Top 5 Go-To Fighting Game Characters

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.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Go-To Fighting Game Characters

  1. For the most part it seems you favor a balanced or speedy approach and Sakura, Noel, and Rock are characters I know very well. They’ve been piloted by some of my fiercest rivals in each respective game. Noel’s oppressive offense was the stuff of nightmares for me in the original BB and it was always a fantastic challenge to learn the most opportune times to open her up to big throws with Iron Tager. BB’s initial cast was fantastic.

    I myself tend to gravitate heavily towards Capcom style charge characters like Guile, Bison, and Vega. Usually no matter what the game (except SFV) I can wield them pretty well and design-wise Vega and Bison have a wonderful aesthetic for me. Likewise, Blanka, Balrog and E-Honda are usually in my repertoire, but much less than the previous 3.

    I also like the grappler characters such as Zangief and Iron Tager. Kira from Arcana Heart was a fun and unique take on that template and most recently I mained Waldstein these last few years in Under Night In-Birth who plays so superbly.

    There’s so many more FG characters I like, but I’ll shorten this with the “freak” subset, which I’ve loved probably since Dhalsim or Voldo from Soul Edge. Voldo’s been my SE/SC main ever since the 1st PS1 entry in that series. Jack from Power Stone and Arukane from BB are really fun representatives of the “freak” type.

    And there’s just too many fun characters in SNK games for me to list. I normally just play around with everyone in all the games. I guess Robert Garcia deserves a shoutout, being the most unique fighting game character of all time. He changes fighting styles (and gameplay) almost as frequently as Athena changes her look. One game he plays like Guile and the next like Ryu and Ken and in another he’s a hybrid kickboxer. You never know what to expect.

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    1. Tager was always a challenge for me when played by someone who knew how to play him. He absorbed damage so well, and one slip on a combo always left Noel upon to big damage. Slipping up on combos was something I excelled at too.

      Arakune is great fun! Bizarre design, but shockingly functional. Would you class Faust from Guilty Gear in the same category? He had strange proportions compared to the rest of the core cast.

      I used to struggle playing as Guile, until someone pointed out I didn’t need to charge Sonic Booms for so long. That was only a few years ago too, so finally finishing SFII as him was a more recent achievement for me. Vegas meanwhile is my housemate’s go-to.

      I still need to grab Arcana Heart and Under Night In-Birth.

      I have a similar thing with SNK. The amount of characters available is mad, especially in KoF. Samurai Showdown has since great potential picks too.

      You’re right though. In general, balanced or a speed serves me well. There are limits though. Too fast and I lose control.

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      1. Yeah, my buddy Will knows your pain with the Tager/Noel matchup. He was always so stressed after putting in a ton of work and a multitude of combos, but 3 or 4 grabs did him in at times. I had to give up on BB once even Tager required something resembling combos in the sequel games. I’ve never been too good at anything other than classic Tekken 10-hit strings.

        Yeah, each character in that original BB game was superbly designed. Oh yes! Faust is another favorite. I can use him much better than Arakune. That’s my go-to Guilty Gear character actually. Such a bizarre and unpredictable style of offense.

        I struggled with charge characters too until my teens. That’s when I learned “charge partitioning” and buffering which are fantastic techniques for those characters. It helped me keep things unpredictable.

        I think you’d really dig Arcana Heart. There’s some really unique ideas in that one. Stuff like being able to give your big grappler character Kira a Sonic Boom projectile with the interchangeable arcanas. UNIB is currently my fighter of choice along with SC6 and VF5 FS.

        Right! I’ve been playing SNK games for over a decade now and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. It really is mad.

        Your picks screamed balanced to me, speedy yet balanced. I didn’t see any Chipp Zanuff or El Fuerte on your list lol

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Some of the massive combos you see in fighters now baffle me. I remember playing BlazBlue online and just being overwhelmed sometimes. Tekken felt easier to string things together sometimes.

        Faust was fun, but I never did get close learning him. It’s still the same for me with charge characters to a point, Ican play them but not well. Same with Chipp Zanuff, actually.

        I think I saw UNIB on a recent fanatical sale, so I may have to grab that. Arcana Hearts too.

        SNK really are so good with the genre. It’s almost a shame they don’t release as much as they used to.

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