- Accidental Innuendo: In Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Babidi's strongest attack has him holding his lamp in front of him and... er... rubbing it vigorously until a laser shoots out of it... Okay...
- Broken Base: Which is better, Tenkaichi 2 or Tenkaichi 3? On one hand, the story mode for 2 is seen as significantly better due to being similar to the Budokai 3 storymode with fun What If? fights that are surprisingly deeper than one would expect, while having several gameplay elements that are easier to get in to, and has superior music. On the other hand, 3 is seen as the best roster, fun inclusions to the story mode that are more authentic to the story of the series, while still having fun What If? fights, and having to some the best gameplay in a Dragon Ball for a while. The debate rages on without end. Except in Latin America, of course, where the debate was settled a long time ago with 3 coming out on top.
- Contested Sequel:
- The Raging Blast games. Proponents will point to the addition of customization for the actual movelists and use of What If? characters. Opponents tend to cite the lack of a large roster and less deep gameplay.
- Ultimate Tenkaichi. Some people consider it better than the previous Raging Blast games, others consider it to be one of the worst DBZ games ever made with its Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic instead of combos and strategies. It doesn't help that Hero Mode, the main attraction of DBZ, seems to have a plot which looks like a bad DBZ fanfic.
- Fandom Rivalry: A minor one with fans of Budokai 3. Fans of Budokai cite its more polished combat engine and better balance, while seeing Tenkaichi as bloated by comparison, while fans of Tenkaichi favor it for the larger roster and better simulation of the series's combat, while claiming that Budokai isn't that much better as a fighting game. They're mostly content to say that both are good games, though.
- In the first two games, Beam type Supers/Ultimates pass right through and destroy most Ball type Supers/Ultimates instead of beam struggling with them, as a result characters with Beam-type attacks tended to far outpace those without. This was fixed in 3, where beams can now struggle with ball attacks.
- Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, due to having very good all-around stats, a fast Rush Attack, and two of the most powerful beams in the series. Given that it's Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta, it's probably intentional.
- Fusion characters have their own slots in 2. If you decide to have Gogeta or Vegito with Goku and Vegeta on the same team, you can potentially have two Gogetas and two Vegitos. You can have two Gotenks' if you have Goten, Trunks, and Gotenks in the same team as well.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is considered the best "Dragon Ball" game in Europe and America (specially in Latin America), whereas, in Asia, is the worst of the Budokai Tenkaichi series that even the score it get for fans of those countries don't reach 7.
- Heartwarming Moments: If you play Future Gohan against Goten, he is baffled to find out that he has a brother since Goku died in his timeline before Goten was conceived. If Future Gohan beats Goten, we get this little gem.
- Future Gohan: "Even if it was just for a moment, I'm happy to have met you. Take care."
- The bug with Cell's voice constantly switching to his imperfect form is often thought to be one that they just won't fix for some reason, when the truth is that it can't be fixed. Cell's Japanese voice actor used the same voice for all three forms — making them distinct was thought of by the English voice actor, so the Japanese-developed game didn't feel the need to reserve slots for what would have been duplicate sounds in that version.
- During the story mode of Tenkaichi 3, Omega Shenron's voice sounds just like his original Syn Shenron form when speaking outside of gameplay. This is because much like Cell, Syn Shenron and Omega Shenron retains the same voice actor in the original while the dub both has two different voice actors for both forms respectively.
- Narm: BT3's story mode has a system that allows fighters both watching and participating to spout off lines based on how the character is performing in battle or under certain conditions, but due to the lines triggering a few seconds afterward can get ridiculous because they tend not to match the action on screen i.e. a fighter making a Badass Boast while getting their ass royally kicked.
- This can be quite apparent with the battles based on Dragon Ball GT. In this game, Super Saiyan 4 Goku is now a transformation for the newly-included GT Goku. If the deep-voiced SS4 Goku is getting beat up in a story battle, there's a chance that he will comment on this situation in his much younger voice that he would've otherwise had in any of his other forms.
- Also, the player can set the game to be in either Japanese or English. The English voice actors give it their A-game, while the Japanese seiyuus just read their lines out loud. In a fighting game.
- Pandering to the Base: The developers took in suggestions as to what or who should be in the games, which resulted in fan favorites like Nuova Shenron making it in, as well as some alternate costume choices (such as Goku's Yardrat outfit and Gohan's orange Gi from Bojack Unbound.)
- No Problem with Licensed Games: All three games are considered to be competent, if simple, fighters, with many considering their gameplay to be the most faithful to classic DBZ action, and the sheer amount of content helps add to their appeal. 2 and 3 in particular are in the running for the best Dragon Ball game ever.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: On the other hand, at the very long end of the developer's run with the Dragon Ball series was the infamous Dragon Ball Z: For Kinect. Effectively a butchered version of Ultimate Tenkaichi, using all of the same assets wholesale, it tried to sell the idea of fighting like the Z-Fighters with the Kinect's motion controls; instead you had a game that barely functioned and was just a literal exercise in frustration, on top of further mucking up a Contested Sequel in its mechanics.
- Scrappy Mechanic:
- Unlike the previous and future games, Budokai Tenkaichi 3's World Tournament mode uses an in-game timer that goes up by 10 minutes if you even so much as enter and exit a menu screen. Depending on the time, a new Tournament will be open in World Tour mode (World Tournament, Cell Games, Martial Arts Big Tournament, Otherworld Tournament, and Yamcha's Game). However, while the Tournament times are pre-determined, the difficulty you play them on is not, so trying to unlock that one character or stage for 100% Completion could be made unnecessarily difficult. There is a Free Mode where you can choose any tournament you want at any difficulty, but completing a tournament that way gets you jack squat.
- In the Budokai trilogy and Tenkaichi 1, Ginyu's Body Change ultimate was a Game-Breaker, being able to switch positions with a stronger opponent to gain the upper hand. The Body Change fell into this come Tenkaichi 2 and 3, where it was nerfed horribly to the point where it became useless, borderlining Ginyu in the Joke Character zone. Rather than switching bodies with the opponent, Ginyu will randomly switch with another character off the field (mostly from the Frieza Saga). However, not only are his stats worse than before, he looses access to all of his special attacks, even from his orginal body. In Ultimate Tenkaichi, his Body Change was restricted to a transformation, switching bodies with Goku and Goku only.
- Surprisingly Improved Sequel: Tenkaichi 2 compared to the first one, which was considered a step down from Budokai 3, whereas Tenkaichi 2 is considered just as good if not better than Budokai 3.
- That One Attack: "Mystic Combination", Kid Buu's Rush Attack, in Budokai Tenkaichi 2; the length of time in which he charges at you lasts an absurdly long time (enabling him to use it even at a major distance), and it homes in on the opponent. Exacerbated due to the fact Rush Attacks in 2 are unblockable and costs no Ki if you did not land the attack, as well as Kid Buu being one of the game's many Buus, which means he can charge his Ki up quickly and start the attack all over again after knocking the player across the stage, while they're still struggling to get up. The attack was significantly toned down in 3, lowering the time of the initial rush, requires half Ki consumption for the initial blast, the amount of damage given, the way the character lands prevents it from being used as frequently, and characters being able to block Rush Attacks at the risk of losing Ki.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Japanese version of the games featured Shunsuke Kikuchi's score from the anime. Due to licensing issues, the international versions did not keep this. This irritated some fans. On the other hand, most people will agree that the score for Tenkaichi 2 was quite good.
- What an Idiot!: In the "Beautiful Treachery" What If? story of Tenkaichi 2, Zarbon decides to use the Dragon Balls for himself so he can gain eternal beauty.
You'd Expect: Since he's already young (or at least looks young), he would wish for Complete Immortality. It would stop him from aging and make him unable to be killed. There is no reason why he shouldn't wish for this since he's already beautiful looking. Plus, this will help him if Frieza realizes Zarbon betrayed him.
Instead: He wishes for eternal youth, despite the fact that immortality would give him the same thing and more.
As A Result: He ends up being killed by the end of the story. Frieza even calls him out on this stupid decision, stating "appearance means nothing when you no longer exist."
YMMV / Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi