The fifth entry in SEGA's popular fighting game series, Virtua Fighter 5 features detailed stages from around the world where players face off in fast-moving martial arts battles against one of 17 characters, including two new characters who join the elite group of fighters. Players are given the opportunity to learn and employ the new "Offensive Move" technique to take down their opponents from different angles, adding a new dimension to the game. Virtua Fighter 5 also includes the ability to customize characters by selecting from four base costumes and a wide range of unlockable accessories and earnable items. As players win more tournaments they will not only earn costumes and accessories, but also prizes and in-game money that will allow them to buy items from the in-game shop.
For the Xbox 360 release, the game also features an online two-player versus mode via Xbox Live. Players will not only achieve victory by defeating highly-skilled opponents, but also by competing for prizes and earning in-game money which allow them to buy many items at an in-game shop.