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.
16: WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain, 2005 [PS2]
With every new WWE Smackdown game, the wrestling systems either take one step forward or two steps backward.
Here Comes the Pain was the standout title in the series, achieving an almost perfect mix of speedy gameplay and technical move sets. Arguably, the best feature of this game was the main Season Mode, which introduced multi-year storylines that would change depending on which belts you retained in your career.
15: Guilty Gear X2, 2003 [PS2]
If every fighting game has a distinct personality, the Guilty Gear series is the kid that sits in the very back of the classroom wearing leather jackets with metal spikes, rocking out to hardcore metal.
Building on the first game's success, Guilty Gear X2 sported a bigger roster, a bolder soundtrack and the series' trademark graphics that looked extraordinarily slick for a 2D fighting game. Guilty Gear X2 just oozed style. In fact, the game was so good, it was released three different times in no less than three years.
NEXT PAGE: Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium and Super Smash Brothers Brawl
- These were the best games between 1989 and 2009
- Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves and Def Jam: Fight For NY
- WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain and Guilty Gear X2
- Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium and Super Smash Brothers Brawl
- Killer Instinct and X-Men vs. Street Fighter
- Power Stone and Mortal Kombat II
- Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Virtua Fighter 5
- Street Fighter IV and Super Smash Bros Melee
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Tekken 3
- Soul Calibur and Street Fighter II Turbo