The Most Difficult Fighting Game: Ranking the Ultimate Challenge

Choose the fighting game you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 05:38
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion meets the world! We've got a thrilling battle of the titans lined up for you today, as we seek to crown the most difficult fighting game of all time. Our arena is packed with contenders from across the gaming universe, each boasting their own unique blend of brain-melting combos, finger-cramping techniques, and edge-of-your-seat action. And now, it's up to you to cast your vote or suggest a missing challenger that could rise through the ranks and claim the title. So, put on your battle armor, sharpen your skills, and prepare to engage in the ultimate showdown of gaming prowess. Will your favorite emerge victorious or will an underdog steal the spotlight? The power is in your hands, so let the games begin!

What Is the Most Difficult Fighting Game?

  1. 1
    41
    votes
    This game is known for its complexity, as it features a vast roster of characters with unique movesets and mechanics that require a lot of practice to master. Additionally, the game's high-speed gameplay and technical execution make it challenging to play at a high level.
    Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is a 2D fighting game known for its highly complex gameplay mechanics and intense action. It is the final update to the Guilty Gear XX series, offering a wide range of characters with unique playstyles and abilities. The game features fast-paced battles, elaborate move sets, and a high skill ceiling, making it challenging and rewarding for competitive players.
    • Platform: Arcade, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
    • Release Date: 2008
    • Game Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
    • Number of Characters: 25+
    • Special Features: Roman Cancel mechanic, Tension Gauge, Dust Attacks, Instant Kills
  2. 2
    12
    votes
    This game is considered one of the most technical fighting games ever made, as it requires players to master advanced techniques such as parrying and combo chains. The game also has a relatively small roster, which means players must become experts with each character to be successful.
    Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is a classic fighting game that was released in 1999. It is considered one of the most challenging and technical fighting games in the Street Fighter series. The game features a diverse roster of characters with unique playstyles and abilities, offering a deep and complex gameplay experience.
    • Platform: Arcade, Dreamcast
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
    • Graphics: 2D sprite-based
    • Resolution: 240p
  3. 3
    29
    votes
    This game is known for its fast-paced gameplay and complex combo system, which requires players to memorize long strings of button inputs. The game also has a large roster of characters, each with their unique moves and abilities, which makes it challenging to master them all.
    Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is a highly challenging fighting game that features a crossover between characters from Marvel Comics and Capcom's video game franchises. It is widely regarded as one of the most difficult fighting games due to its complex gameplay mechanics and high level of competition.
    • Release Date: February 24, 2000
    • Platforms: Arcade, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Number of Characters: 56 playable characters
    • Team Size: 3 characters per team
  4. 4
    15
    votes

    Tekken 7

    Bandai Namco Entertainment
    This game is known for its deep mechanics and high skill ceiling, as it features a large roster of characters with unique movesets and gameplay styles. The game also requires players to master advanced techniques such as sidestepping and frame data analysis to be successful.
    Tekken 7 is a popular and challenging fighting game that belongs to the Tekken series. It was developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game features intense one-on-one battles and offers a wide range of characters each with unique fighting styles and abilities. Tekken 7 introduces new mechanics, augmented by realistic and visually stunning graphics, making it a competitive and visually appealing fighting game.
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
    • Release Date: March 18, 2015 (Arcade), June 2, 2017 (Consoles)
    • Game Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    • Number of Characters: Over 40
    • Stages: 20+
    Tekken 7 in other rankings
  5. 5
    25
    votes

    Mortal Kombat 11

    NetherRealm Studios
    This game features a large roster of characters with unique movesets that require a lot of practice to master. Additionally, the game's combo system is known for its complexity, as it allows players to string together long chains of attacks. The game also has a strong emphasis on defensive play, which makes it challenging to open up opponents.
    Mortal Kombat 11 is a highly popular and visually stunning fighting game that brings intense combat and a gripping storyline to players. It is the latest installment in the long-running Mortal Kombat series.
    • Release Date: April 23, 2019
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Game Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
    • Story Mode: A compelling and well-written narrative that continues the epic saga of Mortal Kombat
    Mortal Kombat 11 in other rankings
  6. 6
    15
    votes
    This game is known for its complex combo system, which requires players to memorize long strings of button inputs and timing windows. Additionally, the game features a diverse cast of characters with unique gameplay mechanics that require a lot of practice to master.
    Killer Instinct is a highly challenging fighting game that was originally released in 1994. It has gained a reputation for its intense gameplay and complex mechanics. Developed by Rare, it has since been remade for modern platforms. The game features a diverse roster of characters, each with their own unique fighting style and abilities. Players engage in fast-paced, combo-based combat, utilizing various attacks, special moves, and combos to defeat their opponents. The game introduces the concept of combo breakers, allowing players to break out of their opponent's combos. Killer Instinct also includes an extensive combo system, allowing players to create devastating and flashy combos. The visuals in Killer Instinct are notable, incorporating pre-rendered sprites and combining them with 3D backgrounds. The game also features an immersive soundtrack that complements the intense gameplay. With its competitive nature, Killer Instinct has become a popular choice for tournament play.
    • Release Year: 1994
    • Platforms: Arcade, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Xbox One, Windows 10
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Game Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
    • Number of Playable Characters (Original Release): 10
    Killer Instinct in other rankings
  7. 7
    6
    votes

    Super Smash Bros. Melee

    Masahiro Sakurai
    This game is known for its fast-paced gameplay and high skill ceiling, as it features a large roster of characters with unique movesets and gameplay mechanics. The game also requires players to master advanced techniques such as wave dashing and L-canceling to be successful.
    Super Smash Bros. Melee is a highly competitive fighting game released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. It is regarded as one of the most difficult and technically demanding games in the Super Smash Bros. series.
    • Platform: Nintendo GameCube
    • Release Date: December 3, 2001
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Single Player Modes: Classic Mode, Adventure Mode, All-Star Mode
    • Multiplayer Modes: Versus Mode, Tournament Mode, Special Melee
    Super Smash Bros. Melee in other rankings
  8. 8
    7
    votes

    BlazBlue: Central Fiction

    Arc System Works
    This game is known for its complex mechanics, including a unique "overdrive" system that allows players to perform powerful attacks. Additionally, the game's large roster of characters with unique movesets makes it challenging to master them all.
    BlazBlue: Central Fiction is a highly complex and challenging fighting game that offers deep gameplay mechanics and a rich storyline. It is the fourth main installment in the BlazBlue series, developed by Arc System Works.
    • Release Date: November 19, 2015
    • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Arcade
    • Game Modes: Story Mode, Arcade Mode, Versus Mode, Network Mode, Training Mode
    • Character Roster: Over 35 unique playable characters
    • Gimmicks: Unique Drive button for each character, Overdrive mechanic, Crush Trigger attacks
  9. 9
    5
    votes

    Dragon Ball FighterZ

    Arc System Works
    This game is known for its fast-paced gameplay and complex combo system, which requires players to memorize long strings of button inputs and timing windows. The game also features a large roster of characters with unique movesets and abilities, which makes it challenging to master them all.
    Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 2.5D fighting game that features characters from the popular Dragon Ball franchise. With its stunning graphics and fast-paced gameplay, it captures the essence of the iconic anime series. The game offers a unique tag team-based system where players can create powerful combos and perform flashy special moves.
    • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Release Date: January 26, 2018
    • Modes: Single-player, Multiplayer
    • Number of Characters: 40
    Dragon Ball FighterZ in other rankings
  10. 10
    6
    votes
    This game is known for its fast-paced gameplay and complex combo system, which requires players to memorize long strings of button inputs and timing windows. The game also features a large roster of characters with unique movesets and abilities, which makes it challenging to master them all.
    Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a popular fighting game that combines characters from the Marvel and Capcom universes. It features fast-paced gameplay, intense battles, and a wide variety of playable characters to choose from. The game was developed by Capcom and released in 2011 as an updated version of the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.
    • Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
    • Genre: Fighting
    • Number of Characters: 50+
    • Tag Team Mechanics: Allows players to form teams of three characters
    • Crossover Appeal: Features iconic characters from both Marvel and Capcom franchises

Missing your favorite fighting game?

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Discussion

Ranking factors for difficult fighting game

  1. Complexity
    Consider the number of moves, inputs, and techniques available in the game. More complex fighting games typically require players to memorize and master a wider array of strategies and moves, increasing the difficulty.
  2. Learning curve
    Some fighting games are more beginner-friendly, with tutorials and simpler control schemes, while others might require hours of practice to become proficient with even the basic moves.
  3. Balance
    A well-balanced game with diverse characters and styles can make it more challenging for players to dominate their opponents. Look for games with a variety of fighters with different strengths and weaknesses, forcing players to adapt and use different tactics.
  4. Technical demands
    Some fighting games require precise timing, intricate button combinations, or quick reflexes. Others may rely heavily on combo execution or have a high skill ceiling, making them more challenging for casual players.
  5. Community and competitive scene
    The skill level of other players and the prevalence of competitive tournaments can influence a game's difficulty level. A thriving, highly skilled community can push the boundaries of a fighting game and force others to improve their skills to stay competitive.
  6. Single-player challenge
    Many fighting games include AI-controlled opponents or single-player modes with different difficulty levels. Look for games that offer a variety of challenges and difficulties to test one's skills.
  7. Mechanics
    Each fighting game has its own unique mechanics, such as a meter system, super moves, or unique character abilities. Learning and mastering these mechanics can be a daunting task and can add to a game's overall difficulty.
  8. Online performance
    Good online performance is crucial in modern fighting games. Games with smoother netcode and better matchmaking systems can help create a more balanced online experience, where players can fight against more evenly matched opponents in lag-free environments.
  9. Labbing and training
    The availability and depth of training modes and tools can enhance the difficulty of a game. Games with extensive training options can help players learn and improve more efficiently, but also require more time and dedication to become proficient.
  10. Depth and replayability
    The amount of depth in a fighting game's mechanics, character roster, and unlocking system can directly impact a player's ability to master the game. The more there is to discover and learn, the more challenging a fighting game can be.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult fighting game. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or fighting game is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2291 views
  • 162 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each fighting game once every 24 hours. The rank of each fighting game is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most difficult fighting game

Fighting games have been a popular genre in the gaming industry for decades. From classic arcade games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat to modern titles like Tekken and Soulcalibur, there are countless fighting games for players to choose from. However, some games are notoriously difficult due to their complex mechanics and high skill ceiling. The question of which fighting game is the most difficult has been debated among gamers for years, with no clear consensus. Factors such as character balance, execution difficulty, and strategy all play a role in determining a game's difficulty level. Whether you're a seasoned fighting game veteran or a newcomer to the genre, tackling the most difficult games can be a rewarding challenge.

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