How many characters should fighting games have in their base rosters here in the age of such prolific DLC?

Mortal Kombat 11 looks to have 25 to start, how does that compare with other recent titles?

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 14, 2019 at 3:51 p.m. PDT

The landscape of gaming has changed remarkably in recent years as downloadable content has become a mainstay for almost every title, and regular practice of expanding fighting game rosters after initial launch means that our particular genre is especially affected.

A recent video from TrueUnderDawgGaming explores this concept with the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 at the center focal point, comparing it to other titles like Street Fighter 5, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and Tekken 7 to see if any kind of modern standard emerges in the way of release date character count.

Right now the assumption is that MK11's base roster will include around 25 characters, perhaps 26 if Shao Kahn (who is pre-order DLC bonus on day one) is not included as one of the empty slots on the character select screen we've been seeing during Kombat Kasts. As it turns out, 25 to start is actually a fairly big number as many other games had fewer available combatants out of the gate.

Street Fighter 5 had only 16, Dragon Ball FighterZ had 24, Tekken 7 had 20, (upon arcade release) BBCTB had 20, and Soul Calibur 6 had 21. Additionally, all other Mortal Kombat titles in franchise history (save for Armageddon, which reused a ton of assets) had less than 25 characters at launch. Dead or Alive 6 launched at the beginning of this month with 26 characters, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stands as a stark anomaly with more than 70 playable avatars to begin with.

It quickly becomes apparent that quantity is only one of a handful of variables fans appear to use when assessing whether or not they're content with a fighting game's initial character select screen population. Depth of character abilities, uniqueness from each other and other factors go in to forming standards here.

The question "Is a roster of 25 characters big enough?" becomes rapidly insignificant in a vacuum, but instead serves as a piece of the puzzle when weighing, in this case, Mortal Kombat 11's introductory experience. Check out TUDG's video and please share your reactions in the comments after.

Load comments (68)