Consoles Gaming

‘Windjammers 2’ Review

It’s always nice to get surprised by the rerelease of a slept-on arcade gem.

Back in 1994, SNK gave its thriving Neo Geo MVS arcade platform a surprisingly addictive air hockey game developed by Data East. That game was Windjammers, an incredibly fast-paced take on the classic Pong formula that features lite-bright visuals and super charismatic athletes. Much, much later in 2018, publisher/developer Dotemu got the rights to Data East’s forgotten gem and ported it over to PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PS Vita. And then the unthinkable happened – a hardcore group of masterful Windjammers players took to the game in droves and showed just how hype it truly is during the 2018 installment of the famous Evo fighting game tournament. With so much positive attention paid to Windjammers, it seemed like a sequel would come later down the pipeline.

Thankfully, that prediction came to life in the form of a supremely upgraded rendition of the retro air hockey gameplay that got a resurgence in 2018. And thanks to Dotemu’s talented development team, we now have that brand new series entry in the form of Windjammers 2.

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As soon as you get a good look at this newly refined foray into the wonderful world of Windjammers, you’ll instantly be floored by its gorgeous animated visuals. Major props go out to the art design team for doing a bang-up job with this sequel – the pixelated appearance of the original has been left behind in favor of wonderfully hand-drawn animations that fully realize the character concepts of past roster members, introduces new ones, and brings every other aspect of the game to life in the most visually appealing way possible. The graphics pop off the screen due to the flashy colors implemented throughout everything from the main menu right on up to the intense matches themselves.

The spirit of the original Windjammers is retained in full here thanks to several aspects. And one of them is the exciting original soundtrack that plays out during nail-bitingly intense bouts. For those of you who’ve poured hours into the first game, you’ll surely be pleased once the opening notes of the original theme song come over your speakers. The rest of the tracks that emanate from this arcadey sports experience are infinitely catchy and perfectly match the energetic mood put forth by it.

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The main source of gameplay you’ll derive from Windjammers 2 comes from its offline arcade mode and online suite. In the case of the arcade mode, it offers a lively romp around a city that plays host to the Windjammers Championship tournament. Players get the chance to choose their opponents and play through random minigames as they fight their way to the very top spot. There’s a ton of fun to be had here as you contend with intelligent AI opponents that certainly don’t make it easy for you to defeat them. Speaking of difficulty, that aspect of Windjammers 2 might prove to be too exhausting for some. Even on the easiest difficulty level, the computer-controlled foes you’ll run into will still be far from a cakewalk and cause you to drop everything at a moment’s notice. Windjammer’s 2 complex gameplay systems are fun to get a grip on over time, but you’ll definitely find yourself raging from time to time during your early sessions against the AI.

Windjammers 2’s core gameplay concept starts out simple enough – you fling a power disc back and forth in order to land it in different parts of your rival’s goal in order to score at different point intervals. But as you begin to wrap your head around each character’s stats and the universal moveset afforded to the entire roster, things get even crazier. That portion of the game is why maneuvering through it all is part of its high fun factor – getting in tune with all the different moves you can pull off and learning the layouts of each stage will make you feel like you’re ready to take on the world. The newly added jump button goes hand in hand with the large array of trick shots you can pull off, which makes Windjammers 2 matches feel even more spirited and rewarding over its predecessors.

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Windjammers 2 is far from a walk in the park – its complex mechanics can prove to be a bit too much for some and the AI opponents you’ll run into will have you struggling with an Arcade Mode playthrough for much longer than you’d expect. But for those that stick with it and learn the ins & outs of everything this sequel has to offer, you’ll be highly rewarded for your time investment. The thrill of landing a successful Power Toss in the five-point section of your rival’s goal is simply unmatched. And getting to do that against a human player online is infinitely gratifying. Windjammers 2’s learning curve may be high, but the same can also be said for its fun factor. Shout out to Dotemu for reviving this forgotten arcade IP and giving it the proper refinement it so richly deserved.

Gaming Interviews

TSM FTX Brandon Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest TSM FTX Brandon. Brandon Moreno is an uber-talented visual effects producer and compositor whose talents have been applied to dope pieces of visual splendor for the premier esports organization TSM FTX (Team SoloMid). TSM FTX is home to a wealth of teams and streamers spread out across some of the most competitive games on the scene today – League of Legends, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., and plenty of other hotly contested games are represented by top-tier players within the prominent esports entity. Brandon shines via his role within TSM FTX, plus his quality work has been applied to a boutique esports production team of his very own called Upscaled.

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Besides the work he’s dedicated to the esports realm, Brandon has also applied his eye for production to some super dope side projects that incorporate popular licensed products. With the most fitting choices in background music and creative imagery, Brandon has crafted immaculate video ads for the likes of Beats by Dre, Off-White, Nike, Apple, and Mercedes-Benz. Be sure to pay a visit to his YouTube channel to get a closer look at his myriad works of promotional productions. Brandon isn’t just an amazing video editor and entrepreneur, though – he’s also pretty nasty on the sticks when it comes time to dominate in Valorant. It’s pretty reassuring to know that Brandon’s strategic first-person shooter skills are equal to his skills as a dedicated video maker.

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For someone at such a young age, Brandon has already made several accomplishments that have raised his stock within his profession and afforded him the opportunity to financially prosper. Here’s hoping that he goes on to do even bigger and better things as his video production career continues to blossom.

Consoles Gaming

Microsoft Will Acquire Activision Blizzard – So What’s Next?

CEO of Microsoft Gaming Phil Spencer wants to make one thing clear – Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios is in the habit of making major waves throughout the video game industry.

And the best way to do that is via Microsoft’s mind-blowing acquisitions of well-respected gaming publishers/developers. In years past, gamers have been left floored by the news that Microsoft has placed the following gaming institutions underneath its Xbox banner – Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games, Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment, Double Fine Productions, and Bethesda.

And now, another massive gaming entity will now call Xbox home – Activision Blizzard. As of today (January 18), Microsoft is set to acquire the publisher behind massive IPs, such as Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Diablo, via a $68.7 billion deal. This monumental announcement has already left plenty of gamers’ jaws on the floor and heads being scratched in unison across the globe.

So what could all this possibly mean? Let’s delve into all the exciting possibilities.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”″ data-video-id=”7054656168697875759″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@one37pm” href=””>@one37pm</a> Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard. So what’s next? @eyesofthedon @insidethescreenpod <a title=”gaming” target=”_blank” href=””>#gaming</a> <a title=”gaminglife” target=”_blank” href=””>#gaminglife</a> <a title=”callofduty” target=”_blank” href=””>#callofduty</a> <a title=”activision” target=”_blank” href=””>#activision</a> <a title=”microsoft” target=”_blank” href=””>#microsoft</a> <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – ONE37pm” href=”″>♬ original sound – ONE37pm</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

1. Microsoft’s Going to Clean Up and Restucture Activision Blizzard for the Better
Activision Blizzard

The most obvious change set to come from this news is Microsoft going out of its way to change things for the better when it comes to Activision Blizzard’s work atmosphere. Last year, a shocking amount of claims concerning workplace misconduct were made public. And to put it simply, Activision Blizzard has been lambasted by gamers, journalists, and its own development teams for harboring such bad behavior and allowing the individuals that enacted them to stay within the company’s ranks for so long. In November 2021, the world learned that the publisher reached a settlement agreement with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) to pay $18 million in regards to a lawsuit from the US government agency.

Even with that correction from the company being made in regards to its negative workplace habits, there’s still more work to be done. Microsoft will obviously want to assist in that company-wide movement and enact new policies that work to better the work environments for Activision Blizzard’s many in-house development teams. The publisher’s troubled CEO Bobby Kotick has had plenty of accusations thrown in his direction as well, which caused Spencer to let his Xbox staff know that he will be “evaluating all aspects of [Xbox’s] relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.” Who knew that company-wide evaluation would lead to Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard outright?

And while it’s been made clear that Kotick will continue to serve as Activision Blizzard CEO while the acquisition procedure continues, don’t be surprised to read that he’s been outed once the ink finally dries on that deal.

2. More Innovation Will Come to ‘Call of Duty’

It’s become increasingly evident that the annual release schedule for Call of Duty has diminished the series’ overall quality factor for many fans. While the world’s most popular first-person shooter franchise has continued to rake in millions of dollars in profit on a yearly basis, the critical positive response from players and reviewers alike to recent entries has started to taper off a bit. Fans have lamented the sense of true innovation tied to the series and have been calling for an end to the IPs annual release schedule so that COD can reach the previous highs it once claimed.

Now that Microsoft is set to bring Activision Blizzard into the fold, here’s hoping that a whole lot of quality control will be put in place to improve COD for the better. Xbox Game Studios already has a ton of development teams underneath its banner that’s hard at work creating the next batch of AAA-level experiences for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. By allowing Activision Blizzard’s main COD dev teams (Sledgehammer Games, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward) to have more time to craft future entries in the long-running series, COD could perhaps be refreshed and improved for the better later down the line.

3. Activision’s Call of Duty Development Teams May Get the Chance to Make Original Games Again
Raven Software

Speaking of COD, there’s a good amount of assorted Activision Blizzard dev studios that have been taken away from their past works to work primarily on new series entries. And to be quite honest, that decision has been quite saddening. Relegating the likes of Raven Software (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), High Moon Studios (Transformers: War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron), and Beenox (Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled) to nothing but COD-related work is a severe under usage of their immense creative talents.

Xbox Game Studios has shown that it’s willing to allow its development studios to put its creativity to the fullest in order to produce the types of games it’s incredibly passionate about. With all that being said, I’m willing to bet that Phil will step in to free the dev teams that do additional work on new COD games in order to let them get back to crafting original IPs of their own. And who knows? Maybe those three aforementioned dev studios could possibly work on some dormant Xbox IPs – I think the world needs new Blinx: The Time Sweeper, Brute Force, and Conker games!

4. Xbox Game Pass + Cloud Gaming Will Prove Very Beneficial for Activision Blizzard Games

Here’s another pretty huge statement from the Xbox Wire blog post surrounding the Microsoft Activision acquisition news – “Upon close, we will offer as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, both new titles and games from Activision Blizzard’s incredible catalog. We also announced today that Game Pass now has more than 25 million subscribers. As always, we look forward to continuing to add more value and more great games to Game Pass.”

25 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS? That’s an insane number, right? And guess what – that number is going to get even bigger now that gamers realize that upcoming Activision Blizzard games will eventually come to Game Pass on day one. Just imagine being able to play the next COD, Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, etc. at launch at no extra charge because you’re an Game Pass subscriber! Plut it seems way more preferable for gamers to hop into the latest COD without having to spend $70 for it and instead being able to spend that money on DLC cosmetics instead. Timmy’s parents should be able to breathe easier now that they don’t have to buy the next COD at full price anymore since we all know that it’ll be on Game Pass as soon as it drops as a free download.

And with such a huge player base already contained within Game Pass, I can see those same subscribers doing a whole lot to increase the already massive player numbers for Activision Blizzard’s upcoming releases. Being able to access the latest COD through Xbox Cloud Gaming and having the chance to play it across consoles, PCs, and tablets is a dream scenario that will soon come true for gamers looking to save their money and game on the go.

5. Microsoft HoloLens Could Greatly Impact the COD League Scene

The Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality smartglasses go hand in hand with some really dope technology that I hope gets applied to the COD esports scene. It’d be pretty awesome to see the COD League apply the usage of that tech towards two great augmented reality applications. Letting esports team coaches rely on the HoloLens to look at the full layout of COD maps in order to construct proper strategies for its players could prove very beneficial. Plus having coaches and their players being able to review VODs (Video-On-Demand) with the HoloLens on deck could make that process much easier and way more engrossing as a whole. And for the viewer, being able to view cool augmented reality segments brought on by Microsoft’s tech live on-stream would be mindblowing.

6. Exclusive Games From Activision Blizzard Will Be a Thing at Some Point
Blizzard Entertainment

When Microsoft got its hands on Bethesda, gamers soon learned that Bethesda Game Studios’ 2022 release Starfield would be coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S as a console exclusive. It was also commendable of Phil and the whole Xbox collective for allowing Bethesda to honor its past deals with Sony PlayStation for games with timed exclusivity. In that aforementioned Xbox Wire blog post, it’s noted that “Activision Blizzard games are enjoyed on a variety of platforms and we plan to continue to support those communities moving forward.”

But let’s be honest, folks – buying Activision Blizzard for billions of dollars lets me know that Xbox will eventually make good use of that deal by exclusively putting the publisher’s biggest games on its platforms later on. Having Overwatch 2, Diablo 4, the next COD, a new Crash Bandicoot, another Spyro the Dragon, etc. debut as Xbox console exclusives would be pretty paramount for the gaming giant!

Gaming New Releases

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Pokémon Legends: Arceus’

2021 marked the 25th anniversary of one of the world’s most iconic and long-lasting IPs of all time – Pokémon.

Among a wealth of announcements regarding the franchise’s ongoing anime, manga, and all sorts of additional merchandise, new games that allow users to still “catch ’em all” were also revealed. An upcoming project that got Pokémon fans super excited is a new action RPG that transports players to an older time period within the Sinnoh region long before the events of Pokémon Diamond/Pearl and their remakes. Pokémon Legends: Arceus is shaping up to be a true evolution for the series that looks like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-esque experience that fans have been patiently waiting for.

Before January 28 arrives, let’s take a deeper look at the latest Pokémon Switch release and provide some essential info about the game’s story, main gameplay mechanics, and collection of recognizable Pocket Monsters you’ll encounter during your journey.

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Pokémon Legends: Arceus will whisk players off to the vast expanses and biomes belonging to the Hisui region (which is modeled after 19th Century Japan), a locale that eventually evolves into the Sinnoh region. As a Survey Corps member belonging to the Galaxy Expeditions Team, you’ll set out to complete a wide variety of tasks centered around researching every species of Pokémon’s living habits and overall behaviors. Your main objective is completing the region’s first-ever Pokédex as either Rei (a boy) or Akari (a girl).

The avid researcher that tasks you with seeing that mission through to completion is Professor Laventon. The actual leader of the Survey Corps is named Captain Cyllene. And finally, the boss behind such a huge undertaking and the Galaxy Team working to fulfill it is called Commander Kamado (who just so happens to be an ancestor of Professor Rowan). You’ll end up running into a host of other individuals who handle other assorted tasks, such as “Wardens” that protect special Pokémon, leaders belonging to the Diamond & Pearl clans, guild members, and merchants.

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Unlike past entries in the series, Pokémon Legends: Arceus actually lets you engage in battle and capture wild Pocket Monsters seamlessly just by interacting with them in the open-world environment. Simply put, you can lock eyes with a Pokémon you desire, then throw a Poké Ball with one of your creatures inside of it to fight it or fling a Poké Ball at that wild Pocket Monster to catch it while freely exploring the game’s overworld. You’ll encounter some much tougher Pokémon known as “Alphas,” which can be recognized by their larger stature and glowing red eyes. You’ll need to be extra careful when confronting these types of Pokémon since they’ll chase you down in a bid to attack you once they spot you.

One of the cooler aspects tied to battles is the ability to have your Pokémon utilize one of two combat styles – Agile Style and Strong Style. Agile Style is broken down as follows – “using a move in the agile style raises the user’s action speed, which may make the user’s next turn come sooner, but lowers the move’s power.” As for Strong Style, it’s explained in full like this – “using a move in the strong style raises the move’s power, but your Pokémon’s action speed will be lowered.” While running into Pokémon trainers won’t be a regular occurrence in this game, you’ll still find yourself getting caught up in one-on-one battles with Wardens from time to time.

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Researching different types of Pokémon in order to fill out your Pokédex means you’ll need to complete research tasks centered around seeking out/observing different monsters depending on their biome of choice and the time of day/night. At the start of your Pokédex completing endeavor, you’ll be given one of three starter Pokémon to choose from –  Rowlet (the grass-type starter Pokémon from the Alola region), Cyndaquil (the fire-type starter Pokémon from the Johto region), and Oshawott (the water-type starter Pokémon from the Unova region). And once you get your hands on the special “Celestica Flute,” you’ll be able to use it to summon special Pokémon that’ll let you ride them across the land, through the skies, and even over the water!

Hanging out at base camps outside of the main location of Jubilife Village will be a necessity. Base camps allow you to take a quick breather during an excursion, recover your Pokémon party’s health, and craft items via workbenches. The items you can create on your own include Poké Balls, special versions of those capture devices called “Heavy Balls,” Smoke Bombs, and so much more. Relying on your “Arc Phone” to get a good look at the in-game map and using all of the facilities afforded to you in Jubilife Village are also essential when it comes to your mission survival and success.

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Different Types of Pokémon

There’s going to be a huge collection of Pocket Monsters to encounter while on your journey in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. Besides the three Starter Pokémon we mentioned already, you’ll run into recognizable creatures such as Pikachu, Kadabra, Onyx, and Eevee. As far as brand new Pokémon species go, you’ll run into Wyrdeer, Basculegion, and Kleavor. When it comes to Hisui region-specific Pokémon, the ones you’ll discover among that line of Pocket Monsters are Voltorb, Zorua, Zoroark, Braviary, and Growlithe. And finally, the mythical Pokémon you’ll come across include Darkrai, Shaymin (Land Forme), and Arceus.

Some of the toughest Pokémon you’ll engage in battle with are referred to as “Frenzied Noble Pokémon.” You’ll easily recognize them due to their bright exterior and have to quell their anger by hitting them with balms, which are items made using their favorite foods. Steering clear of their attacks and sending them into a dazed state via attacks from your Pokémon through battle are what you’ll need to do in order to assault them with balms and permanently calm them down.

Gaming New Releases

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction’

For those of you out there who have been playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege since its 2015 inception, we salute you. What started out as a ho-hum entry in the tactical first-person shooter series eventually evolved into a highly rewarding multiplayer experience that’s now jam-packed with enough content to keep players satisfied for even longer.

Ubisoft Montreal, which is the same development team behind Siege, is switching gears a bit with its next Rainbow Six project. And to make matters even more intriguing, this upcoming title will incorporate some very familiar faces from the studio’s prior release. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction (which was previously known as Rainbow Six Quarantine) is moving away from competitive multiplayer to focus on co-op play with up to three players. And their mission? Eliminate the encroaching alien threat known as the “Archæan.”

Before this PvE Rainbow Six spinoff title arrives on January 20 (and hits Xbox Game Pass on day one!), allow us to give you a primer on everything there is to know about Extraction.

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Earth is being ravaged by an extraterrestrial menace. And in order to take them down, a special unit composed of operators hailing from Siege must come together to confront them. That group, which is directed by Dr. Elena “Mira” Alvarez as a member of its R&D department, is known as REACT (Rainbow Exogenous Analysis & Containment Team).

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Players will get to choose from 18 Operators at launch when it comes time to hop into a mission alongside their two allies. And as expected, each Operator comes with their own signature weapon and ability in tow. You can head to this link to learn about each Operator’s toolset, but feel free to check out the whole playable character lineup in the list posted below:



















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Rainbow Six Extraction is mainly geared towards PvE, cooperative play for up to three players. You and your two teammates will be tasked with navigating alien-infested locations and completing numerous objectives (gathering intel, collecting samples from the aliens themselves, etc.). The play sessions you’ll hop into are referred to as an “incursion” – each main hub locale is split into three interconnected sub-maps and players will be assigned one of 13 random missions to complete while they’re there. Keep in mind that the location of your objectives and the enemy placement are procedurally generated in order to keep you on your toes at all times.

Upon successful completion of a mission, players can choose to extract themselves from their current location or choose to march forward into the next sub-map. A risk/reward system lies at the heart of this mechanic as moving onto the next sub-map means its difficulty factor will be higher, but even more rewards will be gifted to you & your crew for successfully making your way through it.

The main hubs and containment zones featured within them are:

New York – Liberty Island, Police Station, and Monolith Gardens

San Francisco – Tenderloin, Apollo Casino & Resort, and Enterprise Space Foundation

Alaska – Nome, Eurydice Valley, and Orpheus Research Center

Truth or Consequences – Sierra County Hospital, Dam, and Downtown

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While you’re trying to complete an objective, you’ll come into contact with the Archæans and be forced to cut them down with immense firepower. There are various types of Archæans you’ll confront, which all come with their own behaviors and appearances. Prepare yourself to deal with the following list of alien threats posted below:











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Playable Consoles, Buddy Pass, and Crossplay/Cross-Progression

Rainbow Six Extraction will be available on the following consoles – PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC (Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Store, and Ubisoft+), Google Stadia, and Amazon Luna. And don’t worry, you can upgrade from the last-gen version of the game to the next-gen version for free. This game also comes with a “Buddy Pass,” which means you can invite two of your friends that don’t own the game to play with you for free during a 14-day trial period.

And on the topic of crossplay and cross-progression, Rainbow Six Extraction will thankfully incorporate those features between different consoles in the same family (PS5/PS4 and Xbox Series X|S/Xbox One) and between PC & Stadia. Keep in mind that console players will only be able to matchmake with other console players, while PC players will only be able to matchmake with PC players.

Consoles Gaming

The 40 Best Fighting Games of All Time

Gamers have come a long way since the days of OG fighters such as Karate Champ, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, and The Way of the Exploding Fist.

Since the smashing success of Street Fighter II, the fighting game genre has evolved into a mega force. It offers a nice variety of fighters to engage with that includes traditional 2D fighters, super-fast-paced anime fighters, methodical 3D fighters, expansive arena fighters, and multi-person platform party brawlers.

Fighting games have evolved from their arcade cabinet roots to take over the living room and major FGC tournaments that bring the hype of in-person events to everyone at home via live streams. Thanks to the ongoing fighting game excellence put forward by Capcom, NetherRealm, SNK, Arc System Works, and more, the genre has been given a wealth of classic titles that still get played religiously.

Now it’s time for us to show all the love in the world to 40 of the greatest fighting game ever made.

<div class =”code”><blockquote class=”tiktok-embed” cite=”″ data-video-id=”7052762326096956719″ style=”max-width: 605px;min-width: 325px”> <section> <a target=”_blank” title=”@137gaming” href=””>@137gaming</a> What’s your favorite fighting Game? <a title=”gamergoals” target=”_blank” href=””>#gamergoals</a> <a title=”fightinggames” target=”_blank” href=””>#fightinggames</a> <a title=”rating” target=”_blank” href=””>#rating</a> @eyesofthedon <a target=”_blank” title=”♬ original sound – Cam \u0026amp; Dyl 🛸🖤” href=”″>♬ original sound – Cam \u0026amp; Dyl 🛸🖤</a> </section> </blockquote></div>

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1. ‘Super Street Fighter II Turbo’

Street Fighter II kicked off a fighting game renaissance that filled arcades and random bodegas everywhere with rabid youngsters. And through its many iterations, Capcom has done an amazing job at adding more characters, stages, and mechanics to further improve it. The ultimate version is Super Street Fighter II Turbo and is recognized as the finest one to date thanks to its refined gameplay. The debut of super combos provided the final cherry on top of a game that’s damn near perfect. The fact that this game is still played competitively to this day is all the proof you need of its excellence.

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2. ‘Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold’

Street Fighter Alpha went the prequel route by covering the events that take place prior to the Street Fighter II timeline. The best game in the series, in our opinion, is still Street Fighter Alpha II Gold. The regular rendition of Street Fighter Alpha II is already great on its own – its faster-paced combat, Custom Combo system, and Alpha Counters provide the deep mechanics that make it infinitely enjoyable. Street Fighter Alpha II Gold is an even better version of that game that adds the X-Men vs. Street Fighter version of Cammy into the mix, new moves, a wealth of character balance changes, and so much more. Make sure you seek out this pick on the PS2’s Street Fighter Alpha Anthology!

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3. ‘Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike’

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike didn’t get a whole lot of playtime and attention during its original launch back in 1999. But thanks to the FGC’s devotion to this game, it’s grown in popularity and gained recognition as one of the greatest examples of 2D fighting games. 3rd Strike’s fluid 2D art style, roster full of fan-favorite combatants, Godlike soundtrack, and Parry system are all part of the reasons why it’s held in such high regard. Just look up “Evo Moment 37” for all the proof you need of 3rd Strike’s ability to hype up a crowd!

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4. ‘Ultra Street Fighter IV’

Street Fighter IV has to be given all the credit in the world for reviving the fighting game genre and the FGC as a whole. And thanks to further iterations, Capcom’s triumphant Street Fighter comeback further progressed across its lengthy lifecycle. The final installment within Street Fighter IV arrived in the form of a quality “Ultra” version. Ultra Street Fighter IV comes jam-packed with so many additional goodies, which includes five extra characters, six new stages, the Ultra Double Combo, Red Focus Attack, etc. The extra character balances and “Omega Mode” moveset variations also did a commendable job of sending Street Fighter IV’s final iteration out on a high note.

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5. ‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’

We’re guessing Super Smash Bros. series creator Masahiro Sakurai had no idea that this sequel would endure long after its 2001 debut on the Nintendo GameCube. Because of its simple yet deceptively complex combat tools, Super Smash Bros. Melee still gets plenty of playtime from a very dedicated group of eSports competitors. There’s so much to love about this platform party fighter besides its addictive gameplay, though – its roster full of Nintendo icons, abundance of single-player modes, and high fun factor among the casual crowd adds to Melee’s legendary status.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed6. ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’</div>
6. ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

“EVERYONE IS HERE!” Sakurai and the rest of the development team behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate went the extra mile when it came to deciding the final roster for this biggest installment in the franchise to date. Each and every playable character from past series’ entries makes their return here, plus the additional Fighters Passes threw in even more incredible gaming legends to hop into battle with. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is simply a love letter to all of gaming that feels like the ultimate crossover fighter that 80s and 90s babies dreamed of back in the day. We just can’t see the next Super Smash Bros. getting even better than this!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed7. ‘Mortal Kombat II’</div>
7. ‘Mortal Kombat II’

The first Mortal Kombat was a definite game-changer due to its gratuitous violence and over-the-top Fatalities. Mortal Kombat II came around and offered an even bolder vision of Ed Boon & his development studio’s grand vision. This sequel got a huge jump in visual presentation that made its gory “kombat” look even more lifelike. The introduction of series regulars, such as Jax, Kung Lao, and Shao Khan, happened here. Mortal Kombat II still plays great and is the proper upgrade the Mortal Kombat franchise deserved during its early origins.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed8. ‘Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3’</div>
8. ‘Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3’

Now let’s talk about Mortal Kombat 3! And more specifically, the updated version of the game we prefer the most. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 brought along with it the already strong gameplay produced by the original version. And as far as new features go, this iteration of Mortal Kombat 3 marked the welcome return of some series favorites and introduced some very cool unlockables to up the fun factor even more. The 2v2 mode is still a blast here, by the way! We’ll take this version of Mortal Kombat 3 over Mortal Kombat Trilogy any day of the week.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed9. ‘Mortal Kombat’ (2011)</div>
9. ‘Mortal Kombat’ (2011)

After the 3D open arena experiment for Mortal Kombat came to a close, the series got back to its 2D plane roots with one of the finest gaming reboots the genre has ever played. 2011’s Mortal Kombat put forth an engaging story mode that brought together the first three game’s plots in a satisfying fashion. As for the gameplay itself, this return to form for Mortal Kombat lets players play with their favorites within incredibly fast-paced clashes that feel like a natural evolution of Mortal Kombat 3. The debut of X-Ray maneuvers, the tag team battles, and the usage of special guests such as Kratos and Freddy Krueger adds to this game’s worthwhile package.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed10. ‘Mortal Kombat X’</div>
10. ‘Mortal Kombat X’

Mortal Kombat X really pushed the series forward in a shocking way. Each character arrived with three variations that practically gave players three choices in one. The darker art style added to the game’s mature allure and made its jaw-dropping Fatalities and X-Ray supers look even more shocking than ever before. As far as combo-heavy Mortal Kombat series entries go, this one gets the nod for having the craziest ones we’ve seen to date. Which is part of the reason why it’s still being played in various FGC circles. Mortal Kombat X hits on every level as a great fighting game and another fine example of NetherRealm Studios’ attention to detail.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed11. ‘Mortal Kombat 11’</div>
11. ‘Mortal Kombat 11’

Mortal Kombat 11 slowed things down a bit to offer a more methodical and footsies-based fighter that evokes memories of Mortal Kombat II. Getting to customize every “kombatant” in the game to your liking via alternate costumes and special moves gave rise to so much player creativity. It’s still mindblowing for us to witness two different versions of Frost come to blows and utilize their own special abilities that differ from each other. Mortal Kombat 11 is easily the best-looking installment in the series to date and also gets a ton of love for offering a content-rich experience for everyone that hops into it.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed12. ‘Soulcalibur’</div>
12. ‘Soulcalibur’

The natural evolution of Soul Blade/Edge gave rise to the first-ever Soulcalibur, which ended up being one of the best Sega Dreamcast launch titles. This weapons-based fighter is a huge visual improvement over its predecessor that still looks crisp in motion to this very day. The game’s roster got overhauled for the better as it featured the best members of the first game and also threw in brand new faces that ended up becoming mainstays of the franchise. Playing Soulcalibur is a must for fans of 3D fighters – there’s still a lot of fun to be hand getting caught up in the combative origins of Ivy, Kilik, Nightmare, and more.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed13. ‘Soulcalibur II’</div>
13. ‘Soulcalibur II’

Soulcalibur II really took the guest character concept and did something unforgettable with it. On top of the already amazing array of global weapons wielders on offer from the game’s roster were three console-exclusive characters – Heihachi from Tekken (PS2), Spawn (Xbox), and Link from The Legend of Zelda (GameCube). Soulcalibur II’s awesome roster and a bevy of system changes birthed a sequel that raised the bar in every single way. Shout out to this game for bringing back the usage of alternate weapons from Soul Blade/Edge, too!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed14. ‘Soulcalibur VI’</div>
14. ‘Soulcalibur VI’

Soulcalibur V forced the IP to endure an uncomfortably long hiatus, sadly. 2018 marked the highly anticipated return of the greatest 3D weapons fighter via a sequel/reboot that pushed its lore forward while also revisiting the past events shaped around the game’s two most powerful blades. From a gameplay standpoint, Soulcalibur VI breathed new life into everything thanks to the addition of the always-hype Reversal Edge maneuver and a revamped usage of the Soul Charge mechanic. Soulcalibur came back in a major way thanks to this incredible return to form.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed15. ‘Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes’</div>
15. ‘Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes’

Capcom’s “Vs.” line of fighting games always pitted the very best of Marvel against Capcom’s mainstay stars. But then came the ultimate crossover war between both companies in the form of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which blew everyone’s minds with a full character count of 56 heroes/villains. The 3v3 battles allow for fast and furious action that is just as exciting to play as it is to watch. This game is another example of an FGC entity that’s still played on a competitive level. And for good reason – Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is full of fun on a casual level and even more enticing on an expert one.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed16. ‘Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars’</div>
16. ‘Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars’

In one of the most random crossover fighting games of all time, Capcom pitted its most recognizable and severely underrated characters against the retro anime icons belonging to the Tatsunoko Production studio. And to everyone’s surprise, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars ended up being way better than it had any right to be. The 2v2 gameplay pretty much laid the blueprint for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which is why it’s so easy to get caught up in all the fun this game basks in. The unique “Baroque Combo” feature is a great risk/reward mechanic that we’d love to see pop up in other fighters in the future. And we’ll always appreciate this game for giving players the ability to team up Chun-Li with Jun the Swan!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed17. ‘Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’</div>
17. ‘Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3’

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom walked so Marvel vs. Capcom 3 could run. And after Marvel vs. Capcom 3 got in a great lap, it got boosted to offer even more to its dedicated player base. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 increased the roster count to showcase series veterans and relative unknowns at the time. Strider-Hiryu, Firebrand, Ghost Rider, Nova, and more joined the 3v3 madness to make it even more of a can’t miss prospect. As far as crossover fighting games go, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 sits near the top of the mountain thanks to incredibly fun and blindingly fast gameplay.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed18. ‘Tekken 3’</div>
18. ‘Tekken 3’

Tekken 3 will forever be regarded as the best-selling fighting game of all time. When it finally made its way from the arcade to PlayStation consoles back in 1998, fighting game fans and even non-fans alike couldn’t help but get caught up in all the hype. Tekken 3 produced a massive leap in visual fidelity and character design, plus it offered more free-form gameplay thanks to the newly added sidestepping maneuver. This sequel did huge numbers when it came to sales simply because it was just too damn good to ignore. Tekken 3 is GOAT-tier material.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed19. ‘Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection'</div>
19. ‘Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection’

The Tekken series evolved across its fourth and fifth entries. The response to the Tekken 5 was hugely positive, which is why it came as no surprise that it got an upgraded version that gets credit for being the very best version. It’s pretty wild to fathom that Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection started life as a PlayStation Portable exclusive before it came to the PS3 with online functionality. We adore this game for debuting Lili and Dragunov while also bringing back Armor King. The strong gameplay introduced in the OG version of Tekken 5 is retained here while also throwing in a remixed OST and even more striking battlegrounds to freshen things up.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed20. ‘Tekken 7’</div>
20. ‘Tekken 7’

Tekken 7 is the longest-running game in the franchise when it comes to ongoing post-launch DLC support. Through constant character balances and roster updates, the 7th King of the Iron Fist Tournament has evolved into one of the best 3D fighting games of all time. The Tekken formula has been perfected in this iteration and introduced cool new features such as “Rage Arts, “the “Power Crush,” and “Rage Drive” moves. Plus we have to give props to Tekken 7 for its implementation of 2D fighting game characters and retrofitting them into a 3D fighter with ease. It’s still insane to watch Heihachi come to blows with Street Fighter’s Akuma in this game!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed21. ‘Virtua Fighter 2’</div>
21. ‘Virtua Fighter 2’

Before Tekken hit the scene, Sega embraced the realm of 3d fighters with the introduction of Virtua Fighter. Its sequel is the one that truly deserves all the love in the world for pushing the series and the fighting game genre itself forward to incredible horizons. Virtua Fighter 2’s graphical upgrades are many – the characters look way more smoothed out, the stages appear more fully realized from their conceptual stage, and the action that transpires onscreen moves at a more fluid pace. Virtua Fighter 2 feels and plays like everything its creators wished for during the series’ first foray into the fighting game genre. It’s practically a dream come true in playable form for 3D fighting game fans!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed22. ‘Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution’</div>
22. ‘Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution’

If you owned or still own a PS2, then Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution has to be sitting within your library. Simply put, it does everything the original Virtua Fighter 4 does and makes it its mission to do all those things even better. Besides improved visuals and a number of character balance adjustments, this updated follow-up came in hot with two new characters, a unique tournament quest mode that lets players compete against AI bots whose playstyles are modeled after legit Japanese pros, and a whole lot of cool character customization.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed23. ‘Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown’</div>
23. ‘Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown’

The latest incarnation of Virtua Fighter 5 is the very best yet. Sega’s in-house development house Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio (Yakuza, Judgment) went out of its way to make each member of the game’s roster and stages look even better, which ultimately makes Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown shine. The fighting mechanics themselves are still top of the line as it offers the most realistic demonstration of intense martial arts action the fighting game genre has ever seen. And with the inclusion of new online modes, this super updated edition of Virtua Fighter 5 feels and plays like its most complete form to date.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed24. ‘Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core Plus R’</div>
24. ‘Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core Plus R’

Guilty Gear XX has seen numerous version upgrades over time. The definitive edition of that Arc System Works classic is the one we’ve chosen to detail here. Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core Plus R offers the best upgrades to characters that were once perceived as being a bit weak while also introducing proper adjustments for the game’s stronger roster members. Kliff and Justice end up joining the fray to increase the full playable character count to 25, the single-player modes suite is plentiful, and the rollback netcode enhancement featured in the PC version pushed this anime fighter to levels of near perfection.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed25. ‘Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2’</div>
25. ‘Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2’

Guilty Gear Xrd marks a true evolution point for the series that helped make it even more of a destination fighter for the FGC. Once it reached its final stage, it put forth its best iteration via REV 2. This version of the game marks the hype return of the lady samurai known as Baiken and the debut of the shinobi assistant known as Answer. The gameplay itself feels as rewarding as it’s ever been, plus the many balance changes and animations added to the game helped it reach its final improved stage. Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 is one of Arc System Works’…well, finest works to date.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed26. ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’</div>
26. ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’

The FGC didn’t even know it wanted a Persona fighting game until the original Persona 4 Arena eventually came through. And to the surprise of no one, that anime fighter got the updated treatment with the introduction of Ultimax. The roster increased by eight with the addition of several familiar faces, plus Shadow versions of each character were featured to add even more playable options to master. The entertainment value attached to this all-Persona battler is extremely high thanks to a mix of slick, fast-paced combat and the best aspects of the JRPG spinoff series itself.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed27. ‘Samurai Shodown V Special’</div>
27. ‘Samurai Shodown V Special’

SNK’s weapons-based fighter gets a ton of acclaim thanks to its slower-paced gameplay that rewards patient players that pick their spots more carefully. The very best version of that playstyle is front and center in Samurai Shodown V Special, which is an updated version of the fifth mainline entry in the series. What’s on offer here is the most balanced version of the game, more characters to master, and a wealth of satisfying gory finishers that adds even more weight to each clash. Samurai Shodown V Special is the peak of the 2D entries within the franchise.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed28. Garou: Mark of the Wolves’</div>
28. Garou: Mark of the Wolves’

Like Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Garou: Mark of the Wolves marks a sharp turn for the Fatal Fury series. Thankfully, that change in presentation and gameplay style ended up being a welcome evolution that fans gravitated to. Series frontman Terry Bogard got a new look and went to battle with a new collective of fighters that fit right into the ongoing Fatal Fury mythos. With the “Just Defense” and “Tactical Offense Position” (T.O.P.) systems put in place, Garou: Mark of the Wolves remains a high point for the series that offers tactical gameplay in the most rewarding way possible.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed29. ‘Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001’</div>
29. ‘Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001’

We sure do miss the rivalry that persisted between the two biggest fighting game makers back in the day. Capcom and SNK kicked off the playable feud between them with Capcom Vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000. But that playable grudge match improved by leaps and bounds with the release of Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001. New characters from Samurai Shodown, The Last Blade, Rival Schools, and Final Fight ran into the ring for this sequel. Plus the tweaks made to the first game’s “Ratio” system and the debut of the “Grooves” meter mechanics gave way to plenty of player creativity to bask in.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed30. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’</div>
30. ‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’

For years before this game became a reality, avid Dragon Ball Z fans lamented the lack of a true 2D fighting game that pitted Super Saiyans against their very worst villains. Arc System Works took on that dream scenario and made it a reality with the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ. We’re happy to say that that this quality anime fighter does everything fans expected it to do – it features gorgeous visuals on par with the anime itself, stars a who’s who of characters from different story arcs of the show, and relies on 3v3 team-based mechanics that mimic the best aspects of Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed31. ‘Darkstalkers 3′</div>
31. ‘Darkstalkers 3′

During Capcom’s creative zenith, it developed a fighting game that included horror movie archetypes with an anime edge to them all. Once Darkstalkers reached its third entry, it reached its highest point of recognizability and fan adoration. Darkstalkers 3 retained the amazing 2D gameplay of past games in the series while also adding in the signature “Dark Force System” to give each character an awesome gimmick super move to gain the advantage with. Darkstalkers 3 also earns a nod on this list thanks to its introduction of the best new series entrants we’ve ever seen – Jedah, Lilith, Q-Bee, and B. B. Hood are top of the line when it comes to original Capcom characters!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed32. ‘The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match’</div>
32. ‘The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match’

The first dream match that took place within SNK’s premier fighting game series is this bonafide classic. The King of Fighters ’98: Ultimate Match is pretty much the definitive edition of the base game thanks to additional roster members and a wealth of gameplay changes that have been made for the better. It feels so good to take advantage of the three-meter variations with boss characters such as Geese and Wolfgang at the ready. Shout out to this game for throwing in some sweet 3D backgrounds for the console version, too!

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed33. ‘The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match’</div>
33. ‘The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match’

The next dream match within The King of Fighters timeline arrived with this next pick on our list. The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match features a long list of the most beloved characters from past entries and adds in the mysterious Nameless to really up the ante. Each character comes with new and old moves that make their moveset more expansive than ever before. It feels so good to play both KOF dream matches online through flawless rollback netcode.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed35. ‘The King of Fighters XIII’</div>
35. ‘The King of Fighters XIII’

One of the prettiest fighting games we’ve ever laid eyes on is the 13th mainline entry in The King of Fighters series. The refreshed art style seen in this 2D fighter popped up in The King of Fighters XII (man, what a disappointment that was…), which means it got applied to other series regulars that made them look their very best. The introduction of the EX Mode, Hyper Drive mode, and Neo Max Desperation Move threw in some awe-inspiring moves that birthed some super hype (and hard to pull off!) combos.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed36. ‘Killer Instinct’ (2013)</div>
36. ‘Killer Instinct’ (2013)

Now we have so many warm memories attached to Rare’s original Killer Instinct games. But the rebooted 3D evolution of the combo- and counter-heavy fighter stands out as our absolute fave. The combined efforts of development studios Double Helix Games and Iron Galaxy helped turn this Killer Instinct revival into a comeback well worth hopping into. The original roster is all in tow, plus the newly added characters and guests fit in perfectly with the overall theme of Killer Instinct. This reboot is one of the deepest fighters ever made thanks to its systems that implement combo breakers and massive combo strings that can end a match in seconds.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed37. ‘Skullgirls 2nd Encore’</div>
37. ‘Skullgirls 2nd Encore’

It’s always gratifying to see a project created by an independent development studio come to fruition and succeed. With the amazing work put forth by a multitude of studios, Skullgirls has reached its strongest point to date through the 2nd Encore update. This 2D fighter is an amalgamation of the best parts from the “Vs.” series and also incorporates some of the most uniquely designed lady brawlers ever featured in fighting games. By the time Skullgirls 2nd Encore releases its final DLC character, it’ll be ranked among the greatest of all time within the FGC.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed38. ‘BlazBlue: Central Fiction’</div>
38. ‘BlazBlue: Central Fiction’

Once Arc Sys moved away from Guilty Gear for a while to produce something new yet similar to its marquee IP, the Japanese studio blessed the FGC with the BlazBlue series. The final major update within that IP is Central Fiction, which is widely recognized as the best version that’s still played by passionately. This game offers a fitting conclusion to the “Azure Saga” storyline, adds eight more warriors into the mix, and improves upon everything that came before. BlazBlue: Central Fiction is a masterclass in the anime fight game subgenre.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed39. ‘Dead or Alive 5 Last Round’</div>
39. ‘Dead or Alive 5 Last Round’

Japanese publisher Koei Tecmo and developer Team Ninja’s fighting game magnum opus is the Dead or Alive series. Fans have regularly flocked to each franchise entry thanks to its easy to play, hard to master gameplay. Plus its…well, “titillating” lady character models have also earned the game plenty of attention. The highest point of quality within Dead or Alive is the final version of the fifth game, which is Dead or Alive 5 Last Round. The roster is massive as its filled with series regulars and guests from Virtua Fighter, Samurai Warriors, and Ninja Gaiden. The fluid action that happens onscreen still looks crisp and the fun factor will forever remain high within this quality 3D brawler.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>”,”hed40. ‘Injustice 2’</div>
40. ‘Injustice 2’

Injustice: Gods Among Us gave players the ability to act out their dream DC Comics clashes while getting caught up in an emotional storyline that pitted heroes against heroes. Then came the sequel that offered welcome upgrades in every area imaginable. Injustice 2 shined the spotlight on lesser-known saviors and baddies, plus it even called on some surprising guests to join in on all the superpowered battles. Its story mode is just as good as the one featured in its predecessor, mixing & matching outfits for each character is highly addictive, and the explosive battles that take place within this all-DC fighter look & feel superior to everything that came before it.

Gaming Interviews

Kaz Goes ‘Inside The Screen’ With Aaron “Don” Dukes

This week’s Inside The Screen, hosted by Aaron “Don” Dukes, features special guest Kaz. Kaz is a maestro of sorts in his main areas of expertise – he’s a 3D artist, motion designer, video editor, streamer, and gamer. His motion designing/video editing freelance work is tied to the booming world of esports, plus he’s also created and continues to create dope pieces of art that double as NFTs and sweet wall panels.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

Kaz’s striking visuals can be spotted across sites such as Darkroom, Behance, and his own personal web page. Once you lay eyes on his numerous works of 3D art, you’ll quickly be convinced of Kaz’s undying dedication to his craft. While chopping it up with Aaron, Kaz delved into some other topics surrounding the world of art that he’s still knee-deep in. Listening to his thoughts regarding the most influential anime duo of all time provides some insight into which type of shonen anime he adores the most. Another enlightening topic that Kaz delves into takes place outside Inside the Screen and it answers this complex question – “how does one convince one’s parents that a degree in a creative industry is basically useless?” Be sure to check out his insight into that inquiry right here.

<div class =”code”><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

Kaz is also an avid gamer that dibbles and dabbles in competitive first-person shooters. You can usually catch him puttin’ work in during his Valorant Twitch streams. He actually got his start as a Destiny content creator and did that for two years. Once he put together his own PC rig, Kaz began spending his time enjoying other shooters such as Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends. Be sure to check out Kaz’s sick Valorant skills and his artistic ventures via his IG and YouTube pages.

Consoles Gaming

Elton’s ‘Mario Kart 9’ Wishlist

Fam! We have been playing Mario Kart 8 since 2014!

You really can’t be mad at Nintendo for running with that kart racer for the longest time now – the OG Wii U release and the Switch port have sold more than 40 million copies, it’s the best-selling racing game of all time, and it has joined the list of best-selling games of all time period. Gamers of all ages can hop into Mario Kart 8 and have the time of their lives, which is part of the reason why its longevity will seemingly stay infinite as newcomers discover it for the very first time.

But let’s be honest with each other – Mario Kart 8 is a little long in the tooth these days. Hardcore fans of the game have been crying out in droves for a brand new entry made specifically for the Switch in the long-running spinoff kart racing series. We recently learned from Kantan Games’ analyst Serkan Toto that the ninth entry in the series is being made as we speak and is set to come with a “new twist.” And to top it off, Toto also stated that it could be teased as early as this year!

That got me to thinking – what could that new twist possibly entail? And what other fresh features could be thrown into the mix to make Mario Kart 9 feel like the refreshing sequel everyone hopes it will be? Here’s my personal wishlist for everything I’d love to see in the next iteration of the Mario Kart series.

1. Make It An Nintendo All-Stars Affair

Mario Kart 8’s DLC and its Deluxe rerelease spread love to the rest of the Nintendo family by bringing in Link, Villager, Isabelle, and the Inkling Boy & Girl. And to make matters even better, new tracks based on The Legend of Zelda, Animal Crossing, F-Zero, and Excitebike. And to be quite honest with you all, those additions turned out to be the best part of the entire game.

Since it’s being said that the next Mario Kart will come with a “big twist,” my gut is telling me that the developers behind it will make sure that unexpected change is embracing the totality of Nintendo’s best characters and worlds. Mario Kart 9 would send me and plenty of other fans into a frenzy if it came with the subtitle “Nintendo All-Stars.” Racing through the Mushroom Kingdom is cool and all, but I’m tryna hit some nasty drifts and lap the rest of the pack on some other Nintendo-themed tracks. A brand new Mario Kart game that features racers and tracks from Metroid, Splatoon, Kirby, etc. would make my day!

2. The Implementation of Completely New Tracks

Every time a new Mario Kart comes out, its offering of tracks is usually a mix of entirely new themes/layouts and throwbacks that have been upgraded via a current-gen makeover. Mario Kart 8 splits its offering of new and old tracks into 16 apiece, which produced a comfortable mix for longtime players. Now while I do enjoy hopping back into the racing mix on retro tracks such as Mario Circuit and Dry Dry Desert, I think the next entry of Mario Kart should launch with nothing but new tracks.

Now I mentioned beforehand that I’d be completely cool with new tracks themed after separate Nintendo IPs. To add to that, I’d also love to see a wealth of new track layouts that build on the environmental themes seen in past series entries and spread out to other mainline Mario games. I can already imagine racing around Super Mario Odyssey’s New Donk City! I’m totally fine with Mario Kart 9 coming right out the gate with a list full of fresh tracks and bringing back past tracks as DLC later on.

3. A Full-Fledged Single-Player Adventure Mode

Do you know why I found myself playing Diddy Kong Racing more than Mario Kart 64 and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled more than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Because both those non-Mario racing games offered something a bit more substantial when it came to single-player content. Kart racers that gift me with full-fledged adventure modes always stick out as my favorites because they give you full open locales to drive around in while in search of new tasks to take on.

The next Mario Kart should follow those games’ lead and go the adventure mode route to truly keep solo players’ attention. Finishing various racing cups, going for different time trials, and attempting to overcome one-on-one boss challenges are the type of features I’m expecting from such a mode. And doing all of that while freely exploring an open hub world that looks like a Nintendo theme park sounds like the extra cherry on top of this winning concept.

4. Better Usage of the Gliders and the Introduction of Boats

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed will forever be ranked among the best kart racing games for its evolution of the gameplay concepts seen in Diddy Kong Racing. Instead of splitting up the track layouts based on whatever you were handling at the time (cars, planes, or boats), Sega’s racer relied on courses that changed during new laps and gave each character the ability to change their vehicle on the fly to adapt to their new surroundings.

I wouldn’t be mad at Nintendo for taking that concept and applying it to the next Mario Kart. The last game already got the ball rolling on those types of things via anti-gravity racing and the usage of gliders & motorbikes. I’d totally be fine with Mario Kart 9 featuring tracks that change over time and force players to transform their vehicle of choice to stay in the race. And through that, there could be even more of a fun reliance on the game’s gliders and possibly debut boats for water-themed competitions.

5. A Custom Track and Kart Creator

Sony’s ModNation Racers and LittleBigPlanet Karting embraced the more creative aspects of the kart racing genre by lettings players create their very own tracks. It felt so good to hop on from time to time to see what kinda crazy designs the player community came up with, plus it felt good to have a nice variety of karts to drive around in.

Mario Kart 9 should follow in the footsteps of those two kart racing gems by instituting its very own custom track suite. Just imagine the limitless possibilities that could be afforded to players if they got a ton of options in their bid to craft their own exciting courses. I’ve always wanted to create my own version of Wario Stadium! Alongside a track creator, it’d be dope if the next Mario Kart also afforded players the ability to make their own karts. There’s so much to gain from Mario Kart 9 being an unlimited source of player creativity.

Consoles Gaming

The Upcoming Fighting Games of 2022

The fighting game community is going to bask in a lot of goodness in 2022.

And that’s due in part to a wealth of brand new entrants into the thriving genre of fighters and the ongoing updates for previously released fan favorites. This new year brings with it the 15th mainline entry in the long-running The King of Fighters franchise, a highly-requested rerelease of an Arc System Works anime fighter, a brand new brawler based on a Korean beat ’em up MMORPG, and so much more.

As the year winds down, we’ll make sure this list of 2022 fighting games stays updated as new developments are made. This shall be the definitive listing of the upcoming fighting games slated for the new year!

Previously Released Fighting Games Set for Updates

‘Guilty Gear Strive’ – ongoing Season 1 DLC character releases (Baiken)

‘Dragon Ball FighterZ’ – ongoing DLC character releases (Lab Coat Android 21)

‘Street Fighter V’ – final Battle Balance Adjustment and Capcom Pro Tour 2022 DLC

‘Skullgirls 2nd Encore’ – ongoing DLC character releases (Umbrella, Black Dahlia)

‘Melty Blood: Type Lumina’ – ongoing DLC character releases (Dead Apostle Noel, Aoko Aozaki)

‘Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl’ – ongoing DLC character releases

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1. ‘The King of Fighters XV’ – February 17
PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, PC – Steam

It’s all been leading up to this. The hype character trailers, team composition reveals, and open betas have all done a bang-up job in regards to SNK’s next major fighting game release. The 15th mainline installment in The King of Fighters series is dropping this year and it looks to be a more refined (and more importantly, graphically impressive!) version of The King of Fighters XIV.

The King of Fighters XV features a more cohesive roster filled with longtime veterans, returning fan favorites, and alluring newcomers. The gameplay itself feels even fluid and gratifying than ever before thanks to the ability to pull off EX special moves without being forced to enter into a separate power mode. The addition of the “Shatter Strike” maneuver and MAX Mode makes this game’s bevy of team-elimination clashes incredibly exciting. Thank god this one has good rollback netcode!

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2. ‘Phantom Breaker: Omnia’ – March 15
PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

So get this: Phantom Breaker: Omnia is an updated version of a Japanese-only fighting game that’s actually a spinoff of a beat ’em up called Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds. The wait for this new and improved version of Phantom Breaker has been extremely long (since 2012, to be exact!), but it’s finally slated to land on American shores in 2022.

For those not in the know, Phantom Breaker: Omnia is your typical 2D anime fighter whose roster is filled with a majority of charismatic ladies. Each member of the game’s roster has access to three distinct fighting styles that alters the way they behave in combat – Quick Style, Hard Style, and Omnia Style. So choose your favorite fighter, take a trip into the lab to familiarize yourself with each style of play, and emerge with all the know-how needed to dominate the competition.

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3. ‘Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’ – March 17
PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

Fans have been clamoring for a current-gen rerelease of this Arc System Works anime fighter for far too long now. But thankfully, the powers that be have decided to grant that longstanding wish and finally bring Persona 4 Arena Ultimax over to PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam.

What makes this rerelease that much more intriguing is the fact that it’ll incorporate the final batch of character/gameplay balance updates, which were previously exclusive to the arcade version of the game. A lot of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax’s shortcomings were addressed in those updates and chief among them were the changes made to the alternate “Shadow” versions of the game’s main roster members. If you haven’t played this Arc Sys fighting gem before or are just ready to hop back in for old time’s sake, this rerelease should definitely be on your radar.

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4. ‘DNF Duel’ – Summer
PS5, PS4

DNF Duel came out of nowhere to grab the attention of fighting game fans everywhere in 2021. After months of radio silence following the release of a short but sweet trailer in 2020, this gorgeous anime fighter put forth a steady trailer reveal information rollout in 2021 that garnered tons of positive feedback.

After players left DNF Duel’s open beta with largely positive feedback, the game managed to shoot itself up the list for the most anticipated fighting game of 2022. And it’s easy to see why – DNF Duel’s crisp 2D visuals, awesome interpretation of the source material’s class-based avatars, and the easy yet equally complex battle mechanics all help it stand apart from the competition. We can’t wait to slam fools as the Grappler all over again once this game finally comes out! And yes, rollback netcode has been confirmed for this one.

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5. ‘MultiVersus’ – TBA
PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PS4, Xbox One, PC – Steam

Now that Masahiro Sakurai has finally concluded his long and epic journey with the development of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, new party fighters are attempting to enter the fray and make major headlines themselves.

Besides Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, there’s the Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment published and Player First Games developed MultiVersus. This 2v2 team-based party brawler will feature a who’s who of WB property-themed characters, such as Batman, Bugs Bunny, Steven Universe, and so much more. Keep in mind that MultiVersus will also allow for 1v1 and free-for-all skirmishes, so you’ll have plenty of battle options at your disposal within this free-to-play platform fighter. Rollback netcode is definitely in place for this fighter as well.

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6. ‘Blazing Strike’ – TBA
PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

Blazing Strike looks and feels like a long-lost SNK fighting game that we unknowingly passed by in the arcades. And that’s part of the reason why we’re so intrigued by it. Publisher Aksys Games and development studio RareBreed Makes Games have come together to produce a 2D fighter that pays homage to the golden age of the genre itself.

Alongside retro stylized visuals, Blazing Strike will implement modern-day fighting game conventions such as heightened mobility, flashy super moves, and comeback mechanics. The game’s “Rush” system also offers something fresh and unique for this throwback fighter as it allows each character to utilize even more special moves, move faster, and jump much higher than before. Hopping online to enjoy some heated battles in Blazing Strike should be a joy thanks to its usage of GGPO rollback netcode.

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7. ‘Breakers Collection’ – TBA
PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC – Steam

Breakers and Breakers Revenge are regarded by many as two of the most slept-on fighters from the 90s golden age of fighting games. Now, both games are being compiled together in a sick compilation package thanks to the efforts of publisher/developer QUByte Interactive.

Visco Corporation’s two underrated fighters stick close to the best parts of Street Fighter II and rely on fast-paced gameplay to keep players’ attention. Traditional special move inputs are in place here, so FGC vets will have little issue getting used to Breakers Collection’s style of gameplay if they’re playing it for the first time here. GGPO rollback netcode is a go, so this game’s online battles will surely play like a dream!

eSports Gaming

Mobil 1 Challenges NBA2K Players to Tune Up Their Game

NBA 2K is kicking off 2022 with a brand new initiative geared for 2K fans across the globe. Global esports organization Gen.G and Mobil 1, the official Motor Oil of the NBA, have teamed up to launch The Tune Up, a program designed to help NBA2K players tune up their skills and tune up the community.

The Tune Up

Here are the deets.

The Tuneup program starts today, and will launch with a NBA2K tournament, giving gamers the chance to compete for cash prizes of, fittingly, $2,000. Then in May, Gen.G and Twitch Partner LosPollosTV will host a second round of tournaments where more $2000 prizes will be on the line. Both tournament finals will be hosted on Gen.G’s Twitch channel at

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Competing in a tournament is not the only way for gamers to win with Mobil 1 and tune up their skills. The program also includes a Tune Up Sweepstakes. By entering, fans and creator communities will have a chance to win 1:1 coaching sessions with 2K pros, along with other prizes including NBA2K virtual currency and a PS5.

That’s not all. There’s also an important charity component to this program. The Mobil 1 brand will collaborate with 2K Foundations for a court rehabilitation in Minneapolis, and with Project Backboard for two additional projects in Cleveland and New York, adding an additional dimension to the Tune Up concept.

Again, this project runs from now all the way until May, so don’t miss out on the action. You can continue to keep up with updates via the NBA 2K official website. Also be sure to give the GenGTiger’s a follow on Twitter.