The Most Influential Fighting Game Franchises

The Most Influential Fighting Game Franchises

The fighting video game genre is prevalent today, but it grew from humble beginnings. The first game that featured hand-to-hand combat was a lesser-known black-and-white version of Heavyweight Champ that was released in 1976.

It wasn’t until the early 90s that the genre really started to take off with the inception of some of the most influential fighting game franchises.

Street Fighter

The original Street Fighter introduced motion inputs to the genre. That’s when you move the joystick in a quarter or half circle to execute a move. Without that addition, would every fighting game have to be a button masher? However, its sequel, Street Fighter 2, was one of the most popular arcade games of the ‘90s and helped propel the genre into superstardom among gamers. 

Street Fighter 2 was the first fighting game in which choosing a specific character granted you different moves or abilities. For example, Guile has Sonic Boom, and Blanka has an electric thunder attack that shocks his opponent.

Plus, Street Fighter 2’s 16-bit CPU made for better graphics and more responsive special attacks and combos, which were originally the result of an accidental bug. Because Capcom kept this bug in as a secret feature, combos have now become a staple of fighting games. 

Mortal Kombat

It probably isn’t a coincidence that Mortal Kombat 2 and Doom both came out in 1993, and the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was formed the following year. This organization still assigns video game age and content ratings today.

The over-the-top fatalities are really what set the Mortal Kombat series apart. Originally, Shang Tsung was meant to be the only character that could perform such a move while his opponent dizzily teetered after defeat. But ultimately, each character got their own unique fatalities, ranging from Sub-Zero’s Spine Rip to Lui Kang’s Dragon Fatality.

Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, and Mortal Kombat 2 all rank in the top 10 highest-grossing arcade games – helping make the fighting game genre what it is today.

Marvel Vs. Capcom

Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes came out in 2000, and it helped establish aspects of fighting games that have now become commonplace:

  • A large roster of playable fighters
  • Tag team fighting with multiple characters 
  • Cameos from different comic book and game franchises
  • 2D sprites facing off in front of a 3D background

These additions to the genre helped pique the interest of gamers, propelling the fighting genre into the 21st century with as much of a fanbase as ever. 

Super Smash Bros.

In most classic fighting games, two opponents face off until someone’s health meter is depleted. While increasing a character’s life percentage does allow you to hit them further, the ultimate goal in Smash Brothers is to knock your opponents off of the stage. Plus, up to eight people can play at once, making for fun, chaotic gameplay.

From the characters to the stages and music, nostalgia plays a big part in the Smash Bros. series. Who doesn’t want to see who would win in a fight between icons like Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Sonic, Samus, Pac-Man, Mega Man, and more?

If you’re looking for the best fighting arcade games, our selection at M&P Amusement includes Tekken and Killer Instinct 2 as well as the Injustice arcade game. Call us at 717-887-5293 for information on our current inventory.

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