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Jimmy's TOP 25 Fighting Video Arcade Games of All Time!

(, June 02, 2020 ) IN THE NEW AGE (

Perhaps you have or have not heard of Jimmy Mason, sales manager at IN THE NEW AGE, however, he sometimes like to write about his top arcade games picks, pinball picks, and slot machine picks. Jimmy has been in the arcade game industry since the 1980's and enjoys the arcade game room products sold at IN THE NEW AGE. And because of this, when asked how he determines what he deems the best, he explained it like this.

"We sell an arcade game system called "Classic Arcade System." And, this system, is comprised of arcade games that include up to 4,000" video arcade games. And because of this, I frequently play different games to keep my mind busy, for entertainment in between customer phone calls, and of course, to help we with my blogs."

Please note the following: IN THE NEW AGE sells arcade machine that include all the fighting arcade games listed on this page. Also, these games are already included in the "Classic Arcade System," line of arcade game machines. Within this system, you can select from upright arcade game machines, cocktail sit down arcade games, and pub style arcade game machines.

Now, for the list:


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment / Developer: Bandai Namco Studios / Release: 2017

The latest entry in the storied 3D fighting franchise is also its best. Bandai Namco continued to update and improve the series with a more dynamic and impactful camera, an expanded Rage system, and a massive roster full of new and fan-favorite characters. While the story mode offered an uneven conclusion of the decades-old rivalry between Hibachi and Kazuya Mishima, the core gameplay still had incredible depth for devoted fans, with 100-plus moves to learn and master for every fighter.


Platform: PS3 • 360 / Publisher: Altus / Developer: Arc System Works, Atlus / Release: 2014

Appealing to two different audiences is no easy feat, but Atlus managed to please Persona fans and fighting game enthusiasts with Persona 4 Arena. As a sequel, Ultimax continued the RPG-influenced story and refined the original fighting concepts, resulting in a fascinating fusion. It provided new characters based on a variety of novel gameplay mechanics, and it did not skimp on the cutscenes. It sat in an odd middle ground between genres, but Ultimax had something for every kind of fan.


Platform: 360 / Publisher: Tecmo / Developer: Team Ninja / Release: 2005

In the early months of the Xbox 360’s lifespan, the console was desperate for quality games to show off what the new generation could pull off, and Dead or Alive 4 fit the bill perfectly. One of Dead or Alive’s most mechanically sound entries, the fourth entry featured an in-depth counter system and an impressive level of fluidity in animation. It was also the first in the series to feature online play (a novelty in 2005).


Platform: PS3 • 360 • PS1 • Saturn • Sega 32X • SNES • Genesis • Sega Master System • Game Gear • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Midway / Developer: Midway / Release: 1993

The first Mortal Kombat gained notoriety for its over-the-top violence, but the sequel gave it credibility as a fighter. There were still plenty of shocking moments and gruesome fatalities, but it was all supported by more engaging combat mechanics. It was also stuffed to the brim with secrets, including tongue-in-cheek alternatives to finishing your foes, such as babalities and friendships, that broke players’ brains in arcades.


Platform: Switch / Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Bandai Namco, Sora Ltd. / Release: 2018

Using Ultimate as the subtitle for an entry in a long-running series is dangerous, especially when the Smash Bros. purists already know their personal favorite (yes, you’ll see it later in this list), but the latest Smash Bros. earns the term. Featuring every character that has ever appeared in Smash Bros. and more on the way, Ultimate represents the pinnacle of the series in terms of content. It also nailed its moment-to-moment combat by hewing closer to the high-speed fighting of Melee.


Platform: PS1 • Arcade / Publisher: Namco / Developer: Namco / Release: 1997

Tekken 3 was one of the most impressive sequels of its time, shaking up the foundation to the point that the roster offered more new faces than returning ones. Namco also refined the combat in several keyways, such as limiting jump heights and adding new evasive maneuvers (which include sidestepping). Executing 10-hit combos felt incredible, and mastering Lei Wulong’s numerous fighting stances required a great degree of skill and offered something we did not see much of in fighters at the time. The truest testament of its place in history: Tekken 3 still plays great today.


Platform: PS3 • 360 • Arcade / Publisher: Sega / Developer: Sega AM2 / Release: 2007

Virtua Fighter has always had a reputation for being one the most technically sound 3D fighters out there, and no entry proved that more than Virtua Fighter 5. The 17 combatants were balanced, rich in moves, and each required a different mindset to control. This is one of those fighters that rewarded you for taking time to understand the nuances of each character, and the timing of their move delivery and animation follow-throughs. You cannot button mash your way through this one.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • iOS • Android / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Developer: NetherRealm Studios / Release: 2015

We are still big Mortal Kombat fans, and X shows why. NetherRealm simply never stops revitalizing its classic series, or the genre. While the gruesome X-ray attacks and absurd fatalities still delivered the gore MK was founded on, a wealth of modes and multiple fighting styles for each character gave fans more ways to compete than ever. The Living Towers mode also added massive doses of replayability, with constantly changing scenarios. Mortal Kombat X’s visceral matches left us wanting more, and with Mortal Kombat 11 out this week, we are not complaining.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PS3 • 360 • Vita • PC / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom, Eighting / Release: 2011

Originally seen as a bit of an oversimplification of Marvel vs. Capcom 2’s freeform combo system, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 proved to be its own formidable beast. Armed with one of the most diverse rosters this side of Smash Bros., players eventually found infinites, glitches, and more ways to extend life-ending combos into the hundreds. With some ingenuity, you could combo practically anything into anything. The imbalance and chaos worked on some strange level, turning into a game that kept players tinkering and spectators riveted for years.


Platform: Xbox One • SNES • Game Boy • Arcade / Publisher: Midway, Nintendo / Developer: Rare / Release: 1994

In an era where “Mortal Kombat versus Street Fighter” arguments still permeated the playground, Rare brought in a newcomer to challenge the status quo. Killer Instinct’s visuals and audio were mind-boggling at the time. Ticking up the combo meter to absurd heights while the boisterous announcer lost his mind over your accomplishments was always satisfying. The original may not hold up as well as its contemporaries, but its impact is undeniable. Plus, the current Killer Instinct is a well-regarded fighter that established a model for updates that many other fighters have followed.


Platform: PS3 • 360 • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Atlus / Developer: SNK / Release: 2011

As most fighting-game series were switching to 3D models and simplifying inputs, the King of Fighters series stuck to its retro guns, and for hardcore fans, the results spoke for themselves in XIII. A deluge of chained supers and drive cancels mixed with the series’ staples of multiple jump types and three-man teams to deliver one of the most complex, old-school fighters around. The gorgeous 2D sprites and backgrounds, meanwhile, have aged better than most of their polygonal contemporaries, giving King of Fighters XIII a character unlike anything else out there today.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • Wii • PS1 • Neo Geo • Neo Geo CD • Neo Geo Pocket Color • PC • iOS • Android • Arcade / Publisher: SNK / Developer: SNK / Release: 1994

Weighing in at 202 MB on a Neo Geo cartridge, Samurai Showdown 2 was a sequel built independent of the original game, giving developer SNK more freedom to innovate. The changes included a more diverse move set consisting of the ability to break enemy weapons, dodge roll, and parry. These abilities combined to create unique strategies, with players looking for windows to disarm their opponent or deliver a powerful fatal strike. SNK continues to pump out fighting games, but none have delivered intensity on the same level as Samurai Showdown II.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Neo Geo • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Play more / Developer: Eolith / Release: 2005

For King of Fighters 2002, Eolith went back to the basics for a series of three-on-three battles that became the most-polished entry in the series. At the time, KOF 2002 included every character from all previous King of Fighters games, giving fans an unprecedented number of dream matchups. This impressive roster made KOF 2002 highly repayable, as players experimented with different teams and had to learn the various interactions between all fighters. Even a decade and a half later, Unlimited Match still lives up to its royal title.


Platform: PS2 • Xbox • GameCube • Dreamcast • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2001

Capcom’s other, less-famous crossover series went for broke as a celebration of fighting games. Not only does its roster deliver a who’s-who of the two most revered developers in the genre at the time, but it is very DNA is a love letter. Its six distinct “grooves,” each bearing one of the letters from the acronym “CAP SNK,” fundamentally altered how you played. Want to dish out Street Fighter Alpha’s custom combos? Choose A-Groove. Want Mark of the Wolves’ Just-Defends and Samurai Showdown’s rage meter? Go for K-Groove. A ratio system also let you power up your best character, making for a fighter with a staggering degree of customization.


Platform: PS3 • 360 • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom, Dimps / Release: 2010

When it originally released, Street Fighter IV was largely responsible for the mainstream resurgence of fighting games. It garnered an audience beyond the usual genre devotees, and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition’s 2012 patch represents the pinnacle of that original game’s evolution. With an excellent selection of cool characters, plus balance tweaks that polished combat to a mirror sheen, this is the definitive way to experience one of the most influential modern fighters.


Platform: PS4 • 360 • PS2 • Neo Geo • Vita • PC • iOS / Publisher: SNK / Developer: SNK / Release: 2001

As proper a send-off as any series can ask for, Mark of the Wolves ended Fatal Fury’s run before folding completely into the King of Fighters series on a simple-but-elegant, high note. It featured the Tactical Offense Position (T.O.P) system, which asks players to choose whether they want to be powered-up (and gain access to new super moves) when their health is high, medium, or low. This forces you to make a gambit before a match even starts: Do you want to establish an early lead, or save room for a clutch comeback? It does not rely on too many elaborate gimmicks; this fighter is not afraid to stand strong on its fundamentals.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PC • iOS • Android / Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Developer: NetherRealm Studios / Release: 2017

You might not think NetherRealm’s ultra-violent sensibilities would mix well with DC Comics’ all-ages brands, but the studio behind Mortal Kombat knocked it out of the park with the Injustice series. NetherRealm’s gory finishers morphed into over-the-top superhero slapstick in Injustice 2, but the tone works surprisingly well. While the single-player story was not as strong as the first game, NetherRealm’s combat was more polished, earning Injustice 2 a devoted following on the competitive circuit. Even after hours of knockout superhero brawls, we still giggle with glee when The Flash travels through time to smash Superman’s head against a T. rex.


Platform: PS4 • PS3 • PC / Publisher: Arc System Works / Developer: Arc System Works / Release: 2014

The Guilty Gear series has long been known for its deluge of arcane systems, cancels, and tricky combos, but Xrd found an incredible balance between stripping the chaff without losing the essence fans of its aggressively stylish and busy action had come to love. Boasting an immaculate anime art style in the Unreal Engine and a roster that constantly asks you to learn new mechanics and approaches without overwhelming you, Guilty Gear Xrd is a fighter’s fighting game, and even five years into its life cycle, it can still rock with the best of them as the crown jewel in developer Arc System Works’ diverse fighting-game catalog.


Platform: PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Dreamcast • iOS • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2000

The fighting genre is no stranger to mashing up disparate franchises to create games with diverse casts, but Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was arguably one of the most ambitious attempts to pit superheroes against video game characters. Each of its 55 characters were meticulously animated with beautiful 2D sprites and you could play with three at a time to pull off screen-filling combos that are mind-blowing even by our modern, admittedly hardened standards. It also introduced us to the “I want to take you for a ride” menu music, which is now stuck in your head. You’re welcome.


Platform: 360 • Dreamcast • iOS • Android • Arcade / Publisher: Namco / Developer: Project Soul / Release: 1998

Like most classic fighting games, Soulcalibur originally released in arcades. However, Namco’s weapon-based fighter quickly became synonymous with the Dreamcast thanks to a stellar launch port that upped the visuals of its arcade predecessor. Fighting fans fell in love with the freedom of Soulcalibur’s eight-direction movement and lenient combo system, and the diverse, weapon-focused combat was accentuated by a cast of memorable characters. Even today, Soulcalibur still feels distinct, making it not only the best Dreamcast game of all time, but one of the best fighting games, as well.


Platform: PS4 • Switch • PS3 • PC / Publisher: Aksys Games / Developer: Arc System Works / Release: 2016

The stories in fighting games are frequently viewed as inconsequential, but the complicated tale in BlazBlue is a big part of its appeal. Central Fiction served as the satisfying conclusion to a long-running arc, but it also delivered on the combat front, with 35 playable characters competing in matches that encouraged offensive play. The highly technical bouts reveled in their complexity, making Central Fiction a rewarding entry for seasoned players.


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • Switch • PS3 • 360 • Wii U • PS2 • Xbox • PS1 • GBA • Dreamcast • Saturn • 3DO • Amiga CD32 • Amiga • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 1994

Super Street Fighter II Turbo was the culmination of a string of incremental updates to Capcom’s classic fighter, adding new combo types and introducing the world to a flame-haired fellow named Akuma. Street Fighter II was in many ways the primordial reference point for the genre, and this version is its most refined form. As a testament to its relevance, it’s still played competitively at Evo – not bad for a game that’s older than many of its players


Platform: GameCube / Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: HAL Laboratory / Release: 2001

Super Smash Bros. doesn’t use traditional fighting game mechanics, and it’s one of its greatest strengths. That, and it features some of the greatest video game characters of all time all mashed up into one fantastically fun brawler. We adore Smash Bros., with or without items, as there is just something supremely satisfying about taking control of Link and using him to send Mario flying off the side of a floating platform with a perfectly timed Smash attack. Melee stands tall as the fastest and most mechanically polished entry in the series to the point that even three console generations later, it is still a tournament staple


Platform: PS4 • Xbox One • PS3 • 360 • PS2 • Xbox • Dreamcast • PC • Arcade / Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom / Release: 2000

How do you improve on a worldwide phenomenon and genre breakthrough like Street Fighter II? By implementing techniques, the genre had birthed since that momentous game (such as throw-teching and enhanced specials) to create pitch-perfect pacing over three renditions, then throwing in a powerful new catalyst: parrying. If you dare to risk it all by pressing forward rather back when an attack is about to land, you can turn the momentum of a fight in your favor on a dime. Throw in some jaw-dropping sprite animations, a soundtrack that borrowed from a wealth of genres, and a cast that mixed old favorites and weirdos, and you have Street Fighter III: Third Strike, the best fighting game of all time.


Platform: PS1 / Publisher: Square / Developer: Light Weight / Release: 1997

Bushido Blade answered the question, “How long would you last in a real swordfight” with demoralizing clarity: “Probably not very.” The PlayStation game featured duos battling for supremacy, but its high-stakes combat was far removed from what the rest of the fighting-game genre was attempting. Here, battles could be over in a flash the moment combatants let their guard down. Skilled players could parry, roll, and use the terrain to their advantage, creating fights that felt as cinematic as they were brutal.

For game room products such as but not limited to; Arcade machines with 1,000's of games includes within one arcade system, virtual pinball machine with 2,000" classic pinball games, slot machines, and Rock-Ola jukeboxes visit IN THE NEW AGE today!



James Bolin


Source: EmailWire.Com

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