Marvel vs. Capcom was once a beloved series by the video game community because of their stacked rosters of colorful characters with fast-paced, action-packed battles, and hardcore controls that remained consistent for almost 20 years.
Keyword: almost, and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite seems to be a step in a different direction following the unfortunate collapse of the licensing deal between Marvel and Capcom following the Disney buyout of 2012.
The game itself is a bit of an anomaly to gamers who were convinced that the series was over and that we would never get a chance to see this exhilarating crossover ever again. Now, once the excitement for the game began to simmer down following the announcement of the game in December of 2016, fans were eager to hear about which of their favorite characters from each conglomerate would appear.
Now that the game has finally released on home consoles, the developers at Capcom have made a very controversial decision to change a lot of what made the series so iconic. These changes include (but not limited to) the skimmed-down roster that is a huge downgrade from any roster they have ever had.
Taking a look at these combatants, along with some of the others that Capcom is already shamelessly releasing as expensive downloadable content just a few weeks after its release is a big undertaking. Still, here we go with a complete ranking of this disappointing list of characters.
Serving as an archetype for a super-boss in the Resident Evil series, he is slow, difficult to use, and requires the right character assists to be competitively viable. Unfortunately, fellow Resident Evil villain Albert Wesker also made his debut in the last game and was an instant fan-favorite and massively popular on the competitive scene but was not safe from the cuts to the new roster. This is what makes Nemesis’ role in the game feel so diminished because Wesker was so iconic in the game and fit the aesthetic of the entire franchise in a way that no other did. Even with the small tweaks to Nemesis’ move set, he still does not have that energy that the series is known for. On top of this, he is probably the worst character on the roster at the moment.
29 Mike Haggar
Mike Haggar might be approaching his third time in the franchise but he already feels like an absolute classic addition to the list of fighters. He has appeared in so many games, including some cameos in many Capcom titles and his main Final Fight appearances. He is quick, brutal, and fits right in with the aesthetic of the Marvel vs. Capcom world. His wrestling type-maneuvers also allow for a plethora of creative alternate attires that could be offered with DLC possibilities (Here is hoping for a few WWE ones). Unfortunately, Mike Haggar is one of the weakest characters in the game, and his strong grapple attacks do not make up for his clunky controls with slow wind-ups. It is truly a shame to see him fall from grace as one of the most fun characters to play as in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Ryu is part of an elite group of fighters who have appeared in every single iteration of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise since the first true title in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Ryu has been the strongest link between this and Street Fighter. He is not just a good representation of the series, he is the best representation of the most viable fighting character of all-time. Street Fighter is now regarded as one of the most important video game franchises to ever exist alongside Super Mario, Call of Duty, and Mortal Kombat. Ryu is still the classic 1-2-3 fighter he has been, with the spinning kick Tatsumaki, Hadouken, and Shoryuken that make him a perfect staple to the franchise that will never be replaced. Some fans will clamor for Ken and Akuma, but a few color swaps will have to do for now to hold over the Street Fighter fandom. Sadly, in terms of raw power, Ryu isn't much of a winner.
27 Captain America
Despite his recent outing as an undercover Hydra agent, Steve “Captain America” Rogers has remained one of the most iconic comic book heroes of all-time and represents patriotism and hard-working values like no other. His play style has always been an all-all round pleaser and he has been at the forefront of the promotional material of the series since his introduction the first Marvel vs. Capcom title. Steve Rogers is not usually very competitively used, but on a local level, he is cherished by casual fans for his simple controls. Unfortunately for fans, his simplicity his actually his downfall, since he does not have the same amount of combo possibilities as many others.
26 Nathan Spencer
Serving as one of the biggest controversies for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Spencer was seriously unbalanced and was a troll character for many people online as he had ridiculous screen coverage and extremely easy combos. He seems to be better balanced and fixed from what he used to be, but the Bionic Commando protagonist has left a really bad taste in the mouths of Marvel vs. Capcom fans ever since then. Alternatively, he does add a much-needed dose of variety in terms of representing Capcom’s game series. Fans might not have got a Bionic Commando game in a few years, but Spencer still holds a place in the annals of Marvel vs. Capcom history and will probably remain a cornerstone for the future of the series.
25 Rocket And Groot
Rocket Raccoon was one of the new additions to the franchise the last time around in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and was well received for his unique playstyle and speedy move-set. His return with Groot is one that sounds a little better on paper. At the forefront, the issue is that Groot feels more like a unique type of character swap or DLC costume to his standard move set in the newest installment. Sure, he is given a handful of cool moves that actually reflect his character, but it does not prevent it from feeling like a forced attempt. Groot alone could have been a true one-of-a-kind fighter in a video game, and it holds both of them back from reaching their true potential.
Capcom adding Arthur and Firebrand from the Ghosts and Goblins series was an unexpected success — they were fairly popular with players. They fit in with the aesthetics of the game. Still, Firebrand sticks out as an odder choice because he is not necessarily one character, but just a type of difficult enemy you run across throughout the series. Arthur is actually a protagonist himself, but the game was more in-tune with larger so keeping Firebrand seems like a truly questionable choice. Did they think that he was going to be good fodder for the story mode for gamers to grind against? Odd or not, Fireband isn't all that powerful, and you should avoid using him competitively.
23 Chris Redfield
The Resident Evil franchise has had a bittersweet relationship with many fans of the series. Until RE7 this year, the series had been on a sad decline from the days when Capcom was releasing masterpieces one after another. Chris Redfield seems like a good icon, but he is clunky in comparison to Albert Wesker and Jill Valentine, and does not hold the popularity of Leon Kennedy. This, unfortunately, makes him look like just another cardboard cut-out of a heroic stereotype in the story and his revamped move set has sacrificed impact for agility, without finding the true balance. This is even further disappointing due to the nature of the game not matching up with the tone of the Resident Evil games, and it just does not work as well as it should. Moreover, he's just a weak figher over all.
James Gunn’s Guardians of The Galaxy was one of the best comic-book movies to ever be released and the sequel was nothing short of fantastic. It was the loveable band of characters that included Gamora that made the movie so likable. So what is the problem with Gamora being in this game? Well frankly, she is the most uninteresting character of all the members of the Guardians. Yeah, she has ties to Thanos, but even then it does not make up for her move set that is pretty much a rehash of She-Hulk, only with a sword. Now that the game has been released, however, it seems as if the fans have warmed up to her quick striking and helpful movement abilities that make her just as tough as she is in the movies.
21 Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider has got to be in the discussion for all-time great fighters. He is fun to play as his long bike chain makes for a play style reminiscent of Omega Red but with intense flames. The only thing really holding back the man with the Penance stare is that his film adaptations have been terrible lately. Now that they are trying to focus on characters that are appearing in the movies, there seem to be more feasible options. Still, Ghost Rider represents the Marvel Knights which also includes Blade, Punisher, and Moon Knight so his presence makes a bigger difference than most gamers realize as they are relatively unseen in the series. He may not be a Tier 1 fighter, but with Ghost Rider "FUN" is the name of the game.
Arthur ties in with Firebrand in terms of their strange place on the Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite ladder but it was the firm dedication of players that passed the original Ghosts & Goblins serving as enough evidence for his appearance. That is what puts him above Firebrand, but his play style still feels clunky, heavy, and the nostalgia factor wears off quickly. Arthur's place on this list is almost fluid, as he could easily be one of the most dangerous spacers in the game if used correctly. It just seems as if we have yet to see anyone truly dominate on a competitive level with him, despite his seemingly advantageous move set that allows for so much room to spam projectiles. This tiny knight in armor definitely has room to be one of the most impressive characters on the roster — despite his weak power.
Thor would be lower on the rankings list because of his sorry excuse of a debut in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with his ridiculously slow move set, but his revamp seems to erase his checkered past with the franchise. He should be a staple, and it is about time he gets the attention he deserves with his electrifying set of moves and satisfying use of Mjolnir. His presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been crucial to the success of the films and his character alone draws massive box office attention. Hopefully, he will have the same effect on the game as it releases, but if he does not, Capcom can know why. At this point, it might be too late to make him a staple, but here is hoping for the best here on forth. Of course, it doens't help that he's relatively useless competitively.
18 Morrigan Aensland
As is the case with Strider Hiryu, Morrigan has been a big part of the franchise for many generations and is beloved by the Marvel vs. Capcom community. Even though she suffers the same fate as Jedah Dohma as the Darkstalkers series has been practically dead for two decades, she has found her own fandom in the series. She almost serves as a mascot of sorts and is usually the source of a lot of fan art and crossover promotional material. Usually, she is quick and viable with deadly combos that have made her a competitive juggernaut for most of her time with the franchise and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is no different. Her place in the scarce amount of characters that have remained consistent throughout most of the franchise is special, and this succubus has had gamers with heart eyes for over a decade.
This is a rare case in these turn of events in which that the character is making a semi-triumphant return to the series to little fanfare. Thanos appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and was honestly only rarely played by most casual and even hardcore players of the game. Now that he is returning (mostly due to his part in the Marvel Cinematic universe as of late), it seems like another phoned-in selection from Disney to push for a more story-oriented story and focus on the characters that will probably sell the most action figures. He might now be as powerful as he is in the comic books, but Thanos is a serious threat in this game and makes use of his powerful attacks to set up insane combos for his teammate.
16 Mega Man X
Mega Man is literally one of the biggest video game icons to ever exist. Capcom struck gold with this fantastic side-scroller series on the Nintendo Entertainment System back in the day and while the Mega Man name has not exactly been spotless he is still a legend. He should be heralded a lot higher than Capcom has given him credit for, and his removal from the game with the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was a clear sign of the love that fans have for him. On top of this, Mega Man got even cooler in the Mega Man X series on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System with his new set of abilities, and it is about damn time he reappears in the Marvel vs. Capcom games again.
The Incredible Hulk has been a huge part of Marvel’s influence on pop culture with his massive green profile and iconic appearances in many media formats. Whether it is television, movies, or the actual comic books, the Hulk belongs in the franchise and his place in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has been appropriate. A lot of comic-book aficionados have been quick to interject the ideology that the Hulk could destroy just about any fighter in the history of storytelling, but his addition to this franchise has and always will be a fun one. As mentioned, there are many opportunities with characters like the Hulk and costume swaps like Red Hulk, Abomination, and Grey Hulk adds a necessary level of depth to the roster coverage of the game.
14 Frank West
The Dead Rising franchise is a surprising twist in Capcom’s luck in which they actually followed one of their formulas with a different setting starring an actually likable protagonist in Frank West. The game was an instant classic. West, the first protagonist of the series and has subsequently appeared in many of the games (including and not limited to protagonist duty again). Whether it was his insane wrestling maneuvers, awesome journalism skills, drive to find the truth or just the fact that he has covered wars, gamers fell in love with this photographer with a heart of gold. Furthermore, in the Dead Rising games, he is known for his innovative use of weaponry to use against zombies and his move set in the recent game has reflected on this while adding some simpler mechanics to make his combos easier for casual fans.
13 Captain Marvel
Since Disney acquired Marvel, they have been doing their very best to try and push more female characters in the generally male-dominated comic book world. This is a progressive move from the huge company, but the execution of this idea hasn't always paid off. Captain Marvel (this incarnation being Carol Danvers) is a bland character with little to offer. She was also one of the first characters to be announced, much to the dismay of Marvel vs. Capcom fans. Her powers and play style are extremely similar to Nova but without the incredible speed and the impactful hyper combos.
12 Strider Hiryu
Strider Hiryu is an absolute cornerstone of the legacy of Marvel vs. Capcom in a way that completely dwarfs his own series. He has been giving gamers their ninja fix for most of the franchise and has seen a consistent set of moves that translate well through the generations. It is good to see him stick around, especially with so many faces coming and going throughout the years, Strider Hiryu’s presence is heart-warming. On top of this, he is still a fan-favorite and a part of many player’s main teams. Sure, the Strider series is not exactly one of the most enduring Capcom franchises, but his teleporting and extreme speediness in his fight mechanics will always be remembered by Marvel vs. Capcom. His hyper combo is also as awe-inspiring as it used to be.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds saw the introduction of Dormammu as a slow, projectile based fighter that used his powers of mysticism to win his battles. He is far from one of the worst characters and actually saw a decent pick rate for competitive matches. His place in the larger roster was appropriate and he was a good villain to have in the game, but now that the roster has been shrunken down he seems to be a strange addition to removing fan favorites like Doctor Doom and Albert Wesker. Dormammu is far from an uninteresting character, but he just comes off as an easily interchangeable villain in the already lackluster story mode. Luckily, his move set with energy projectiles and special throws have made him a uniquely offensive pick for many competitors.
Hawkeye does not get enough love. Sure, he does not have the financial backings of Iron Man or the government funded treatment of Steve Rogers but he is a skilled marksman and demands attention. His archery and acrobatic skills have made him an important addition to the franchise. On top of this, he has been a huge part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the only relatable hero for most folk and the character played by Jeremy Renner has provided a much-needed bridge from the real world to the comic-book universe. In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite he remains the quick projectile-based character that comes in and gives that Avengers representation that adds authenticity to the game’s roster.
Admittedly, the idea of playing as a flying superhero that shoots plasma beams sounds good in theory, and Nova is a good vehicle for this kind of playstyle. The only problem with his addition to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is that he still remains a relatively obscure figure to the casual fans outside of his sporadic appearances in a few animated series. Since every spot feels so sacred in this limited affair, it feels like someone with a little more popularity could have taken this slot. Still, he's nothing to mess with and is fun to play — that more than makes up for his brand recognition.
8 Jedah Dohma
Jedah Who? Literally one of the most obscure characters in the entire game, Jedah Dohma is a villain from the Darkstalkers franchise and is making his Marvel vs. Capcom debut. He joins his fellow Darkstalkers character and fan-favorite Morrigan Aensland, but his inclusion just is not as impactful. First of all, we have not received a new Darkstalkers game in twenty years. Second of all, there was virtually no demand for him and there are plenty of other Capcom series that could have been represented here. Third, the only reason why Morrigan does not suffer from the same issue is that she has been a staple of the game since Marvel vs. Capcom 2, while Jedah is just about as unknown as it gets to casual gamers. Still, his speedy, hectic move set and ultimate screen coverage have instantly made him one of the most feared on the roster.
7 Iron Man
Of course, along with Captain America comes Iron Man like peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread. You just simply cannot have one without the other, and Iron Man might not have been around as long as you might think (as War Machine actually preceded him with his appearance). And since many characters have donned the costume and there have been many versions of the Iron Man armor, there are unlimited possibilities for alternate attires like the Iron Patriot, War Machine, and the Iron Man Armor Mark II with the slick silver finish. Add in the fun, easy-to-grasp flying controls and insane projectile damage and blast output, Iron Man is probably going to be around for a long time for good reasons. This is also not even considering the huge impact that Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau had with the first Iron Man film.
There is a hole that has been left in the hearts of fans of Marvel vs. Capcom because of the lack of characters. Dante might be the face of Devil May Cry, but his brother Virgil was equally important to the franchise. On top of this, Dante was primarily a troll type character because of his ridiculously overpowered move set and screen coverage. Now that he is the sole character from Devil May Cry to be represented, he has no one to team up with in the new two-on-two style of fighting. It would have been awesome to see him team up with Virgil once again this time around as just a duo. His actual place on the tier list has not changed, however, and Dante is still a force to be reckoned with.
5 Doctor Strange
As mentioned, it has been good to see characters return from their debut in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Doctor Strange is no stranger to this neat trend. Since then, he got his own movie (although unfortunately, it is not Benedict Cumberbatch) and is set to become a big part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he felt kind of clunky to use in his debut, Capcom did a pretty good job at making him more competitively viable and feels a lot smoother to control this time around. He might not have that same Eye of Agomotto that made him so famous, Doctor Strange can stick around and makes the addition of Dormammu actually make sense.
Chun-Li shares the distinct honor (along with just one other character, to be featured later on the list) to be featured in every single iteration of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise through every iteration. This includes the inaugural X-Men vs. Street Fighter that spawned this legendary fighting series. Of course, no one knew what the impact of the game would be and how the series would go on to be an important impact on gaming culture, but Chun-Li is a proper addition. She is one of the few strong females in video game history and represents the Street Fighter series along with just one other (again, we will get to that). While Street Fighter remains highly un-represented in this game, Chun-Li’s lightning fast strikes and majestic flow of kicks have probably made her a permanent staple of the series.
Ultron is an awesome robot that is the classic sentient being-gone-wrong scenario and ironically breathes new life into the franchise. His debut to the series is a welcome one, to say the least, as he has always been a what-if fighter for many franchise fans. Some could say that Dr. Doom and Magneto would have been more iconic villains to replace Ultron, but his appearance in The Avengers: Age of Ultron has solidified him as a great antagonist. He also takes a lot of the burden when it comes to being one of the most important villains to serve the plot of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. This, along with his agile abilities and unpredictable movements, makes him a great character to put his stamp on this legendary franchise.
Zero’s inclusion in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was very controversial as he was not as well-known as the Blue Bomber himself. Now that Mega Man is back and in his best form to represent his brand properly, and Sigma is also included to add even more depth, why bring what is necessarily an actual Mega Man clone to this game? Zero could easily be an alternate attire for the Blue Bomber, the same way it was reversed in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. But this goes further than just another character from the same games, Zero was (and still) is one of the fastest and versatile characters in franchise history and is still the ultimate threat he was in the last game. Zero's ultimate hyper combo is nothing to sneeze at, and he will wield that sword to take out just about anyone.
Ahh, the web-slinger, Spider-Man, the most iconic Marvel superhero of all-time and the original brainchild of Stan Lee. Sure, the games that have featured Spider-Man have been (largley) negatively recieved, but his impact on pop culture has been massive. It feels right to see him in the game as he is among Marvel’s most important characters. First of all, he has been extremely satisfying to play as with his web-ball, web-swing, and Maximum Spidey hyper combos. Second, Spider-Man gives that comic-book style pop that has been a huge part of the aesthetics of the franchise. Finally, Spider-Man's move set in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is as fun as it is deadly. His web-based attacks and wall-to-all movement have made him a difficult target for larger, slower opponents. Not to mention his hyper-combo does an insane amount of damage.