Colorful, in-your-face, brutal and frenetic, fighting games are one of the finest video game genres out there. Let’s take a look at some of the best fighting game characters of all time. And just to make it fair, we’re only going to do one from each chosen series. Are there any we missed? Wanna fight about it? Let us know.
Jago (Killer Instinct series)
Small yet powerful and impossibly fast, Jago tears shit up like no other character in the Killer Instinct games. He also may or may not be an insanely good asset to button mashers everywhere.
Scorpion (Mortal Kombat series)
Hanzo Hasashi had a rough road. His family was killed, his clan was disbanded and then he got killed – that’s right, KILLED – by Sub-Zero. But since he’s a badass, he became a hellspawned revenant in the Netherrealm underworld who only seeks revenge. Scorpion is super deadly, with his fire-breathing, spine-ejecting fatalities, but he’s also got a killer outfit. Get over here!
Ryu (Street Fighter series)
Classic, classic, classic. Ryu’s ripped white karate gi and look of constant constipation are unmistakable. So are his awesome Shotokan-style karate, and his signature Hadouken move. Serious Street Fighter players love Ryu.
Spiderman (Marvel v. Capcom series)
Amidst a bevy of powerful playable characters, Spiderman is fast, lithe and super fun to play. He’s tiny in comparison to most characters, especially Juggernaut and Shuma-Gorath, but his impact is well-magnified.
Voldo (Soul Calibur series)
Sadomasochistic sexual deviant or tortured slave? Voldo’s appearance is distinctive, and so is his fighting style. Though he has short range, his unpredictability and special Mantis Crawl (in which he fights from an upside-down crawl position on the ground) make him an extremely useful asset, and wholly unique not just in Soul Calibur, but any fighting game.
Shun-Di (Virtua Fighter series)
Shun-Di’s mid-fight drinking, smacking characters with his flask and stumbling make him funny, sure, but his unpredictable and surprisingly powerful Drunken Kung Fu style also makes him a hell of a fighter to contend with.
Marshall Law (Tekken)
It’s Bruce Lee. You know it and I know it. All of his moves are translated through Marshall Law (and some of his costumes, too) and the result is glorious. Flip-kick, flying kick and one-inch punch your foes into oblivion.
Talon (Primal Rage)
Okay, Primal Rage may not have been the fastest fighting game on its feet, but it looked awesome and the fact that you got to play as giant prehistoric apes and reptiles was amazing. Talon the velociraptor had sick moves like the ‘Jugular Bite’, ‘Face Ripper’, ‘Brain Basher’ and even ‘Chomp a Human’ where he picks up a human worshiper from the background and eats him.
Pikachu (Super Smash Bros. series)
Out of a fabulous assortment of Nintendo characters in the Smash Bros. series, Pikachu is the deadliest choice for sick combos, lightning-fast aerials, solid pacing, and of course, his deadly Volt Tackle and Thunder moves.
Kratos (Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale)
If you’ve ever played a God of War game, you’ve itched to take control of Kratos and rain down hateful, fiery, blade-chained justice on thine enemies with loved and familiar weapons and moves. And now, you can. Have at it!