Fighting Games Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat?

Intro – Best Fighting Game Series of All Time Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat?

Image Source: TheGamer

With Mortal Kombat 1, Street Fighter 6, and Tekken 8 all coming out within a year of each other now is a good time to be a fighting game fan. Of course, MK, SF and Tekken are the three biggest fighting franchises out there, or are they? Is Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat really the best fighting game of all time, and what else makes its way onto that list? Here are my thoughts on the best fighting game series of all time ranked.

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat? – Top 9

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 9 – Soulcalibur

Witcher Geralt of Rivia to join SoulCalibur VI | Fanatical Blog
Image Source: Fanatical

I first played my first Soulcalibur game in the Xbox 360 days, I remember picking it up because I saw Yoda on the cover. Star Wars mad, I couldn’t wait to boot up the game and start hacking and slashing at whoever I would be fighting. I honestly can’t say I remember any other fighters of the roster, yet this game is still the best interaction of Yoda to date, at least from what I’ve played. I loved the swift combat and how the combat was setup so you would easily land more hits compared to Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.

Then I forgot about the series until Soulcalibur VI, the guest fighter this time being Geralt, the Witcher himself. Of course, I had to pick it up. Just like before with Yoda I fell in love with the guest character, the ease to count up high, double digit combos. I know they wasn’t high compared to competitive players but to someone who was struggling to hit a 4 hit combo in MK this was a godsend! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the various single player modes, the story, or the roster. Dooming the series to be nothing more than something I pick up to play with the cool friend their having over for tea.

You can buy Soulcalibur VI here on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 8 – Marvel VS Capcom

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on Steam
Image Source: Steam

Marvel VS Capcom is a celebration of everything Marvel and Capcom, blending the two rosters together to make a fighting game. The series has seen mixed entries with the most recent Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite going over quite poorly with fans. The story was shoddy, the character design, and overall pick of characters was disappointing. If you do want to fight as Ryo, or Deadpool I highly recommend picking up Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 instead. It features better combat, a much larger roster, and a more diverse roster. Accompanied with some of the best arcade endings of any game! Including the Hulk joining Chris Redfield in eliminating the T-Virus.

It is still unsure whether we will see Marvel return to the fighting scene. It appears DC will have victory in the fighting genre with their Injustice series for the foreseeable future. Marvel definitely have a large roster of superheroes they could pull from if they decided to go back to making their own fighting games, such as the old X-Men ones. They could even adapt certain comic book events into a fighting game such as Avengers VS X-Men, Civil War, or more!

You can purchase Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 7 – The King of Fighters

Image Source: Steam

One of the first ever fighting game crossovers combining various SNK properties, The King of Fighters has gone on to release 15 entries. The series differs from most fighters by having the player fight in teams of three, or four. With the earlier entries sometimes having set teams on the roster. The series was created by the same person who co-created Street Fighter- Takashi Nishiyama.

Unfortunately, apart from the teams of fighters mechanic the series didn’t seem to offer much for me. I didn’t fall in love with the roster as much I want to with a fighting game. I have still yet to play the latest one so I guess time will see if I change my mind on the iconic franchise.

You can purchase the King of Fighters XV on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 6 – Killer Instinct

Check out Halo's Arbiter in Killer Instinct |
Image Source: Eurogamer

Killer Instinct features one of the more memorable rosters, featuring zombie skeleton Spindel, werewolf Sabrewulf and more! The series had two entries in the 90s then finally a reboot in 2013 simply titled Killer Instinct. Arbiter, Rash, and General Raam made memorable appearances on the roster too! My personal favourite to main is Arbiter. Rocking his iconic energy sword, grenades, and rifle his gameplay and move list is just phenomenal.

The reboot also contained a unique single player mode called shadow lords, which would task you in selecting teams of three to defend the world X-Com style!

You can purchase Killer Instinct on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat? – Top 5

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 5 – Primal Rage

The Making Of Primal Rage - Retro Gamer
Image Source: Eurogamer

Primal Rage has my favourite concept of any fighting game of all time, monsters fighting each other. Until I get my proper 1V1 Godzilla fighting game I will have to settle for booting up Primal Rage. Featuring a Yeti, Dinosaurs, and other various creatures Primal Rage featured some of the most unique character designs that you will remember after playing. The combat however is a product of its time and with it being the pilot entry of the titular series the developers didn’t get time to polish it as many usually do in frequent games. After all this was the 1990’s not the time of the infamous day one patches we face today.

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 4 – Street Fighter

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection on Steam
Image Source: Steam

Street Fighter is the OG fighting game series, with Street Fighter 2 being the game that cemented many of the genre’s iconic tropes. With Street Fighter 2 having more editions than Bethesda’s beloved Skyrim, the series has become iconic worldwide. Being placed up there with Mortal Kombat and Tekken as the big three fighting games. However, it just doesn’t do it for me. The combat apart from in Turbo Edition is too sluggish, the characters are unappealing, it just has never pulled me in as it has so many before.

I do however have fond memories of playing various old Street Fighters on my various emulation devices, and on my steam deck. Street Fighter V just didn’t manage to get the same grapple on me as Tekken or MK did, or even as much as the 3rd entry…

You can purchase Street Fighter 6 on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat? – Top 3

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 3 – Injustice

Injustice™ 2 - Fighter Pack 3 on Steam
Image Source: Steam

Injustice is the brilliance that happens when the Mortal Kombat developers are handed the reigns to the DC universe. The results are as fantastic as the tie-in comics. The stories are entertaining and are up there with Mortal Kombat for some of the best fighting game stories, yet this doesn’t mean they don’t have their share of plot holes or daft inclusions/fights. The gameplay and armour system makes rounds a bit more like Tekken than Mortal Kombat, but this does provide a fresh take of the NRS fighting formula.

Although were still waiting for the inclusion of what I would think are must have inclusions in a DC fighting game, King Shark, and Killer Croc. Hopefully with both entries selling well we might finally see the pair be included in the third game.

Injustice: Gods Among Us and Injustice 2 are available on steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 2 – Tekken

A new update is out today for TEKKEN 7 on Steam! | Bandai Namco Europe
Image Source: Bandai Namco

Tekken is the ultimate example of like father like son. The series features the Mishima family that is hell bent on killing each other. With entries taking turns on which member of the family is perceived as the “hero”. With none of them ever really showing themselves to be anything other than a Villain. The series however features amazing combat with some of the most expansive move lists in the genre, if not the most! Customization is off the charts with you being able to add usable items such as swords, or guns to your characters and so much more!

The roster also features some of the most comedic characters and arcade endings. A much needed breath of fresh air in the fighting game genre. Characters such as Roger, Roger Jr, Alex, Kuma, and Panda exhibit how Tekken differs from most fighters. Then you have the character of King, a Mexican wrestler who uses his winnings to open an orphanage. The game has fantastic range and will hit evoke every emotion as you play! Tekken 7 also has Negan, just saying.

You can purchase Tekken 7 on Steam

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time Ranked: Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat? – Top 1

Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: 1 – Mortal Kombat

Buy Mortal Kombat 1 Steam
Image Source: Instant Gaming

Mortal Kombat will forever be my number one. The mythology that John Tobias helped Ed Boon establish is forever enthralling, it had me hooked from my first exposure to it. The gory, over the top combat, the fatalities, the real actors condensed as sprites, it just pulled me in from the start. Then as I got older and started playing the games again around the time of Mortal Kombat X. I was treated to a reboot of the franchise, something to bring me and others up to speed. The game gabbed me by the cuff of my shirt and wouldn’t let me put it down. Me and my brother Davis constantly rematched each other to see who would come out victorious. The gameplay loop was simple but addictive, play through the round, hoping to win, just so you can attempt to learn that fatality you have been trying to do for an hour.

The series has also spawned some of the better examples of comics and both live-action and animated movies to come from fighting game IPs or even video games as a whole. With the recent animated films being some of my favourites. The you have the characters; the roster is brimming with personality every entry and never disappoints!

You can purchase Mortal Kombat 1 on Steam

Summary – Best Fighting Game Series of All Time: Ranked

The 10 Best Fighting Games of All Time - IGN
Image Source: IGN

There are my thoughts on the best fighting game series of all time: ranked. What are your thoughts? Are you mad I put Street Fighter so low, would you have put Soulcaliber on the top? Did I forget your favourite franchise?  What would you say is the best fighting game of all time, would it be Tekken, Street Fighter, or Mortal Kombat? I’d love to hear your top three below in the comments.