When most people think of combat characters, they likely think of characters like Ryu – good old, reliable, boring Ryu. These basic characters have a wealth of options, are well-rounded, and are great for new players. However, once these characters are out of the way, the real fun can begin.
A great fighting game character has a unique style, but the best of them have interesting quirks too. Some of these characters may end up playing a completely different game than their opponents. While the Kens and Ryus bring stability to the world, these weirdos bring chaos, and fighting games would not be the same without them.
10 Q – Street Fighter 3: Third Strike
Q is a slower, more cumbersome version of Balrog. He has those classic strokes, but boy are his normal attacks slow. Which is a serious problem in a game like Third Strike where everyone has a save. So what makes this slow, witty guy interesting? Well, Q has a taunt that greatly increases his defense. In addition, his taunts can be stacked up to three times. This means that Q can essentially double its health.
Suddenly, Q is not trying to close the distance after landing a big hit that blows up the enemy, but tries to make another taunt. It also forces your opponent to come to you as no one wants to go up against Q afterwards – he’s fully polished. Q isn’t a particularly strong character (aside from his huge health pool), but he is is a very interesting one.
9 Ginyu – Dragonball FighterZ
Dragon Ball FighterZ’s Ginyu has style, but he also has all of Ginyu’s power. Every member of the Ginyu force appears in Ginyu’s attack, but here’s the catch: you don’t choose which member of the Ginyu force to get. Instead, they are in a fixed rotation, which means you have to keep track of who appeared.
If that’s not enough for you, Ginyu has another trick up his sleeve – he can switch bodies! This means that you have the option of trading your battered Ginyu for one of your opponent’s healthy characters.
8th Hero – Smash Brothers: Ultimate
The Smash Brothers series is already a very unconventional fighting game that has a lot of unconventional characters living in it. However, Hero from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate really stands out. What makes Hero so interesting is his access to a whole host of Dragon Quest spells.
These spells work the same way as they did in the Dragon Quest series, which means you’ll have to manage your MP ad. To access them, you’ll have to browse your menu (which is difficult when you’re playing a hectic platform fighter). It’s a clever way of introducing RPG-like mechanics into a platform fighter.
7th Rogue – X-Men vs. Street Fighters
X-Men vs. Street Fighter made sure that Rogue got all of their moveset from the comics. She can fly and hit hard, but she also still has her iconic ability to steal powers. Yes that’s right; Rogue can take a power from an opponent and use it for the remainder of the turn.
Each character has a different power that rogue can pick up. The amount of work that went into this skill must have been immense. Which explains why she sadly didn’t get this ability in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. They can’t all win.
6th Aria – Killer Instinct
Aria is the boss of the 2013 Killer Instinct reboot. She has three forms (known as “drones”) that involve various movements. Of course, multi-stance combat characters aren’t new, but the implementation with Aria is unique.
Each form has its own health bar. This means that if any of her forms are churned up, she will have to switch it or risk losing it. Each shape also has its own speed of movement. Aria has Auxiliary Strikes for each drone that can be used when unequipped (or destroyed). Aria feels like playing a whole Marvel vs. Capcom team, but in a one-on-one fighting game.
5 Lowain – Granblue against
The silliest character in Granblue Versus’ list is also the most interesting. Lowain can consume food in the middle of a fight to restore his health, and many of his moves are quasi-assists that his “brothers” or his robot duplicates of Katarina (don’t ask) use to hit high, low, or rain Shelling various projectiles at his opponent. Its super, however, is where it gets right Interesting.
Lowain has an honest incantation. Yggdrasil is not just an attack, no, Lowain brings this god into battle for a period of time to fight for him. This giant has a wide variety of powerful attacks. While experienced players will likely be able to control these movements effectively, less experienced players will suffer. This super explains why Lowain’s dishes are unseasoned: you are the one who supplies the salt.
4th Dan – street fighter 5
Wait Dan? What’s so interesting about Dan? Sure he’s funny, but he’s just a bad ryu, right? Those comments would have been valid (hurtful but valid) a few Street Fighters ago, but Dan has become a whole new character in Street Fighter 5. Capcom began developing their tauntings in Street Fighter 4 by allowing them to build up their counter.
Street Fighter 5 took this concept and ran with it. Now Dan can also cancel his attacks to tricks and then his tricks to attacks (only one taunt per combo, of course), which means that he can link two attacks that otherwise could not be linked. But if you screw it up, you’ll be taunted like a buffoon (very characteristically) just begging to be betrayed.
3 Jack-O – Guilty Gear Revelator 2
If you are a fan of the RTS genre we have the fighting game character for you. Jack-O builds bases for minions. She has three types of bases associated with three types of minions. These troops attack your enemies and after a certain amount of time they are down, the bases (as well as the associated minions) will rise up.
In addition, Jack-O has a range of skills to protect the bases, which keeps her small army pumping out soldiers. Fighting Jack-O in Revelator 2 is like fighting a swarm of bees.
In Marvel vs. The Gameplay of Capcom 3 Phoenix Wright starts with finding evidence, then presenting the evidence, and finally making an allegation. At this point Phoenix’s regular attacks become massive, his best attack becoming a huge ephemeral accusatory finger point to use however he pleases.
Phoenix Wright can use the evidence to activate a Super and prosecute his opponent. This Super can strike from anywhere and does enormous damage. To play Phoenix well, you’ll need to use assists (and Maya) to defend him as he searches for that precious, valuable evidence. It can be an uphill battle, but it’s a force to be reckoned with once he gets all three of them. Any objection to the inclusion of Phoenix here is lifted.
1 Junpei – Persona 4: Arena Ultimax
Junpei is the only fighting game character you can play baseball with. At the bottom of the screen is a baseball diamond and count that tracks balls, hits, and outs. If you hit someone with your club, that’s a base hit (which lights a base), a blocked attack is a ball, and four hits get you a run. Swing and miss with your club and you get a strike, three strikes and you get an out, while a hit is an out too. Three outs and the bases are deleted.
Junpei also has a homerun super attack that clears the bases. Get 10 runs and Junpei gets a huge powerup that gives him access to the “clean hit” that makes bat attacks harder and improves a number of his special moves. Is it all ridiculous? Yes. But it’s the good kind of ridiculous. The kind of ridiculousness that makes Junpei the most interesting fighting game character of all time.
Next: Overwhelmed Fighting Game Characters Ever
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