In a bizarre twist that's not unlike Dhalsim's limb-lengthening attacks, the Windows PC platform has recently doubled as the dojo for many great fighting games. Yes, fighting games are now great PC games. Anyone hungry for martial arts action has ...
Scorpion continues his body-crippling blood feud with Sub-Zero, leaving blood, guts, and broken bones in his wake. The stoic Ryu once again dons his hobo gi to obsessively pursue a false sense of purpose. Cerebella and other cutesy, cartoon-like combatants exchange fists, feet, and projectiles against art deco backdrops in hopes of making their wildest dreams come true. Yes, fighting games are back, my fellow digital pugilists, having returned to popularity after an extended lull.
Traditionally, the genre has thrived on the home video game consoles, leaving the PC master race feeling rather plebeian. In a bizarre twist that's not unlike Dhalsim's limb-lengthening attacks, the Windows PC platform has recently doubled as the dojo for many great fighting games. Yes, fighting games are now great PC games. Anyone hungry for martial arts action has plenty of options, including comical, macabre, 1-on-1, and team-based fighting games. The selection, however, isn't quite as broad as what you'd find on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Gems such as Capcom vs. SNK 2 or The Last Blade aren't available on the PC (well, at least not legally), but there's enough variety among PC fighting games to please genre fans.
PCMag's favorite PC fighting games are highlighted below. This isn't a hastily crafted roundup designed to simply appease the Google gods. Uh-uh. You'll find links to in-depth reviews, as well as summaries for those of you who are pinched for time. And rest assured that all these reviews are penned by fighting game fans. It's all love.
We recognize that there are a few coverage gaps. We're working on that. In fact, this article will be updated with a new fighting game whenever we give one a star rating of 3.5 stars or higher; we're very much looking forward to reviewing Guilty Gear Xrd â€“SIGN-, Skullgirls, and Tekken 7. So, please, return. Often. And if you really feel jumpy, drop your Steam handle in the comment section. I'll see you when I see you.
Divekick$4.99 Iron Galaxy Studios's Divekick is the most hipster fighting game ever created. It's the product of the indie scene, and it mercilessly parodies fighting games and their diehard community, yet demands that you be part of the underground circle to fully get all of the references and in-jokes. It's also a lot of fun if you open your mind to the insane concept of a one-on-one, two-button fighter based entirely on the idea of jumping and kicking.
The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition$14.99 The King of Fighters '98â€”with its hops, rolls, blowback attacks, and meter-filling Advance and Extra modesâ€”is one of the best fighting games ever made, so it's no surprise that developer SNK has returned to the title many times since the game's original release. In 2008, SNK celebrated the game's tenth anniversary by porting the team-based fighter to the PlayStation 2 as The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, a game loaded with extra characters (including the almighty '96 Boss Team!), stages, and gameplay modes. Now, a tweaked Ultimate Match is available for purchase under the title The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition. This version adds numerous graphics options, and good, but not great, online connectivity that lets you battle other KOF fans around the globe.
The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition$19.99 The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition brings SNK's incredibly dense, team-based fighter to the PC via Valve's video game marketplace. If you've rumbled with friends and foes in the version that appeared on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, you'll feel right at home here: The intricate combat mechanics, meter management, and gorgeous graphics are brought over successfully in this Steam port. Even better, The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition contains all the console DLC and the King of Fighters XIII: Climax arcade features. Similar to The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match Final Edition, The King of Fighters XIII: Steam Edition has decent online play, but you can expect some hiccups.
Mortal Kombat X$39.99 NetherRealm Studios, after riding high on the well-received DC Comics fighter Injustice: Gods Among Us, returned to bloodletting and dismemberment with Mortal Kombat X. The fighting game boasts a slew of new characters, an in-depth story mode that elevates fighting game narratives to new heights, and multiple fighting styles per character that dramatically alters how they rumble. Sadly, NetherRealm Studios no longer supports Mortal Kombat X on PC, so don't expect the future character packs and game updates that appear on the console-only Mortal Kombat XX. Another downer? Online play can be a bit dicey, at times.
Street Fighter V$59.99 Street Fighter V is a finished game! In February 2016, Capcom's newest one-on-one fighting game arrived on PC with many flaws that detracted from the stellar gameplay, including awful server instability, no true single-player mode, and a surprisingly limited multiplayer Battle Lounge. However, several updates have since addressed those issues and added new playable characters. The fixes, combined with new and classic characters, fresh and returning fight systems (like the cool V-Skills and V-Triggers), and cross-platform play with PlayStation 4 owners, finally make Street Fighter V a game to pick up even for gamers who don't have Evo dreams.
Ultra Street Fighter IV$29.99 Ultra Street Fighter IV marks Capcom's fourth version of Street Fighter IV and the third version available on the Steam platform. This final iteration adds five new characters (Decapre, Elena, Hugo, Poison, and Rolento), six new stages, a YouTube upload option, Edition Select (which lets you pick different versions of characters, based on their past Street Fighter IV iterations), and Double Ultra (which makes a character's Ultra Combos available simultaneously, in exchange for reduced damage). It's Street Fighter IV's best and meatiest update, though some balance issues prove a bit irritating. Still, Ultra Street Fighter IV is an excellent, competitive online fighter.
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