We’re huge fans of fighting games, in fact, we ran Fight Club Fridays on streams for quite a long time. In this genre though, nothing gets us quite as hyped as anime fighters with all of their barrier/air dashing/numeral notation nonsense. But, which ones do we think are best?
Possibly one of the most hype-inducing fighting games in the world, REV2 is an absolute tour-de-force of visual and aural flair. The series has always been possibly the beautifully rendered of its contemporaries, but REV2 and its predecessor REVELATOR really do take this philosophy and run with it, being some of the best looking games right now.
This particular title has a high ceiling in terms of learning the game and its mechanics (damn you, Dust), and each character has their own set of mechanics to learn as well, but the payoff is great too with some of the most flashy visuals around. Also, it can’t be overlooked that professional level play in this particular title is just a dream to watch.
The only arena fighter on this list and with good reason, as this is the best example of this particular set of mechanics in recent times. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it is a genuinely enjoyable and frantic fighter complete with flashy moves, a recognisable set of unique and interesting characters to choose from, and a simple but effective assist system.
Also, all of the visuals are stunning, with visual effects and character design looking like it is ripped directly out of the anime itself. In fact, the only down points in this game is that there isn’t much in the way of single-player content. My Hero: One’s Justice is a fantastic homage to the source material and immensely enjoyable to play; worth the try if you love the anime.
This could quite easily take the title of being the best anime fighting game currently on the market, in our opinion. With one of the most in-depth and accessible tutorial systems in any fighting game, and a clear focus on making the mechanics easy to understand but difficult to master, there’s few fighting games that can match Under Night for its depth.
The game has small but interesting roster of fighters, each with distinctive personalities and core differing mechanics to make them all feel massively different from one another. Plus, with an undeniably crazy at points visual novel story mode, and other modes besides, this game has a decent amount of mileage too. An undeniable highlight for PS4 and PC.
Speaking of accessibility, Dragon Ball FighterZ is possibly the most beginner friendly fighting game available right now. This fighter sees more simplified inputs for moves and specials, an extensive set of tutorials, and a far more rigid set of core mechanics across the roster than most in its genre. This all comes together for a game that it remarkably easy to pick up.
This title looks incredible, looking far closer to the source material than ever before with incredibly smooth and beautiful animations throughout. Dragon Ball FighterZ is great overall. In fact, the only reason we don’t rate this game higher is that it is a little barebones in terms of content, and the combo challenges can’t really be reliably brought over into the game.
We struggled over which BLAZBLUE title to put on this list, with Cross Tag Battle being one of our favourites too, but really it had to go to the final game in the core story. With a diverse and sometimes utterly unique characters, some of the best mechanics in the genre, and now the ability to take it on the go with the Special Edition on Nintendo Switch last month.
There’s a reason that BLAZBLUE is regarded so highly among fans of anime fighting games. It stands as almost the perfect example of the mechanics found in the sub-genre, with every aspect of the game perfected, at least by this iteration. Once you also factor in the visuals and soundtrack too, you end up with a great game with a terrifying amount of diversity.
What do you think though? Have we got your favourite on here, or have we missed it out? Let us know in the comments, or on Facebook and Twitter, and check back for more coverage of fighting games and other Japanese titles.
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