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Top 20 Best Fighting Game Characters Of All Time


Beyond stages, character rivalries, and boss fights/characters, the number one important aspect of fighting games is the selection of characters. It always comes down to the selection of characters that the player has at their disposal. However, this is not a list of which game has the best character roster. Rather, this list selects which 20 characters are the best of all time as if we were putting them in our own roster. We do have restrictions on this list though. Any characters who were on our “Top 10 Bosses” list will not be featured on this. Also, characters from Super Smash Brothers and any licensed comic/anime fighting game characters will be on this list either. This is a fighting game characters list and will only feature those characters created in those games. So without further ado, here are the top 20 fighting game characters of all time.

20. Jin Saotome

Marvel VS. Capcom Series

‘Jin’s first fighting game appearance wasn’t actually in the MVC series; in fact, it was in Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness. The reason why we state his version in MVC is that you actually get to play as his human character model. In Cyberbots, you only get to play as ‘Jin’s mech ‘Blodia’. The reason why ‘Jin’ is so memorable is that his punches really hurt and his design is awesome. We mean look at him: his jumpsuit is pretty cool, the scarf blows in wind behind as he fights, and his moves are crazy and all over the place; plus, his super ‘Blodia Punch’ is him screaming the name of the move with a massive mech fist coming in to do crazy amounts of damage. Something about that is just extremely satisfying.

19. Jacky Bryant

Virtua Fighter Series

‘Jacky’ is the awesome brash American type character from the Virtua Fighter series. Like the rest of the cast of characters, ‘Jacky’ uses an actual fighting style from our world. He uses Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do fighting style; making ‘Jacky’ the “Bruce Lee” character type that pretty much all fighting games seem to have. Combine that with the flashy and cocky character traits that he portrays makes the player feel that way while fighting the opponent. Feels like an in-game mind game. Plus, it’s iconic towards the way that Bruce Lee acted in scenes of his films. Really cementing that character type. ‘Jacky’s all leather attire and spikey blonde hair give him that extra edge of “hey, I’m a cool character” kind of vibe.

18. I-No

Guilty Gear Series

Sexy, rocking, and an all-out badass, ‘I-No’ definitely takes the cake. Wearing red high-heel boots, red witch hat with a skull on it, red mini-skirt, and whooping everything with a red guitar ‘I-No’ can bring out the rocker chick in fighting games. Acting as the boss character of Guilty Gear XX, she can fight with the best of them. Being able to change the mere fabric of reality with a simple strum of her guitar can really ruin anybody’s day.

17. Jon Talbain

Darkstalkers Series

Also known as ‘Gallon’, Japan, ‘Jon Talbain’ is the werewolf character of the Darkstalkers franchise created by Capcom. Being half-human and half-werewolf, ‘Talbain’ was shunned from human society and lived life as peacefully as he could. He eventually accepted what he was and retained his humanity mentally, but was physically a werewolf. He continued being shunned by the adult humans, but was accepted by children and thus he protected them. It’s also could to mention that ‘Talbain’ is a werewolf that uses nunchucks and that’s pretty rad.

16. K’

King of Fighter Series

Pronounced as ‘K Dash’, this character was designed to specifically replace fan-favorite SNK characters like ‘Kyo Kusanagi’ and ‘Iori’. ‘K’ is just a character that is supposed to act “whatever” about going into a fight. He may not necessarily want to fight, but he will if he must. Something that makes ‘K’ stand out from the rest of the KOF cast is that during his fights he always has on his shades. They can come off if you use his super. He takes them off, flings them at you, and if they connect, he puts the hurting on you; finishing off by putting on a new pair.

15. Sol Badguy

Guilty Gear Series

‘Sol’ has been around since the beginning of the series. Acting as one of the scientists that created the ‘Gears’ (in-game creatures), he eventually became one himself, alongside his lover; who became ‘Justice’, one of the series antagonists. Blaming the villain, ‘That Man’, ‘Sol’ began his quest of revenge, which, over time, became a quest of stopping ‘That Man’ completely. Over the years we have seen ‘Sol’ be a good guy, (actual) bad guy, and an anti-hero. Always fighting his enemies with his blade ‘Fuuenken’ and wearing his headband that says “Rock You”; however, if he removes his headband then his ‘Gear’ power comes and he goes “Dragon Install”. Making him insanely powerful.

14. Kage

Virtua Fighter Series

Always mistaken as ‘Cage’, ‘Kage’ is the ninja class character of the VF series. After his mother was taken by the corporation ‘Judgment 6’ ‘Kage’ entered the first ‘World Tournament’ to shut down the organization. He found out that she was alive and was able to save her at the end of the second tournament. Though, when his mother turned into the mindless ‘Dural’, he entered the fifth tournament to end her misery. This character is iconic in 3D fighting games as the ninja clad in blue who has his face always covered.

13. Terry Bogard

Fatal Fury Series

A fighting game character who is recognized for his voice lines such as “Hey, c’mon c’mon”, or “Are you ok?”, you have to have ‘Terry Bogard’ on this list. This ‘South Town’ native fights for justice. The enemy of mob boss ‘Geese Howard’, the man that murdered ‘Terry’s adoptive father, wants to rule ‘South Town’ through fear. Even though he murdered the protagonist’s father, ‘Terry’ doesn’t want to kill him; even trying to save him when he does accidentally kicks him off ‘Geese Tower’, ‘Terry’ raises ‘Geese’s son ‘Rock Howard’ to try and break the cycle of violence/revenge. Acting as father and teacher, ‘Terry’ is a fighter and an honorable guy.

12. Sabrewulf

Killer Instinct Series

Another fighting game werewolf is on this list; however, unlike ‘Jon Talbain’ ‘Sabrewulf’ is pure animal instinct. Formerly a German aristocrat, ‘Sabrewulf ‘ desperately searches for a cure for his rare disease, ‘lycanthropy’. We have seen versions of him with cybernetic arms, and with his original limbs regrown. Being a character that is two beings at once, ‘Sabrewulf’ desperately tries to hold onto his humanity but has lost it at times. Making him tortured and conflicted.

11. Ivy

Soul Calibur Series

Easily one of the most recognizable characters on this list is ‘Ivy’. From the Soul series, she is the only fighter that uses a whip sword. Being able to strike her opponents from just a little over mid-screen, making her a fantastic character if you enjoy playing “footsies” or “keep away”. However, with her second sword form being a short sword leaves ‘Ivy’ capable of short burst combos that do good damage and leaves space for at the end to hit you with some of those good “pokes”.

10. Ruby Heart

Marvel Vs. Capcom II

Probably one of the most underrated characters on this list is miss ‘Ruby Heart’. We wouldn’t be surprised if most people hadn’t heard of her, but if you played MVC2 odds are that you’re probably a fan of hers. ‘Ruby Heart’ is an original character for Marvel vs. Capcom II. What makes that so interesting is that most “crossover” games do not feature original characters. Her move set is entertaining as well. The developers made her ‘Ruby Heart’ a pirate and thus she can throw down treasure chests that spawn ghost pirates, throw anchors, summon water spouts, and her super brings forth a massive pirate ship. We wish she would be in more games, but Capcom has only used her in MVC2.

9. Siegfried

Soul Calibur Series

The blonde-haired, armor-clad, two-handed greatsword knight comes in at number nine. ‘Siegfried’ is a character who has battled, and conquered the evil sword known as ‘Soul Edge’ on multiple occasions. However, he has lost succumbed to its dark temptation those times as well. This makes him a “tragic hero” always conflicted in his decisions and never letting any of the other characters close to offer him help because of his past mistakes. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and sees it as his lone duty to stop ‘Nightmare’.

8. Baiken

Guilty Gear Series

The third character from the Guilty Gear series and it’s the one-armed/one-eyed samurai ‘Baiken’. Yes, this character is one-armed/one-eyed and that makes her all the better. After having her eye gouged out and her arm cut off by ‘That Man’ ‘Baiken’ swore her revenge. She trained with a multitude of samurai weapons and mastered them all. These include a Katana, Japanese Mace, chain, a hook and claw, a bladed fan, feudal cannon, and a spear. Majority of these weapons are stuffed up her sleeves and used as surprise attacks. Of course with her missing limbs she has to be cunning to win.

7. Akuma

Street Fighter Series

Known as ‘Gouki’ in Japan, ‘Akuma’ is one of the long-standing antagonists of Street Fighter. Completely fallen to the ‘Satsui no Hado’, ‘Akuma’ relies upon dark power to give him strength and speed. While his super, ‘Raging Demon’, does physical damage to its opponents, its real purpose is to destroy the opponent’s soul. We can see this by looking at characters like ‘M.Bison’. ‘Akuma’ used the ‘Raging Demon’ on him and reduced him to a body of pure ‘Psycho Energy’. ‘Akuma’ wants ‘Ryu’ to unleash this power to have the fight of his life because that’s all he has ever looked for.

6. Fulgore

Killer Instinct Series

A robot constructed to carry out one order, kill the character ‘Jago’. With ‘Fulgore’ we get a massive robotic character that has wrist blades that shoot lasers, his eyes shoot lasers, charge up his meter and unleash a laser that looks like ‘Iron Man’s “unibeam”, and this character can teleport and turn invisible leaves a lot of happy about this character’s existence. Add in that this character is speculated to be ‘Eagle’, the brother of ‘Thunder’, shoved into a robotic body can really fill out a story for an already awesome character.

5. Kazuya

Tekken Series

We, as fans, were lied to with this characters creation. Actually, we can say that we lied to ourselves. Back in Tekken 1 and we gave ourselves the idea that ‘Kazuya’ was the protagonist who wished to stop his world-dominating father, ‘Heihachi Mishima’, and take control of the ‘Mishima Zaibatsu’. Though, we were wrong and instead saw ‘Kazuya’ become even worse than his father, as the new antagonist of the Tekken franchise. Bandai Namco’s character development of this character has kept fans interested for all these years and now that they finally had ‘Kazuya’ kill off ‘Heihachi’ at the end of Tekken 7, fans cannot wait to see what happens next.

4. Chun Li

Street Fighter Series

At number four we have the most recognizable female character in gaming history and the coolest female character in all of fighting game history, ‘Chun Li’. When we think of the badass woman in gaming ‘Chun’ always comes to mind. ‘Chun’ is a master martial artist and an ‘Interpol’ agent who relentlessly searches for ‘M.Bison’ to get revenge on killing her father. She has beaten the likes of ‘Vega’, ‘F.A.N.G’, ‘Guile’, ‘C.Viper’, and other Street Fighter characters. Some to get to ‘Bison’, while others might have been sparring partners. She has also taught characters within the franchise like brothers ‘Yun’ and ‘Yang’.

3. Sub-Zero

Mortal Kombat Series

Grandmaster of the ninja assassin clan known as the ‘Lin Kuei’, ‘Sub-Zero’ has been a mainstay within the Mortal Kombat franchise since the very beginning. Going through multiple iterations, ‘Sub-Zero’ has been a cyborg, revenant, and two brothers have held the title of ‘Sub-Zero’. He is easily recognizable to fighting game fans for his long run of helping protect ‘Earth Realm’ from the destruction of other realms. Also, his rivalry with ‘Scorpion’ is legendary; ‘Sub’s ice to ‘Scorp’s hell-fire.

2. Scorpion

Mortal Kombat Series

This character is the face of NeatherRealm Studios. When we think of Mortal Kombat we can’t help but picture ‘Scorpion’ screaming “Get over here” while throwing his chain. With the passage of time that exact picture has only gotten better to look at, thank you good graphics. Plus, his own tragic back story makes him all the more appealing and increases the new character development that they give to the character after so many years of being a villain.

1. Ryu

Street Fighter Series

And number one goes to “Mr. Fighting Game” himself, ‘Ryu’. There’s a difference between thinking of a single game and picturing a character; compared to when you think of a gaming genre and think of this character, completely different. Capcom has created, not only a fighting game franchise but a character within that game that represents the Fighting Game Community. This why ‘Ryu’ is number one.

So there you go FGC members, a list of the top 20 characters of all time. Not everyone will agree, we understand. Below is a poll that you can go to and say who, on this list, should have been number one. Remember, EVO 2019 is approaching, character choice is important.

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