Whether you’re throwing a hadouken from the other end of the screen or exchanging roundhouse kicks and fists at close range, there’s something about the mano-a-mano combat that fighting games deliver that is incredibly intense, challenging and fun at the same time.
It isn’t a surprise that a significant amount of the most successful arcade games ever are fighting games. The genre was already hugely popular when the PS1 rolled around, and the new graphics prowess of the console gave gamers some unforgettable fighting experiences. Today, we are going to take a look at the best PS1 fighting games. Let’s begin.
Tekken was one of the launch titles for the PlayStation, and developers Namco had proven that they knew what they were doing.
With Tekken 3, Namco took things to the next level – creating a fighting experience tailored perfectly for the PS1 controller and a ton of new features with some graphical upgrades.
The fighters moved smoothly, crisp animations making every stylish strike look painful and flashy. Tekken 3 is one of the classics of the genre.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Street Fighter Alpha 3 took possibly the most revered fighting franchise of all time and gave it a fresh new twist and a whole different energy.
The incredibly smooth frame rates and the spectacular art style meant this game looked and played like an absolute dream. This was a game with one of the deepest rosters ever, with all your favorites like Ryu and Ken along with series standouts like Fei Long, Blanka and Guile.
The robust single player, especially the World Tour mode and pixel perfect multiplayer makes this one of the best games to ever grace shelves.
Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super-Heroes
Marvel vs Capcom is one of the most colorful and deep combat experiences on the PS1. Since the MCU has become meteorically popular in recent times, this is a great time to revisit all of the superheroes you know, and love go up against some badass fighters from the Capcom universe.
All of the characters look amazing and the animation has several subtle details like Gambit’s coat fluttering in the wind that just makes everything look even better. You will be fighting through some iconic locations from the Marvel universe and unleash some of the most eye-pleasing combos you have ever seen in a fighting game.
The Tekken series is well known for its pace and slick close quarters combat, and Tekken 2 continues this trend.
This sequel does all of the things you would like a sequel to accomplish – it retains the core elements that made the original popular and adds a lot of new levels, better graphics and loads of new characters, moves and combos.
This is the first Tekken to feature counter throws, allowing players to intercept their opponents strikes to unleash a damaging throw.
The graphics are fluid and detailed, and the controls are perfectly catered so even beginner fighting game players can pick up and start busting some skulls.
Mortal Kombat 4
Mortal Kombat 4 was a significant step into the future for the goriest fighting game series of them all. This was the first time you could chop heads and rip spines in glorious 3-D.
Gone were the sprites based on captures of real actors, and they were now replaced with eye-popping 3D which made the characters could do much more and truly unleash some insane violence on their opponents.
This edition featured Goro as a playable character, and the four-armed villain is an absolute blast to play as. Old favorites like Scorpion, Sub-Zero and Raiden are back, and they look cooler and have more moves than ever before.
As is tradition for the series, Mortal Kombat 4 features some truly creative fatalities, which make you both laugh and wince at the absurd amount of violence unfolding on screen.
King of Fighters 98
King of Fighters 98 is a hardcore fan’s fighting game. It is held in high regard, rivaled only by Street Fighter for depth and engaging combat, which is a huge compliment.
The game has one of the deepest and most diverse rosters you will find in a PS1 fighting game, with characters that will appeal to every kind of player – zoning characters, brawlers, range attackers.
King of Fighters is a team-based fighting game. Players engage in 3 v 3 battles against each other or against a CPU team. When all three characters on the opposing team fall, you win.
King of Fighters is a rewarding game for players who like technical combat and are willing to spend the time perfecting the mechanics.
So, there you have it – a look back at some of the best PS1 fighting games from the extensive PlayStation library. There are several others that deserve an honorable mention – Soul Edge, Bloody Roar 2, X-Men vs Street Fighter etc. – but this is a good list to get started.
Let us know which games you would like to see on this list in the comments!
Until then, happy fighting!