LISTIN’ SH!T WITH TOKEN DREW
“TOP 20 FIGHTING GAMES”
Aye, you’re back! Welcome to Listin’ Sh!t, where I take things that I like and I list them in order. Sometimes it’s a top 10 list. Sometimes it’ll be more. Very rarely will it be less, I think those lists are cheap. “Oh let’s do a top 7!” GTFOH with that sh!t son! We go big or go home over here! Anyway, today on the table is my top 20 Fighting Games. This list is based off of games that I played and was pretty good at throughout the years. Instead of doing one big ass list, I am going to do this in two parts, 20-11 and then 10-1.
So let’s talk about fighting games. If you remember from my last list, this is my second favorite genre of video games. I have very fond memories of having friends over to play the Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo and go to war at games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Shaq-Fu, and beyond as I got older and got newer and better systems, me and my buddies would still link up and just go to war for hours. I remember when my homie Earnest came over and we played Tekken 3 for over 100 matches, the final score being very close, like 53-47 or something like that. And it was never boring! In fact, my first experience with smoking the ol’ Devil’s Lettuce was with my guys from Applebee’s, we would roll up and hit the J while passing the controller playing Tekken or something.
There are fighting games for everyone: Technical fighters such as Virtual Fighter and Tekken, classic special move heavy fighters like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, anime fighters like Dragon Ball Budokai, Naruto Ninja Storm and more, combo heavy like Dead or Alive, flashy and bright like Marvel Vs Capcom, realistic and brutal like Fight Night and Bushido Blade, and/or fun for everyone like Smash Brothers. Fighting games are a corner stone of the gaming community. It taught us to come together and be competitive, either at arcades, at a game store on the demo system, or online where you get ROFLSTOMPED by the kid from another country, Fighting Games are flat out dope and I am SO glad that there has been a Fighting Game Renaissance in the 2010’s and beyond. So enough about the intro, if you’re like me you probably skipped over this part. Let’s get to Listin Sh!T!
20.) Def Jam: Fight For NY
EA Games September 20, 2004- PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Man, this game was my sh*t when it first came out! I played the first one, it was aight for sure but EA truly hit their stride with this sequel! Damn, I enjoyed every bit of it, from the insane story mode to the off the wall special moves this game was awesome. As a rapper, when I first played this sequel it was a year deep into my hopeful ass rap career and there was nothing cooler to me than seeing rappers in that game! It’s a shame that now-a-days, it would be filled with colorful, skinny, unintelligible, pill-popping, mumbling trash rappers but back when this bish came out? Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Redman, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, DMX, Lil’ Kim, Christina Millian, plus so much more, this was my jam. And the music was dope, the voice acting was on point and featured all of the real voices of these rappers, there was a create a character mode that at the time was relatively new in games. Hell, remake the game with old school vs mid school vs new school rappers!
I haven’t played the game for years, but I remember the controls being complex at first but once I learned them it was like trying on a pair of pants, just very natural. I liked the idea of choosing 1-3 out of the 5 fighting styles: Street Fighting, Kick Boxing, Submissions, Wrestling and Martial Arts. I always picked Martial Arts, Kick Boxing and Wrestling for my character. I only recall making one character for the story mode, decking him out with all types of dope ass gear that I wouldn’t wear in real life. The submission system is cool because the specific body parts have health bars, and your foe will tap out once that bar is depleted. Though it is a wrestling style game, you don’t win by pins but by knocking out your opponent! I enjoyed trying out all of the special moves and each fighting style had a unique way to knock out an opponent with their health in the red.
The game scored well, averaging a B on the grading scale, 8.7 on the number scaled. Metacritic gave it an 84/100 and at E3, it won the Game Critics Award: Best Fighting Game 2004. Which means it beat out games like Fight Night 2004, Dead Or Alive Ultimate Edition, Capcom Fighting Evolution (Never played that one) and many more. I’d put it higher on the list, but this is a good entry in the sea of fighting games!
19.) Soul Caliber IV
Namco– July 29,2008- PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360
This is probably my most played addition into the Soul Caliber series. This one had an amazing Create-A-Character mode, in which I added like 12 of my original comic book characters into the game. I loved the new features, from the battle damage to the addition of the Star Wars characters for eventually all systems. Soul Caliber as a series has one hell of a convoluted ass storyline, I think there’s time travel? Whatever, one of my favorite characters in the series is Cervantes, I got very good with him. Now don’t get me wrong, most of the other games in the series were awesome except for the sequel to this one, part 5.This game is one of the last games that I have played that has animated endings, so if that matters to you there is that.
The roster is pretty good for this game, and this game did introduce a new “Critical Finish” system but I will admit, I have only seen a couple of those moves in person. They were rather strange to pull off; you had to fill a meter next to your health that was some sort of gem. The only way to fill it up was by blocking, but I never like to spend fighting games blocking. The best defense is a great offense, feel me? The few finishing moves that I saw were pretty cool, nothing to write home about. Using the Star Wars characters were really cool though, using the Force in different and varying means: Darth Vader uses force based blasts, chokes and punches; Yoda uses it to do that sh!t that he was doing in Star Wars Episode 2 and the homie Starkiller aka The Apprentice aka “New Character McGuffin” aka Darth “We-Never-Heard-Of-You-So-We-Know-You-Don’t-Matter” Jenkins can use lightning and some other dark-side moves but I always just did the lightning when playing with him. Once I created all of my CACs though, I rarely used the regular characters. In this game, you chose the style of the main character and build your character around that. But it was still very in depth.
This game also introduced an online multiplayer option but I never used it, for me and online game-play do not get along at all! Story mode isn’t anything new, the ol’ Tale of a Possessed Weapon. Soul Caliber IV only 2 new official characters, Hilde and Agol and then the 3 guest characters. The game averaged A- to B scores, getting 85/100 from Metacritic and winning the Spike Video Game Awards- Fighting Game Of The Year in 2008, beating out Street Fighter IV, Super Smash Brothers Wii, Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, Dragon Ball Z Burst Limit and the first Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm. So, that’s a good and successful game.
18.) Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Capcom, February 23, 1994- Arcades, 3Do, PC, SNES
Hold on, put your pitchforks down children! Listen, I get that this is high on the list, but these are my top 20 games. Out of maybe 100 games, this made it in my top 20! The grandfather of fighting games, Street Fighter 2 was the very first game I played in the arcades back in 94, after seeing The Lion King in theaters. Street Fighter might be among my favorite franchises, I even have Evil Ryu tattooed on my arm. But sh*t has evolved over the years, and I am trying my best to not make my lists like every other list. But this game, playing it on the SNES with my buddies in New York, is literally my childhood. Characters that have lasted the trails of time and endless competition, most games still to this day use the hadoken motion for special moves. Street Fighter is the sh*t, and is one of the best fighting games you will play. HOWEVER, as time went on, things can feel a bit dated but there is an HD remake on PSN and XBL, so have at it again!
I feel like I do not need to go too in-depth on a review for it, it’s Street Fighter. You know what it is by now, if you don’t then you should learn. The fighting is crisp and tight, and very up close and personal since there isn’t many screen filling special moves though it did add super combos and air combos, as well as introducing Master McCheap Ass Akuma. Did you know that this game is still played competitively over 20 years after its release, making it the oldest fighting game with an active competitive tournament scene throughout the world? Nice.
The game averaged some good scores, pretty much 9s and stuff but that’s no surprise. It won 4th Best Fighting Game and 4th Best Game of 1994.
17.) Dead or Alive 4
Team Ninja- December 29, 2005- Xbox 360
First off, to all the haters I want to say F**k you. I know exactly what you are saying. Probably butt hurt that I put DOA over Street Fighter. Probably thinking I am some sort of perv or some sh*t. I am not saying you are incorrect, but that is not the reason why I love this game and adore this franchise. See, a lot of my lists stem from memories and experiences. Mainly with my best friend/best-man/ rap partner Tony aka “KT”, and our years and years of battling each other in 90% of the games on this list. However, I will admit that I did get the first game in my teenage years to see the bouncing taddy bojangles; but the moment I played I realized that there is much more to this game than scantily clad women. Plus, it’s a weird thing to me to lust after game or anime characters. Give me the real thing damnit! But the fighting system, the countering, the variation of different characters, everything about this franchise is dope as hell to me. And this one is my favorite one of them all. While I did enjoy the story mode of part 5, there was just more to this game that I liked. The new characters were awesome, the countering system got better, and these models are what the late, great animator Monty Oum used for his Dead Fantasy series. (I’ll talk about that in another list.) Sadly, this game is overlooked by many because you do seem like a big ol’ pervert when you play this but to hell what people think. It is a great fighting game, great engine and great graphics.
DOA 4 introduced 4 new characters, one that is a Halo guest character, which I thought was interesting when it was revealed that it was a lady in the armor. The story was decent, with animated endings for each character. It scored 85/100 on Metacritic, but didn’t win any awards. Give it a once over, and enjoy it! On to the next one!
16.) Fight Night
EA Sports, April 5, 2004- Playstation 2, Xbox 360
Yeah, yeah. I know better versions of this game came out over the years and then eventually evolved into the UFC games. But this game had me at the edge of my seat, shouting at the screen like I was watching an actual boxing match. I really enjoyed this game for the time that I had it. I played some of the sequels, and yeah they were cool and all but nothing beats that first time getting hype. And the first time I hit someone with that Haymaker nah-mean?? Gotdamn… that was good sh!t! The game had some pretty decent scores, averaging a B pretty much and getting 85/100 on Metacritic. It’s a sports game, so the story mode is the typical rags to riches, started from the bottom now we here type sh*t
15.) Killer Instinct
Rare, November 22, 2013- Xbox One
Can I be honest? I am not the best at this game, or this franchise, but I still have fun going to town with those awesome ass combos! Ultra! Ultra! Such a great way to sh*t on your opponent is to end the match with a 68 hit combo! The characters are all interesting and unique. This entry is based off the Xbox one edition, which also comes with the OG ones as well. I really like the characters introduced in this game, such as Hisako (which I do have a figure of!) and Kan-Ra. But, like I said earlier, I am not very good at this game but I do have fun playing it.
It was a free to play launch game on the Xbox One and has three seasons worth of DLC that has been released, the latest that came out March 29, 2016. The scores are weird, starting with 73/100 but going up to 86/100 by the season 3 release.
14.) Dragon Ball Budokai 3
November 26 2004- Dimps- Playstation 2
Disclaimer: Dragon Ball is the greatest anime, martial art and fighting franchise ever created, come at me if you dare. So before I go into this one, I wanna give a shout out to the first Dragon Ball Z Budokai game for giving us Super Saiyan transformations mid-match, and the second Budokai game for giving us the weird fusions, such as Cell and Frieza, Tien and Yamcha. I also recall this series to be the first to give us both English and Japanese voices, I am gonna say the second one that did it (in my research it was hard to find an official answer). However Dragon Ball Budokai 3 was the best of the bunch and probably the best DBZ game for years! In fact, if (and when) I do a Dragon Ball Z game list, expect this in my top 3 for sure. Anyway, this game was awesome because it was the first (in my experience) to include one of my favorite characters, Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta as well as some GT characters. You could play events and sagas from different perspectives, as well as some cool sh*t in the game play like beam struggles and the dope yet repetitive Dragon Rushes.
When this was released, not many American fans were hip to DBGT yet so it was great showing my friends who Gogeta 4 and Omega Shenlong were. The roster had 42 people by its final edition, and through the Story Mode you could play as 11 different characters. So it wasn’t entirely a “Goku Story” like most other games. The graphics fit the game fantastically, and doing dream matches such as Bardock vs Broly was incredible.
Budokai 3 scored decently, 77/100 on Metacritic and averaging 8s out of 10s and 4 stars out of 5. A must play for Dragon Ball fans.
13.) Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Namco, September 14, 2011- PS3, Xbox 360
So many Tekken games to choose, but this one is one of my favorites in the entire series. As the 8th Tekken game, this game features bout every single character in the Tekken franchise with the exception of two or so characters. As to expect from a Tekken game, the fighting system is dope and tight, the stages are varied and detailed and the characters look great. This game does have a customize mode, where you can take already made up characters and make them look how you want. For instance, I had my squad of my top 5 characters all wearing Power Rangers looking costumes.
If you never played a Tekken style tag team game, then here is one thing you should know: The characters share a life bar. So if one guy gets knocked out and the second character you have has a full life, doesn’t matter the round is over, which will lead you to making interesting strategies. The story mode is there, and each character does have an animated ending. Since it was released in 2011, there is not much in the “unlocking” department like days of old, but it starts out with all 59 playable characters, including characters from many years ago such as Kunimitsu, Michelle Chang, Angel, Tiger Jackson, Ogre and many more. Another cool thing about this game is the characters all speak their correct language, for instance; Lili and Sebastian speak French, Eddy and Christie speak Portuguese, Leo speaks German and so on. It’s really cool to see the developers put the time into making the game as authentic as possible.
The game scored 82/100 on PS3 and 83/100 on the Xbox 360 and Wii U. Not sure why the difference, but it has good scores clear across the board. It won a few awards as well: Best Fighting Game of E3 2012- Machinima.com, Best Fighting- Game Informer, Fighting Game Of The Year- Gamespot, Best Fighting Game- Digital Trends and Best Fighting Game 2012- Game Revolution, defeating fighting games like Dead or Alive 5, Persona 4 Arena (which is a dope game too), Skullgirls and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. Highly recommend it!
12.) Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
CyberConnect2, February 5, 2016
Ok, let’s get real. This game is by far one of the most beautiful cell shaded games of all time. This game is one of the best anime fighting games of all times. And if it weren’t for the steady stream of DLC of a game higher up (or would I say lower?) on the list, this game would be in my top 10 easily, and in my top 5 anime games. However, it’s not the best for two players in my opinion which is why it’s in my top 15. But don’t let that take away from the fact that this game will blow you away the moment you lay eyes on it. This IS the best looking anime fighting game I’ve ever played. (Sorry FighterZ and Guilty Gear XRD). It is really as if you are watching the anime, and every single game has been like this in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series.
The story of this game follows the Fourth Great Ninja War through the end of the series, and honestly if you play the game you really won’t even need the anime. Tony (my homie that will be mentioned a lot in these lists) and I used to have Sunday Night Naruto Nights for like 3 years straight, watching Naruto and various anime for hours on that night. I used to buy the DVDs on eBay of all the episodes leading to whichever was recent, we ended up stopping in in the beginning of the Shippuden story, when Gaara was captured because I realized that the series was going to keep on going and there was no point re-buying the DVDs every 6 months. And so, Naruto night filtered off to just regular hangout Sunday nights until this series came out. We could catch up on the show while playing AND got to skip all of that terrible, TERRIBLE filler. And it was amazing, I would find myself playing the game and doing the awesome ass boss fights and then going on YouTube to find the anime versions of certain fights so I can see how well the game did and guess what, it did a fantastic job.
The Ultimate attacks in the Naruto game series had always been amazing but this sh*t right here fellow humans, this was truly a visual feast for the eyes. No game since has captured an anime so perfectly, in my opinion. But when you play against a friend in the same room then it’s not as fun to me. The options for awesome matches were there, but for a fighting game this seems better as a one player to me. I’m sure online would be good, but as I said before, me and online games do not get along at all!
The scores were 79/100 on Metacritic, and averaged 8/10 through various publications. I haven’t played the Road to Boruto DLC yet, but I’m sure it’s just as flashy and story heavy like the main game. And now for the last game in the first part of this two part list:
11.) Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3
Capcom, November 15, 2011- PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Man, I am surprised this didn’t make my top 10 list but it was close. This game is balls to the wall amazing! The graphics are great, the character models are great, the controls are great but easy, which is why it doesn’t rank higher on my list. I had many great battles in this game with friends and I gotta say, the controls may be easy but there is a learning curve that separates the casuals from the hardcore. In typical Capcom fashion, the vanilla Marvel Vs Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds was released first on February 15, 2011 and then 9 months later came the ultimate edition. And yes, I had bought both versions of the game!
The key differences in MVC3 vs UMVC3 are X-factor changes; you can activate it in the air, some other gameplay elements, some technical sh*t but the main reason I got the upgrade was for the 12 new characters; I am going to list the brand new ones to the series- Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, Nova, Vergil, Frank West and Firebrand, not to mention the new characters introduced in MVC3 such as Deadpool, Dante, Zero, She-Hulk, Super Skrull and the “Take You For A Ride” remixed character select theme from MVC2. Even though I was going to buy the game based on name alone, the fact that they brought Deadpool from Marvel Dante from Devil May Cry in really got me excited.
The easy controls made for some pretty well balanced matches, and the fact that now the characters would interact with each other before and after matches made for a lot of different combinations to see and try out, which adds to the replay value. Galactus as the end boss is a cheap bastard but it makes sense for it is the Eater of Worlds! This game is leagues better than its successor but not as tight as MVC2.
This game scored well upon release, garnering an 80/100 on Metacritic and averaging B+ and 80s across the various publications. It also won IGN’s Best Fighting Game of 2011, though a slow year for fighting games it did beat Mortal Kombat and the first edition of Marvel Vs Capcom. It is still a game that I highly recommend to any fan of the genre!
J- Victory VS+–
Bandai Namco Entertainment- June 30, 2015- PlayStation 4
A game where you can fight as Goku, Naruto, Ichigo, Yuske and many many other anime characters. Fun for fans, but the dated graphics and disappointing story mode makes this game forgettable.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Capcom- March 6, 2012- PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita
I will give this game props, every single character interacts with each other after the match in some way or another. It truly is a love letter to both fans of Street Fighter and Tekken. HOWEVER, both sides are missing key characters and there seemed to be a lot of missed promises or misconceptions to stop this game from reaching a high point. At the time of this writing, Tekken X Street Fighter is still slated to come out, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Ok well that is my list everyone, part one in this two-part series. I hope that you found this entertaining and enlightening, let me know if you dig the format of adding a small review and the scores from the web on my entries. This list is my personal view and experience on the different games, I am sure your top list will be different. Until then; Smoke out, Live up and Game On!
-“Token” Drew Watson