topic, is 12 a good place to start off or are there better versions to get me started?
There are other threads that have covered this topic. But out of compassion, I would recommend King of Fighters 98 to learn King of Fighters basics. To me, 2002 isn’t quite as solid of a game and there are more silly gimmicks to be abused to dissuade newcomers to King of Fighters, but King of Fighters 2002 is still another fan favorite to try out as well since it does have the basic subsystems in current King of Fighters games.
On a different note, King of Fighters 12 is a terrible place to get started off to prepare for King of Fighters XIII.
He’s right, but something that does need mentioning is that the complete system in XIII is very similar to 2002. HD mode and MAX mode are similar, the way hitstop works is the same The way SDM’s and Neomaxes can be used is somewhat reminiscent of the free access you have to them in KOF2k2UM
Both are great games to get started though, but the XIII system won’t feel as alien if you start with 2002.
2002 or 2002 UM
Avoid playing XII if you can, not only is it a bad game, it’s pretty different too.
Call me crazy but I’d recommend KOF95 as a starter. It’s the only KOF game I can think of (besides KOFXII. Play that too.) that has such a lenient juggling system.
It’s really a hard choice because most of the mainstream KOF games didn’t have all he stuff KOFXIII has. There are no EX moves and crazy juggles (at least not without a striker) and the flow wasn’t as fluid. This newer KOF game is a whole nother animal.
KOF95 has nothing that makes KOF KOF. There’s no hops, no hyperhops, no superjumps, no run, the meter system isn’t anything like later KOF’s. I can only hope you were trolling with that one, because I don’t think I’ve ever read such a stupid advice.
KOF 95 is kinda SF2-ish imo. The modern KOF experience starts with 97/98.
Sorry, but that’s pretty dumb. The most similar and also the most solid KOF games are 98 and 02. That’s why KOFXIII plays the way it does, it’s most similar to the good games, not the bad games. KOFXIII isn’t “a whole nother animal.” It’s 02um with an easier Max Mode system that is separate from the super bar plus anywhere juggles and utility moves (EX moves). If anything, the anywhere juggles come from XI that also has a somewhat similar system to the better KOF games. In essence, there is really nothing new that skews fundamentals and basic meta-game; just added a bit more tools (EX moves as a way of leverage) and dynamics of meter management.
95 is a terrible suggestion. Nobody even cares about 95.