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Best Fighting Game of 2016

Best Fighting Game of 2016 - Article

by Evan Norris , posted on 03 January 2017 / 11,191 Views

After Chicago-based NetherRealm Studios took top prize for fighting game in 2015, Japanese studios returned in force, capturing all of the shortlisted slots in 2016. Arc System Works is responsible for two games in contention, both gorgeously animated and mechanically rich — BlazBlue: Central Fiction and Guilty Gear Xrd - Revelator-. Bandai Namco, which had previously assisted Nintendo on Super Smash Bros., lent its support to Nintendo again with Pokkén Tournament. Finally, Capcom released the latest in its evergreen fighting franchise: Street Fighter V.


The Shortlist

BlazBlue: Central Fiction

Central Fiction


Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-

Guilty Gear


Pokkén Tournament



Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V



The Winner:


Pokkén Tournament

Pokken Winner

Console fans had long clamored for a Pokémon fighting game, and in March 2016 they got one on WiiU. Produced by industry veterans Masaaki Hoshino (SoulCalibur) and Katsuhiro Harada (Tekken) and developed by Bandai Namco, Pokkén Tournament is the rare genre mash-up that works.

One of the more remarkable features of Pokkén Tournament is its phase system, in which players experience two unique points of view throughout a match. The first POV is Field Phase, which looks a lot like the behind-the-back third-person perspective in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tekaichi. The second is Duel Phase, which is much closer to the 2D perspective of games like Street Fighter. It's an interesting gameplay wrinkle that opens up a lot of variety and strategy for players, and sets Pokkén apart from the crowd.

Boasting 16 playable characters, 30 support Pokémon, offline/online multiplayer modes, and some light RPG elements for the Pokémon faithful, Pokkén Tournament is the real deal. It's also the best fighting game of 2016.


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Nuvendil (on 03 January 2017)

Worthy winner, very unique feeling fighter game. And while the total number of fighters is not very high, it is a very solid count for a new IP with a whole new approach to things.

I am shocked that King of Fighters XIV didn't get a mention though, that game was very substantial and well received.

  • +7
zippy (on 03 January 2017)

Totally agree with this choice.

  • +5
Bandorr (on 03 January 2017)

I hated the demo for this game. It had limited usages, limited pokemon, and you fought one opponent.

That immediately turned me off to the game. Also probably too technical for me, but I won't ever know because that is one god awful demo.

  • +3
Areym (on 03 January 2017)

"Boasting 16 playable characters"
That is extremely low given how many pokemon there are. That's like KI season 1 low.

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NateH (on 04 January 2017)

Hopefully Pokkén makes its way to the Switch.

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Rogerioandrade (on 04 January 2017)

No love for King of Fighters XIV ? That game is awesome and should be shortlisted.
Although.... I must say that Pokken is an excelent fighting game. Very technical and simple to play at the same time. Great for casual gaming and also for competitiveness
If SFV didn´t have such confusing launch, maybe it would get 1st place.

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Jranation (on 04 January 2017)

Nice one!

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KazumaKiryu (on 04 January 2017)

In february coming Naruto UNS4 final edition for PS4 :) With more than 100 playble characters and beautiful graphic = ) For me is the winner 2016 BlazBlue: Central Fiction.

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