Welcome, one and all, to another top 5 list! It’s no secret that I love fighting games, and like many gamers, I have go-to fighters in each game. That’s what I want to touch on today. So, in no particular order, these are my top 5 go-to characters in fighting games.
Sakura Kasugano [Street Fighter]
Debuting in 1996s Street Fighter Alpha 2, Sakura was only the fourth female character in the series. The thing is, I was never much good at Street Fighter 2. I could play it, and I could finish it, but I never really found a character that worked well for me. With Alpha series, I finally found my go-to in Sakura. Partially, this was because she used a lot of the same special moves I’d become familiar with while playing as Ryu and Ken. At the same time though, her speed was more comfortable for me, meaning I could handle the trade-off in strength pretty well. To this day, if she’s selectable, she’s always my first choice.
Noel Vermillion [BlazBlue]
Playable throughout the series, Noel was a character that I was drawn to straight away. Much like Sakura, playing as Noel meant trading raw strength for speed, but that didn’t matter. Her combos were always fairly easy to pick up, and she offered plenty of options both to throw yourself into an attack and to counter incoming opponents. Of all the characters, she’s the one that allowed me some minor success in online play, too.
Johnny Cage [Mortal Kombat]
Johnny Cage was a character that was insta-cool for me as a kid. I mean, he wore shades, and kicked arse! Then, his role in the original movie cemented my love of the character even more. When it came to playing as him, most of the games allowed you to essentially play keep-out with your fireballs, then counter with shadow kicks and split punches if someone broke through. That was something I appreciated as a gameplay style. In the more recent games, he’s varied it up a bit in terms of close-range combos, but he’s still the same Johnny Cage that I loved to play as. That his character is more rounded now is a bonus!
Rock Howard [King Of Fighters]
From the moment I first picked up Garou: Mark Of The Wolves, I knew I was going to enjoy playing as Rock Howard. That he was the son of the series antagonist Geese Howard but was the protégé of the main protagonist Terry Bogard was such a nice twist, and it played out in his move set. Having spent time playing as Terry already made Rock easy to start picking up, and once I got used to the range of his attacks, he became a firm favourite.
Yugo The Wolf [Bloody Roar]
I mean, he’s a freaking werewolf. Much like with John Talbain in Darkstalkers, that gives him instant plus points for me. He’s a fairly balanced character in the games, mixing power and speed but never hitting the top end for either. That always worked for me with him though, and there was something satisfying about going into beast mode and lashing out with teeth and claws.
So, there you have it. But what about yourselves? What are your favourite fighting games, and who do you prefer to play as? Let me know in the comments below.