Best Fighting Games 2023
Street Fighter 6
Capcom aimed to redeem the Street Fighter franchise after SF5’s poor reception. Street Fighter 6 delivers with optional simplified controls and a Party Mode for casual fans, alongside the intricate, traditional setup and online modes for long-term fans. The game showcases a vibrant new art style and soundtrack, featuring classic characters like Chun Li and Guile, as well as new favorites like kung fu master Jamie and Greco-Roman powerhouse Marisa.
Street Fighter 6 has impressed players with its beginner-friendly approach and the creative World Tour mode, where custom characters venture out into the world. Exciting DLC awaits, with SF5’s Rashid returning in summer and new character AKI joining the competition in autumn. 2024 will bring back the power demon Akuma in spring, followed by SF5’s Ed in winter. SF6 has set a high benchmark that even the genre’s biggest hitters will struggle to match.
Mortal Kombat 1
Netherrealm Studios surprised fans with Mortal Kombat 1, a reboot set in the new universe created by Fire God Liu Kang. The clock-ticking trailer revealed the game’s focus on Liu Kang mentoring Kung Lao and human Raiden against Outworld’s threats. The game features Johnny Cage, Kenshi, Sub-Zero, and Scorpion joining the fight. Fan favorites like Kitana, Mileena, Rain, and Smoke return, alongside classic characters like Stryker, Sonya, Cyrax, and Jax as Kameo Fighters to aid players in combat. The full game is set for release on September 19th, 2023.
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Bandai-Namco announced Tekken 8 late in 2022, aiming for a 2023 release on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The next-gen-only title introduces new mechanics to differentiate it from Tekken 7. The game favors aggressive play, with “Heat” mechanics boosting player strength, attack chains, and speed. Danger zones allow for extra damage or locking opponents into super combo-esque Heat Smashes and the returning Rage Arts. Players can take chip damage by default but won’t die from it like in 2D fighters. The roster includes fan favorites like Paul, Law, Asuka, and Leroy, with Jun Kazama making her first canon appearance since Tekken 2. Expect more surprises leading up to the game’s release.
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