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The EventHubs crew ranks the best / worst fighting games of the 2010's from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to Persona 4 Arena, Street Fighter 5 and beyond

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • January 11, 2020 at 12:39 p.m. PST • Comments: 88

As we come to the start of a brand new decade, it gives all of us the perfect time to reflect on the journey of the last 10 years and boy has it been a journey in the realm of fighting games and the FGC as a whole.

We'd previously asked the community what you all thought the best / most important fighting games of the 2010's were, and so now the EventHubs team members themselves have come together to rank their favorite fighters of the decade in our very own tier lists.

Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez, Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey, Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor and myself all participated in creating our own charts going from S tier all the way down to 'F' which should go to show how different our tastes and likes can differ even on the team here.

There's only a few things all / most of us agreed on like putting games like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tekken 7 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate high up, but other than that, our picks vary drastically.

Our game selection and choices differed depending on what we've personally played and / or are most familiar with, so we're all missing some titles here and there that we don't have strong enough feelings towards.

Without further ado, let's jump into our picks for the best / worst fighters of the past decade where Nick and I also go into further detail explaining our choices and what was most important to us when making these tiers. Also special shout outs again to Samurai Shodown for winning the EventHubs' community's best fighting game of 2019 poll.

DarkHorse's 2010's Fighting Game Tier List

When sitting down to create my list and looking through all of the big games of the 2010's, it quickly became apparent which fighters deserved my top slots due to their influence in making me want to actually sit down and learn all of the ins and outs of a particular title or style of fighter that continues to impact my tastes.

I started out the decade as a fledgling Persona fan in the RPG series, so Persona 4 Arena quickly caught my eye and grabbed my attention. After spending days and nights playing through the story and battling my friends, P4U really became the first fighting game I wanted to sit down and actually get good at.

Technically, P4U's sequel / expansion Ultimax is my top fighting game selection with its expanded roster, features and actual inclusion of a rematch button, but it wasn't included as a choice meaning I had to make due with vanilla.

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was another one of those games that drew me in for obvious reasons as it did many in the FGC. Even though I never got amazing at it, playing and watching UMvC3 was / is always a treat.

If this list was made back before 2018, I'd probably have Smash 4 in A or S tier as well since it too got me into wanting to play the series at a more competitive level, but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has completely eclipsed that game in my mind and heart โ€” thus making the Wii U game look a fair bit worse by comparison.

Also, yes I have BlazBlue as my lowest-ranked fighting game on the list, but I'm not saying the series is bad by any stretch. BB has just never really clicked for me on a personal level. I still enjoy watching BlazBlue titles played at a high level, however, which is something that applies to pretty much everything on this list.

Skullgirls was not a selectable option, but I'd put it in S or A tier if I could after I spent a good portion of the summer of 2016 really digging into the game.

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Majin Tenshinhan's 2010's Fighting Game Tier List

Before I even start explaining my reasoning for my different tier placings, it's worth noting that many of these games had the benefit of later versions come out, many of which improved the game itself quite a bit. Because of this, their previous versions inevitably get knocked down a peg since they're simply inferior to an improved version of themselves that came along later. In fact, every game on the list where I played several versions, I'd say I prefer the newer version over the old one.

The S tier, to me, are games that had a clear goal in mind with what they wanted to be and executed it flawlessly. On top of that, the most important part, they're games that I found exceptionally fun.

For Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, I feel like it adressed a lot of the problems in the vanilla release of the game and gave us a bunch of new, hype characters. Despite there being some very oppressive top tiers (there really always is, right?), the game allowed for a lot of freedom of expression with creative team builds, and both in tournament play and when rocking casuals with friends, someone would always have a new cool team to show off.

As for Samurai Shodown, it's a very basic game which emphasis mind games to an extreme degree and it's a game I've gelled with completely. There's a very specific approach to Samurai Shodown, where any hit can be absolutely lethal, and you need to be extremely careful with your approach to pressing buttons. Cautious and calculated play is a big part of the game, and given its relative simplicity it's easy to spread your wings with different characters and playstyles, which has been great for me since I've often found myself locked to just one character.

When it comes to Street Fighter X Tekken I need to be very clear that I mean v2013 of the game โ€” the original version I'd probably put as low as D tier in my list. Even though it was clear that a lot of effort had gone into the game, it seemed mismanaged with a lack of focus and the game just wasn't any fun to play. The patch elevated the game to extreme heights, though it was unfortunately too little too late for the game's competitive future. Nevertheless, I love the game and how well Capcom managed to translate the Tekken characters' move sets and personalities to 2D, and much like Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you can find all kinds of fun combination teams with different strong points, meaning the game really never gets old to play or watch.

In my A tier I've put games that have been exceptionally fun but have maybe one area which turns me off slightly from them, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's buffer system which annoys me to no end. Although I focus on it exclusively in a casual setting, I can't imagine how frustrating something like that must be when playing it competitively. Overall, though, these games are generally well-balanced, have a lot of fun quirks to them and have very pleasing feedback when you play them. These are games I'd love to play more of, no matter how much time passes.

Also worth noting that Persona 4: Arena didn't have both of its installments listed in the tier maker, and the version I'm looking at here in my ranking is actually the second installment, Persona 4: Arena Ultimax which added a ton of creative movesets from various Persona 3 and Persona 4 characters and increased the content in the game greatly. Persona 4: Arena was a good base, but Persona 4: Arena Ultimax improved upon that recipe in so many ways.

For B tier, I mostly have games where I had fun, but it didn't quite reach the expectations I had. Whether it be lopsided balance (Super Smash Bros. 4, Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN), general linearity in gameplay (Dragon Ball FighterZ, King of Fighters 14) or other things, these are games which I'd recommend to people if they seemed up their alley, but I wouldn't go out of my way to play them again.

My C tier has games where I just am not having as much fun as I know I should be when I'm putting that much time into it, and these titles are ones I'd consider to be disappointments on a personal level. While there are some shining lights in them (Lucia in Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition being a very bright one), the cons generally outweigh the pros for me and I'd rather avoid them if possible.

D tier are games that I think totally missed the mark in almost every way mechanically, even if there's a ton of good fan service content within (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle says hi). These are fighting games which needed more development time to truly find their way as fighting games, and no amount of pretty coats of paint can really cover up the hollow feeling they give off. Thankfully, Street Fighter 5 has been continuously improved month after month since its initial release. The other game listed here had no such commitment behind it.

My label on F tier is something I really mean โ€” SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy isn't a game I really compare with other fighting games because it's simple to the point where I can't really see it on the same level. What it is, though, is fun. A lot of fun.

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Catalyst and Dreamking's 2010's Fighting Game Tier Lists

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