Sure, the third installment of THQ’s  UFC Undisputed 3 may be an easy buy for the average hardcore gamer, but does the franchise still intrigue the hardcore MMA fan? I’ll make that decision as easy as possible as I break it down in a simple three-point analysis of the good, the bad, and the conclusion.

The Good

Holy graphics Pellegrino. The game has once again shown much improved growth from its 2010 version. I’ve found it even more compelling to watch the replay of my finishes, from the sweat to the impact, THQ takes a step closer to the real thing.

The expansion of the game is overwhelmingly warming. Everyone wants that bang for the buck and this definitely screams replay value. From the huge roster, to the classic career mode to the newly added Pride mode with authentic kicks to a grounded opponent, to added training camp and submission mini-games (much better than button mashing), you have a lot to discover. The improved online options now allow you to share highlights with friends, among other small new features. Most interesting for me was the newly added Ultimate Fights Mode, where you will have a chance to rewrite history as your favorite fighter. Also, keep a listen for your corner and even the broadcasting as both have been stepped up to be a more legitimate analysis of your fight.

The Bad

Nobodies perfect. We’ve built-up the game with plenty of pros, now lets shed light on some of the cons. The THQ/Yukes team is known for providing the gaming community with the WWE franchise as well, which you will notice in similarities throughout the create a fighter mode and career mode. That style of presentation of the game (like WWE) still give an arcade game feel, instead of a professional sports title like say Madden gives.

Create a fighter options have grown, yet the building process felt even less intuitive with the add-ons. The same can be said for the fight mechanics. I see the improvement, but still is no Fight Night or EA MMA. The fluidity of using an analog stick to stay in the pocket and sway is one I wish the game could incorporate. The new training modes and fight camps are a step up in fun factor, but can still feel mundane and repetitive at times when you just want to get to your fight. Yes, you can skip, but you will not gain the same amount of skill points, making the fight that much harder.

The Conclusion

For $59.99 you will be entertained for months. Compared to the price of a movie ticket you are getting a deal. Replay value of playing online or against a friend after discovering everything will keep you going throughout the year. If you are an MMA hardcore that even just plays occasionally like myself, I say drop the cash and enjoy another extension of the UFC family.

Final Score

7.8 out of 10