Top 10 PlayStation 2 (PS2) Fighting Games of All Time

The Top Ten PS2 Fighting Games of all time was a bear of a list to create. The PS2 has seen so many fighting games that some of your favorites have undoubtedly been left off of the list. As a rule, PS2 fighting games that were only available as an import were left off of the list. Any of these PS2 fighters is certainly worth picking up, and together they represent the ultimate PS2 fighting game collection.

Top 10 PlayStation 2 (PS2) Fighting Games of All Time1. Soul Calibur 3
Soul Calibur III represents perfection in a PS2 fighting game. The gameplay was fast, technical, and well balanced. While button mashers may have been able to beat CPU players this game was a sport. Skilled players were unbeatable and the game provided a perfect arena to prove it. With silky-smooth animation and three new characters, Soul Calibur III elevated itself from the rest of the pack.

2. Tekken 5
Running at 60 frames per second, Tekken 5 is one of the most technologically advanced games on the PS2. A fan favorite and strong contender for best fighting game of all time, Tekken 5 rocked fighting game fans with its stunning visuals, technical gameplay, tons of game modes, customizable characters, and arcade-perfect ports of Tekken, Tekken 2, and Tekken 3. PS3 gamers can now have the privilege of downloading Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection from the PSN store.

3. Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution
An upgraded version of Virtua Fighter 4 for $20? Fans and critics alike were thrilled when Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution was released. Highly technical and balanced Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution somehow managed to remain accessible to people who weren’t arcade fighting junkies. The addition of two new characters, new interface, new training modes, and even a glossary of fighting game terms pushed VF4: Evolution over the top in terms of breadth and value.

4. Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
No fighting game has ever come close to the cult-like following of Street Fighter. From movies to cartoons, games to books, comics to collectibles, Street Fighter is one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time, and the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection let you relive the best parts of it. With Hyper Street Fighter II you get all of the best of the Street Fighter II games. Street Fighter III: Third Strike, arguably the best 2D fighting game on the PS2, is also included on the disc, making this collection an absolute must have.

5. Mortal Kombat: Deception Collector’s Edition
As the first major non-Japanese fighting game Mortal Kombat holds a special place in the hearts of many. Or it could have been all the blood and fatalities. Either way Mortal Kombat: Deception brings all the gore and fast paced fighting people have come to expect from the MK series to the PS2. With online support and a bevy of game modes MK: Deception moved the series forward not only in terms of options, but gameplay. New fighting styles and gameplay modes make Mortal Kombat: Deception the standout game in the series.

6. Marvel vs. Capcom 2
How do you make the Street Fighter series more fun? You make the game characters fight the stable of Marvel Superheroes. Ken vs. Venom, Ryu vs. Wolverine, Chun-Li vs. Psylocke… it was every videogame/comicbook geek’s dream come true. Dedicatedly accurate to the arcade version, some criticized Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for being too close to the source material. The game, in my opinion, is perfect. I want the nostalgia and accuracy of the arcade experience, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 delivers.

7. The King of Fighters 2000/2001
The King of Fighters 2000/2001 brings classic Japanese 2D fighting to your living room. The best part? You get arcade-faithful ports of both games in a two disc set. SNK’s fighters are second only to the Street Fighter characters in popularity, and offer, perhaps, more bizarity and options than the well balanced Street Fighter characters do. Fast and fun, The King of Fighters 2000/2001 is an excellent diversion game when you need to blow off a little steam.

8. Guilty Gear X2
Guilty Gear X2 is one of the most evolved 2D Japanese fighting games. With over 20 characters and dozens of moves it finds itself carefully balancing technical gameplay with fighting game zaniness. Guilty Gear X2 also manages to bride the weapon/no-weapon debate by providing some characters with arms, and some without. Somehow they manage to balance out an provide a the often overlooked fighting series with some of the most memorable game experiences in the genre.

9. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
I can hear you all the way across the internet, “a Dragon Ball game?!?” Yes, I know DBZ games, especially DBZ fighting games, have historically, to use the technical term, sucked. But Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 was the game that turned it all around. In addition to the clever use of cell shading (which makes the game look like the cartoon), and the huge number of playable DBZ characters, the game actually games multilevel combat feasible. Whether in the air, on the ground, in the water, or any mix of the three, ranged and melee attacks actually work, and work well.

10. Fight Night Round 2
I can understand why some people are hesitant to include boxing in the fighting game genre, however with the technicality of Fight Night Round 2 and the emphasis on one-on-one combat and venue variety it sure felt like a fighting game. Fight Night Round 2 offered brutal feeling punches, a deep character creation system, and a control configuration that used both of the analog sticks to bring boxing to life. No, it’s not about ninjas or lasers, but it has the speed and depth of any fighting game out there and offered sports fans a taste of what fighting game fans have had for years.