Fighting Games.....an often underappreciated genre of games that are mostly looked upon in two different lights. On one side, people find them a great timewasters and good ways to spend quarters in the arcade or time at home. On the other hand, some people view them as too short and bad games to play if you're looking for something that will last a long time. The Fighting Game genre, therefore, have often received unecessary flak for being too short and, in recent days, small due to smaller and smaller amounts of fighting games being released as the year progress. This list is to encompass what are considered the Top 10 Fighting Games of all time and to show how great the fighting game genre really is.

Oh, the memories! The 2nd Fighting game I ever played in my life and the best Mortal Kombat Game to date. It took everything the first MK game did and increased it. At the time, it was considered a graphical powerhouse, from the fluid animation to the vibrant projectile attacks from the characters. The Fatalities were what the series was really known for, and this game impressed with these fatalities, including the first instance of the Animality. A classic fighting game that was the top of the MK franchise.

An often forgotten game that was even compared to MK for numerous reason. The odd characters, fighting system, and the combos were all reminiscent in some way to MK, but Rare pulled it off differently and ,for the most part, better. The unique characters were each pulled off brilliantly with their personalities. Some characters weren't as unique as other, but even the non-unique ones (Glacier and Cinder) were pulled off in a cool way. The music was also a highmark of the game, and the soundtrack coming with the game was a very good bonus. A classic game that deserves a 3rd entry in the series.

One of the top 2D fighting games of all time and the 2nd best SF fighting game of all time! This game's character roster was the largest of any SF game, inlcuding every SSFIIT character, some SF1 characters, and even a few characters from Final Fight. Of course, they added in a few original characters like R.Mika and Dan into the mix, creating a great variety of fighting game characters. Also, each character was giving a set of "-isms" which determine how their Super Moves would work. This innovation of different fighting styles allowed multiple combinations for characters, keeping reply value pretty high. Sadly, I only played the PS2 Version from SF: Alpha Anthology, which omitted the World Tour Mode, Eagle, Maki, Yun, and Ingrid. I'm sure that if I played that mode and those character, SFA3 would be higher on my list.

The top of the KoF franchise at the moment. KoF 2002 was the ultimate Dream Match, including every character from KoF's 99-2001 and even a few from previous installments, such as Billy Kane, Ryuji Yamazaki, and the boss of the game, Omega Rugal. The PS2 Version of the game, included with KoF 2003, has a few extra characters, a Challenge Mode used to unlock those added characters, and a gallery of Artwork and special GIF's of the characters in special motions. The fighting mechanics and the amount of characters in the roster make this the top KoF game to date.

Ah, yes! A game now infamous for adding its guest characters, which, oddly enough, is the reason the Xbox and not the PS2 version of the game is on this list. The PS2 version of the game had Heihachi, a character from the Tekken Series, while the Xbox version had Spawn, who actually did appear in different time periods in his mythology. His appearance in SC made more sense than Heihachi's, so the Xbox Version was used on the list. Anyway, this game was a good improvement for SC. Alot of characters were improved upon from previous games and some are even better here than in SCIII. The fighting engine of the game flows fludily with each slash your character makes. The game is also good for having a great amount of juggle combo possibilities and maybe, the best character designs of the series thus far. The weapon designs were also pretty cool in this game and had more variety than SCIII. One of the best weapon fighters of all.

The game that started it all for the Soul Series! From the moment the intro song hit, this game had me hooked. A small character roster, but the game still proved to be an enthralling experience, taking you to different places as each character had their own designated stage all to their own in different parts of the world. The Weapon System was never better than it was here, requiring you to play through each character's Story Mode (Called Edge Master Mode in the game) to obtain all of their weapons. Also, each character had their own ending with VA work, a first for fighting games at the time.

The best Fighting Game of the PS1 Generation by far! The amount of characters in the game was considered amazing at the time, especially for a 3D fighting game. The great fighting mechanics, different characters and their stories and the backgrounds for the characters provided a unique feel of atmosphere in the game. The music gets you pumped for the fight as you charge at your opponent with your best moves. The end fight with Kazuya was among the high marks of the game, stage and music wise. The end theme during the credits was also one of the best pieces of music produced for a video game. The game that set the standard for 3D fighting.

The pinnacle of 2D fighting games and the #3 game on the list! This game had 19 characters and manye unique styles for the characters. Alot of variety was added when they decided to only bring back 4 characters from previous SF games, with the others not appearing and having completely new characters in their place. The animation of this game was the perfect example for every 2D fighting game to follow, as the clothing of the characters would move as the characters moved a certain way and the bright, vibrant colors of the characters and their attacks matched perfectly with how one would imagine each character. The fluid animation for the characters and their techniques, as well as the amount of variety amongst the character easily make this the pinnacle of 2D fighting that has yet to be surpassed!

The game that got me fully into the Virtua Fighter Franchise. From the multitude of fighting styles represented to the different characters and their customization items, this fighting game was the pinnacle when it came out, featuring a Quest Mode where you take your character through multiple arcades and gain rankings until you gain the final ranking of Champion. This is one fighting game that throws the stereotype of fighting games being too short out the window easily, capturing you into the game and making you practice long hours to try and master your respective character. Truly, a fighting game for the ages.

What other game would tie with VF4:Evo than the last great fighting game for the PS2? Tekken 5 really pushed everything about the Tekken Franchise, and even borrowed a few elements from VF, such as the customizations and the Kumite Mode of VF4, now called Arcade Mode for Tekken 5. Each character got a huge improvement from any previous appearance and some characters from older Tekken Games even made a reappearance after a good, long absence from the series. It took what Tekken 4 did and improved on every aspect. Namco even built a brand new Graphics Engine for Tekken 5, which greatly improved the graphics beyond almost any PS2 game with the detail of the characters, their emotions, and the ending animations for the characters. A fighting game for the ages and one not to be forgotten!

There you have it, folks! The games I think deserve to be on the Top 10 Fighting Games of all time. All of these games have achieved a hallmark of some kind for fighting games, whether in perfect animation, the music, or the engine of the game itself. The longevity of fighting games won out on this list, however, as Tekken 5 and VF4 both are at the top for proving fighting games don't always have to be short, but can be as long as any adventure game and alot of times, just as fun too. Fighting games may be a dwindling genre, but with the recent releases of Tekken 5: DR, VF5, and the coming releases of Tekken 6, Street Fighter IV, Soul Calibur IV, and KoF 98': Ultimate Match, "the legend will never die!"

List by WingedRegent (01/22/2008)

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