After the recent release of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Switch turning out to be an overwhelming success, I’m sure many of you are having a great time with it, myself Included. But we thought we would look at some other fighting games from passed releases. Some hidden gems you might say.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of best fighters ever of course. So if your favourite title isn’t here, put those pitchforks down! Tell us about your picks in the comments below. This is more of a highlights reel. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Fighters Destiny (Nintendo 64, 1998)
When Fighters Destiny arrived on the N64 back in 1998 it found a somewhat flat response from critics. Developed by Genki and published in Europe by Infogrames, the game was panned for its uninspired presentation and somewhat bland roster. However, in reviews and retrospect since those early opinions, the game has scored pretty well and been acknowledged for its unique point system and playstyle.
With Nine default characters and an additional Five secret characters. Players fight in a 3D arena and are challenged to score a customizable number of points. Points could be scored by forcing the opponent out of the right, sumo style. Traditional depletion of energy or health scored points, as does taking an opponent to the floor with a throw or beating them with one of the special moves available.
Fighters Destiny failed to get out for its planned release window and sales struggled as a result. However, the title is regarded by many as the best fighting game to grace the N64. The sequel, Fighters Destiny 2, released in 2000, also on Nintendo’s 64-bit console.
Bloody Roar (Arcade/PlayStation, 1997)
Initially an Arcade release by the name Beastorizer and developed by Hudson Soft and Eighting in 1997. The title would come to Sony’s PlayStation in 1998 under the name Bloody Roar. Seeing players taking control of fighters who could morph into a half human, half beast state. The game was met with fairly mixed responses initially, criticized for less than complex combat mechanics and bare bones arenas. Despite this, the unique beast mode found in Bloody Roar has secured its place as a favourite with players. Several sequels across numerous platforms have spawned since the original.
Primal Rage (Atari Arcade/Everything else, 1994)
Developed by Atari Games for Arcade in 1994 with home console ports being done by Probe Software. This game released on just about every platform at the time. Primal Rage was one of the early Ultra-Violent fighters which saw us take control of huge, ferocious beasts in a 2D arena. Players would utilise a range of special moves by holding down certain buttons followed with a sequence of directional inputs. This being a change from the usual directions then buttons approach seen in other fighters. During battle, primitive human worshippers could be picked up and even devoured to regain some health. Primal Rage found a warm reception upon its initial release. Opinions would not be so kind however when the game was ported to home consoles. The Mega Drive port in particular received criticism for its lacking graphics and overly difficult controls, with the Sega 32X and PlayStation versions widely considered to be the best home console versions.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (Arcade and Dreamcast, 1998)
This one is perhaps more widely known and acclaimed than others mentioned. Released for Arcade systems in 1998, Marvel vs. Capcom: COSH would later port to Sega Dreamcast and Sony PlayStation in 1999. Developed by Capcom along with other studios, players would form teams of characters rather than the traditional one on one style game play. You could swap between your selected team members mid battle. This allowed fighters to regenerate health and stay in the fight longer, as well as presenting the opportunity to change fighting styles when needed. With a host of favourites from both Capcom games and the Marvel universe, COSH was met with mostly positive reviews, going on to sell over 8 million copies as a franchise into 2018 and spawning numerous sequels.
King of Fighters ’98 (Neo Geo Arcade, 1998)
Developed and published by SNK, as the title suggests, in 1998. King of Fighters ’98 first came to Neo Geo Arcade as the fifth game in the KoF series. With releases on Neo Geo AES and Neo Geo CD, later PlayStation in 1999, it would also get a port to Dreamcast in 1999, with the revised title of King of Fighters: Dream Match 1999. While game play didn’t differ to much from previous instalments, seeing slight changes to the games Advanced and Extra modes. With characters from earlier titles making a reappearance such as Terry Bogard, KoF ’98 was met with a mostly positive welcome from critics. The title would later be remade in 2008 under the name King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match. Ten years after the initial release. It is also available on the Nintendo eShop right now.
So there you have it. Five fighting games from years gone by that we feel are worthy of merit for one reason or another. There are many others though and we couldn’t mention them all here. So tell us in the comments, what are your favourite fighters? New or old, tell us about your hidden gems, maybe we’ll follow up with a second part to this article!