The rules of schools and society have taught us that fighting is bad. It is considered an unruly endeavor that should be avoided at all costs. Video games have taught us otherwise.
Fighting games are one of the most intuitive and engaging of video games on the market. All games take skill to master, but fighting games take a particular blend of quick reflexes, knowledge, and critical thinking to become proficient in. Luckily for us, there are a plethora of fighting games to pick from.
Many fighting games have built legacies around their franchises. Monuments to their respective triumphs should be erected in their names. Since we aren’t particularly skilled architects, we’ll just give them this list to honor their achievements.
“BlazBlue” is a doughty little series. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because the game started in Japan and only slowly made its way across the sea. Its most recent game entry, “BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle,” was a crossover fighting game that included characters from the “Persona” series. While “BlazBlue” may not have the clout that later entries on this list have, it has promise, and who knows what it will become in the future.
10. “Dead or Alive”
When “Dead or Alive” first released in arcades, it was praised for its crisp graphics and more complicated move-sets. Complexity in a fighting game is not always a bad thing, just ask any “Dark Souls” fan. Overcoming a challenge and mastering a technique means so much more if you have to work for it. The “Dead or Alive” series earned its place on this list of fighting games in the same way.
9. “The King of Fighters”
“The King of Fighters” is well-known for its use of team-based fighting. Teams of three take each other on until every single person on the enemy team is wiped out. This led to ultimate comebacks where you lost your first two fighters almost instantly, but you were able to take the win with your last remaining fighter. Moments like that are the epitome of fighting games.
When your fighting game is helmed by the company that worked on “Mortal Kombat,” you know you’re in good hands. NetherRealm Studios brought us one of the best super hero fighting games in the form of “Injustice: Gods Among Us.” We got to see our favorite DC heroes pummel each other, and it was all wrapped up in an engrossing story.
For the most part, fighting games rely on characters punching each other with their fists. “Soulcalibur” changes things up a bit and throws swords into the mix. The added weapon brings a whole new dynamic to the game. Your reach is extended, and some characters with swords can do…interesting things with them. But the core fundamentals of a classic fighting game are still intact.
6. “Dragon Ball FighterZ”
“Dragon Ball FighterZ” is perhaps the most recent game on this list to have earned itself a place here. But it has the added perks of a beloved franchise behind it to give it a boost. However, the game does not simply rest on the laurels of the universe supporting it. It is a fantastic fighting game in its own right.
5. “Marvel vs. Capcom”
Before the heroes of DC were trading blows with each other, the heroes of Marvel were swinging punches at the heroes of Capcom. “Marvel vs. Capcom” had you build teams comprised of an eclectic mix before fighting an equally diverse opposing team. The franchise is still going strong to this day.
Fighting games used to be pixels fighting across from each other in a 2D style. Then “Tekken” came along. “Tekken” was one of the first fighting games to bring a 3D look to the battle. This may have upped the difficulty factor, as players then had to contend with a whole extra dimension, but the fighting landscape was improved by this added condition.
3. “Mortal Kombat”
If there was one game that we had to play clandestinely, it was “Mortal Kombat.” This series brought about a new viciousness to a player’s victory with the iconic Fatality system. These finishing moves brought a whole new sense of triumph every time you won a fight. “Mortal Kombat” cemented its spot in the fighting game genre through years of continued excellence and gory Fatalities.
2. “Super Smash Bros.”
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” just recently came out, and it proves that the fire that lives in the series is still burning. This fighting game may be geared toward a younger audience than most other fighting games, but it brought an important aspect to the genre as a whole: accessibility. Anyone could pick up “Super Smash Bros.” and play it against their friends. “Super Smash Bros.” combined tactics with easy understanding.
1. “Street Fighter”
“Street Fighter” made the fighting game genre what it is today. When it was in arcades, it was the game that drew players in. Nowadays, “Street Fighter” draws viewers in whenever it gets its time to shine in the light of esports glory. Tournaments are intense affairs, and you can see the original magic of the arcade in every Hadouken performed.