Spanning from the late '70s, the fighting game community has grown to become a big part of the gaming landscape. Starting with old school boxing games all the way to today, where we have spectacular powers and high flying acrobatics to fight with.
Despite becoming a huge genre, it's also one of the most intimidating for new players. It has next to no transferable skills with any other genre, creating a huge learning curve with most games that players have to endure at first. Which is why it's so important to have games to ease the process of learning a whole new skill set. Here are some games you can count on to ease the blow, and some that cater to the journeyman fighter among us.
10 Beginners: Street Fighter V
Street Fighter is one of the giants in the fighting genre. While that might seem a little daunting, it also means that there is a lot of resources available to help you with your first few steps down the path of a warrior.
With such a large community to practice your skills with, it's hard not to find a training partner you can sharpen your skills with. Combine that with the relatively simple mechanics of the game and you have the perfect game to introduce the genre.
9 Experts: Virtua Fighter 5
The infamous Virtua Fighter, a game renowned for its complexity and finicky details. Love it or hate it, Virtua Fighter is among the deepest fighting franchise out there. For some, that becomes boring and overly complicated, but those who enjoy memorizing lists of combinations should love it.
Some characters have 150 combinations! Taking into account the 20 characters on the roster, it starts to add up to a daunting task for all but the most hardcore. It's also the most stripped-down visually, giving you no crazy moves to deal massive damage. Jabs, straights, and uppercuts are king in this ring.
8 Beginners: Street Fighter II
This is the game that began the craze based around the fighting game community. Street Fighter II is most of the current fighting games stripped down to their bones.
If you want to get good at anything, start with the basics. Street Fighter II offers the A, B, C's of game mechanics. There's an effective counter for every move and there aren't any 16 button combos to learn. Just the hours ahead of you being beaten with those same mechanics.
7 Experts: Tekken 5
Another giant in the community, Tekken has a wide range of skill levels that play the game. Since its mass appeal has brought so many new players to its door, Tekken has had to accommodate all the new players, so the casual scene is much larger these days.
However, at the top of the pyramid is still a large community that has been learning the combinations of the different characters for years. Tekken now has a large roster of 49 characters to contend with. If players want to compete you will have to know a good chunk of those characters' moves. Defense is the name of the game and with all the various fighting styles available, Tekken pushes the difficulty level up significantly.
6 Beginners: Killer Instinct
The reboot gods have blessed us when it comes to this series. Killer Instinct was brought into the new age in 2013 and ever since it has introduced many people to the world of fighting games.
When an unrestricted combo system meets simple move inputs you have the perfect world for a button-mashing beginner to explore freely. On top of that, you have Dojo mode that takes you through the entire game, from the basics to advanced ends of gameplay. Even the free-to-play version lets you experiment when it switches out characters every game, it's undeniably accessible.
5 Experts: Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3
One of the rare mashup games that's good enough to be considered a serious fighting game. As opposed to the bare-bones style of Virtua Fighter, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 provides all the flash and smash anyone could ask for. on the other hand, it will take you a while to learn how to pull off those insane moves.
Usually, it's the combination memory where most people run into trouble. With Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, it really comes down to the tricky mechanics and team combinations that complicate things. The tutorial is also lackluster, further raising the entry bar for those who have not played the previous games.
4 Beginners: Dragon Ball FighterZ
While this game doesn't have the simplest mechanics, it does introduce a wide array of systems without drowning players in the details. Not to mention the amazing graphics and animation that make it feel like you're controlling the anime.
Instead of your traditional head-to-head scenario, FighterZ offers 3 fighters that can be switched on the fly. the special moves are cinematic enough to keep players engaged long enough to get the mechanics down. Above all, it captures the fun fighting games are supposed to be about. It isn't the heavy technical cage that some franchises have locked themselves in.
3 Experts: BlazBlue
Anime fighters have historically been more mechanically difficult than most of the genre. Introducing technical mechanics not seen in the likes of Street Fighter and Tekken, this tends to put off the casual player who just wants to have a good time.
While BlazBlue does offer an extensive tutorial, you will need to be competent at every mechanic to stand much of a chance. With all the Crush Triggers and Barrier Blocking to consider, it's no shock only the well-versed dare to enter the arena.
2 Beginners: Skullgirls
The Indie game that has taken the fighting game community by storm. It makes sense that a smaller scale game would be a good start for a beginner, a smaller roster of characters and less overwhelming mechanics make for a great start to the newer player.
Skullgirls also has a tutorial that covers more than most fighting games out there. Does every fighting tutorial answer how to throw a punch or kick? But none answer When? or Why? Until now. Skullgirls is the perfect introduction to a more complex fighting game while giving you all the tools to succeed.
1 Experts: Guilty Gear Xrd
Guilty Gear is known to have sent many a newcomer into a tailspin. Those that stick with the game and manage those rocky waters at first, soon find the enjoyment in playing with the technical mechanics this game brings to the table.
Much like BlazBlue (same game studio), the tutorial should help players navigate through the beginning stages. However, Guilty Gear has a steep learning curve. Online is packed with people who have mastered technical mechanics you haven't even come close to. That is the barrier for entry for the brave who dare to enter the ring.