Top 10 Best Fighting Games On PS3
Go from a scrub to a pro in no time!
Fighting games! We love ‘em here in the Play office, although the level of skill on display ranges from stick-savvy pro to button-mashing scrub. The more talented among us have come together to create the definitive list of the ten best fighting games you can play on your PS3.
10 – Arcana Heart 3
A niche title to start us off, Arcana Heart 3 isn’t well known by many people, and it’s a shame. The cutesy, hyper-anime stylings may put some off, but behind the moe veneer lies a fighter of considerable depth. Players not only choose one of 23 characters, but then one of 23 “arcana” to pair them with. Different arcana give your characters different special moves and affect statistics like HP, mobility and the rate at which you gain meter. It’s a great system with huge depth for creating unique combinations. Add in a hyper-fast combat system with multiple “homing” air dashes and you have a winner on your hands. Give it a go.
9 – Street Fighter IV
Still the most popular fighting game in the States almost five years after its first arcade release, Street Fighter IV can be thanked for being a big part of the recent resurgence in fighting games. SFIV is great for fighting game newcomers, with a slow pace and simple gameplay making it easy to pick up. Depth is there for those who stick the course, and great production values, a huge cast of characters, weighty combat and flashy, entertaining “ultra moves” round out the package. Unfortunately, it’s also quite boring. The slow pace, beneficial to newbies, makes the game feel as if it is being played underwater, and the defensive focus means high-level play often consists of sitting back and waiting for the other person to make the first move. Still, for those of you new to the genre, this is a great place to start.
8 – Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extend
Blazblue is developed by famous Japanese developers Arc System Works, creators of the esteemed Guilty Gear franchise. Blazblue offers the same crazy-fast, hyper-kinetic fighting and stylish anime visuals of their past series but with simpler systems and extensive tutorials that make it easier to get into and learn. The series is also known for having a great story mode, with hours of visual-novel style exposition broken up by frequent fights. No other fighter offers as comprehensive a single-player offering, making Blazblue great for those who prefer to play solo. Although, if you are playing fighting games solo, you are doing it wrong.
7 – Soul Calibur V
Soul Calibur has a bit of a bum rep among the uneducated as a shallow button-masher, but this simply isn’t true. Soul Calibur is great for new fighting game players as button-mashing will indeed result in cool looking combos and shiny special moves, but a skilled veteran will defeat a mashing newbie one-hundred percent of the time. Lovely graphics and fun, responsive gameplay make Soul Calibur a joy to play, and a large variety of character styles lead to a load of different match-ups. SCV also features one of the best character-customisation suites in fighting games today – if you can think of something, you can probably make it. We made Char Aznable!
6 – Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus R
At what point does the fighting game addiction to constant prefix/suffix addition descend into self parody? Probably way before we got to Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus R. This is the most recent edition of the classic Guilty Gear XX, a title many fans consider to be the best fighting game ever made, bar none. They don’t get much more complex than this – gameplay is incredibly fast and the number of systems, combos, and little character-specific tricks to learn make Guilty Gear a game with near infinite depth. It’s not that hard to get into, but playing GG at a high level requires years and years of blood, sweat and combo practice. Break through the barrier and you will find yourself with one of the most rewarding, free, limitless games you can ever play.
5 – Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
MvC2 has gone down in the fighting game annals as a true classic, and UMvC3 has proven itself as a worthy followup. The cast of characters reads like a fanboy’s wet dream, with a great mixture of popular and obscure fighters on both the Capcom and Marvel sides. UMvC3 is similar to SFIV in that it makes a few concessions to offer accessibility, but unlike SFIV is still entertaining to both play and watch at a high level. Combo potential is almost limitless, with your choice of assists having huge impact on lengthening your chains. The beautiful visuals and the high level of strategy both in team composition and maneuvering around the battlefield with double-jumps, air-dashes and teleports make this a game that anyone can enjoy, from the new player marveling (hah) at the bright colours to the expert thinking up new touch-of-death combos. Good stuff.
4 – Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tekken is the unstoppable juggernaut of the fighting games world, pumping out a new iteration every few years come rain or shine, and we are glad they do. Tekken has always been of a consistently high quality, and Tag 2 is the best yet. Bringing together almost every character from the franchise’s history in a non-canonical battle royale, TTT2 is a love letter to the fans and a great jumping-on point for new players. The polished 3D fighting has never been smother, and the return of tag-team battles add a new layer of strategy to consider, with lengthy tag combos a staple of a successful player’s arsenal. It looks beautiful, it plays wonderfully, the huge cast of characters is balanced remarkably well, and you can play as a velociraptor with boxing gloves.
3 – Persona 4 Arena
First, a caveat: it isn’t actually out here yet. It is out everywhere else, but it’s also the only region-locked PS3 game in history. Bugger. But we’ve been lucky to play Persona 4 Arena on multiple occasions, and it’s a belter. Combining two things we love – Arc System Works and the Persona franchise – P4A is a triumph. Similar in style to Arc’s other fighters with all the air-dashes, long combos and flashy supers you could need, P4A manages to be intense but not intimidating, making it a great way for fighting game fans to try out the niche “anime” sub-genre. This isn’t just some spin-off, this a full sequel to Persona 4, with hours of story and all your favourite characters available to play. Some Persona 3 favourites make an appearance as well, rounding out the cast. This can’t come out in Europe soon enough, and it’s a shame that the wait has led to diminished interest from some who would otherwise have been big fans. Still, when it does finally release here, we are gonna be all over it. See you online!
2 – Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown
Virtua Fighter has the opposite problem to Soul Calibur – it has a reputation of being impenetrable, absurdly hard to learn and a game only the hardest of the hardcore can enjoy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Virtua Fighter is arguably more easy to get into than Tekken, with fluid combo strings at the end of a few button presses, easy movement, and a simple control scheme. A new player can jump into Virtua Fighter and have a great time. What is true though is the fact that, at a high-level, Virtua Fighter does become an immensely hardcore game that takes years of practice. Mastering a single character is a process that is arguably more of a task than mastering entire other games. For a hardcore fan, it doesn’t get much better than Virtua Fighter, and it’s a real shame more people don’t play it. VF5FS is available on PSN right now for a measly £9.99 and is worth twice that. Go buy it.
1 – Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition
3rd Strike is the best Street Fighter game of all time and arguably the best fighting game ever made. Fact. The eclectic cast of characters, the perfectly responsive controls, the joy of pulling off a successful parry, the beautifully fluid animation that still looks wonderful today – and that’s barely scratching the surface. Few games can produce the unbridled hype that 3rd Strike oozes from every pore. You’ve all seen that famous Evo video of Daigo Umehara parrying every hit of Chun-Li’s super. The sky really is the limit with 3rd Strike. Practice enough and, theoretically, you could never need to block again. The parry mechanic is genius – tap forward as you’re about to be hit to parry the attack, taking no damage and suffering none of the blockstun you would if you guarded it. It’s a system that rewards mindgames and reading your opponent. If you know they always do a low kick on wakeup, low parry it and punish for MASSIVE DAMAGE. A varied cast and a choice of three super arts for each character give a ton of choice. The balancing isn’t perfect, but thanks to the genius of the parry mechanic, player skill will override a bad matchup every time. The recent Online Edition uses GGPO netcode and is, for the most part, silky smooth when playing over the net. 3rd Strike is utterly crucial for anyone who considers themselves a fan of fighting games.