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These Fighting Games Really Packed a Punch

fighting games jump ultimate stars

Thirty years ago, Street Fighter II released and birthed the modern fighting game genre. Since then, we’ve seen lots of fighting games, but which stuck with us the most? We asked the Siliconera staff.

We will never see a game like Jump Ultimate Stars again. My heart breaks a little every time I realize that. I mean, we have things that handle the combat in a similar way. It follows the basic Smash Bros.-style formula in every way. Lots of characters in stages with tons of platforms. You can grab and use items to shake things up. It has a huge crossover cast. But the idea of building a deck out of manga panels to determine exactly who you could use was ingenious.

The koma you picked determined what you could do. Would you go with a bigger Battle koma and beef that character up with smaller Support and Help koma? Or would you try and have two characters available to you and offer buffs for them both? It is such a great game and one of the best examples of cool things the Nintendo DS could do. — Jenni

fighting games anarchy reigns

A lot of people may disagree with me when I slot Anarchy Reigns (or Max Anarchy, as it’s known in Japan) into the category of a fighting game. But with its 3D fighting system and various player versus player brawler modes? It manages to fit into the genre just fine. I immediately clicked with it, probably due to the fact that it has a wider range of movement in comparison to other 3D fighters like Tekken. There were a handful of really cool exaggerated character designs, true to Platinum Games style, and each had their own unique movesets and strengths. I spent a lot of time in the 2-vs-2 arenas, trying out different compositions with friends as we’d brawl against other players from around the globe.

There was just so much to do and it was honestly just a bunch of fun, even with the really wonky netcode. Anarchy Reigns is a series that I’d love to see make a return, or at least see other fighters pop up to occupy the spot it left behind during its short lifespan. — Kazuma

fighting games marvel vs capcom 2

I wanna take you for a ride
I wanna take you for a ride
I wanna take you for a ride
I wanna take you for a ride
I wanna take you for a ride
I wanna take you for a ri — okay, okay, I’ll stop. (But you don’t have to.) — Graham

fighting games soulcalibur 2

Considering that it is currently very difficult to think of words that aren’t “I wanna take you for a ride,” I think it is necessary for me to give Marvel vs. Capcom 2 some credit. That song is very catchy! And it conjures up some seriously potent memories of the scent of Taco Bell and the thrill of losing to older kids in the mall’s food court.

But SoulCalibur II is the game that really drew me into the genre. At first I was only drawn to it because swords are cool and you could play as Link on the GameCube version. It was the first game I pre-ordered. The only thing that eased the excruciating wait for launch day was the fact that I could spend hours at the Walmart demo station undisturbed. (I grew up in a small town where people were pretty ambivalent about gaming.) As a result of these hours and hours and hours, I barely played as Link when the game came out! I was so comfortable with Cassandra.

I mostly play 2D fighters these days, but there’s something about the way SoulCalibur II combines its distinct range of weapons with 3D movement that really stands out to me. — Ben

mortal kombat game gear

This is going to sound derivative and uninspired, but for me, it’s Mortal Kombat. I first learned about the game from my Dad’s Time magazines. One issue ran a huge story on it about how uber-violent it was and how parents should ban this from kids. Considering we were still in the 16-bit era, how graphic could this be? I had to find out for myself and for science.

I saved up my allowance and bought Mortal Kombat for the Game Gear and played it for hours. This meant I was tethered to my Game Gear’s AC Adapter, but I didn’t care. I became enamored with it, and Time magazine seriously needed to get a grip. A few years later, I bought the sequel for Game Gear, and then discovered Street Fighter in college.

I may not play Mortal Kombat like I used to, but it was my gateway drug into fighting games in general. Since then, I’ve delved heavy into the Smash and DBZ Budokai Tenkaichi series. I returned back to my MK roots with Mortal Kombat X, and I am here to stay. — Keri

What are your favorite fighting games? Let us know in the comments!

Graham Russell
About The Author
Graham Russell, editor-at-large, has been writing about games for various sites and publications since 2007. He’s a fan of streamlined strategy games, local multiplayer and upbeat aesthetics. He joined Siliconera in February 2020, and served as its Managing Editor until July 2022. When he’s not writing about games, he’s a graphic designer, web developer, card/board game designer and editor.