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10 Best Fighting Games of This Decade

What does the layman think when they hear the term ‘video game’? Epic battles? sprawling landscapes? Enduring heroes or tragic villains in fantastical tales woven by the best writers? No, no, and no.

Those who don’t generally play video games immediately think of only a few things: blood, gore, and two people locked in 2D battle…that or Super Mario. But this list isn’t about Super Mario, it’s about those bloody, gory battles between two friends/part-time foes. It’s about the best of them, the ones that are terribly misunderstood, give video games a bad name, and yet are still incredibly addictive and fun to play. Here are the 10 best fighting games of this decade.

  1. Mortal Kombat X

Buy Mortal Kombat X

When people think about the sex, blood, and over-the-top violence in video games, they’re more than likely thinking about any game in the Mortal Kombat series, which began in 1992, shocking and intriguing everyone with its dark yet somehow light-hearted tone (unintentionally helping to create the ESRB…It’s that thing that gives out ratings that you’re supposed to heed (though let’s face it, no one does). 2014’s Mortal Kombat X features all the blood and violence you’d expect and somehow manages to best its depiction in an even more explicit way, giving you momentary X-ray vision so you can see just how many pieces your ridiculously strong punch just created out of Sub-Zero’s spine. All in good fun, of course. It makes the fights that much more epic and its definitely something you’ll want to see if you’re into that sort of thing.

  1. Injustice: Gods Among Us

Buy Injustice: Gods Among Us

Another versus fighting game by Netherrealm Studios, Injustice is a lot less bloodier than their previous works and features a roster made up of everyone’s favourite DC heroes and villains, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Killer Frost, Lex Luthor, and the Joker. Injustice: Gods Among Us has got everything you’ve ever wanted in a story and game that pits all the comic book characters against each other. Gods Among Us is entertaining, relatively tasteful, and it’s got Batman in it. If you enjoy comic books and fighting games, this is one you don’t want to miss.

  1. Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

Buy Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

If you’re more of a Marvel fan, no worries, all manner of Marvel characters and their awesome powers are available to you in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, the refined version of the initial Marvel vs Capcom: The Fate of Two Worlds, both released in 2011. It’s a 2D fighter so if realism is what you’re after, this probably isn’t for you. If it’s pure fun and non-realistic violence you’re after, this might just pique your interest. Use the mystical might of Doctor Strange to counter the military prowess of Chris Redfield, harness the agility and strength of Spider-man to battle Albert Wesker’s inhuman mutant powers. Who would win in a fight, Ghost Rider or Dante? Here’s your chance to find out for yourself.

  1. Soul Calibur IV

Buy Soul Calibur IV

In the realm of characters usually unaffiliated with one another, being included in a roster for a versus fighting game, there’s one game that reigns supreme, and that’s the Soul Calibur series. Play as characters from past games or as one of three available Star Wars characters. Have Darth Vader destroy the outrageously muscular Astaroth, or have his secret apprentice fight Necrid, the broken warrior. Better yet, create a fighter of your own and fight them all.

  1. Killer Instinct (2013)

Buy Killer Instinct

A reboot of the 1994 video game, Killer Instinct (2013) was initially released as free-to-play (don’t get too excited), you started out with one character and could buy additional fighters as they were seasonally released. The combos are challenging to execute but definitely worthwhile. Everything its predecessor got wrong was done very, very right in this reboot, as it should be done. There are 26 unique characters to choose from now, from the cursed Lycanthrope, Sabrewulf, to the boxing champion, T.J Combo.

  1. Tekken 6

Buy Tekken 6

Like those crazy cartoon battles you watched in awe as a child, the Tekken series offers you a chance to pick one of 33 outlandishly dressed characters, charge into battle with you best warrior grimace and proceed to pummel your opponent into oblivion using a wide variety of skills. Be a ninja, a sumo wrestler, a Russian Spetznaz member, or even a martial artist dressed in Native American attire, and mash those buttons to watch one of the wildest battles you’ve ever seen.

  1. Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate

Buy Dead or Alive 5

This flashy fighter game features 29 characters to choose from, and each one is a numbingly attractive super model of a 3D character (no wonder they release a volleyball edition). Despite its relatively ominous title, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate is a well rounded, highly entertaining fighter game you and your friends can enjoy, taunting and gloating after each victory. Though, we all know that’s not what you’ll be paying attention to.

  1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Buy Super Smash Bros. Brawl

If you’re looking for a complete detachment from reality, try 2008’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl which pits characters, such as Bowser, against characters such as Link. Dr. Mario is featured in it, as are a bunch of different Pokemon. You’ll also be glad to know that it’s not just 1v1. Battle it groups of up to four (with or without CPU combatants). It may not be particularly immersive, but it’s undeniably fun to watch.

  1. Street Fighter III: Third Strike

Buy Street Fighter III: Third Strike (original)

This one is an oldie, back when fighter games were exclusively 2D and generally played in arcades. That was Capcom’s intention back in 1999. Over the years that followed, it was ported on to Dreamcast, Xbox, and Playstation 2, with good reason. Street Fighter III: Third Strike brought Chun-Li back to the series and featured a roster of 20 martial arts experts in total ready to knock their opponents down in pixelated victory.

  1. BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma

Buy BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma

When discussing exotic 2D anime-styled fighting characters, BlazBlue boasts some of the most over-the-top. While it does have a relatively small roster of 26, BlazBlue’s gameplay makes up for it. Easy to master controls, satisfying fight moves, and cheesy taunts, promise two players everything they’d ever want to see in a versus fighting game.

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