The 18 Best Fighting Games
- November 20, 2008 00:00 AM PST
From Mortal Kombat II to Tekken 5, GamePro names the 18 most quintessential fighting games ever created! Read on to see what made the list.
#18: Fighters Megamix
Fighters Megamix wasn't a game of epic worlds clashing or legendary heroes meeting for the first time on the battlefield. No, with characters from Virtua Fighter Kids, Sonic: The Fighters (the oft-forgotten Sonic the Hedgehog brawler), and even a Hornet from Daytona USA as playable combatants, Fighters Megamix looked more like Sega's entire think-take dumped a hodge-podge of random ideas into the tried-and-true Virtua Fighter engine. And it was awesome. Don't believe me? Try battling it out with the entire cast of Fighting Vipers as a Mexican jumping bean named "Deku", and tell me that's not ten flavors of awesome.
Square's first PS1 game was called Tobal No. 1, which was a 3D fighter amongst 2D pretenders. Whereas most fighters back then and today purport to be 3D despite relegating almost all movement to just left and right, Tobal allowed and encouraged you to move towards and away from the screen, in addition to approaching and retreating from your opponent. The graphics, while extremely blocky, ran smoother than any other fighter of the 32-bit era, which allowed the diverse movesets of the unique characters (designed by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama) to truly shine. If only U.S. audiences had gravitated towards this game, we'd probably be extolling the virtues of the Japan-only Tobal 2, which improved the graphics in a big way, while boosting the Quest Mode to RPG length, and increasing the playable character roster to over 200(!) characters.
#16: Killer Instinct
Ah yes, who can forget the cheese-filled awesomeness that is Killer Instinct? Developed by Rare, this fast-paced fighting game is like Mortal Kombat on speed. On top of the announcer yelling out "ULTRAAA COMBOOO" when a chain of hits on your opponent was successfully achieved, Killer Instinct is also remembered for its colorful cast of combatants. KI featured a velociraptor, a sword-wielding skeleton, a creature made out of ice, and a buttload of other memorable characters. Heck, the game even let you play as a Tibetan Monk.
One of the strangest video game collaborations this side of Fred Durst in the horrid Fight Club game (seriously, guys -- what were you thinking?), Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe not only brought the infamous series back to its off-the-wall cheese ball roots, but it did so with Batman. Beat that. Even with the game's outrageous premise, the sheer amount of characters, stages, and insane special attacks, including a number of old favorites ("GET OVER HERE!") was more than enough to make up for the game's unfortunate Teen rating.
#14: WWF No Mercy
The WWF... er... WWE hit the pinnacle of its popularity around the beginning of this decade, with its video games following suit. Whereas early 3D wrestling games were crude and clunky, and modern ones are crazy and complicated, AKI's wrestling engine was perfect for the squared circle. No Mercy featured an amazing amount of moves (but kept the control scheme simple), boasted a large amount of match types while making them all enjoyable, and offered an extremely deep (yet approachable) create-a-wrestler mode. Like Goldeneye, No Mercy is a game that keeps drawing gamers back to Nintendo's two-generation-old console. It's just that good.
#13: Fight Night Round 3
With immensely popular franchises like Madden, FIFA, and Tiger Woods, EA has been the leader in making the best realistic sports video games for a long time. And their boxing series, Fight Night, is no exception as the boxing franchise that only gets better with each new edition. If you've never played Fight Night Round 3, you should. It's the strongest game in the series, introducing bone-crushing Impact Punches and mind-blowingly realistic boxers.