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.