stories, Arcade Quest, VS mode, Arace Battle, and Tekken Ball for offline gameplay.

It does not matter if you are a Tekken pro, a casual player, or someone completely new, there is something to keep everyone hooked. If you have never tried a Tekken game, this might be the right time to enter the franchise.

With that said, I do suggest waiting for a price drop, especially on consoles — unless, you are an absolute Tekken fan.

Tekken 8 is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows. It is priced at Rs 4,799 for the Standard Edition on the PlayStation Store.