The Fighting game genre has been around since the arcades and are still prolific nowadays due to the rise of E-Sports and tournaments.
Most fighting games that were released in the 80s or 90s didn’t stop with just one entry but slowly evolved into massive franchises.
Either due to their cultural relevance nowadays, or for what they did to the fighting game genre as a whole, here are the top 5 fighting game franchises of all time.
First Release: 1995
Number of releases: 12
Best game in the Franchise: Soul Calibur VI
Originating from a 1995 arcade release, it wasn’t long before the first game of this franchise made its way onto home consoles. Combat in Soul Calibur is widely regarded as some of the best in any fighting game as it’s mainly impossible to win just by button-mashing and spamming the same moves.
Fans of the franchise love getting excited for each new release due to its inclusion of guest characters in each release such as Yoda from Star Wars, Geralt from the Witcher series, Link from the Legend of Zelda and Kratos from God of War.
First Release: 1994
Number of releases: 26
Best game in the Franchise: Tekken 3
The Tekken franchise immediately took off when it launched in 1994 due to its remarkable 3D animation. Most games in the franchise offer a rich lore and story for each of its cast of characters which is what keeps fans of the series coming back.
Tekken would go on to launch several sequels, spin-offs and films which helped make sure the franchise remained in the spotlight for several years.
Super Smash Bros
First Release: 1999
Number of releases: 6
Best game in the Franchise: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Nintendo took the concept of fighting games and put their own spin to it as they usually do. Even though it has fewer entries than the other franchises on the list, Super Smash Bros is easily the highest selling fighting game franchise in the world by more than 10 million units sold.
The game’s biggest draw is getting to see some of your favourite childhood characters such as Mario, Pikachu and Link brawling it out mercilessly. The franchise would also go on to add some of gaming’s biggest icons to its game such as Sonic, Pacman, Megaman and Steve from Minecraft.
First Release: 1987
Number of releases: 26
Best game in the Franchise: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
The one that started it all, without Street Fighter none of the other franchises on this list would have had the success they had. Also originating in the arcades, the franchise has become so popular that it has had crossover games with big names such as Marvel and Tekken.
Easy to pick up, but hard to master, Street Fighter is known for its complex combos that may be hard to learn at first, but are rewarding as hell when you manage to pull it off.
First Release: 1992
Number of releases: 25
Best game in the Franchise: Mortal Kombat 11
Ever since its original arcade release, Mortal Kombat relied on gore, blood and its fatalities to stand out. This led to a lot of controversy with every game in the franchise which would go on to become its highest selling point.
The series prides itself with its intricate fighting game mechanics such as combo juggling and finishing moves which are enough reasons for fans to come back after each instalment.
Throughout its main line games and spin-offs, Mortal Kombat managed to create an iconic cast of characters that include the likes of Raiden, Mileena, Sub-Zero and Scorpion.