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Fighting game

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Fighting game is a video game genre where the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat
Close combat
*Close combat is a generic term for both Close Quarters Battle and Hand to hand combat.*Mêlée generally refers to disorganized close combat.*CQB is an acronym for Close Quarters Battle, such as that which occurs in urban warfare....

 with an opponent. These characters tend to be of equal power and fight matches consisting of several rounds, which take place in an arena. Players must master techniques such as blocking, counter-attacking, and chaining together sequences of attacks known as "combos". Since the early 1990s, most fighting games allow the player to execute special attacks by performing specific button combinations. The genre is related to but distinct from beat 'em up
Beat 'em up
Beat 'em up is a video game genre featuring melee combat between the protagonist and a large number of underpowered antagonists. These games typically take place in urban settings and feature crime-fighting and revenge-based plots, though some games may employ historical or fantasy themes...

s, which involve large numbers of antagonists.

The first game to feature fist fighting was Heavyweight Champ in 1976, but it was Karate Champ
Karate Champ
Karate Champ, known in Japan as is a arcade game developed by Technos Japan Corporation for Data East. It is one of the first fighting games, and has been believed to be the first to use today's common side-perspective...

 and The Way of the Exploding Fist
The Way of the Exploding Fist
The Way of the Exploding Fist is a 1985 fighting game by Gregg Barnett of Beam Software. Originally developed on the Commodore 64 and published in June 1985 by Melbourne House, ports were made for Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and Commodore 16...

 which popularized one-on-one martial arts games in 1984 and 1985 respectively. Also in 1985, Yie Ar Kung-Fu featured antagonists with differing fighting styles, while 1987's Street Fighter
Street Fighter (video game)
is a 1987 arcade game developed by Capcom. It is the first competitive fighting game produced by the company and the inaugural game in the Street Fighter series...

 introduced hidden special attacks. In 1991, Capcom
Capcom
is a Japanese developer and publisher of video games, known for creating multi-million-selling franchises such as Devil May Cry, Chaos Legion, Street Fighter, Mega Man and Resident Evil. Capcom developed and published Bionic Commando, Lost Planet and Dark Void too, but they are less known. Its...

's highly successful Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II
is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in . It is the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter released in and was Capcom's fourteenth title that ran on the CP System arcade hardware...

 refined and popularized many of the conventions of the genre. The fighting game subsequently became the preeminent genre for competitive video gaming in the early to mid-1990s, especially in arcade
Video arcade
An amusement arcade or video arcade is a venue where people play arcade games such as video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, merchandisers , or coin-operated billiards or air hockey tables...

s. This period spawned numerous popular fighting games in addition to Street Fighter, including the successful and long running franchise
Media franchise
A media franchise is an intellectual property involving the characters, setting and trademarks of an original work of media , such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. Generally, a whole series is made in a particular medium, along with merchandising and endorsements...

s Mortal Kombat and later Virtua Fighter and Tekken.

The genre's popularity stagnated as games became more complicated and as arcades began to lose their audience to increasingly powerful home consoles near the end of the 1990s, though new franchises such as Dead or Alive, and the Soul
Soul (series)
The is a weapon-based historical fantasy fighting game series by Namco Bandai Games. The series revolves around a sword that, after years of bloodshed and hatred, gained a soul of its own, the Soul Edge, and the sword forged to counter it, Soul Calibur. The series is special in that each character...

 series achieved success. In the new millennium, the genre remains popular but retains a much smaller proportion of enthusiasts than it once did, due to the increasing popularity of other genres and internet multiplayer gaming.

Definition


Fighting games are a type of action game
Action game
Action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes diverse subgenres such as fighting games, shooter games, and platform games, which are widely considered the most important action games, though some...

 where on-screen characters fight each other. These games typically feature special moves that are triggered using rapid sequences of carefully timed button presses and joystick movements. Games traditionally show fighters from a side-view, even as the genre has progressed from two-dimensional (2D) to three-dimensional (3D) graphics. Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II
is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in . It is the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter released in and was Capcom's fourteenth title that ran on the CP System arcade hardware...

, though not the first fighting game, popularized and standardized the conventions of the genre, and similar games released prior to Street Fighter II have since been more explicitly classified as fighting games. Fighting games typically involve hand-to-hand combat, but may also feature melee weapons.

This genre is distinct from beat 'em ups, another action genre involving combat, where the player character must fight many weaker enemies at the same time. During the 1980s publications used the terms "fighting game" and "beat 'em up" interchangeably, along with other terms such as "martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 simulation" (or more specific terms such as "judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 simulator"). With hindsight, critics have argued that the two types of game gradually became dichotomous as they evolved, though the two terms may still be conflated. Fighting games are sometimes grouped with games that feature boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

 or wrestling
Professional wrestling
Professional wrestling is a mode of spectacle, combining athletics and theatrical performance.Roland Barthes, "The World of Wrestling", Mythologies, 1957 It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport...

. Serious boxing games belong more to the sports game
Sports game
A sports game is a computer or video game that simulates the practice of traditional sports. Most sports have been recreated with a game, including team sports, athletics and extreme sports. Some games emphasize actually playing the sport , whilst others emphasize strategy and organization...

 genre than the action game genre, as they aim for a more realistic model of boxing techniques, whereas moves in fighting games tend to be highly exaggerated models of Asian martial arts techniques. As such, boxing games and wrestling games are often described as distinct genres, without comparison to fighting games.

Game design


Fighting games involve combat between pairs of fighters using highly exaggerated martial arts moves. They typically revolve around primarily brawling or combat sport
Combat sport
A Combat sport, also known as a Fighting sport, is a competitive contact sport where two combatants fight against each other using certain rules of engagement , typically with the aim of simulating parts of real hand to hand combat...

, though some variations feature weaponry. Games usually display on-screen fighters from a side view, and even 3D fighting games play largely within a 2D plane of motion. Games usually confine characters to moving left and right and jumping, although some games such as Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
is a 1991 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms. Fatal Fury was SNK's first fighting game for the Neo Geo system and served as the inaugural game in their Fatal Fury series, as well as the first game to depict the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament...

 allow players to move between parallel planes of movement. Recent games tend to be rendered in three dimensions and allow side-stepping, but otherwise play like those rendered in two dimensions.

Attacking and defending


Aside from moving around a restricted space, fighting games limit the player's actions to different offensive and defensive maneuvers. Players must learn which attacks and defenses are effective against each other, often by trial and error. Blocking is a basic technique that allows a player to defend against attacks. Some games feature more advanced blocking techniques: for example, Capcom's Street Fighter III
Street Fighter III
is a fighting game in Capcom's Street Fighter series, originally released as coin-operated arcade game in . Street Fighter III was produced for the CD-ROM-based CP System III hardware, which allowed for more elaborate 2D graphics than the CPS II-based Street Fighter Alpha games , while revamping...

 features a move termed "parrying" which causes the attacker to become momentarily incapacitated (a similar state is termed "just defended" in SNK
SNK Playmore
SNK Playmore Corporation is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. SNK is an acronym of , which was SNK's original name. The company's legal and trading name became SNK in 1986....

's Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
, known as Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves on Dreamcast, is a 1999 fighting game produced by SNK, originally for the Neo Geo system. It is the ninth and final game in the Fatal Fury series, set ten years after the death of Geese Howard in Real Bout Fatal Fury...

). In addition to blows such as punches and kicks, players can utilize throwing
Throw (grappling)
A throw is a martial arts term for a grappling technique that involves off-balancing or lifting an opponent, and tossing them to the ground in Japanese martial arts referred to as nage-waza, 投げ技, "throwing technique"...

 or "grappling" to circumvent "blocks". Predicting opponents' moves and counter-attacking, known as "countering", is a common element of gameplay
Gameplay
Gameplay is the specific way in which players interact with a game, and in particular with video games. Gameplay is the pattern defined through the game rules, connection between player and the game, challenges and overcoming them, plot and player's connection with it...

. Fighting games also emphasize the difference between the height of blows, ranging from low to jumping attacks. Thus, strategy becomes important as players attempt to predict each others' moves, similar to rock-paper-scissors
Rock-paper-scissors
Rock-paper-scissors is a hand game played by two people. The game is also known as roshambo, or another ordering of the three items ....

.

An integral feature of fighting games includes the use of "special attacks", also called "secret moves", that employ complex combinations of button presses to perform a particular move beyond basic punching and kicking. Combos, in which several attacks are chained together using basic punches and kicks, are another common feature in fighting games and have been fundamental to the genre since the release of Street Fighter II. Some fighting games display a "combo meter" that displays the player's progress through a combo. The effectiveness of such moves often relate to the difficulty of execution and the degree of risk. These moves are often beyond the ability of a casual game
Casual game
A casual game is a video game targeted at or used by a mass audience of casual gamers. Casual games can have any type of gameplay, and fit in any genre. They are typically distinguished by their simple rules and lack of commitment required in contrast to more complex hardcore games...

r and require a player to have both a strong memory and excellent timing. Taunting is another feature of some fighting games and was originally introduced by Japanese company SNK in their game Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting
is a trilogy of competitive fighting game titles that were released for the Neo Geo platform in the early 1990s. It was the second fighting game franchise created by SNK, following the Fatal Fury series and is set in the same fictional universe...

. It is used to add humor to games, but can also have an effect on gameplay such as improving the strength of other attacks. Sometimes, a character can even be noted especially for taunting (for example, Dan Hibiki
Dan Hibiki
is a video game character from Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games. Introduced in Street Fighter Alpha, Dan is consistently portrayed as an arrogant, overconfident, yet utterly feeble character.-Concept and creation:...

 from Street Fighter Alpha).

Goals


Fighting game matches generally consist of several rounds; the player who wins the most rounds wins the match. Fighting games widely feature life bar
Health (gaming)
Health is a game mechanic used in role-playing, computer and video games to give value to characters, enemies, NPCs, and related objects. This value can either be numerical, semi-numerical as in hit/health points, or arbitrary as in a life bar....

s, which are depleted as characters sustain blows. Each successful attack will deplete a character's health, and the game continues until a fighter's energy reaches zero. Hence, the main goal is to completely deplete the life bar of one's opponent, thus achieving a "knockout
Knockout
A knockout is a fight-ending, winning criterion in several full-contact combat sports, such as boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, Karate and others sports involving striking...

". Beginning with Midway's
Midway Games
Midway Games, Inc. is an American company that was formerly a major video game publisher. Following a bankruptcy filing in 2009, it is no longer active and is in the process of liquidating all of its assets. Midway's titles included Mortal Kombat, Ms.Pac-Man, Spy Hunter, Tron, Rampage, the...

 Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat (video game)
Mortal Kombat is a 1992 fighting-game developed and published by Midway for arcades. In 1993, home versions were released by Acclaim Entertainment. Released in the Fall of 1994, the Microsoft Windows 3.1x version was released by Activision Interactive. It is the first title in the Mortal Kombat...

 released in 1992
1992 in video gaming
-Events:-Notable releases:* Gremlin Graphics releases Zool, Amiga's answer to Mario and Sonic. It goes on to become the best selling Commodore Amiga game, boosting the already popular computer to be the leading gaming machine in Europe....

, the Mortal Kombat series introduced "fatalities
Fatality (Mortal Kombat)
In the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, a Fatality is a finishing move that can be used against one's defeated opponent at the end of the final match, after the boss character says "Finish Him/Her." The Fatalities are usually lethal, featuring a brutal and morbid execution of the defenseless...

" in which the victor kills a knocked-out opponent in a gruesome manner. Games such as Virtua Fighter also allow a character to be defeated by forcing them outside of the fighting arena, awarding a "ring-out" to the victor. Round decisions can also be determined by time over (if a timer is present), which judges players based on remaining vitality to declare a winner.

Fighting games often include a single player campaign or tournament, where the player must defeat a sequence of several computer controlled opponents. Winning the tournament often reveals a special story–ending cutscene
Cutscene
A cutscene is a sequence in a video game over which the player has no or only limited control, breaking up the gameplay and used to advance the plot, strengthen the main character's development, introduces enemy characters, and provide background information, atmosphere, dialogue, and clues...

, and some games also grant access to hidden characters or special features upon victory.

Multiple characters and players


In most fighting games, players may select from a variety of characters who have unique fighting styles and special moves. This became a strong convention for the genre with the release of Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II
is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in . It is the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter released in and was Capcom's fourteenth title that ran on the CP System arcade hardware...

, and these character choices have led to deeper game strategy and replay value. Although fighting games offer female characters, their image tends to be hyperfeminized, and they have even been featured as pin-up girl
Pin-up girl
A pin-up girl, also known as a pin-up model, is a model whose mass-produced pictures see wide appeal as popular culture. Pin-ups are intended for informal display, e.g. meant to be "pinned-up" on a wall...

s in game magazines. Male characters in fighting games also tend to be hypersexualized, with extra-broad chests and shoulders, huge muscles, and prominent jaws.

Custom creation, or "create–a–fighter", is a feature of some fighting games which allows a player to customize the appearance and move set of their own character. Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium was the first game to include such a feature, and later fighting games such as Fighter Maker
Fighter Maker
Fighter Maker is a series of games for PlayStation consoles and Microsoft Windows. It features a robust character creation system, letting players even create animations...

, Soulcalibur III, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
Mortal Kombat: Armageddon is the seventh game in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. The PlayStation 2 version was released in stores on October 11, 2006 while the Xbox version was released on the October 16, with a Wii version released on May 29, 2007 in North America.The game was not released...

, and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 adopted the concept. Some fighting games allow the player to create other types of game content: Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBB or simply as Brawl, is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games, developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts and staff from other developers, and published by...

, for example, features the ability to create custom stages.

Fighting games may also offer a multiplayer mode in which players fight each other, sometimes by letting a second player challenge the first at any moment during a single player match. A few titles allow up to four players to compete simultaneously. Several games have also featured modes that involve teams of characters; players form "tag teams" to fight matches in which combat is one-on-one, but a character may leave the arena to be replaced by a team mate. Some fighting games have also offered the challenge of fighting against multiple opponents in succession, testing the player's endurance. Newer titles take advantage of online gaming services, although lag
Lag
Lag is a common word meaning to fail to keep up or to fall behind. In real-time applications, the term is used when the application fails to respond in a timely fashion to inputs...

 created by slow data transmission
Data transmission
Data transmission, digital transmission, or digital communications is the physical transfer of data over a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint communication channel. Examples of such channels are copper wires, optical fibres, wireless communication channels, and storage media...

 can disrupt the split-second timing involved in fighting games.

Early fighting games: 1970s to 1980s


Fighting games find their origin in boxing games but evolved towards battles between characters with fantastic abilities and complex special maneuvers. The first two-player video game based on human-to-human combat
Action game
Action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes diverse subgenres such as fighting games, shooter games, and platform games, which are widely considered the most important action games, though some...

 was Taito
Taito Corporation
The is a Japanese publisher of video game software and arcade hardware wholly owned by publisher Square Enix. Taito has their headquarters in the Shinjuku Bunka Quint Building in Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo, sharing the facility with its parent company....

's shooter
Shooter game
Shooter games are a sub-genre of action game, which often test the player's speed and reaction time. It includes many subgenres that have the commonality of focusing "on the actions of the avatar using some sort of weapon. Usually this weapon is a gun, or some other long-range weapon". A common...

-based Gun Fight
Gun Fight
Gun Fight, known as Western Gun in Japan and Europe, is a 1975 arcade shooter game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released by Taito in Japan and Europe and by Midway Games in the United States. It was a historically significant game, and a success in the arcades. It was later ported to the...

 in 1975. Sega
Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

's black and white boxing game Heavyweight Champ, which was released in 1976, is considered the first video game to feature fist fighting. It used boxing glove controls
Game controller
A game controller is a device used with games or entertainment systems used to control a playable character or object, or otherwise provide input in a computer game. A controller is typically connected to a game console or computer by means of a wire, cord or nowadays, by means of wireless connection...

 that could be moved up and down for high and low punches, and inwards for striking. Like later fighting games, it was viewed from a side-view perspective. 1979's Warrior
Warrior (arcade game)
Warrior is a 1979 arcade game and is one of the pioneers in the fighting game genre. It has been regarded as the first fighting game, however it was predated by Sega's Heavyweight Champ, released in 1976....

 is another title sometimes credited as one of the first fighting games. In contrast to Heavyweight Champ and most later titles, Warrior was based on sword fighting duel
Duel
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry, and continued into the modern period especially among...

s and used a bird's eye view. In 1983, Sega released another boxing game Champion Boxing
Champion Boxing
is a 1983 boxing sports arcade game developed and published by Sega for the arcades, and later ported to the Sega SG-1000 the following year, only in Japan and Europe. It was Sega-AM2 founder and leader Yu Suzuki's debut creation...

, which was Yu Suzuki
Yu Suzuki
is a Japanese game designer and producer who has spent his entire career with Sega Enterprises. Often referred to as Sega's answer to Shigeru Miyamoto, he has been responsible for the creation of many of Sega's most important arcade games such as Hang-On, Out Run, After Burner II, Virtua Fighter,...

's debut title at Sega AM2. However, Technōs Japan's Karate Champ
Karate Champ
Karate Champ, known in Japan as is a arcade game developed by Technos Japan Corporation for Data East. It is one of the first fighting games, and has been believed to be the first to use today's common side-perspective...

 from 1984 is credited with establishing and popularizing the one-on-one fighting game genre. A variety of moves could be performed using the dual-joystick controls, it used a best-of-three matches format like later fighting games, and it featured training bonus stages. It went on to influence Konami's 1985 release Yie Ar Kung Fu, which expanded on Karate Champ by pitting the player against a variety of opponents, each with a unique appearance and fighting style. The player could also perform up to sixteen different moves, including projectile attacks, using a combination of buttons and joystick
Joystick
A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. Joysticks, also known as 'control columns', are the principal control in the cockpit of many civilian and military aircraft, either as a center stick or...

 movements while standing, crouching or jumping. Also released in 1985, martial arts game The Way of the Exploding Fist
The Way of the Exploding Fist
The Way of the Exploding Fist is a 1985 fighting game by Gregg Barnett of Beam Software. Originally developed on the Commodore 64 and published in June 1985 by Melbourne House, ports were made for Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and Commodore 16...

 achieved critical success and subsequently afforded the burgeoning genre further popularity. Numerous other game developers tried to imitate the financial successes of Karate Champ, Yie Ar Kung-Fu and The Way of the Exploding Fist with similar games; Data East took unsuccessful legal action
Data East USA, Inc. v. Epyx, Inc.
Data East USA, Inc. v. Epyx, Inc. 862 F.2d 204, 9 U.S.P.Q.2d 1322 is a court case in which Data East, a video game manufacturer, contended that Epyx, a competing video game manufacturer, licensed and distributed a video game, International Karate, that infringed on the copyright of a video game...

 against Epyx
Epyx
Epyx, Inc. was a video game developer and publisher in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The company was founded as Automated Simulations by Jim Connelley and Jon Freeman, originally using Epyx as a brand name for action-oriented games before renaming the company to match in 1983...

 over the computer game International Karate
International Karate
International Karate is a karate fighting game created and published by System 3 for various home computers. Of these versions the 1986 releases for Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit computers, created by Archer MacLean with music by Rob Hubbard, stand out for their good playability and overall high...

.

Both Karate Champ and Yie Ar Kung Fu provided a template for Capcom's Street Fighter
Street Fighter
, commonly abbreviated as SF, is a series of Fighting Games developed in Japan in which the players pit the video games' competitive fighters from around the world, each with his or her own unique fighting style, against one another...

 in 1987. Street Fighter found its own niche in the gaming world, partially because many arcade game developers
Video game developer
A video game developer is a software developer that creates video games. A developer may specialize in a certain video game console, such as Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, or may develop for a variety of systems, including personal computers.Most developers also...

 in the 1980s focused more on producing beat-em-ups and shoot 'em up
Shoot 'em up
Shoot 'em up is a subgenre of shooter video games. In a shoot 'em up, the player controls a lone character, often in a spacecraft or aircraft, shooting large numbers of enemies while dodging their attacks. The genre in turn encompasses various types or subgenres and critics differ on exactly what...

s. Part of the game's appeal was the use of special moves that could only be discovered by experimenting with the game controls, which created a sense of mystique and invited players to practice the game, although similar controller motions used for grappling
Grappling
Grappling refers to techniques, maneuvers, and counters applied to an opponent in order to gain a physical advantage, such as improving relative position, escaping, submitting, or injury to the opponent. Grappling is a general term that covers techniques used in many disciplines, styles and martial...

 maneuvers in the earlier Brian Jacks Uchi Mata were deemed too difficult. Following Street Fighter's lead, the use of command-based hidden moves began to pervade other games in the rising fighting game genre. Street Fighter also introduced other staples of the genre, including the blocking technique as well as the ability for a challenger to jump in and initiate a match against a player at any time. The game also introduced pressure-sensitive
Pressure sensor
A pressure sensor measures pressure, typically of gases or liquids. Pressure is an expression of the force required to stop a fluid from expanding, and is usually stated in terms of force per unit area. A pressure sensor usually acts as a transducer; it generates a signal as a function of the...

 controls that determine the strength of an attack, though due to causing damaged arcade cabinets, Capcom replaced it soon after with a six-button control scheme offering light, medium and hard punches and kicks, which became another staple of the genre. Meanwhile, home game consoles largely ignored the genre. Budokan: The Martial Spirit
Budokan: The Martial Spirit
Budokan: The Martial Spirit is a computer and video game released by Electronic Arts in 1989 for various platforms. The title is a versus fighting game, pitting the player against other martial arts practitioners in a great tournament known as the Budokan .- Gameplay :The player begins the game as...

 was one of few releases for the Sega Genesis
Sega Mega Drive
The Sega Genesis is a fourth-generation video game console developed and produced by Sega. It was originally released in Japan in 1988 as , then in North America in 1989 as Sega Genesis, and in Europe, Australia and other PAL regions in 1990 as Mega Drive. The reason for the two names is that...

 but was not as popular as games in other genres. Technical challenges limited the popularity of early fighting games. Programmers had difficulty producing a game that could recognize the fast motions of a joystick, and so players had a hard time executing special moves with any accuracy.

Rise and peak: early 1990s



The release of Street Fighter II in 1991 is often considered a revolutionary moment in the fighting game genre. Yoshiki Okamoto
Yoshiki Okamoto
Yoshiki Okamoto , sometimes credited as Kihaji Okamoto, is a video game designer credited with producing many popular titles for Konami, including Gyruss and Time Pilot, and Capcom, including Final Fight and Street Fighter II...

's team developed the most accurate joystick and button scanning routine
Subroutine
In computer science, a subroutine is a portion of code within a larger program that performs a specific task and is relatively independent of the remaining code....

 in the genre thus far. This allowed players to reliably execute multi-button special moves, which had previously required an element of luck. The game was also highly successful because its graphics took advantage of Capcom's CPS arcade chipset, with highly detailed characters and stages. Whereas previous games allowed players to combat a variety of computer-controlled fighters, Street Fighter II allowed players to play against each other. The popularity of Street Fighter II surprised the gaming industry, as arcade owners bought more machines to keep up with demand.

SNK released Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury: King of Fighters
is a 1991 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home platforms. Fatal Fury was SNK's first fighting game for the Neo Geo system and served as the inaugural game in their Fatal Fury series, as well as the first game to depict the fictional "King of Fighters" tournament...

 a few months before Street Fighter II. It added a two-plane system where characters could step into the foreground or background. Meanwhile, Sega experimented with Dark Edge
Dark Edge (arcade game)
is a fighting arcade game developed and published by Sega. It was one of Sega's earliest attempts at creating a competitive fighting game along with Holosseum after the success of Capcom's Street Fighter II...

, an early attempt at a 3D fighting game where characters could move in all directions. Sega however, never released the game outside of Japan because it felt that unrestrained 3D fighting games were unenjoyable. Several fighting games achieved greater commercial success, including SNK's Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting
is a trilogy of competitive fighting game titles that were released for the Neo Geo platform in the early 1990s. It was the second fighting game franchise created by SNK, following the Fatal Fury series and is set in the same fictional universe...

 and Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown, known as in Japan, is a competitive fighting game produced by SNK for their Neo Geo arcade and home platform. In contrast to other fighting games at the time which were set in modern times and focused primarily on hand-to-hand combat, Samurai Shodown is set in feudal-era Japan ...

 as well as Sega's Eternal Champions
Eternal Champions
Eternal Champions is a 2D fighting game originally conceived by Scott Berfield, produced by Mike Latham for Sega of America and was developed by the Sega Interactive Development Division....

 . Nevertheless, Street Fighter II remained the most popular, spawning a special Champion Edition that improved game balance and allowed players to use additional characters. The popularity of Street Fighter II led it to be released for home game consoles and allowed it to define the template for fighting games.

Many American developers tried to capitalize on the template established by Street Fighter II, but it was Chicago's Midway Games
Midway Games
Midway Games, Inc. is an American company that was formerly a major video game publisher. Following a bankruptcy filing in 2009, it is no longer active and is in the process of liquidating all of its assets. Midway's titles included Mortal Kombat, Ms.Pac-Man, Spy Hunter, Tron, Rampage, the...

 who achieved unprecedented notoriety when they released Mortal Kombat
Mortal Kombat (video game)
Mortal Kombat is a 1992 fighting-game developed and published by Midway for arcades. In 1993, home versions were released by Acclaim Entertainment. Released in the Fall of 1994, the Microsoft Windows 3.1x version was released by Activision Interactive. It is the first title in the Mortal Kombat...

 in 1992. The game featured digital characters drawn from real actors, numerous secrets, and a "fatality
Fatality (Mortal Kombat)
In the Mortal Kombat series of fighting games, a Fatality is a finishing move that can be used against one's defeated opponent at the end of the final match, after the boss character says "Finish Him/Her." The Fatalities are usually lethal, featuring a brutal and morbid execution of the defenseless...

" system of finishing maneuvers with which the player's character kills their opponent. The game earned a reputation for its gratuitous violence, and was eventually adapted for home game consoles. The home version of Mortal Kombat was released on September 13, 1993, a day that was promoted as "Mortal Monday". The advertising resulted in line-ups to purchase the game and a subsequent backlash from politicians concerned about the game's violence. The Mortal Kombat franchise would ultimately achieve iconic status similar to that of Street Fighter with several sequels as well as movies, television series, and extensive merchandising. Numerous other game developers tried to imitate Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II
is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in . It is the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter released in and was Capcom's fourteenth title that ran on the CP System arcade hardware...

 and Mortal Kombats financial success with similar games; Capcom took unsuccessful legal action against Data East
Data East
also abbreviated as DECO, was a Japanese video game developer and publisher. The company was in operation from 1976 to 2003, when it declared bankruptcy...

 over the arcade game Fighter's History
Fighter's History
is a series of competitive fighting games that were produced by Data East during the 1990s. The original Fighter's History was first released for the arcades in and then ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in...

. Data East's largest objection in court was that their arcade game Karate Champ
Karate Champ
Karate Champ, known in Japan as is a arcade game developed by Technos Japan Corporation for Data East. It is one of the first fighting games, and has been believed to be the first to use today's common side-perspective...

 was the true originator of the competitive fighting game genre, which predated the original Street Fighter
Street Fighter (video game)
is a 1987 arcade game developed by Capcom. It is the first competitive fighting game produced by the company and the inaugural game in the Street Fighter series...

 by three years. That same year saw the release of the Sega Activator, a Mega Drive (Genesis) peripheral that allowed motion detection
Motion detection
Motion detection is a process of confirming a change in position of an object relative to its surroundings or the change in the surroundings relative to an object. This detection can be achieved by both mechanical and electronic methods...

 of the player's physical movements, based on the Light Harp invented by Assaf Gurner. It was marketed as a new way to play fighting games, such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but the device was a commercial failure due to its "unwieldiness and inaccuracy."

Sega
Sega
, usually styled as SEGA, is a multinational video game software developer and an arcade software and hardware development company headquartered in Ōta, Tokyo, Japan, with various offices around the world...

 began to attract attention with the 1993 release of Virtua Fighter in arcades. It was the first fighting game with 3D
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 polygon
Polygonal modeling
In 3D computer graphics, polygonal modeling is an approach for modeling objects by representing or approximating their surfaces using polygons. Polygonal modeling is well suited to scanline rendering and is therefore the method of choice for real-time computer graphics...

 graphics and a viewpoint that zoomed and rotated with the action. Despite the graphics, players were confined to back and forth motion as seen in other fighting games. With only three buttons, it was easier to learn than Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, having six and five buttons respectively. By the time the game was released for the Sega Saturn
Sega Saturn
The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console that was first released by Sega on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe...

 in Japan, the game and system were selling at almost a one-to-one ratio. Meanwhile, the 1993 title Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat II is a competitive fighting game originally produced by Midway Games for the arcades in . It is the second game in the Mortal Kombat series. Like its predecessor, various home versions were produced...

 captivated American audiences, and was considered the best Mortal Kombat game in retrospect during a 2008 review.

The 1994 PlayStation launch title Battle Arena Toshinden
Battle Arena Toshinden
is a weapons-based fighting game for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and PC in 1994. It was one of the first fighting games to boast polygonal characters in a 3D environment, and it is credited for taking the genre into "true 3-D" due to its introduction of the sidestep maneuver.It was an early killer...

 is credited for taking the genre into "true 3-D" due to its introduction of the sidestep maneuver, which IGN
IGN
IGN is an entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment...

 described as "one little move" that "changed the fighter forever." The same year, SNK released The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '94
The King of Fighters '94 is a fighting game released by SNK for the Neo Geo arcade and home console. It is the inaugural game in The King of Fighters series by the same company. The game was originally ported to the Neo Geo AES and Neo-Geo CD following its original arcade release...

 in arcades, where players choose from teams of three characters to eliminate each other one by one. Eventually, Capcom released further updates to Street Fighter II, including Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. These games featured more characters and new moves, some of which were a response to people who had hacked the original Street Fighter II game to add new features themselves. However, criticism of these updates grew as players demanded a true sequel. By 1995, the dominant franchises were the Mortal Kombat series in America and Virtua Fighter series in Japan, with Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams unable to match the popularity of Street Fighter II. Throughout this period, the fighting game was the dominant genre in competitive video gaming, with enthusiasts popularly attending arcades in order to find human opponents.

Relative decline: late 1990s


In the latter part of the 1990s, the fighting game genre began to decline in popularity, with specific franchises falling into difficulty. Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly is a bimonthly American video game magazine. It has been published by EGM Media, LLC. since relaunching in April of 2010. Its previous run, which ended in January 2009, was published by Ziff Davis...

 awarded the excess of fighting games the "Most Appalling Trend" award of 1995. Although the release of Street Fighter EX
Street Fighter EX
Street Fighter EX is a head-to-head fighting game with 3D graphics, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game for the Sony ZN hardware in . It is a spin-off of the Street Fighter series co-produced by Capcom with Arika and was the first game in the series to feature polygon graphics...

  introduced 3D graphics to the series and continued the success of Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha, the Street Fighter: The Movie
Street Fighter: The Movie (arcade game)
Street Fighter: The Movie is a head-to-head fighting game released as a coin-operated arcade game. The game is based on the 1994 live-action Street Fighter movie and uses digitized images of the films cast posing as the characters in the game...

 arcade game was regarded as a failure. Street Fighter: The Movie used digitized images from the Street Fighter film
Street Fighter (film)
Street Fighter is a 1994 American action film written and directed by Steven E. de Souza. It is based loosely on the same-titled video games produced by Capcom, and stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Raul Julia, along with supporting performances by Byron Mann, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, Ming-Na...

 starring Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg , professionally known as Jean-Claude Van Damme, is a Belgian martial artist and actor, best known for his martial arts action films, the most successful of which include Bloodsport , Kickboxer , Double Impact , Universal Soldier , Hard Target , Timecop ,...

. Capcom released Street Fighter III in 1997 which featured improved visuals and character depth, but was also unable to match the impact of Street Fighter II. Despite excitement in Japan over Virtua Fighter 3
Virtua Fighter 3
is the third game in the Virtua Fighter series. Two new Japanese characters were added to the roster of fighters: Aoi Umenokoji, a beautiful Japanese woman and a childhood friend of Akira Yuki who used a nimble form of Aiki-jujutsu as her fighting style of choice, and Taka-Arashi, a Sumo wrestler...

 in arcades, the limited hardware capabilities of the Sega Saturn
Sega Saturn
The is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console that was first released by Sega on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe...

 led Sega to delay a console release. Sega eventually released the game for its Dreamcast console, but the company became unprofitable and was forced to discontinue the console. Meanwhile, SNK
SNK
SNK is a former name of SNK Playmore, a Japanese video game company . This may also refer to:* SNK European Democrats* SNK Union of Independents* Southeast Airlines ICAO code...

 released several fighting games on their Neo-Geo
Neo Geo (console)
The is a cartridge-based arcade and home video game system released on July 1, 1991 by Japanese game company SNK. Being in the Fourth generation of Gaming, it was the first console in the former Neo Geo family, which only lived through the 1990s...

 platform, including Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown II
, is the second game in SNK's popular Samurai Shodown series of versus fighting games. This game has been released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe on August 8, 2008 and in North America on August 25, 2008 at a cost of 900 Wii Points...

 in 1994, Real Bout Fatal Fury
Real Bout Fatal Fury
is a 1995 fighting game released by SNK for the Neo-Geo arcade and home platforms. It is the fifth installment in the Fatal Fury series, following Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory. Ports of Real Bout were released for the Neo-Geo CD, PlayStation and the Sega Saturn...

 in 1995, The Last Blade
The Last Blade
, is a fighting game series created by SNK for the Neo Geo system. The Korean version of the game is known as "The Last Soldier". The Last Blade and its sequel are widely considered to be two of the most accomplished games available for the Neo Geo system, with fan opinion divided as to which is...

 in 1997, and annual updates to their The King of Fighters franchise. Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
, known as Fatal Fury: Mark of the Wolves on Dreamcast, is a 1999 fighting game produced by SNK, originally for the Neo Geo system. It is the ninth and final game in the Fatal Fury series, set ten years after the death of Geese Howard in Real Bout Fatal Fury...

 from 1999 was considered one of SNK's last great games, and the company announced that it would close its doors in 2001.

In retrospect, multiple developers attribute the decline of the fighting genre to its increasing complexity and specialization. This complexity shut out casual players, and the market for fighting games became smaller and more specialized. Furthermore, arcades gradually became less profitable throughout the 1990s due to the increased technical power and popularity of home consoles. Even as popularity dwindled, the fighting game genre continued to evolve; several strong 3D fighting games also emerged in the late 1990s. Namco
Namco
is a Japanese corporation best known as a former video game developer and publisher. Following a merger with Bandai in September 2005, the two companies' game production assets were spun off into Namco Bandai Games on March 31, 2006. Namco Ltd. was re-established to continue domestic operation of...

's Tekken
Tekken (video game)
Tekken is a fighting game and is the first of the series. It was released at arcades in late 1994 and on the PlayStation in 1995. A simplified "arcade" version of the game was later released in Tekken 5s Arcade History mode. It was developed and published by Namco...

 (released in arcades in 1994 and on the PlayStation in 1995) proved critical to the PlayStation's early success, with its sequels also becoming some of the console's most important titles. The Soul series
Soul (series)
The is a weapon-based historical fantasy fighting game series by Namco Bandai Games. The series revolves around a sword that, after years of bloodshed and hatred, gained a soul of its own, the Soul Edge, and the sword forged to counter it, Soul Calibur. The series is special in that each character...

 of weapon-based fighting games also achieved considerable critical success, beginning with 1997's Soul Edge
Soul Edge
is a 3D arcade fighting game developed by Project Soul and published by Namco. It is the first installment in the Soul series of fighting games...

 (known as Soul Blade outside of Japan) to Soulcalibur IV
Soulcalibur IV
is the fourth installment in Namco's Soul series of fighting games. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on July 29, 2008, in North America, on July 31, 2008, in Japan, Europe, and Australia, and on August 1, 2008, in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.The game is notable for...

 in 2008. Tecmo's Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive (arcade game)
Dead or Alive is a fighting game and the first entry in the long-running Dead or Alive series. It was released in 1996 in arcades, followed by home ports for Sega Saturn in 1997 and Sony PlayStation in 1998 .-Gameplay:Dead or Alive was unique in its debut that featured fairly different choices in...

 (released in 1996 in Japanese arcades and 1998 on the PlayStation) spawned a long running franchise, known for its fast paced control system and innovative counter attacks. The series again included titles important to the success of their respective consoles, the latest installment being Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive 4
Dead or Alive 4 has received generally positive reviews. IGN gave the game 9.0/10, calling it "a move in the right direction for the series", and praised the fighting system as "deeper and more sophisticated". GameSpot awarded the game a score of 8.8/10, with one of its only negative comments going...

 for the Xbox 360. In 1998, Bushido Blade
Bushido Blade (video game)
is a 3D fighting game developed by Light Weight and published by Square and Sony for the PlayStation. The game features one-on-one armed combat. Its name refers to the Japanese warrior code of honor, Bushidō....

, published by Square
Square (company)
was a Japanese video game company founded in September 1983 by Masafumi Miyamoto. It merged with Enix in 2003 and became part of Square Enix...

, introduced a realistic fighting engine that featured three-dimensional environments while abandoning time limits and health bars in favour of an innovative Body Damage System, where a sword strike to a certain body part can amputate a limb or decapitate the head.

Video game enthusiasts took an interest in gaming crossovers
Fictional crossover
A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common...

 which feature characters from multiple franchises in a particular game. An early example of this type of fighting game was the 1998 arcade release Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
is the fifth Marvel Comics-licensed fighting game by Capcom and the third game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. In contrast to X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, the game features characters from numerous Capcom franchises such as Mega Man and Strider, rather than...

, featuring comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

es as well as Street Fighter characters. In 1999, Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

 released the first game
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros., known in Japan as , is a fighting game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It was released in Japan on January 21, 1999, in North America on April 26, 1999, and in Europe on November 19, 1999. Super Smash Bros. is the first game in the Super...

 in the Super Smash Bros. series, which allowed match-ups such as Pikachu
Pikachu
is one of the species of Pokémon creatures from the Pokémon media franchise—a collection of video games, anime, manga, books, trading cards, and other media created by Satoshi Tajiri. As do all Pokémon, Pikachu fight other Pokémon in battles central to the anime, manga, and games of the series...

 versus Mario
Mario
is a fictional character in his video game series, created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto. Serving as Nintendo's mascot and the main protagonist of the series, Mario has appeared in over 200 video games since his creation...

.

Recent history: 2000s


The early part of the decade saw the rise of major international fighting game tournaments such as Tougeki – Super Battle Opera, and famous players such as Daigo Umehara
Daigo Umehara
Daigo Umehara , is a renowned Japanese arcade fighting video game player. He specializes in 2D arcade fighting games, mainly those released by Capcom...

. Several more fighting game crossovers were released in the new millennium. The two most prolific developers of 2D fighting games, Capcom and SNK, combined intellectual property to produce SNK vs. Capcom games. SNK released the first game of this type, SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
is a fighting game for the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It features a total of 26 characters from SNK and Capcom, eight of which are hidden. Play options includes 2-fighter tag teams, 3-fighter queue teams, and of course, one-on-one...

, for its Neo Geo Pocket Color
Neo Geo Pocket Color
The Neo Geo Pocket Color , is a 16-bit colour handheld game console by SNK. It was the last console they produced in the Neo Geo family...

 handheld at the end of 1999. GameSpot
GameSpot
GameSpot is a video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information. The site was launched in May 1, 1996 by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady and Jon Epstein. It was purchased by ZDNet, a brand which was later purchased by CNET Networks. CBS Interactive, which...

 regarded the game as "perhaps the most highly anticipated fighter ever" and called it the best fighting game ever to be released for a handheld console. Capcom released Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000
Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000
is a head-to-head fighting game produced by Capcom originally released as a coin-operated arcade game for Segas NAOMI hardware and later ported to the Dreamcast...

 for arcades and the Dreamcast in 2000, followed by sequels in subsequent years. Though none matched the critical success of the handheld version, Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO was noted as the first game of the genre to successfully utilize internet competition. Other crossovers from 2008 included Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is a crossover fighting game from Midway Games and Warner Bros. Games. The eighth game in the Mortal Kombat series, MK vs. DC was released on November 16, . MK vs. DC contains characters from both the Mortal Kombat franchise and the DC Universe...

. The most successful crossover, however, was Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Super Smash Bros. Brawl, known in Japan as , often abbreviated as SSBB or simply as Brawl, is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series of crossover fighting games, developed by an ad hoc development team consisting of Sora, Game Arts and staff from other developers, and published by...

, also released in 2008 for the Wii
Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...

. Featuring characters from Nintendo
Nintendo
is a multinational corporation located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it produced handmade hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel....

's various franchises, the game was a runaway commercial success in addition to being lavished with critical praise.

In the new millennium, fighting games are less popular and plentiful than in the mid 1990s, with multiplayer competition shifting towards other genres. However, SNK reappeared in 2003 as SNK Playmore and continues to release games. Arc System Works
Arc System Works
is a video game developer and publisher based in Yokohama, Japan. It was founded by Minoru Kidooka in 1988. Arc System Works is best known for its arcade 2D fighting game, Guilty Gear and its sequels.-BlazBlue series:...

 received critical acclaim for releasing Guilty Gear X
Guilty Gear X
, subtitled By Your Side, is the second full game in the Guilty Gear series. It was released in multiple versions:*Guilty Gear X ver 1.5...

 in 2001, as well as its sequel Guilty Gear XX, as both were 2D fighting games featuring striking anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 inspired graphics. The fighting game is currently a popular genre for amateur and doujin developers in Japan. The 2002 title Melty Blood
Melty Blood
, is a visual novel and fighting game, co-developed by dōjin circles Type-Moon and French-Bread, originally released at Comiket on December 2002...

 was developed by then amateur developer French-Bread and achieved cult success on the PC
Personal computer
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

. It became highly popular in arcades following its 2005 release, and a version was released on PlayStation 2 the following year. While the genre is generally far less popular than it once was, arcades and their attendant fighting games are still reasonably popular in Japan. Virtua Fighter 5
Virtua Fighter 5
is the latest game in Sega's Virtua Fighter series and direct sequel to Virtua Fighter 4: Final Tuned. The original version was released on July 12, 2006 into Japanese arcades and in February 2007 in European arcades...

 lacked an online mode but still achieved success both on home consoles and in arcades; players practiced at home and went to arcades to compete face-to-face with opponents. Tekken 6
Tekken 6
is a fighting game developed and published by Namco Bandai. It is the eighth game in the Tekken franchise. It was released in Japanese arcades on November 26, 2007 as the first game running on the PlayStation 3-based System 357 arcade board. The game received an update, subtitled Bloodline...

 was positively received, selling more than 3 million copies worldwide as of August 6, 2010. In addition to Virtua Fighter and Tekken, the Soul and Dead or Alive franchises continued to release installments. Classic Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat games have been re-released on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade is a type of video game download distribution available primarily in a section of the Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360, that focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers...

, allowing internet play, and in some cases, HD
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 graphics. Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter IV
is a fighting game produced by Capcom. It is the first numbered Street Fighter game released by Capcom since . The coin-operated arcade game was released in Japan on July 18, 2008, with North American arcades importing the machines by August...

, which incorporated online multiplayer modes, was released in early 2009 to critical acclaim, having garnered praise since its release at Japanese arcades in 2008. Street Fighter's successful revival has sparked a renaissance for the genre, followed by titles such as Super Street Fighter IV
Super Street Fighter IV
is a 2010 fighting game produced by Capcom. It is an updated version of Street Fighter IV and has been said to mark the definitive end of the Street Fighter IV series. Having been deemed as too large an update to be deployed as DLC, the game was made into a standalone title, but given a lower price...

, Deadliest Warrior: The Game
Deadliest Warrior: The Game
Deadliest Warrior: The Game is a fighting game developed by Pipeworks Software and published by Spike Games. Based on the Spike documentary TV series Deadliest Warrior, the game allows players to take control of various warriors from different time periods, utilizing their own unique set of...

, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
is a crossover fighting game developed by Capcom. It features Capcom's own characters and characters from American comic book company Marvel Comics. It is the fifth installment of the Marvel vs...

, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter X Tekken
is an upcoming crossover fighting game being developed by Capcom. The game was announced at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International by Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono. The game is set to release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation Vita sometime in March 2012. The game...

, and Tekken X Street Fighter
Tekken X Street Fighter
Tekken X Street Fighter is an upcoming crossover fighting game being produced by Namco Bandai Games. It crosses the universes of Tekken and Street Fighter into one game creating a roster from both franchises....

.

See also


  • List of fighting games
  • List of fighting game companies