Written by Rick Warren / Gfn2112
Admittedly, I’m not very good at fighting games. Even at my best I’m only slightly above average, as I struggle to pull off skill-heavy combos and usually resort to the embarrassing tactic that is button-mashing. Despite a history of losing, though, I really enjoy the genre. Due to that, this week I'm sharing my favorite fighting games, and I encourage you to do the same in the comments below. Let's get started!
5.) PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale
Yep. I’m one of those people. Despite its bland singleplayer mode and missing cast members (Solid Snake? Sora? Crash? Spyro? Literally any Final Fantasy character? SOLID SNAKE!?), I adored this game and have always hoped that Sony would try again. The list of PlayStation icons has continued to grow over the years, and with characters like Senua, Aloy and Spider-Man now under the PlayStation banner, it’s something that should seem like an obvious move. After all, the original game had a solid foundation, boasting smooth gameplay and gorgeous arenas to fight in. With a deeper well of content and a stronger cast, PS All-Stars 2 could be more than another failed attempt at copying Nintendo’s success with the Smash series. Only a few people remember All-Stars fondly... but I’m happy to be one of the few.
Next up, my favorite game in a series that brought two wildly different worlds together...
4.) Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Last year, I reviewed Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite. I was genuinely disappointed with that game, as it was a step back in nearly every way from this one. Instead of having a list of complaints like with Infinite, I have so many great things to say about Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The art style is genuinely cool, as it fully embraces the comic books that half of the cast came from. Further, that cast itself is terrific, and the characters added to the Ultimate version make it even stronger. With costumes and color schemes that reference some of their most iconic appearances, customization is a blast (I always found myself using the X-Force look for Wolverine, Deadpool and X-23). Individual character endings and music unique to each member of the roster shows the care that was put into the game, and the fast and fun gameplay always kept me coming back.
Up next, my favorite game in one of the best Nintendo-exclusive series...
3.) Super Smash Brothers: Melee
It’s almost impossible not to have a Smash game on this type of list. Most gamers have had the experience of playing one of the games in this franchise with friends, and it’s an itch that few other games can scratch. In my case, the Smash game I got hooked on was Melee. I remember going over to different friends’ houses and playing for hours, as so many people had a copy, and it never got old. The cast of characters was always incredible, and the movesets were simple enough for everyone to have a good time. Few games are as consistently fun as Smash. Best of all, though, it features Master Hand! How can anyone dislike a series that has the greatest villain of all time?
Next up, the first modern incarnation of the most iconic fighting series ever...
2.) Mortal Kombat 9
When the Mortal Kombat series returned in 2009, it came back with a bang. This entry offered everything the series was known for in the past, from its iconic cast to its wild fatalities. Modern graphics brought the game to a whole new level, and with the stronger engine, Ed Boon and Netherrealm Studios were able to expand Mortal Kombat into new territory. An awesome and unique first-person area where players can go to unlock new skins and moves and my favorite story mode in the entire series are just a few examples of that. Multiplayer functioned extremely well and was something that I played with friends constantly (even if I always lost). While Mortal Kombat X was a great game as well, MK9 is by far my favorite entry in the series.
Finally, the game to close off this list...
1.) Injustice 2
Anybody who knows me knew that this was coming. I was thrilled to try the original Injustice game when it was first revealed. I knew It was hard for me not to connect with it, because it featured many of the characters I had grown up idolizing. Thankfully, it delivered. The beginning of the story was truly unforgettable, and the rest of it offered the best “evil” version of Superman ever. The gameplay was fun and I had no shortage of people to play the game with. All the pieces to the puzzle were there, and it was a genuinely good game that I enjoyed for years. Then, Injustice 2 came.
Injustice 2 is exactly what a sequel should be, as it improves on every aspect of the game that came before. The cast is deeper and incredibly well-animated, customization is stronger, gameplay is smoother, arenas are better, and overall the story is superior. The multiverse mode offered endless replayability for solo players, and the gear system offered a reason to keep playing. Though I have issues with the trophy list of Injustice 2 and some of the DLC characters that came after its release, it’s by far the most I’ve ever enjoyed a fighting game and I cannot recommend it enough.
That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading and check back next Friday for another Top 5!