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The Best Fighting Games On Xbox Series X

TheGamer 11/18/2022 Dominic Allen
© Provided by TheGamer

The Xbox brand is not known for its fighting games, not currently, at least. Sure there are a few noticeable titles, but PlayStation is seen as the platform for the genre. After all, Sony owns EVO, the biggest yearly fighting game tournament event, and Street Fighter 5 was PlayStation exclusive for the whole generation.

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However, in the early days of Xbox, the platform had plenty of great fighting games, along with some of the first titles in the genre to feature online play. The Xbox Series X/S has plenty of great fighting games to play with the addition of backward compatibility. Considering Street Fighter 6 will be released on Xbox this time, you shouldn't think PlayStation will be the sole haven for the fighting game community.

Killer Instinct 2013

The reboot of Killer Instinct is the premier fighting game on the Xbox brand. This title came out 17 years after the last Killer Instinct, so there was a lot of hype behind it, which the game delivered on. Like Street Fighter 5, KI 2013 was initially a little bare-bones on content, but after a few years, the game became jam-packed with things to do.

At this point, it's an excellent fighting game with great gameplay and superior online that surpassed many others at the time. The awesome soundtrack for the first two seasons was done by Mick Gordon, who eventually made the music for the new Doom games. Killer Instinct 2013 is debatably the best fighting game on Xbox.

Killer Instinct Classic

One of the top fighting games back in the 90s, along with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, was Killer Instinct. Killer Instinct Classic is a close-to-perfect modern port by Code Mystics. This port has a couple of key features: a training mode and online play, which is expected for modern ports, but it even allows you to play multiple revisions of the game.

That's uncommon for arcade ports, which typically only allow you to play the last updated arcade revision. It's a great feature, though, and should be used more for arcade fighting game ports. KI Classic is so good a port it makes you wonder why Rare Replay included Killer Instinct Gold instead of redirecting you to Classic. Why would anyone play the inferior Gold version over this one?

Dead Or Alive 4

A month after the Xbox 360 launched, Dead or Alive 4 was the first fighting game on the platform. Despite the title's rough development with plenty of crunch time, it turned out great. DOA4 claims the title of the first fighting game to have an HD resolution at a 16:9 aspect ratio. It still looks good today, although the jaggies are quite noticeable.

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The gameplay is a bit harder than past titles with tighter counter windows, but it's still satisfying and fun. The AI is noticeably harder, even more so on Series X/S, due to the faster processing rate. There's also an unlockable Halo character, which was a big deal since Halo was so huge back then. The online servers are still active, which is impressive for a game from 2005.

Dead Or Alive 2 Ultimate

While Dead or Alive 5 is seen by most as the best game in the series, plenty would still say Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate on the original Xbox is superior. The game looks gorgeous, especially when enhanced on the Series X. There are over 160 costumes to unlock in this game, and you don't have to pay for any of them.

DOA5 and 6 have a huge amount of costumes that, in total, cost a ridiculous amount of money, but in DOA2U, you can simply unlock them. The stages in this title are still some of the best fighting game stages ever, and back in the day, online play was a lot of fun. As long as you didn't play against a Tengu player, that is.

Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3

The Marvel vs. Capcom games is a fighting series that many of you miss. The games were both great to play and fantastic to watch high-level play. Some of the most hype moments in EVO history were in tournaments of these games. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the last grand entry.

With superior comic book-like graphics than its successor, great gameplay, and awesome online, this title is a must-buy for any fighting game fan. Plus, it includes a digital copy of the Marvel vs. Capcom art book, which is hundreds of dollars now. That alone is worth the low price.

Mortal Kombat 9

When Midway filed for bankruptcy, it was a scary time for Mortal Kombat fans. Considering this massive shakeup, everyone thought about the series' next step. Thankfully, there wasn't any need to worry, as Mortal Kombat 9 was the best MK entry in a long time. A soft reboot retelling the first three games, MK9 is packed with content.

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At the time, the game featured the best story mode in a fighting game yet. There's also tower mode with 300 missions to conquer. The violence level of the finishers was exactly what MK fans needed after the T-rated DC Universe crossover game. Even the unplayable bosses had fatalities they could use if you lost, and they're gruesome. While the sequels are debatably better, MK9 is still an excellent fighting game.

Soulcalibur 2 HD Online

Soulcalibur 2 is another game that was pretty big for the time. Each console had an exclusive character to it, with Nintendo getting the big W with a playable Link. That feature alone made it one of the best GameCube games for many of you. While the modern HD ports don't have Link, they do have Spawn and Heihachi. Unfortunately, this is likely why the game got delisted from the Microsoft Store and is only available through vouchers now.

This is a shame, as it's a solid port. It runs really well, looks good, and the online play is fun. Unfortunately, the servers are quite empty now. There's also no option for Japanese voices, which is an issue since many think the Japanese voices sound cooler. Still, this is one of the best ways to play this classic fighting game.

Dragon Ball FighterZ

Dragon Ball FighterZ is another three vs. three fighter, like Marvel vs. Capcom, but with plenty of characters from the Dragon Ball universe. If you are into Dragon Ball, then you'll definitely dig this game, but if you're not, then you might not get into it. Online play is always hard and rough in fighting games, but FighterZ is one where if you're getting bodied, you don't even get to play.

It can be very frustrating and could lead to you giving up early. However, if you stick with it and learn the game, it can be incredibly satisfying. Dragon Ball FighterZ is one of the best recent fighting games out there, and soon it will receive a native Series X version along with rollback netcode.

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