10 PS2 Fighting Games Worth Playing Today
The PlayStation 2 was loaded with fighting games. Some titles have also aged nicely and are still worth playing today.
The PlayStation 2 represents the golden age of fighting games, with some of the greatest and most enjoyable releases of all time. As a result, unlike other gaming genres, some of the best fighting games are from the PlayStation 2 era. With so many aspects that must go right for an exceptional combat game, developers must delicately weigh what to keep and what to scrap.
Older fighting games also benefit from aficionados of the genre not being overly concerned with graphics; functionality reigns supreme in 1v1 matches. Newer games also have a much greater desire to appeal to the general population, which the PS2 releases did not have to deal with. Since there is less emphasis on general appeal, older titles provide some unique experiences and serious difficulty when compared to newer ones.
10 Street Fighter EX3
The Street Fighter EX series is one of the less noteworthy entries in the iconic fighting game franchise. Nonetheless, this series was Street Fighter's first excursion into 3D combat. Also, several of the characters created by Arika for the series, such as Skullomania and Kairi, would reappear in the spiritual successor, Fighting EX Layer.
Unfortunately, Street Fighter EX3 did not make much of an impression upon its release, owing to the success of its predecessor, Tekken Tag Tournament. Nonetheless, EX3 is a hidden gem for anyone willing to rediscover it. This game has a spectacular super combo canceling system, intense tag team and dramatic matches, and a fun character-building mode. Despite its obscurity, the game competes well with its rivals on this list.
9 Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
After adding new characters to the roster and revamping the graphics, some considered Evolution to be the best fighting game available at the time of its release. While the original Virtua Fighter 4 was a huge success, Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution only improved on it.
One of Evolution's best features is the complex training feature, which gets right to the point, walking through each character and strategy to flesh out the player's weak points and make them a better player. So, if you want to start from the ground up, Evolution is a great place to do so.
8 Soulcalibur 2
With the first Soulcalibur being regarded as one of the best fighting games, the sequel's makers avoided making too many changes. Fortunately, the developers avoided major overhauls in favor of improving the mechanics, making combat feel flawlessly fluid.
Because of this conservative approach, Soulcalibur 2 is well respected in the competitive fighting community, as small modifications go a long way in fighting games. Furthermore, the fact that even Soulcalibur 3 couldn't compete says a lot. With so much new content and game modes, it ultimately came down to the fighting mechanics.
7 Capcom Vs. SNK 2
Adding to the age of mash-up fighting games will be detrimental to most titles, confirming the bias against them even further. However, Capcom vs. SNK 2 turned the genre on its head by merging characters from many franchises to create one of the best fighting games of the generation.
Capcom vs. SNK 2 combines the fighting styles of Capcom and SNK's licenses, offering three grooves from each brand and pleasing fans of either firm. The game also has comprehensive color customization options, allowing for the modification of practically every feature of a chosen character, which is more than most games provide.
6 The King of Fighters XI
The King of Fighters 11 makes a huge shift right away by including a vs mode counterpart for each play style (tag-team, original KOF team, and single bouts). One of the main reasons people start playing fighting games is to play with their friends, and now they may enjoy every facet of this game together.
The King of Fighters series' scaled-down flash for increased mechanics has always been one of its strengths. As a result, the gameplay in King of Fighters 11 is as smooth as butter, and lovers of incredible finishing moves and exotic characters will be pleasantly surprised.
5 Dead or Alive 2
Dead or Alive swiftly became one of the most complex fighting game series by improving on one of the most profound fighting engines in Model 2. Furthermore, Dead or Alive 2 improved the game by including tag team battles.
Though the aesthetics and finishing moves aren't what gamers are used to, the complexity and variety in all aspects are on another level. Throwing a player off would be nearly impossible if they mastered this fighting game. Because of the game's emphasis on reading opponents and reversing their strikes, DOA players are among the most proficient in the fighting community.
4 Tekken Tag Tournament
Tekken Tag Tournament's graphics were greatly improved, allowing players to return to the game without experiencing the generation shock that frequently occurs when revisiting classics.
Fans of the Tekken series will be pleased to learn that the gameplay didn't change much, with the addition of a strong techno music to pump up the adrenaline and keep players involved in fight. It is also one of the first games to use battle screenshots, allowing players to relive remarkable performances in the future.
3 Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is one of the few older-generation games that is still played today. Its tremendous replay value is most likely due to the effective combination of some of the most popular characters from any game into a single high-level game. The competitive scene lasted a decade after the game's release, outperforming any Marvel fighting game in history.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is still being relaunched. The game was last available on PS3 and Xbox360. MvC2's immense popularity solidifies its position as one of the most comprehensive and enjoyable 2D fighters ever.
2 Guilty Gear X2
Guilty Gear was never hesitant to stand out from the crowd, deviating sharply from the typical fighting game tone. The franchise offers one of the most mechanically sound battle systems, in addition to highly stylized character design and aesthetics.
X2 is one of the best-executed adaptations of those mechanics, making the majority of other series appear embarrassingly easy in comparison. It does not, however, ignore the novice player, providing one of the most extensive training modes of all time. Heavy metal madness is open to players of all skill levels, as showy moves are for everyone.
1 Tekken 5
Several entries on this list received upgrades and relaunches on different systems. Tekken 5, on the other hand, was released solely for the PlayStation 2. This game commemorated the series' ten-year anniversary while also establishing groundbreaking fighting game history of its own.
Namco introduced a number of changes to Tekken 5 in response to fan criticism of Tekken 4. For example, the extremely complex, multilayer steps were eliminated. Furthermore, the game's speed increased dramatically, evoking the popular gameplay seen in Tekken Tag. Most gamers remember Tekken 5 for its magnificent HD visuals, region-specific character voiceovers, and Arcade History Mode, which contained arcade-perfect adaptations of Tekken 1, 2, and 3.