It kinda depends. If your main interest is 3D games, VF5 without a doubt. It’s a lot easier to get into than Tekken 6. The game really depends on basic mindgames and rock-paper-scissors. I think of the 3D games, VF5 and SCV are the easiest to get into and are excellent in teaching you 3D fighting game basics. (Dunno about DoA, never really played it).
For 2D games, I would say: go with KOF. Yes, I am a Blazblue fan as you can see from the avatar, but I’m recommending KOF instead for learning basics, athough KOF is a much harder game. If you are mainly interested in playing games like P4U, GG, etc… go with BB instead of KOF though. For more general fighting game skills (outside of the “anime” genre (hate that term)), go with a more traditional fighter like KOF.
Pro’s and Con’s of KOFXIII as a tool to teach basics, as opposed to BB (my personal opinion):
Pro: no air dashing, no air blocking, jump-ins aren’t as safe as they are in BB. Being a kangaroo that jumps around all the time in most 2D fighters will mean death. If you are used to air blocking, that threat is lower and you may start to think that jumping a lot is a really good idea.
Pro: the system is a little less complicated IMHO, but it’s not far from each other. Both have a lot of options and things to learn though.
Con: heavier execution demands (though you could see this as a Pro too. it means to actually do moves, you have to precisely input them. Learning to input moves precisely will help with every game).
Con: bad online (especially on wireless, don’t play on wireless, everytime you do, Bala kills a kitten).
Con: trial, mission, challenge mode (whatever it’s called in this game) is awful for a beginning player. It’s easy to work around this. To learn combos, go to shoryuken’s or dreamcancel’s wiki instead of challenge mode. There’s also a good beginner video on KOF on youtube, but I can’t look it up right now.
I’d recommend just starting out playing a bit against your room mate and don’t think about winning too much. Think about having FUN !
Hang in there. Fighting games take a lot of effort to get even decent at. Nobody ever decided to pick up fighting games and woke up as JWong the next day
Edit: in fact. Play all of these games with your roommate. See which game you like most after for example spending a week with each Though I still wouldn’t recommend uMVC3 to learn basic fighting game stuff.