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13 Old school fighting games deserving a next gen release

Killer Instinct is announced for Xbox One (yawn), the Wii U comes with 2 Smash Bros. titles (yay!) and a Tekken Tag Tournament Wii U (meh). I’ve just plowed through a list of confirmed PS4 games, nothing to be found except another UFC game from EA…

Since we’re talking re-runs here, I’ve assembled a list of fighting games urgently in need of a next gen release on PS4, Wii U or XB1. Some of them are actually in development, others are vague gossip.

#13: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters

fighter12We’re talking the 1993 Konami SNES version here. Even though Activision and Red Fly are coming with the downloadable TMNT: Out of the Shadows, I think Konami should seriously consider recreating the TMNT 2D fighting game. The version for the NES and SNES was filled with fantastic creatures. The four turtles, Cyber Shredder, the shielded purple creature War, the Rat King, Aska the ninja girl, Wingnut the alien bat, Chrome Dome the android,  Armaggon the mutant shark. Karai, the female end boss -super over powered- was unlockable using the famous Konami cheat code! Sadly, Bebop and Rocksteady apparently were on holiday back then. Seeing this 2D fighting game a new, fully remodeled in 3D with even more TMNT characters would certainly draw my attention!

#12. The Simpsons Arcade

fighter11Who really needs Tapped Out while it’s completely possible to have a re-invention of that exciting arcade classic, this time fully enhanced by animation techniques we know today? This four-player co-op side-scrolling beat ’em up contained the Simpsons to get Maggie freed from the evil Mr. Burns. I got to know this hilarious action game on our local (yearly) fair where we fought in the wonderful world of Springfield using our favorite socially deformed family. Yes, it’s been released again a year ago, but I’m talking next gen style Simpsons. I think the possibilities to create that sort of game with all the Springfield citizens could be an great concept. Imagine the endless possibilities creating a full, available Springfield where the citizens could be collected to battle among themselves. That would be a load of fun, if executed correctly. Or maybe Family Guy could get a reasonable follow up? Well, at least we have South Park: The Stick of Truth. Not a fighting game… Still nice.

#11.  Final Fight

fighter10A game basically of the same type as above. It’s not that I don’t love open world games and huge maps, I love to just be able to finish a game, grind it out to the bone and play it with my friends. The Final Fight series is the reason I played 2d fighters in the first place, so that’s one reason it should be remade. It’s related to the modern Street Fighter family. Cody, Haggar and Guy, (also appearing in later Capcom fighters) ridding their home city of goons the old fashioned way. Kickin’ and a gougin’ in the mud and the blood and the beer. Looking at all the following games coming from this on, it’s a shame Blanka and Zangief roaming the streets hasn’t happened yet.  Imagine what could be possible seeing these characters in 4k HD, trashing the city again and whipping and clubbing re-occurring bad guys to a pulp. I’d pay for that!

#10. Double Dragon

fighter9Why aren’t they making like 4 episodes a year of these easy going, always funny and good cooperative games? Am I the only one around here who loves old school beat ‘m ups? I’ve finished Double Dragon II so many times on the NES I practically destroyed the controllers. Yes, there are a lot of titles nowadays in the online stores but why not bring out a game like that on a grander scale? If not, please give me more Double Dragon. It has taught me the basics of street fighting, with all the weapons one could possibly encounter on a stroll in the next shanty. For the sake of all the kids wanting to play a brawling action co-op game, release more old fashioned clean-city-of-scumbags games!!

#9. Power Stone

fighter8Who’s responsible for declaring this awesome game dead too early? My dear Capcom, why haven’t I heard of Power Stone 3D or anything yet?? This game gave a full 3D fighting space including usable objects along with power-ups *the stones* to get to a higher level and become super versions of yourself. It was fighting in an interactive area for the first time ever. Players could use objects to throw at each other, to hide behind and evade attacks. There was a strong difference between the characters, like we know from Capcom and was easy to learn. Up to four players could get into a brawl. It had moments of complete chaos accompanied by moments of sheer brilliance. Nowadays, a scenery like in Power Stone could be of huge proportions, with hundreds of selectable players and levels, containing ridiculous amounts of usable in game objects. Well? When is it coming?

#8. Samurai Shodown

fighter7Another super hit. Where the hell has this game gone? This was 2D arcade fighting with weapons, mainly the trait for this game, as well as being Samurai fighters. This was a typical Sega Megadrive game. SNK has created numerous other fighting games like Art of Fighting or King of Fighters, maybe that’s why Haohmaru and Nakoruru haven’t returned in their own full game yet. There’s about a hundred -a very, very rough estimate- King of Fighter games created in te mean time. They’re still played a lot, but I think they’re  generally just a little less exciting then Capcom fighters. A Samurai Shodown with bloody, high paced and super HD sword clashing certainly works on my imagination! My searches have only landed on rumors of SNK Playmore working on this game…

#7. Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects

fighter6While having a linear storyboard to play with each other, it’s the multiplayer brawl this was all about. That was a surprisingly balanced arena smash brawl game, like Power Stone or Smash Bros., only not Japanese and full of Marvel Heroes. In the four player battle mode, the arena is filled with debris, cars, cans, explosives, fridges, all kinds of objects to be used as weapons or projectiles. The storyline could be finished together in arcade style with RPG-like character building in it. The characters developed in the story can be used for the multiplayer fights! I’ve battled sweet hours on the GameCube with the reasonably large amount of heroes to choose from. Speaking of Marvel, that’s usually good. Another example is X-Men (1992),  also a four-player co-op side-scrolling beat ’em up. EA hasn’t been clear about a next episode yet.

#6. Guilty Gear

fighter13The difficult, heavy metal influenced artistic piece of work created by Daisuke Ishiwatari (the guy has a game system in his freaking name) is a Japanese prodigy programmer, artist, musician, composer and voice actor. He’s a real pop star. Maybe he’s so flamboyant and multi talented because he was born in South Africa. He’s solely responsible for the greatness of 2D anime style fighting games, with according lightning speed and over the top action. This guy is living the dream, because creating Guilty Gear (GG) was the first thing he created right after graduating! Daisuke is bringing out and selling the soundtracks for this game and its cousin Blaz Blue as official music productions. He’s crazy, but he gets it done. GG was inspired by -for example- Darkstalkers. Being anime wasn’t the main reason this game succeeded, it was because it actually plays almost as good as the number one of this list, meaning it could compete with well known, hard core 2D fighting games. It’s still known for the insane difficulty, the hard rock and metal soundtrack. This is mainly why this game got more cultivated for a smaller audience. Arc System Works and the multi talent Ishiwatari are working on Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, celebrating the 25th anniversary for the studio, which only just released Persona 4 Arena.

#5. Def Jam: Fight for New York

fighter4The third episode of this game most likely destroyed this franchise. The best of the series was the 2nd one. Def Jam: Fight for New York was a live, very violent 1990’s rap video clip without any conscious boundaries and the ultimate way of showing how the real rappers in this fantastic game fight like they’d fight in a dream. While in real life hardly getting in to hand-to-hand combat, it seemed like a good idea to create a real fighting game between rivaling rappers. Of course, you’re the new guy (customized and all) and you get to fight brutal, furniture breaking brawls. In the end, you get to fight Snoop Dogg having Bruce Lee like abilities. I can’t wait to have a new Def Jam: Fight for ??? where I can use me, myself and I to kick Jay-Z’s ass. Or maybe the hardly literate 50 Cent followed by the not really singing Kanye West. I’d play that for sure.

#4. Capcom vs SNK 2

fighter5I consider Street Fighter vs SNK II to be one of the best 2D style fighting games ever. What SNK characters lacked, they got from Capcom and vice versa which made a very tasteful dish of fighting characters to try out. I played it on PS2 and enjoyed every minute of it. Even with the somewhat overpowered evil characters the overall experience was very good. It’s an early tag team 2D fighting game where you could choose up to three characters to fight in your team. Meaning it allowed to choose 1 big ass character or 3 smaller fast ones for example.

This leads to some inbalances but the mechanics of the controls and super moves belong among the best ever in a 2D sideway style fighting game. Of course, a next gen version would have tons of SNK and Capcom characters, enough to fill your actual wall paper with.

#3. Marvel VS Capcom 3

fighter3The ultimate two headed game addiction with two worlds combined. Filled with super humans smashing each other in the face. This game used the power of 2 great means of entertainment in to one great game. Marvel VS Capcom 1 was an instant classic, part 2 was played tournament wise around the world for years, like the following episodes and related 2D fighting games. Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 is the latest title, still running very well and having serious gaming tournaments globally.  Now there’s only vague stuff about a possible part 4 of this game. It would be warmly welcomed by the fans, certainly if they add more and more heroes to the game. What a tournament based videogame like this could do on the next gen consoles is only to be speculated about, because it must contain the classic, 2D fighting style. Or at least come close to the same feel, insane speed, Asian difficulty and control.

#2. Mortal Kombat

fighter2The hated or loved videogame Mortal Kombat started out as an arcade hit, so it can’t be ignored. It’s a personal favorite because of the insanity, the plain BS and the corniness… Ed Boon is without a doubt one of the most cunning and funny game directors we know.  While using motion capture of images of actual individuals, the settings are surreal and above normal average conception. Some of the things created by the Mortal Kombat (MK) team are ridiculous and always a good laugh. One thing can be said about the MK franchise, they’ve adapted their game to the modern age while re-inventing classic elements which made them in the first place. Mortal Kombat in 2D using 3D models? They’ve never should of tried the full 3D thing in the first place! Luckily, Mortal Kombat is back. While still being the funny, gory action game, there’ve been some serious MK tournaments the last years. When Justin Wong is fighting MK tournaments, we can’t argue that MK has earned it’s tournament place. The new consoles should be able to add even more to the funny gore and hopefully an even more developed combo system. Because it’s always less good and technical then it’s other time mate:

#1. Street Fighter

fighter1It’s obvious, it’s lame, it’s cliché. I can’t get enough of it, it’s my personal all time favorite game.  Street Fighter V. Nothing is known about the phenomenon yet. Because 2D/3D fighting games use relatively little space in game, the new fighting games should be standing out in huge amounts of content. Let’s say all the characters ever roamed the Street Fighter universe? How about multilevel stages? How about not a Seth clone or M. Bison-like boss? Or maybe an unexpected self invite from Capcom’s Asura? Since adding heroes from other games is white hot right now… Or maybe they finally find a way to play this game in full 3D? If so, how? Would it still have the same feel? Because for shooting projectiles forward and other game mechanics this would be a totally different game… Or not?

The illustrious and mysterious Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto, the guys inventing Street Fighter in the first place, have  co-developed both Capcom and SNK fighting games. They founded a studio in 2000 named Dimps, based in Japan, also responsible for Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (and a lot more). They have people doing the work for them now. SFIV was created by Yoshinori Ono (producer, this guy has a game character in his freaking name)) and Daigo Ikeno (character design) both from Dimps. Having the earlier mentioned genius veteran programmers on the background worked out perfect, because Street Fighter is simply put the best there is.

Oh? You want more? Go here!


  • Wimke7

    Did you forget to mention the (debatable) opus magnum of beat ‘m alls: Double Dragon Neon? Now that Wayforward is working together on Ducktales Remastered with Capcom, here’s hoping for Final Fight “Neon”.

  • Well, I didn’t want to mention that the untrue Double Dragon Neon review by IGN is the reason I started creating a gaming review site… Whoops, I said it. Who knows what happens… Capcom can be surprising enough.

  • Kobus Kunneman

    My personal favorites on this list are Guilty Gear, Double Dragon II and Mortal Kombat. Game that aren’t on the list but should have been: Golden Axe, Fighting Force and perhaps Bloody Roar. Love taking a stroll down memory lane, thanks for another inspiring list!

  • The list could go on and on. Maybe there will be a part II!!

  • Guest

    What about the games very much unappreciated but do have finish hims also: Mace: The dark age & WeaponLord ^^

  • WeaponLord was awesome, indeed… never played Mace: the Dark Age…

  • Shadow gamer 928

    Savage reign was a sick ass fighting game snk should bring back some of the characters!

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