Top 10: Best Original Xbox Fighting Games

As part of their E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be getting backwards compatibility for original Xbox games soon. Although everyone wants to play the usual suspects, like Halo 2, Jet Set Radio, Jade Empire, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Panzer Dragoon Orta, Project Gotham Racing or Conker Live & Reloaded, what about fighting games? The original Xbox isn’t particularly remembered for its fighting games (it’s remembered for its oversized controller, which, by the way, is coming back thanks to accessory manufacturer Hyperkin,) but there are some exclusives, as well as some classics from the sixth generation of consoles.

Bloody Roar 3

One of Bloody Roar’s most prominent features is the possibility of transforming into a fierce beast, once you’ve gathered enough energy in a meter. Turning into this creature allows you to regain lost health, as well as make more damage. I lost track of the Hudson Soft series after the PlayStation era (which received the first and second entries,) and I’d love to check out this third part which also includes a bunch of new characters.

Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO

Capcom vs SNK 2 EO (GameCube)

Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO (which stands for Easy Operation) is the same game as Capcom vs. SNK 2 but with minor changes in gameplay. One of those changes is the inclusion of the EO system that makes some of the most convoluted combos remarkably easy to pull off. As it’s usually the case with titles that significantly tone down the difficulty of its predecessors, EO has its serious detractors, but I still want to see it for myself.

Dead or Alive 3

Deard or Alive 3 is basically a minor improvement over Dead or Alive 2, but fans of the series know that the gameplay is so elegant that they’ll take any improvements. There are counter periods, unrestricted 3D movements, new characters and the game loses emphasis on juggle combos. This makes the game more suitable for beginners and the AI is much more forgiving which is more than welcome.

Dead or Alive: Ultimate

I don’t usually like including more than one game from a series on the same list, but in the case of Dead or Alive Ultimate, it makes sense. Ultimate is a compilation that features high-resolution versions of Dead or Alive and Dead or Alive 2. Other features include the possibility of playing online via Xbox Live (something that could come back should Xbox decide to release he game as part of the Backwards compatible program.) If you’re into Dead or Alive at all, you’d love a chance to play these classic games all over again.

Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes

Marvel vs Capcom 2 Gameplay

I know getting the Marvel license to release Marvel vs Capcom 2 again is probably a nightmare, but since I’m one of those people who completely missed the Marvel vs Capcom: Origins compilation on the Xbox 360 and PS3, I want another chance to play the versus fighting game again. As far as I know, the Xbox version isn’t the best version of the game because it lacked online multiplayer over Xbox Live (a feature that Capcom originally promised, but never delivered,) but I’ll still play it.

The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact

This is a three-dimensional spin-off of The King of Fighters, but with characters from Art of Fighting and Fatal Fury which makes this game a dream to SNK fans. Since the fighters battle on their own, the game shares more similarities with Bloody Roar and Tekken than classic King of Fighters, since there are juggle combos and combo commands and that’s a nice change of pace.

The King of Fighters Neowave

I included Neowave on this list, not necessarily because it’s a great game (it received average reviews,) but because it’s only playable on the Xbox, so it’s an oddity. In terms of new features, The King of Fighters Neowave features a three character elimination gameplay and a tag system. From a graphical standpoint, Neowave has 2D characters on 3D environments. The more you explore the game, the more systems come into play, including Super Cancel Mode, Guard Break Mode and MAX2 Mode

Capcom Fighting Evolution

Capcom Fighting Evolution Gameplay

Some people have strong opinions about this head-to-head fighting game and I’m saying that because Capcom Fighting Evolution was heavily criticized for copying and pasting characters from other games, it didn’t have certain character moves, some iconic characters were relegated to cameos and for lacking the finesse of other similar versus games. Despite all of its issues, I’d love it if there was a cheaper way to play this game other than having to track down a physical copy.

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection features Hyper Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III: Third Strike two of the best versions of the classic fighting games. Additionally, the collection comes with the PG-13 version of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie which is simply one of the best movies based on a game ever made. There’s always an excuse to go back to classic Street Fighter games and the added bonus in the form of the movie makes this a well-rounded package that no fans of Street Fighter should miss.

Mortal Kombat Trilogy (Deception, Deadly Alliance, Armageddon)

Mortal Kombat - Deadly Alliance Gameplay

The actual Mortal Kombat trilogy didn’t come out on the Xbox, but I decided to compile all three of them in one entry because a) I’ve never played them b) I barely know the difference in terms of story and characters and c) since they came out in the same generation, they kind of blend together. For all of us who missed Deception, Deadly Alliance and Armageddon, playing the backwards compatibility versions would be a terrific option.