ComScore
gaming

The 25 Best 'Tekken' Characters, Ranked

MOBILE 1 3
Loveleen Kaur / ONE37pm

Tekken fever is at an all-time high right now! We got our very first look at legit gameplay for Tekken 8 during the 2022 Tokyo Game Show, which threw everyone into a frenzy. The Tekken: Bloodline Netflix animated series was shockingly good, plus Tekken 7 is still being played at a professional level within the FGC (Fighting Game Community). Bandai Namco's standout 3D fighter has managed to stay relevant for so long due to a number of factors, one of them being its amazing cast of characters. Tekken is a fighting game series that features murderous senior citizens, badass ninjas, massive fighting bears, and even mechanical pugilists. So right now, we're going to rank the 25 best Tekken characters of all time for all you diehard fans out there.

Best 'Tekken Characters

digitalfoundry 2017 tekken 7 face off 1496488505971
Bandai Namco Entertainment

25. Ancient Ogre

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Unknown

Tekken 3's big boss doesn't have to utter a single word to make his presence felt - his massive stature says it all. Ancient Ogre's massacring of martial-arts masters from the first two Tekken games points to his usage of varied maneuvers that define his wild movelist. This big green guy is a badass killing machine that beats his foes to death and steals their best moves - Ogre's pretty much a way scarier version of Mega Man who's green rather than blue.

24. Craig Marduk

  • Series Debut: Tekken 4
  • Fighting Style: Vale Tudo

During the whole MMA craze, Tekken 4 made sure to add in a new fighter that would dominate in the real-world Octagon if he was given the chance to do so. Craig Marduk's a simple man that loves to pummel his foes with focused strikes and some vicious ground and point maneuvers that make him a favorite amongst grappler users. This dude's literal "ground breaking" offense always excites us when it's pulled off by a pro player on the big esports stage. Craig's immaculate fashion sense is also worth celebrating here.

23. Kunimitsu

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Manji Ninjutsu

The vicious kunoichi that does her damage with a knife instead of a katana has been with the series since its inception. Kunimitsu was nothing more than a Yoshimitsu clone at first. But as the years progressed, she came into her own as a lethal tournament participant that's mastered her own arsenal of tricky moves. The first Kunimitsu is one of our faves and the same sentiment applies to her daughter, who takes up the mantle of her mother and holds down her lofty legacy.

22. Ling Xiaoyu

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Baguazhang and Piguaquan-based Chinese Martial Arts

Ling Xiaoyu first appeared in Tekken 3 and introduced an entirely new style of combat that made her a headache for opponents who just couldn't pin her down. She's known for going airborne, landing right behind you, and proceeding to land some lethal combos while her back is still turned to her latest victim. Her overprotective nature as it pertains to Jin Kazama is endearing, plus her friendly relationship with Panda has always delivered some hilarious moments during Tekken's many cinematics.

21. Sergei Dragunov

  • Series Debut: Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection
  • Fighting Style: Commando Sambo

Sergei Dragunov is such a mysterious individual. He has no use for words and simply uses his body language to make his commands known. He totally gives off "rival military leader in an 80s action movie" vibes every time he appears onscreen. His moveset is pretty awesome to watch in action - watching him transition from strikes right into a bone-breaking grapple combo always looks and sounds so damn brutal. We always love watching his victory cutscenes as his silent demeanor showcases his high intimidation factor.

20. Armor King

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Pro-Wrestling (US Style)

Armor King just has to get his proper due on a list of the best Tekken characters! He's the wrestling powerhouse that's been a rival of King's since the very beginning of the series and has always made sure to showcase his dominance with a more power-based approach to ruling the ring. After the passing of the first Armor King, Armor King II rose up to retain the same high badass factor his predecessor was known for. Tekken's armored pro wrestling juggernaut is just so damn cool (that stalling suplex of his is part of the reason why we feel that way!).

19. Asuka Kazama

  • Series Debut: Tekken 5
  • Fighting Style: Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts

Once Jun Kazama took a hiatus from the mainline Tekken games, Asuka Kazama rose up to adopt her style of martial arts from Tekken 5 onward. And to be quite honest, we prefer Asuka since her spunky personality and sick counters that look sick whenever they're executed entertain us every time. Her intense rivalry with Lili and her familial ties to Jin Kazama are two of the main reasons why we're always attached to whatever she has going on storyline-wise.

18. Lei Wulong

  • Series Debut: Tekken 2
  • Fighting Style: Five Animals Form and Drunken Boxing-Based Chinese Martial Arts

The Jackie Chan inspiration is clear as day here! Lei Wulong has to be the best video game representation of one of the most legendary martial arts flick actors. Lei's choices in attire made us fall in love with him and we just can't get enough of his vast arsenal of moves. An expert Tekken player that has mastered the ins and out's of Lei's tricky arsenal is a very dangerous individual on the sticks. You can't help but be impressed when Lei takes a nap mid-fight and gets right back up to kick his opponent into the air quickly.

17. Steve Fox

  • Series Debut: Tekken 4
  • Fighting Style: Boxing

It took far too long for Tekken to give players a legit boxer. But once Tekken 4 hit the scene, Steve Fox rose to the occasion and ended up solidifying himself as one of the next boxers in fighting game history. The man looks cool as hell and it feels so good to hit those kick buttons to shimmy yourself into landing some devastating punches on the opposition. Mr. Fox also gets the nod for being one of the best Tekken characters due to those oversized boxing gloves he sports as a part of his custom attire (bopping people upside the head with those things never gets old!).

16. Hwoarang

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Taekwondo

Baek Doo San's star pupil is sick when it comes to the kicks! As soon as we locked eyes with him in Tekken 3, we just knew we had a new main character to master. We also locked eyes with his name and still have the hardest time pronouncing his name. Even still, Hwoarang caters to the young and cocky part of ourselves that things no one can touch us on the battlefield. His flashy footwork, luxurious hair, and friendly rivalry with Jin also point to some other reason why we have a soft spot for the guy.

15. Raven

  • Series Debut: Tekken 5
  • Fighting Style: Ninjutsu

This government-affiliated ninja caught our attention during the epic opening cinematic in Tekken 5. The comparisons to Wesley Snipes' Blade were immediately evident back then and that's one of the reasons why we're such huge fans of Raven. When it comes to his playstyle, Raven's sick flips and sudden disappearing acts play well into his Ninjitsu-based repertoire. While Master Raven is cool in her own right, we'll always have that much more love for the OG version of that character.

14. Bryan Fury

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Kickboxing

Bruce Irvin had his time in the sun during the first two Tekken games. But his replacement in Bryan Fury is more deserving of his placing here on this compilation of the best Tekken characters. First off, that last name of his is incredible. Secondly, his madman persona comes off so well in everything he does - that victory taint of his where he can still be seen beating in the face of his latest victim always puts a sinister smile on our faces. And last but certainly not least, Bryan's snakeskin pants and evil laugh do even more to make him one of our forever faves.

13. Eddy Gordo

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Capoeira

Yeah we know, we know - your friend who doesn't even play games picked this dude when Tekken 3 came out and molly whopped you countless times. Even though he made us all salty back in the day, you just couldn't deny how much drip he has and the max cool factor this guy exuded from then until now. Eddy Gordo is the perfect representation of Brazil and its signature brand of martial arts that incorporates breakdancing. He's definitely one of the best Tekken characters thanks to his immense fashion sense, easy-to-play/hard-to-master fighting style, and Brazilian heritage.

12. Anna Williams

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Aikido-Based Techniques and Koppojutsu-Based Assassination Arts

The biggest sibling rivalry in Tekken takes place between the Williams sisters. And the one we've chosen to highlight here is Lady Anna, who's a sultry assassin that can't wait to let her rocket launcher sing when the opportunity arises. It's always a treat to see her pop up in new series entries with a new set of flashy costumes and some risque winning animations to boot. Anna Williams is one of our favorite killer dames and one of the best Tekken characters on the entire roster.

11. Nina Williams

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Assassination Arts Based on Aikido and Koppojutsu

Now let's show all the love in the world to the other Williams sister, Nina. From the very beginning, she's been participating in "The King of the Iron Fist Tournament" as a femme fatale. And she's managed to maintain her youthfulness thanks to the usage of Cryogenic Sleep. Her skills have never wavered - Nina Williams's bone-breaking grapples, paralyzing hand strikes, and stone-cold demeanor will forever stay intact as long as she's still breathing.

10. Paul Phoenix

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Modified Martial Arts Based on Judo

MAN, LOOK AT PAUL'S HAIR! Ever since he showed up to charge up that "Burning Fist" of his to KO his foes in seconds, Tekken fans have fallen in love with Paul Phoenix. That red gi of his and his biker gear have presented him as the Ken (from Street Fighter) of the Tekken series. Over the years, his hair has gotten even more luxurious and his facial hair has given him even more of a rugged personality.

9. Feng Wei

  • Series Debut: Tekken 5
  • Fighting Style: "God Fist" Style Chinese Kenpo

Feng Wei wants nothing but power. And after witnessing his "fiery" training session during Tekken 5's opening cinematic, we just knew that he'd quickly become our new favorite. Wei ended up taking out his own master and going on a journey to showcase his superiority while on the journey to retrieve the "Secrets of God Fist" scrolls. This dude's scowling face and devastating stomps are too badass to ignore. Plus he looks really slick in a suit!

8. Leroy Smith

  • Series Debut: Tekken 7
  • Fighting Style: Wing Chun

Tekken 7's launch roster had a whole lotta duds as far as brand new characters go. But during the game's DLC character rollout, we got nothing but bangers when it came to all the new faces that joined the scene. And from that additional roster of characters came one of the best Tekken characters we've ever seen, Leroy Smith. To see a brother enter the fighting game hemisphere as a Wing Chun master was so inspiring for blacks that religiously play that genre. Smith's overall design is incredible - the clothing, the grey dreads, the powerful stances, and even the little bulldog make him such a beloved character.

7. Marshall Law

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Martial Arts Based on Jeet Kune Do

Here's a well-known fact for all fighting games - there's always gotta be a Bruce Lee copycat in there someway, somehow. And thankfully for Tekken, we think it can claim the honor of having the best Jeet Kune Do practitioner in all of gaming. Marshall Law's furious footwork, speed limit breaking fists, and overall drip paint him as one of those characters that attract most folks that hop into Tekken for the very first time. Forest Law is a cool little evolutionary take on the character, but we'll always have way more love for Tekken's original Bruce Lee tribute act.

6. King

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Pro-Wrestling (Lucha Libre Style)

Another character archetype that every fighting game must abide by is a powerhouse wrestler. Tekken's pro wrestling mastermind is none other than the man that roars every time attacks or gets attacked, King. Both the original and successor version of this character is awesome - major props to all of you out there that can pull off his combo grapples. King's ever-evolving offensive repertoire always excites us as we watch him pull off the most exciting wrestling moves we've ever seen in a fighter.

5. Yoshimitsu

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Advanced Manji Ninjutsu

Every time a new Tekken gets announced, fans wait in anticipation for whatever new design Yoshimitsu arrives with. Ever since he debuted in the very first game, this trippy ninja and katana wielder has stayed at the top of fans' best Tekken characters lists. His outlandish taunts entertain, his backward-facing maneuvers tend to catch most players off-guard, and his disappearing act flows so well whenever it's incorporated into his other moves. Yoshimitsu's popularity is so strong that he's even gotten a permanent guest spot in the Soulcalibur series!

4. Lee Chaolan

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Mishima Style Fighting Karate Combined with Martial Arts and Then Martial Arts

Heihachi's pettiness knows no bounds! In order to push his son to become stronger and well deserving of running his conglomerate, Heihachi adopted Lee Chaolan in an effort to do so. We'd be hella jealous if this dude ended up as our newfound sibling, too - Lee looks cool as hell and his martial arts mastery exudes immense swag. Lee has evolved into his own man over the years as the leader of his own tech company and thrown on even more swaggy fashion fits to raise his stock. We'll always recognize this kick-happy Tekken pro as "EXCELLENT!"

3. Jin Kazama

  • Series Debut: Tekken 3
  • Fighting Style: Advanced Mishima Style Fighting Karate Combined with Kazama Style Traditional Martial Arts and Then Karate Based on Kyokushin Style

He's the son of Jun Kazama and Kazuya Mishima, the grandson of Heihachi Mishima, and the cousin of Azuka Kazama. He debuted in Tekken 3 with revenge on his mind as he sought to defeat the green brute that took his mother from him. And ever since he achieved that goal, Jin has transformed immensely by changing his fighting style, adopting one of the dopest sweatsuits in all of gaming, and adopting some more "sinister" character traits. Whether he's good or bad, we'll always adore Jin thanks to the amazing plot points tied to his self-journey.

2. Heihachi Mishima

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Mishima Style Fighting Karate

The most badass and wicked senior citizen gaming has ever played host to is this man! Heihachi Mishima is just a despicable dude - he threw his own son off a cliff, for God's sake! As the former head of the Mishima Zaibatsu, he reigned supreme and caused plenty of people to hate him to the point where they entered "The King of the Iron Fist Tournament" to defeat him. Of course, that goal is never quite easy since Heihachi is one of the most powerful characters in all of Tekken. His smirk, his double air kick combo, and his hair fangs make Heihachi a total boss in our eyes.

1. Kazuya Mishima

  • Series Debut: Tekken
  • Fighting Style: Mishima Style Fighting Karate

This is the man that Tekken is defined by. Like Ryu for Street Fighter, Kazuya Mishima is Tekken's front-facing mascot that is also adorned in white and red. Kazuya's been through hell and back. His father flung him off a cliff to toughen him up, to which he responded by embracing his "Devil Gene" and beating his Pops to the point where he THREW HIM OFF A CLIFF! Since being revived in Tekken 4, Kazuya has become that much more evil and remained the best Tekken character thus far. Yeah, he's totally a horrible human being. Yet we can't get enough of his wicked ways. That "Demon Uppercut" of his is Godlike!

Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Liked
Thumbs Down
Disliked