Marvel vs Capcom is a 2D fighting game created by Capcom, masterminds of the legendary Street Fighter series. The Marvel vs Capcom series is known for its vibrant and colorful palette and features many favorites from the Marvel Universe (such as Captain America and Spider-man) as well as favorites from Capcom properties such as Street Fighter. After the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 the series remained somewhat dormant for 10 years ( Tatsunoko vs. Capcom was viewed as a spiritual sequel that shares the series' gameplay) until April 20th, 2010 when a sequel titled Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was announced.
Capcom first got the use of the Marvel license in the '90s, and having a history with making fighting games, they decided to make their Marvel games into fighting games. The very first results of this were X-Men Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes (the latter of which is repackaged with the first Marvel Vs. Capcom in Marvel Vs. Capcom Origins). These two games laid the foundation from which the Marvel Vs. Capcom series expanded from but also contain two notable differences from the Marvel Vs. Capcom series:
- With the exception of a single unlockable character, those two games contained a roster of only Marvel characters.
- While the Marvel Vs. Capcom series is a tag team game, those two games are one on one.
X-Men vs. Street Fighter
This was the first game in the series and was released in 1996. It set the style for the games that would appear after it by including a simpler fighting system to that of Capcom's flagship Street Fighter series and let players achieve combos and other special attacks more easily. The game only included X-men and Street Fighter characters and this would later be expanded in future game to include characters from the companies' other franchises.
Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter
The second game in the franchise now included a roster of characters from across the Marvel universe and not just X-men, although Street Fighter was still the only Capcom series represented. The game was released in 1998 and was almost completely identical to the original in terms of gameplay and locations. Many fans were disappointed in the roster as it included the same amount of characters as the fist game even though the whole Marvel mythos was now represented.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of the Super Heroes
Released in 1998, Marvel vs. Capcom included characters from many different Marvel and Capcom franchises. The game has a notable difference from the previous installments as players now had the ability to call upon assist characters who perform special attacks. Also of note, there is a new Duo Team Attack mode where both characters on a single team could be played at the same time. The roster was expanded greatly and featured a host of renowned videogame and comic book heroes and villains.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes
The fourth game in the franchise was noted for its huge character list and is widely regarded as the best. Originally released in 2000 MvC2 refined the gameplay and animations from the first Marvel vs. Capcom and included 3 on 3 tag team mode instead of just 2 on 2. The game was ported to XBLA and PSN in 2009.
Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
The newest game to the series, this is the first game of all of them to be exclusive to the home consoles, as well to be natively rendered in High Definition. This game also features unique endings for each character through the campaign mode. The game was released on February 15th, 2011. An updated version, which contained balance changes and 12 additional characters, known as Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, was released on November 15th, 2011.