The game was officially announced during Microsoft's E3 press conference on June 10th, 2013. 
- Main article: Story Mode (Dead Rising 3)
Dead Rising 3 takes place ten years after Dead Rising 2. It follows the game's protagonist, a young mechanic named Nick Ramos as he desperately attempts to find a way out of the city of Los Perdidos before a large incendiary bomb is released to level the city.
During the events of Dead Rising 3, a nationwide pandemic of zombie outbreaks has caused human civilization to be nearly wiped out.  Contained zombies are accidentally released from containment starting an outbreak in Los Perdidos. Nick and other survivors must escape the city alive before the military performs a firebombing. At some point during the initial outbreak, Nick comes in contact with a trucker named Dick, his boss Rhonda, and Annie, an infected "illegal" - a person who refuses to be chipped by the government.
- Main article: Endings (Dead Rising 3)
There are a total of five known endings that can be achieved depending on player choices. Ending S is the best ending, followed by C, D, and F. There is also an alternate ending to Chapter 8 that is not numbered. Ending S is considered to be the true, canon ending.
- Team up with a buddy for endless zombie-killing mayhem through online co-op over Xbox Live, with asynchronous matchmaking that allows you to jump in or out of the game at any time. Not only will you help your friend advance, you'll also contribute to your own story progression and earn experience points that will carry back into your own game.
- Keep your progression! With Dead Rising 3's co-op system, you can jump into a friend's game and finish chapter three. If you jump back to your game and you're only in chapter one, you will already have chapter three completed, despite not being at that point yet.
- The "Normal Mode" of the game. This mode features a six day time limit, utilizes checkpoints, and the player can save in the open world and do not have to visit a bathroom. With this mode, the player can complete every mission and master all content with no pressure.
- There are 8 chapters in total (0-7).
- A one day extension of the story mode. Overtime Mode is also known as the eighth chapter, but still utilizes the time limit and other gameplay features from story mode.
- Running out of time in this mode will result in a different ending, however, you are able to start from a previous checkpoint after recieving this ending.
- In this mode, players get to experience a more "classic" Dead Rising experience. The three day time limit returns, there are no checkpoints and players have to save in bathrooms or porta-pottys.
- Time passes by four times faster than in the regular mode.
- Zombies and psychopaths are meaner and tougher. They can withstand more damage and will also deal more damage to Nick and survivors.
- Days are shorter and nights last longer.
- Weapon lockers and garages will only allow half of the amount of weapons/vehicles to be generated at one time.
- By leveling up the 'smarts' attribute category, players can receive a PP bonus which allow them to gain more PP.
- More PP is awarded for good endings, especially Ending S!
New Gameplay Features
- Unlike previous games, Dead Rising 3 features a longer time limit, but features a Nightmare Mode for players who want the more traditional Dead Rising experience.
- The game's world is immense, being able to fit the map from both Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 inside of Los Perdidos with room to spare. There are no loading screens and virtually no loading time, making for a sleek transition between the various areas.
- Zombies now have intelligent AI. With Kinect, the zombie horde can hear beyond the screen and will react to you calling out for a more immersive experience.
- All zombies have been uniquely modeled with great detail, and accessories (such as earbuds or skirts) have been randomly generated onto preexisting models. No two zombies look alike!
- Use motion controls to point and command your survivor posse and even yell insults to taunt your enemies.
- Anatomically correct gore, allows you to tear into zombies and see parts of them you have never seen in a Dead Rising game before.
- New driving physics and tons more vehicles. Combo Vehicles can be created with blueprints, and if zombies are on your car while you're driving, it will affect your driving ability and will try to pry you from the wheel.
- Nick will no longer need to use a maintenance room to make combo weapons. He can combine weapons anytime, anywhere, granted that he has the materials and there are over 100 combinable weapons!
- The game features a clothing locker to try on and customize clothing and accessories. Any clothing the player has tried on will go into the clothing locker.
- In addition to a clothing locker, there is also a weapon locker which will store any of the weapons that you've found or created.
- Combo weapons are created using blueprints instead of combo cards.
- A lot more bigger items can fit into Nick's inventory. Some items still can't fit and other item's that will fit if heavy enough will make Nick walk slower.
- Money has been removed from the game.
- The saving system is greatly improved and it only takes less than a second to save game progress.
- There are seven psychopaths which make up the "Seven Deadly Sins".
- 'Saveable' survivors that don't join your posse have been introduced. They save themselves after you clear out the zombies around them, similar to Case West. There are some survivors that are part of missions; even if you do what they want, when the mission is over they stay where they are and won't follow you. Some survivors even become hostile and must be killed to complete the mission.
- Protagonist Bundle: Content that goes to those who pre-order the game, Nick will be able to dress up as Frank West and Chuck Greene from Dead Rising 1 & 2 respectively, along with two custom skill moves each, and two new combo weapons, the Zombie Slugger and the Paddle Saw.
- Season Pass Bundle: for $28.99 players will get four new playable characters including a anarchist biker, an illegally infected survivor, a special forces agent, and a military operative each with four new missions, combo weapons, vehicles and costumes!
- Operation Eagle: A DLC package available for individual purchase for $9.99, but is also included in the season pass. This DLC follows Adam Kane, a Special Forces Commander who is tasked with hunting down and capturing the president. This DLC package includes five new weapons, one new combo weapon, a new vehicle and a new costume.
- Fallen Angel: A DLC package available for individual purchase for $9.99, but is also included in the season pass.