Fighting games have been a large part of gaming since its earliest days, with franchises such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken leading the way. But, which games are the cream of the crop? Here are the top 10 best fighting games of all time.
10. Bloody Roar
A very underrated game and series created by Hudson Soft. First appearing in 1997, the 3D fighter takes inspiration from games such as Tekken and Virtua Fighter, but with a unique mechanic that sees fighters transform into various animals by activating Beast Mode. Bloody Roar is fast-paced and frantic and a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the final game in the series was released in 2003, which is a shame because it was a really good series.
9. Mortal Kombat X
The second game in the reboot series, Mortal Kombat X is one of the best 3D fighters of all time. Featuring most of the key members of the series including the likes of Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Sub Zero, and Scorpion, the game also introduces many new characters to the series Kassie Kage, Kotal Kahn, and Kung Jin. The earlier 3D Mortal Kombat games were very hit and miss, but now the developers have a firm grasp on how to make an amazing 3D fighter.
8. Marvel Vs Capcom 2
Marvel and Capcom joined forces to bring players the Marvel Vs Capcom series, pitting popular characters from both companies together including the likes of Wolverine, Captain America, Spiderman, Hulk, Ryu, Chun-Li, Cammy, Mega Man, and Jill Valentine. The game features 3 Vs 3 gameplay and is much faster-paced compared to other Capcom titles such as Street Fighter. If you’re a fan of either company then this is a series you should check out.
7. Tekken Tag Tournament
Perhaps the biggest hidden gem in the Tekken series, the early PS2 title brought tag team action to the series. The gameplay improved drastically compared to the PS1 games, as well as a roster featuring every character from the first three games. Tekken Tag Tournament also features the best mini-game in the series, Tekken Bowling, which is a lot of fun and a mode that you can easily lose hours with.
6. Super Smash Bros Melee
Despite four games releasing in the series since the release of Super Smash Bros Melee, fans keep going back to the game time and time again, and for good reason. The game features smooth gameplay, fast combos, and a high skill ceiling, which makes it a hit with competitive players. Although Ultimate brought the series back to greatness, many fans keep going back to Melee and that likely won’t be changing any time soon.
5. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike
The pinnacle of competitive Street Fighter, Third Strike is the third and final game released under the Street Fighter 3 name. Third Strike features much smoother gameplay than Street Fighter 2 and includes more updated mechanics such as parrying moves, combos, and multiple super moves. While not the most popular game when it was released, largely due to being a 2D fighter in a 3D era, the game became the go-to game for eSports players and was the game that helped produce the iconic Evo Moment 37 which you can check out below.
Released in 1998, Soulcalibur became the second best-selling game of all time on the Dreamcast. The game has gone on to spawn one of the most popular fighting series of all time, as well a scoring a 98% on Metacritic, making it the fifth highest-rated game of all time. Soulcalibur blends elements of games such as Virtua Fighter, and Tekken, another Namco franchise. When it comes to 3D fighters, Soulcalibur stands toe to toe with any of them.
3. Mortal Kombat 2
Following on from the success of Street Fighter 2, many game developers looked to create their own fighting game franchise, perhaps the most successful of the bunch was Mortal Kombat, first released in 1992, the series has gone on to spawn many games and is still being released today. The mid-90s saw the series explode in popularity with Mortal Kombat 2, which stepped things up from the previous title. Featuring an iconic roster including Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Raiden, Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub Zero, and many more, the game became a must-play title that is still looked back on fondly today.
2. Tekken 3
When it comes to 3D fighting games, Tekken has reigned supreme for over 25 years. Tekken 3 became the fifth best-selling game on the PlayStation 1, following on from the influential Tekken 2, bringing smoother gameplay and introducing new staples to the series including Jin Kazama, Ling Xiaoyu, Bryan Fury, Eddy Gordo, and Hwoarang. Tekken 3 received universal critical acclaim, holding a 96% score on Metacritic, with the game being the second-highest-rated game on the PS1 and the 25th highest-rated game of all time.
1. Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter 2 is arguably the most iconic fighting game of all time, becoming Capcom’s best-selling game for two decades and generating over $10 billion in revenue when taking its arcade versions into account. The game set the standard for the genre, becoming responsible for many new fighting franchises such as Mortal Kombat. Street Fighter 2 has become one of the most ported games of all time, with eight different versions of the game released, each with updated mechanics, graphics, fighters, etc, with the latest version releasing on the Nintendo Switch in 2017. Without Street Fighter 2 the fighting genre would look very different.