In celebration of the recent releases of Pokken Tournament, Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat XL, I have compiled my list of to Top 5 fighting game franchises. This list is MY PERSONAL OPINION, this list is not based on merit, gameplay or whatever, it is just my favorite games to play.
Honorable Mentions: Tekken (always had a hard time getting into it), Punchout (does this count?) and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (I know, I know, but I liked it)
My first exposure to the Soulcalibur franchise was the Soulcalibur II on the GameCube, and all I wanted to do was play with Link and call it a day. However, I picked up Soulcalibur III on the PS2 a few years later, and became hooked. The characters are diverse and easy to control, and it is a game with extreme depth but is still fur to pick up and play for newcomers.
I would be remissed if I didn’t talk about the guest characters this franchise boasts. This list is extensive, it features Heihachi (Tekken), Link (Legend of Zelda), Darth Vader (Duh), Yoda and Kratos (God of War) and somehow they make the characters feel like they fit.
- Street Fighter
This one is probably the most iconic fighting video game, as I don’t think I could talk to too many people of my generation that don’t know what Street Fighter is. Whether it’s from the games of from movies, this series is ingrained in pop culture.
The characters are iconic, and to this day are true to the original play styles and control like a dream once you get things down. The art style is always beautiful, whether it’s pixels or the new art style of the most recent rendition. There’s so much to love with this franchise, and not much to dislike.
- Mortal Kombat
It’s violent, it’s disgusting, it can make you sick . . . and I love it, so much. Mortal Kombat is that game in Jr. High School that every kid wants to play. It is one of the most violent video games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing, and I didn’t mix up my words, I meant pleasure.
Underneath all the violence is a very fun fighting game, with great mechanics and a very memorable roster of characters. Scorpion and SubZero are some of the most iconic game characters ever, joined by a cast that includes Johnny Cage and Reptile along with several others is enough to bring me back to the games time and time again.
And finally, the Fatalities. There isn’t a more satisfying way to close out a head-to-head competition than by literally being able to pull your opponent’s head off. And I might have fibbed a little earlier, these are what bring me back time and time again.
- Marvel vs. Capcom
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is on my shortlist for my favorite game of all time. I love everything about it. The roster is gigantic. All of my favorite superheroes are playable, and on the other side a large majority of my favorite video game characters are available. Getting to pit Spider-Man against Mega Man was a dream come true for me as a kid.
I don’t feel this way about any other game, but I prefer to play Marvel vs. Capcom 2 on an arcade cabinet. Every time I see one, I’ll stop. Just a month ago in Reno I saw one and played a few times.
This isn’t just about the second rendition either, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and even X-Men vs Street Fighter are all ridiculously fun games, and there is only one game that handles crossover better, and that game is next on the list.
- Super Smash Brothers
Full disclosure, I spent nearly every Friday night of my High School life playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl with my friends. It’s the game I’ve played most in my life, and I don’t regret a single second of playing it.
Nintendo’s mascot fighter brings nearly all your favorite characters into one place, and that’s especially true with the most recent rendition that featured Sonic, Mega Man, Pac-Man and even Ryu from Street Fighter, along with all of the most popular Nintendo characters.
This is the one game on the list that has a big shift in gameplay as well, as you can (now) play with up to eight players at the same time on a large battlefield. Nintendo made their own style of fighting game, and no one has been able to make another one like it. Sony tried, but Playstation All-Stars didn’t even compare.
Going all the way back to the N64, Super Smash Bros. is not only my favorite fighting game franchise, but is right up there in competition with Pokemon for being my favorite video game franchise ever. And as my friends will attest, we played it way too much, but loved every second we did.