best kof


98UM/FE is dead. 2002 (or 2002UM) is my 2nd choice while XIII is my least favorite. 95 for good laughs.

  • XIII has some flaw in its tier list which makes the majority of games boring to play and watch, then combo mechanics render the game unbearable sometimes with too much fishing and TODs.
  • I Never played XI so I can’t say. it looks good but I’m not so keen on tag team mechanics.
  • 2000 and 2001 are broken and full TODs, almost every char has an infinite.
  • 97 is a bug riddled game, also comes with infinites and a bad case of chicken block.
  • XIV is pure garbage. After the 1st round there’s no neutral, game is too generous in terms of resources, too much fishing, 90 seconds each round, TODs, free conversions from grabs and parries, OS infested, no balance regarding offensive & defensive options (tilts more towards the offense), bold tier list, bugs more than 97, always random results (go watch ft10 sets nothing makes sense), comebacks are not as impressive as in previous iterations, dumbed out game, rag doll physics, bad gfx for its gen, etc… In a nut shell: made in china. Damn went hard on this one.

We’re left with one game: 98 vanilla. Only has two infintes (but they come with a hefty price), footsies, only KOF game with an actual concept of whiff punishing (you can see players whiff punish on reaction consistently, where as in later games it’s either on read or just pure luck, and I can’t seem to find people doing it on a regular basis), defensive OS, offensive OS are mad hard, tier list not so bad, ppl developed a certain level of character loyalty through out the years, order select has that pre KOF99 select mechanic where it’s a mini-battle to match you characters w/ the opponents’ chars.


well shit that’s news to me lol…shoulda bit my tongue on that one coz honestly I don’t have enough xp with 96. All I remember is the game was just too riddled with bugs to be taken seriously…in a competitive sense was definitely a no go for me.


Saying KoF '96 was riddled with bugs and then playing KoF '97 is the ultimate oxymoron. Some people even argue CD priority was a bug…

In KoF '96 the red kick is a one and done deal that can be countered. Goenitz and Chizuru are not normally playable, but as any SNK boss are made OP. Chin and Clark are not busted if you have matchup knowledge. Only Iori and Mature are excessively good in KoF '96. I still find it kind of funny that the worst character (Vice) and the two best characters in the game are on the same team.

Also, I take issue with the discussion in the pic. Japan has no business commentating on KoF, only the Chinese and a few Koreans play the games enough to have a valid opinion. The original KoF '98 had one valid style of play (ADV) and the rolls were enough to make most fireballs irrelevant. Throws and good timing on using moves would counter EX dodge in FE so I fail to see the issue. Bottom line is having certain characters on your team in vanilla 98 was a liability, whereas in FE it was a matter of preference and mastering the ins and outs of a character. I will concede that vanilla '98 did not have some of the issues of UM, but to suggest FE is balanced worse than either is blasphemy in my eyes.

P.S. KoF 2000 is broken, but just like Samurai Shodown IV it has a flexibility and flow that is unique to the series. I liked the quickness of team members jumping in without loading and Shion’s martial arts style in XI, but I did not like how many characters lost a special from their other appearances and how choppy the last frames of some moves felt.


Sure but honestly bugs and infinites aside, there are actual competitive rules in China when playing 97 as far as no infinites/some of the more abusable bugs/raw supers/etc. I’m not sure if that was ever the case for 96, but surely there’s a reason why 97 is the most played kof to this day as opposed to 96 being pretty much non-existent…I’ve never known of any sort of significant high level 96 scene to exist outside of a few die hard OG South American players…Asia as far as I know doesn’t really touch it. At least not anymore. 98 imo was the successor to the 97 formula, minus most of the buggy sh#t. 99 reverted back to garbage with the addition of strikers and that useless pseudo back dash lol.

Edited for horrendous spelling.


yeah i didnt like 13s graphics 12 was beautiful though big characters close up like tekken i loved it i hate how people shit on it though :frowning:


what about kyos C rekka? it comes out so fast im surprised he isnt that good in the game i guess cause everyone else is so op kyo always gets screwed over in games ioris always top tier :frowning:


It is good and well utilized in combos. Outside of Iori’s team and unplayable bosses, the rest of the cast in KoF '96 is roughly on the same level in the sense that they all have good tools. Mature and Iori are combo machines with high damage, long reach, and low risk unlike the rest of the cast, which has vulnerabilities. Iori even has throw chain that can be repeated endlessly unless he gets low jabbed on the correct frames. Vice, on the other hand, has nothing. Some of her attacks whiff when making visual contact and it is almost impossible to link anything.


Real Bout Fatal Fury 2 is the best KOF game.


A much as I love the Real Bout games, I am going to have to disagree with you there. King of Fighters is too different in terms of gameplay system to be compared. The King of Fighters tournament held in South Town in Fatal Fury does not have anything to do with this spinoff.

Also, Real Bout 2 is not even the best Real Bout. The absurdity of breakblow (specifically in this game) and 1-line system really mess up the flow of the game. Unless you play it for the newbies (Rick and Xiang Fei), the game seriously messes up the movesets of the older characters with really dumb balancing relative to Real Bout Special. Additionally, I cannot turn a blind eye to how horrid the presentation is with its art style and cut intros/outros. I will admit that some of the stages in the game are really badass (Yamazaki/Cheng, Chonrei/Chonshu, Laurence/Krauser, Duck King/Blue Mary, Billy/Geese, and Sokaku), but the sharing of relatively static stage color swaps between characters is disappointing when previous Real Bouts had time transitions and stage interactions built in. The development team cut a lot of corners in this title and the game is not better off for it.


They spent 6 months developing the game, I mean yeah, it sacrificed the nice presentation from RBS, but I’d say in terms of gameplay, it blows all the other Fatal Fury games out of the water, especially with how they handled the planeshift system.

Also RB2 has the best version of Geese Howard in any game ever.


I guess you don’t know Real Bout Special’s version of Geese (aka. Nightmare). Hell, in the first Real Bout Geese’s infinite is notorious.

I can’t say RB2 is better because it removed (moves) or made inconsistent (plane shift hitboxes) the things I liked in the previous Real Bouts.


XI is the one I enjoyed the most.

'98 made all the characters feel generic, '98UM did some sweet twists to the gameplay, I liked it.


I have some questions;

  • What are the KOF games played regularly by Chinese in their tournaments?
    Most recent title (XIV), 97, and 98 vanilla. There’s no 98UM/FE events.
  • Why Koreans?
    I can understand Chinese but Koreans?! They don’t play KOF as much as they used to. They’re all into TK/SF nowadays. Only Koreans in EVO2017 for KOF were Madkof and someone by the name Nakodid (source SRK: The ones that still play either go XIV, XIII, or 98 vanilla. Can’t say the same for 98UM/FE as there is no Korean streams or replays for those iterations.
  • Name like 7 very known Asian OG KOF players from the past decade that play 98UM/FE in the present?
    There’s None. Xiaohai, Cheng Long, Dakou, JoJo, Gosyo, 777, Dune, OZ, Kyabetsu, Madkof, Bash…etc all of them made a name for themselves through 98 vanilla.

To say Japan has no saying in this matter is kind of a reach given the number of tournaments, meetings, and rankings held for 98/2002/XIII/XIV each year in Japan (a-cho, Kouhatsu, Mikado, Taito Hey, Newton, Daytona… arcades in general).

There shouldn’t be any debate. It’s officially stated that 98 and 2002 are the most popular KOF games. Not 96, not 97, not XI, not XIII. While being popular does not necessarily mean the best, it’s an advantage nonetheless over the remaining titles.


Tournament rules may prevent players from exploiting bugs, however, they don’t change the core mechanics of a game.
97 has team supremacy due to the fact that the advantage system is constant and does not change from game to game. Couple that with the unbalanced tier list and you’ve got trouble.
97’s Max mode is one hell of a drug. You can do more than one SDM in a row, and even in a single combo (iirc). In addition, other stuff like chicken block, easy stun, and neutral hop normals being the same as neutral jump normals have proved to be problematic. All these things renders the game unbearable for me.

98 came and fixed all of those issues. I like its simplicity (less is more), its pace, its footsies, its style of whiff punishing, its pre 99 select order meta games…etc. Of course I hate a couple things but in general it’s great.
Take any KOF after 2001, strip it it from complex meter system, aaand poooof! it’s 98 with different cast.

At times I feel that but it’s also the case for other titles. I mean is there any strong turtling/trolling/zoning/grappling characters in other KOF?

Japan: 98 has been played regularly since… um… 1998.
China: 97 & 98 diehard.
Korea: 98 still relevant.
98 is in top 2 most played KOF of all times.
98 is most watched KOF (some vids are above 1M views).
98 is most streamed KOF on youku/niconico/twitch.


Agree Japan is very strong in 98. Especially the regular A-CHO players. I’ve played against BATA, Naruto and other OG’s like Maa…they are all very strong. They are not as strong as the top Chinese players of course…maybe with the exception of JoJo these days, but they can definitely hold their own.


I have not been keeping up with the Korean scene for like a decade, but they used to have strong players.

If every KoF after 2001 had its meter stripped it would still pale in comparison to the gameplay of 98 without meter because corners were cut and dumb system design choices kept them from achieving the same quality.


In regards to 98 they still don’t match up to the top level on Chinese players. The best 98 Korean players of today such as Shinsun and NL have gone up against some of the top Chinese like Xiaohai, Xiaohei, Lao Hei, Feng Bo etc. They didn’t fair that bad, but honestly the difference in skill level is still apparent. The thing is there is already a pretty large divide in skill between China and the ROW and when you have the top Chinese players playing against each other nearly on a daily basis…It’s pretty hard for Japan and Korea to catch up…and ofc with the Chinese competition being the strongest, they prefer to just play with each other most of the time.


DNA5 is this year.


Just checked it up on Asano C’s website :drooling_face::drooling_face: that’s gonna be dope. Don’t even remember when the last DNA was. Can’t wait to see that.


I like these type of arcade driven, almost underground, triennial-like events where it’s community vs community and not just player vs another player.
Pride of a whole country is on the line = hype cranked to the max - esp. when you take into consideration how brutal and non-forgiven DMNE can be.
Japan vs Korea, Japan vs China, Japan vs Korea, Japan vs Taiwan, and now coming full circle w/ Japan facing itself. DNA is truly one of a kind. And you know what’s the best part? It’s a 98vanilla exclusive.