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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.

18. Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves, 2001 [DC]

By 1999, the Fatal Fury series had long since lost much of its spotlight to the more famous and memorable King of Fighters series.

However, there was one last title that would retire Fatal Fury in style - Mark of The Wolves. This game's incredibly deep gameplay was almost upstaged by mind-blowing 2D pixel animation that was fluid, colourful and above all else, undeniably flashy.

When Mark of the Wolves eventually hit the Dreamcast in 2001, SNK fans had a permanent title that would forever secure Fatal Fury's status as one of the best classic fighting game series in history.

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17: Def Jam: Fight For NY, 2004 [GC, XB, PS2]

Sporting a roster that included the likes of DMX and Ludacris, Def Jam Vendetta surprised the entire gaming industry with a complex fighting system that took advantage of environmental weapons and customisable abilities.

Def Jam: Fight For NY took its predecessor's gameplay and pumped up the volume with an incredibly well written story, along with new fighting mechanics that made use of styles like kickboxing and martial arts.

The production values in Fight For NY were second to none, either, with each rap icon giving a stellar performance marked by realistic voice work.

NEXT PAGE: WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain and Guilty Gear X2

  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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