GameCrate's Fighting Game of the Year
Although we're at least a year away from the release of Street Fighter V, fans of the fighting game genre were treated to a host of wonderful titles this year on all platforms. These new titles come at a time when competitive fighting game organizers are enjoying a record number of participants, indicating a resurgence in an e-sport that has long trailed titles like dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Whether you exclusively play on an arcade stick, gamepad, or even a keyboard, here are our picks for the best fighting games of 2014:
Runner-up: Guilty Gear Xrd
There's a reason critics loved Guilty Gear Xrd. Since the franchise's debut over 15 years ago, fans of Guilty Gear have come to appreciate the game's crisp mechanics, delightful graphics, and compelling characters. In this vein, Guilty Gear Xrd is no different, and proves itself as a worthy successor to Guilty Gear 2: Overture.
Runner-up: Ultra Street Fighter IV
When I spoke to Mike Ross about his thoughts on Street Fighter V being exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PCs, he told me that it largely won't matter, because "it's Street Fighter, people are going to play it no matter what." This is why we've chosen Ultra Street Fighter IV, the successor to Super Street Fighter IV as our second runner-up. In addition to featuring new characters and stages, the update brings a slew of balance changes that address many of the problems in the previous version
As the new standard for competitive Street Fighter, Ultra Street Fighter IV represents the most refined version of Street Fighter IV to date, and should be a no-brainer for anyone devoted to the series.
Fighting Game of the Year: Super Smash Bros. Wii U
Well, the wait is finally over. Six years after the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and two years after Wii U hit the stores, we may finally enjoy the wonder of a next-generation Super Smash Bros. In addition to an initial roster of 37 characters you've come to know and love from both Nintendo's titles and other franchises (hello Pac-Man!), Super Smash Bros. includes a robust online mode that allows you test your mettle against online players, something that its predecessors sorely lacked.
Of course, if the online mode isn't your thing, then you'll surely get a kick out of the other modes, which include a Mario Party-esque board game, a stage builder, and training your very own Amiibo character. Finally, should you want to relive the glory days of old-school local multiplayer, then you'll love the eight-player multiplayer mode on Super Smash Bros. Wii U, granted if you can get your hands on the adapter.
Congratulations to Super Smash Bros. Wii U, the best fighting game of 2014!