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This is Daigo Umehara, a badass of badasses in fighting games. Some love him, some hate him. Either way, he's a name to know. Maybe you might be on his level of fame someday as well? If so, you'd best get practicing right now!
EVO is THE tournament, the place for every fighting game fan goes each year to try and prove him/herself to be the very best like no one ever was, dun dun dun. No, but seriously, this is what most people strive for. Some notable people are Daigo Umehara (seen above), Justin Wong, Mike Ross, and 8-year old prodigy Noah. So basically speaking, if you can get your combos and shit down right, you might just be as legendary as them.
Fightan games are pretty fucking neato things. They often have great music, characters, artwork/animation, and most notably above all else: COMMUNITIES. Most people who play these games are considered bros and know their vidya. Though, true to the expected white-knuckle style, not everyone gets along, and some participants can flat out be trolls and dicks, so beware.
If you still find yourself curious about this phenomenon and want to get in on it, or maybe you just want to casually try it out but have no idea which ones to pick, then this is your page.
Various Q and A'sEdit
Q: Why can't I beat anyone online in these games?
A: People who often play online have been practicing for a while in these games, you might need to memorize more move sets and combos to be better.
Q: But I never win, why should I keep playing I should give up.
A: No, you shouldn't. Everyone sucks at these at one point or another, you just have to remember that nobody is perfect, and keep trying to get a win in there somewhere. Then you'll prosper in these games.
Q: I suck at guarding, I always offense the fuck out of the other person, but I end up getting bodied to hell.
A: Guarding IS essential, it's basically like 1/3 of your fighting game mojo. Don't just think you can fuck up the circuit by offense, because if you rush into everything, odds are, they will guard until you stop for a split second and you probably will get bodied to hell.
Q: How do I know which character is me?
A: Everyone has a style. If you're used to other fighting games, it's much easier to transfer your style over (there are 3 broad archetypes in 2D fighters, for example, which may narrow your selection considerably), but you may find your style carries over even from a completely different genre. Do you always Zerg rush in Starcraft? Maybe try a rushdown character. Do you use the sniper in every FPS? Try a heavy zoner.
Q: A character from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike.
A: I see what you did there.
Q: How should I know which characters are high tier?
A: Depends upon the game. Games that have been out a long time with an established community tend to have well-developed lists, whereas less popular and newer games have lots of conflicting lists. I'm not going to tell you how to pick your character, but I will suggest that you don't pick a top tier character unless you actually like their playstyle. Nothing kills your drive to learn more than playing a character you don't like; you'll probably be better playing a mid-tier that you find really fun than a high tier that you hate (unless the game is really poorly balanced, in which case you should play something else).
Q: ARE YOU OK?!
Yes I am, Terry. BUSTAH WARUFU!
Okay, we covered a lot of things above here, but now we have the list for these games.
|150px||Super Street Fighter II Turbo||Yes, but rarely.||THE quintessential fighting game. The SUPER variation is more or less an expansion adding 4 characters among the cast of already great playable characters. On like a fuckton of systems with too many to count for almost. Super Turbo is best version because it added Akuma/Gouki, making the game officially complete.||
ZX Spectrum/DOS/Atari ST/Amiga/
|Street Fighter III 3rd Strike:Fight For The Future||HD Ver. Yes.||One of the best fighting games of all time like SSF II, but this one is real original and has animation just beautiful to look at altogether. Way different the the game above with even more great characters to play as.||Arcade/DC/360/PS3/PC|
|Street Fighter EX 1-3||No.||Highly underrated 3D Street Fighter game, mainly knocked because HUURRR NOT COMPLETELY MADE BY CAPCOM, HURRR TREE DEE ECKSDEE. Very fun, especially the third one. Worth a look at something that could have been more.||AC/PS1/PS2|
|Ultra Street Fighter IV||Yes.||The new, NEW, NEW addition to the Street Fighter Series, includes six new stages and five new characters in addition to those included in previous installments. Recommended over SSFIV and SSFIV: Arcade Edition, especially that incomplete shit known as SFV, as this comes with extra content for a smaller price.||AC/PS3/PS4/360/PC|
|Darkstalkers 1-3||HD Ver. Yes. (Resurrection)||Awesome 2D fighting series by capcom, akin to myths and monsters, very fun and awesome with a 360/PS3 port of Night Warriors and DS 3 called Darkstalkers Resurrection.||PS1/Saturn/AC/PS3/360|
|Darkstalkers Chronicle The Chaos Tower||Yes.||Takes the DS3 story and aesthetic and adds music, modes, and endings and artwork from all 3 modes into one. Has an online mode and a survival mode called The Chaos Tower. Overall a real generous offering from Capcom.||PSP|
|Rival Schools||No.||A great 3d team fighter by bastardo company Capcom. How wouldn't it be? Look, it's got all that classic fighter's edge outline and shit. Anyway moving on, Rival Schools basically has you beat the shit out mof other school kids as well as some teachers all across Japan. Also has Sakura from Street Fighter. There's and expansion, Rival Schools 2 also on PS1, but japan only.||PS1|
|Project Justice||No.||Basically the sequel to Rival Schools. Adds more characters to the mix, along with a new storyline and whatnot. Worth it in the long run definitely.||DC|
|Marvel V.S. Capcom: Clash Of The Super Heroes||Yes (Origins Ver.)||Not as good as 2, but still a great game. It's more like the older V.S. games, but with megaman n' shit yo.||PS1/DC/AC/PS3/360|
|Marvel V.S. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes||Yes (HD Ver.)||Noted to be one of the best fighting games ever. And it is. It brings everyone and more from all 5 previous Capcom crossover games and adds 3-man combos and hyper combos. The game is not as balanced as you'd expect, but it's a fun ass time that can't be ignored. Some people don't like this game's ideas in thinking it's a copypasta of all of the characters, but that's part of what makes it fun. DC version is the most played, so that's a good one. PS2 and Xbox versions are good too, but I hope you have money to spend because they're fucking pricey! PS3/XB360 versions are pretty good too, and there's an iOS version for some reason now.||AC/DC/PS2/XB/PS3/XB360/iOS|
|Ultimate Marvel V.S. Capcom 3||Yes.||Practically THE most popular fighting game out there mainly because of how fun it is to play. Along with it being easy to learn and all that shit. It is fun as hell, but some don't think it ended up being as good or even better than Marvel VS Capcom 2.||PS3/360/PSVita|
|JoJo's Bizarre Adventure||HD Ver. Yes.||Whats that? I can't hear you over the sound of my WRYYY. Yes, this is where that came from. Based off of the manga Jo Jo's Bizarre adventure, basically fuck up the universe with the mackdaddy niggas from the series including PET SHOP. DC version is real good and preferred the most whenever asked which one to play, but every version of this game is awesome. Has an 360/PS3 re-release, which is awesome as well.||PS1/DC/AC/PS3/360|
|The King Of Fighters EX2||No.||Portable KOF game that shockingly isn't on a Neo-Geo console. Better than the first one and therefore more recommended that the first.||GBA|
|SvC Chaos: SNK VS. Capcom||No.||Very different game when compared to Capcom V.S. SNK. This one is made by SNK, and therefore has a totally different animation and fighting system. There are some secret characters that are pretty cool like Mars People from Metal Slug, and Zero from Mega Man Zero.||PS2/XB|
|The King of Fighters XIII||Yes.||Newest KoF game ported here by...Atlus?! Huh. Anyway a great improvement over KoF XII bringing a lot of great characters back to the playing field like big boobied vet Mai Shiranui. The demo itself even has a small amount of online play, so try that out to see if you like the matchup system.||AC/PS3/360|
|The King of Fighters Collection: The Orochi Saga||No.||Every KoF from '94 to '98 in a glorious collection for the ages.||PS2/PSP/Wii|
|Garou: (Fatal Fury) Mark of the Wolves||No.||Seen as SNK's answer to Street Fighter 3. The two have a small few similarities in gameplay (ex: "Just Defend" is similar to SF3's "Parry") and a similar boost in aesthetics (Garou has some really good animations when compared to Real Bout and Fatal Fury). The roster isn't too big, but each player is very distinct and pretty fun to play with. There's still a decent handful of active fans out there, so don't think the AI's your only foe!||AC/NeoGeo/DC/PS2/XBLA|
|Tekken 1-7||Yes. (Tekken 7)||Fun as shit 3D Fighting game series, filled with a bunch of great characters, visuals, music, and the combat system is easy to boot, too! Pick up some Tekken when you see some, you probably won't regret it.||PS1/PS2/PS3/360/PSP/PS4/XONE/PC|
|Tekken Tag Tournament 1 & 2 (and Tekken Hybrid)||Yes. (Tekken Tag Tournament 2)||Awesome Spin-Off series that started out as a "what if we had all of our fighter in one game?" idea. Continues to be a fan favorite series. BUY IT.||PS2/PS3/360/WiiU|
|Soul Edge, Soul Calibur I-V||Yes. (SCIV & V)||From the same weeaboos that brought you Tekken comes Soul Calibur, a 3D-Weapon-based fighting series with a surprisingly awesome charactor creation system (from games III-V) and is notorious from their insane guest appearances (Darth Vader, anyone?) Try it, its some good old fun.||PS1/DC/PS2/XB/GC/PS3/360/PSP|
|Gulity Gear XX Accent Core Plus||HD Ver. Yes.||Possibly the longest named extension on a fighting game. That aside, an anime-ish fighting game by Arc System Works, mainly known for this, but also for BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, and other stuff. Worth a play for its GORGEOUS sprites and its fun gameplay. Any other version would be considered a HUGE step down.||Original: PS2/PSP/Wii?/AC HD Remake: PS3/360|
|Blazblue: Continuum Shift EXTEND||Yes.||Latest entry in the Blazblue series. Better than the original Continuum Shift, containing all DLC characters, and carl clover included. Probably best to wait until the next one if that's an issue sooner or later, but for now, its only like 18 bucks at a Gamestop so go nuts.||PS3/360/PSVita / Continuum Shift II: 3DS/PSP|
|Persona 4 Arena||Yes.||Latest arc system works fighting game takes place in the Persona 4 universe nearly a year after the whole moyda incident at Inaba. Features Persona 3 characters as well as Labrys, a new character who is an anti-shadow weapon with the accent of someone from New York. Don't ask. Its got some interesting game mechanics and all that shit that you would expect form a fighting game made by Arc System Works. Strangely, the very first Region Locked PS3 game, but seeing how its available in most major territories, I don't see why it was even a decision, especially when people have been importing BlazBlue: Chronophantasma like nuts from Japan without problems.||PS3/360|
|Bushido Blade / Bushido Blade 2||No.||A very different fighting game which ditches lifebars and complex moves and goes for a more realistic simulation of swordplay, where the focus is to score a fatal hit on your opponent. Hitting the opponent's members will criplle him thus limiting his movement, making it easier to finish him off.||PSX|
|Divekick||Yes?||A fighting game simplified to it's most essentials, where everything is done with only two buttons and no joystick movement. Despite it's simplicity this is a very deep game, with each character having it's own abilities and quirks and being great to learn techniques like poking and zoning. It also contain many meta jokes about the fighting game community.||PC/PS3/360|
|Skullgirls||Yes.||Skullgirls is an indie fighting game that uses the lag-reducing GGPO-netcode, so now even Brazilians can laugh at you. It features an ever-growing roster of playable characters, a unique art-style and some of the most hardcore gameplay since Guilty Gear. Also comes packed with the deepest tutorial mode of any fighting game, teaching all the essentials as well and the most advanced stuff.||PC/PS3/360|
These are some links to some pretty cool fightan-based websites
The Fighters Generation - Fairly catch-all site that covers artwork, animations, fighter bios, info on games and updates, and even upcoming games. One neat aspect is the large animation archive, featuring lots of animated gifs of various (2D) fighting games. There's also a number of mostly fair and unbiased reviews for games done by the owner. It's probably one of your best places to go to first and maybe even revisit sometimes.
Street Fighter Wikia - Pretty self explanatory. Goes into detail about characters, games, stories, etc. Also has a comprehensive move list of every (?) character featured. Given how Street Fighter tends to be the go-to fightan game for beginners, it might serve you well to visit this place.
SNK Wikia - Naturally, Capcom's greatest rival deserves a link as well. Although this wikia is about SNK franchises in general, there's still a good deal about the fighting games and most of everything about said games and even spinoffs of them. It might be a good idea to bookmark this too, if only for curiosity's sake.
SmashWikia - A wiki that has to do with all things Super Smash Bros. Contains a lot of info about the games that spans from the first game to the third game. Includes all of the essential nitpicks and whatnot. Trophies, Character profiles, attacks, stages, ya know etc.
Mortal Kombat Wiki - Midway's good old fashioned gorey-as-fuck fighting franchise all explained in detail here. Features all the stuff you need to know on MK. Like Street Fighter, a very popular and successful series albeit it very different from other fightan vidya. One of the few American made fighting game series as well.
Tekken Wikia - Guide to Nyamco's Jugglefest fighter. Tekken literally translates to "Iron Fist". Tekken is more or less based upon other fighting games such as Virtua Fighter in which it's origins were based upon 3D Fighting games. Tekken also has some crazy fucking characters like roger the kangaroo and alex the dinosaur. Also a GODDAMMNED BEAR WITH A T-SHIRT AND SNEAKERS. So thats something to look into if your curious about Tekken.