Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is the third major platform game installment in the Rayman series. It tells the story of how Rayman stops André, an evil black lum, from taking over the world with his army of sack-like "Hoodlum" soldiers. Unlike the game's predecessor, Rayman 3 took a more light-hearted turn, it has sarcastic self-referential undertones and pokes fun at the platforming video game genre. It was released for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Microsoft Windows by Ubisoft in 2003 and OS X by Feral Interactive in 2004. A remastered HD version of the game was released for PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in 2012. 2D versions were developed for the Game Boy Advance and N-Gage. A follow up game, Rayman: Hoodlums' Revenge, was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2005. This would be the last main series Rayman game to be released until Rayman Origins in 2011.
Rayman's controls are similar to that of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, albeit he is now limited to utilising long-ranged punches (and kicks at some opportunities), as opposed to throwing Energy Spheres. Instead of permanent upgrades to his abilities, Rayman can now find special "Laser Washing Powder" cans containing one of five temporary power-ups. The Vortex allows Rayman to fire mini-tornadoes instead of punching, the Heavy Metal Fist increases Rayman's strength and allows him to break down certain doors, the Lockjaw gives Rayman extendable claw weapons that can be used to latch onto and electrocute enemies or swing across gaps, the Shock Rocket allows Rayman to fire a remote controlled missile, and the Throttle Copter provides Rayman with a special helmet that allows him to fly vertically for a limited time.
André, the leader of the Black Lums, is a lum who was supposedly said to have grown out of pure evil. One night, he transforms other Red Lums into Black Lums to join him. The group eventually gains enough hair from various animals throughout the forest to dress themselves as Hoodlums. In the middle of the process, Murfy, one of the residents and workers of the Fairy Council, discovers them. André later discovers him hiding nearby and begins to pursue him. Murfy is eventually chased to a small clearing, where Rayman and his friend Globox are sound asleep. Just as Murfy reaches them, Globox is awakened by the commotion. Now aware of the situation, Globox helps Murfy try to get Rayman, who is still asleep, to safety. In the process, Globox accidentally removes Rayman's hands, forcing Murfy to pick Rayman up by his hair and drag him away from the clearing himself. In an attempt to save himself, Globox runs away to safety, taking Rayman's hands along with him.
As time passes, more and more Hoodlums invade the forest. After reaching the entrance to the Council, Rayman and Murfy discover Globox hiding in a barrel. Just as Rayman gets his hands back from Globox, André and a few of his minions appear, following Globox as he flees into the Council. As Rayman and Murfy pursue them, they learn of André's evil plan: to taint the heart of the world so that he can create an army of Hoodlums. Eventually, André catches up with Globox, who ends up accidentally swallowing the evil creature. Afterwards, Rayman attempts to seek out a doctor that can rid André from Globox's insides and Murfy departs from the team, warning Rayman that the Black Lum may force Globox to drink plum juice, in spite of the latter's allergy to it. Along the way, Rayman meets up with three doctors: Otto Psi (a play on the word autopsy), Romeo Patti (homeopathy), and Art Rytus (arthritis). After all three doctors attempt to independently purge André by using various parts of Globox's body as musical instruments, they succeed in getting rid of him after collaborating in Art Rytus' clinic room. Refusing to admit defeat, André teams up with Reflux, a member of the Knaaren race that Rayman had previously defeated.
Reflux steals the scepter of the Leptys - a god worshiped by his people - from the child king of the Knaaren and uses it to increase his power, which in turn will allow Andre to infinitely reproduce. With Globox's help, Rayman climbs to the top of the Tower of the Leptys and faces Reflux and André as the former transforms into a giant winged monster. After a prolonged battle, Rayman and Globox destroy Reflux and Rayman turns André back into a Red Lum. Shortly thereafter, Rayman and Globox return to the clearing that they were in before. Before they resume their nap, Globox admits that he misses André and would like him back, but Rayman says that's not a good idea and that he doesn't know how. Globox says that a Red Lum has to be scared to be a Black Lum to which Rayman replies that he would hate to imagine what could scare a Lum. A flashback to before the beginning of the game reveals that Rayman unwittingly created André when his hands went off on their own and scared a Red Lum with frightening shadow puppets.
As a counterpart to the 3D PC & console versions of the game, the Game Boy Advance and N-Gage versions of the game were 2D sidescrolling platformers, controlling similarly to the original Rayman game.
The GameCube version of the game features exclusive content compared to the other releases of the game, which include several minigames. Additional content could be unlocked by connecting the Game Boy Advance version of the game to it.
A high definition version of Rayman 3, titled Rayman 3 HD, was announced by Ubisoft in November 2011 and was released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in March 2012, nine years after the original version. The game runs at 60 frames per second, in up to 720p. This version includes the original game content, and features newly introduced leaderboards and trophies/achievements. However, it lacks the original intro which featured the Groove Armada song "Madder" (which is still credited, anyway), and also lacks the "Wanna Kick Rayman" bonus videos, which are replaced with the pages from the art book that came with the collector's edition of Rayman Origins. This game also has a different ESRB rating than its non-HD counterpart, which is E for Everyone, whereas the HD version is rated E10+.
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc received generally positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Game Boy Advance version 82.34% and 83/100, the PlayStation 2 version 80.19% and 76/100, the PC version 78.31% and 74/100, the GameCube version 78.08% and 77/100, the Xbox version 76.91% and 75/100, the Xbox 360 version 68.58% and 69/100 and the PlayStation 3 version 67.89% and 72/100.