Fighting games represent an important story within the history of video games, although in fairness we have to recognize that the classic base to which we are accustomed, and which has inspired the development of numerous titles in the last three decades, it was not conceived until the arrival of Street Fighter 2a title that hit arcades in March 1991, and is considered “the father” of the genre.
The truth is that it is a more than deserved title because, as I said in the previous paragraph, Street Fighter 2 was the one that laid the foundations for fighting games, bases that still remain today without drastic changes. On the other hand, it is also a game that has aged wonderfully, and that is still perfectly enjoyed in its original version, although it is true that the pace of the combat is quite slow, and this makes some of us prefer to opt for the versions with configurable turbo mode.
In general terms, the evolution of fighting games has been quite linear, and in the end it is understandable since they have always revolved around that classic base. So much so that latest generation titles, such as Street Fighter V, maintain that base to a greater or lesser extent. Others like The King of Fighters XV They have their own essence thanks to the differentiating nature of fighting in groups of three, but in the end that classic base is still presentand it is easily appreciated (life bars, time-limited combat, closed scenarios, range of movements with normal hits and special attacks, weak and strong goals, high and low blocking while keeping the command backwards, etc).
Innovating in fighting games has always been difficult, but not impossible. In this sense, one of the earliest, daring and well-resolved titles was Fatal Fury. I was lucky enough to enjoy the original in arcades, and the experience was wonderful. It was a challenging title, with an immersive and well-told story that plunged you into a very personal vendetta against the evil Geese Howard and his gang of criminals.
The profile and personality of each character was perfectly taken care of, the scenarios and the soundtrack were at an outstanding level, and the possibility of changing planes was something truly revolutionary that introduced a new dynamic in the combats. It also had one of the most epic endings in all of fighting game history.
Fatal Fury was not a copy of Street Fighter 2, it was something new and truly revolutionary who dared to try to beat the Capcom title. I can’t say that it succeeded because, in the end, it was this one that completely transformed the genre and laid the foundation for it, but I have to admit that SNK did an excellent job.
Samurai Showdown and The King of Fighters (the latter was initially conceived as a beat em up) also introduced important innovations. The first opted for combat with white weapons and added pets to some characters (Galford’s dog and Nakoruru’s eagle), and the second stood out for the use of a team combat system of three, the attack dodge system and for allowing definitive special movements to be performed in “desperation” mode, that is, when the health bar was below 20% (Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo was brought forward a few months, since it was the first of the Capcom saga in have “super” moves).
With such a huge number of top-tier games, which I have enjoyed so much since my beginnings as a video game lover, it is difficult for me to decide which has been the best fighting game in history. On a personal note, I would stay with Fatal Fury because of the originality of its approach., for the story, the setting and its depth, which practically gave it a marked cinematographic touch. That essence was diluted in Fatal Fury 2, and the truth is that I only experienced something similar with Art of Fighting, another of the greats of the genre.
Fatal Fury was, along with The King of Fighters 94, the fighting game that marked me the most, and for that reason it seems to me the best of its genre. Now it’s your turn, we read in the comments.