Heya faithful readers,
Just thought I would drop a line and let you know what’s in the pipes right now. I am currently working on my "Top 15 Favourite Fighting Games". I already have my 15 Fighting Games chosen, but not quite ranked yet. I have a general idea of whether they are in the 15-11 tier, 10-6 tier, or 5-1 tier, but specifics aren't quite set in stone just yet.
Some rules that I have on this Top 15, and for the most part any of my Top 10 lists I'll explain now. I only allow one game per franchise/series, that way lists won't be clogged by ostensibly the same title over and over again. The same goes for movie lists, when I came up with my "Top 30 Favourite Movies" list I had only one film per director. That was to help me avoid a list full of Tarantino or Miyazaki movies which would result in a boring list. (By the way you can check out the list here: Top 30 Favourite Films [it starts at #1, sorry about that]).
For instance, I personally get really annoyed when I read something like "Top 10 RPGs" and the list looks like this:
1) Final Fantasy 7
2) Final Fantasy 6
3) Super Mario RPG
4) Final Fantasy 9
5) Final Fantasy 8
6) Final Fantasy 12
7) Secret of Mana
8) Final Fantasy 10
9) Final Fantasy Tactics
10) Final Fantasy 13
That really pisses me off, so I won't ever do that. I will only choose one title from a series that I feel represents them all the best, or more often, which one I like better than the rest, whatever the reason. A variety of games is the best way to represent a genre, not just a single franchise.
Now as for my "Top 15 Favourite Fighting Games" list, I always make it a point to say "Favourite" because this is my list of favourite fighters that I had the most fun playing or the fondest memories of. It doesn't mean the most technical or the best designed fighting game. Now I won't spoil any of my choices now, but I will tell you what games didn't make the list. I'll try and explain my reasons as best I can, and of course I couldn't have played every fighter ever made, so I'm limited also to my own personal experience.
-Any Mortal Kombat game, as I feel their character design was always tepid and borderline racist, their gore gimmick has no bearing on gameplay, and the fighting was stiff and boring. I just never liked them. Sure the most recent one has officially set the standard for how single player stories should be done in fighting games, but that still isn't a strong enough reason to get it on the list.
-Any King of Fighters game. I personally think that if it wasn't for the massive rosters, this game would have never been noticed. And a huge roster alone isn't enough when most of the characters are clones or just plain forgettable. Sure Smash Bros has a huge roster, but for the most part all of their characters are memorable, whereas KoF characters are silly and suffer from being too normal or too over the top. Stiff controls don't help.
- Any Battle Arena Toshinden game. Because they were never that good to begin with, let’s face it.
- Any Dead or Alive game. I have nothing against "jiggle physics," but I do have something against martial artists who look ridiculous when they fight. These characters launch themselves forward all look so similar to me, that it feels like they all studied at the "whirling kicks" school of martial arts. It always appears that these fighters twist their lower halves completely around without their top halves ever moving at all (except for the breasts of course [cause those things go anywhere they want]).
- Any Guilty Gear game. Tragically, I simply haven’t played any of them for more than a few matches and never against someone. The character design in this game embraces the absurdity and I think its stellar, as is the music and frenetic 2d combat. Sadly, I simply don’t know enough about this game/series to put it on the list. This would certainly be an Honorable Mention even with the small time I’ve spent with it.
- Any Dragonball Z game. Rarely have I ever seen a game so poorly balanced as nearly every franchise in this series. Add to it the character design which sometimes makes me a little embarrassed to have held a torch for this show as hard as I did in my youth. Add to that all of the energy blasts which make every character feel the same, and bland environments and music don’t help.
- Any Bloody Roar game. I would want to give this an Honorable Mention as being one of the more memorable fighters that didn’t really survive the 32-bit era. It featured a well rounded cast of characters and Tekken-esque controls, and the gimmick was that each character had an animal form they could enter as a super mode. It was memorable for the time but faded into obscurity pretty quickly.
- Erghiez. This game was famous for having some of the cast of Final Fantasy 7 in it, as well as some of the worst controls on the PSone! The novelty of playing as Cloud Strife wasn’t enough to rescue this game. I can appreciate the single player dungeon crawler campaign they included, but again, the controls were so bad I couldn’t put this anywhere on my list.
That’s it for now, lest my choices be made any more obvious. If you have any fighting games I should include, or reconsider, please leave them in the comments section. And as always, thanks for reading!