Everyone loves a good brawl, with this year being a marquee year for fighting games. We’ve seen superheroes, cute anime monsters, anime characters in general, people inspired by Stretch Armstrong, historical warriors, and indeed the usual suspects, beating the living snot out of each other for our entertainment.
Surprisingly, this one was hotly debated, even turning into a full blown argument at one stage. We wouldn’t expect this to happen for any genre outside of Action Adventure, but happen it did. We did all calm down a little bit before casting our votes, but with one vote in it, it’s the narrowest of victories for…
It may seem like the obvious choice, but really there were many great arguments for the first runner up as well. Tekken 7 though is the best that the franchise has been since the glory days of Tekken 5 on PS2, or for some even Tekken 3 on the original PlayStation. Its fast paced pugilism, diverse cast, and new techniques make the fighting a thrilling experience.
Tekken 7 made up for a lack of bizarre modes at launch with a story mode that put an end to the long standing Mishima Zaibatsu feud – the climax being one of the most ridiculous challenges faced in a fighting game to date, a host of ways to fight both online and offline, and a PS4 exclusive jukebox that allowed you to change the music that played on each of the multi-layered stages.
What it boiled down to in the end was the online support. Tekken 7 had only the usual hiccups online fighting games have during the first day or so, thanks to a flux of players, before it all settled down. With the ongoing additional characters, including King of Fighter’s Geese and the upcoming Noctis from Final Fantasy XV, Tekken 7 is certainly the biggest in the franchise to date and our winner for Best Fighting Game of 2017.
Vote for your Game of the Year in our community poll!
For Honor – Runner Up
Some people might argue that For Honor doesn’t belong in the Fighting Game genre, and yet here it is. Ubisoft deserve all the credit they can get for bringing something new and refreshing to the table, that goes far beyond simply taking and refining what previous entries in long running series have done.
At its purest, you have one on one duels, where it’s akin to the fights of the likes of Tekken or Injustice 2. You can consider each hero as a traditional fighting game character, make use of attacks, blocks, dodges, parries, and stuns to whittle down health and stamina, while trying to charge up your Revenge meter to supercharge you. However, For Honor’s most popular mode takes all of this and blends it with team-based multiplayer action, forcing you to try and work as a team to control objectives, cleave through AI and gang up on the enemy.
For Honor has received (and needed) a lot of support since release. It’s was initially plagued by connectivity issues, and Ubisoft scrambled to address these ahead of a planned shift to a dedicated server set up. That hasn’t stopped them from adding new fighters, maps and modes to the game, and we look forward to seeing what its second year brings with it.
Injustice 2 – Runner Up
Everyone loves a good punch up between superheroes and villains in comics and films, but Injustice: Gods Among Us showed that it works just as well in a fighting game. After 2015’s Mortal Kombat X, NetherRealm have returned to their DC universe fighting game for a sequel that expands the game in every direction.
The story picks up after the first game, dividing characters between being allies of Batman, Superman and Gorilla Grodd, as each tries to stop Braniac’s latest scheme. It’s an avenue for introducing a bunch of new characters from the DC universe into the game, each of which looks and plays great, with battle interacting with the environment and building up to some truly titanic supermoves.
The game looks to sink its hooks into you with a contentious gear system and daily fights to battle through in the Multiverse. Gear can boost your character’s strength, agility, ability, and so on, while having the visual aspect of altering how your version of Supergirl or Black Canary looks in game. It offers some real depth to continued play as you grow your character and play with different builds.
Building upon everything that the original Injustice and NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat games have done, Injustice 2 was a strong contender for fighting game of the year.
Honourable Mentions (in alphabetical order)
- Arcana Hearts Six Stars
- Pokkén Tournament DX