The fighting game genre has experienced amazing highs and crushing lows. Everyone remembers the ’90s golden age of fighters that dominated arcades, corner stores and local pizza spots. Gamers young and old entered the digital arenas of Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, The King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown with quarters in hand and a burning desire to win. The 2-D and 3-D fighters were all the rage.
Fast-forward to the early to mid-2000s. Home consoles kept the fire alive for fighters, but it was apparent that that flame was starting to go out. Even though genre staples introduced new entries and new fighting games were birthed, casual onlookers began to seek their digital thrills elsewhere. The hard-core fighting game community still frequented arcades, but those locales were starting to become extinct in America. The introduction of net play eventually eliminated the need to take on human opponents in an enclosed setting. And that paradigm shift signaled a major change in the way fighting games were made and played.
The year 2008 will always be remembered as when fighting games entered the limelight once again. Capcom blessed the world with Street Fighter IV and signaled the return of a series that had remained dormant for far too long. Following the success of that release, plenty of other genre favorites made their return. All this has led us to the current age of fighters, which happens to be in an incredibly healthy state.
We’re now smack dab in the middle of one of the most thriving periods in fighting game history. Now’s the perfect time to reintroduce these five franchises.