This is going to be a tad lengthy so if you just want the synopsis of what I'm looking for scroll down to the bottom, otherwise feel free to keep reading and I'll go into detail.
I'm looking to pick up a new fighting game on ps3, just been craving learning and enjoying a new fighter these days. Previously I played a lot of Blazblue, MvC, and SF4. There seem to be a ton of other series I've never even touched though and have no idea what ranks where and which one I'd have the most fun with. Just off the top of my head I can think of mortal kombat, persona 4 arena, soul calibur 5, king of fighters, tekken tag tournament, dead or alive. I have no idea where to even start but I've got the cash for only one so can you all help me pick?
Mostly what I want is good online, I don't really care for the single player but having enough single player options to help me "learn the ropes" and get a feel for each character never hurts, mostly online though. What I'm looking for in the online, this is the most important to me: 1) Lag free - or as lag free as possible. Nothing frustrates me more than knowing I could beat someone but being unable to because of the awful state of the online stability from lag/delay/etc. It has to be not only playable, but feel as close as possible to offline when I'm playing online. This is the most important thing for me! 2) Good community - I find fighters in general when I play online have awful online communities. What I mostly care about here is that the average player I play online is going to a) stay until the end of the match, win or lose (not rage quit after dropping one game) and b) use a decent variety of characters. If 90 out of 100 games I play online are against 3 of the game's 20 characters, I really can't stand to play it online. I like a game where people "main" or at least use a great amount of the characters so I don't fight the same 3 characters every game. 3) Easy to learn, hard to master - Pretty much I just want a game that I can I can pick up and play for 2 or 3 hours and know what I'm doing and be able to play/learn online. I love practicing offline or in practice mode to get better, but nothing frustrates me more than practicing a character for days and then taking them online and not being able to scratch anyone I run into. I don't expect to be a god after just a few hours, but I want to feel like I can play the game and compete after I learn the basics, and only be able to get better from there, rather than have to spend the better part of a year to put up a fight against people online.
I want a fighter that has 1) Very good lagless online play 2) A community online that uses more than 3 characters, and doesn't rage quit if they're down early 3) A game that I can "stand a chance" online while I'm still new, but can proceed to improve consistently as I get more practice and experience.