I love it when two dissimilar franchises or universes are mashed together in a fighting game because that’s something that wouldn’t make sense in any other genre. If we think about it, most fighting games are all about gameplay and competition and everything else is secondary, including a story. Below you’ll find a list with fighting games that combine two different franchises, so games that have minor cameo appearances weren’t taken into consideration.
10. NeoGeo Battle Coliseum (Arcade, PlayStation 2, PSN, XBLA)
Let’s get this out of the way, Neo Geo Battle Coliseum is not for everyone. Although there’s a lot to like in this 2-on-2 tag fighting game, the poor graphics and the asinine story make it hard to recommend to everyone. That said, if you’d like to know what SNK Playmore was doing in the NeoGeo era or if you are and SNK fan and you want incredible levels of fan service, this is it.
9. Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (Arcade, WonderSwan, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2)
Also known as Pocket Fighter, this unconventional fighting game features super deformed versions of some of the most popular Street Fighter characters, including Ryu, Ken, Zangief and Chun-Li, among others. But that’s not all, Pocket Fighter also includes characters from Darkstalkers and even from Red Earth. As the name suggests, apart from fighting, you also collect gems that power up your character, so there are some additional strategies to take into account. It may not be the most complex fighting game out there, but what Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix lacks in depth, it more than makes up in style and charm.
8. Aquapazza: Aquaplus Dream Match (Arcade, PlayStation 3)
I’m no expert in Aquapazza games, so I couldn’t tell you how meaningful this crossover was when it came out, but I do like robust two-dimensional fighting games that are fun to play and have great music and luckily, this game has all that. I doubt most people outside of Japan, will recognize the roster featured in this game, but that’s a minor issue to have when there’s such a solid game around those characters.
7. Capcom vs. SNK 2 (Arcade, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, DreamCast, Xbox, GameCube)
Capcom vs. SNK 2 tweaks and fixes most of the inconsistencies present in its predecessor and adds some new characters. This is a classic fighting game that a lot of people missed back in its day and is well worth checking out today. An Updated version known as EO (which stands for Easy Operation) came out for the GameCube and Xbox platforms and this was intended for novice players who don’t know how to execute some of the more complex combos.
6. The King of Fighters XIII (Arcade, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, iOS, Android)
The King of Fighters has become such an important franchise in the fighting game genre, that sometimes it’s easy to forget that this is a crossover series. The King of Fighters has included characters from Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Ikari Warriors, Metal Slug and Samurai Shodown, among others. Fans who have been following the franchise for some time probably have their favorite entry, but XIII is definitely one of the best because it expanded the roster, fixes some problems, improves the gameplay and the console ports have additional content.
5. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
Who would have guessed that the eight entry in the Mortal Kombat series was going to be a crossover with characters from Detective Comics? But that was the case and apart from selecting Scorpion, Sub-Zero and company, the game allowed you to play as Batman, Superman, The Flash, The Joker, Catwoman and the list goes on and on. Some of the team-ups were bizarre and the lack of gory fatalities and the far-fetched story have some problems, but Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe simply works.
4. Street Fighter X Tekken (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, PC, iOS)
Back in the PlayStation era, fighting game fans were torn between 2D and 3D games. It took some time, but if you still want to know who would win in a fight between Ryu and Heihachi, Capcom let’s you settle that dispute. To be clear, Street Fighter X Tekken revolves around Street Fighter’s gameplay (Namco was going to release their own take in the form of Tekken X Street Fighter, but the game has been delayed several times and is now in development hell.) Something unique to Street Fighter X Tekken is the Gem System which allows players to equip precious stone with different modifiers that power-up certain character attributes.
3. Super Smash Bros. (Wii U, Nintendo 3DS)
Combining characters from some of the most popular Nintendo franchises was one of the Japanese company’s best ideas and the best part about the game is that it uses an unconventional gameplay. So instead of reducing an opponent’s life bar to zero, you need to weaken them so that you can knock them out of the themed arenas. Super Smash Bros. features music, stages, characters and items from a variety of Nintendo franchises, as well as some third-party ones like Bayonetta, Sonic, Final Fantasy VII or Street Fighter. These gameplay elements have been around for years, but Super Smash Bros. Is one of the most well-balanced and varied entries in the series.
2. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars (Nintendo Wii)
Tatsunoko Production isn’t that popular in this part of the world, so the fact thatTatsunoko vs. Capcom came out in North America and Europe is still surprising. But high demand from international fans convinced Capcom to release the fighting game outside of Japan and that was a terrific decision. In this 2.5D fighting game, players select a team of two fighters (or a single, more powerful character) to knock out the opponents. The approachable gameplay, colorful visual style and unique playstyle are some of the best parts about the game, not to mention the fact that you can play as some of the most recognizable characters of both Tatsunoko and Capcom.
1. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360)
Characters from both Marvel and Street Fighter have been fighting each other for decades. Arguably though, the series reached its pinnacle with the third entry in the Marvel vs. Capcom series thanks to a well-balanced gameplay and variety of characters. In the game, players select a team of three characters who need to engage in combat and defeat the opposite team using some of the most ridiculous and flashy attacks to ever grace a fighting game. If you’re new to the franchise, you’ll be glad to know that there’s also an element of accessibility for those players who have never played a convoluted tag team fighting game of this type before.