Soul Calibur is the name of the holy sword, created to battle the evil sword Soul Edge, around which the game's story-lines revolve.
The game includes new modes such as Tales of Souls, an interactive story-driven mode comparable to Soul Edge's Edge Master Mode; Create-A-Soul Mode, in which players can create custom characters from thirteen total occupations, with multiple weapons and fighting styles; and Chronicles of the Sword, a real-time-play mode that allows players to take their created souls through adventures of their own. The game also has the largest character roster – 24 characters playable in Tales of Souls mode and an additional 18 playable in all other modes – and largest battle stage selection in the Soul series history.
Although recent generations of fighting games have supported online play, Soulcalibur III does not. The game's producer, Hiroaki Yotoriyama, has said that, "At the current time, the online infrastructure is extremely different between countries, and there's people that can not enjoy network gaming. We've decided to concentrate on improving the game's offline content and its characters so that people all over the world will be able to have fun".