Top 10 Greatest Fighting Game Franchises

Fighting games were very popular in the '90s and that's where most the most acclaimed franchises we know today got their start, but don't forget about the newer ones. And here they are.
The Top Ten
1 Mortal Kombat

I've been a MK fan since the 90's when I was only three years old. My parents didn't fail at trying to keep me away from violence. I went out of my way to see the movies and play the games. In other words, there was nothing stopping me from seeing and playing Mortal Kombat. I would go to the arcades with friends and play MK1. Skorpion has always been my favorite character but I did give Johnny cage kudos for punching Goro's nuts! Haha

One of the finest Fighting Game Franchises to exist. Since its debut it has influenced other traits now seen in modern games such as combo juggling and finishing moves. Without it, franchises like Street Fighter & Tekken wouldn't have been pushed to the heights they are at now.

I love this series so much, with all the different characters and all the awesome moves, and who doesn't love a good fatality? My love for mileena and Baraka will never die...

Definitely the best fighting game series ever made. Yes, it's too much bloody and brutal but so entertaining and cool at the same time
Finish Him!

2 Tekken

Tekken takes the 1 spot because the graphics are just damn beautiful and took the 3D fighting game style from Virtua Fighter and made it better in every way. It also features original and unique characters such as Yoshimitsu and King. Namco made a great idea for making each button controlling one limb, and many, such as I, grew up with this game. And, finally, it sells the best out of any fighting game in history!

More diversity within the characters... 3D style... Many more things about this that I prefer.
Tekken appeals to me for many reason, but the main reason that it appeals to me is probably because it's educated me on how badass martial arts are. Like, without Tekken, I wouldn't know about capoeira (thanks Eddy! ). It easily beats out the other games in gameplay too. I just enjoy the style of the series in general.

Tekken is awesome! The 3-D graphics are amazing! It should definitely be #1! I have played it since I was a little kid, I grew up playing it; and I still play it to this day. It would have to be my most favorite fighting game of all time! Tekken has created powerful, awesome fantasy characters into my life such as Lili and Xiaoyu.

A Huge cast of characters and a stories behind each. One of them along side the great mechanics with No super meter and only fighting. Makes this the greatest fighting series, and the don't super or Ultra every entry.

3 Super Smash Bros. Super Smash Bros. Product Image

How could this not be number 1? Not only is Smash the most innovative fighting game franchise it is also he 3rd best selling fighting game franchise with all 3 installments being in the top 10 best selling fighting games. The original is the 6th best selling, Melee is the 3rd best selling and Brawl is the best selling fighting game ever.

SSB is my favorite fighting game (SSBM is the best, but SSBB and SSBU are also great). It has a large roster, both casual and competitive ways to play and a great community, Close second to Capcom vs. series (MVC2 is amazing, UMVC3 and CVS2 are also great), but I've played smash for longer. 3rd is Mortal Kombat (UMK3 is the best, MK2, Trilogy, 9, X,11 are great also), 4th is Killer Insticnt (Original is fantastic, 2 and the reboot are also great), 5th is Street FIghter (grandfather of fighting games, 2, 3, Alpha and EX series are the best), and 6th is Tekken (TTT series, 3 and 5 are good).

This game is better because it doesn't have health. You can beat the crap out of people and they keep coming back for more. And you can't just spam one button on them like in other games.

The name sums it all up! And beside, we have Mario, Link, Bowser (playing as a baddie! ), then we get Snake and Sonic (Ok that's great.), but then we get Mega Man, Pac-Man, Ryu, Bayonetta and even Cloud STRIFE! CLOUD ' STRIFE!

4 Street Fighter

The fact that Mortal Kombat is currently in the lead is really depressing to me. The only good MK game since MK2 was the reboot in 2011. People need to look at the series, not just one good installment. As a series, Street Fighter is undoubtedly better in both mechanics and critical acclaim. SF4 single-handedly revived the fighting genre in the current generation as well.

Street fighter is the definition of what fighting games should be.

Without street fighter none of these other games would even exist.

A true classic that still goes strong until now

5 Soul Calibur

At least in this game you can't possibly win by buttonmashing and spamming, 8-way moving system is a must-have. Smooth gameplay. In the more recent SC games you have a detailed character creation, So you're not obligated to play with the same guy/gal over and over.
The story is absolute crap, but that's not that important in fighting games anyway

The combat is some of the best of any fighting games I've ever played, The character creation is really cool, the use of created characters in online play is awesome, the guest characters are great, and the story is pretty interesting. Really looking forward to SCVI, whenever that comes out.

Fighting game with enchanted weapons? I'll take it!

Way more fun than Tekken. Should be 4th in this list.


The biggest fighting franchise that does not involve death, but delivers enormous amounts of violence.

Best wrestling games ever

7 Marvel vs. Capcom

The series became one of the most recognized franchises ever.

8 The King of Fighters

Easily the best! Sadly forgotten today, but back in the 90's it RULED the arcades.

Without The King of Fighters '94, we wouldn't have KoF series in first place.
KoF is awesome!

I love how they did the gameplay

It is not just OK, it is Amazing.

9 Dragon Ball

Dragon ball is epic!

10 Killer Instinct

Fighting games have been a staple for me since first laying hands on Street Fighter II as a kid. As an adult, I've waited for a long time to see the comeback of Killer Instinct. The new game delivers in a way I hadn't expected.

This is the first fighting game I've played that truly feels like it's you vs your opponent, not you vs the input system. Commands are easy and intuitive, and the breaker/counter system makes for the most mindgames-intensive experience ever. When you beast someone it's obviously because you outplayed them, not because you managed to pull off the most damaging combo/special first.

My number one fighter of all time.

Loved this game in the early 90's, waited almost twenty years for it to come back and bought an Xbox one for this game specifically. One of the best games I have ever played and hands down the best fighting game in my opinion. I love Mk, sf, Mvc, two ken, etc. but none of those games are as fun and have nothing on killer instinct gameplay wise or anything else. The only thing that the new ki2013 lacks is finishers, bring back no mercies and ultimates ASAP, having only ultras and stage ultras gets kind of stale, having more options would help!

This game is the reason I spent $500 for the day-one edition Xbox One. Do I regret it? No. Killer Instinct is my favorite fighting game of all time and ever since it was announced for X1, I knew it would be worth every penny. I play everyday with friends and we never get tired of it. The new seasons keep the game fresh and the soundtrack enhances it even further! Greatly recommend it to anyone who has an Xbox One.

Easily the best fighting game I've ever played is Killer Instinct 3 on Xbox One. Its constantly evolving with new characters, its very footsie oriented much like Street Fighter but more mind games involved thanks to both the Combo breaker and counter-breaker system. All characters are very different whether you want a rushdown character like Sabrewulf, a zone-trapper like Kan-Ra, or mixed character like Jago. Phenomenal design, phenomenal gameplay

The Contenders
11 Dead or Alive Dead or Alive Product Image

In my opinion, Dead or Alive is one of favorite fighting games of all time. Unfortunately the series is only recognized for jiggle physics and sadly people only focus on that instead of the fun, over the top gameplay. Despite the franchise but memorably great and I pretty much love the modes in the game (like tag team, survival, story, etc. ) and have been playing the franchise since Dead Or Alive 2 on DC and PS2 in which I eventually played the rest of the series on Xbox consoles

Story is prefect and the ninja story is the best

12 Virtua Fighter

Been a big fan of virtual fighter for over a decade a underappreciated gem of a franchise in my book virtual fighter 5 has been one of the best technical fighter games of modern gaming it's a serious fighter that does not need the gimmicks and silly humour that some of the other fighters rely too heavily on.

Shame it was ultimately completely overshadowed by Tekken

I haven't played that much games but still great

13 Darkstalkers

Don't forget about the other fighter Capcom made, not as popular as street fighter, but still a solid game.

14 Guilty Gear

A series with gameplay that truly puts your technical skills to use, with blindingly fast pacing, a refined engine, and a stunning variety of combos and techniques. The overall depth and variety offered by this combat system is difficult to match, and has done a lot of evolving since the unorthodox, yet intriguing original game.

The hand-drawn, sprite-based graphics are beautiful, especially on the part of the character models, and the backgrounds are breathtaking. Daisuke Ishiwatari's compositions for the soundtrack provide an energetic and uplifting feel, and compliment the furious action perfectly. The overall artwork of this series is creative, original, and well-conceived.

The characters are all very unique, likable, and inspiring, with surprisingly involving storylines and backgrounds, and strong, memorable personalities. Their names, moves, clothing, and overall design are full of rock and heavy-metal references. The franchise is almost guaranteed to introduce ...more

Even if I don't really play many games and I am not really familiar with the series, I think GG is really awesome. And plus this is coming from someone who loves KoF!
If you like fighting games, you might love Guilty Gear. Cool characters and awesome combos, and I don't know, I am too speechless for this awesomeness.

Good franchise that needs recognition.

Same with BlazeBlue anime style

15 UFC

The only real fighting game involves a real league of fighters excellent graphics

16 Naruto Naruto Product Image
17 BlazBlue BlazBlue Product Image

One of the most fun games with the coolest cast of characters I've ever played

Adding in that anime makes it more awesome

18 Rival Schools Rival Schools Product Image
19 Fight Night Fight Night Product Image

Not your usual fighting game. Even though your only able to throw punches (and headbutts) the game play is really unique and its really hard to win by spamming because of the energy bar unlike with most other fighting games

20 Fatal Fury Fatal Fury Product Image
21 Variable Geo Variable Geo Product Image
22 Injustice Injustice Product Image

Best of the best

23 Battle Arena Toshinden Battle Arena Toshinden Product Image
24 Psychic Force Psychic Force Product Image
25 Punch-Out!! Punch-Out!! Product Image

Nintendo's take on boxing. This game obviously isn't the best, but is fun to play, and filled with humorous characters nonetheless.

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