Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top 10 Current Gen Fighting Games

It's a good time to be into fighters. Seriously. While the 90's are considered the heydey of the genre with the Neo Geo and the prevalence of arcades, there's been a recent surge of quality fighters this generation. Both 3D and 2D and ranging from new franchises to entries in those long standing, here is our list of the Top 10 Current Generation Fighting Games.

10. King of Fighters XII (PS3/360)

In a franchise known for goregous sprite-based art and fluid animation, King of Fighters XII certainly did not disappoint visually. While a somewhat limited roster of 20 characters prevented it from rising above some of the greater titles in the series, it was a blast from the past featuring newly tweaked fighting mechanics reminiscent of past KOF installments and other classic fighters like Garou: Mark of the Wolves.

9. Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe (PS3/360)

The most preordered Mortal Kombat title in the history of the series, MK vs DC Universe was the answer to the incredibly popular Marvel vs Capcom series. True, this answer was several years late, but the result was nonetheless very enjoyable. Departing from the full 3D gameplay of some of the more recent iterations and returning to the classic 2D plane, MK vs DC Universe played host to 22 characters on the disc plus extras available as DLC.

8. Tekken 6 (PS3/360/PSP)

The King of Iron Fist Tournament returned for the sixth installment and was predictably met with praise. Though the 'adventure' mode was somewhat disappointing because of poor controls and less than impressive writing, the core fighting mechanics, excellent online modes, and wealth of customization options made Tekken 6 a worthy entry in the long-standing series. The console versions were well received, but the portable version garnered just as much praise for bringing the fighting to the palm of players' hands.

7. Marvel vs Capcom 2 (PS3/360)

This one is on the list just because it's so damn good. True, the original came out on the Sega Dreamcast and it received ports to both the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox, but the 2009 enhanced port that was sold online on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade was fantastic. It was everything fans wanted from Marvel vs Capcom but with the added bonus of widescreen HD support and, of course, online play. Were this game truly part of the 'current generation,' rest assured that it would be much higher on the list. Now to endure the interminable wait until March 24th, 2011, when Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds will release.

6. Dead or Alive 4 (360)

The main selling point of the Dead or Alive franchise is the girls. Scantily clad and with massive bouncing breasts, sometimes people forget that the fourth game in the series also had incredibly addictive gameplay with well designed fighting mechanics and a cast of characters that included returning fighters and other Team Ninja characters like Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series.

5. Tatsunoko vs Capcom (Wii)

An example of fan service at its finest. Inspired by Marvel vs Capcom and featuring 26 characters from the Tatsunoko and Capcom universes, this Wii exclusive should not be missed. The gameplay is fantastic, the graphics look amazing (for the Wii), and while the console limits the online functionality, it's still a blast to play.

4. Soul Calibur IV (PS3/360)

When it comes to weapon-based 3D combat, Soul Calibur is king. Adding a whole new level of strategy to the standard fighting formula and bundling it with cameo characters like Darth Vader, Yoda, and The Apprentice from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, the game was well received from fans and critics alike. In addition to the solid mechanics that had been established and built upon since the seminal first entry in the series, SCIV's graphics, character creation, and online component were all highlights.

3. Virtua Fighter 5 (PS3/360)

The original Virtua Fighter was the first fighting game to feature full 3D polygonal character models. Sure, nowadays they look like cardboard, but it was revolutionary back then and the fifth installment in the series lived up to all expectations. The Xbox 360 version is the superior port of the arcade original in that it includes online functionality, but even the offline-only PS3 port is worth both your time and money. In the end, it's all about the gameplay and Sega has plenty of experience in that department.

2. BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (PS3/360)

OK. You know a game is good when a brand new franchise lands this high on the list, beating out so many contenders who have been in the game since it began. BlazBlue was a smash hit in Japanese arcades and it was no different on the consoles. Even the PSP version was well received, though naturally it's a less polished port of the nearly flawless console original. BlazBlue introduced fighting fans to a brand new cast of interesting characters and is believed by many to be the main cause for the recent resurgence of 2D fighting games. Where other series rendered in 3D, BlazBlue went back to 2D animation--and it paid off magnificently. We wait with baited breath for the upcoming sequel, BlazBlue: Continuum Shift.

1. Super Street Fighter IV (PS3/360)

Had this Top 10 been written before April 27th, 2010, then this number 1 spot would've been occupied by Street Fighter IV, which breathed new life into the one of the most well-known and widely respected fighting franchises of all time. But seeing as Super Street Fighter IV is pretty much the original with 10 extra characters (bringing the total to 35), more features and ultra combos, and a greatly expanded online mode, it's obvious that it would take the top spot. The gameplay is pretty much perfect, allowing for newcomers and veterans alike to enjoy the game, and the characters are so legendary that you can't go wrong.