The Top 5 Most Balanced Fighting Games? updated with results so far

NOTENOTENOTE: I haven’t updated this in a long time, the last vote i counted was somewhere around post 120, now this thread is at ~350 posts. If anyone wants to count from 120 to where the thread is now, feel free to do so and pm me the count and I’ll update this op. otherwise we can just let this thread turn into a general balance discussion. (note to whoever wants to count, some people have already voted, so you have to check against the earlier votes to make sure you aren’t double counting anyone’s votes)END NOTE ENDNOTE

For the purposes of this thread the term “Balance” = In terms of any character can win/it all comes down to the player skill?

Some games have legendary character balance problems (MKT for example)

But what games are the most character balanced? Or at least have a reputation for it…

these are the tallied results from posts through #118 (as best as I can interpret, feel free to post your own count if you disagree with mine) :

  1. Guilty Gear Accent Core 10 votes yes, 0 votes no

  2. Virtua Fighter4/5 +10 -0? (4-5 seem to have the most votes in the series)

  3. Garou: Mark of Wolves +7 -0

  4. Arcana Hearts 3 +6 -0 (i almost took a -1 here but that list was heavily disputed)

  5. SSF4 +6 -0

  6. Tekken6 +5 -0
    *4. Vampire Savior +7 -2

  7. Samurai Shodown 5sp +5 -0

  8. King Of Fighters 2002 +5 -0

  9. StreetFighter Hyper Fighting +4 -0

  10. SF: 3rd Strike +4 -0

  11. StreetFighter Alpha 2 +3 -0

  12. XvSF +3 -0

  13. Melty Blood AACC +3 -0

runners up so far: UMK3 +2 -1, Street fighter Super Turbo +4 -2, , SC2 +2 -0, , (give or take, some of these were hard to figure out from the posts) KoF 98 +2 -1, Jojo’s +1 -0, TVC +2 -0

*Vampire Savior is disputed, one tier list shows significant character balance issues, but there has been significant rebuttal to said tier list.

NOTE: the above list is just a compilation of votes, I’m not trying to claim its true (nor scientific).

even just a few 7-3 or 8-2 matchups should probably disqualify a game from the list, but for all i know there are no games that are completely free of 7-3 and 8-2 matchups… in which case post your list and explain why despite the few lopsided matchups in the game it should still belong on the list.

NOTE: of course balance is subjective, this is YOUR list. not the definitive objective list against all games shall be judged forevermore. just put what YOU THINK is right.


NOTE: If someone above you posted a game that you disagree with, do not troll. Instead offer an intelligent reason for why you think they made an error in their statement. For example: Person A lists 3rd strike, and person B instead of typing “lol 3rd strike not balanced i am huge angry troll” please type “i disagree with 3rd strike, there are several matchups in that game which are very very lopsided for ____ reason, I would suggest ss5sp instead of 3rd strike because _______”

NOTE 3: IF you do not explain your reason for saying ____ does not belong, then I may not count your vote as it could be a troll. posting an accepted matchup chart is a good rebuttal if it proves very lopsided matchups

NOTE 4: IF there is a relatively well-accepted tier list for the game, posting a link to it as a rebuttal against/argument for it being considered is encouraged. Posting a list that is not well-accepted by the game’s community won’t be very helpful to the discussion, so try to keep that in mind.

if you want to troll, please do it somewhere else. of course, if you want to troll, you probably didn’t read this far…

Balance is subjective.

how about TvC?

to satsuofleaves: of course, so please explain why you are rating the games on your list as the most balanced.

UMK3 while it has it’s heavy hitters (Human Smoke, Kabal), it is pretty balanced. Every character has the tools to win.

Yet in the final stages of tournaments you only see like 60% kabal and human smoke, 30% reptile and ermac and 10% random.

But maybe it’s because the scene is small and the same few players are getting there every time…

Personally I’d put team games like MVC3 and KOF2K2UM at the top just because of the team format where you can provide backup for any character with a strong anchor and/or assist.
After that AH3 cuz the good arcanas make up for the lesser characters in the same fashion.

And after that probably GGXXAC and MBAACC. You can’t replace the polish of balancing a long running series like those 2.

My list isn’t really in any particular order.

ST - Sure, it’s counterpick heavy, but great overall balance is one of the primary reasons ST is still alive.

AH3 - 529 character combinations, 500+ of them are known to be tournament viable, and I’m fairly convinced the others just haven’t been fully explored yet. That says something about a game.

GGAC - The latest Accent Core tier list has 2 chraacters in S tier, 1 in A, 4 in B, 14 in C, and 2 in D. Every character regularly wins tournaments, D tier included. The worst matchups in the game are 65:35.

Virtua Fighter Series - As a series, VF has consistent strong balance across its entire lifespan.

I can’t think of a 5th that deserves recognition for being the best balanced in a given way, so I’ll leave it at 4.

Soul Calibur 2. You’d be hard pressed to find a matchup in that game beyond 6:4.

Vampire Savior. Its very hard to find any bad matchups with the exception of some struggles that Jedah may find with rushdown characters. Its maybe the most balanced Capcom fighter besides Hyper Fighting and Alpha 2 which again, everyone can take advantage of the game mechanics to win.

i’d like to add:

  • Vampire Savior
  • Street Fighter Alpha 2

some of the best Capcom titles imho, too bad they’re grossly overlooked/underplayed these days

edit: thephenomenalone - nice timing man :rofl:

Tekken 6

LOL @ Garou being balanced.

Vampire Savior, ST, GG:AC, UMK3, and either Garou or KoF98 are probably the five fighting games with the most balance, in no particular order, of course.

I used to play with oouchi regularly and he would always rape me with his jedah against my bee. The character handles rush down just fine, one of the few where you don’t need AA to be effective.

no order, vampire savior, ggac, VF, xvsf, dunno

3rd Strike with its innovative parrying system that gives the tools required to win to the lower tier characters. The only limit is yourself

imagine i pulled out 5 games at random, thanks

I’ve heard from a lot of people that Garou was balanced, I personally have no idea if it is or isn’t, but do you have any more information than “lol”?

98 hahaha



TMNT Tournament Fighters, SNES version

1 terrible character in War, everyone else is pretty good, and top tier isn’t overpowering, though Raph has some dumb stuff.

Garou actually is fairly balanced.

KOF 98 really isn’t.

This is how you tell the difference between a forum monster and someone who actually plays FGs.

VF2 and VF3 were busted as shit, man. I don’t count VF1 because that game was really more like a technical demo than an actual game.