Ever since gaming rose to mainstream popularity gamers have been looking for opportunities to test their metal in fighting arenas. We’ve all had the compulsion to hone our reflexes and try to kick seven shades out of our friends at one point or another! From the cartoon excess of Super Smash Bros all the way to the gritty realism of EA UFC, fighting games are one of the most diverse genres available today. Whether you’re playing on your own at home, or playing with a group of friends, rattling of 12 punch combinations will always provide an immense thrill. Below, we take a look at the best fighting games ever created.
1. EA UFC
First on our list is EA UFC, a sports game that built on the popular following of Mixed Martial Arts to provide a kick-ass fighting game. The game saw players pit themselves against other fighters in the Octagon to try get a TKO or Submission. With realistic character models and authentic signature movements, you can play your favorite fighter and use your Boxing, Muay Thai, Wrestling and BJJ to work for the finish. Every kick and punch is felt with devastating clarity and the game does a great job of dragging you into the grit of a real-life competition.
Next on our list is Fight Night Champion’s brilliant foray into the world of the sweet science of boxing. Players take control of all-time greats like Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Lennox Lewis to put it all on the line for gold and glory. The fluidity of the punching combination system and the slickness of the head movement make this one of the best boxing games ever released. Players who work on their counterpunching ability even have the chance to get a one-punch knockout!
3. Tekken 2
Tekken 2 is one of those titles that will always be synonymous with the fighting genre. The sequel featured 25 detailed characters, move sets and backgrounds abound, with new defensive gameplay features like head movement. Tekken boasted a massive variety of moves and combinations (Many characters had at least three different long combinations). Players that put the time in would be rewarded by making use of advanced moves like defensive throws to counter their opponent’s oncoming strikes.
As one of the treasures of the fighting genre, Mortal Kombat has been a beloved fighting series for years now but Mortal Kombat X was perhaps the best part of the series to date. The game featured 24 fighters with authentic and dynamic move sets and a grade-A campaign with an elaborate plot and great cinematic effects. This game is surprisingly technical so if you’re thinking of stepping into the arena, get prepared to be taken to the woodshed your first few rounds!
Reworking the Classic Street Fighter 4, Ultra Street Fighter 4 has a wealth of modes, characters and costumes to keep even the most seasoned players enthralled. The graphics look great, and despite complaints about bugginess, the game runs extremely well, and includes levels from all of the previous editions of SF4. In addition, you’ll also get a load of DLC characters without having to pay a fortune.
6. Injustice 2
If you’re a fan of DC, comic books or superheroes, then Injustice 2 is an absolute must have. In Injustice, gamers can take the reins of their favorite DC superheroes and villains and fight it out in an arena for supremacy. The elaborate combo system allows you to beat the hell out of your opponent in style, with environmental attacks and super-moves that include The Flash dragging his opponent through time before smashing them into a dinosaur. Fans of the comics will also be happy to see less famous faces like Deadshot and Black Canary get their chance to shine as well.
You can’t have a top fighting games list without the cartoon insanity of Super Smash Bros. With eight player battles, colorful arenas and madness to keep you entertained for days, Super Smash Bros is as funny as it is challenging to master. You’ll be able to play as iconic characters from Mega Man,to Pac-Man, Link and Mario and take it to your opponent in 3D (And all in 60 FPS). Whether you pounding your opponents into the ground with Bowser, or relying on out witting your opponent, the combat system is surprisingly nuanced.
When it comes to fighting game rivalries, there’s nothing quite like the bad blood between Marvel and Capcom. Add comic giants Marvel with gaming giants Capcom and put their universe’s into an arena and you’re bound to get an interesting ride. In the versus mode players could put the might of Deadpool and Iron Man against Capcom legends like Chris Redfield. The single player may have been a bit lacking but the versus mode was top notch. Oh, and the special moves were awesome too!
Virtua Fighter 5 is perhaps one of the most barebones entries on the list, yet it is a strong contender as one of the best fighting games ever created. Virtua fighter 5 may have only cost $15 when it came out, but it’s combat system was one of the most detailed and complicated we’ve ever seen. Virtua Fighter 5 took a lot of time investment in order to master, and you had to be a damn ninja for most long combinations. This title did a great job of building upon the original success of the virtual fighter series with new modes, arenas and characters alike.
10. Soul Calibur IV
Finally, we have Soul Calibur IV. Anyone who’s ever had the pleasure of getting on the sticks for Soul Calibur IV will tell you it’s one of the most difficult games to get the hang of. It’s not that the combinations are impossible, it’s that you’ll be punished mercilessly for anything but perfect timing. In Soul Calibur, Players had the ability to fight as a variety of iconic characters like Yoda and Darth Vader. For its time, the graphics were the cream of the crop, so you could dish out beatings with high resolution.