• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

What fighting game "feels" the best to play?

ScOULaris

Member
Jul 1, 2009
10,222
12
930
NeoGAF
www.youtube.com


Click to enlarge.

This sounds like I'm just asking for people to list their favorite fighting games, but I'm actually trying to hone in on something more specific, albeit hard to quantify. Good fighting games all tend to feel satisfying and responsive to play. Tapping on clicky, sensitive arcade stick buttons and seeing your input mirrored by an associated action near-instantly in a locked 60fps image on the screen just feels good. It's the kind of satisfaction one gets from older, hyper-responsive 2D action games when you kind of enter this zone where you are longer conscious of your inputs and just do without thinking.

But drilling down a bit further, let's see if we can hone in on the individual design elements of particular fighting games that make them feel especially good to control. In my mind, all of the following come into play when crafting that crisp game "feel":


  • Animation fluidity and speed
  • Movement speed and options
  • 2D vs 3D plane
  • Input styles (e.g. MK vs Street Fighter vs Tekken control mechanics)
  • Punchy sound design to accompany the action
If I had to be honest with myself, I'd say that Street Fighter 4 (in all of its iterations) has to be my all-around favorite fighting game because it's the one that I've actively played for the longest amount of time, and I appreciate its impressive balance despite an occasional misstep or two. That being said, I do not find it to be the best feeling fighting game to play. Compared to some other 2D fighters that come to mind, it can sometimes feel a little floaty, and the overly chunky character designs don't feel as swift/responsive or as well-animated as some other games that come to mind.

So with that being said, I'm going to give my top nomination to: Street Fighter III: Third Strike.


This was actually tougher for me to boil down then you might realize. As someone who has been at least dabbling in pretty much every fighting game (good and bad) released since the early 90's, there are both 3D and 2D fighters that come close to taking 3S's top spot, IMO. Here are a few reasons why I think 3S feels the best to play:


  • Some of the best 2D pixel animation of any fighting game. The level of craft on display here in terms of art and animation is staggering, and I feel that 3S strikes the perfect balance of fluidity and speed. It kind of feels like an animated film that has been drawn on every frame (e.g. Akira) as opposed to most other animated films which draw on every other or every third frame and let the brain fill in the blanks. 3D fighters can be very fluid as well, but sometimes it feels like the length of their animations slow down the game feel a bit. That being said, Garou: Mark of the Wolves comes very close to taking Third Strike's crown on this one.
  • Movement speed and options are pretty much perfect in my eyes. The walk speed for all of the characters feels just right here, and the way dashing forward and backward, jumping, and super-jumping feel is spot-on as well. This is completely subjective, of course, but for me 3S just nails this aspect of character control.
  • Parrying, love it or hate it, is extremely satisfying to pull off. Since no other fighting game has nailed parrying as well as 3S did, it further justifies its place at the top for me.

Honorable Mentions


  • Garou: Mark of the Wolves
  • The Last Blade 2
  • Soul Calibur 2
  • King of Fighters XIII
  • Guilty Gear XX
 

Brandon F

Well congratulations! You got yourself caught!
Jun 7, 2004
21,120
0
0
I anticipate a lot of Smash and SF responses.

I choose SFIV personally.
 

BadWolf

Member
Apr 15, 2010
26,126
6
0
King of Fighters XIII and Garou Mark of the Wolves are my picks for 2D. The combos and animation are just so satisfying, like you just know devs were sitting there and thinking what would look cool when they were coming up with combos and cancels for the characters.

For 3D it's Virtua Fighter 5 FS, it's such a pleasure to watch the characters in motion, the character animation is just wonderful.
 

Teknopathetic

Member
Jun 6, 2004
24,114
4
0
Virtua Fighter. It's just such an elegant game. No bullshit, smart play is always rewarded the most. It's a game where losses always feel like they were deserved. Controls are solid, damage is high. Being good is the only comeback mechanic.
 

Kain

Member
Jan 3, 2014
4,802
0
0
Garou is absolutely perfect in everything, that's my answer (look at my username xD).

I wish SNK wasn't dead so that they could make another Fatal Fury :S
 

oneida

Cock Strain, Lifetime Warranty
Mar 3, 2012
16,038
5
0
For 3D it's Virtua Fighter 5 FS, it's such a pleasure to watch the characters in motion, the character animation is just wonderful.
yup, best movement in the series. Everything feels great. Strongly dislike other games' sidesteps.
 

EatChildren

Currently polling second in Australia's federal election (first in the Gold Coast), this feral may one day be your Bogan King.
Jan 29, 2008
36,152
8
0
Australia
Soul Calibur 2
 

Neff

Member
Feb 6, 2012
12,647
1,474
990
UK
Absolutely without a doubt Virtua Fighter. Some of the animation can come off as abrupt due to the speed of the strikes, and the jumps still (and probably always will) look silly, but that zen moment of being one with the character and his/her moveset is unparalleled when it comes to exhileration and satisfaction.

yup, best movement in the series. Everything feels great. Strongly dislike other games' sidesteps.

I can't agree, I'm pretty fond of Tekken's sidesteps.
 

BadWolf

Member
Apr 15, 2010
26,126
6
0
On the speed that most people play, however, I feel like it's too fast. The animation is absolutely phenomenal, but you can only fully appreciate it when playing on the slower speed that nobody ever uses.

Yeah, this always irks me. What's the point of good animation if people are going to play it at that speed.
 

JustenP88

I earned 100 Gamerscore™ for collecting 300 widgets and thereby created Trump's America
Aug 25, 2014
5,769
0
0
I anticipate a lot of Smash and SF responses.

I choose SFIV personally.

Allow me to be the first.

Smash. I may be a filthy casual, but each iteration is undeniably well-made.
 

FloatOn

Member
Aug 6, 2012
14,781
3
0
Orlando, FL
steamcommunity.com
I'm in the third strike camp as well for the reasons OP mentioned.

there is just an astounding variety in the way each character is able to fight. Once you find your groove the game is just outstanding on every level.
 

zoodoo

Member
Jun 28, 2013
1,291
1
0
the new killer instinct is a blast to play.
The devs did an amazing job at introducing people to fighting game mechanics.
The game looks gorgeous and is cool to even watch.
It's noob friendly and deep at the same time
The characters animate very well
It's free to play system fit the genre
To me best fighting game in a while
 

Ahjumbie

Member
Mar 26, 2013
3,205
2,783
950
www.twitch.tv
Ultra Street Fighter 4 Evil Ryu's ultra 2. When he punches their face into the ground... it's like you not knocked mah dude you dead. Very close 2nd is KOF 97 Kyo's 2nd super whith a huge pillar of fire as knocks you across the stage. He also screams something that , while i have no idea what he's saying , sounds awesome and since I have it on cart that midi bass...so good!!
 

Geminosity

Member
Mar 8, 2014
4,421
1
0
Edinburgh, Scotland
For me, Soul Calibur has always 'felt' the best to me. Everything comes out like I expect it to and I always feel like I can just move around as a please due to not being constricted by blocking volumes you often get in 'hold back to block' fighters (where you try and retreat but get stuck in place blocking instead) and the general freedom of 8-way run. I often do neat little sidesteps or even 'micro-duck's to evade blows before retaliating and it just feels satisfying and intuitive to me :3

Unlike most other 3D fighters I also 'feel' the hits when they're blocked or connect in soul calibur where as in DoA or VF or the like stuff that's blocked can feel like it sort of slid off the target. I think it's things like sound, pushback and even blocking animations that contribute to the effect but I can't pinpoint what causes it exactly: only that it's missing in a lot of 3d games :eek:

I also appreciate that a lot of inputs are fairly universal across the game too (for example diagonal down-towards on almost every character tends to be a fast, linear mid-level strike) and for the majority they're also simple (tending more towards a direction and a button or just two buttons rather than quarter circles, half circles or more complex motions like that. They still exist but are a much smaller percentage of the overall moves in the game compared to 2D games) These two factors means anyone who's playing can quickly get to focussing on the game between them and their opponent than the game between them and their fingers :p
 

Shpeshal Ed

aka Collingwood
Mar 16, 2007
15,500
245
1,350
Killer Instinct by a mile. Game is far more forgiving on the quarter circles and forward quarter circles than any other fighter I've played.

Honourable mention to Virtua Fighter 4
 

PAULINK

I microwave steaks.
Sep 13, 2010
12,847
12
930
Home
the new killer instinct is a blast to play.
The devs did an amazing job at introducing people to fighting game mechanics.
The game looks gorgeous and is cool to even watch.
It's noob friendly and deep at the same time
The characters animate very well
It's free to play system fit the genre
To me best fighting game in a while

I agree, the game just flows so well when it comes to combos and can be so satisfying to counter break or combo break.
 

AAK

Member
Sep 30, 2006
19,614
4
1,235
32
Ottawa, ON
When it comes to actual control of your character in a 3D plane, Tekken is unprecedented for those who will put the time into managing its execution. Unfortunately some of that control in the Z axis is being taken away in T7, but it'll probably still be my favorite.
 

Outrun

Member
Oct 7, 2014
4,241
44
510
Canada
Virtua Fighter. It's just such an elegant game. No bullshit, smart play is always rewarded the most. It's a game where losses always feel like they were deserved. Controls are solid, damage is high. Being good is the only comeback mechanic.

I am in agreement.

VF5 is the purest fighter out there.
 

IvorB

Member
Apr 26, 2013
8,952
0
0
If I had to be honest with myself, I'd say that Street Fighter 4 (in all of its iterations) has to be my all-around favorite fighting game because it's the one that I've actively played for the longest amount of time, and I appreciate its impressive balance despite an occasional misstep or two. That being said, I do not find it to be the best feeling fighting game to play. Compared to some other 2D fighters that come to mind, it can sometimes feel a little floaty, and the overly chunky character designs don't feel as swift/responsive or as well-animated as some other games that come to mind.

This echoes my feelings on Street Fighter IV completely. I just could not play it because it just doesn't feel good and impactful to play. In terms of 2D I would say Mortal Kombat felt good largely due to the audio. But for the purest sensation of kicking the living sh*t out of someone I have to hand it to Tekken (though I haven't played the latest ones). It's also the only fighting game that actually used to upset me a lot if I lost because the sensation of getting smacked up is so visceral.
 

Ninjimbo

Member
Nov 11, 2010
6,190
0
0
Virtua Fighter. It's just such an elegant game. No bullshit, smart play is always rewarded the most. It's a game where losses always feel like they were deserved. Controls are solid, damage is high. Being good is the only comeback mechanic.
Can't say it better than this.
 

Anbec7

Member
Jan 3, 2013
1,680
0
0
I'll go with Skullgirls for the Marvel type of game, I found out the art and animation being really good for the indie game, now with 2nd Encore and all the DLC characters it has been a blast to play again.

For SF, I agree with Third strike but I also liked the Alpha series.

Killer Instinct (Xbone) is also really good.
 

Duggie_Brown

Member
Apr 24, 2015
266
0
0
Wales
www.youtube.com
Street Fighter 2, 3, 4 & Alpha 3, Powerstone and Soul Calibur 1 & 2 all played like dreams. Great control and not once did you feel like you weren't in control of your character. If I had to pick one game though I'd personally go for Street Fighter Alpha 3; still my favourite Street Fighter game and I'm just praying for the day that Alpha 4 is announced.
 

emb

Member
Feb 22, 2011
10,510
0
600
NC
There's not much that can beat the fluid movement in Smash Bros.

I'll agree that Third Strike feels amazing. I think it's due largely to the animation, yeah, but there's a great game in there too.
 

Alx

Member
Jan 22, 2007
19,109
1,597
1,380
For me it's either Virtua Fighter 3 or Soulcalibur1. The controls are simple and responsive, the moves are good looking while being semi-realistic and not too flashy/ludicrous. I also like the fact that they're not focused on combos or ultra-precise timing, but rather make you "go with the flow".
 

zoodoo

Member
Jun 28, 2013
1,291
1
0
Virtua Fighter. It's just such an elegant game. No bullshit, smart play is always rewarded the most. It's a game where losses always feel like they were deserved. Controls are solid, damage is high. Being good is the only comeback mechanic.

I still dont get why this game gets so much praise. I love fighting game but I always found virtua fighter boring to watch due to the weird physics and sound effect. Hits and characters falling sound like blocks and their is no impact visual effect. I have the same problems with Dead or Alive.

Maybe I should give 5 a try. I played 2 long ago and barely touched 4 when it came out.Maybe it will click with me this time