The best Xbox fighting games, ranked by toughness

The Xbox managed to amass a solid lineup of classics. Halo launched the machine into the stratosphere, while games like Jet Set Radio Future, jade empire, Gaiden ninjaand the Burst cell series made Microsoft’s green and black box a classic or had its best ports on the machine.



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The console even managed to get a fair amount of fighting games back when that genre fell into disuse. Still, the original Xbox is over 20 years old now. Some games on the system are going to feel dated compared to today, so here are the best original Xbox fighting games ranked from dusty to persistent.

ten Bloody Roar: Extreme

Eighting’s brawler series has made a name for itself thanks to its fast-paced gameplay and animal transformations. After starting out on the Playstation, the company decided to give the other machines some love with Bloody Roar: Extreme. It was first released on Gamecube as Blood Roar: Primal Fury. Then Xbox got an enhanced port with a new intro, additional characters unlocked by default, and a hidden character from the bloody roar manga.

It was the penultimate entry in the series, and the only one to reach non-Sony machines. It still brought the brawls and transformations everyone loved, but was criticized for its PS1-era gameplay and recycled hardware even when it was originally released.

9 Mortal Kombat: Deception

Deception was a big improvement over Deadly Alliance. Gameplay has been tweaked, the roster has been expanded, and everyone has had at least two kills and a Hara-Kiri to avoid shame. There were even side activities, like Konquest mode, Chess mode, and Puzzle Kombat.

Deception did some new things like using 3D movement, but while the gameplay had its fans, the position changing style wasn’t as engaging as the traditional 2D style. Poor animations and character designs didn’t help either. Hsu Hao is gone (unless players use Action Replay), but Dairou, Kobra, and Darrius were there to disappoint everyone instead.


Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was released on nearly every machine in the early 2000s, with just Nintendo missing. The PS2 and Xbox ports are slightly rarer than the others as they came out just as Capcom lost the video game rights to the Marvel characters. This delay is said to be the reason why the whole game looks so much worse than its predecessor.

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The 3D scenes are generic, the music is nice but poorly suited, and all but the newest characters are repurposed sprites. Dark Stalkers 1994’s sprites clash awkwardly against 1998’s. Thankfully, while the gameplay is notoriously unbalanced, it’s still fast, wild, and fun for newcomers and veterans alike.


This classic crossover between the two major fighting game companies is more fan-friendly than beginner-friendly. Super combos are more compound than wonderThe giant laser beams of , but the gameplay is more in-depth with its variety of grooves, features and modes. Capcom even created new sprites for most of the actors.

The SNK side is new anyway, as are some Capcom characters, but the game still reuses alpha street fighter sprites for many of them. Morrigan still uses it Dark Stalkers sprite, and it’s worse here than in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Still, the development team gave them new animations for some grooves.


6 Hyper Street Fighter II Anniversary Collection

For the 15th anniversary of the franchise in 2002, Capcom decided to celebrate street fighter 2…which came out in 1991, making it more of an 11th anniversary celebration. For one thing, Capcom was just recycling sprites and scenes from 1991 and 1994. That’s old by video game standards. However, he uses them in a new way.

The game has characters from SF2 the ports fight each other. The fastest Super-Turbo the characters could take the strongest world warrior versions. Although the sprites are older, they don’t clash like in Capcom versus SNK 2, Where Marvel vs. Capcom 2. He also came with Street Fighter 3: Third Strikewhich was an exclusive addition to Xbox in Europe.


5 Guilty Gear XX #Reload

Yes, that’s the real title of the game. It would get even more ridiculous with Guilty Gear XX Slash, XX Accent Core, and Accent Core Plus R. There are almost as many versions of Guilty Equipment XX as there is street fighter 2 however XX #Reload was the only one to reach the original Xbox in 2004 and improved its regular edition in several ways.

Some characters have been completely revamped with new moves and looks. The gameplay was rebalanced, the number of missions in mission mode was increased to 100, and survival mode had 1,000 levels to go through. It was the newest 2D fighter on the market at the time, with bigger, bolder, and fresher graphics than any other competitor.


4 DOA Ultimate

Team Ninja’s Tomonobu Itagaki was good friends with Xbox designer Seamus Blackley, so giving his machine an exclusive 3D fighter was a great opportunity. The series had been running for 5 years by then, with previous games on Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, and both Playstations. Thereby, DOA Ultimate was made in 2004.

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He compiled the Saturn version of dead or alive 1 alongside a redone version of dead or alive 2. It improved its previous ports with tweaked gameplay, free movement, online play and an additional character in dead or alive 3It’s Hitomi. It ended up being the best way to play the second outing in the series, and it’s even backwards compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.


3 Def Jam: Fight for NY

AKI Corporation’s Brawl Engine has endured over the years. He produced classics like Revenge WCW/nWo and wwf no mercy. AKI was going to update it for a new WCW game, but, after that company went down, they had to retool it for a new license. Enter Def Jam Records.

Def Jam Vendetta caught up with its cast of out-and-out hip-hop artists. Def Jam: Fight for NY enhanced with multiple combat styles and environmental hazards. There was even a story mode where the player-created character could face off against Snoop Dogg, Sean Paul, and Flava Flav, among others. When people ask for a new Def Jam game or re-release, that’s the one they want to see.


2 SoulCalibur II

The advantage of fighting games over other genres is that their gameplay ages quite well. The best examples from the past still play as well today as they did in the past. That is why tekken 3 is always a bundle of fun, and Mortal Kombat 4 isn’t good that the two came out around the same time.

SoulCalibur IIThe gameplay of is as smooth as its later entries, with less fluff compared to SC4 and 5. Still, it was just one of three main ports, each with its own guest character. Xbox owners got Spawn from Image comics, while PS2 got tekkenis Heihachi, and the Gamecube got Link from The Legend of Zelda. Each port plays identically to the other, so which is better depends on which guest character fans like the most.


1 dead or alive 3

After playing ping-pong between the Sega and Sony machines, the Dead or alive series has found its new home on the Xbox. He kept the adjustments dead or alive 2 brought to the table, then improved. It replaced sidesteps and sidewalks with unrestricted 3D axis movement and improved counter timing in an effort to move the game away from tekken and virtual fighter juggling style and in space control and defense.

It also features some fan-favorite characters in Christie, Hitomi, and Brad Wong alongside others. Its smooth and fluid gameplay still holds up well as later games in the series have followed its trend. It’s good, like, like DOA Ultimateit’s also compatible with Xbox One and Series X/S, so it’s ready for anyone looking for a blast from the past.

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