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The 20 best fighting games revealed

The greatest games between 1989 and 2009


We've rounded up the 20 best fighting games that were released between 1998 and 2008. From hip-hop brawlers to free-for-all melees, these titles are the most important fighting games to hit the industry in the past 20 years.

2: Soul Calibur, 1999 [DC]

Weapons combat in fighting games owes everything to Soul Calibur. Not only was this the most popular game on the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast, but also the graphical might of Soul Calibur was second only to the gameplay, where simple-to-learn but hard-to-master swordplay proved to be wildly innovative.

Thanks to this game, we've been treated to a long list of awesome sequels, but Soul Calibur laid a real groundwork for fast, powerful 3D combat that had literally no flaws, as well as some of the most jaw-dropping visuals seen on any home video game system to date. Besides, who could imagine a world without Taki, Ivy Valentine, and good ol' Sophitia? We don't want to live in that world.

1: Street Fighter II Turbo, 1993 [SNES]

In the 1990s, nothing was as popular was Street Fighter. The franchise had movies, cartoon shows, and action figures that looked horribly deformed when compared against the real Street Fighter crew.

But that entire issue aside, the base of this phenomenon, Street Fighter II, was so hot that it was lighting people on fire. Street Fighter II Turbo may have been the third remake in the SFII lineup, but it had all the features that hardcore players wanted.

Now, the game's speed could be cranked up to 11, new artwork had been carried over from ground-breaking Champion Edition (as well as the ability to pick the same player), the Shadaloo bosses were still playable and new moves were added to the mix. Even Chun Li had a freaking fireball.

  1. These were the best games between 1989 and 2009
  2. Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves and Def Jam: Fight For NY
  3. WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain and Guilty Gear X2
  4. Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium and Super Smash Brothers Brawl
  5. Killer Instinct and X-Men vs. Street Fighter
  6. Power Stone and Mortal Kombat II
  7. Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Virtua Fighter 5
  8. Street Fighter IV and Super Smash Bros Melee
  9. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Tekken 3
  10. Soul Calibur and Street Fighter II Turbo

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