New to serious fighting game play - essential titles?

Hello all!

I’ve played fighting games on and off for a long time, but with the recent release of SSIV an enthusiast friend of mine has convinced me to take it up as a more serious hobby. I’ve been reading up on terms and strategies and whatnot, but I learn much better hands-on - which is why I’d like some opinions on essential fighters I should own and what mechanics to familiar with.

Currently, I own (or have on order):

Super Street Fighter IV
Marvel vs Capcom 2
Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Guilty Gear XX Reload
King of Fighters XI

What else should I be looking into buying and learning? I’ve heard the UM versions of KOF '98 and '02 are must-haves, so I’ll probably start there. What other games could some of you better players suggest, and in which order should I get to know them?

Thanks much!

Your friend as done you a disservice. Virtually nobody has played all those games with any competence. Just learn 1 game.

I don’t mean I want to get competetive with all of them, lord no. I just mean more along the lines of “what are classics I should be familiar with” rather than “I must master all of these”.

I would strongly suggest Garou Mark of the Wolves, if you like the KoFs or Fatal Fury games and to this day I still say it is the best fighting game I have ever played.

There are no fighting games anyone should be familiar with. Whatever happened to, if a game appeals to you, you check it out?

Furthermore, this question is a pandoras box for everyone to suggest every bonkers unplayed fighting game from Fighters History Dynamite to Mortal Kombat Armageddon.

Edit: lol it already started

I’ve played and enjoyed the old Fatal Fury games, but I’ve never even heard of Mark of the Wolves - shows what I know! I don’t have access to a NeoGeo, is there a port I can get or is it something I’m going to need to emu?

Pretty much this.

Play what you like. The reason why so many top players are so dominant in so many other fighting games is because their fundamentals are already top notch, and just the years of experience makes it easy for them to adjust.


If you want competition play either 3S, MvC2, ST/HDR, or SSF4… the KOF(98 and 2002 are the ones most commonly played) games are fun but beyond online, the fanbase is pretty small…

From that, choose from there and pick only 1 or 2 games to become competent at… and the others can work as side games…

Play the classics for the series you most enjoy. All the games in your first post are so different from one another there is absolutely no benefit in being familiar with all those series. Pick one or two of the games you most enjoy from the series you already own that you mentioned in the OP, and get the latest versions of those and learn them. Most people would recommend one game at a time, which I would do myself, but doesn’t hurt to have a second game for when you get bored.

If you try to familiarize yourself even a little with like 5 games you won’t get anywhere. If you want to get serious, drop all of them but one or two (I’d recommend continuing with SSF4 or Blazblue as they’re the two big series in NA nowadays), and learn those games. It’ll take you months and months to fully learn a game and even then you won’t know anywhere near all there is to know.

Personally I play SSF4 as my main game, I like to fool around with Blazblue when I’m bored as it plays very differently, and I also have Tekken 6 when I need a break from 2D fighters (almost never play it).

Clay Fighter, nuff said.

If you have a PS2 you’d probably want Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (SF2:AE and Third Strike) and Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (Alpha 1 through 3). After that it looks like you got the main series covered unless you want to get into 3D (in which case you want Tekken 6).