gaming

The Upcoming Fighting Games of 2022

kof 15 mobile
SNK

The fighting game community is going to bask in a lot of goodness in 2022.

And that's due in part to a wealth of brand new entrants into the thriving genre of fighters and the ongoing updates for previously released fan favorites. This new year brings with it the 15th mainline entry in the long-running The King of Fighters franchise, a highly-requested rerelease of an Arc System Works anime fighter, a brand new brawler based on a Korean beat 'em up MMORPG, and so much more.

As the year winds down, we'll make sure this list of 2022 fighting games stays updated as new developments are made. This shall be the definitive listing of the upcoming fighting games slated for the new year!

Previously Released Fighting Games Set for Updates

'Guilty Gear Strive' - ongoing Season 1 DLC character releases (Baiken)

'Dragon Ball FighterZ' - ongoing DLC character releases (Lab Coat Android 21)

'Street Fighter V' - final Battle Balance Adjustment and Capcom Pro Tour 2022 DLC

'Skullgirls 2nd Encore' - ongoing DLC character releases (Umbrella, Black Dahlia)

'Melty Blood: Type Lumina' - ongoing DLC character releases (Dead Apostle Noel, Aoko Aozaki)

'Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl' - ongoing DLC character releases

1. 'The King of Fighters XV' - February 17

PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, PC - Steam

It's all been leading up to this. The hype character trailers, team composition reveals, and open betas have all done a bang-up job in regards to SNK's next major fighting game release. The 15th mainline installment in The King of Fighters series is dropping this year and it looks to be a more refined (and more importantly, graphically impressive!) version of The King of Fighters XIV.

The King of Fighters XV features a more cohesive roster filled with longtime veterans, returning fan favorites, and alluring newcomers. The gameplay itself feels even fluid and gratifying than ever before thanks to the ability to pull off EX special moves without being forced to enter into a separate power mode. The addition of the "Shatter Strike" maneuver and MAX Mode makes this game's bevy of team-elimination clashes incredibly exciting. Thank god this one has good rollback netcode!

2. 'Phantom Breaker: Omnia' - March 15

PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam

So get this: Phantom Breaker: Omnia is an updated version of a Japanese-only fighting game that's actually a spinoff of a beat 'em up called Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. The wait for this new and improved version of Phantom Breaker has been extremely long (since 2012, to be exact!), but it's finally slated to land on American shores in 2022.

For those not in the know, Phantom Breaker: Omnia is your typical 2D anime fighter whose roster is filled with a majority of charismatic ladies. Each member of the game's roster has access to three distinct fighting styles that alters the way they behave in combat - Quick Style, Hard Style, and Omnia Style. So choose your favorite fighter, take a trip into the lab to familiarize yourself with each style of play, and emerge with all the know-how needed to dominate the competition.

3. 'Persona 4 Arena Ultimax' - March 17

PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam

Fans have been clamoring for a current-gen rerelease of this Arc System Works anime fighter for far too long now. But thankfully, the powers that be have decided to grant that longstanding wish and finally bring Persona 4 Arena Ultimax over to PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.

What makes this rerelease that much more intriguing is the fact that it'll incorporate the final batch of character/gameplay balance updates, which were previously exclusive to the arcade version of the game. A lot of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax's shortcomings were addressed in those updates and chief among them were the changes made to the alternate "Shadow" versions of the game's main roster members. If you haven't played this Arc Sys fighting gem before or are just ready to hop back in for old time's sake, this rerelease should definitely be on your radar.

4. 'DNF Duel' - Summer

PS5, PS4

DNF Duel came out of nowhere to grab the attention of fighting game fans everywhere in 2021. After months of radio silence following the release of a short but sweet trailer in 2020, this gorgeous anime fighter put forth a steady trailer reveal information rollout in 2021 that garnered tons of positive feedback.

After players left DNF Duel's open beta with largely positive feedback, the game managed to shoot itself up the list for the most anticipated fighting game of 2022. And it's easy to see why - DNF Duel's crisp 2D visuals, awesome interpretation of the source material's class-based avatars, and the easy yet equally complex battle mechanics all help it stand apart from the competition. We can't wait to slam fools as the Grappler all over again once this game finally comes out! And yes, rollback netcode has been confirmed for this one.

5. 'MultiVersus' - TBA

PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC - Steam

Now that Masahiro Sakurai has finally concluded his long and epic journey with the development of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, new party fighters are attempting to enter the fray and make major headlines themselves.

Besides Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, there's the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published and Player First Games developed MultiVersus. This 2v2 team-based party brawler will feature a who's who of WB property-themed characters, such as Batman, Bugs Bunny, Steven Universe, and so much more. Keep in mind that MultiVersus will also allow for 1v1 and free-for-all skirmishes, so you'll have plenty of battle options at your disposal within this free-to-play platform fighter. Rollback netcode is definitely in place for this fighter as well.

6. 'Blazing Strike' - TBA

PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam

Blazing Strike looks and feels like a long-lost SNK fighting game that we unknowingly passed by in the arcades. And that's part of the reason why we're so intrigued by it. Publisher Aksys Games and development studio RareBreed Makes Games have come together to produce a 2D fighter that pays homage to the golden age of the genre itself.

Alongside retro stylized visuals, Blazing Strike will implement modern-day fighting game conventions such as heightened mobility, flashy super moves, and comeback mechanics. The game's "Rush" system also offers something fresh and unique for this throwback fighter as it allows each character to utilize even more special moves, move faster, and jump much higher than before. Hopping online to enjoy some heated battles in Blazing Strike should be a joy thanks to its usage of GGPO rollback netcode.

7. 'Breakers Collection' - TBA

PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC - Steam

Breakers and Breakers Revenge are regarded by many as two of the most slept-on fighters from the 90s golden age of fighting games. Now, both games are being compiled together in a sick compilation package thanks to the efforts of publisher/developer QUByte Interactive.

Visco Corporation's two underrated fighters stick close to the best parts of Street Fighter II and rely on fast-paced gameplay to keep players' attention. Traditional special move inputs are in place here, so FGC vets will have little issue getting used to Breakers Collection's style of gameplay if they're playing it for the first time here. GGPO rollback netcode is a go, so this game's online battles will surely play like a dream!

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