Top 5 Most Popular Fighting Games Ever

With EVO 2013 having just wrapped up, now’s the perfect time to recount the most popular fighting games ever.

While you may disagree with some of the entries in this list being the greatest fighting games of all time, they are the bestselling fighting games of all time. The numbers don’t lie. Read on to see which game tops the list.

5. Tekken 2

Sales Worldwide: 5.7 million.

Tekken 2 marked the series’ transition from a popular fighting game into a fully-fledged franchise, after it burst its way into the arcade back in 1995.

Featuring a control system that accommodated the carefree button-masher as much as it did the fighting game aficionado, Tekken 2 was ported to the PlayStation in 1996, solidifying the the series’ status as Sony’s premier fighting franchise. It also introduced us to the boxing kangaroo Roger, one of the first examples of the insanity Tekken‘s character roster would soon descend into.

4. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Sales Worldwide: 6.3 million

Inarguably the most important fighting game of all time, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior paved the way for all of the fighting game franchises we know and love today, whilst also breathing new life into the arcade industry. SFII introduced gamers to many features which have now become staples of its genre, including combos and reliably executable special moves.

Such was the popularity of the game that developers Capcom opted to delay creating a fully-fledged sequel, instead revising the game’s mechanics and adding new characters to a multitude of updated versions, including Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Super Street Fighter II and Hyper Street Fighter II. Capcom are still employing this dodgy business practice to this day, as evidenced by the recent announcement of Ultra Street Fighter IV.

3. Super Smash Bros. Melee

Sales Worldwide: 7.1 million.

Fans will argue until they’re blue in the face over which Smash Bros. game is the best, but the title which is favored by the “hardcore” fighting game fan is the Gamecube’s Super Smash Bros. Melee.

The most fast-paced and balanced title in the series, Melee was responsible for the purchasing of more Gamecubes than any other title released on the struggling console, and it’s easy to see why. With accessible yet surprisingly deep gameplay, Melee allowed you to pit Mario, Donkey Kong, Link and Jigglypuff in a FIGHT TO THE DEATH. What’s not to love?

2. Tekken 3

Sales Worldwide: 7.2 million

Tekken 3 was the last entry in the series on the original PlayStation, and it went out with a considerable bang. Released to widespread critical acclaim, Tekken 3 improved upon its predecessor in practically every way, and also introduced fans to Jin Kazama, who would go on to become the heroic face of the series.

Tekken 3 was a benchmark for the series that developers Namco have struggled to top, and remains the highest-rated Tekken game of all time.

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Sales Worldwide: 11.3 million

As the bestselling fighting game by a considerable margin, Super Smash Bros. Brawl may not be as balanced as its predecessor, but it certainly offers more of that madcap, chaotic gameplay that the series is loved for.

Although Brawl disappointed many on a few levels (its lackluster online mode being the most prominent complaint leveled at it), it certainly upped the ante on many more, and also made gaming history by being the first game to allow Mario and Sonic to punch each other in the face. Awesome.