Top 6 Retro Fighting Games that Made Capcom Legendary
Without a doubt, Capcom is one of the most outstanding fighting game developers of all time. After dropping their recent teaser for Street Fighter 6, all eyes are now on the legendary Japanese development house to see what they have in store to push the genre forward. With decades of experience in the space, the company has brought a lot of great ideas to the table through a smorgasbord of titles.
Below, we list the top six retro fighting games that cemented Capcom’s status as a genre icon.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Street Fighter began its journey as a mechanically challenging title that aimed to take the 1v1 martial arts genre to the next level. However, it was its second incarnation that truly left a mark and defined the fighting game genre. Out of all of the title’s numerous iterations, Super Street Fighter II Turbo brought it to its most definitive form. With a decently sized roster of characters, refined combo mechanics, and the introduction of the Super attack, SSF2T is considered one of the greatest Street Fighter games of all time.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
The Alpha (or Zero in Japan) series of Street Fighter games was Capcom’s attempt at experimenting with its successful formula. It retained the back-and-forth grounded gameplay of the base series while introducing new mechanics, including air blocking. Alpha 3 serves as a definitive culmination of those experiments. Its most unique feature is the ability to select between three different battle systems known as Isms. On top of that, the game featured the most complete lineup of characters from the Street Fighter and Final Fight universe.
Vampire Savior (Darkstalkers 3)
Capcom tried a lot of different design ideas to stretch the design space of its fighting game formula. One of the most prominent titles to come out of this experimentation phase was the Darkstalkers series, with its third incarnation being its most revered. Apart from quirky spins to classic monster designs, the game featured a more fluid combo system that allowed players to chain attacks instead of using strict timing to match frame counts. Characters were also more mobile, allowing them to launch aggressive offensives, making the game incredibly fast-paced.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Capcom made a lot of high-profile tournament titles, but none is as famous as the third incarnation of the Street Fighter III series. Not only did 3rd Strike right some of the controversial decisions of its predecessors, including the lack of core Street Fighter II characters, but also it refined its newly introduced mechanics, including the new defensive technique called parry. The detailed animations in the game are also used in university courses as examples of good 2D sprite animation. In this very title, legendary player Daigo Umehara performed what would come to be known as “Evo Moment 37”, demonstrating in an instant what high-level fighting game skill is all about.
Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001
The greatest rivalry in the fighting game space was between Capcom and King of Fighters developer SNK. It was unthinkable that the two would ever work together. In an unexpected twist, the two companies joined forces to create fighting games featuring their most iconic characters, and it was natural for fans of the genre to lose their collective minds. The best title to come out of the partnership was Capcom vs. SNK 2. What made this game so prominent in the FGC was its massive roster and the selection of six battle systems based on titles from each company’s past titles.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2
Prior to partnering with their eternal rivals, Capcom had close ties with Marvel, which led to the creation of several iconic retro fighting games. The most revered of them all was Marvel vs. Capcom 2. At the time, it was an incredibly insane game to behold. It upended the entire genre by featuring 3v3 tag mechanics, allowing you to play three characters at the same time. Your benched characters could also come in to perform one of three different assists, giving you more options for defense, combos, and mixups.