Best Fighting Games on Xbox One TechnoBuffalo 2021
Fighting games are one of the most popular genres that let you knock out your friends or random characters without actually bloodying your own nose. While Xbox One delivers a great mixture of known franchises and new entries, the absolute best fighting game available today is Mortal Kombat 11. It delivers a top tier experience with excellent graphics, the best fighting mechanics in the franchise, and all of them over the top action that fans of the franchise have come to know and love.
- Best Overall: Mortal Kombat 11
- Best Value: EA UFC 3
- Best Combos: Tekken 7
- Best 2D: Dragon Ball FighterZ
- Best Story: Soul Caliber VI
Best Overall: Mortal Kombat 11
When it comes to fighting games, Mortal Kombat is often the first series that many gamers think of. For more than 25 years, it has delivered an amazing experience blending great action, a fun story, and plenty of blood and over the top finishing moves. Netherrealms continues this with Mortal Kombat 11, the best game in the franchise. It has updated graphics and fights mechanics, along with a tutorial that explains everything you need in order to be the best fighter possible.
The graphics of Mortal Kombat have never looked better. Whether you are in the middle of a fight, or just scrolling the menus, the details stand out. When you pull off an epic combo and blood splatters, the screen looks and feels violent.
Mortal Kombat 11's story mode returns, picking up right where Mortal Kombat X left off. Sadly, it's only about six hours long from beginning to end, but each character is captured perfectly. The whole roster gets their time to shine during the campaign and manages to bring a plot from the older games to this new installment.
Most important of all, the combat mechanics have been tweaked to make them more responsive than ever before. The combat system is fundamentally unchanged, with buttons that control your punches, blocks, and kicks. However, there are new combos that can be triggered, as well as new specialty moves called Krushing moves that are triggered automatically when certain conditions are met. The tutorial mode is also more expansive. New players will learn how to excel at every level of the game from basic options to advanced combos and techniques.
When you combine all of the many features that Mortal Kombat 11 has strung together, you get an amazing game that exemplifies what fighting games are all about. The regular updates to fighting mechanics ensure that gameplay never feels stale, and new graphics ensure that when you pull off a flawless victory it looks better than ever. With the expanded tutorial and a great story mode, Mortal Kombat delivers the best fighting game available on Xbox One, hands down.
- Excellent Graphics
- Well acted story mode
- Best fighting mechanics in the franchise
- Robust tutorial for new players
- Story mode is only six hours long and can be hard to follow
Best Value: EA UFC 3
UFC returns to consoles with EA Sports UFC 3. Being a real fighter in the octagon requires sacrifice and training that many folks don't have the time or the stomach for. With UFC 3, you can experience it all without shedding any blood in the process.
The most fun you can have by yourself comes in the form of a robust career mode that tracks your ascent from nobody to superstar. Before fights, you'll train to increase your attributes and promote yourself to build a fan following. This will pay dividends, provided you manage to win or put up a good fight. It's a fun mechanic that adds layers to the usual gameplay, but it can become formulaic later in the campaign.
If you're looking for brutal online play, the matchmaking option makes sure you are always paired with players of equal skill. As expected from an EA game, microtransactions do play a significant part in online play, but you can also snag in-game currency without spending your hard-earned, real-life paycheck to do it.
- Awesome campaign mode
- Solid online play
- Great fighting mechanics
- Microtransactions clutter online play
- Gameplay can become repetitive
Best Combos: Tekken 7
Tekken 7 is billed as the epic conclusion to a story that has been going for a very long time. While the story falls flat in many aspects, the gameplay itself is better than it has ever been before. Every step, technique, and the combo is amazing on the screen. Gameplay is fluid and free from frame rate shuddering in the middle of matches, and there are tons of character customization options.
The biggest change to gameplay comes from the updates to combat mechanics. Short and middle range fighting is a bit quicker than it used to be, while side stepping has gotten a bit slower. Plus, longer combos are no longer guaranteed to annihilate enemies. These changes aimed to make gameplay easier for new players to jump into, but aren't so jarring to put off veteran players.
All of these changes make the fighting more technical. Newer players may have an easier time picking the game up, while veteran players can take advantage of high level strategy to win. Between the two, players can have more fluid and organic fights that are fun for everyone involved.
- Great fighting mechanics
- Gorgeous graphics
- Learning the game can be difficult for new players
Best 2D: Dragon Ball FighterZ
One of the most popular anime series in the world returns to consoles with a whole new fighting game: Dragon Ball FighterZ. While plenty of fighting games have attempted to capture the look and feel of DBZ, none of them have managed to succeed quite as well as this game does.
Dragon Ball FighterZ looks like it could be an episode of the TV show when you first boot it up. It's a 2D fighter that brings the animation style of the show to console and 24 different playable characters along for the ride. In the middle of fights, you'll see wild blasts of color when you pull off particular combos. Plus, it has fan favorites like Android 21 and Vegito ready to fight.
The fighting mechanics themselves also emulate what watching the show feels like. There are wild combos, including jumping up and triggering full-on aerial attacks that can be strung together. Gameplay is fast and fun, delivering a fighting game that is thoroughly enjoyable, even if you aren't a fan of DBZ in general.
- Fan service for DBZ fans
- Fun anime graphics
- Fast-paced fighting
- Long loading times
Best Story: Soul Caliber VI
After six long years away, Soul Caliber returns to the forefront with a game that delivers an excellent dual story mode, new mechanics, and the awesome weapons-based fighting that made it so popular. The campaign mode in Soul Caliber VI is broken into two different pieces. Libra of Souls is the RPG side of things that follows your created character as he or she journeys across the world competing in a variety of different missions, and picking up gear, and upgrading your weapon along the way. Soul Chronicle runs parallel to Libra and follows Kilik, Maxi, and Xianghua as they chase down Nightmare.
There are several different modes of play including training, online, and the general arcade mode that will eat up most of your time. Along with long loading times that can be frustrating the only other major pitfall is the lack of characters, with a roster made up of only 20 fighters. Likewise, while training mode allows you room to learn how to use each playable character, a more robust tutorial would make the game more accessible for new players.
Fighting has gotten a sizeable update, making gameplay more fun and fluid than ever before. The basic fighting styles of horizontal or vertical strikes remain, but the new addition of Reversal Edge and Soul Charge adds a layer of depth. Reversal Edge lets you strategically take hits in order to take better control of the fight in general, while Soul Charge delivers new skills specific to each character on the roster.
- Intuitive fighting mechanics
- Amazing campaign mode
- Strategic fighting adds depth to gameplay
- Online modes feel lacking
- Long load times between matches
- Smaller roster of fighters than previous installments
Xbox One delivers a robust offering of different fighting games that make up the genre. Whether you prefer a game that is based in reality or one that is pure fiction, there is an excellent game out there for you. Out of every game that made our list, Mortal Kombat 11 is the absolute best. It combines excellent graphics, the best fighting mechanics in the genre, and an easy-to-follow tutorial mode to ensure that every player can enjoy it. If you truly want the best fighting game possible, then Mortal Kombat 11 is where it's at.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jen Karner has been playing fighting games for more than a decade and has spent hours perfecting her techniques in both Soul Caliber and Mortal Kombat. You can follow her on Twitter
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