See how this article appeared when it was originally published on NYTimes. It was as if all that exposure to computerized violence gave them the idea to go on a rampage — or at least fueled their urges. But did it really? Social scientists have been studying and debating the effects of media violence on behavior since the s, and video games in particular since the s. The issue is especially relevant today, because the games are more realistic and bloodier than ever, and because most American boys play them at some point.
With such a tight focus on hand-to-hand combat, fighting games are a lot more strategic than they might appear on the surface. Below, we take a look at the 10 most lauded fighting games of all time.
Street Fighter IV arrived on the scene in , well after most arcades had shut down in the wake of ever more powerful and multiplayer-friendly home consoles being released. Second, the gameplay revolves around combos and counter-attacks, including meters that, when filled, let you unleash massive, punishing strings of attacks.
Super Street Fighter Alpha 3 , which came out in , adds nine new fighters to the mix, and three different fighting styles for each character.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 lets you duke it out between a whole host of video game characters and superheroes like Mega Man, Ryu, Captain America, and Wolverine. And guess what?
Fighting games that feature crossovers between two universes of characters are nothing new, but Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is the best of the bunch. Not only does it have an incredible roster, but it also gives each character a set of easy-to-learn moves, making it a lot more accessible than many games on this list.
What more could you want? Super Smash Bros. Brawl introduced several new features to the series. It also brought in a stage builder that let you piece together a level in whatever layout you wanted.
A number of factors go into making this game the instant masterpiece it is. Second, the company has much experience crafting this series of fighting games, with over about 15 years of history doing so.
This game offers everything anyone could reasonably want in a fighting game, from multiple enjoyable modes to hundreds of collectibles and dozens of hours of content. For one thing, Brawl introduced a tripping mechanic that occasionally resulted in your character falling over when you tried to dash or do a quick attack, which was annoying.
However, even without comparing it to its sequel, this GameCube game is a winner. It has all the standard stuff that makes a Smash Bros. Not bad for a cutesy fighting game.
Of particular note was the depth and longevity of the single-player mode, which came in handy in the days before online multiplayer. Though it appears at No. It had a huge, well balanced cast of fighters, each with a weapon they could use to bring the pain down on their opponents.
The graphics and sound were top notch, and whether you were playing it alone or with a friend, the game gave you plenty to do. While the GameCube version scored highest using our methodology, with a 92 out of , the Xbox and PlayStation 2 editions were also well received, and both would have made this list on their own, with scores of 90 and For convenience, we placed the game here, at its highest mark.
Each character had over unique moves and combos, which made the games challenging for newcomers to pick up and play. But if you took the time to master some of the more useful moves, and spent some time practicing, you discovered a terrific series of games.
That and other improvements remained as the game was ported over to the PlayStation, and continued on in future Tekken games. From the detailed character models to the smooth, flowing animations, SoulCalibur blew away its competition.
But no matter how you dress it up or pull it together, a fighting game is only as good as its gameplay mechanics, and once again SoulCalibur nails it.
With incredibly responsive controls and a variety of fighters and styles to master, this was a game for the ages.