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Top 5 Fighting Games for the PC

Updated on May 25, 2015

These past few years, the line that separates console and PC gaming have started to blur, thanks to consoles becoming more powerful and gaming PCs finding their way to people’s living rooms. Game developers that were originally console-centric have begun porting their titles to the PC, but one genre that is still underrepresented is fighting games.

There used to be a valid argument against porting fighting games to the PC. Keyboards do make poor control choices for fighting games, both because of their inability to register more than 3 key presses at the same time and because they make multiplayer difficult (2 players on a single keyboard is not an enjoyable experience.) but these days it’s no longer a concern due to the wide availability of gamepads and joysticks on the PC. Most 3rd party controllers on current gen consoles are even sold with PC support right out of the box. The only thing preventing fighting games from being more prevalent on the PC is lack of games themselves.

However, even with the dearth of available titles compared to more popular PC genres, there are still fighting games that found their way to the PC. Here are 5 outstanding titles that you need to check out:

#5. Street Fighter Alpha 2

By now, anybody who cares about fighting games is already familiar with the Street Fighter franchise. It focuses on so-called “World Warriors” from all over the globe fighting each other in order to decide who’s the best. Each fighter has his or her own agenda, but for the most part the only thing you need to know is that they need to beat the tar out of each other.

The Alpha series is sort of a prequel to the original series, but comes with a lot of improvements in terms of visuals and gameplay (it’s the first time the Street Fighter series incorporated Super Attacks into their game.) The Alpha series also expanded the roster characters never before seen in the series.

Why You Need to Play It

  • Street Fighter Alpha 2 is generally considered as the best of the Alpha series. It has more characters than the first game and has a more streamlined, balanced gameplay compared to its successor.
  • You get to play with most of the characters before they became the world warriors in Street Fighter II. This means they have slightly different moves and looks. For instance, Ryu and Ken don’t have the hurricane kick yet, Chun Li has a fireball, and Sagat still doesn’t have his famous chest scar.
  • The game is in 2D so it’s not resource-intensive. You can play this game well even if you don’t have a high end gaming PC.

#4. Mortal Kombat (2011)

Mortal Kombat is right up there with Street Fighter in terms of popularity. It is renowned for its over the top violence and innovative “fatalities,” where characters finish off their opponents in the most brutal and creative ways possible. The 2011 version is more of a remake, featuring a reimagined story and a fully 3D engine.

Why You Need to Play It

  • The 2011 remake is a lot easier to control, making it casual friendly without sacrificing depth of gameplay. The massively complicated control schemes have given way to easier to remember button combinations and instant combos. The timing has also been relaxed.
  • If you like ultra-violence, this is definitely the game for you. This is assuming you’re an adult. The combat in Mortal Kombat is so over the top that they start to become comical instead of offensive.
  • Freddy Kruger is a playable character.

#3. Injustice: Gods Among Us

Injustice: Gods Among Us is basically the Mortal Kombat remake (they are made by the same folks), but without the ultra violence and with MK characters being replaced by DC Comics’ roster of spandex-clad superheroes.

Why You Need to Play It

  • Fighting games aren’t really known for their story, but Injustice: Gods Among Us actually has a decent story supported by exceptional in-game cutscenes. It answers the question of what the world would be like if Superman decided to use his powers in order to keep the world under totalitarian rule.
  • It’s using the Mortal Kombat engine (or a similar one,) so there’s a solid fighting game underneath. Easy to control, and the button combinations are not too complicated. In fact, it’s been simplified to the point where the super attacks can be launched using two buttons, assuming that you have the super bar filled.
  • If you love fighting games but get turned off from Mortal Kombat because of the gore, Injustice: Gods Among Us is right up your alley. The fighting is intense and worthy of god-like characters like Superman, but the combat is surprisingly free of dismemberment or even blood.
  • Come on, who doesn’t want to play a game where you pit the members of Justice League against each other?

#2. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution

Based on Masashi Kishimoto’s long-running shonen manga and anime franchise, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution is a 3D cel-shaded fighting game that features large expansive arenas, more than 80 playable characters, and a wide range of screen-filling super moves that blur the line between videogame and anime.

This is actually the second Naruto fighting game on the PC, with the first one being Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst. However, there’s no reason to get that because Revolution contains everything the previous game had and improves them. It’s got more characters, a more updated look and moveset for the characters, and it also fixes several technical flaws (including performance issues.)

Why You Need to Play It

  • Besides fighting games, the PC platform is also lacking in anime-based games. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution is both an anime-based game and a fighting game, making it somewhat of a special case.
  • The game is gorgeous. It only runs in 30 fps, but that sort of makes it look more like an anime episode than a videogame. If you’re a fan of the Naruto franchise, this is the closest you’ll get to reliving the anime series.
  • The game is casual and hardcore-friendly at the same time. The controls are not that difficult to learn, but the combat mechanics are conducive to highly competitive gameplay. Basically, you won’t have to worry about learning how to do a move, but you do need to worry about when you should do the move if you want to go toe to toe with highly skilled human opponents.

#1. One Must Fall: 2097

One Must Fall: 2097 is a classic fighting videogame for IBM-compatible computers, featuring large robots called HARs (Human Assisted Robots) as characters. The game features ten HARs and ten different pilots. You can mix and match pilots and HARs, which allows for experimentation as the pilots vary in strength, endurance, and speed, and will affect how the robots handle.

Why You Need to Play It

  • As of February, 1999, the game was declared as Freeware by the developers. You can procure a copy anywhere and anyway you want and it’s going to be perfectly legal.
  • One Must Fall: 2097 is the only game on this list that is PC exclusive. It’s a must to check this game out if you want to know what a fighting game would be like if it was developed primarily for the PC.
  • Tons of replay value – fighting games already have massive replay value by design, but OMF: 2097 takes it one step further as you can mix and match robot parts as well as pilots in order to get the right kind of robot in terms of look and feel.

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